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First episode that I remember was in 4th grade. We were in chorus, and we were standing to sing. The teacher told us not to lock our knees or we would faint, so there I was, conciously NOT locking my knees (standing with a good bend in them, I wasn't even standing straight), but yet I fainted anyway.
Another episode was when I was 18. I got a tetanus booster. By this time I somehow knew that shots would cause me to get lightheaded so I kept trying to tell the nurse that I would be fine, and I had my Mom there to drive me home, etc. But she made me stay there until I had a better color. She took my blood pressure, and this was the only time I've had my blood pressure taken during an episode, and it was 50/22. I'm surprised it could be measured that low.
Since then, whenever I need to have needlework done, I make them let me lie down first and then I tell them that I get lightheaded but I'm OK after 5-10 minutes. Most people appreciate the warning. I don't pass out anymore and am continually aware of my surroundings during an episode.
It was only the other week (and I am 26 and a half now) that I finally found a term for what this is called, despite mentioning it to many doctors over the years.