Vaso-Vagal Discussion

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I just returned home from a hospital visit here in Costa Rica. I have been feeling abnormally fatigued the last couple weeks, and thought a test of my blood, urine, and feces may shed some light on the cause of my current condition. Lots of external contributors here in the jungle, and I'm not too good at self-diagnosis.

I take good care of my 6'3", 200 lb. body, and for a man of 39 years, I consider myself to be in very good condition. I visit a doctor at least once every couple years, and after todays repeat performance, I'm out for answers.

EVERY SINGLE TIME I give blood, I go out cold. My doctor back in Colorado diagnosed it as VV 6 or 7 years ago, but after spending an hour reading other peoples contributions on this forum, I have a couple questions.

Why does this happen only when I give blood? Obviously, I'm not a donor, but during exams, it's a basic neccesity. I can injure myself, open a deep cut, bleed heavily, and maintain my composure just fine. I can also tend to someone else with this type of injury, and stay on an even keel. But, put me in a clinic or hospital, EVEN LAYING ON AN EXAMINATION TABLE IN A DIMLY LIT ROOM FOR 10 MINUTES, and my response is EXACTLY the same every time. I have a strong mind, and can keep myself relaxed in every other situation I can think of, but I lose the battle with this one every time. I'm not bothered anymore by the "looks" I get from others, including nurses and doctors, because it's been happening for at least the last 20 years. I won't let a nurse draw from a sitting position, even when he/she says "I've been doing this for years, I'll take it easy on you, this time."

I accept that this may be a part of my life forever, and I'm proud of myself for not letting it keep me from maintaining my health. If anyone else suffers this problem ONLY WHEN THEY GIVE BLOOD, I would appreciate insight or suggestions. If any of you in the medical field can offer tips or suggestions, that would help me very much. Thank 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