Recovery Is Possible!

Sometimes just when you think it's hopeless, you get better!
Sometimes just when you think it’s hopeless, you get better!

Okay, I’m keeping it shorter this week, because I’m doing so well that I’ve been extremely busy! As I’ve said in the past, the better I’m doing, the less I tend to post and tweet, because I’m away from the blog living my life.

Anyway, I just wanted to give some hope to those of you out there waiting for your PANS treatments to work, wondering when or if they’ll ever kick in. Everyone’s path is different, but yes, recovery from PANS is possible.

Six weeks after my third high-dose IVIG, there’s no comparing where I am now to where I was in July. I mean, I was a ghost in my own life at that point—I went through my days incapable of doing much of anything. Nothing interested me, and everything was too overwhelming. I’d lost so much weight from restricting my food that I was about to end up in the hospital. My POTS was to the point that I could almost pass out simply from standing up. Sometimes, I started hyperventilating for no apparent reason. I often said nonsense because I couldn’t remember words when I spoke.

Suffice it to say that life was beyond crappy at that point—so much so that I’d lost the ability to understand how ill I was.

But where am I today? Well, I’m living on my own, doing college part-time, working part-time, and getting back my life. I’ve regained all the weight I lost, and now I’m strong enough to exercise again—I even ran five miles last weekend! If I have POTS now, I can’t tell. I’m doing so well in every way that I’ve been socializing more than ever before, and I’m sort of seeing someone… Sort of.

Yet as great as all of this is, I’m definitely not out of the woods yet. I still struggle with some executive functions like concentration and planning, and it’s still very much a fight to not let the anorexia thoughts control me. Plus, my handwriting may be the worst ever; unless I write extremely slowly and focus intently, I often can’t write a single word without omitting or reversing letters—and then I don’t know how to fix the spelling. As for my POTS, I continue to drink four liters of water every day and take in at least 5000 mg of sodium, so for all I know, I’d get symptoms again if I reverted to “normal” hydration and salt intake.

Nevertheless, although this IVIG hasn’t fixed everything yet and may or may not have cured my POTS, I remain optimistic that I’m continuing to heal. And I’m so grateful and amazed to have come as far as I have in a few weeks. However, I’m not ready to think a whole lot about the future or make plans, because there’s always that fear that this IVIG will stop working, just as my first one did.  But you know what?  Even after that first relapse, I eventually recovered, despite the setback.

I can’t afford to dwell on my fears. If there’s anything I’ve learned from having PANS, it’s that you have to live in each moment, appreciating all of the good things as they come. Although it’s in one way a curse to know I could wake up tomorrow and lose my very self, knowing this has helped me make the most out of every day and every hour of good health. So even if I still have some challenges, I’m just going to keep enjoying all of these latest victories, keep living, and keep remembering that the hard times don’t last forever—recovery from PANS is possible.

10 thoughts on “Recovery Is Possible!

  1. How wonderful to hear you are greatly improved. As blogs go,I will look forward to not hearing from you as often .I will interpret the silence ,as a sign that you are enjoying being healthy and involved with living life to your fullest capacity. I am so very happy for you. It gives me hope for my grandson’s future.

  2. Thanks for the encouraging words! I am happy to know that you ar wheeling and doing so much better. High dose IVIG? My son will be having his 7th low dose IVIG this Fri and Sat with mixed results. A recent email I received from PANDAS Physician Network yesterday talked about how low dose IVIG treatments can worsen symptoms. Go figure! As if it’s not scary enough to make these decisions now I wonder if he really has been helped by IVIG or not. In the mean time I am going to hold on to your hope that “Recovery is Possible”

    1. Yes, I’ve had three high-dose IVIGs, but now I’m also doing monthly low-dose, too, for CVID. (I’ll probably get around to talking about this more in a future post.) I also worry that it’s holding up my recovery, but if you have an immune deficiency, I don’t know what choice there is. Hopefully, these low dose IVIGs are helping the both of us. Keep hanging on to hope!

  3. YAY!!!!! So Happy for you. You give the rest of us hope that there is light at the end of this long, dark tunnel!

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