Vaso-Vagal Discussion

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Just diagnost with Vasa Vagal

From: Glenn Dicus



I recently spent a night in the emergency room because I had an episode in which I fell on my face.

It all started a couple of years ago. I had just seen "Saving Private Ryan" on a friday night. On Saturday I got up to go to the restroom and while I was standing over the toilet I started getting dizzy mixed with visions of the Normandie Landing in the movie I saw. The scene where the landing craft door opens and everybody in the boat started getting riddled with bullets started the episode. As I envisioned a bullet going through my skull I fell out. The next thing I new I was between the toilet bowl and the sink gasping for air. The experience was not that painfull. I even thought it was amusing.

The next time it happened I was on the softball field doing fence drills. A ball ricocheted off a fence post and hit me in the groin. After a few moments I fell out again. The next thing I know I am barely conscious of being alive and again gasping for breath. I though I was just knocked out by the ball and didn't think much of it.

These two episodes spanned about a year. Then three months ago, 1.5 years after the first episode it happend again. This time I was sitting behind a computer installing some equipment on a hot summer day in the San Fernando Valley. I was dehydrated and asked a guy for a coke. I opened the coke and took a sip while getting back into my crossed legged sitting position on the floor when a sharp pain hit my stomach. Then I started to feel nauseated and dizzy. I got up to go out side to get air and knelt over with my hands on my knees. I felt like I was going to fall out again, but because I was at work and did not want to make a scene, I tried to make it to the restroom before I passed out. I made it to the bathroom, after running into some walls, with the act of hitting actually postponed my feinting. Just after kicking the door to the restroom closed while laying faced down on the floor I passed out again. This episode scared me for the first time because I saw myself in the mirror and I was white as a ghost and I though then that this condition could kill me. If I would have gotten into real trouble nobody would have known and I would have been found there in the bathroom.

The fourth time happened a month after this one. Again I was drinking a coke when a pain in my stomach hit me. I had since been speaking to people about my troubles with people observing that I was not eating enough. This was true, because I have a tendancy not to eat for a day at a time. So, while this episode started on me, I realized I had not eaten for a day and a half. Again, I rushed to the restroom to avoid making a scene and in the hopes of avoiding the episode all together. Becuase, at this point, the episodes were becoming painfull, with the lack of oxygen, it seemed to me, to my brain. Well I failed to avoid it and passed out. This time would be the first time I drew blood from my fall.

The next and last time it happened was about a month after that, which was a couple of weeks ago. This time I just woke up out of my sleep with a pain in my stomach. I got up and rushed to the toilet, in the hopes of avoiding the episode. I tried to go number 2 but couldn't and after nausea and dizziness I fell out, face first into the ground. This time was the worst of all. The feeling of experiencing dying without dying was very prominent. Gasping for breath on the brink of unconsciousness is a terrible feeling I do not want to go through ever again.

Well, after this last episode I went to the emergency room a few days later. There they held me over night and monitored my vitals. The first thing that stood out was my heart rate. It was hovering around 40 and dipped to 37. This was the case for about 6 hours until they fed me. At that point my rate went up about 10 to 48. I ordered a pizza and a liter of coke after that and the rate went up to 58. The doctor never saw this and never asked so I didn't tell him. After a night of tests, Cat Scan, xrays and blood tests the doctor walked in and said that he thought I had vasal vagal. This doctor was a new doctor that came in the next morning and within a few minutes diagnosed me. So, I was suspicious of his diagnosis cuz of his lack of attention to me personally. But, after reading these entries I am much more comfortable with his diagnosis and appreciate everybodies contribution to this forum. I feel much better about my condition and feel that there is hope that I will be able to live a normal life.


glenn dicus

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