Monday, February 10, 2014

Vasovagal Morning

One morning this weekend, I was about to get ready for work. It was early in the morning, my family was still asleep. I walked in to the kitchen to get a drink before jumping in the shower and somehow slipped, lost my balance and fell backwards. I didn't seriously hurt myself, but hyperextended my thumb and it hurt like crazy. I couldn't move it and it started to go numb. What happened next was bizarre and uncontrollable.

I had a vasovagal response to my thumb trauma. I suddenly felt that something was not right. I sat on the stairs and couldn't catch my breath. I was acutely aware of what was happening. My heart rate dropped, my blood pressure did the same and I became extremely hot. Sweat was pouring off of my face as I tried to take deep breaths to keep from passing out. The tachypnea was a response to the hypotension and bradycardia.
I thought, "Wow, I'm having a vasovagal epsiode. I need to lie down. Damn, this is my IV starting hand - I hope I can function."
It took about 10 minutes for it to pass. Once my breathing had normalized and my heart rate increased, I felt better. I got up, got ready for work and left.

It was a strange occurrence and I wondered why a simple thing like thumb pain caused it to happen. I've been injured worse before. Who knows? My thumb is sore and swollen, but functional.


  1. Scary! I'm pretty sure I would have thought I was having a MI.

  2. Glad you didn't faint! A similar thing happened to my older brother when he was a teenager. It was a case of orthostatic hypotension (of course I didn't know the fancy term at the time.) He had been laying down in the family room watching TV. It was a converted garage and heated only with a fire place. The temperature would often be anywhere between 50 and 90 degrees, depending on if we bothered to start a fire and how well it was going. That day it was probably 90. He got up and walked into the kitchen to get a snack out of the refrigerator and promptly fainted. On the way down he hit his head on the corner of the wall and got a nasty bump. How embarrassing for a star running back on the football team to faint!

  3. Well, he shouldn't have been embarrassed since there's no control over it - but people still do.
    I had to check the date of when I wrote this because my thumb is still sore. I think I sprained it pretty good!