Scary occasional episodes on 1st day of period

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-06-2009
Scary occasional episodes on 1st day of period
Sat, 05-07-2011 - 9:58pm

Hi all,

I am hoping someone has had the same "episode" and can shed light on what's going on and what I can do about it. I have described this to a couple doctors, both of whom said they'd heard of some people experiencing similar, but that it's hard to know what to treat without them witnessing the episode. So, basically, they were both no help and didn't seem too alarmed. Well, last night I had a very severe episode, and had to call for my husband to help me at 5 a.m., as I was collapsed on the bathroom floor and unable to function.

I have experienced about 10-15 of these episodes since I began my period around age 13. They occur without any warning, usually once a year, and always on my first day of my period. They last from 30 min - an hour.

As it begins, my cramps get worse. So, I get up to go to the bathroom as I feel like I need to pass gas and/or go #2 (usually ends up diarrhea, but not always). Then all of a sudden I start to "check out." I get really hot and sweaty (to the point wear I need to remove most/all clothes and open a window for cool air if possible). I feel super nauseous. I need to put my head down between my legs or I will pass out. The cramping is severe, and come in waves. I feel weak and shaky. And last night, I kinda lost consciousness or just all control and while I can recall it fuzzily, I can't say I really was "all there"... I remember stumbling off the toilet where I'd been sitting, dropped the water glass I had in hand (drinking water seems to help when I can manage to during these episodes), and I ended up between the toilet and counter on the floor, and seemed to be shaking as I remember being hurt and embarrassed as I made a lot of noise banging on the toilet and counter. Then, after about 10-15 secs (best guess), I was able to come to enough to move onto the bathroom rug and get into fetal position. I cracked the door open and called to my husband to help me - bring me a bottle of water. He rushed to help but needless to say was freaked out, seeing me sweating, helpless, and super pale. I stayed in there about 30 more minutes and burping (the sparkling water my husband gave me) helped. I also have bipolar II and so have a take-as-needed anxiety pill (klonapin). I have put one in my mouth and managed to swallow it down JUST as this episode started and I dropped the water glass after I took it. This might have helped the episode go away sooner than usual. (??) This med. is used to treat panic disorder/seizures as well.

After I was over the dizziness and cramping spell, I felt super weak and extremely cold. (as per usual), so I went to bed and my husband covered me with extra blankets. I slept very soundly for 6 hours, and woke up feeling very weak. I am still sore and weak. This is exactly what happens about once a year, and I can never tell how to know if it will happen.... but this is the first time I vividly recall falling off the toilet and possibly banging around/losing motor function.

Can anyone please help? My sister has similar episodes, so this is a family thing. I know, I know... go to the doctor.... I have an appt. already but am scared and would rather just rest and go to my normal MD this week with my appt.

Community Leader
Registered: 10-08-2002
Sat, 05-07-2011 - 11:19pm


Wow, that is so scary!


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-18-2007
Mon, 05-09-2011 - 1:48pm


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-19-2007
Tue, 06-14-2011 - 8:40am

Wow, that does sound like a really scary