Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Fainting Spells

After Callie’s last episode of fainting which resulted in an ambulance ride, I decided we were going to go talk to the doctor.   Although the paramedics said it is not uncommon for someone to pass out after having a procedure, I didn’t go into the other times she has passed out.

I told the doctor that this seems to be increasing in frequency and we’d like to know what causes it and if there’s anything we can do to prevent it. 

Most, if not all, of her fainting spells appear to be connected to some event or pain.   For example, the first time I remember her passing out was at the health department a few minutes after she got the flu shot.  This was before we learned she has an allergy to egg and, at the time, the nurses thought it was due to anxiety.    She said she didn’t feel well so they sat her in a chair, and did everything you’d expect them to do to try to prevent her from fainting but she went out anyway.  Another time, she passed out while ice skating with a migraine headache caused from drinking a diet soda.  (This was our first clue that she is sensitive to aspartame).   During this past winter, in the span of about three months, she passed out three different times after hitting the funny bone on her elbow.   She can feel it coming on and thankfully has been at least sitting down when it occurs.  She loses consciousness.  She has also had close calls at church after being overcome by someone’s strong perfume, but this hasn’t happened in a long time.

Needless to say, it would not be good to have her passing out when she’s, say, at the library, or at church, or on a walk around the neighborhood.  She could get hurt pretty easily from a fall. 

The doctor suspects it is what is called vasovagal syncope, even though most people will not faint from hitting the funny bone.  She is going to order some tests.   One will be a tilt table test which will monitor her heart and blood pressure when they tilt her at different angles.  The other test will be to wear an event recorder for several days. 

When the paramedics turned her over to the emergency department staff at the hospital, he mentioned that she had a heart arrhythmia when they hooked her up in the ambulance.  I mentioned this to the doctor.   I think this monitoring is to check her heart when she has dizziness or chest pains that she sometimes complains of.  

Anyway, I hope we can find some answers and some solutions. 

No comments: