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Scared of going out
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Scared of going out

Hi All, I dont know if i have Agoraphobia but feel if i dont get help i will do, my story is i have had 3 siezures, fainting episodes, blackouts call them what you will, over a short space of time, so now i dont want to leave my house in case i do it in public, you see i dont just faint get up and carry on, i faint start to fit make noises then lose bladder control, it all comes down to embarrasment i suppose, i am currently having tests and it takes a lot for me to go to the hospital, my house is my safe place, if i faint here then it dosent matter i can sort myself out, i am getting quite depressed as i used to love going out, i sometimes dont leave the house for weeks at a time and if i do its only to go to my mums round the corner, what can i do to stop fearing the worst, i havent fainted for 7 months now but always think if i go out tomorrow that could be the day i do,


Any advice would be appreciated,

Thanks Jo
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560272_tn?1311353893
It honestly sounds like the fainting is due to anxiety. Are you on any meds?
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Jo:  My heart goes out to you.  I can totally understand why you don't want to leave the house, and I'm betting that's a normal reaction to what's going on in your life.  Have you talked to your doctor about it?
When will you get the results of the tests you've taken?  
Would going out with your mom help you feel more comfortable?  That may be a place to start practicing getting out again.  
I'm sure that as soon as you find out what's wrong, and get it fixed, you'll be going out again.
I'm betting this is temporary..............
Hang in there...........
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Avatar_f_tn
Well, this is something I have had a lot of experience with because my daughter who is 31  has had epilepsy all her life.  I have witnessed many different seizures over the years and funny that this should come up now because my daughter has just gone through a portable EEG (24hrs EEG battery pack with wires from her head attached to batteries strapped to a belt at her waist).  She had to sleep with it and carry on a normal day to determine what her pattern is.  She was a real trouper through it and had no discomfort with it at all.  

I'm going to tell you flat out that it sounds like you have epilepsy and there may be some trigger for it especially since this is relatively new to you.  You haven't had it all your life but surprisingly, some people develop it at certain milestones in their lives.  Honestly, once you get the tests back from your doctor and I am guessing that one of the tests was an EEG (not portable, just regular) and likely a CT or CAT scan and/or MRI.  These test are wonderful because they will surely be able to tell what is going on in your brain and it will help the doctors to decide what the best method of treatment should be.  If it is epilepsy as I suspect, then there are amazing medications out there that will decrease if not completely stop the seizures and you can feel completely comfortable leaving your house and carrying on a full life.  

Recently I had a friend who had a couple of seizures and then a full blown grand mal seizure while at a friend's house.  An ambulance was called and she came to in the hospital with no recollection that she had seizured.  She was lucky to get an appointment with a great neurologist and was prescribed lamictal in the interim and then after the results came back she found out that she had a dark spot on her brain which she could have had all her life but was just now causing some problems.  The doctor gave her the option of going off the medication but she chose to stay on it because she was concerned that this might happen again and didn't want to risk it especially if she wanted to continue to drive a car.  She hasn't had any problems since starting the medication and she is living a very active life.  I promise you, once your doctor's figure out what caused these seizures and where in your brain there is seizure activity if there is any, they will be able to prescribe the appropriate medication.  This is something that can be control very well with the proper medication and a good neurologist.  I've got lots of tips about this disorder and would be more than happy to share them with you once you have an official diagnosis.  Please, don't let this scare you.  You can have a worry-free life with epilepsy (assuming that is what it is) and you certainly don't have to spend your life in your house once you are properly treated.  My friend was afraid of the same thing but once she got on the medication, it made her more confident to go out and now she is never at home.
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341190_tn?1295470725
Thank you so much for your responses, I have had a tilt table test, a heart scan and a mri, i go back to the doctors on the 9th of dec for my results, on my first appointment my doc thought my condition was more likely to be heart related, he said it seems likely my blood pressure suddenly dropped which was causing me to have some sort of seizure, it hasent suddenly started i have been fainting since the age of 8 on and off, not on a weekly or monthly basis i went 9 years with nothing, my worry is i had three episodes within a year, never happened before, and they get worse as i get older only the last 4 i have lost my bladder control, this is what stops me going out, i am not scared of what the doc says i have whether that be epilepsy or otherwise i just want to find out what it is so i can move on and hopefully start living again, with my tilt table test nothing happened, my heart scan looked fine, but havent heard about my mri but surely if there was something wrong there i would of heard by now i had it in august, so im thinking i am back at square one, every day i worry and am very anxious that this could be the day i have another attack, its like living with a time bomb just waiting for it to go off, i feel if i dont get any answers soon then i will be doomed to a life of living inside my house,


Thankyou for listening

jo x
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Avatar_f_tn
Jo, trust me, you won't be doomed to living in your house!  If you don't get answers from this doctor, move on to another one.  You'll find the answers if you stay determined.  Is your doctor a neurologist?  If not, I think you should ask him for a referral to one.  
Don't give up............
And please let us know what the doc said on the 9th.........
Duckie
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341190_tn?1295470725
Thank you so much duckie, my doctor is a cardioligist, but did send me for a mri, i just feel the longer i dont get any answers the worse i will become, i will certanaly let you know what happens and thankyou again for your advice, he said if he dosent find anything then he will refer me to a neuro, its took since april to get this far,
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Avatar_f_tn
I agree with Ducky, don't give up AND I am really surprised that the doctor didn't do an EEG.  You might mention that to him when you see him next especially if they have not found anything through an MRI.  It is common procedure to do an EEG on someone suspected of having a seizure.  Losing control of your bladder is a clue to a grand mal seizure.  It doesn't happen to everyone but it certainly does to a number of people with seizure activity.  There could be a whole bunch of different scenarios and the fact that you have had fainting problems off and on throughout your life makes me think of something else that I will look into when I have the opportunity.  I seem to remember someone else who mentioned that.  My sister in fact, had fainting spells off and on throughout her life.  I will look into it and get back to you.
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638895_tn?1223070426
Hi Jo...
My heart and prayers are with you.  Ducky and Barfer have prety much said what I wanted too say....so I am just letting you know you have my support.  Don't give up trying to find out what is wrong.
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341190_tn?1295470725
Thankyou barfer i would be really interested to hear about your sister, i have never heard of anyone else that is simular to me where as have fainting spells, you either hear of people having one or two or at the other end all the time, i went 9 years without one,

My doc said if nothing comes back from these tests then he suggests i have an internal loop fitted, i am going to insist on this as i really am becoming ill with the fear of fainting, i need some answers so maybe i can have some quality of life, also i would like to mention each time i have fainted/seizured i am taken to hospital where they carry out all the usual tests which involves having a eeg and each time they send me home saying they cant find anything wrong, it is so frustrating,

Thanks for now

Jo xx
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341190_tn?1295470725
I know im going on with myself here but i would just like to say to you all how much i appreciate your very kind words i dont get to see or talk to many people these days and feel very cared for by you all, I never realised how many people who we really dont know can be so caring so thankyou so much, i am overwhelmed by your kindness.


love to all

Jo xxx
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638895_tn?1223070426
We do care and that is why we are here.  Reach out to us anytime.  We will support you and not judge you.
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341190_tn?1295470725
Well as i said i went for my hospital appointment yesterday, firstly all my tests came back ok, he said i definatly dont have epilepsy, he is still convinced i have reflex anoxic seizures, so he has started me on a tablet which reduces stress as this is what he thinks causes my seizures, basically a anti depressant, im not sure how i feel about this but am willing to give it a go, i suppose im in a catch 22 situation where as i stress about fainting and faint when im stressed, i have always thought of anti depressants as a no no, you become addicted, I have to go back in 3 months for a follow up and see how im getting on with the tabs, I will keep you updated on my progress.



Any thoughts?

Jo xx
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Jo:  I think you're right.  You probably should give it a go with the new medication.  It's definately worth a try.  
Which antidepressant is it?

I'm proud of you for looking for answers.  Keep up the good work, and let us know how you're doing........
Ducky
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341190_tn?1295470725
Hi Ducky,


My Tablets are Paroxetine? He has put me on 10mg to start with and said will take between 4 to 6 weeks to start working, if after that time I dont see a differance to go to my doc so he can adjust the dose, I was very very nervous when at the hospital and having to wait i nearly bolted, but managed to hang on after i told the nurses and they got me in quickly, i am so nervous about taking any sort of meds in fear of side effects but will try my best to give them a chance,

Thankyou for your concern,

Jo xx
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285848_tn?1219095913
I know how you feel. I don't leave my house much because I am afraid I will get sick in public. Just a month ago I went to the state fair and I started panicing on the street corner waiting for the walking sign to cross the street. My dad actually just pinched my arm and it helped but its really a depressor for life. Being worried to go out and actually live life because youre afraid somethings going to happen while youre out. I have a hard time eating at restaurants because Im afraid I will get sick in the car on the way home too. Its a scary thing and the only real way to deal with it is medication or counseling. I didnt want to spend the money or time with couseling so I started taking Lexapro...the side effects were horrible the first week but afterwards...i just didnt get scared when I was out...It turned my life around! I highly recommend trying meds for your problems. Trust me...its no way to live, with panic attacks or always thinking somethings going to go wrong.
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341190_tn?1295470725
I am now on my 4th day off meds and i can honestly say i dont feel better but worse, i did expect this, i know my body has got to get used to it so am being positive and hanging in there, at the moment i have terrible headaches feel really sick and got a horrible taste in my mouth, typicall reaction to this med, its so close to xmas im just hoping i feel better for it, i dont feel very socialable right now and am at my mums all day xmas day with all the family, if i feel like this dont know how i will get on,,,


Any advice guys?
Thanks Jo x
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638895_tn?1223070426
Hi,
Everyone has their own opinion on meds.  For many years people were telling me that I should take something.  I was med phobic and in the opinion that meds just masked the problem and if I went off then the panic would come back.
My therapist explained things too me about the meds that really helped.  I started Zoloft about 4 years ago and I am so glad I did.  It has helped alot.  I say , give it a try.  
Keep us posted.
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341190_tn?1295470725
I have been on the meds now for a week, i am having serious side effects, feel like im going backwards, just want to stay in bed all day, i know i cant expect miracles but how long will i have the side effects? cant see the light at the end of the tunnel, the thought of leaving my house fills me with dread,     Jo x
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Avatar_f_tn
I think you should probably call your doctor and ask some questions about the med you're taking.  Or better yet, call your pharmacist.  Not all drugs work the same for everyone, and this drug may not be ok for you.  You might have to change to something else.  
I never understood why doctors want you to take something that makes you feel WORSE than when you started it.  
Hang in there, and let us know what happened when you called your doc.
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638895_tn?1223070426
Hi,
Sometimes we have to get through the side effects.  They do go away.  But...I would call your Dr. like Ducky said and explain the symptoms to him. Please don't give up or get discouraged.  
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349780_tn?1309637558
The main problem I have with doctors is that they always assume it is depression. It is like they imagine we can't just suffer from anxiety alone. And anxiety alone might be the cause of our problems. If the anxiety went away there would be so much we could do. I see in this case a doctor has prescribed another anti-depressant tablet for what might be an anxiety case. I'm agraphobic but I'm not depressed. It is the anxiety that keeps me indoors when I stay in. Take that anxiety away and I am out there like every other person. Anti-depressants, in my opinion, have more side effects than anxiety tablets. But both tablets are to do different things. Anxiety medication is to relax you. Whereby anti-depressant medication is to bring you up and make you feel happier. So if you suffer from anxiety you are already up and want to be brought back down. Not brought even higher. Just my own opinions. So if you feel it is anxiety you suffer from and that is what is holding you back make this very clear to your doctor. You might be depressed. Only you know that one. But hang on in there. Don't give up. There is always an answer.
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341190_tn?1295470725
Thats exactly what i told my doctor, my anxiety started when i started to faint more often, which caused me to not want to leave the house, he assured me these tabs are for anxiety and nerves so i can think more possitively, also my fainting is caused by stress so need to reduce stress again what these tabs are supposed to do, i am not in any way depressed maybe just a little down at the moment, while im in the house you wouldnt think there was anything wrong with me, apart from this last week starting on the tabs, i rang my doc and he advised me to give the tabs a little longer to start working, so fingers crossed, i will hang in there.


Thankyou all for your support.

Jo xx
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Avatar_f_tn
I agree that you can be a little down and not be depressed. I understand completely that being anxious and depression are two totally different things however most doctors dont see it that way.  In the beginning my docs wanted to try me on every anti-depressant med available and My system just could not handle it. I was terribly sick. People willl say "give it time" But I say if your body reacts in a negative way for an extended period of time you may want to rethink the drug and try something else. Don't give up, just be smart about it and listen to your body. There seems to be alot of concern about getting addicted to meds, and we certainly don't want that to happen but when it comes to quality of your everyday life, You need something to ease the anxiety. For me personally taking Alprazolam (xanax) as needed has given me quality of life. Without it I would never be able to leave home or prevent terrible panic attacks. I have been on this med for over 10 years and stayed at a very low dose of 1/4 mg as needed. Never more than 2x a day. (on rare occasion such as a death in the family I have had to take slightly more) I can't imagine not having something to help me thru.I'm not saying everyone should try Xanax, I'm just saying of all the things I've tried anti depressants didnt work . I am not depressed. My doctors would give me that look like " yeah right lady, dont tell me your not depressed! Your agoraphobic and have panic disorder you gotta be depressed! Well, here's a news flash, I may have these issues but I still have Joy and happiness. I have family members who are depressed, So I know how depression effects people. I sure hope you find something to help you. Keep your head up, your shoulders straight and your eye on the goal. Your going to do just fine!
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Avatar_m_tn
hello there..i had this for 2 yrs..it took klonpin to get me out of it..it is a very bad problem..its been 16 yrs since that happend..and still to this day i have problems leaving..its the ( WHAT IF THINKING  RIGHT??)!!  I KNOW IT IS..I KNOW WHAT UER THINKING NOW..AND EVERTIME YOU GO TIO GO SOMEWERE  I KNOW ALL THERE IS TO KNOW ON THIS..I WENT TO SEE A PDOC..HE SAID ITS ALL IN UR HEAD..I GOT UPOSET WITH HIM SAYING THAT..BUT THEN I SAID YES IT IS ALL IN MY HEAD...YOU ARE A SEVER CASE..YOIU WILL HAVE TO GET ON A MEDICINE FOR THIS..ALOT OF PEOPLE THAT GET ON A ( SSRI,S) WITCH ARTE ANTIDEPPRESANTS..LIKE PROZAC,ZOLOFT,CELEXA,PAXIL...THESE WILL HELP WITH UR DEPPRESHION...I KNOW ALOT OF PEOPLE SAY IM NOT DEPPREED WELL YOU HAVE TO BE YOU CANT LEAVE UR HOUSE AND IF YOU CAN UR FREAKED OUT..SO THAT MEANS THAT UR DEPPREDED...AND THAT IN ITS SELF CAUSES  ANXIETYS OF EVERYTHING..NOW I HAD THJIS REAL BAD!!  IF I BOUGHT A CAR  AND I HAD A PAINC  ATTACK IN IT I SOLD THAT CAR...IM NOT A M.D. OR A SHRINK..BUT THIS IS WHAT YOU NEED TO OVERCOME THIS FEAR OF LEAVING..1ST YOU NEED TO SEE A DOCKTER THERES NO WAY OUT UNLESS YOU HAVE ONE..YOU NEED TO TRY TO TAKE BABY STEPS TO LEAVE..GO SO FAR AWAY FROM THEN COME BACK AND DO A LITTLE EVERYDAY...BUILD UR SELF ESTEEM UP...THEN  GET ON A ANTIDEPPRESANT I  WOULD SAY LEXPRO 10 MGS 1 ADAY....AND THE MED  BENZODIEAPINE   KLONOPIN  0.5 MGS 2 ADAY...THJIS HELPED ME GET TO WEAR I COULD GET HELP..THEN BEFORE ANY ADDICSHIONS FROM THE KLONOPIN IN ABOU 2 MONTHES OR MABEY LESS ..YOU COULD  DROP THE KLONPIN AND STAY ON THER LEXAPRO..ITS NOT ADDICTIVE BUT YOU NEED TO STAY ON IT..AND BELIVE ME YOU WILL FEEL MUCH BETTER..DEPENDING ON UR SERVERTY OF THE ISSUE OF HOW INTENCE IT IS..IT MAY LAST FOR YEARS..THATS WHAT HAPPEWND TO ME..I WAS ON JKLONOPIN  FOR 13 YRS..THEN XANAX NOW BEEN ON IT 5 YRS STILL LOW DSOSE AT THAT 2.5 MGS ADAY..MY DADS 70 HES ON IT..MY KIDS ARE ON IT FOT ANXIETYS AND PANTIC......THEY SHOULD HAVE A PANTIC AWARNESS  WEEK LIKE THEY DO FOR EVERYTHING ELSE.....I DONT REMBER YOU SAYING  THAT YOU HAD A PANIC ATTACK OR NOT..BUT YOU SAY  YOU BEEN SICK IN THE PAST..THATS ALL RELATED TO AGORPHOBIA......ANYTHING ELSE YOU NEED JUST MESSAGE ME....I KNOW ABOUT ALOT ON THIS ..AND I WILL HELP ANYONE THAT NEEDS MY ADVICE ON THIS!!!!  GOOD LUCK TO YOU FRIEND.....JAMES
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Avatar_m_tn
also if ur fainting  or having any seizure activity..the klonopin is for those  kinda problems..but to be safe  you should get a ct scan and a complete  m.r.i....to eliminate anything..dont want to scare you..so these have got to be taken care of...anxietys and panic will cause you to faint//////  klonpin is a aniconvoshint...james
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341190_tn?1295470725
Hi James, i am currently taking 20mg of Paroxetine which i think are helping, they also are for anxiety, i did have a seizure only last week but a very mild one nothing like i used to have, i am still scared of going out in public but i do go to our local shop now and again, not alone though, i wont go anywhere on my own, hopefully i will now start to get my confidence back, take care, jo
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349780_tn?1309637558
All about trying to get back out there. Slowly. There is no mad hurry. Take it one step at time. Your front garden to begin with even. Until you feel relaxed there. Then a walk to the end of the street. Then maybe around the block. Just till you get used to feeling relaxed in these situations again. Don't jump for the highest rung first. That might land you back further than were you began. It can be a slow process. Lot of feelings to go through. But it is worth it all in the end once you do make it back out and about. It is like starting life all over again.
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341190_tn?1295470725
Hi All, well to update you me and my husband went to a beautiful log cabin for a few days break, we had a lovely time just relaxing and taking it easy i even managed a few outings so as you can imagine i was feeling very confident, we got back on the friday and just a few hours later i had a seizure, i feel like ive gone backwards again, its so frustrating, where do i go from here now, its shot my confidence so much, i feel everytime i make some progress there will always be a knock back, getting so sick of it now, feel like whats the point,   Jo
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349780_tn?1309637558
Comes with the turf so to speak. Ten steps forwards, twenty steps backwards. We have all been there. It can be soul destroying. But if anything it always made me want to fight back even harder next time round. By way of saying ' I am not giving into you '. Yes, we all have those moments of sitting there feeling sorry for ourselves. But that never gets anybody anywhere at all. Try not to fall into that trap. Remind yourself of how good you were doing. That you can do it. And go chase it again.
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm sorry I didn't get back to you sooner, I haven't been on the forum for quite some time.  You were asking about my sister's fainting spells and I said I'd get back to you.  My sister fainted off and on for as long as I can remember.  There was a time that seizures were mentioned but all my sister remembers hearing was the seizure part and my family, including my sister, interpreted that as epilepsy instead of what the doctor probably said and that would have been the same diagnosis as you, reflex anoxic seizures.  This was a very long time ago when my sister was a young teen.  I remember the fainting spells well and hers didn't resemble anything like what I have experienced with my daughter who does have epilepsy.  Mind you, some people do lose bladder control and may twitch a little and that is why they can easily be confused with epilepsy. Often reflex anoxic seizures aren't treated because they expect that children will just grow out of it.  In my sister's and obviously yours, that hasn't been the case.  My sister's tended to be brought on, in my opinion, by stress.  She could go for years without one and in actual fact, I don't remember seeing her have one later in life.  I know she did have them, I just was present when she did.  In high school, she would have them at assembly when everyone had to meet in the gym.  Everyone in my family is claustrophobic, so this wasn't surprising.  We all kind of got used to her passing out, even when dancing.  No one made a big deal about it, it just became a fact of life.  I'm not trying to diminish your situation because you case is different than my sister's in that you have the bladder control issue and it is definitely effecting your quality of life.  I am curious though as to who prescribed the Paxil?  Was it your family doctor or therapist?  Did you ever see a neurologist?  Last question, are you sure you had an EEG done or was it an EKG.  EEG measures brain wave patterns, an EKG is heart. My question as to whether you have seen a neurologist or not is because they generally don't like anti-depressants and are more comfortable suggesting to a family doctor or therapist a prescription for a long term anti-anxiety medication for anxiety related problems.  Clonazepam is one that is typically prescribed for long term use.  

Don't get discouraged, you haven't gone back to square one, this is just another bump in the road and you will get the help you need as long as you go after it.  If you are comfortable with the medication you have been prescribed, then stick with it.  BUT if you aren't then go after the doctor and make sure he knows that you definitely have anxiety first and foremost, the depression is a result of the anxiety, not the other way around.  Not all people do well on anti-depressants for anxiety and what you are taking is an anti-depressant first and foremost.  It is definitely used for anxiety and it used to be the "go to drug" for that disorder.  What has happened over time is that they have found that some people who have only anxiety or are depressed only because they are anxious first, don't do well on anti-depressants.  This is not to say that some don't thrive on them, but none the less, others (myself included) don't do well on anti-depressants. There are many options out there for you, don't get overwhelmed but on the otherhand, you don't have to settle for just getting by either.

Simple things like making sure you go to the bathroom frequently during the day so that when you do faint, you don't have anything in your bladder and therefore don't embarrass yourself.  My daughter who does have epilepsy, that is what we remind her to do.  There have been times when she has seizured and peed so now we remind her to go to the bathroom before going out so that if it she should happen to seizure, she is less likely to pee because her bladder is empty. The whole idea is to get you out again on your own if at all possible.  Whatever it takes and that may mean a pantie-liner for the time being while you are getting you fainting under control...so be it.  There are lots of women out there who have to use them after having children and now have a weak bladder.  Believe me, you wouldn't be the only one, there are many other and for various reasons.  It doesn't matter how you get out of your house, it's that you do get out.  No one cares if you are on medication, use pantie-liners, have to make sure you go to the bathroom several times in a day, who cares....as long as you get out and resume the life you had and deserve to have.  Keep me posted...
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