Friday, January 24, 2014

Word of the Day

I learned a new word for an old term. It is a $10 medical expression for fainting.
Vasovagal. \ˌvā-zō-ˈvā-gəl\

I never heard this before. But I sure heard a lot of it during my last medical procedure. That is because I fainted half way through a diagnostic procedure. I was having a lung needle biopsy done. I am being tested to see if I have developed lung cancer.

My husband heard of my vasovagal episode while sitting in the waiting room. He heard the hospital speaker announcement of “Code Blue in CT room.” [Code Blue is generally used to indicate a patient requiring resuscitation or otherwise in need of immediate medical attention.] The emergency code was quickly cancelled. Hubby said he wasn't worried or too concerned. He just assumed it was just me fainting again.

Needles have always troubled me. Ever since I can remember I have swooned and passed out when confronted with them. I have fainted in the doctor's office, dentist chair, blood lab, etc. Over time I have acclimated to most needle usage. I no longer have a “vasovagal episode” with injections, blood work or IVs. But a needle through the chest did me in this time.

According to Wikipedia: A vasovagal episode or vasovagal response or vasovagal attack is a malaise mediated by the vagus nerve. When it leads to syncope or "fainting", it is called a vasovagal syncope, which is the most common type of fainting.
Some typical triggers for vasovagal episodes that work on me:

  • The sight of blood or blood drawing (a big one for me. I always avoid looking.)
  • Any painful or unpleasant stimuli, such as watching or experiencing medical procedures 
  • Stress (Needles stress me!)
  • Sudden onset of extreme emotions
  • Lack of sleep 
  • Dehydration (can be triggered by fasting that the procedure requires.)
  • Hunger (also result of fasting.)

1 comment:

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