Vaso-Vagal Discussion

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From: Ariana


I have"fainted", most of my life,any time my body was very ill.The first ime was at age five after I had recieved my smallpox vaccination.It made this awful scab and it stuck to my sheets and pulled off one morning and I stood up and fainted.This became a very familiar thing, especially upon arising in the morning. My brother was a strapping 6'2" toughie, but, if you surprised him and he jumped up quickly, he would faint.One of my sister passed out once standing up and did not fall.My mother was almost always there and she would awaken me with cold wet clothes on my face and head.I would always be so sick and shaking and weak when I awakened.Her sister had a child who was "epileptic"and died at the age of six. My mother was afraid for anyone to find out we ere fainting lest they think there was something wrong with us.We always managed to appear to be the picture of health.This went on with occurrences every two to three weeks for my whole life until about 12 years ago and it stopped as suddenly as it started.I have had not one problem with fainting all this time. Then I have become ill with gallbladder disease and now I have almost, not quite,passed out several times in the last weeks. .Although I have a thing in which my heart stops and then it feels like it is slighlty choking me and my heart feels like it is shuddering and then it jumps with great force and starts up again .in.This has been occuring off and on since my twenties but a new part of this is tht I have twice in the last two months had something that had only occured once several years before . In this, the heart just keeps sitting there and won't come on and beat and everything goes black and I nearly become unconcious and then at the last moment of conciousness it beats and I am okay.This is different from the extreme sickness that I feel when I had fainted.But, very scary.I decide that it was agravated by caffine so have avoided it like the plague.This seemed to help some. After the gallbladder attacks this month, the doctor found elevated liver enzymes in the blood and ordered an ultra sound and found the stones in the duct and I have had the surgery five days ago . When I ws in recovery from surgery they took me off the oxegen and machine and I asked to move my body and they offered to help me and I told them I could do it myself and put my hands down beside me on the gurney and pressed down and slighlty scooted my hips a couple of inches up pn the bed . Instantly I had a terribly sick feeling and was becoming unconsious in the old fainting kind of way, with the exception that I was agsping for breath and even after everything went black I could hear this horrible gasping that was coming from me , trying so hard to get air.My sisters were with me and they ran for a nurse and got an aid who put me back on 100% oxegen and this still did not help, the got an RN who hooked up the monitor angain and found that even though I was better at that time, my heart rate was down to 32 andblood pressure was at 97 over 50.She rang for a doctor and I was getting so I could breathe , but I do not rememeber any of this by this time. Then I remember hearing her say that the heart was not beating and it made not difference how much oxegen was in the blood, if the heart was not circulating it, the body was suffocationg and the brain was screming for oxegen and that was what was going on. She said it must be A Vaso Vagal syndrome , I had never heard of this till now, but it really has me worried because she had never heard of my fainting history and this is the same thing that happened to me so many times before , with the exception of the gasping, I do not remember this happening before,but my mother would never talk about what happened when I went out. If anyone knows what is happening to me please advise. Ariana

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