For those of you without POTS, when I say tight chest it feels like someone is squeezing you around your chest, restricting how much you can physically move your rib cage.
When this first happens it can be very scary. The most important thing to remember is not to panic. This may not be normal for everyone else, but if you have POTS, this is normal for you.
Sitting is best, even if you have to sit on the ground. Sit with your back straight, and take as deep of breaths as you can. Slowly. In for as long as you can, and then our slowly.
For me this allows my lungs to relax and my rib cage to open.
Once I do this for a few minutes, the pain goes away and I am able to breath normally again. I sit with my back straight for another minute or two, allowing the muscles to stay relaxed. I have found that if I move right when the pain goes away it will return, and I have to do the whole process over again.
If you have to do this in public, most likely people will look at you funny because there is no way for them to see what is going on. Try and do your best to push them out of your mind and focus on yourself. You are the one that needs to get better, and breathing is important.
Don’t panic. This will become normal. You can deal with it.