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Vasovagal Reactions Continued--The First Was So Interesting!


Vasovagal reactions continued  

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I've blacked out twice, and almost fainted several times, usually due to heat or illness. I know what to do to keep myself from fainting, since I'm a nurse, but I'm more sypathetic and have more trouble with yo yoing high blood pressure.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Let's see here... I'm going to count times that were not just bad presyncope, but actual about-to-black-out types of episodes (actual syncope only once, but plenty of "stay with me, come on, breath slower, stay with us here.." kind of stuff.

As a 15-year-old kid I was super-afraid of needles (not the combative type, just crying and terrified). My pediatrician tried Emla cream (a really good topical anesthetic) for a blood draw. It worked - I didn't feel the needle - but I fainted in the parking lot afterwards (stepfather caught me, fortunately). I was also sick at the time - probably didn't help. [since then I have gotten much better, and just lie down for blood draws]

Nearly passed out again (not quite black out) after having to get a restick for a blood draw at 22.

At 25, about two months after POTS stuff started, the cardiac electrophysiologist I had an appointment with explained - in detail - how an ablation is done. I apparently got white and shakey (and kept talking about vomiting and wanting to lie on the cold, hard floor); end result, she had me lay down pronto, and was pretty impressed.

At 26, about a month later (whoo fall birthdays), I got my first MRI with IV contrast, and nearly passed out again when they put the cannula in. I'd gotten some xylocaine beforehand, which meant repeat needlestick, which didn't help.

Two separate times since then I have nearly passed out due to pain - once while my PT did some serious myofascial work on my abdominal wall, and a second time when I had xylocaine injected to treat an abscess in a particularly sensitive area.

At 27, a year later, I got another MRI with IV contrast (whoo annual screening), and almost passed out again.

So, other than the one real syncope, it's all been very, very close (I was lying down for almost all of the rest, which probably prevented a full syncopal episode). But I would say mostly due to fear (the real syncope at 15), and sometimes very close due to pain.

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When I was younger I cut myself my accident and woke up on the floor. Since then I have had problems passing out on the toilet on the middle of the night. Also walking to the bathroom in the of the night. We had to do several 24 hour BP monitors each time this would start to happen. To prove this was happening. If I sit up too long at my computer it can also happen and I've been told I pass out in even in bed sitting up.

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The only trouble I've had with blood draws is when they've taken too many tubes of blood. I'm fine during the draw, fine immediately after. It's when I go to stand up from the chair that problems happen. Seems like 3 larger tubes is safe. Anything beyond that requires some serious water/salt loading.

As an aside, I actually did my own blood draw after waiting in the chair 20+ minutes for the phlebotomist to show up. We had just spent the past two weeks in class going over venipuncture (blood draws) and the order of the draw. Boredom & having had the nurse lay out all of the necessary materials next to me before leaving for 20+ minutes got the better of me. Ironically, it didn't hurt anywhere near as bad as I thought it would and for some reason I wasn't scared about it. Come to think of it, that was one of the most painless draws I've had and didn't bruise. Now that I've not had a blood test in ~4 years, I'd be nervous about having one again, let alone me doing it myself.

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  • 2 months later...

Like many, I've had numerous presyncope episodes and even falls, but also just one (touch wood) where I actually lost time for a few seconds. I was in a hospital (cos I'd been feeling so weak) and I'd just been sitting in a chair getting an EKG done for the umpteenth time. I got up, walked a few steps and then just got this sudden feeling almost like I'd been hit in the side of the head. I just had time to shout, and next thing I knew my boyfriend and the nurse were holding me up a foot off the floor. I don't remember falling or them catching me, but I came to pretty quick. The nurse was not at all concerned as she'd just done an EKG on me and knew I'd had other heart tests and a head mri, so she just sent back out to the waiting room.

But that was not a good day. They tested me a bunch of times later for orthostatic hypotension, which of course I didn't have cos my heart was just racing and pounding instead, which they saw but didn't know what to make of, of course. So they sent me home feeling like i had plague and begging them for any kind of help, and later that evening I had a really scary palps episode that resulted in me calling an ambulance.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm actually pretty new to the pre syncope/ black out thing, but here's my list:

First experience was in a doctor's office. I had a back strain and needed and anti inflammatory shot in the hip. It hurt like crazy, and a few minutes later I was blacking out, chest crushing sensations, etc, had to lie down and control my adrenaline rush from the pain. Everyone assumed I was bad with needles ( I had no previous history of having problems with shots).

After that, it was all about feeling 'heavy' and short of breath when standing, in the heat, or during any exertion.

Lately my bp has crashed twice, both times right before I realized I had a cold virus. First time, I was standing over my computer , bent a little forward looking at my facebook. straightened back up , and boom dizziness.

Second time was in the shower right after waking up. felt dizzy, very weak, had to lay down.

So I'm thinking yeah I have some orthostatic problems, but clearly have an issue with adrenaline as well.

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