I have seen my doctor after an episode on a transatlantic flight. I woke up thinking I was going to vomit (I'm never travel-sick). My daughter told me what happened next, I have no recollection. I began to shake as if having a convulsion, my face was making strange movements, my eyes were open, I was icy cold to the touch and was not responding to her. She would have called the cabin crew but they were busy with another passenger. After a minute or two I began to respond, felt an urgent need to empty my bowels & felt weak & tired for the rest of the day. Ihave had a brain scan- results fine & have recently had ECG & blood pressure taken, no results as yet. Medics keep telling me it's probably just one of those episodes that have no explanation, but I've searched on the internet & found vasovagal syndrome & it seems to describe exactly what happened to me. Here's the problem - I was asleep when the incident occurred and I was in a plane at high altitude - what was the trigger? I need to know as I'd like to visit my daughter in New Zealand and would be travelling alone. I'm now so scared of going on a plane, i never had any problem before. I don't know what to do. If I knew the cause I could maybe do something to prevent its happening again.
Can you help?
The type of symptoms you describe sound seizure related to me. I am not a diagnostician but have been around family members with seizures. I am wondering if there were any flickering lights involved or repetitive sounds. The lingering weakness, shaking, loss of consciousness and loss of control of bowel function is classic. Not all seizure activity shows up on command when a test is done. Some are elusive. Seeing a neurologist would be a good idea.
As far as airplane flight is concerned, the cabins are pressurized to between 6500 and 7500 for most airlines and this sometimes can cause
a cardiac or respiratory problem for susceptible fliers. This would normally cause a problem with respiration or heart rate.
I really think you should also post this on the neurology forum as I think you will get responses there. I hope you find the help you need and I think a neurologist would be helpful. Marie
I was recently diagnosed with autonomic neuropathy. For years these symptoms went undiagnosed. A few times I was riding in the car and I felt something strange come over me and all I remember saying is uh oh. I couldn't talk, my upper body seemed almost paralyzed. My arms were very heavy and I couldn't articulate what was happening, my mouth wouldn't move. The boys said my eyes flickered and I went into tiny convulsions and then I became very cold, also having the urge to go to the bathroom and I was sopping wet with sweat. I have had a few seizure tests and none of them come up positive, but when I had the tests what you described would happen to me- but I felt I was somewhat aware of what was happening and I became so cold that they had to cover me in blankets to get my temp back up. And when I came full too, my arms were up in the air. It was very weird. And I do have some vagal nerve damage. But good luck with your tests. Keep us informed. And I totally agree with Marie on her comments. Good luck to you. Tkimber
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