Vaso-Vagal Discussion

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VV for 45 Years

From: Jay
Date: 3/6/01
Time: 7:59:25 PM
Remote Name:


I'm not sure there is room for my history but here it is. It's been very educational to read about others with similar problems.

The first episode I can recall came in the 9th grade while giving a speach in speach class on a very hot day (I hate giving speaches). I got dizzy, weak, profuse sweating, etc. and had to get someone help me leave the classroom, get some fresh air, and lie down. In 20 to 30 minutes, I returned to normal and felt ok.

I have had other episodes: 2) while eating dinner in a fancy restaurant; 3)cutting my leg in an accident and seeing the size of the cut and the blood; 4) eating dinner out and seeing someone getting ill nearby; 5) being nervous during a job interview; 6) during dinner after not having eaten in a long time; 7) in my office one morning after consuming about a dozen cups of coffee; 8) after giving blood; 9) in the dentist office; 10) during my wedding rehearsal on a very hot day in July; 11)

I'm sure there are many more incidents when the same type of fainting spell affected me. Over the years, I had many tests and the only thing one Dr. decided was that I was suffering from hypoglocemia. As a result, I tried to watch my diet and tried to avoid the scenarios which were present in past episodes.

But that was not going to be enough to get me through my wedding. I went to another physician at the time and he prescribed a weak dose of valium. The day arrived and I took three valiums 2mg each I think. I've been told that is not much but it was enough to get me through the wedding with out an episode. Since that time in 1974, I have relied on a 2 mg dose of valium when I am exposed to a stressful situation which has caused a fainting spell in the past. The most stressful is speaking in front on an audience of 300 or 400 people. All I could think about was how embarrasing it would be to pass out in the middle of a speach in front of all those people. As I think back, I have never had a fainting spell when I have taken one 2mg valium an hour before the "nervous" event.

Later in life, about 1993, I met a new family doctor and during an annual physical I began relating about the fainting spells I experienced. He was the first who seemed to understand but he never gave me a name to the condition but seemed to understand what was happening. I have continued with the valium, and using it sparingly when situations arose I took the medication an hour before the nervous time, everything was ok.... no fainting.

Then last year, I was in a dermatologist office getting treatment for a sore spot on my ear which did not heal from a previous treatment. When she told me it might be skin cancer, I had another fainting spell. She said I had a "vaso vagal" reaction. It was the happiest day in my life.... some finally told me what I had and that's how I got to this web site.

Since then, I have gotten another prescription for valium and on two or three occasions before speaches, doctor appointments, etc. have taken one pill.... and still no fainting spells.

Hope this helps someone.

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