I was reading information on a child that was coming into care at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. One of the notes was to notify nursing, and all staff, that this child had POTS. I didn’t know what POTS was. So, I looked it up.
According to the National Institutes of Health, it is “a condition where an excessively reduced volume of blood returns to the heart after an individual stands up from a lying down position.” It can cause a range of symptoms including lightheadedness, fainting, nausea, headaches, shakiness, purple discoloration of the hands and feet, and rapid or forceful heartbeat. The full name is Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome.
For a child, it is just plain scary. Although it is not a life-threatening condition, it certainly doesn’t feel good.
This child has been through a lot. It isn’t the POTS that brought them to us. Trauma, abuse, neglect… but then they have to navigate POTS on top of it all.
Many of the children who come to the Ranch have physical issues in addition to their mental health and behavioral issues. Children come to us with diabetes, congenital heart issues, scoliosis, infections, ingrown toenails…
The great medical and direct care staff of Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch take it all in stride. Every child has their own story. Every child must be met where they are at. Every child has many needs, in addition to the psychiatric and behavioral issues that brought them to us—educational needs, spiritual needs, and healthcare needs.
At the Ranch, we give every child the care they need to find and become their best selves. In the case of POTS, part of the care plan will include hydration, a carefully watched diet, and occupational therapy about how to safely change positions… especially when getting up from a lying position. Removing the fear by learning how POTS is controlled is one more step in helping the child learn about becoming their best, strongest, healthiest self… in mind, spirit, and body.
That’s the goal for every child, “to help at-risk children and their families succeed in the name of Christ.”
Please keep our kids and staff in your prayers.
In His love,
Joy Ryan, President/CEO
Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch
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