Thursday, June 24, 2010

Big words, small words

.. and many sizes in between lol.

While waiting for the dreaded day of my appointment with the cardiologist (2.15pm today), i've been surfing online for background info as well as checking up on worst case scenarios.  no, i'm not a pessimist, just your regular run-of-the-mill realist (plus the fact that i secretly love scaring myself lol).

So. i found out a couple of interesting things. maybe not really related to what i'm going thru but pretty interesting nevertheless.

If you're one of those people who faints at the sight of blood or at times of emotional distress, and is fed up with the constant ribbing from your friends bcos of your supposedly 'weak disposition'.. well, theres actually a big scary word that covers your condition - vasovagal syncope. its a term used for a variety of syndromes and is apparently the commonest type of fainting.

Syncope is about fainting and vasovagal has something to do with our vagus nerve. also known as neurocardiogenic syncope (a real mouthful aint it?) and has a looong list of triggers.

From WIKI -  Typical triggers of vasovagal syncope include:

-Prolonged standing or upright sitting, particularly when standing with legs in a locked position for long periods of time—avoidance of long-term locking of one's legs in the standing position is taught in the military as well as in marching bands and drill teams.
-Standing up very quickly
-Any painful or unpleasant stimuli, such as:
   -Experiencing medical procedures with local anesthesia
   -Giving or receiving a needle immunization
   -Watching someone give blood
   -Watching someone experience pain
   -Watching or experiencing medical procedures
   -Sight of blood
   -Occasions of slight discomfort, such as dental and eye examinations
   -Hyperthermia, a prolonged exposure to heat
   -High temperature, either in the environment or due to exercise
   -High pressure on or around the chest area after heavy exercise

-Arousal or stimulants e.g. sex
-Sudden onset of extreme emotions
-Nausea or vomiting
-Urination ('micturition syncope') or defecation, bowel movement ('defecation syncope')
-Abdominal straining or 'bearing down'
-Swallowing ('swallowing syncope') or coughing ('cough syncope')
-Random onsets due to nerve malfunctions
-Pressing upon certain places on the throat, sinuses, and eyes, also known as vagal reflex stimulation when performed clinically
-Water colder than 10 Celsius (50° F), or ice that comes in contact with the face, that stimulates the mammalian diving reflex
-High altitude
-Use of certain drugs that affect blood pressure, such as amphetamine
-Intense laughter

Yup, it sure seems to cover a whole lot of things doesnt it, even sex lol.. and intense laughter?

Closer to home, i have a friend at work who's husband has been fainting without warning for a while now. She's sick with worry (and rightfully so) bcos they cant seem to identify any obvious reason or trigger for it.  After a series of investigation with the specialist, where heart & circulatory problems have been ruled out, they're still quite nonplussed over his malaise. in the end the docs finally conclude that its vasovagal syncope (and its thru her that i first got to know about this term).

Which doesnt really say much bcos it covers a whole spectrum of conditions - from fainting at the sight of blood to dangerously losing consciousness anytime, anywhere and without any warning whatsoever.  even to this day, my friend & her husband are still struggling to find out his 'trigger' just so they'd know when he's about to pass out.

Now, i wonder what's in store for me today? la-lala-lala ;D

No comments: