Real People With Dysautonomia: Michaelene

Woman with dysautonomia, POTS, wearing sunglasses and a purple background.  The captions reads
Woman with dysautonomia, POTS, wearing sunglasses and a purple background.  The captions reads "Real People With Dysautonomia: Michaelene". The NormaLyte water drop logo in the corner.

For some people who contracted COVID, it was mild.  Some even had no symptoms at all.  For many, that wasn’t the case.

Long covid is where symptoms of covid19 persist long after the virus has left your body.  Symptoms range for many people, but in general they are: difficulty concentrating, depression/anxiety, headache, sleep disturbances, dizziness, changes in smell or taste, and more.

In April of 2020, Michaelene, now 49, contracted covid, and her life changed forever.

After Covid, my health took a turn for the worse. My heart rate would increase rapidly every time I stood up and I would get dizzy. It became so bad that I could barely get out of bed. I had to crawl to get to the bathroom and sit to shower.

Michaelene soon discovered she had a condition called POTS, or postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, which is a form of dysautonomia, or a dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system.  Studies have shown that anywhere from 10% - 40% of people with long covid may have triggered dysautonomia.  Learn more about that in our blog “Is it Long Covid or POTS”.  Michaelene was one of those people.

I was diagnosed with POTS in October 2020 after a bout with Covid. I am also diagnosed with long covid, MCAS, migraines and autonomic dysfunction.  I was lucky that my primary care doctor was knowledgeable and picked up autonomic dysfunction with a standing test (often called a poor man’s tilt table test) after all my other tests came back normal. She referred me to a specialist. The wait was 6 months and another 4 months before I could get my tilt table test for confirmation.  I was diagnosed with POTS within a year.

I did my research before seeing my primary care physician. I told my husband that I thought I had POTS after reading up about it and doing a standing test at home. When the doctor mentioned autonomic dysfunction, I just looked at him, smiled and said “I told you so!”

Before Michaelene’s life was turned upside down by her health she was a special education paraeducator.  In April of 2020 she left her job so she could focus on her health.  She’s still struggling to get approved for disability, having been rejected twice.  Something this writer often hears from the dysautonomia community.

My family is so supportive of me and helps any way that they can.  I have an amazing husband, Dewey and two kids: JD and Izzy.  I met my husband at Disney World and moved in with him a month later. We were married 6 months after that.. That was 24 years ago. The most magical place on earth is truly magical for us and we visit as often as we can. He says I am the best souvenir he could have brought home from his trip!

Michaelene with her family.  Real People With Dysautonomia | NormaLyte ORS Electrolyte for POTS

Family is important when you have any chronic illness.  You also have to learn to manage your symptoms.  We know that one accepted way to manage symptoms of POTS is to up your sodium or salt intake.  Michaelene is still learning what works best for her.

Today I am using compression, salt, electrolytes and fluids to help. I have tried medications but none have really helped. I was using IV infusions to help but my veins are struggling. 

A bit of an advocate for educating people on POTS, Michaelene says:

Lately,  I have been working on advocating for people like me who are dealing with long covid, POTS and other chronic illnesses.  I am open about what I am going through. I tell people what POTS is and that even though I may look normal, my body does not react and work like a normal person does.  I take every chance to educate people on POTS and how it affects my everyday life.

Woman with dysautonomia doing a yoga pose


She hasn’t let her diagnosis steal her joy.  When Michaelene has increased energy she enjoys cooking.

My kitchen was always my happy place. When I have the energy, you will find me on my stool trying to cook for my family.  I lost my mother to cancer when she was 56 years old. It was quick and unexpected. It taught me to not sweat the small stuff and to cherish every day.

Her motto is “Carpe Diem” which means “Seize the Day”.

Carpe Diem, seize the day.  Real People With Dysautonomia | NormaLyte ORS Electrolyte for POTS


  • Angelena Stubblefield

    I had covid in February 2023.
    Since then my life has been a nightmare.
    I was passing out, heart palpitations, low blood pressure, headaches, anxiety ,constant dizziness, lightheaded and blurry vision.and more. I haven’t driven since February.
    My cardiologist finally diagnosed me with orthostatic hypotension. But I believe I have POTS.
    Because my heart rate goes up when I’m standing. But not every time, Nor does my blood pressure drop every time.
    I’ve heard it’s hard to diagnosed.
    I do wear compression socks sometimes and drink normalyte. Grape flavor. It’s hatd to drink because I can’t stand the taste. I need to try a different flavor.
    Your story has helped me to feel more hopeful

  • Patricia Bory

    My son suffers from pots he came down with it after having mono he too tried to get disability but was turned down that was14 years ago back then every emergency room trip from horrific symptoms they would hand him over a script for Valium told him it was anxiety til we came across one heart dr who sent him for a tilt table test that confirmed it but it was not well known disease their were no medical codes for claims it was a trying time for him people looked at him didn’t believe his illness even after being diagnosed luckily he finished college tried to work but wasn’t able to stay upright for hours on end eventually had to stop he’s a young man of 33 hasn’t experienced much of life had been bed ridden for most of his 20s had tried a steroid that was a horrific time he took 100 steps backward it took awhile to get him weened off but he’s put some weight on looks healthier but still suffers terribly

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.