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Glad to know this exists
Glad to have found this and wish I knew about it last week when really dealing with things. And sorry this is long.
2 weeks ago today, I was home alone and thought that I was having a mini stroke. At the time I did't know what a TIA was. It was a normal morning, had a slight stomach ache but nothing debilitating or extremely unusual. I had actually made an appointment with PCP like 40min before for the next day. After I logged off work to go lay down, I had stepped into my bathroom for something and left. But as I took steps to leave the bathroom I was falling. Each step I tried to take, I was falling down. Standing up was just not happening. So I started grabbing onto things around me to try and stay up. The whole time just in shock. Like this isn't happening. When I finally made it to the couch, I tried to convince myself that that didn't just happen. But when I stood up I went right back down. And then my right foot started to tingle as did my right arm. My arm started going numb, which shook me. Calming myself down, I realized my right hand was forming into a fist w/o me consciously wanting it to. Freaked out, was trying to calm myself down and told myself to talk out loud. As I did that I noticed I was repeating words and was stuttering/stammering. Something I don’t normally do. I honestly didn’t know what to do. I finally convinced myself, after like 15min, to go to the ER. Debated if I should call an ambulance or felt comfortable to drive myself since its right down the street. I ended up driving myself and after getting checked in they wheeled me into a room, started getting vitals and asked questions. And I guess some type of test having to pull fingers. Ended up getting a CT scan but that came back normal as did the vitals. The stutter/stammer didn’t show up as much when I was there but did make itself known. Before discharging me there was the option to leave or get an MRI. At the time I wasn’t sure if the MRI was worth it if nothing showed for the CT scan so I said I’d go. They did have me walk to make sure I was ok before leaving. Still had stumbles but ok and wheeled me to my car. No mention of a TIA by anyone. Later that evening talking to family the stutter/stammer returned. Great. The next day the stuttering/stammering was worse and talked with my PCP via telehealth but she wasn’t sure what could be wrong since everything came back normal. Maybe something viral and to check my temperature. Which never has gotten above 99.7 since that day. Ended up back in ER that Saturday since my speech hadn’t gotten better, nor my walking, and some issues with swallowing which I think was due to the stuttering/stammering. So got the MRI and, of course, that came back normal. Which I am indeed grateful for, but doesn’t help me understand why whats happening is happening. Got a referral for a neurologist, who I ended up having to wait until last Wednesday to make an appointment. And discharged I was. And up until last Thursday (23rd), my speech and walking continued to not be 100%. Scared some co-workers when I tried to work and had to talk (online). The stuttering/stammering was that bad and slurring came into play too. And since my family is across the country, ‘talking’ with them also really concerned them. Trying to wrap it up. My speech came back on the evening of the 23rd and can walk better. But then my throat was sore and my voice hoarse. Does stuttering/stammering/slurring speech do that? My right leg is still weak and it seems my right foot affects the stuttering for some reason. I did end up going to the ER one more time this past Sunday due to right leg complication and they did a sonogram on my right leg, chest x-ray and things came back great. Mentioned the foot and stuttering to the neurologist, who I met with this past Tuesday, and he kinda brushed that off. Great. It seems he attributed that to possibly being anxiety that the ER decided to diagnose me with on Sunday. Still confused as to how they came to that. I have never experienced any of this stuff before and that’s what you decide to diagnose me with. OK. So will be getting tests to check my spine and neck to see if anything shows up there.
But out of all that, when I emailed a church member for prayer during the week things were bad, she was like, the symptoms you described sound like it could possibly be a TIA. Noting she can’t say for sure but does sound like it. She’s dealt with those with her mom who has had TIAs and full strokes. She would go to the doctors and neurologist appointments with her. She was the ONLY person to mention what a TIA was and how things can go away after days or a few weeks. I was and am still confused, as to how none of the other doctors even mentioned that to me. Its saddening and maddening really. Every time I would say mini stroke they’d say, you didn’t have a stroke, yours scans were fine. So a week of heavy stuttering/stammering/slurring and bad walking now improving, and slight pain in right neck, I’m better than where I was and happy to be able to talk again. It’s something I’ll never forget. And something I most certainly want to continue to learn about and help get the word out about as well.
Thanks for taking the time to read and having this space to do so :)
AHAASAKatie, May 1, 2020 9:51am EST
Thank you so much for sharing this with us! I am sorry that this happened to you. I can share the information we have on the different types of stroke and encourage you to seek medical treatment if this happens again. Sometimes the hardest part of being a patient is getting the right diagnosis, but please do not give up. If you experience these symptoms again, keep going to the ER and maybe ask for a different neurologist or a second opinion.
Please know we are here for you. Best Katie
Matthew1, May 1, 2020 10:13am EST
I am very sorry to hear about your experience and frustration. It’s scary for sure. Very glad you’re well enough to communicate what you went through. Although I’m not a medical professional, I did have a massive stroke 4 years ago at 47 years old. This happened with no warning at all!
I would urge you to get your test results and see a different set of doctors for another opinion. If in fact you had a TIA, perhaps it’s a sign there’s something not right and you need to know that ASAP. If you did not, someone needs to figure out what happened and how to move forward.
I’m not trying to scare you at all. Remaining calm is important but you must be you’re own advocate and a second (or third) opinion is paramount.
If this happens again, call 911 IMMEDIATELY. please don’t drive.
Go one day at a time. You can do this!!
AlyAHA, May 1, 2020 11:36am EST
I'm so sorry for what you have experienced recently. I would highly recommend bringing up the possibility of it being a TIA with your medical team. If they seem to dismiss your concerns, feel free to ask for a second opinion. If you have had ANY changes to diet, medication (including herbal supplements), sleep, stress, exercise, etc. it would be helpful to write this down as it will help your doctor run the appropriate tests and hopefully come to a diagnosis.
If this does happen again, please call 911. This is the safest option (for you and others on the road) and gets you the appropriate medical care faster.
cjbetter9, May 1, 2020 8:09pm EST
Thanks everyone!! I am certainly going to make sure I get physical copies of the tests they did. They do have them in a portal online I can check. I don't think the exact images though, just a write out.
I'm definitely making sure I find ways to stay calm and not feel as upset as I was. I do need to look for other doctors that aren’t 2 and 3 hours away. Even though doctors in those areas might be a better option. And trying to get another appointment with my PCP to see thoughts after all of this happening.
In doing some searching online I was getting confused on how a TIA was diagnosed. I saw some people were diagnosed by a doctor, and others who said nothing will/did show up scan wise for them depending on when they got to the ER.
I have started writing how I’ve been feeling each day down, but do need to start doing the food as well. Even though when it happened no changes in diet, but most definitely have now.
And will defintely call 911 if it happens again! Thanks all!
cjbetter9, May 14, 2020 9:06pm EST
Hi all, just an upate. I got the MRIs done that the neurologist wanted to get done; Neck and Spine and saw him in person. Everything came back good. Yay!? With all the scans (brain, neck, spine) looking fine, he said it was not a TIA since the stuttering lasted for the week it did and not less than 24hours, and its not constant since its not happening like it was, and since my walking has improved. It is still weak though. Nor was it MS, which I wasn't really concerned with given that wasn't something I had even thought of being a possibilty. I was able to show him how my right foot, as well as raising my right hand and moving my fingers, affects the stuttering. That he agreed was weird but he had done all he could do and sees no issues. He also took a video of when the stuttering happens with my phone, but didn't request me to send him the video so not sure what the point of that was. He feels its stress. That confuses me given I wasn't stressted the day it happened nor was I when I talked to him yesterday and showed him. I did get referred to a doctor in a major city so we'll see what ends up happening there.