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Kaylyn knew about my illness, but she hadn’t yet seen it. And if I hadn’t changed my dating standards after realizing I was chronically ill, it could have taken so much longer to find someone like her. Diagnosed when I was 19 after a series of unexplained fainting episodes, I was referred to a cardiologist.I wasn’t sure how she’d react and was scared she’d be like past women I’d dated: awkward, unsympathetic, and, ultimately, gone. On our date, Kaylyn quickly noticed I wasn’t well despite my attempts to hide it. POTS is a disorder that causes my heartbeat to increase 30 beats or more per minute or exceed 120 beats per minute within 10 minutes of standing, causing my blood pressure to drop. Currently there’s no known cure for POTS, but it can be treated.This time, I was nervous because I hadn’t felt well all day.I felt dizzy, nauseous, and achy, my finger too swollen to put my ring on.The people giving me advice online knew what they were talking about.Right away, I knew things with Kaylyn were going to be different.
I discovered I was sick around the same time I let myself accept that I wasn’t straight.
People hear the words “chronic illness” and often run as fast and as far as they can.