© Paula Knight 2017
I drew this in bed around the time my current relapse began in 2017. At the time, I didn’t know I also had POTS (Postural Tachycardia Syndrome/ Disautonomia) but I was trying to draw exactly how I felt. Since being diagnosed, and learning more about the illness, I can see how this image relates to POTS aetiology. In POTS, the heart has to work harder on standing to get the blood back up from the feet/ legs because of the autonomic nervous system failure that would usually tell the body to do this. When I drew this, the frondy red creature underground said ‘gravity’ to me, but it takes on new meaning now that I know that blood pooling is such a problem. I guess this is a case of ‘draw it to know it’, and I feel my subconscious was at work here well before I knew what was happening in my body. People with ME often also have POTS. This image appeared in Graphic Medicine #1 newspaper zine in 2017, connected to the Graphic Medicine conference that took place in Seattle.