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Vaso-Vagal Discussion

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From: ky
Date: 8/31/99
Time: 7:42:16 PM
Remote Name:


I first fainted at twelve while on a ski trip with my school. I was standing in line and started feeling kind of sick and then fell over. I was not sure what happened and I thought I had somehow fallen asleep while I was standing up. I didn't realize until years later that I had fainted. In recent years, I've pass out frequently. The worst was when in the middle of a conversation with my then-boyfriend I started feeling dizzy and my ears started to buzz. It never dawned on me that I was going to pass out. When I started losing my vision I remember thinking, I wonder if I'm fainting right now. The next thing I knew I was lying on the concrete and my boyfriend was yelling my name. He said later, "I thought you had died." Even though I had fainted several times before I had only gone to the doctor one time because I considered fainting to be too "girly" and I didn't want the doctor to think I was just another "hysterical woman". The first doctor I eventually saw wasn't very helpful. The second time I fainted when I was with my boyfriend he insisted that I see a physician. I went to a cardiologist and was taken seriously. I think this was because my boyfriend and I are physicians and we were able to explain my fainting in a scientific and nonemotional way. He ran some tests and told me I was fainting because of vasovagal (neurocardiogenic) syncope or because of an arrhythmia. I told him to make my diagnosis vasovagal because it is a less serious diagnosis than arrhythmia and it would make my getting medical insurance easier. I had always assumed that fainting was a common thing that eventually happened to everyone at some time, but an informal survey of my friends revealed that none of them had ever passed out before.


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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