Jordan Gonzales spent much of his adolescence not knowing why he felt so sick, but a diagnosis brought some clarity and new opportunities. With assistance from DOR, Jordan is finishing his bachelor’s degree at San Jose State with a concentration in art and psychology, hoping to use his passion and talents to help others like him.
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Jordan - My specific form is called POTS , which stands for Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. When I stand up, my blood pressure drops and my heart rate sky rockets. So the doctor described it to me as running in place all day long. He told me I am using three to four times more energy than the normal person. Diagnosing it can be very, very difficult because symptoms are wide…and because of that dysautonomia is vastly underdiagnosed.
The physical pain, honestly, is not even half as bad as the… the stigma you receive from everyone. When you don’t have a diagnosis on top of that, it’s even worse. For me, when I experience a lot of being made fun of, you know very recently I’ve heard people say hurtful things about me specifically, and of course it gets me very upset.
I guess I made a distinction, you know, I’m the one who’s in control. No matter what anyone says, they only really get the power if I go out and let them. And you have to tread that line between speaking your piece and trying to get them to understand. In order to combat ignorance you have to have someone educate, but at the same time there’s also those times where your emotions run a little too high.
For me I decided to make a choice basically saying that, it doesn’t control my life, it doesn’t control my emotions. The emotional side of it, that’s always in your control.