Vaso-Vagal Discussion

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Stomach Flips following episodes of Deja Vu

From: Alina


Starting in 1st grade (late 70's) and lasting through through 10th grade (late 80's), I frequently expeienced vaso-vagal syncope. I recall with extreme CLARITY how my episodes felt. My doctor and parents always seemed VERY puzzled by what I was experiencing...but I'm impressed that the doctor knew what it was back then (pre-internet research!), and recognized it despite it, telling me said I was the ONLY person he'd ever seen with my particular symptoms/expeience. I was always a bright and intense kid, and I think they just thought I was...well, weird.

Upon the first episode, I coined the description of what was happening to me as a "Stomach Flip." I'd experience deja vu (read on, you'll be amused by my primary, hard to avoid, trigger). Out of the blue, I'd feel like I was at the top of a roller coaster dropping at full speed, the dropping sensation never lasting more than 5-10 seconds. Mostly it was a single episode, but sometimes I'd be steamrolled by several in a row. After the "drop" I'd immediately get very week in my knees, and usually fall to the ground, carefully, as I always felt it coming on and never completely blacked out. I was always conscious, just very dizzy. Sometimes I'd expeience a burning smell like ammonia, making it difficult to take a deep cleansing breath. I'd feel like I needed a hug to stop the falling sensation, and when the episode passed, I'd feel exhausted. I'd usually sleep afterwards, which is the part which I think had my parents and the doctors most concerned.

What was my deja vu experience? Primarily, opening the refridgerator door. Sometimes opening the enclosed porch door, and more frequently, opening the front door of our house. Of course I'd have the feeling that I'd "done-that-before"! Don't we ALL open these assorted doors several times a day? YES! So that was a problem, and one hard to avoid. It didn't happen everytime. It was completely unpredictable.

Other deja vu experiences included but were not limited to seeing a teacher's necktie or something on tv. In school it was especially embaressing. I'd be in class, my teacher in mid-lesson and I'd blurt "Oh my God" and hit the desktop. I'd "come to" wearily explaining, "his tie, that thing he just said, I've seen that exact thing before, it made my stomach flip."

Well, I outgrew it. Luckily in time to drive by the time I was 17. I've never had it since. No one knows why or how or what, but as a kid, it was scary.

I'm glad today to read about SO MANY other people's vv expeiences and know I was not the ONLY one, as my doctor sort of made me feel.

Thanks Dr. Rojas for your correct diagnosis, giving me a name to research today. Thank goodness it never harmed me seriously. It makes for a strange but true story :)

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