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Avatar universal

I lose consciousness but keep walking

Hello everyone,

I have a strange issue going on and I was wondering if anyone here would know what it is.

Sometimes I'm doing something normal (lets say, eating lunch at the restaurant besides my home), everything is perfectly well, but then next thing I remember is me at my living room, very sleepy, and all I can do is go to bed. I don't remember a thing that happened between the restaurant and the living room. It happened in several situations already, and two of them a friend witnessed. In one, he said I asked him "when did you get here?" during the episode. I remember nothing. In one episode I left a restaurant without paying. The owner than told me later and I explained it to him. I act perfectly during the episodes. Walk normally, get my keys, open the doors...

Things in common to all episodes:

- The episodes lasts 3-5 minutes.
- After the episode, I always feel very sleepy and all I can do is go to bed.
- Its not gradual. I don't start feeling dizzy, or nauseated, or anything like that. It just happens out of nowhere.
- I never fall, break something, bite my thong, or anything like that.

I'm 35 years old, and the first of those episodes happened about 8 months ago. I just ignored. It was an isolated case. But about a month later another happened. Then 2 weeks later another happened, than a month later another, and so far about 9 or 10 happened in total.

It seems to me they're related to improper sleeping. I work from home, so I sleep in non-consistent hours and its always changing. Sometimes I sleep 8 hours a night, sometimes only 5. Sometimes I go to bed at 1AM, sometimes at 5AM. Since I always feel incredibly asleep after the episodes, even if it happened 30 minutes after I woke up from a 8-hour sleep, it seems to have a connection.

I went to a neurologist and he said it was Absence Seizure. But we did an electroencephalogram and nothing came up. Hyperventilation also triggers nothing. And overall its not consistent with Absence Seizure for a large number of reasons: My age, I don't halt (I move and act during the episodes), I always feel extremely sleepy after them (I don't continue my normal activities after the episodes as if nothing happened), and other reasons.

He then ordered a blood exam, and my cholesterol is very high. Its above all tolerable limits. He gave me a drug to help lower it, and I've cut on red meats and certain foods and I'm exercising a lot now to lower it. But overall, he just doesn't know what it is.

A fact that might be valuable is: Some days I have normal thoughts which brings me normal pleasure (lets say, I think of something I really really liked when I was a kid. Playing a new game on Nintendo for example). And then sometimes these thoughts give me like an injection of pleasure that keeps growing and growing and growing until it bursts and ends. All of it takes 10-15 seconds. Its not a normal sensation. It feels very good, but sometimes if it gets too strong it becomes a bad, fainting sensation and I have to take some deep breaths. And sometimes they don't start small and keep growing slowly. They come at once with the thought. I believe this could be triggering the episodes. And these sensations started also about 8 months ago. These sensations also happens mainly on days that I had a bad night of sleep.

If anyone have any idea of what this could be, I'd be very grateful. Any more information I can provide just ask.
Thanks for your time.
4 Responses
Avatar universal
Hey Mardw, I don't know what this is at all for you, but a buddy of mine has something oddly similar. You both have some of the strangest symptoms I've ever heard of.

He will get a very very sharp pain through his neck and into the back of his skull, and completely black out. He has never experienced it while driving, so he is afraid it will happen when driving. Otherwise he seems to be ok. I don't think he has reported moving about and acting though like you do....

If he does then you two may have something similar, I will ask him. He has had scans, and every test the neurologist knows to give, to no avail. Nothing seems to be wrong. His is also a sudden random onset.

As for you "sensation" issue toward the end, it sounds like you may be onto something. Remember to mention everything, even if it seems stupid to the doc and specialists. Any scrap of info could yield useful clues.

Write down things and bring them to the appointment.

Maybe be a potentially harmless neurological disorder, not sure.

Have you tried to see any other specialists? And have you gotten other types of scans that would detect anything else?

Avatar universal
Joe3091,

Thanks for your comment. Two years ago I was at a restaurant with a friend, ate a keylimon pie for desert, and then right off the restaurant as I sat on the passenger sit of his car I just passed out. He rushed me to the ER. The doctors did an MRI of my brain, did blood tests, and some other minor tests... all came back normal. That keylimon pie did tasted weird. I ate it anyways. I think thats what caused that specific blackout. That, (a blackout), I never had before and it never happened again. So I assume it was an unrelated, isolated case. Still, that 2-years old brain MRI shown no issues. Not sure is a 2-year old MRI still counts though.

Now, its been 2 days I'm perfect. No issues at all. And I believe its gonna stay like that for about a week, and then the issues are coming back for 2-3 days.

Coincidentally, in the past 2 years I've been having memory problems. Forgetting things that happened a month ago or later. This also happened to a friend of mine once. His memory was fine, but one day he started forgetting things. He did some exams, all came back negative, didn't take any medicine, but after some time he was fine again. I lost my job about 2 years ago. It was a job I was in for 13 years. Now, instead of going to another company I'm trying an independent project with another person. Its a bit scary, costs money, and so far only brought us bills. But we're hoping it'll start giving profit soon. Truly I'm not worried about this. Now, if deep inside I'm concerned and this is causing me stress-related issues, I don't know. It could be, but honestly I don't think so.

I did a shoulder surgery about 7 months ago, and 3 months after the surgery when the shoulder was almost recovered I woke up one day with it hurting again like it was 1 week after the surgery. I discovered I had convulsions while sleeping. A neurologist prescribed me Depakote ER, and apparently the convulsions ended.
Avatar universal
It sounds like the restaurant episode is unrelated.

I doubt stress would cause such weird symptoms, though it is possible.

If the MRI was that long ago, I encourage you to get another one just to be sure. If you visit a neurologist, have the proper tests and scans but there is nothing wrong, you could have some very odd form of narcolepsy. At least, that is the only condition that I find comparable to yours, as my friend I have mentioned told me his condition remains undiagnosed and no doctor he has consulted has ever heard of it.

If this has been going on a year and the MRI shows nothing, then it could definitely be a psychological issue or a strangely benign neurologic disorder.

I hope you don't attempt to drive during your estimated "risk zone" of 2-3 days just to be safe.

Stay well
Avatar universal
Joe3091,

I did think about getting another MRI just to be sure. With your advice as well I think I'll go ahead with it.

This issue seems very related to sleep. As I work from home, my sleep hours are not regular at all, and when these events happen, after it I get very VERY sleepy and must go to bed.

The memory problems I've been having also supports the theory that I'm having improper sleeping causing me issues.

What could be happening is, my street got a new daycare center built by the end of last year. It kinda noisy from 7AM on, and its 1 house from mine. I can hear it loud and clear. It does wake me up sometimes. Note that I normally sleep from 02:00AM to 10:00AM.

Just a though...
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