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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
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Syncope and related overwhelming bits by bandgeek512 on 6 November 2005 6:24am
So, since Iíve gotten a rather cordial welcome and have had some very pleasant acquaintances, I thought Iíd bring up a subject that is always being dealt with in my life.

I have a condition called vasovagal syncope. Syncope itself really only means fainting, or blacking out; my condition stems from a heart problem, in that my heart begins to beat much, much too fast and my blood pressure drops rapidly. The two combined causes me to feel extremely ill and usually ends with me passing out. Iíve had it for nigh on five years now and Iíve always wondered if anybody else deals with it or something along the lines of it.

Stress usually causes it, which is normal from what Iíve been told. However, more recently, Iíve experienced these spells from no real exertion at all. I could be sitting at my desk during a class at school and would pass out in my chair. Now, the question has always been if I was taking a test or quiz or something; conversely, the case usually is Iím just chatting away with my friends when it happens. My dearest friend, Sara, has experienced six or seven of these horrid events; she always tells me that I could be caddying on, being my normal clown of a self, and then my eyes would glaze over and I would be out.

The amount of time is varied. The longest I have ever been unconscious was about twenty to thirty minutes. Apparently that is much too long for a vasovagal syncope episode. Of course, after being out for such a long period of time, I was in the emergency room for *so* long after that. What really gets me is that doctor after doctor will sit there and tell me that I will grow out of it. ĖTo which I say, ďGood, good, but what about *now*?Ē

I mean, really, what do I do about it now? How can my friends at school stand by, watching me, limp on the floor, my arms twitching randomly? It is absolutely appalling having to see my friendsí terrified faces as I wake up from this retched instance. It is enough to make me want to drop out of school or be homeschooled. Iíve actually been pushed to trying to get this to happen because I hated scaring my friends in that way.

My cardiologist knows that my blood pressure is awry. There have been several instances in which a diastolic pressure reading was not even able to be found. I frightened the nurses to bits when I just sat there and had such low, low blood pressure readings. They could not believe it.

I do take medication for my blood pressure. It merely is a fluid retainer that tries to raise my blood pressure slightly. Plus, I take something to lower my heart rate. It is maddening to be a seventeen year old girl and have to take more medications than my Granny. It sickens me.

Now, just recently, Iíve been told that I might have an adrenaline deficiency that could possibly trigger these fainting spells. I have no idea what treatment is for that, but Iím being tested for it sometime within the next couple of weeks. So, Iíll be adding an endocrinologist to my long list of doctorsÖ

Does anybody else have anything similar to this? Iím at my wits end in finding advice or just someone to say, ďYouíre going to be okayĒ. My poor parents are completely distraught at the lack of progress thatís gone on with my blood pressure and such. They are my best friends and I talk to them about everything. However, I just hate seeing my mother cry about this. Plus, they help me so much through this anyway. Iíd like someoneís opinion that isnít related to meówords from elsewhere.

My friends are worried sick about this whole thing, too. I know they are. Besides, I hate bringing up the whole nonsense about my stupid fainting because, well, it is just so difficult to speak of with them without getting them all depressed and troubled. This is my senior year; I want it to go as smoothly and happily as possibleómentioning silly things like that isnít what Iíd like to do.

So, thatís why Iím here. I thought that maybe I could get a little relief by talking to people hereómaybe hearing like situations and such.

Perhaps there is someone here whoíd like to share? Maybe?
Re: Syncope and related overwhelming bits by bandgeek512 on 6 November 2005 6:25am
I hope that wasn't too boring of a read. I ramble sometimes...Oy. :-\
Re: Syncope and related overwhelming bits by perfectbitch on 6 November 2005 3:02pm
Syncope, I read your posting and although I'm sure your doctors are testing for everything, 2 conditions spring to mind that could have a bearing. One is petit mal epilepsy and the other is narcolepsy. I have a friend who has a form of narcolepsy and she has found some relief from puttong on weight - she was skinny to begin with. I have a long term chronic condition, not as dramatic in its manifestation as yours but requires daily medication. You get used to it. The endocrinologist sounds like a good route to persue. Good luck and keep positive. Linz
Re: Syncope and related overwhelming bits by bandgeek512 on 6 November 2005 3:28pm
We thought that it might be seizures at first, so I, prior to going to the cardiologist, went to a neurologist. He said I exhibited all the symptoms of complex partial seizures and put me on a medication for it. However, after further testing (including wearing a brain monitor for three long days), he decided that it probably not to do with my brain. He didn't say he was 100 percent sure, but at the risk of the seizure meds damaging my body, I was sent elsewhere for further testing.

Linz, thanks *very* much for the reply. It's good to know that you have something along the lines of me. I'm glad I'm not alone. :-)
Re: Syncope and related overwhelming bits by suzulu on 6 November 2005 8:27pm
Sorry to hear that you have such a condition.

I remember a girl in my class at school would be sitting at her desk, the next thing she would be "out". We were told she had epilepsy. We were about 15 or 16 years old at the time and under stress as GCE "O" levels were coming up. I believe that she "grew out" of these fits and became a nurse afterwards and did really well, being promoted quite quickly. I also worked with a girl for a while who would just suddenly black out in the office and would be out for quite a while. She was 19 years old at the time but I don't know what happened to her because she left the job to work elsewhere.

I am sure that it will be sorted out for you and, as Linz says, keep positive. Sue
Re: Syncope and related overwhelming bits by Blasi on 6 November 2005 10:26pm
Firstly, hang tough.

Secondly, a question; do you only experience blackouts at school?
Re: Syncope and related overwhelming bits by bandgeek512 on 6 November 2005 11:05pm
I experience them everywhere. They could be at the store, in my room, et cetera. I've passed out in my music teacher's car before as she was taking me home. That was when I was out for almost half an hour.
Re: Syncope and related overwhelming bits by Blasi on 7 November 2005 2:19am
Good grief, you poor soul.

How many second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth etc opinions have you sought? Having experienced something vaguely similar albeit due to an entirely different cause, I can only recommend that you keep seeking those differing opinions; someone, somewhere must be of more practical help.
Re: Syncope and related overwhelming bits by tucsonmike on 7 November 2005 3:37am
I feel terrible for you, especially someone so young. I wish I could help, but can't other than to go along with all the other good folks here.
Re: Syncope and related overwhelming bits by bandgeek512 on 7 November 2005 10:33pm
Thanks to those who've sent encouragement!

Endocrinologist appointment has been made and we're going to try to schedule a "tilt test" for my syncope. Basically, what the tilt test does is I'm strapped to a flat surface and tilted different angles until I pass out. Then my vitals and the like are monitored to see if I have any sort of heart beat problems (skips, et cetera).


The problem with that is I have to be off all medications for at least two weeks, preferably three. Because going without these meds can be harmful if I'm at school or, worse, driving, I've got to find an opportune time to be out of school and general public events. We'll probably have to do it during Christmas holidays... :-/

I've sought at least four or five different opinions from various doctors around Atlanta: Emory being my latest. The majority word has been cardiological, although I've gotten several neurological and some a combination of the two. At first, it was thought to be low blood sugar, which still may be an option. But, considering my dangerously low blood pressure readings, cardiological issues are more likely.

Ick. Today's just been a yucky day, anyway. I didn't have an episode, but I've been walking around almost trance-like. My BP's going wacko again. I can feel it.
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