I was born and raised here in North Idaho. I’ve always loved the lake and river. We have had a family boat for as long as I can remember. I learned to swim on my own when I was one, but as a toddler I was swimming end to end in any pool without a life jacket. As far as boating, I was allowed to swim off the boat in the middle of the lake without a life jacket at the age of 4 (of course with supervision though). I was usually swimming as early as May and as late as October. We would boat as often as possible when I was younger (which I think now looking back was a combination of my parents’ work schedule + ability to afford gas for boat).
Our boat was also a portable campsite. It was big enough to sleep my mom, dad, my brother, me and a guest or two, who were usually my aunt and uncle. We used to do overnight trips on it and it was always super fun! My mom made special menus with cute names for the meals she planned. I recall Bumper Burgers especially. I’m pretty sure there were life preserver donuts for breakfast too.
Either way, the point of all this rambling is to make it clear that I enjoy the lake and river in the summer! A couple days ago my aunt invited us to come play at the lake with her for the day and we jumped on that opportunity! Carter had a new blow-up motorized boat toy that we had got him and he had yet to try.
We packed up the necessities:
- Lunch (I made super gourmet tuna sandwiches- which Carter says I make the best in the world, baked ruffle pop chips, cut up cantaloupe and pineapple, fruit snacks, tortilla chips, and guacamole. Oh and maybe a frozen adult beverage and some beer.
- My hat
- POTS Go Bag including oximeter, salt tablets, Midodrine, and of course emergency meds for tremors or extreme nausea
- Oxygen tank
- Oh and we stopped for coffee on the way, the most important! (it’s a toss up between oxygen and coffee)
Off we went for a day of fun!
Now, when asked about it, my physical therapist said water activities would be good for me as long as I have someone very nearby, am never alone in the water, and am wearing a life jacket if I’m swimming a long way, but again have someone to flip me over if I pass out.
My electrophysiologist also said swimming would be a good exercise choice as long as someone was available to pull me out of the water should I pass out.
I’m not going to lie: that is a scary thought for me. Either way, this isn’t the first and it won’t be the last scary thing I’ll encounter with POTS.
I want to share my victory of the day first! I tried out paddleboarding and I successfully did it!
Picture proof: Aunt Sheri and I paddleboarding! I’m so happy I got to try it out. One thing to note about this activity though is that it is standing in one spot, which is one of my hardest tasks.
Now, I did not pass out. I did get pretty tired, but that was expected. I knew before we went to the lake for the day that I’d be down in recovery for at least 2 days after, but again I made the choice to have fun when the opportunity was there.
At one point while paddlin’, my aunt was starting to tell me about what I could do and I recall her saying, “If you engage your core” and that’s the last thing I remember before being underwater. HAHA. While I was going underwater of course my first thought was oh crap my sunglasses not oh I should plug my nose if I don’t wanna inhale most of the lake through my nose, so that was unfortunate. My sunglasses are fine though! As I was coming up to the surface I saw Tom jumping in off the dock and swimming out to me. As he grabbed me I asked him if I scared him. He said no, he just knew how quickly I could get tired and he wanted to make sure I was ok to make it to the board and get back into shore. He didn’t let go until I was back sitting on the board and paddling in.
Say what you want, but I think that guy likes me.
I was kind enough to not post the video of him falling off the paddleboard, but the only reason I feel ok laughing at him is because there are like two things in the world that I can do better than him, and apparently paddleboarding is one of them.
Although, how cute is this? There was a tiny puppy with us at the lake and he gave him a ride.
Carter and I skipped the stairs up the hill and tried out the lift. I can always count on him to hang with me!
This would have been quite a steep hike for this POTSIE girl!
Here is Carter’s new motorized water toy. It’s pretty cool! It runs on batteries and drives around, as well as shoots water up to 20 feet. That part was less cool, in my opinion.
I hope the rest of you are taking opportunities as they come along to enjoy summer! As far as my fellow other potsies out there, do any of you do water sports/activities? Do you also find it a bit terrifying? What do your doctors say?
Lastly, I leave you with this picture of pure beach happiness! Go forth and find yourself some happy today!