Vasovagal syncope is something I was diagnosed with fairly informally by an emergency room doctor after the twelfth or so time I went in because I passed out or was in distress after passing out.
“This is a very common condition that results in fainting or a blackout in as many as half of people at least once in their life. Three percent of people develop it repeatedly.”
… So in the past ten years I’ve passed out or very narrowly avoided it about thirteen or fourteen times. Thanks body. I appreciate your fight flight shit fuck or die nerve is completely blown out and you think that the blood needs to be in my arms and legs so I can run away or fight but what you really did was take it from my brain and that’s not ok brah.
Serious props the the paramedic who took me to the hospital the last time this happened in too public a place to avoid someone calling an ambulance for me… As it turns out, really no one will let you crawl off the bus and lay on the side of the road till your weird medical event passes… specially if you can’t sit up to see where your stop is.
I can almost always avoid passing out these days. Sometimes I even avoid the massive sweating and overheating and then chilling and total exhaustion that follows. But not always. This time I wasn’t really able to get horizontal because I was on a bus seat and I was also pretty incoherent so I didn’t really have the language skills to convincingly let them know I was totally fine. Because it sure didn’t look or sound like I was fine.
So your fee for passing out on the bus (or in my case having to lay down lest ye pass the fuck out) is that they call an ambulance, you inconvenience a bunch of people and suffer utter humiliation as a bunch of firemen lift you off the ground and ask you if you’ve been taking drugs. Which you totally haven’t. You’ve literally just been doing the MOST WHOLESOME THING EVER which is going to a bar just to dance and drinking only water.
Paramedic immediately knew what Vasovagal Syncope was and we worked out how over the week at work I’d dehydrated to a serious level and then done the stupidest thing of dancing my face off at the blues jam and drinking a bunch of water thus fucking my sodium and other electrolyte levels. It was the dumb.
But let me repeat. Basically anything will make me pass out. If there’s a thing that will make humans pass out, I might well do the thing. From understanding of my own specific triggers, it’s rapid changes with no warm up that bring the Syncope on. So, dehydrated and hung over trying to hydrate back up? BAM Bathroom floor (which was thankfully heated) and I made my way down gracefully. 26
Climbing a steep hill while sledding? BAM. Laying down on the top thinkin’ I be dyin’ for real (this was one of the first, I was a teen, in the grips of a hyperactive thyroid which made my resting heart beat up around 170-180, which should have meant hill climbing was out the window). 14
Randomly for no reason while I was undergoing one of the more stressful things I’d ever endured. 27
Because an earring wasn’t going into the newly pierced cartilage in my ear. 22.
Because of intense abdominal pain. 19.
Because of period cramps. 24.
While intensely working out on a hill climbing function on a stationary bike. 23.
Dehydration and rehydration during and after work. 28.
And so on. And so on. And so on. Stress definitely causes the things that cause it. But hydration has been the thread of consistency between all these crazy weird events.
So part of my health is to seriously be srs about hydration.
ALSO THE LONDON CARDIAC INSTITUTE RECOMMENDS HANDSTANDS.
… So I guess that’s going to be a thing.