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Vaso-Vagal Discussion

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too vagal!

From: beth
Date: 4/27/99
Time: 9:35:09 PM
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Nobody's got their fainty experiences up here yet, so I'll start things off...mainly because I seem to be getting more and more sensitive the older I get, and I'm thinking I might have to do something about it soon!

Okay, I'm 30 now, female, 5'5", 115 lbs. Always been pretty thin. I first passed out in the 6th grade on a field trip, overwhelmed by the smell of formaldehyde. I don't think I did that again until high school, and it was always when my blood sugar felt really low, and usually brought on by something smelling really strong. Nowadays, I don't really get to the point of feeling low on sugar.

Then needles really started to bring on the fainting. Now, I don't mind needles mentally, and I can watch it go in and everything, (I was even doing a bit of phlebotomy myself), but if that needle is in my arm longer than it takes for 60cc or so, then I'll start losing it.

But in the last few years, I've gone from physical triggers to visual ones, ever since I passed out watching "Pulp Fiction" - it's silly, I know! (lying in the aisle in a crowded theater and no one even noticed! probably thought I was drunk!) And it makes me feel like such a wuss! And the slightest injury to my body now makes me faint - it makes me crazy. At least now I know when it's coming on and have the sense to lie down in time - and that will usually keep me from losing conciousness (putting your head between your knees in a sitting position doesn't keep you from passing out, I've learned that much!) But I feel really stupid lying on the floor when I've only bashed my finger a little bit! :)

Anyways, I'm just starting to get concerned about this as it seems to happen easier than it used to. My blood pressure has always been low, and I'm not quite sure if this is the cause of my problem or a symptom of my problem, because I don't know too much about it. Other related items: It's really easy for me to get chilled, and I also have a bit of Raynaud's - though not as bad as when I was younger. I don't know if these things are tied in somehow, but I wouldn't be surprised.

As for a tie with menstruation: I have never kept track, but the last two fainting episodes (last december and last week) were during onset, and right after. Last december, I woke to a abnormally heavy period and had to be hauled off to the ER because I was losing conciousness - I don't know if it was the sight of my own blood, or the volume loss that brought on the vagal reflex - probably a bit of yeah, if blood's a trigger for fainty person, of course you're going to see more fainting during that time. I don't know how you'd separate that all out.

I hope this is of use to someone - and feel free to write with questions.



On Sabbatical!

When my office lease expired at the end of 2004, I decided to turn it into a "sabbatical" from my private practice. Many years ago, in my grandfather's 89th year of life, he told me, "John, it is important to smell the roses while you can still smell them." His life gave living a very good reputation. It is also true that the pursuit of that philosophy required my grandfather to to re-open his assay office/ore market in Wickenburg, Arizona as a 75-year-old because he had run a little short of retirement money. Thus, if blessed with his luck and health, I'll be back.. --jjh

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