Chiari Online Support Group

Syncope : (

I passed out last week (lost conscious), first time ever in my entire life, though there have been a couple instances years and years ago where I came close to it but didn’t actually lose consciousness. However those times I had good reason (after giving blood, walking after surgery) this time there was no reason . I was taken to the ER and after a lot of testing (mostly cardiac) no cause was found and they let me go. Unfortunately, because no treatable cause was found I have lost driving privileges for 6 months. I haven’t read much of a Chiari/syncope link and wonder if anyone else has experienced this.

To say this has got me upset is an understatement. With no cause to be found I’m continually afraid it will happen again and am afraid to leave the house. My Chiari is “borderline” and doctors have totally ignored it so whether or not any of my symptoms are caused by Chiari is still unknown.

Hey Janey,
It’s scary as all hell and then to be told no cause only increases that stress. Being “borderline” certainly doesn’t help when it comes to the medicos either. It gives them an out. I have had this occur a couple of times, gone to hospital via ambulance only to be sent home. I was told it ‘could’ be low blood pressure or it ‘could’ be needing food. So no real answers. It was my wife who found me and she’d watch me closely for the next week, fearful that it may occur again.

When we have an underlying brain issue we often think of the ‘What if’s’ and then for the dr’s to minimise our concerns, it doesn’t help. But unfortunately it is not uncommon. They can be very good in dealing with the here and now, but when we have such issues they do not see the syncope actually occur and often write it off, in fact on one such visit I had a nurse say “Well, you seem OK now…” Grrrrr

Your PCP maybe able to run some follow up tests. I’m not saying they will have any definitive answers, but at least if you’ve followed through as much as you can you can rest in the knowledge that you have done so.

Merl from the Moderator Support Team

Hey, Janey! Prior to my decompression surgery in 2012, there is only one time I completely passed out. That was when I tipped my head backwards - at an extreme hard angle. I was trying to catch a toy that a nephew had thrown directly over my head. Instead of turning around to pick the toy up, I tried to snatch it directly overhead. Next thing I knew, I was waking up from off the floor! And, I was sick to my stomach and horribly dizzy. Actually - it was that extreme head-backward-tilt-then-passing-out that got my Chiari’s diagnosed by a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome specialist. She mentioned it was the 'brain ooze" that had cut off my spinal cord when I tilted my head backwards. Wow! I went 10 years misdiagnosed - until the head tilt! Since the decompression surgery, however, I have not passed out - but get mighty close to it! NOW it is because I lose my blood pressure. If I get up too fast, or get an adrenaline burst, or consume too much stimulants (caffeine :frowning:) my blood pressure wants to drop abruptly. I get faint really fast. However, I can catch myself and sit down before passing out. So far!