Autonomic is All Powerful

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Big Medical Words / Deep Thoughts About POTS

The autonomic nervous system (ANS) is what is broken inside my body.

I realize that the common thought is that something is wrong with my heart because my heart rate gets insanely high and always thinks I’m in the middle of sprinting.  The truth is that my autonomic nervous system is the part that is confused in my body.

When you have an issue with your heart, it affects your heart.

When something is wrong with your shoulder, it affects your shoulder.

When there is confusion and problems within the autonomic nervous system, it has the ability to affect damn near everything, every process, and every system within the body.

Our autonomic nervous system especially comes in handy for generating a FIGHT OR FLIGHT response and in times of REST AND DIGEST, however it is working all the time not just during those times.

The more I learn, the more issues within my body now make sense to me.  Since this diagnosis I’ve been saying that my eyes are hurting.  Every doctor says, ‘ya huh, weird, maybe get your eyes checked again. Not my specialty.’ or something to that effect.  (Basically my doctors frequently play the grown up version of NOT IT).  Turns out that the ANS is responsible for the dilation and contraction of the pupils when reacting to light, as well as muscles in the eye.  Logic would tell me that maybe my eyes are not dilating correctly, or having some other adverse muscle reaction due to my ANS getting confused.  My legs randomly forget how to work sometimes so isn’t it possible that my eyes could be doing the same thing?

Mystery solved, and I saved a copay.  I don’t have a fancy doctor degree, but I am smart enough to realize that one copay basically equals one new purse, give or take.

Tonight while my body was playing symptoms, symptoms and MORE SYMPTOMS I was researching about the ANS.  I built this little infographic to help others understand the basics.  I hope you enjoy it and it makes sense.

I also hope that my chest pain, shortness of breath, crazy tachycardia and leg pain feel like stopping soon.

Autonomic Nervous System Infographic

This graphic demonstrates how most bodies are regulated to sit in between fight or flight, and rest and digest and adjust accordingly as needed.  Those who have dysautonomia can tell you that the body is constantly confused and frequently unable to reach this state.  Also, I doubt I would do that cute foot pop if I had a snake chasing me.


I hope this post has helped you to learn more about the autonomic nervous system and how it functions, or doesn’t.  Please let me know if you have any questions and I’ll do my best to consult The Google (as we call it in the dispatch world when people call asking for special phone numbers to the FBI and UFO reporting service) or someone smart to try to find the answer for you!

Thanks for reading big science-y words and learning with me!


  1. Mattie says

    Your words and diagram were refreshing to me. It makes me feel that I’m not alone especially with Dr s not understanding. That s what bothers me the most. Thank you:)


  2. Pingback: Sweet Dreams are not Made of This – POTS: Finding Smiles in the trials

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