This past Thursday morning I was brought into the hospital for my stress test. Ever have one? They’re not fun! Not that they’re testing to see if I’m stressed out, I’m not, they brought me in so that they could purposely stress out the heart to see if they could bring on some of the symptoms that I’m experiencing. As luck would have it, it worked! Not exactly the way my cardiologist had expected it to, however.

With vasovagel syncope, I’m supposed to experience my symptoms when my blood pressure drops, and I do. We found out, however, that it also happens when my blood pressure increases, which is a whole new mold of vasovagel syncope. My blood pressure climbed to 190. It was there that I experienced the onset of lightheadedness which eventually led to passing out. Not even ten minutes into my treadmill run and I had to be taken off and laid on a bed to regain consciousness. My cardiologist was stunned, at a loss for words without any answers to provide. I’m one of the rarest cases of this disease, and quite possibily a whole brand new kind of it entirely.

My cardiologist has now suggested I see an athletic cardiologist at Hartford Hospital, one who specializes in treating athletes. My hopes are that he may have some kinds of answers as to why I’m experiencing these symptoms at both levels of the spectrum. Will he? We can’t say for certain.

Through it all, I’ve been standing strong. It’s obvious that this condition continues to grow worse as doctors are working quikly to find out the answers in this extremely rare case. In the meantime, I’m on medication to help keep my blood pressure from dropping to rapid levels in the event of an attack. My blood pressure usually sits at 120. It’s now sitting at 140 with taking this medication three times daily. During an attack, my blood pressure has the tendency to drop to 60!

Over the next month, I’ll continue to be tested on the medication as well as be equipped with another heart monitor. I wish I knew where to go from here, but one thing is for sure, I’m not going to let it get the best of me.

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