Vaso-Vagal Discussion

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big change in my v v episodes

From: Marie


I have been prone to fainting since age 3 (I'm now 30). I have a diagnosis of vaso vagal when I was about 12. Until recently my episodes were very brief. I get no warning most of the time (occasionally I get a few seconds of feeling dizzy beforehand). I used to only be unconscious for a few seconds. Then I'd be rather confused, light headed and weak for a few minutes (5-10 minutes). Then apart from extreme tiredness that would continue all day I was fine. So the whole episode would last only about 10 minutes. How often I did this has varied from several times a month, to the last few years when it's only been once or twice a year.

But, recently my episodes have changed dramatically. I have now had this new type of episode 4 times in the last month. I get no warning. I faint and remain unconscious for much much much longer (up to an hour and a half on the last occasion). The confusion afterwards now also lasts longer (up to 20 -30 minutes). As well as feeling weak I have a lot of pain especially in my legs. And the tiredness is quite unbarable, I simply have to sleep.

My doctor says it is just the vaso vagal and that he can't do anything for me. But these new episodes scare me. They have been frequent (4 in 1 month) and losing consciousness for an hour and a half is scary! I live alone, have to ravel around London on the tube every day and have a job where I have many meetings.

Has anyone experienced this kind of prolonged episode and does anyone have any ideas what I can do about it? I get no warning at all and the triggers are often unclear (and the two known triggers of lack of sleep and flashing lights can cause an episode up to 48 hours afterwards). So I can't anticipate when it's about to happen. I'm really quite worried because if this is going to happen on a regular basis it's going to put my job and independence in jeopardy. Can anyone give me any suggestions, please?!

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