Episode #53: Ashley Weiss
Ashley Weiss is an integrative health coach who has made it her mission to help others, because no one deserves to be invisible. Her health took a major turn in 2016 when she was diagnosed with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome—commonly referred to as POTS—a type of Dysautomomia. She has dedicated her adult life to managing POTS, as it has changed nearly everything she does. She studied integrative nutrition to learn more about changing her lifestyle and how to help others along the way. She is learning how to take care of her body in the following ways: focusing on whole foods; maintaining a personalized exercise regimen; and managing the psychological and emotional ups and downs that come with a chronic illness. She started Wellness with Weiss to help others who are also struggling with chronic illness.
When Ashley Weiss was diagnosed with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, or POTS, it changed everything in her life. She went through periods where she couldn’t work, had to rely on her parents and now-husband (then fiancé) to help her move around, and postponed her wedding. What’s more, her doctors couldn’t tell her how long her POTS symptoms would last, and there’s no cure for the condition, either. On today’s episode, Ashley and I talk about adjusting to life with chronic illness (including the grieving process she went through for her old self) and why, now, her mantra is to take things one day at a time. We also talk about the realities of living with POTS, the difficult diagnostic testing she went through, and how living with a chronic condition has brought many challenges, but also opened her up to new opportunities.
Here are some of the things Ashley and I chatted about:
The symptoms that came on suddenly on the trip overseas she took with her now-husband
The doctors who told her that everything was fine, and her gut reaction telling her it wasn’t
Seeing an internist who checked her blood pressure and heart rate lying, sitting, and standing
Why she took a leave of absence from work while figuring out what was going on health-wise
The cardiologist at Duke who told her it wouldn’t be wise to have her wedding as scheduled
How she leaned on her now-husband for support, especially during the worst of her symptoms
Undergoing a tilt-table test in the hospital, and why it was such a traumatic experience for her
Her second tilt-table test one day after her first--akin to running two marathons back-to-back
Living with her parents for five months, and having to rely on them as if she were a child
Starting to incorporate an exercise routine into her day, with the support of her POTS trainer
The anxiety she felt surrounding everything she did, including committing to social obligations
Deciding to have an intimate wedding, and how she practiced her wedding dances each day
Developing a passion for helping others with chronic illness, and starting Wellness with Weiss
What managing her health looks like today, and the techniques and specialists she relies on
What brings her joy, including spending time with her nieces and finding new activities to enjoy
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