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FROM READERS: A letter to Dysautonomia

Thursday, April 25, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CDT; updated 6:41 p.m. CDT, Thursday, April 25, 2013
Carrie is an Army wife, mother of of four children, and an advocate for who suffer from chronic illnesses. Carrie has been diagnosed with Dysautonomia, more specifically Pure Autonomic Failure.

Carrie Boone is an Army wife, mother of of four children, and an advocate for those who suffer from chronic illnesses. She lives in Columbia. Carrie has been diagnosed with Dysautonomia, more specifically Pure Autonomic Failure. You can find Carrie bringing awareness through her blog Just Mildly Medicated, where this post was originally published.

Dear Dysautonomia,

I am not sure you are aware but you are completely overworking my Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) and you've caused me to be completely fried. You've messed with a system that’s whole purpose is to fine tune the automatic functioning of my organs and help my body maintain stability and balance. I mean seriously, who screws with that?

While I have your attention, I have to ask, why are you such an overachiever? I mean you've hit the entire system, both sympathetic AND parasympathetic.

I am sure you find it quite exhilarating to have me in a constant state of fight or flight but I am tired. This Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) hyper drive will serve me well if there is a zombie apocalypse or if I find myself zapped back in time and am a cave-woman. Having one’s body respond to everything as if it is a potential life altering crisis isn't really all that necessary in this time. You cause people to say things to me like “calm down it’s just the phone,” well no kidding. I can’t help that my heart rate jumps to 125 at the sound. But if that sound were a zombie approaching I am ready!

Never mind, you've screwed me even if there is a zombie apocalypse. If my heart rate jumps to 125 at the ringing of a phone imagine what it would do if I were in need to kick some zombie ass. Ventricular Tachycardia and running for your life don’t mix well.

Remember that one time when you decide to kick around with my Parasympathetic Nervous System and keep my heart rate in the 40s for 24 hours. Yeah, that was not fun. Oh, and that ciliary muscle in my eye … cute trick, very fun house mirror style vision. I would be fine if you just didn't do that anymore.

Most people have the joy of not even knowing how well the Parasympathetic and Sympathetic complement each other, one gets you a little revved up, the other calms you down. But you Dysautonomia, you have me very aware.

The one thing I will give you is that you are ever changing and willing to spice it up a bit. It is amazing the control you have and your ability to multitask. You manage to have my body so confused as to if it needs to panic or fall into a coma that I end up passing out or having convulsions. Yes, all that is because of your nonstop tampering.

I will have to close this as my heart rate is sitting at 52, I am due to take meds, and I am ready to put my head back on the couch and drool a bit.

At your mercy,

Carrie @ Just Mildly Medicated

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor Joy Mayer.


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