Have you ever stood up and got dizzy?
“Dizziness or light-headedness when standing up occurs as a result of abnormal blood pressure regulation. Normally, when people stand, gravity causes blood to pool in the veins of the legs and trunk. This pooling lowers the blood pressure and the amount of blood the heart pumps to the brain.”
Unfortunately this happens to me more often then I’d like to admit. I remember 3 specific scary stories that were really severe, although I’ve had many episodes.
The first one was maybe 18 years ago. I was placing a call to my ex-husband at work. I wad sitting at the dining room table. I got up, and the next thing I know I was on the floor. I had no memory of falling to the floor, no idea if I spoke to anyone on the phone and no idea how long I was out. I got up, hung up the phone, picked up the chair that fell over and waited. I was embarrassed to call back right away because I had no idea what I did. My husband called me back, and he asked, “why’d you hang up”. Guess I asked for him and then I hung up on him. Oops…
This incident happened maybe 7 years ago. By this point, I knew how to handle a dizzy spell. I was shopping with my daughter at a local store. I have a habit of crouching like a catcher when there isn’t a seat. This was also back when my MS was better and could do this but that’s another story. She was trying on clothes in the fitting room and as I was getting up, I had a major dizzy spell. I slid myself back down the wall. That was one of defenses against dizzy spells. Everything started going dark. My daughter was talking, but for those couple of seconds I couldn’t hear anything. I just continued to breathe until full awareness came back. The whole episode was about 30 seconds from start to finish. When I stood up, my daughter said, “dizzy spell”? By this point, they are regular enough where my family is familiar with them.
The third episode happened about 4 years ago, right before my last MS relapse that fully disabled me. It was 2:00 in the morning and I heard my daughter in the bathroom. I got out of bed to ask her what the hell she was doing. I fully remember talking to her. Then I remember being on the floor holding my head with blood everywhere saying, “call grandma and grandpa”. I had to get 8 staples in my head. I don’t remember falling, I don’t even remember feeling dizzy. Besides getting hurt this time, this one differed because I never felt dizzy before I passed out. I just went down. It was after this that I got the med-alert. A system that I set off by accident about 15 times in the 3+ years I had it. I finally got rid of it because I was going to hurt myself more trying to shut off the “false” alarm then I was every going to need to system. Instead I got the Amazon Echo. http://www.multipleexperiences.org/2016/12/02/how-amazon-echo-replaced-my-medical-alert-ms-technology/
I’ve learned now to get up slowly. In bed I let my feet dangle on the side for a few seconds before I stand. I am much more conscious of them now. I find they are more frequent in the warmer weather. Dehydration can be a factor that cause the low blood pressure so being mindful of what I drink helps. Unfortunately, I still get them but luckily none have been severe lately. My blood pressure has always been on the low side of good. Now I just try to be very aware when I get up.