Kaci L Koltz is a creative artist who is all about possibilities and seeing things in a new way. She enjoys combining color, imagery, imagination, and emotion in a dance that makes people experience something new. She is always experimenting with new ideas and media. A self-taught artist, Kaci is also a musician, chronic illness warrior, Ravenclaw, compassionate soul, and general weirdo.
Kaci’s accomplishments include being chosen for the year-long UW-Madison Ag Hall Art Exhibit, and being the featured artist for Art Effects during the Artswalk & Mass Guitar Incident in Stevens Point, WI. She has been secretary of the Rural Rembrandt Art Club, the oldest art organization in Wisconsin, since January 2019.
What is hEDS?
hEDS stands for hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. It’s a genetic disorder that causes the body to produce faulty collagen. Collagen makes up all the connective tissues in the body, everything from ligaments and tendons to the webbing that holds intestines together to heart valves to eyes. Collagen is everywhere. In people with hEDS, the collagen is too stretchy, like when you take a balloon out of the package, blow it up, then let all the air out. This means our connective tissues don’t hold our bodies together effectively, and joints can dislocate, sublux, or the bones simply slide or grind against each other. To compensate, our muscles have to take up the slack in holding our skeleton together, which causes severe muscle knots and fatigue. To have hEDS means living with constant pain and many folks are disabled or unable to function normally. In addition, many people with hEDS also have GI issues, dental issues, vision problems, heart abnormalities, or other connective tissue related problems. Some also have comorbid disorders such as dysautonomia or mast cell activation disorder.
To learn more about hEDS, click here.
What is POTS?
POTS stands for Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. It is a type of dysautonomia, or a dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system. People with POTS have a hard time with the automatic functions of the body, such a breathing, heart rate, body temperature, sleep, and blood pressure. The internal regulator that is supposed to keep the body in homeostasis malfunctions. I have a rare form called hyperadrenergic POTS, which means that when my body is under stress my brain interprets it as a life-or-death situation and goes into fight-or-flight mode, complete with a pounding heart and adrenaline rush. That’s no fun when all you’re trying to do is fall asleep or stand still. People with POTS have orthostatic intolerance, meaning that when we stand up, the blood pools in our feet due to gravity, the mechanism that is supposed to constrict the blood vessels and push the blood up to the brain doesn’t work right. It can cause dizziness, high heart rate, too low or too high blood pressure, and even fainting. There is no cure for POTS.
To learn more about POTS, click here.