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Lorraine

Lorraine

I'm 52 years old and was diagnosed last year with vasal vasal syncope, with panic attacks. I try to manage it by diet and making sure I get enough sleep. I take 30mg propanol and 10mg citrapram. I have piled on 2 stone in weight and lost a lot of the fitness I used to have. I take the citrapram for the sweating and although it helps, it's still a problem. I am dreading the summer. I am so sensitive to heat changes. I have played this down with family, friends and colleagues as I find it really difficult to explain to them what it is. I am so pleased to have found this forum, I am not alone with this.

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Hi Lorraine, I'm David and I too have Vasovagel Syncope. The symptoms you describe are all too familiar. My doctor has me on 100 mg twice daily of Atenolol (a beta blocker) and 10 mg 6 times a day of Midodrine (an Alpha-adrenergic agonist). In addition, I use a CPAP machine to control my sleep apnea giving me a great night's sleep. The Midodrine is what really helped me the most. Hope this information was helpful. Good luck to you.

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Hi Lorraine ,

Sorry to hear you are suffering from this fainting condition. It sounds very unsettling.

I hope you don't mind but I wanted to ask you about your diagnosis. I'm also 52 btw.

I fainted last week completely out of the blue at work. Initial tests at AandE came back ok - so not Stoke or heart attack. My blood pressure was very high though and they think it's related.

I went back to work (school teacher) and like you - played it down with colleagues/family. My bp is still high and I find myself scared of it happening again. I am waiting for clinic appt.

I suppose I do function at an anxious level as a teacher and have anxiety issues although I have always felt I was coping.

When you were diagnosed had you had more fainting episodes? How did they explain the link with anxiety?

I am sorry I can't offer advice as I am at the beginning of this - but I hope you don't mind ME asking YOU for advice today!

Mary

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Hi Mary, I don't mind at all.

A lot to explain but a condensed version. I think I have had this for a long time but it is not easy to diagnose. I was lucky being in the right place at the right time.

I have fainted at different times over the years,mainly when I have not been well. I have had 4 major operations over the past 10 years and 4 years ago my 28 year marriage broke up and I did the divorce. So I have had a lot of trauma, which the consultant seemed to think was possibly a contribution. I must say that although it has been traumatic few years I have a new life now and I am extremely happy.

There are many symptoms you can have with this condition- mine is tiredness (fatigue really), dizziness, nausea, sweating. Before I was diagnosed I was having lots of really bad migraines that would leave me in bed for 3days.

I went to the doctors numerous times and saw different doctors had lots of blood tests and ecg but all came back ok. I was starting to really worry as I thought my tumor was returning. Then when day I went back to the doctors and I fainted as I walked in his room. He said he had only seen 3 people faint like that in his whole career and sent me to the hospital straight away. I was off work for 8 weeks and I couldn't drive for safety reasons. I had the tilt test and was diagnosed.

The anxiety comes in because I panic, because I don't like to faint and try to fight it. It is something you can't stop really. As time has gone on I can judge when I need to slow down or stop. I have also noticed I am very sensitive to temperature changes. Shopping in the winter can be a challenge when coming in from the cold to a warm room. I have been found in the corner of a shop, stripping my coat off and crouching on the ground with a bottle of water.

I hope this helps. I was told fainting isn't always sinister and for me fortunately it's not very often, but it is scary.

Good luck.

Regards

Lorraine

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Thanks for your reply Lorraine,

Sounds like you have a difficult time, I expect when your diagnosis was arrived at, it must've been a relief to at least know and receive treatment. I too went through divorce some years ago and suffered post traumatic stress from that for some months.

I also have suffered from migraines, the non-headache ones but with paralysis in my face visual and speech problems - symptoms like just before I fainted, so I am thinking there may be a link.

I am probably fussing too soon and should wait till I see my consultant who is at the syncope clinic here in Southampton. It would just be reassuring to have some diagnosis and not have to accept that I just fainted.

I agree, although probably not sinister - very scary!

Mary

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You could ask for a sodium test. If your sodium level is low it can cause fainting. I have low blood pressure and I have salt and I also drink a lot to stay hydrated. That can be another cause. the blackout checklist is a good reference, as suggested. It's good you have an appointment. Take a list of questions and if you have kept a diary of events. You will be asked lots of questions too.

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Hi Lorraine,

Thanks for your advice - I will certainly have a list of questions and I am going to get a colleague to write down exactly what happened, as I have a few different versions at the moment.

I have printed off the STARS blackout checklist and information sheet on syncope which have been useful. I am planning to practise some relaxation techniques too, as I suspect my faint might be due to stress and it is certainly not helping being so anxious about fainting now.

Hope you have a good weekend.

I am playing in a concert this evening and feel very brave! Hopefully it will help to boost my confidence too.

Mary

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