‘I’m scared anything could happen at any second’.
Those were the words of a young Fleetwood woman living with a debilitating ‘invisible’ illness that makes her every move agony — and at risk of a heart attack.
It’s like my poor, fragile body is working out at the gym 24/7 just by standing up
Vicky Nash has been diagnosed with postural tachycardia syndrome (PoTS), which means her nervous system doesn’t function properly, leading to an abnormal increase in her heart rate when she sits or stands up.
The 28-year-old, of Quayside, Fleetwood, said: “This causes me to feel unwell and often collapse. I am not able to stand for more than a minute or two before this happens.
“It’s like my poor, fragile body is working out at the gym 24/7 just by standing up.
“With my weight being so low now I have been put on complete rest and my partner, Dave, has to take care of my daily needs.”
She continued: “I am not allowed to walk, I am not allowed to do anything for myself as this would obviously induce the symptoms more and, with such a high increase in heart rate, I am at risk of a heart attack at any time.
“Even the simply action of brushing my own teeth causes my heart rate to shoot up to 140 to 150 beats per minute (bpm). This has rendered me housebound and seriously disabled, which is no life for someone just 28 years old.”
A normal resting heart rate for adults ranging, depending on fitness and other factors, from 60 to 100 bpm.
A well-trained athlete might have a normal resting rate closer to 40 bpm.
Vicky, whose condition is chronic and incurable, said it has also triggered painful fibromyalgia, and has to rely on prescribed liquid supplements rather than food.
Vicky said doctors told her there’s nothing more they can do to help, and is now fundraising for private healthcare, which she hopes might improve her condition.