Just Curious - Anyone have Vagus Nerve Problems?

Just wondering if anyone on the list has problems with their Vagus Nerve since transplant.

I seem to have an episode about every four months. Today I was out weeding the garden, flower beds, and picking up crab apples. It was hot today - in the high 80s.  I think that I must have been dehydrated. I set down my weed bucket on my patio steps to clip a couple of spent flowers in the flower pot and whoops out I went - sprawled out on the steps. I usually don't go into a complete faint but today I did. Wouldn't you know it my husband had just went to the store and I was alone.  When I came out of the swoon I was literally in a sweat from head to toe. The patio door was locked as well as the garage.  This Vegus nerve affects your intestinal track as well and I needed to get into the bathroom as fast as possible. Wow all I could think of was "what am I going to do?" We live on a golf course and their wasn't a soul in sight. Lucky for me the front door was unlocked. After a glass of water I took a long two hour nap.  Feel good tonight!

The first time I ever had one of my many episodes I was at the beach picking up agates - I guess the up and down kicked it off. I thought that I was dying for sure. I remember thinking this is it!  My doc says that my Vegus Nerve was damaged during surgery. So - I must not wear my clothing too tight around my waist, get dehydrated or wave my hands around like an Italian. No, disrespect to Italian people. But I can get pretty expressive when I am talking or get exited.

Hope you are all doing well.


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  • Hmm, your Vagus nerve was not damaged. It was severed. Part of the transplant proceedure. I like having it severed sometimes. I am able to stay calmer in certain fight or flight situattions. I think that Heart transplant patients would make good snipers. :-)     I agree that you probably experienced heat stroke conditions. I was told NOT to garden withould a mask and latex or neoprim gloves. That pretty much ended my gardening days. I HATE masks. I have had to change some lifestyles. Like if I have sat for over 6 minutes... I have to stand and hold on something lightly untill I get get some blood back in the brain. only about 10-15 seconds. I forgot that one day, and had been working on the computer all day, the door bell rang, I jumped up and made it to just about the door, and almost went down to my knees... I am more carefull now.


    • Hi Dave,

      You are correct my Vagus nerve was severed.  Not sure why my cardiologist suspected that these fainting episodes were Vagus nerve caused.  Just saw my primary doc today and actually Walt is right on the button with the cause.  She feels that my blood pressure probably drops as low as 50 when I experience these episodes. When they occur it is usually when I am way too warm. I have always gardened these past eighteen years and use regular gloves but no mask. Oh the "fight flight" thing it can be quite a problem. In the early years of transplant we always had a yearly picnic in August. We had a transplant baseball team and Dr. Ice pitched. More than one of the transplant guys/gals who were lucky enough to hit the ball found themselves flat on the ground. We always got a good laugh out of it. I miss those years.

      One hot day while visiting with friends (all of us older - they call it elderly - but I hate that word) were gabbing away with no one paying attention to anyone other than themselves. I began to feel that I was going to go into one of my fainting episodes. I couldn't get anyone's attention and literally went into a complete faint. After a short time I came out of it and everyone was still gabbing away and didn't even know that I had fainted until I asked them to go to my house and get my husband. It was too funny.

      Isn't life just wonderful? We all need tons of humor to get through all these interesting experiences don't we?

  • Yvonne, let me see, you are in your mid seventies, It was hot, you were dehydrated, you were bending up and down and you have had a heart transplant, correct.  Something tells me this was something other than a vagus nerve issue.  Sounds more like a bit of heat exhaustion that may have been spurred on with some low blood pressure.  Of course I'm not a doctor, but I do watch when I over exert myself.  Since your vagus nerve connection to your heart doesn't exist anymore, your brain can't communicate with your heart and tell it to beat faster when your body needs more blood and oxygen.  You probably should take it a little easier on hot days and ensure that if you are going to do something strenuous, that someone is nearby to assist, just in case.  Those flowers were already dead or dying.  They could have waited for a cooler part of the day or for someone to be at home with you.  Just remember that you are not 22 years old anymore.  Our brains seem to thing that we can always do what we always used to.  Sometime yes, but some times not.

    Stay healthy!

    • Hi Walt,

      Yep, I goofed yesterday by going out and working too hard in the hot weather.  I have had these episodes ever since the transplant.  My cardiologist feels that it is a Vegus nerve problem, but I have also had another doctor mention the low blood pressure. Your explanation sounds pretty right on. It is hard to be sensible sometimes. My mind says that I am still young but certainly my physical condition loudly shouts "No your not." For sure I won't repeat yesterdays incident.

      My husband felt bad about running to the store. He thought that I was through with my weeding. He was really concerned when he got back home.  But God was looking over me as the front door was unlocked which is not normally so.

      I am finally over the results of the shingles and am off to the doctor today to make  arrangements for a bone infusion.

      Take care and thanks for the very timely advice.

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