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July 23, 2013 / Ang

I am such a nerd.

The other day I spent a chunk of my time doing research on seizure-like activity that accompanies syncope, spurred on by someone’s question about dysautonomia patients having seizures. When I woke up after my tilt test going, “But it hasn’t been eight minutes, what’s going on?” I was informed that I had a seizure after passing out and it was okay, not to worry and just drink my water (they may have even brought me juice), eat my crackers, and let the IV do its job. So I had a personal interest in learning about seizure activity that accompanies syncope and found an article where they referred to it as “convulsive syncope.” I’m having trouble linking it all of a sudden, so here’s the article: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2799981/?report=classic.

That makes me a big enough nerd, but it gets worse. My immediate reaction was to start questioning the research practices. He states that only 13 out of 226 patients had seizure-like activity, or convulsive syncope. That just feels like it’s way too small. If his sample is a true representative sample, that means that less than six percent of the POTS population would have “convulsive syncope” episodes. I know that I’m weird, but am I really THAT weird? I found myself wishing that I had the resources to access the tilt tables of every POTS patient in the US and see what the true numbers were – am I really part of that small of a population within an already small population? While discussing this with my best friend in the car we decided that I was definitely a nerd, and unfortunately if I wanted to do such a research project I would probably have to become a doctor like the ER doc suggested. BOOOO. I love learning about things, and figuring things out, etc – but I’m pretty sure I do NOT want to suddenly jump into science again after not taking a biology class ’05-’06. Especially since I would have to do dissections – the idea has always freaked me out a little haha.

So we started talking about how maybe I should just become a statistician instead. Maybe that could get me involved in research that interests me, and it made us think of the book, “Freakonomics.” We both happen to LOVE this book – I read it in high school, then for college, and then some more times just because I could. We talked about how if we messaged him to ask what school of economics he ascribed to and he responded we would GEEK OUT. And then decided that the clear solution to me wanting to grow up to be “the Freakonomics guy” (also known as Steven Levitt) except, you know, with a vagina – was to become a non-fiction author myself.

I doubt that this idea is going to come to fruition any time soon, if it ever does, because I feel so highly unqualified. I think it would be the coolest thing ever, though. We’ve even come up with a title: “Vaginomics.” Studying the economics of the actions of women – or even a review of economics through a feminist lens.

See? Nerd. But in such a beautiful way. I wish I felt more qualified to do something like this considering that writing seems like it would be exactly what’s up my career path alley lately.

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One Comment

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  1. Ashlee Mae / Jul 27 2013 1:16 am

    You could set up surveys in the various dysautonomia groups and see what the stats of that shows. It’s may not be an actual legit random sampling but it does perhaps give you an idea 🙂

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