Up until recently I had given up going to concerts. It just seemed impossible with POTS. A lot of times we are required to give up activities we love for our condition. I think it is important to still have a life- to have things to live for and look forward to. So here are some tips to make concerts a bit easier in the hope concerts will not be added to the list of things we cannot do because of our illness.
1. Call Ahead
The venue makes a large difference in whether I can attend a concert or not. I have had venues, such as Red Rocks in Colorado, make no effort to help accommodate me. In fact, they won’t even call me back about accommodations. Therefore, I recommend contacting someone at the venue prior to buying tickets. Some good questions to ask are:
- Is it wheelchair friendly? (Although it is illegal some are not)
- Are there places for wheelchairs where you can see?
- Will they let you in early to get a seat where you can see?
- Can you provide a seat for whoever goes to the concert with me? It will be basically impossible to communicate otherwise (and awkward).
- Does the venue get extremely hot?
2. Wheelchairs Help
Having an invisible illness basically guarantees people will not go out of their way to accommodate you. Using a wheelchair means that your illness becomes visible and it guarantees a spot to sit throughout the night.
3. Load Up On Salt & Water
I drink water and load up on salt even more than usual before events that cost a lot of spoons. Talk to your doctor about safe amounts of either.
4. Frequent Breaks If You Get Overstimulated
A lot of sound and noise can lead to me feeling overstimulated and foggy. Taking frequent breaks to step outside for fresh air or to the bathroom keeps the overstimulation from bothering me as much.
5. Bring Earplugs
Some shows are extremely loud and can set off headaches or overstimulation. Having earplugs in case you need them is a good idea.
6. Wear layers
If you have heat or cold intolerance wearing light layers keeps you from having as many problems with temperature. Commonly, these venues get very warm with body heat so the lighter the layers the better.
7. Small Shows And Venues Are Better
Small shows and venues tend to be less warm, less loud, and altogether easier to navigate. If you aren’t too picky about what concert you want to see I would definitely recommend finding a smaller show.
8. Wear Compression
Wearing compression helps me a lot during any event that takes a lot of effort. I find that both tights and abdominal binders are worth the extra heat because they keep the blood pooling at bay.
9. Don’t Go If You Have Something The Next Day
Even with all of these changes going to a concert will likely wipe you out and cost a lot of spoons. I try to only attend if I do not have somewhere important to be or do the next few days.
10. Don’t Feel Bad About Asking For Accommodations
Sometimes I find it difficult to ask for help or feel like I am putting people out. It helps to remember that having a chronic illness isn’t your fault and you deserve to live your life as much as everyone else. Making accommodations is their job and doesn’t take much effort from the staff at the venue. In fact, I have heard that it is one of the easier parts of their job (do you know how many people throw up of concerts?).