I don’t think I’m going to attempt to get highlights again.

Inside the ambulance
Yesterday I went to the salon to get a haircut and highlights. And then I left in an ambulance. While the stylist was painting on the hair color, I started to feel woozy and nauseated and like my ear drums were going to pop. I had a migraine earlier in the day, so I thought it was coming back. I remember telling her I felt sick and asking her to wash the dye out and my next memory is of being on the floor, surrounded by EMTs.

Apparently it’s possible to go into anaphylactic shock from a severe allergy to one of the chemicals in permanent hair dye. I kind of wonder if that’s what happened, but the doctor at the ER didn’t think so. He thinks it’s a heart thing, so I need to go see a cardiologist. But I’m convinced that if it wasn’t an allergy, it was definitely some weird migraine-related reaction. I mean, imagine you black out for several minutes, have to go in an ambulance for the first time, and know you’re about to be poked with needles (I am needle-phobic!)–wouldn’t your heart beat a little irregularly too?

My hair appointment was at 5 and I didn’t get home until 1am–it was a pretty craptacular day. Although I was able to laugh my way through it, now I’m feeling a little more shaken up about the whole thing. But on the bright side, I got a new blog reader out of the deal–I gave the EMT my business card and he swears he’s going to make my Peppermint Double Chocolate Ganache Cakes. Rule #1 of blogging is to have your business card with you at all times!

Anyway, I’m going to take a few days off from the blogs and from my job and relax a little. I had the option of Friday and Monday off and I was on the fence about whether I should work or not, but now I think taking the time off seems like a good idea. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas–eat lots of cookies!

Kiersten Frase

About Kiersten

Kiersten is the founder and head writer of Oh My Veggies. She lives just outside of Raleigh with her husband and their 4 wonky-eyed rescue cats.   Read more from Kiersten →

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Comments

    • Kiersten Frase says

      Thanks, Emily! I guess going to the cardiologist will help me get an answer, but at this point I’m pretty sure that the ER doctor was wrong & I’m right & it was a migraine. Because since this all happened, I’ve had a migraine on & off.

  1. Deborah Rosen says

    Of course almost no one does it, but a stylist is supposed to do a 24-hour test patch any time a client uses a new coloring product. I hope that whatever felled you is easy to fix and that you enjoy a wonderful holiday.

    • Kiersten Frase says

      Thank you! I’m pretty sure at this point that it was a migraine–I think the smell of the product overwhelmed me. I’ve had my hair colored before and never had a reaction like that.

      Happy Holidays to you too!

    • Kiersten Frase says

      Thank you! I’m still not feeling 100%, but I had banana pudding for dinner last night & Frango mints for lunch today, which helped immensely.

      I hope you have a Merry Christmas! It’s in the 60s here. Just sayin’. :)

  2. says

    You’ve already gotten my OMG reaction but now I can’t believe they let you take pics in the ambulance! Were you getting permanent dye or highlights? Do you think it was the dye absorbing into your scalp that messed with your head? Do you have a follow up with the cardiologist? I think you’re probably more on the right track than the ER doc, especially since you had already had a migraine earlier in the day. I’m glad you’re ok and resting at home – maybe this is your body’s way of telling you to take a much needed break!

    • Kiersten Frase says

      I was getting highlights & it was even the gentle, ammonia-free dye! But here’s what’s weird: when I was Googling for information about passing out from migraines, I found someone in a forum mention the same thing happening to her, even with the scalp burning. And she wasn’t getting her hair done! So I’m thinking maybe that was just a coincidence. When I get migraines, I get really sensitive to smells and tastes, so I think the smell of the chemicals triggered that reaction & the burning was part of the migraine, not from the chemicals.

      The cardiologist I was referred to had bad reviews, so I decided to find one on my own instead–I’ll do that next week. Since I did have an irregular heartbeat, I’ll go to get that checked out, but I’m still feeling pretty sure that the heartbeat wonkiness was because I was worked up.

  3. says

    This is scary! I hope you are right and it is just a weird migraines, I ended up at the ER a few years ago with shortness of breath and chest pain that turned out to be a migraine reaction. But I had to see a cardiologist and get a stress test and all that, just to be sure. So make that appointment and make sure!

    • Kiersten Frase says

      Migraines are so strange, aren’t they? Since Thursday, I’ve been getting migraines on & off and I’ve had bad tinnitus (which I also get with my migraines), so I’m pretty sure the blackout was related to that. I will still see the cardiologist, though, just in case. :)

  4. says

    Sorry to hear life got a little shaken up for you there! Am happy to hear that you’ll be chill-laxin over the holiday. Remember to stay positive ~ everything is going to be fine! Merry Christmas!

    ~Rachel

    PS – How’d your hair come out??

    • Kiersten Frase says

      Thank you! My hair came out fine–I was worried that I would end up with bald spots and fried parts, but they managed to get the dye out while I was unconscious on the floor. :)

      I hope you had a Merry Christmas too!

  5. says

    OMG! That is awful! I hope you are feeling better. I am with you, sounds more like something to do with the migraine. My mom would get them pretty badly and occasionally faint. Poor you :(

    • Kiersten Frase says

      I always have weird reactions to my migraines too, although this is the first time I’ve blacked out. But sometimes when I get them, I get really sensitive to certain smells & tastes. Even looking at certain patterns will make me sick! I need to find a good migraine doctor…

  6. says

    Wow!!! About 10 years ago, the gal who did my hair asked if I’d ever been tested for allergies to hair dyes. I said no and so what she did is put a bit of dye on my scalp, under my hair. I had no reaction at all. I’m so sensitive to so many things, she wanted to test it out. So glad you’re home and feeling better.

    • Kiersten Frase says

      Thank you! I’ve had my hair dyed before (and this was the gentler, ammonia-free color this time), but if it is a severe allergy, apparently it’s the SECOND time you get your hair dyed that you react to it. Isn’t that weird? But I’m still thinking it must have been a migraine…

  7. says

    Wow, what a harrowing day! Only a blogger would think to take a photo of the ambulance ride AND gain a new reader out of the EMT :) I had a time period in high school where I fainted several times and my mom made me go to the hospital once. They did this whole workup with a CT scan and MRI and also made me see a cardiologist for stress testing, EKG, etc. – I guess that’s standard practice? Anyway, mine turned out to be related to dehydration and standing up too quickly, causing a drop in blood pressure resulting in briefly blacking out. I hope your explanation is equally simple, but it’s good that you’re going to get it checked out just to be sure!

    • Kiersten Frase says

      I think that’s how I deal with stressful situations–I don’t freak out in the moment, only afterwards. ;) So after it all happened, I realized how scary it was. But in the moment, yeah, I was promoting my blog & taking pictures.

      My doctor thinks this is all vasovagal too. I’ve had dizziness and fainting spells before (just never losing consciousness!), so it makes sense, but I’m still convinced it’s a vasovagal syncope thing that’s somehow related to my migraines. I’m trying to find a headache specialist within my insurance network…

  8. says

    I’ve been meaning to reach out to you about this! How are you feeling? Have you ever tried magnesium supplements? They help my headaches and I know a few people with migraines that take it and say it helps them, too. I hope you’re feeling better!!!

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