Did Sleeping Beauty Suffer From Vasovagal Syncope?

Today, I had another vasovagal episode.  I went to the doctor for a biopsy, and after everything was completed and we were discussing what he saw, I became lightheaded and passed out in the exam room.  He said I was out for about twenty seconds before he managed to revive me.  I remained in his office for about another hour before someone came to drive me home.  I was still having trouble staying on my feet, so I thought it best not to drive.

This latest continuation of vasovagal syncope in my life brought to mind the tale of Sleeping Beauty, who pricked her finger and went to sleep.  Almost every fainting incident is preceded by my being pricked by some type of needle.  Of course, I am not Sleeping Beauty–I don’t sleep enough to earn the title ;)–but the symptoms seem to line up with the traditional tale.  She encounters an event–the needle pricking–her body overreacts, and she faints or “falls into a deep sleep.”  When I woke up after the incident today, I thought I was at home.  It wasn’t until the doctor asked me a few times if I knew where I was that I realized I was still in the exam room.  If he hadn’t roused me, I might have been out for the rest of the afternoon.  If this happened to people in the past, I can see how it would have inspired a fairy tale.  It would have seemed like some sort of dark magic–prick her, and she goes to sleep.


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