From about 17 I have been having fainting spells. the first few times were few and far between. It is always the same though.
It starts with a funny feeling, a slight dissociation. Imagine looking at trees and they're too-bright, too wrong, strange, unrecognizable. It comes up like a wave from my feet to my head and I know I'm about to faint. At this point I usually have about 30 seconds to preferably lie down, but sitting helps. It slows the loss of consciousness. Usually if I can lie completely flat, the fainting will reverse, and after a few minutes I will be shaky, but fine. Sometimes I feel terribly sick afterwards, but not always. Outwardly I become very pale, and may begin to perspire. The first thing to go is sound. It feels like I am underwater. I can just barely hear. Eventually, if I cannot lie down or sit, I will lose it completely, and be entirely unconscious. Everything will go monochrome. Usually green. Lights become very bright. I may hallucinate or see trails. Sometimes I can still hear and feel touch, but it feels very far away and I am unable to communicate. Most times I am able to get myself lying down before I completely go, but there have been several times that this has happened. I know it's over because though the waterlogged sound, I will hear a very distinct pop and then a loud hiss. I assume it's blood rushing through my head. Through the hiss, sound will start to become clearer, and slowly the hiss will fade.
Starting in november of 2011, the fainting spells became markedly more comment. About 2-3 times a week, this would happen to me. At first it was very frightening. Now, I am used to it, and know exactly what to do. The spells slowed, and although they are still frequent, not as often as before. I would say it happens now maybe twice a month, in varying degrees of severity. Last night, I was on my kitchen counter putting up wall decals when it hit me. It was frightening because I knew I wouldn't be able to get myself down, and if I had fainted up there I could have fallen and seriously hurt myself. I have before fallen and hit my head. It doesn't hurt, even though you can feel it, but that doesn't mean it's not causing damage.
I mistly have just been putting these spells in my mental drawer and filing them away, but it seems to freak other people out when I tell them. I have spoken with a doctor about it before, and I will admit, when they freaked out about it I made it sound a little better than it was. I told them I had fainted about 10 times. It has actually been around 40 or so times over the past 18 months. I have tried looking this up, but it's most certainly because of another problem, and most people hadn't had it happen so much.
Incidentally, I remember the entire event. I know the second it's going to happen, and it is entirely unavoidable unless I completely lie down, and sometimes it will continue. from the moment I first feel it to losing consciousness is about 30 seconds. I am out of it for varying lengths of time afterwards. Sometimes I am fine after just a few minutes. Sometimes it takes an hour and a half to feel better. Sometimes I haven't eaten that day. Other times I may have just eaten a meal. It seems to happen a lot while I'm in the shower, which I think is caused by all of the heat and steam. Sometimes it's on a bad allergy day, sometimes not. As frequent as they are, I have not identified a trigger and it seems to me like they're completely random. I do feel sick and weak a lot of time time, but it doesn't have to be while I'm actually having one of the spells. I could be competely and utterly fine one minute and the next it's on full-force. Is there anyone who has heard of anything at all like this before? No one that i've spoken to about it has had any idea, and I'm starting to worry that maybe there's something seriously wrong with me.
Oh, and my doctor and I have determined that I don't have diabetes, my blood sugar seemed fine (at least when I was tested - the same for my oxygen levels), iron is fine, have had a good history of good blood pressure (although it definitely spikes after I faint). I definitely don't eat well, but I also don't eat terribly. I would say I have an average diet for a 21 year old.
What you describe sounds exactly as if you are having epileptic seizures. My daughter has it. You need to see a neurologist and have an EEG done. If it shows up that you DO have epilepsy, you will have to take medication to control it. I urge you to get this done ASAP, before you really get hurt. And what about the significant danger of having an episode while you are driving?
Please keep us updated! - Blu
I don't know about seizure auras that do that (I'm not very up on seizures), but what you describe sounds like something is causing you to tank your blood pressure fairly often. If your blood pressure drops enough, you don't get enough blood to your head and you start feeling faint and can pass out. Lying down helps this because it lets gravity pull the blood back to your head, and you feel better. I used to overheat in the summers as a kid and would almost pass out, then throw up instead (same deal in a way--too much blood going to the skin to keep cool, as well as dehydration for me). When I'm about to faint, I see clouds, usually purple and green, coming in from the edges of my vision until my vision disappears. The one time I really did pass out, sound felt like it was coming through a badly tuned radio, I was dizzy, apparently pretty green, and couldn't see before I decided to try to sit down and then collapsed.
In your case, you don't seem to have a particular trigger, which makes me (with all of my laypersons medical knowledge, take it as you will) think that it could be arrhythmias, and you should talk to a cardiologist. I think you'd want a Holter monitor, which is an EKG that records for several days at a time. I think it has a button for you to press when you're having an event, so they can look at it later to see if anything's going on.
The next time this happens, see if you can take your heart rate, at least roughly. If it's super fast or super slow, that can contribute to feeling faint and will be a useful bit of information for your doctor.
I don't want to scare you, but you need to talk to your doctor soon, and be honest about how often you're having this. Ask about seeing cardiology (and maybe neurology if your GP thinks it makes sense, a la BluCrystal's suggestion). Don't wait on it; this is clearly not going away on its own.
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