Vaso-Vagal Discussion

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Date: 6/16/01
Time: 10:42:08 PM
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I'm a healthy 55 year old female, thin, with low blood prussure. Two and a half years ago while driving I felt severe nausea (with clamminess, shortness of brath) and pulled over in a residential neighborhood. I unhooked my seat belt so I could lean out the door and vomit as I pulled to the curb. I woke up some time later wrapped around a tree on the opposite side of the road. I hadn't turned off the ignition and I guess my foot became lead weight on the pedal. Was extremely lucky not to have hurt anyone else.

I broke my humerus at the shoulder, couldn't be casted, broke several ribs, punctured a lung and needed a tube, hit face and head--and sustained just a god-awful number of deep cuts, contusions, facial damage, etc.

After a zillion tests of different types it was determined to be vaso-vagel syndrome. I had a little history in the far past with fainting--a couple of times during pregnancy, especially after morning sickness, fainting in church as a kid (no breakfast before mass in the old days!), once after standing for hours in the heat--but then nothing for 28 years.

They have not given me meds or pacemaker--just said if you feel funny, respond quickly. I still drive and haven't had anything like this since, but it makes me a little nervous that this can hit so hard with so little warning. I'm glad I don't have the frequent passing out that some have, yet it hangs over you when you don't; it's a constant (unhealthy, I think) examination of every feeling that washes over you throughout the day, "Oh, a little dizzy (sweaty, fuzzy, nauseous--whatever), I wonder if this is it again?"

I'm pretty much healed up, just scars and aches that I never had before--the worst is a lingering vertigo--but the real question to anyone with experience of this is how much do you limit yourself when this thing has only happened once in 30 years? Does everyone else drive, too? Should I be worried about all those other vaso-vagel motorists out there putting around! Good grief, you just never know what's around the corner, do you?

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