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"But I can't help falling..." (for amdog64, a post of from way earlier this year)

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

(Elvis Presley reference)

Here's how it goes: one day I am stepping over Dusty, the older of the two golden retrievers and the one who believes his job is to be in your way in whatever way he can be in your way, and he decides to rise, to move, as I am stepping over him.
It turns out for at least one of us that this is not a good move. I fall. In fact, if you have seen any NFL film of quarterbacks hitting the field back-of-head first you will understand when I say that I hit the floor head-first (a hard white tile floor) and I can't say for sure what happened to my head, but I have blurred images of bouncing, like a bobble-head doll.

I cannot say how long I rested on that fine, cool, tile. I do know that at some point I wondered how long I might lie there before being discovered. Like the woman in that commercial who falls and can't get up (how embarassing), I called for help, my son, in my case.

This was NOT a test of the Emergency Broadcasting System. I was pretty sure that I needed some help getting up. It took several yells, but he eventually came, he eventually lifted me up, he eventually asked what happened, we eventually decided to shoot the dog (but didn't) and life went on.

I'm pretty sure I was out for at least a brief spell, and I'm pretty sure this all had to do with Christmas decorations. I do not know that you can gather any important philosophical stuff from that, but you might be able to ascertain that either the dog or me has to go and I would agree. My family would agree, in fact, and chances are that if we voted, the dog would still be moving from strategic spot to strategic spot tomorrow, trying to get in the way of anyone and everyone, while I was suddenly sleeping under a bridge.

Such are the vagaries of life.

I blew that off, considered it a chance encounter with fate and an obese golden retriever (really: who HAS an obese golden retriever?).

Then it happened again, with the dog nowhere in sight, nowhere to blame. I was in the 'big' bathroom (as opposed to the somewhat smaller 'little' bathroom) just hanging on to the important stuff in front of the commode (if you know what I mean and I think you do) when I did it again. This time, I didn't trip over the dog (who was nowhere to be seen, lucky for him) but simply crashed.

No harm, no foul.

This morning, however, I arose at about six AM, went to the 'little' bathroom, and attempted to take a whiz, if you know what I mean, and I think you do. Somehow, I slammed my head against the sink and ended up on the floor.

Ouch, as we say in the business.

I decided to go back to bed and work that out later. But, as you know, when your bladder is sounding the alarm, you are going to answer it.

I got back up, I went back into the 'little' bathroom, held on to a rail, and gave it another shot (yes, a one-hander, you cyncial creatures). This time my face hit the toilet lid and my left leg landed in an awkward position. My lip was cut, my jaw was hurt, my forehead still hurt, and now my left knee felt like it had issues.

I had issues. I CRAWLED out of the bathroom, afraid even to stand in that place, and once on the carpet slowly found my way back into bed. I had no idea how this had happened, how it happened more than once, more than twice. I blamed myself, of course. Later, my wife suggested it sounds like a blood pressure problem, some fancy name for what happens when you first wake up and don't have all of your stuff together.

I believe her, for the moment. If it is a cancer thing, it is a by-product, you know? Or so I expect.

With the exception of the staph infection days, my blood pressure has always been right around perfect, so this is a new thing, an aberration, if it proves to be so. I am only 54 years old.

I do not want to sit down to take a leak, but I did, ultimately, today.

A man has to get his sleep.

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Since I first posted that in February, I have learned that this is something called, I believe, hypertension, a lowering of the blood pressure that typically evinces itself when one rises too fast. It is recommended that one who experiences this sort of thing tend to get out of bed a little slower, sort of stand for a moment before hitting the bathroom, for example when first awakening.

Since I wrote that entry, I have had only one other occurence, which is sort of odd, but it was a scary and scarring time. If the police had come to my house for some reason, I probably would have had to convince them that my WIFE wasn't beating ME :).

Hope this helps.

Take care,

Joe

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8053
Joined: Sep 2009

A similar experience....

I had a high fever and chills two week-ends ago, fever went to 102.7 during the course of Saturday night. Sunday, the fever never went above 101, but now added nausea.. I had decided that on Monday if I wasn't feeling better by noon I was going to the MD.

Well I did start feeling better and no more fever, but still weak and not feeling 100% (not that I really ever feel 100% anymore).

Anyways, Wednesday night I started having to urinate frequently, by morning it was every 10 - 15 minutes and painful. I got to work, couldn't hardly wait to go, and now I had blood in my urine.

Apparently I had a unrinary infection, prescribed Cipro which took care of the pain and frequency in just a day or two....

Anyways, that first Saturday night, I went to the bathroom as I felt sick..nothing came up. So on my way back to lie on the couch I bent over getting a bucket from under the sink incase I got sick.

Like you mentioned Joe, that bending over and back up got me quick. I took a few steps into the living room and knew I was going down. Luckily it was somewhat controlled and I didn't crash into anything.

Just kind of layed there for a few seconds and my two lab girls came to my rescue licking my face enough to get me back up and on the couch.

JG

DrMary's picture
DrMary
Posts: 527
Joined: Nov 2010

Hypotension (low blood pressure - hypertension is the nasty high blood pressure some of us old folks have to take pills for) could indeed be the cause, but it would help you and your doctor if you checked it regularly (the home ones are cheap or you can just use it as an excuse to go to CVS every day). If it's chronically low, you want to know why.

Other possibilities are low blood sugar (again, easily checked at home if you choose) and anemia (you really have to go to a lab for that).

I'm also a little concerned that it started after you had the head injury. Your bouts of dizziness are not inconsistent with a concussion (not that I'm diagnosing) and those are always best checked out as there is sometimes some brain bleeding associated.

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

...for the correction. It is indeed hypotension that I was referring too.

Take care,

Joe

Pam M's picture
Pam M
Posts: 2194
Joined: Nov 2009

Me, Joe Walsh's "At The Station" jumped into my head ("Standin' at the station. Won the battle, here I am. Standin' at the station. Like a general just relieved of command. I'm falling down" - like how his voice kinda trails on "falling down"). Now I wanna hear that song.
I, too, am in the wonderful bp club. But, as last week's cancer support group was closing, I got up, and paused - when my facilitator asked about my wellbeing, I told the group that I was fine, seeing stars, but not going down. The facilitator let me know it was probably hypotension and getting up from my (comfy) chair quickly brought on the stars. Hmmm.

Greend's picture
Greend
Posts: 679
Joined: Feb 2010

This has become a common thing for me; for some reason my blood pressure just bottoms out, I get light headed and unless I sit down or squat I do/will hit the floor.

I do have high blood pressure and my Dr finally changed my meds and I will say I haven't hit the floor since then however I do still gradually stand up and wait a few seconds before I put my geet in motion.

Welcome to the new normal!

Take care

Denny

Lelia's picture
Lelia
Posts: 98
Joined: Jun 2011

Last night Don lost consciousness (fancy talk for fainted) as he sat in a dining room chair. I couldn't get him back immediately so I called the squad, he was having tremors in his arms/chest, plus he peed himself which fully freaked me out, he was still unconscious when the first EMT arrived. His BP was low and this morning at the docs it still was, 93/52.

Since he'd been sitting before (at least 30 minutes) and during the episode, I don't guess his fainting spells are associated with getting up too quickly. Have you had this happen, fainting during a sit? Thanks everyone for any feedback.

DrMary's picture
DrMary
Posts: 527
Joined: Nov 2010

I'd be interested in knowing what he's taking - those symptoms are not inconsistent with opiate overdose, which can be brought on by a number of things (not just taking too much).

That does sound scary - you sound like you are a cool head in an emergency though. Hope he's doing better.

Lelia's picture
Lelia
Posts: 98
Joined: Jun 2011

He's been off all opiates (and all pharmaceuticals for that matter) for more than a month. Be assured it's not drug related and certainly not an 'opiate overdose.'

I suppose it's not that big a mystery when all the variables are factored in including lower than normal calorie intake, low BP, and on the R side, a great deal of permanent loss at surgery: outer/inner ear, entire salivary system, facial nerve, 77 lymph nodes.

The reason I posted in the first place is that his fainting occurred while seated and most here have described the faint having arisen from a sit; I'm not sure about Soccerfreaks/Joe and that's why I specifically inquired of him.

My husband isn't the only cancer patient who started out very reluctant to use pain meds and now agrees the Fentanyl patch helped a great deal and allowed him to get through treatment. It would be a shame if a CSN visitor went away with misinformation and fears that opiate-based pain meds might cause them to faint. Let me restate in light of the post above: That is not the case.

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

I agree that pain management is critical if that is what you are trying to say, Lelia. In my humble opinion, pain is the number one reason that we give up and we should do all that we can to avoid pain through careful management of it. I do not think that Mary was suggesting otherwise, by the way, but simply wondering if that might be a contributing factor, a benign question, I think.

To answer the question directed at me (I think), no, I have not fallen or fainted while seated. I HAVE fallen while having been standing for quite some time, but never while seated.

I agree with you, as well, by the way, that there can be and probably are a number of complicating factors. In my own case, being about 40 pounds underweight (calorie intake/nutrition) along with the BP issue certainly have something to do with it, along with dehyrdration, as someone else mentioned. (Perhaps, in fact, the lack of proper weight contributes to the low BP.)

Oddly, my docs do not seem alarmed by my somewhat lower BP nor by the fact that I have fallen a few times. I do not know why that is.

My best to your husband and all of his loved ones, particularly his primary caregiver.

Take care,

Joe

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