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Question about Blacking Out & Mini-Seizure

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Good Morning All!

I wanted to post this question the day after my little incident over the past weekend, but have gotten a bit sidetracked with things around the house.

This past Saturday evening (9.19.09) I was with my husband and some friends hanging out by the river near our house fishing, catching up with friends and just having a great time getting some much needed stress-relief.  We had eaten dinner at a friend's house earlier (hamburgers, salad, baked beans - the normal cook out fare about 6 PM) before heading down to the water to hang out and have a few drinks/cocktails - nothing "hard core" - just mixed drinks, beer, sodas, juice, gatoraid, etc.

It was about 10 PM or so when I was sitting by the bonfire and felt really hot - from the inside of my body.  I had gotten up and moved away from the fire and sat on the tailgate of my truck to cool off thinking that maybe I just got a bit overheated sitting so close to the fire.  (It was about 58 degrees that evening).  I started to feel dizzy and VERY hot - like my insides were on fire, I started sweating profusely, my hearing was going in and out and I started getting tunnel vision.  The next thing I knew, my husband and some friends had turned me over on my side (I had fallen backwards into the bed of the truck) and were putting ice cubes on my face.  My shirt, hair and face were DRIPPING wet and I was cold and shivering.

My husband said that I just fell slowly backwards, my eyes were open and pupils were dilated, but I was unresponsive and had started to shack/twitch for about 30-40 seconds.  I don't remember falling backwards, I don't remember any of the incident and it really scared me.  I have no history of ever having seizures before then and I am wondering what might have caused this?

A little background from my day.  I had cut grass (riding tractor) for about 6 hours  and pushed mowed for about an hour and a half, but only drank a 32 OZ gatoraid and maybe 20 OZ of water during that time.  I had a light breakfast, no lunch - just a snack of peanuts and had a decent sized dinner with water and diet sodas.  I only had one drink - a shot of vodka with some lemon-lime soda and that was it.

I am sorry this is long-winded, I just wanted to give as much info so maybe someone could tell me what might have happened?  And before anyone says I need to go to the doctor, I don't have any health insurance, I am unemployed and I cannot afford to pay a $500-$1000 hospital bill.  I am still paying on a $5000 ER bill from July.  One of my friends (who is a RN) said that maybe I am diabetic or that maybe my blood pressured had dropped, but without some sort of blood/urine tests, there isn't much information she could give to me.  She did say that this weekend (tomorrow) she would bring some urine test strips to check my urine and a glucose meter to check my blood sugar levels to maybe help narrow down the problem. 

Could someone please shed some light? 

11 Replies (last)

You fainted...   It could well be due to the overexertion of the day coupled with the fact that you'd eaten next to nothing all morning.   Asking your body to cope with a big supper after that could have meant it went into overdrive.  Could be an issue with blood sugars going too high too fast.  Could be that you overheated or you were dehydrated.  Could have been a mild form of food-poisoning or a virus of some kind.  Blood pressure might come into it.  Which is why 'see your doctor' is still the best advice and why self-diagnosis and self-medication is always a dangerous path.

Would the reason for your hospitalisation (for which you're paying the bill) be connected?

You can experience hypoglycaemia/hyperglycaemia even if you're not diabetic, of course. If you're here because you need to lose weight, aim to get a reasonable number of calories i.e. only about 500 less than your total burn, eat/snack regularly and never skip meals.  Choose whole, unprocessed foods over refined carbohydrates and sugars.  Drink plenty of fluids.  Take regular gentle exercise.. half an hour a day.

But do consider seeing a doctor.  Money is money but you only get one shot at life.


Thank you, GI-Jane!  Smile  You really are very knowledgable!! 

I have been invited to meet with medicine doctor that will be visiting my friends' reservation next weekend to have a physical/checkup/tests performed, but I was hoping to get some questions answered here before I went to speak to him.  I hope you don't mind, but I printed out your post so I could use it to ask the doctor.

The ER visit was for a abcess tooth that had spread to my eyes, sinuses and ears.  I had broke the tooth about 3 weeks prior and was trying to get into the local dentistry school to have it pulled, but the infection spread so quickly and I was in so much pain, I went to the ER.  Still have to have the tooth pulled, but I am waiting for an open slot at the school to have it pulled. 

I'm just falling apart!  Cry  Everything just snowballed on me this last year.  Now I am trying to change it and take better care of both my body and mind.  I am actually feeling a lot better about myself, but realize I still have a long ways to go.

Again, thank you Girl!  I truly appreciate your help!!  Smile

No problem.  I've added something to your other thread.  I think you're going to have to look hard at the type of foods you're choosing as well as  the quantity.

If there's any suspicion that you could be at risk of diabetes (and looking at your profile now I think there's a real chance) then you could pre-empt any recommendation by your doctor and simply adopt a Type II Diabetic diet right now.  They're often referred to as 'Low GI' diets and they're a very healthy way to eat because, by keeping blood-sugars stable, you're less likely to feel the fatigue, irritability and hunger-pangs that can trigger cravings and overeating.  I'd recommend reading up on the subject.  If you choose the right foods combined with calorie or portion control you can find it helps your general health and also weight-loss.  Because extra weight doesn't help a lot of conditions, of course.   I follow a Low GI/diabetic-style diet myself despite not being diabetic and find it's an extremely easy and pleasant life!  So even if your blackout wasn't blood-sugar related, changing your food choices would still be beneficial.

Good luck

Awesome!  I have bookmarked the page and will get started on reading all the information on there. 

What you just wrote about the fatigue, irritability and hunger-pangs is DEAD ON with me!  I mean, I am ALWAYS tired - even with drinking coffee and diet caffiene-filled sodas.  I also take Adderall for my ADD which is nothing more than an Rx for "speed".  But, I find that even with drinking coffee, diet sodas, the Rx and sometimes caffiene pills, I am sluggish, tired and cranky all the time.  Geeze... I really have abused my body - terribly!  Embarassed

I am going to see if I can adapt some of this Low GI Diet and see how I feel.  Like I had said in my "Bio", most of my health issues could be a direct result of how I am mistreating my body.  Wow!  EYE OPENER!

While you're at the library, if you wanted to complete your food 'epiphany' Smile I'd also recommend Michael Pollan's excellent little book 'In Defence of Food'.  He has some interesting things to say about getting back in touch with our food roots and how to not be sidetracked by the recommendations of 'experts' and the might of the big food companies.  And it's very funny in places as well.

And Mireille Guiliano provides another fun read with 'French Women Don't Get Fat'....  not strictly anatomically true because there are certainly fat frenchwomen out there.  But it's a lighthearted, very continental take on finding that happy balance between 'nutrition' and 'pleasure' when it comes to eating well. 

I am always on the look out for some good reads.  I love reading - although most of my reading consists of construction related things - certification, cost controls, management, scheduling - you get the idea.  Most would probably find them quite boring... so it would be nice to add to my lil' library here at home.  Wink

I am thinking it was probably a combination of over doing it, a little dehydration and my body telling me I just needed to slow down some. 

I am seeing a doctor next week and hopefully I will get some well-needed answers.  I just started this journey of weight lose and I have SO many questions.  I am sure most on these forums are going to say, "Geeze, she's posting another question!", but honestly, I need all the advice/support/guidance I can get my hands on!  I was utterly lost before joining CC, but I am learning quite quickly all my mistakes and I am learning how to correct them, too.

It can easily be food and exhaustion related.  I had one incident about 10 years ago where all I had had to eat all day were donuts (a dozen of them...bad I know, but I was too tired to cook anything and the donuts were handy) and I was exhausted (traveling all weekend to and from a funeral)...a friend dropped by and woke me up from my nap, I sent her on her way, got dizzy, slipped and hit my head.  I was fine, but my mom and sister made me go to the emergency room a few hours later.  I was truly fine, I knew I was fine, the hospital confirmed that I was fine, all I realy needed was some nutritious food, some liquids and enough sleep.

That's not to say that you don't have any issues, but even in a reasonably healthy person you can have alarming events that end up being nothing in the end.

Late to this post and haven't seen the entire thread -- but what immediately came to mind for me was severe allergic reaction -- possibly food allergy -- legumes (beans) can sometimes be the culprit. Or sulfites in anything (drinks included).

While passing out and a seizure can be about low blood sugar, it can also be about a severe allergic reaction. You can develop a severe allergy at any point in your life, so even if you don't have any history it's worth considering the scratch tests with an allergist. 

But it looks as though you'll be getting checked out and you know what you ate/drank that evening so best of luck to you!

I don't think you fainted; I have fainted often in my life and it's not like what you described (especially the convulsing part).

Seizures aren't always serious or brought on by serious health concerns (but a lot of times they are, so it's good you are seeing a doctor).

I'm somewhat prone to them myself, especially if I have had ANY alcohol and if there are strobe lights flashing at a specific speed. A lot of things flashing in a certain rhythm have been known to cause seizures, as well as things as simple as patterns of clothing or carpeting. My thought is watching the fire, maybe the fire displayed a certain pattern of flickering that happened to be the exact speed to set you off.

People usually get 'auras' before seizures start, too, which can be anything from feeling really disassociated to feeling intense heat, as you described.

This is just a theory, and I'm not you, but I've heard of things like this before so I figured I'd offer my 2 cents.

11 Replies