A couple of years ago I was diagnosed with POTS after a tilt table test. I was iffy on the diagnosis because my heart rate never seemed to get that high, but I was also in pretty good physical shape then (29 years old, turn 30 next month, rode all the time, was fairly active, healthy weight, etc).
Now, I’ve lost pretty much all of my fitness after barely riding or being active for a year (both for covid avoidance reasons and anxiety/panic attack reasons). Earlier this year, I started trying to go back out to the barn more to ride. I found that now, my heart rate would spike to 150s just walking around the barn and grooming/tacking up, and by the time I started trotting it would be in the 170s to 180s. That seemed insanely too high to me and quite honestly freaked me out, so I went back to a walk and have barely ridden since. Every time I go out to try, I’m hitting high 150s before I even get on the horse, and it just didn’t seem like a good idea to push it. I hoped that maybe the fitbit was just reading it too high, but nope, checked it manually several times and if anything it reads too low sometimes.
Anyways, talked to cardiologist, had EKGs and stress tests, everything normal, cardio not worried about it. No pain whatsoever, maybe a bit of dizziness and shortness of breath when it happens but that could just be from being anxious about it. I’m now wondering if maybe the POTS diagnosis was more relevant than I initially thought, I’m noticing that on bad days I can go from low 60s sitting down to 120s when I get up to walk around.
I don’t really have a question or anything, more just seeing if anyone has anything similar they are dealing with. It really helps me to be able to talk to people that are going through it too, so trying to find other riders. It’s just sucked, I have this crazy heart anxiety now. I’m finally to where I can see it get to the 150s without worrying, but I walked around on my horse bareback today for all of five minutes and it was galloping along in the 160s at least. From walking. On my super safe pony that I am not the least bit worried to ride. I have no anxiety about the actual act of riding, I just don’t trust my body anymore. I’m sure a lot of it is the heat, but it still makes me so nervous.
If you read this far, thanks for listening and sorry for the novel. Hopefully there are some here who can relate or commiserate.