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I Had a Mini-Stroke and What Happened After

Updated on January 17, 2015
This photograph of me was taken on 30th July, 2011, almost four years after the TIA.
This photograph of me was taken on 30th July, 2011, almost four years after the TIA. | Source

Why I'm Writing About the TIA

In September 2007 I had a mini stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA - the medical term for a mini-stroke) which was shocking for me and for family and friends. I had no reason to suspect that I was in any danger of cardiovascular problems.

I was even more shocked by what followed six months later when a specialist surgeon told me the condition I have is inoperable and incurable.

When it happened I quickly realised I was having a mini stroke and knew I needed medical attention. I didn't know anything about the tests and treatment I would have once I was taken to hospital and got the official diagnosis of a transient ischemic attack.

I thought long and hard before writing this. It's about my health and it's something I never discuss except with those very close to me. Writing about my own experience might help someone else, though.

Source

I Had a Mini-Stroke - Also known as a TIA

In September 2007 I was visiting my best friend, Sylvie, in Bournemouth, for a few days. It was breakfast time and I was eating cereal when a crumb went down the wrong way and I started to choke. I coughed and coughed and finally was back to normal - or so I thought.

Sylvie was looking at me and said, "Are you all right?" I said I was but then she said, "Your mouth is crooked." I looked in the mirror and the left side of my mouth was drooping and I was drooling slightly. Sylvie also told me that my speech was strange. That was all fairly alarming.

The next thing I noticed was that I had no feeling in my left hand. I dug my nails into it. I got Sylvie to dig her longer nails in but I couldn't feel a thing. That was even more alarming.

Well, some parts of my brain were still working because I immediately thought that I was either having a stroke or a mini-stroke. Panic seemed to be a reasonable response but probably not very useful so I said what I thought to Sylvie. She said she'd already thought that but didn't want to worry me by saying so. She then phoned 999 (the emergency services number in the UK) and within a few minutes an ambulance with paramedics was outside the door.

They talked to me briefly then took me to the ambulance where they immediately put an oxygen mask over my mouth and nose. They then examined me, took my blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and my pulse. They also went through my recent medical history.

I was then blue-lighted to hospital. Thankfully, Sylvie came with me.

See What Happens During a Mini-Stroke

This video is one in a series of videos from Edward Hospital in its Heart & Vascular Health Video Education Series describes and illustrates what happens in the arteries and brain during a TIA.

How to Recover From Brain Injuries - Read the advice and true life experiences of others who have done this

These two books relate the real life experiences of two people who had to fight their way back to normality after brain injuries just as many stroke victims must do. Their stories are inspirational and distressing in places.

Brain, Heal Thyself: A Caregiver's New Approach to Recovery from Stroke, Aneurism, and Traumatic Brain Injury
Brain, Heal Thyself: A Caregiver's New Approach to Recovery from Stroke, Aneurism, and Traumatic Brain Injury

A sole caregiver and friend of someone who suffered a brain aneurysm used her knowledge of marketing and AA's recovery methods to help her friend recover brain functionality.

 
Metamorphosis, Surviving Brain Injury
Metamorphosis, Surviving Brain Injury

This is the true life story of a survivor of traumatic brain injury and how he coped - his successes and his frustrations.

 

See the Symptoms of a Stroke

In Hospital Getting a Diagnosis

I was pretty sure it was a TIA

I was taken straight the hospital's A&E (Accident & Emergency) department on a wheeled stretcher. Again, they tested all my vital signs and blood sugar. I was kept on oxygen.

Over the next few hours an ECG (electro-cardiogram) was done and all the vital sign tests were done again pretty much hourly. I was examined by two doctors, the first was a junior doctor and then by a more senior one. It was a comfort that the consultant wasn't interested in seeing me. It's always bad news when the most senior doctor in any speciality thinks you are worth seeing.

I was taken to the hospital about 11am. By 7pm I was feeling fine. My mouth was pretty much back to normal as was my left hand and speech. By 7pm I wanted to get out of hospital. I don't like hospitals - they're full of sick people.

When the junior doctor came back, I said I wanted to leave. He said I'd have to speak to the other doctor. Two hours later, after much moaning to the nurses that I wanted to leave, the more senior doctor arrived. He said he wanted to keep me overnight. I said I'd be better off at my friend's house because I found the hospital stressful. He then did all the checks again and additionally told me to grab his hand with my left one and squeeze as hard as possible. Big mistake! I have very strong hands and lift weights. So I did what he told me to do and squeezed as hard as I could which made him shout. Of course, I apologised although I was only doing what he said.

The doctor checked with Sylvie who had been with me for the whole day. She was an absolute star and I'm so glad she's my best friend. She said she agreed I'd be better off out of hospital because I'd get stressed if I stayed. The doctor said I could go as long as I was back in A&E by 8am the next day for more extensive tests.

I agreed and off we went in a cab. The next day Sylvie came back to the hospital with me. The nurses greeted us like old friends and laughingly told me I was a troublemaker which I took as a compliment.

Very quickly I was taken for an X-ray of my heart and lungs and then for an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan of my brain. I had to go back again the following day to see another doctor. He was the one who told me it was a mini-stroke or TIA. He also prescribed blood thinning drugs to get from the hospital pharmacy and to start taking immediately. He gave me a cd containing the brain scan for my own doctor.

The picture above is from the British Government's stroke awareness campaign.

When Brain Scientists or Doctors Have a Stroke or Brain Injury - They have a unique insight into what is happening

These two books are tell of the experiences of a neuro-anatomist and a doctor who both suffered brain injuries and had to fight their way through to a normal life. Both women have a unique insight because of their expert knowledge denied to lay people who suffer strokes or injuries to the brain.

My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey
My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey

The author is an expert in the anatomy of the brain. She had a major stroke affecting the left side of her brain. In her book, she shares the insights she gained coupled with her expert knowledge of what was happening in her brain.

 
Over My Head: A Doctor's Own Story of Head Injury from the Inside Looking Out
Over My Head: A Doctor's Own Story of Head Injury from the Inside Looking Out

This doctor was injured in a road accident which left her with damage to her brain.

She has had to fight her way back to health and to the life she had before.

 

See an MRI Scan of Someone's Brain - Strange but interesting to look at a living brain

From Grays Anatomy of the Human Body (published 1918) showing the Right Carotid Artery
From Grays Anatomy of the Human Body (published 1918) showing the Right Carotid Artery | Source

I Have Further Tests

These were to look at the cause of the TIA

When I returned home, I saw my own doctor and he made appointments with the hospital for me to see a consultant (the most senior doctor in any specialist department).

First I saw a neurologist who then said I need an ultra sound test on the carotid arteries in my neck and she said she would arrange for it. I would get a letter sent to me and my doctor with the date and time of the appointment.

I waited and waited. In the meantime I was seeing my own doctor monthly. I had been diagnosed with diabetes about five years earlier. Luckily, I wasn't insulin dependent (and I'm still not) and controlled my blood sugar levels with diet and pills. My blood pressure was also at the high end of normal, which is bad for anybody with diabetes. Because of this I was already taking several drugs and since the TIA, my own doctor wanted to monitor me more closely. I mentioned to him eventually in around March that I hadn't heard about the ultra sound test. He said he'd phone the hospital. Within a couple of weeks, I received a letter with an appointment at the beginning of May.

When I attended the hospital for the ultra sound test, it seemed to go on for ages and the technician seemed to spend an awful long time on the right side of my neck. Eventually she asked me to sit on a chair and wait. She came back to say she'd been looking to see if a doctor was free because she had noticed something unusual. Unfortunately, she couldn't find a doctor so she told me to go home and somebody from the hospital would phone me. She took both my mobile (cell) phone and landline numbers.

We live about 40 minutes drive from the hospital and we were about halfway when my mobile rang. It was the hospital with an appointment for an MRI scan for the following week and with a consultant exactly one week later. That alarmed me. They hadn't given me an appointment for months and now they couldn't wait to give me another two and so quickly.

I had the MRI scan but I'd had one in Bournemouth so knew what to expect. The only difference was that the first one was scanning my head but the second one was on my neck and the sides of my head.

A photograph of me taken on New Year's Day 2009
A photograph of me taken on New Year's Day 2009 | Source

Bad News from the Tests for the Reason for the Mini-Stroke

Blocked Carotid Arteries

The following week I saw the consultant. He was a calm, quietly spoken man. He told me I had stenosis in both carotid arteries which means a narrowing. He said that the right hand carotid artery was at least 99% blocked all the way up to the base of my brain and the left hand artery was about 55% blocked.

He said that because the blockages were in so much of both arteries, they were both inoperable and any attempt to remove them surgically would probably cause a serious stroke.

My mind literally went blank for a few seconds. I wasn't surprised by the blockages. I'd guessed it was serious and probably a blockage because of the speed I'd been given the two appointments. I wasn't prepared for the blockages to be inoperable.

He went on to say that the best thing that could happen would be if the right artery blocked completely because there would be less chance of it causing a stroke if no blood was going through it.

After that there wasn't much else to say. I came out of the hospital and sat on a seat outside in the grounds for about 15 minutes. My partner had driven me to the hospital and I was supposed to phone him to find out where he had been able to park. I needed to assimilate what I'd just been told, though.

The funny thing was I thought, 'Oh no, I can't die before the London Olympics in 2012.' I love watching the Olympics especially the athletics events although I also enjoy seeing some of the less often seen sports like archery and badminton. Then I realised that I might not see the Beijing Olympics that summer if I was unlucky.

I knew this wasn't helping so pulled myself together and phoned my partner. He was disbelieving when I told him. My policy is never to lie to myself so I discounted much of what he said but I did it gently because he was in shock too.

Picture of me with my back to the camera taken on Bournemouth beach with my dogs in about 2004.
Picture of me with my back to the camera taken on Bournemouth beach with my dogs in about 2004. | Source

How I am Now

Still living with the possibility of another stroke

Now, in 2014, I take my medication and feel reasonably well. I know my limitations and don't push myself so hard that I get symptoms of the problems with my carotid arteries.

Overall, I've come to terms with the fact I could die at any moment and feel surprisingly calm about it. I fear a serious stroke leading to major incapacity more than dying. I would want the machines turned off if the alternative was living with no quality of life.

I am a total non-believer. I think it would be great to believe in God and the afterlife but I've never been able to do so. I believe that it really is "earth to earth, dust to dust, ashes to ashes". That's OK, I can live with that. I've said that I would like a non-religious funeral and to be cremated. I'd prefer to have my ashes scattered rather than stored in an urn.

I had my 60th birthday in November 2008 and I am now officially retired. We have also moved to 'sheltered' flats (apartments) with a manager on site. This means there are alarm cords to pull if anything nasty happens, like a stroke for example. People also notice if curtains (drapes) remain closed when you would normally be up and about.

I get tired more quickly nowadays. I'm not as strong as I used to be. I can't lift anything too heavy and I can't get the lids off hard-to-open jars. When I go to the library, I usually spend about 30 minutes choosing books. Now I have to sit down for a few minutes several times so it takes much longer. The blood doesn't seem to reach my head on the right side and my right eye is deprived of blood so I can't see properly if I stand up or walk for too long. I can walk for about 20 minutes before I need a break. I also get lightheaded if I'm on my feet much longer than that.

I don't like shopping anymore and going to the library turns into a bit of an endurance test but I don't want to stop. I want my life to be as normal as possible. The other thing I notice is that my short term memory is not good. I've started carrying a notebook to write anything important down. I think I always know when I've forgotten something (how can I be sure?) and usually will remember it again eventually. I try not to allow myself to relax about forgetting on the basis of 'use it or lose it'.

This has been very hard for me to write. I hope that it will help anyone else in a similar position, perhaps knowing they have a condition that could kill them at any time. It is possible to live contentedly and meaningfully. Perhaps the important things are to find something you want to do and to achieve a level of calm without lying to yourself about your condition.

Above: Picture of me with my back to the camera taken on Bournemouth beach with my dogs in about 2004.

I've Seen the London Olympics 2012 - And Enjoyed Every Moment

Olympic stadium and The Orbit during London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony,
Olympic stadium and The Orbit during London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony, | Source

I said above that one of my first thoughts was that I didn't want to die before the London Olympics. Well, I didn't!

Although I couldn't go to see the Olympics in person, I did spend most of the 16 days watching it on television. I loved every moment - helped by the fact that Team GB (Great Britain) did so well.

Take Part in a Poll on Strokes and Mini-Strokes - Either Personally or With Someone Close to You?

You can tell from the Guestbook on this page that many people have experience of strokes or TIAs (mini-strokes) either directly or because someone in their family or a close friend has had one. How about you? Have you had a stroke or TIA or do you know someone close to you who has? Share your experience by taking part in this poll.

Have you or someone close to you had a stroke or mini-stroke?

See results

Learn about Strokes and TIAs - Information is Power

Scary as strokes and mini strokes (TIAs) are, if you or someone close to you has one or is in danger of having one, it is important to learn about them. What they are, how strokes occur and the chances of recovery. Also, it's vital that you have information about how to recover from them both physically and emotionally. These sites contain useful information on the subject.

Have you had any experience of a stroke or similar conditions?

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    • profile image

      nanamendy1 3 years ago

      I just got back from the dr. I just went in for back problems I've been having. The dr. took one look at me and and started doing all sorts of checking on me and says I gota have some kind of test to see if I've had a mini stroke.. That aint even what I went in for ! What the heck ?

    • profile image

      evelyn-gauvin 3 years ago

      I had an acute ischemic stroke May 8 2014 first I lost my balance dizzy came home took my blood pressure way felt strange called the ambulance left side was weak time I got to hospital paralized on left side Doctors gave me an IV with Tissue Plasmingen Activator to bust the clot,bye the next day I could walk and lift my arm I was home on the 3rd day after stroke,the doctors said I was very smart to come to hopsital very early som epeole wait to long and this medication won't work.

      I still have a few problems with brain acting strange but very grateful to be here.

    • Johanna Eisler profile image

      Johanna Eisler 3 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your story with us. You help us to be aware of something that could happen to anyone, and helping us not to ignore symptoms that could be signs of serious problems.

      I have lost an uncle to a stroke. My maternal grandmother had a major stroke when she was in her early 50s, but lived another 25 or so years more, although her entire left side was paralyzed. My father-in-law had a mini-stroke but continued to live many more years, finally dying at age 94.

      I admire your positive attitude and reasonable care of yourself, and wish you all the best. :)

    • Stazjia profile image
      Author

      Carol Fisher 3 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      @ajitnraina: I'm glad your mother has been discharged from hospital and I hope she makes a full recovery. A check of her carotid arteries can't do any harm and may catch a problem before it becomes serious. A mini-stroke doesn't have to be terrible but it is a warning. I hope your mother will take any drugs prescribed by her medical specialists and follow any lifestyle advice they give.

      Even though your mother has slowed down, in time she might get her vitality back. A mini-stroke is a shock to the body and the mind and can knock your confidence. I know that's how I felt. I lacked energy for quite some time afterwards and had afternoon naps and early to bed nights. While I still tire more easily, I have more energy than in the months immediately after the mini-stroke.

      My best wishes to your mother and to you.

    • profile image

      ajitnraina 3 years ago

      Thank you for such a personal story. I hope you enjoy the next olympics as much and team GB does very well too. Take care and thanks for vein an inspiration to many! My mom had a minor stroke. Her mobility is not lost but she has slowed down - it just happened last week and she got discharged from hospital 4 days back. I hope she finds her complete mobility in few weeks time. As she complained about neck pain today, i called her now (middle of the night in Asia) and asked her to go for a scan of Cartoid tomorrow, thanks to the mention and reference in your post. I am indebted. Take care.

    • Stazjia profile image
      Author

      Carol Fisher 3 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      @JT1997: My blood pressure is usually OK and tends to be on the high side of normal rather than dipping too low. Usually, a lower blood pressure is better if you have had a TIA or major stroke but your mother's medical professionals should be advising her. This is a situation for expert help. BTW, how does she know what her BP is in the morning? Is she taking this herself? If she is or it's being done by a non-professional on store bought equipment, it might not be accurate.

      All I can say is I could have a major stroke at any time. That situation has not changed for me. I just don't think about it or worry about it. I probably won't make very old bones but then I might get run over by a bus which would be ironic if I'd spent the years worrying about dying from a stroke. Try to get your mother into a better frame of mind and enjoying her life and that would probably benefit her overall health by reducing her stress. There really is no benefit to worrying about what might happen because we don't know and it's largely beyond our control. My best wishes to your mother.

    • profile image

      JT1997 3 years ago

      My 67 year old mother was recently away in Florida and had a very painful rheumatoid arthritis flare up. When she arrived at the hospital her bp was extremely high. She has had trouble over the past couple of years with high bp. She went to the ER and they gave her prednisone and a pain killers. She had never been on pain killers so for the next couple of days she was tired, confused, and weak, but she thought it was due to medications. She returned home from Florida 7 days later and we immediately noticed that she was favoring her left arm. We took her to the hospital and she too has a 100% fully blocked right carotid artery and unfortunately she had mini strokes. She has also been told they are inoperable and she is on medicine therapy. Medicine therapy includes aspirin and Plavix. We have gotten a 2nd opinion from NY Presbyterian Columbia Hospital which is supposed to be ranked 3rd in the nation for vascular neurology and they also feel surgery is too risky. My mothers left carotid is less than 30% occluded, but her "plumbing" as the surgeon put it is not the best. Doctors want her blood pressure to remain between 140- 160 but this is difficult to achieve. She is so worried when she wakes in the am and it is around 100. She drinks water and eats some foods with salt to raise her bp. This has hit our family like a freight train and my mom seems to be worried 24/7. I was wondering if you were also told to keep your bp on the higher side and if so do you have suggestions as to how to do that? I appreciate any information that you are able to give. Thank you

    • Stazjia profile image
      Author

      Carol Fisher 3 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      @sierralavoie: I think you should tell your father you overheard what he said and now you are worried sick about your mother and could he please tell you the situation. Alternatively, ask your mother. A stroke doesn't have to be a death sentence to mean serious disability. If you can see no sign your mother has a stroke, it's likely it was a mini-stroke and she is now receiving treatment to prevent it happening again and prevent a major stroke. Above all, ask your parents what happened.

    • profile image

      sierralavoie 3 years ago

      I just over heard my father say to a close friend that my mom had her first stroke. I never knew about this and I have no idea when it could have happened, but they hid that from me. She isn't very healthy and does nothing to change that, so it isn't very surprising, but I can't unhear that and I'm worried. Even if it was minor, who knows if she could have a more serious one soon? I'm only 19 and my mother is 41. I can't help but worry about her but I'm not sure if I should ask about it. If they hid that from me it must be for a good reason, but she's at risk for more serious events to come if she's already had one. I haven't been home very much so it is possible that this could have happened when I was away, bu why hide it? I can't unhear what i heard, and I can't help but worry.

    • canhealth profile image

      canhealth 3 years ago

      My mother had a mini-stroke last year which impaired her speech, not 6 months later so did my sister. I think about my own risk now all the time.

    • Joy Neasley profile image

      Joy Neasley 3 years ago from Nashville, TN

      I have recently survived two strokes three weeks apart. I has been an experience. I am still healing. I enjoyed reading about your experiences on this lens. Thank you.

    • darkflowers profile image

      Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      Thank you for your story, I hope you will have many good years left in good health. Lovely Lens, I've reached my like maximum for today so I can't hit the like button anymore, but I loved it. Stay healthy and safe!

    • David Stone1 profile image

      David Stone 4 years ago from New York City

      I really haven't, but I think they're scary as hell. Jill Bolte-Taylor's "My Stroke of Genius" was stunning.

    • profile image

      Ibidii 4 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your personal story. It is great to read your posts and lenses. :D

    • marvmac profile image

      marvmac 4 years ago

      Wow! is all i can say too. Thank you for sharing. Strokes are always serious. your courage in sharing your story is wonderful

    • davidcompass profile image

      davidcompass 4 years ago

      Wow! Great lens. Your courage to share will definitely help others. I hope you continue to get better and stay strong.

    • MacPharlain profile image

      MacPharlain 4 years ago

      All of my grandmothers and grandmothers-in-law have suffered strokes. Thanks for sharing your story. That old "Keep Calm and Carry On" slogan is popular now...your response to your stroke and diagnosis is a living example of it in action.

    • dunlopweb profile image

      dunlopweb 4 years ago

      Wow, that was brave lens to write! It's absolutely devastating to be diagnosed with something like that, and I can really understand what was going through your head when you just sat down thinking outside the hospital. To be face-to-face with your mortality is frightening.

      But you picked yourself up, and it sounds like you're dealing with it - but not just ignoring it. It really is the only way.

      Thank you for sharing your story.

    • jennifer421 lm profile image

      jennifer421 lm 4 years ago

      You shared the detailed info about the experience of your stroke, that's really appreciative because it's going to help a lot of ladies out there. Great going, all the best, live a healthy life.

    • DeborahDian profile image

      Deborah Carr 4 years ago from Orange County, California

      I have never experienced this. However, as a Baby Boomer the worry is always at the back of my mind.

    • TracyM1969 profile image

      TracyM1969 4 years ago

      Great lens and well written, I haven't had a stroke ( my granny did though) I had a heart attack at the age of 41. I wish you well. Squid liked.

    • Deadicated LM profile image

      Deadicated LM 4 years ago

      When I was an operator at a hospital part of my job was to call the codes overhead on the PA system, stroke was a "Code Gray" in the hospital I worked at. You'd be amazed at the success rate if the patient was brought to the hospital within an hour of having symptoms. If they received the shot in most cases the next day the patient was usually well enough to receive phone calls. You also have to give credit to the lab workers (my sister was one of them) who would have to turn-around the blood-work within 45 minutes, and of course the team, and neurologist who attend to the patient and call all the shots. Great Lens, I pray for you and hope all is well, and will share this Lens; it was very well done, thanks for sharing.

    • abarth76 lm profile image

      abarth76 lm 4 years ago

      This is a very informative lens about your condition. I have a neurological condition to I build a lens about my experiences like you come and have a look at my lens.

    • profile image

      rvmom26 4 years ago

      My mother had a stroke. I know it was not easy writing this lens. Thank you for sharing your story!

    • SheilaMilne profile image

      SheilaMilne 4 years ago from Kent, UK

      My husband has just had a stroke though he has already had a remarkable recovery. I hope the improvement will continue.

    • SheilaSchnauzies profile image

      Sheila 4 years ago from Omaha, NE

      @anonymous: I just have to ask, and you don't have to answer publicly here of course... but did they do tests on you for an underlying clotting disorder? Specially I'm talking about Antiphospholipid Syndrome, which is the cause of my strokes. It's a simple series of blood tests. If you have it, you can be put on blood thinners to protect you. Best regards, and I'm glad you found a diagnosis. Now you can fight the devil you know.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      For four years now I've been struggling to get a diagnosis for my dizziness, numbness, loss of energy, bouts of confusion, slight to moderate instability, weakness, and more. Finally on 10SEP12 the VA neurologist listened, went over my MRI and other tests, did some in-office tests, listened and looked at my record seeking help even with ENTs.

      Either mini-stroke or damage done at the brain stem, with no real options he said for treatment. At least I've a diagnosis now and get the ball rolling on other things. I came online and found this and am grateful to find information and the testimony.

      Thank you.

    • SoniaCarew profile image

      SoniaCarew 4 years ago

      Awesome lens. You are my hero. Your absolute fabulous lenses are inspiring me to build some more lenses. I was not going to,...

      So, thank you so much!

    • SoniaCarew profile image

      SoniaCarew 4 years ago

      Thank you for your story.

      My father had a stroke a couple of months ago. It was an extremely difficult time but he is recovering, slowly, and is finally walking again.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @Stazjia: Hi Carol, I hope you don't mind, but I requested you as my friend on Face Book. I really would like to talk to you. My husband just had a stroke a week ago, and he is oblivious about his condition. He has a very high stress job, and thinks he can just go back to what he was doing prior to his mini stroke. Marjana

    • Stazjia profile image
      Author

      Carol Fisher 5 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      @LouiseKirkpatrick: Louise, I am so sorry for you and your husband. What a terrible thing to happen particularly when you are in a foreign country which must have made it even worse. Yes, hypertension, smoking, diabetes can all, together or separately, result in a stroke or TIA. Everybody needs to know this.

      It's not too late for Paul. This stroke might prove to be a blessing in disguise. He's now on his doctors radar and his health will be monitored. I guess he is already on drugs to lower his blood pressure and losing weight by diet and exercise might well mean that these drugs will not be needed long term.

      All my good wishes go to you both. {{{HUGS}}}

    • LouiseKirkpatrick profile image

      LouiseKirkpatrick 5 years ago from Berkshire, United Kingdom

      Hi Stazjia - I've read this lens more than once before but now I'm back here because I have a personal experience to share with you and which I hope will serve as a warning to others. As you may know, I got married last year after 12 very happy years with my partner. We went on holiday in late June this year driving round Europe (my husband is a driving instructor and there's nothing he likes more than driving!). 5 days into our holiday whilst in the beautiful ski resort of Livigno high up in the Italian Alps, my husband (who is 39 years old) woke up in the middle of the night to go to the loo and suddenly collapsed having lost all feeling down the right hand side of his body...and so our nightmare began. He regained some feeling, only for the same thing to happen another 2 times in the next few hours. He was flown by helicopter to a hospital 70km away where the doctors found his blood pressure was dangerously high and after tests (CT and carotid ultrasound) diagnosed a stroke. We were flown back to the UK with an accompanying doctor a week later where hubby spent a further week and a half in hospital with the NHS doing more tests (MRI, blood tests by the dozen and a Lumbar Puncture). Traumatic isn't the word for the experience! It's now six weeks since "it" happened and Paul (hubby!) is much improved, walking OK and can drive again. He's been left with what can best be described as "altered" sensation on his right side - there's no loss of cognitive abilities or muscle strength thankfully, but he has unpleasant tingling/burning sensations. He's hoping to return to work part time in a couple of weeks (we're both self-employed so money is a major issue as Social Security benefits seem not to be on offer for people like us!). Paul is overweight but he had no idea that his blood pressure was so high as he had no symptoms at all that anything was amiss. No headaches or anything to indicate the danger that was silently going on inside his head. Tests have shown that his arteries are not blocked and that his stroke was due to extremely high blood pressure (hypertension) caused by obesity. We don't know what the future holds, but I just wanted to beg people to PLEASE lose weight and get their blood pressure checked out...as I mentioned Paul is only 39 years old. Strokes can happen at any age but risk factors can be reduced. On a happier note, I love your intro pic - you look amazing :) xx CDT (Louise)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I'm confused as to why your doctor isn't doing anything for you. My right carotid is 100% blocked and my left was 95% blocked. My doctor did an angiogram and put a stent into the left carotid. It is now less than 60% blocked. That was just over a year ago. I am still high risk for a stroke and it will kill me but it gave my brain a little more flow than it had.

    • profile image

      barbiejb 5 years ago

      My mom had a mini-stroke several years ago. My sister and I were visiting her and she said she had a headache that morning and was dizzy and was walking around as if intoxicated. They were her only symptoms, but we insisted on taking her to the ER and good thing that we did. We were shocked to find out that she had a mini-stroke. Thank you for your bravery in writing about your own experience. I think it will wake up some people to the symptoms and danger of stroke.

    • Steph Tietjen profile image

      Stephanie Tietjen 5 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico

      My heart goes out to you and it is hard to tell these kinds of stories. I had a TIA in my 30's, it's not just for seniors. The symptoms were like yours, except I couldn't lift my hand. I suffer from chronic migraines and my carotids were clear. They said I would have another, but I never have so far. I still think that it or something else could happen which drives me to live in the moment. It motivated me to make art, which I was neglecting at the time. Meditation also helps a lot when you get scared. Writing is great therapy too. Keep it up.

    • Stazjia profile image
      Author

      Carol Fisher 5 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      @dave-sutton: Getting older isn't all it's cracked up to be but better than the alternative!

    • dave-sutton profile image

      dave-sutton 5 years ago

      I had a pulmonary embolism a year ago but because I was fit I recovered. It will be medication for the rest of my life but compared to your condition I'm very lucky and still very active. It's a b*gger getting old.

    • Mariajomith profile image

      maria 5 years ago

      thank you for sharing your story, i think that it will definitely help others. you were very brave to write it.

    • Stazjia profile image
      Author

      Carol Fisher 5 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      @SheilaSchnauzies: Thank you for sharing your story. How dreadful for you to have a TIA in those circumstances. At least I was with my best friend at the time.

      I'm so happy that you understand and share my philosophy about having a life threatening condition. In fact, I think every creature on earth has one, it's called life. None of us survive it! You and I, as well as many other people, know what might cause our death, but, as you say, that doesn't mean it definitely will. We could die of something completely different.

    • LynetteBell profile image

      LynetteBell 5 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      One of my clients (and friend) had a stroke about 30 years ago in his early 30s. He's been wheelchair bound since

    • SheilaSchnauzies profile image

      Sheila 5 years ago from Omaha, NE

      I want to applaud you, first of all, on your courage in sharing your story! You will undoubtedly help countless others with your story.

      I had a TIA myself a few years back at an outdoor dinner party. I knew no one there except my husband, and he was chatting elsewhere. I felt "funny," and all of a sudden I simply could not move any part of my body. Lucky I was sitting at a table! I was able to hold myself up, but that was about it. I could not speak to call for help. It felt like I was trapped in my useless body and could not get out. After what had to be close to an hour, my ability to function returned. I managed to ask my daughter to drive me home. I remember lying down on the couch and nothing else til the next day. My neuro told me I'd had a TIA, although it left no evidence. It did leave some damage though; it damaged my short term recall and I developed some mild aphasia from it. I still struggle with both of those things.

      Shortly after, I was diagnosed with a clotting disorder, Antiphospholipid Syndrome, after having a DVT in my leg. Well, that sure did explain the reason for the TIA too. In 2009, I had a complete stroke in my superior branch retinal artery, which cost me the lower 1/2 of my vision in my right eye, permanently.

      I love what you said about how you live knowing you could die at any moment. I feel so much the same way - surprisingly calm about it. I ran a DVT survivor group for years and I would always say, "the fact that you know you have something that could kill you does not mean that is what WILL kill you!" We could get hit by that proverbial bus!

      It takes someone who has experienced this to "get" how someone else feels. I get it, I applaud you again, and I wish you a long, drama-free life!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      My friend had a mild stroke and he was only 33 years old; excellent lens. Thank you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hi. My husband had a massive stroke 8 years ago. I'm a caregiver wife. I've completed 2 lenses on his stroke and our situation if you care to browse my profile. My husband also has aphasia. Your lens kept me reading and you've done a nice job with it. I'm pleased you have made such recovery.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      My mother-in-law "Virginia" just had a "TIA" we think?! We are unable to get any other information because my sister-in-law has all the medical data. As we are estranged from my sister-in-lw we cannot get any heads up or feed back on "Virginia's" progress! We only have to go on what we are told by "Virginia", mind you she is in her 90s and doesn't recall very well lately. When we got the word she had had the stroke it was brief, "Mom has had a stroke and their taking her to the hospital" were all we were told. I called my husband and let him know, and he called the hospital then facility where she lives and couldn't get anything from them except that she was back at home. We then went to see her, while she looked very tired and confused, there wasn't any "drooping mouth" or "slurred" words. She didn't remember who we were at first, but after a while she was able to recall her son and smile. Her eyesight was bad before she had her stroke so don't expect much there. I know it will be a long process but will she ever remember her grandchildren and others she has forgotten? And what can we do as far as helping her to accomplish this with time? What exersizes can we have her do ? She never smoked,drank, or was obese either. Most all of the symptoms I read about she has never had. Need more information on just what to do to improve her quality of life at this point in time. Thanks

    • profile image

      margaret-elliott-568 5 years ago

      my husband had a TIA in January this year, wondering how long he is going to feel so tired , most days he has to go to bed for a few hours, thank you

    • profile image

      sherioz 5 years ago

      This lens has moved me so much. Thank-you so much for sharing. You have given me the courage to share my own story. It is important, I think, for people to share their humanity with one another on a deeply personal level as you have done here.

    • avigarret profile image

      avigarret 5 years ago

      This is the first lens I've read that really got to me, I hope to be seeing more and more of your lenses for many years to come.

    • jolou profile image

      jolou 5 years ago

      You have done a great job here educating people on this important subject.

    • peggygallyot profile image

      peggygallyot 5 years ago

      I have seen first hand someone having a stroke

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      i know realize what my mother must have had, i see those signs being the same. thank you

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 5 years ago from East Central Florida

      Thank you so much for telling your story. It must have been hard to do, but your hope that it will help someone else will surely be realized, and may already have been.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I had a seizure and had to have my left carotid artery operated on last week -- it was 80% blocked. The seizure was God's way of making me aware of the blockage problem and taking care of it. Barbara

    • chezchazz profile image

      Chazz 5 years ago from New York

      What a powerful and brave story! I am sorry to learn you are having to deal with this at such an early age. I am sure your story and the extensive information you provide here will help many and possibly even save lives. You are an even more remarkable and strong person than I thought before reading this lens. Blessed and featured on "Wing-ing it on Squidoo," my tribute to the best lenses I've found since donning my wings,

    • profile image

      mhkworld 5 years ago

      Hi, I am dreadfully sorry to hear about your T.I.A. Well at least you seem to be much better now. My Mother had a mini-stroke late last year around November. It was the MOST TERRIFING THING I EVER experienced. I cried for a month straight. After I got over the shock, I decided to find all I can about Stokes. Now I am an expert on stroke recovery and prevention. Naturally, less expensive methods are the best. Trust me I know. After my got better my uncle got a severe Stroke and I was the one who nursed him back to find health. We must all realise the importance of knowing everything we can about strokes. It could happen to anyone. I SALUTE YOU and wish you all the best.

    • profile image

      Ladyeaglefeather 5 years ago

      great lens, thanks for all of the information.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hi Thank you for sharing! I believe I suffered a TIA back in Nov.201.But as I stayed in the hospital for 4 days I was told that I was fine..But I did have a MRI and a EEG done the 1st week of Feb.go back to the neurologist in March for results..I still don't feel the same as I should being only a 44 year old woman.I started getting bad headaches and dizziness after the TIA event..I call in an Event because I still don't remember anything after passing out in shower.and stumbling downstairs to my husband!! Such a scary situation..

    • julescorriere profile image

      Jules Corriere 5 years ago from Jonesborough TN

      Thanks for sharing this important story.

    • Stazjia profile image
      Author

      Carol Fisher 5 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      @anonymous: The blockages are so close to my brain that operating carries a big risk of a major stroke.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      The story about the TIA where one side of the carotid was almost fully blocked and the other about 55% both diagnosed as inoperable I find rather strange.

      I had a TIA where one side was about 75% occluded and the other 53%.

      They operated on the 75% occlusion and removed the blockage and said they would do a similar operation on the other side if it showed signs of another TIA.

      Cannot understand why this was not done on the lady making the report?

      Surely 55% is operable?

    • nightbear lm profile image

      nightbear lm 5 years ago

      Wonderful page, very factual, and presented so well, I am so happy that you are well now. But it is very scary. Blessed, This is a great representative of Feb. 14th heart page.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Did they do a transephageal ekg? If not you may have a small hole between atriums that allows non-filtered blood to pass through. Symptoms are unexplained strokes, and headaches.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: I had a mini stroke Dec. 7 and they don't know why. I'm having bad headace and the Dr. said I'm healing and the headaces will go away. Do you have headace?

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you so much for telling your story. I had a mini stroke just after Christmas and am still waiting to have my neck x ray and heart scan and cannot believe it is taking so long. Family and friends are very concerned, but the medical practitioners think that this is the norm. It helped to hear your tale as it shows that I am right to be concerned.

      I wish you well and hope that you are enjoying your life. I will need to come to terms with whatever the diagnosis, but it certainly turns your life around.

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      eeonefivebee 5 years ago

      Crikey, I think you are very brave for sharing your story with us, anything that can help to raise awareness of these ministrokes has got to be good. My father in law suffered a number of mini-strokes, including one that robbed him of his swallowing reflex. He never quite had the same care as you (Derby hospitals don't have a great reputation as being very good) but it was his heart that gave out in the end. I am with you about a belief in God, it would be very comforting I think, I know it helped my mother in her dark times.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Jennifer, so sorry to hear that you have to wait so long to find out, it must be a real worry! Try to not worry about it too much (I know it is hard, I suffered 3 embolic strokes this year and one about a year before that and I am 42) and I worry constantly that i will no longer be around for my you son, however I have been told that stress can make it worse, so I am going to try and get rid of my insecurities and start doing yoga (I believe this can help reduce stress) I wish you all the best Jennifer and hopefully everything with your tests will turn out fine, take care x

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I experienced a stroke in 2000, a 1 cm infarct on the rt side, which made the lt side numbed and/or weak, and my speech wasslurred. I was a pretty good singer prior to this (other people had said so!) but haven't been abl e to carry a tune since.. It happened when I was working on the computer on a Sunday morning. With the exception of the singing, my symptoms resolved in 7 days. While in hospital, I was diagnosed with diabetes.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I hade a mini stroke a month ago, and the doctors still can't find out why. It showed that i hade a sroke on the ct and mri, they just dont know what caused it. They, have done all kinds of tests and all came back ok. I guess, sometimes doctors can not explain what happens, if they see nothing that caused it. Just, Thank God, it did not last long.

    • profile image

      stephanieelizabeth 5 years ago

      Thanks for writing this, my dad went into hospital with a mini stroke today, and I'm not really sure what to expect. Reading your article now!

    • JanieceTobey profile image

      JanieceTobey 5 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your story with us. Blessed by a Squid Angel!

    • profile image

      match137 5 years ago

      wow, we take so many things for granted... thanx for the lens

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hey, wow I'm sorry to hear of your health problems. I recently at the age of 23!! suffered something like a stroke. The left side of my body was paralyzed and I was very dizzy and could not stand I had to call 911 and be rushed to hospital. They did a CT scan and deemed it normal. My symptoms subsided but I was given no explanation for my mini stroke. I've had anxiety about it every since and also had two serious panic attacks because of it. I seen a neurologist 2 months later and begged for an MRI because I have heard that CT scans do not show everything. Unfortunately in canada we have to wait very long for these tests so I have a 6 month wait ahead of me as well another 6 month wait to see another neurologist. It's very stressful and I know how scary it is now to experience a stroke. I'm dizzy every day all the time with still no answers from the docs. I'm just waiting and worrying. It really sucks, just wanted you to know I feel your pain in some ways because I did experience it and you just assume they will find out what's wrong and offer some solution. Just keep as active as you comfortably can, eat healthy, and just honestly take it easy and put yourself first in every situation, also try to keep stress away from your life. Enjoy every moment. It is a grim diagnosis but it doesn't mean you can't live another 20 + years happily. Stay positive love and know you're not alone <3 also, I know you don't believe in god or are religious and that's fine. I personally believe there is something. We couldn't have just appeared out of nowhere on an earth that is perfectly tuned to us and works in such a perfect cycle with every living thing plant & animals be optimistic that there is something unexplainable after this life.... too crazy for us to ever understand. ;) ;) But in the mean time just enjoy everyday you have and live it to the fullest to whatever standards! I wish you all the luck and hope nothing but the best! <3

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I had a minor stroke just over a year ago, although I thank god that I have recovered well, I still get really down now and again, but I don't like letting on to people as I feel they would think that i'm just saying it to get sympathy. I was told that after a sroke it can take up to 2 years or more for you to start feeling your self again.

    • Stazjia profile image
      Author

      Carol Fisher 5 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      @anonymous: Maria, how terrible for you. It must be very distressing seeing your mother like this.

      Can you speak to your mother's doctor about her condition? I think that would be the best thing to do.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      my mother had a mini stroke about 3 weeks ago and she has not been the same since. After the stroke she stopped eating and drinking water because she said that the food was poison and the water had alcohol in it and so much more, this person I see now is not my mother and I need help in trying to get her help so can some one please help me.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I think I may have, after reading your blog it has opened my eyes a bit. I have recently published my blog about my recent health issues, also asking the public for there opinions and feedback. After stumbling across your blog I think it may have just answered my question. Thank you for your post it provides excellent information for readers.

      I wish you a future of happiness and enjoyment. You've made it clear in your post that you just don't know what's round the corner. Take care.

      Please visit my blog http://myrecenthealth.blogspot.com all comments welcome.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Luckily no. Thank you for writing about this important topic. Knowing the symptoms and signs of stroke can be life saving, and you have provided a good service in sharing your story. No matter what any of us believe, miracles can occur. I wish them for you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I had a mini stroke 8 weeks ago. My sister had a major one this past Nov. She was in

      a very stressful job, had just gotten married 9 mos before. That god she got to the

      hospital fast had the blood clot removed. After lots of therapy, p.t. and now accupuncture

      she is doing remarkably well and volunteering at the hospital that saved her life. I who had

      the mini stroke took care of her for 2 months in nov. and jan-feb. past. I knew the warning

      signs was at home by myself and called 911. I did have my arteries in my neck checked

      there were fine-good ct scan-good blood work-was told it was a mini stroke. I have had

      a pulling on the left side of my face for at least 30 yrs. Also have fibro-cfs-alot of

      stenosis in neck-spine etc. It seems weird but I know longer have that weird feeling

      on the left side of my face usually starting around my eye area and causing numbness

      around to the middle of the chin. Could anyone know if this feeling I had or stenosis

      have caused a mini stroke?

    • yayas profile image

      yayas 6 years ago

      Hmmmm; sorry. I was thinking there was another place to add more. I came to this lens because of the title. I want to be knowledgeable in the event I or my hubby has a stroke. You have helped so much by the information you included in this lens. Thank you. Be sure to take care of yourself. I'll keep you in my prayers. :)

    • yayas profile image

      yayas 6 years ago

      No; I have many, many medical challenges, but I've been spared having a stroke.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I don't have any experience of a stroke, but my father has had. Thank God he was able to fully recover. I think Vita Plus Juice helps him with his recovery. But of course, PRAYER is still the most powerful cure. :)

      I admire your courage, Stazjia. Thanks for sharing this with us. I've learned a lot from you.

      God Bless...:)

      Heart and Kisses

    • Stephen Lewis profile image

      Stephen Lewis 6 years ago

      My 4 TIA's and the subsequent mini stroke:

      If what you had is now called a mini stroke, I guess the first 4 I had would properly be called micro or perhaps pico strokes. And then the last one would be called a mini or very mild stroke. The first 4 were spread unevenly spread over 20-25 years, the first 3 rather early in that time period. I think that I need to document my total experience thus far, in order to offer a balance to the rather dire outcome contained herein.

      Thank you for sharing and you may be giving me some insight to what is yet ahead. I will work on a lens to share my experiences and be back in a few days. Or weeks; it will be a major project. Perhaps I will publish it as a work in progress along the way.

      Roger Lewis

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      No personal experience, but have had lots of experience with others who'd had strokes, during my nursing career. I admire your courage in facing your condition and sharing your experience with others. Very important lens, and perhaps will help many others to recognize their symptoms if the same thing happens to them.

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      Wendy Leanne 6 years ago from Texas

      What an amazingly brave lens. Blessed by a squid angel.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      your story has enlightened me into the everyday effects of a ministroke, i too had 1 and i think i have had quite a few since but not gone for medical help and dismissed symptoms as just stress, when i know they are mini-strokes

    • debnet profile image

      Debbie 6 years ago from England

      Blessed by a Squid Angel ;)

    • pramodbisht profile image

      pramodbisht 6 years ago

      I deeply appreciate your courage in sharing this,

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      promotional-coupons-codes 6 years ago

      You are so brave to share your story with us. I appreciate it. I can't say much but live the life to fullest.

    • profile image

      MedicalBootcamp 6 years ago

      Wow...I'm really impressed you were able to write this. I'm not sure I'd be so open about my own health. Thank you for sharing this. I'm wondering if you're on cholesterol-lowering drugs. Keeping that left carotid open is the only thing keeping you alive, so I would think they'd prescribe something for that. I wish you well and hope for the best.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thanks so so much for sharing such a valuable information. Stroke is common nowadays given the lifestyle most of us has. I learned so much and I think those who read it as well will find this very helpful. Bless you for doing this lens! Wonderful Work

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      oh..Lens about stroke..Now am feeling that I should have to care about my body..

    • bikerministry profile image

      bikerministry 6 years ago

      I have had relatives who have had TIA's. Thank you for being so transparent. I know so much more about stroke. (We are the same age.) Take care of yourself - you're doing a great job in Squidoo!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @Stazjia: Not so easy?/ Oh, really?

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

      I deeply appreciate your courage in sharing this account of what it is to deal with a life-threatening condition. Everything changes in a split second when you get this kind of news. My father had a series of mini strokes, so I can feel compassion for what you are living with and facing. Wishing you all the very best.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Hi I am a 40 year old female and was told a couple of days ago I have had a mini stroke but not sure when it happened I still can't believe it, I am still having tests this afternoon I go for an mri never had one. I have been told not to work or drive until I have been to the stroke clinic.

    • debnet profile image

      Debbie 6 years ago from England

      I feel for you I really do and reading about your journey through life has made me realise even more how lucky I am. Thank you for sharing such a personal story with us. So much of which I know exactly how you felt. I'll lensroll this to Brain Tumor as soon as it goes live ;) I hope you remain strong.

    • profile image

      Cardtouche 6 years ago

      To write this lens must have been so hard to do but it also shows what strength of character you have - You're a wonderful lady and I just want to send you a big hug :-)

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 6 years ago

      Angel Blessed

    • Stazjia profile image
      Author

      Carol Fisher 6 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      @anonymous: Thank you so much for your kind words which have brought tears to my eyes. I really hope that you don't have a TIA or stroke. You are facing the possibility, though, with courage and fortitude and making the most of your life which is all any of us can do. The healthiest of people can meet with an accident or other disaster and meet an early, unexpected end. This is why I agree with you that we must use the precious time we have rather than waste it worrying about what might happen. I send my love and best wishes to you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Oh Stazjia! Such a brave, caring, kind soul you are! I myself haven't had a mini or stroke yet, but my chances to get one are huge, so it's only a matter of time. Your comment "Perhaps the important things are to find something you want to do and to achieve a level of calm without lying to yourself about your condition." is very precious, and the way I also live my life. From one lady to another, I cheer you on, admire you, and give you thoughts of love this valentine's day......and always.