Vaso-Vagal Discussion

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???Seizure/Vaso-vagal syncope???

From: Gerald D.


I too, experience the dream-like state described in some of the previous threads. Mine come 5-8 times more often then my fainting spells. At one point in my life, (while working midnights they came as often as 5-10 times a day). They always start with the feeling of deja-vu and heightened clarity, I then proceed to having cold sweats. I then either have it go away after 10-15 secs or I faint. I recall coming to 1-2 secs later. It has led to fainting approx. 16-18 times over the last 20 years. Injuring myself only once. The doctors originally decided that it is nothing, after doing some tests.

10 years into it and fainting for the fifth time and having it affect my life greatly the doctors diagnosed vaso-vagal syncope even though the tilt-test came back negative, explaining how I must live life extremely carefully. Thus, I maintained a very, very good health regime from all sides of the spectrum. I had lots of sleep, exercised alot, ate a balanced diet, barely ever touch alcohol, never touched drugs, (I never did). My only weakness was that I was a light smoker.

When I reached the 20 year plateau the amount of episodes increased to having 5 in one year, (that equals almost 30% of my fainting spells in less then 1% of the elapsed time). Heightened stress was a factor. The second last fainting spell led to a fractured skull. My wife and mother were crucial in their assistance for me at this point. They searched relentlessly over the internet to gather information that they felt related to my condition. As they knew me better than anyone. They came upon a condition known as Atonic Seizures. I brought this up to my GP. As most of you will attest, many doctors do not want anyone in their office asking questions. They simply want someone to list symptons and they can write dosages of one sort or another. In my doctors defence however, I believe I was a difficult case to diagnose as I have been previously diagnosed with heart ailments. I suffer from an abnormally low blood pressure. In addition I have been diagnosed with Atrio Ventricular Nodal Reentry Tacchycardia, (my heart would race uncontrollably up to 260 bpm because my Atrio Ventricular node would recycle the electric current of one heart beat). I didn't feel any discomfort when it happened. Once, while wearing the holter my heart raced to 240 bpm's, (I only found out 1 week later-when the doctor asked if I was in any discomfort during a specific time period of the test-I was not).

The AVNR Tacchycardia was treated successfully with an ablation 8 years ago, (Doctors burnt part of my heart to prevent the electric current from travelling the wrong way on a one-way street. Essentially circling the node uncontrolled-very crudely explained).

Now at this point, doctors have never done any extensive tests for seizures except the basics; the EEG came back negative, (I later found out that an EEG could come back negative for someone who has full blown epilepsy). Luckily for me I was seeing a "new to me" Neurologist. When I explained the symptons of my dizzy spells, HE LISTENED. He felt very strongly that the condition that I am suffering from has more to do with Seizures than from Vaso-vagal syncope. He has given me an epilepsy medication, (Keppra 500 mg Twice daily). I am currently taking these with my BP medication Amatine, (2.5 mg twice a day).

While only on Amatine I had 1 dizzy spell. While on both Amatine and Keppra my symptons have disappeared completely. My neurologists feels that I should speak to my cardiologist and reevaluate the need for the BP pill. Possibly I will be off this one in the upcoming weeks.

At time of writing I cannot tell you that I know my current diagnosis. Whether I have atonic seizures, some other form of seizure, whether I have vaso-vagal syncope or a combination of both. All I know is that I am currently without any symptons and hope to continue to be so.

I apologize for the length of this article, yet I felt it necessary to include as much information as possible.

This web site is not a substitute for a thorough medical evaluation and diagnosis of your vaso-vagal type symptoms.  Medical treatment and diagnosis is the only acceptable initial response to these serious symptoms since they might present from any number of life threatening and treatable illnesses. It is for you and your physician to rule out more serious illnesses; Please don't use this online forum as an alternative to getting responsible medical attention and being under the care of a physician for the duration of any unknown, suspected or dangerous vaso-vagal syndrome symptoms.
Last changed: June 22, 2007