Thursday, April 21, 2011


Vasovagal syncope (vay-zo-VAY-gul SING-cuh-pee) is the most common cause of fainting. Vasovagal syncope occurs when your body overreacts to triggers, such as the sight of blood or extreme emotional distress. The trigger results in vasovagal syncope — a brief loss of consciousness caused by a sudden drop in your heart rate and blood pressure, which reduces blood flow to your brain.
(Taken from

When Autumn had her follow-up appointment with the doctor in Atlanta, the Nurse Practitioner we saw that day suggested that Autumn see an immunologist to make sure there wasn’t something we were missing.  She said that Autumn seems to be making antibodies to many different substances.  You may remember that when they did Autumn’s labs, her eyes rolled back for a moment, and she threw up on everybody.  They said it was a vasovagal response.  Autumn ended up having the flu that same week.  When they were putting in her IV at the hospital, her eyes rolled back into her head a few times.  It was hard to say whether or not she actually lost consciousness because she was already pretty lethargic and was lying limp in my arms.

Yesterday was Autumn’s appointment with the immunologist (Dr. I – same one Silas sees).  At the end of the visit, they did labs.  They took several viles of blood before sending us back to the immunology office.  Autumn seemed fine and walked back to our room.  Dr. I also wanted to give her the pneumococcal vaccine.  (He was doing this so he could track how Autumn’s body handled the vaccine.)  After the shot, I helped Autumn to the floor, and I sat down to gather all of our things from the bench before leaving.  Everyone else had left the room by this point.

Autumn was standing beside me, and then suddenly, she passed out on the floor.  I was concerned because I heard something hit the floor very hard.  Due to her gross motor problems, Autumn is used to falling a lot, and it is rare for her to get hurt because she has the whole falling thing down to a science.  This time though, she went straight back and whacked her head on the floor!  When I first looked at her, I could see that her eyes were rolled back, and I knew she’d fainted.  However, when I went to pick her up and make sure she was okay, her whole body was very rigid, and I knew something wasn’t right.  She then began to move her arms like she was having a seizure.

I shouted for help, but no one heard me.  I ran to the hallway, but it still took a minute before anyone heard me.  The doctor was in the room next to us and was the first to make it to the room.  By the time everyone else got to the room, the convulsions were over, and Autumn was lying limp on the floor.  While Dr. I was looking her over, she started gagging, but nothing came up.  They brought her a cup of water.  It was then (as I tried to hold it for her) that I realized how badly my hands were shaking.  They had us stay in the office about 45 minutes to make sure she was alright.  We left with instructions to get her to the hospital if she developed bad headaches or started throwing up.

Here’s the question…  Was the seizure-like episode a result of the vasovagal response or the blow to the head?  Neither prospect really makes me happy.  If it was a result of the head injury, that can't be good.  If it was a result of the labs, is she going to start having these seizure-type spells every time they draw blood or give her shot?

I’m trying to leave a message with her neurologist to let her know what happened.  Autumn looks good for now, so we are praying that there are no further complications from the fall.

We are still waiting to hear the results from the labs they did in Atlanta.  We are also waiting to hear about the slides they were re-reading for Silas.  I called the GI to check, but no one’s called me back yet.  I’ll post when/if we find out anything.


UPDATE:  Before getting this posted, I heard back from Autumn’s Neuro.  She is going to schedule an EKG/EEG.

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