21 years old, had a stroke
Hi guys, 3 days ago I had a really minor stroke. I was just sitting at my computer working around 3 pm when I got really lightheaded for like 10-20 seconds and then noticed my right arm and leg were partially numb. When I got up to walk I could still walk but I had a lot less control over my right leg and walking on it felt really weird. The same was true of my right arm. At the time I didn't really think it was a big deal and hoped it would just go away on its own. I didn't go to the hospital or anything. I even rode my motorcycle home from work. When I got up the next morning my right leg felt like it had gotten worse so I decided to go to the ER.
At the ER they did a cat scan, ekg, and blood test and couldn't find anything. Finally, after about 5 hours at the ER, they decided to do an MRI and found I had had a really small stroke in the left side of my brain. I think the doctor called it a punctuated something-or-other. I think he also said it was embolic.
They then did another cat scan of my head and neck and an echocardiogram including a bubble test. Neither of those showed anything wrong. They also took a bunch of blood and are testing it for a bunch of autoimmune disorders and I'm scheduled to see a neurologist when those results come back. While I was in the hospital they were giving me shots of heparin every 8 hours.
Three days after the stroke I'm feeling a lot better. As far as I can tell, my arm's at 99% of what it was before the stroke and my leg's at 85-90%.
As far as medical history goes the only significant things all happened about a year ago when I was diagnosed with duodenal ulcers, anemia, and celiacs disease (all pretty much at the same time). The ulcers healed a long time ago. I don't know if the anemia ever got better; I'm pretty sure they tested it while I was in the hospital but they never told me the result.
I'm just really shocked though because I thought I would be the last person to have a stroke. I'm 21 years old. I'm 6' tall and weigh 160 lbs. My blood pressure is low. They took it a bunch while I was in the hospital and most of the time it was between 100/60 and 120/80. They tested my cholesterol while I was in the hospital and said it was great. I'm athletic. Since I've started an internship this Summer I've been exercising 1-2 hours 1-2 times a week, but during the school year when I have more time I usually exercise 2-4 times a week. Other than 4-5 months about a year ago when I was smoking marijuana, I've never used any drugs. I haven't even had any caffeine in two years and stopped consuming sugar a couple months ago.
I do, however, have a poor diet and drink a little more alcohol than is healthy. I usually have 2-3 beers/glasses of wine each night; I haven't been drinking like this for a long time though. If you exclude the last 4 months, I've probably been drinking once or twice every 2 weeks on average over the last 3 years (although most of those nights were binge drinking). The night before the stroke I didn't drink any more than usual.
When I left the hospital the only special instruction they gave me were to take a baby aspirin once a day, but do I need to be careful about anything? Is it ok for me to run, play basketball, etc? What about riding my motorcycle to work? Is it ok for me to have a couple drinks with my meals? Is it ok for me to drink alot (there's a party I wanted to go to this weekend)?
Also, that kind of lightheaded feeling I had during the stroke; that feeling comes to me once or twice each month. But it's not just lightheaded, I can't really describe it, except that it's almost exactly the same as the feeling I had during the stroke, except less intense and without any numbness or weakness in my arms or legs afterwards. I told the neurologist this but he didn't make much of it. Could it mean anything?
Also, I forgot to mention this to the neurologist, but I used to get panic attacks. I used to have them when I was a kid, and then later on only when I smoked marijuana, but I still get what I think are called limited symptom attacks (I had a brief limited symptom attack during the stroke).
Anyways, if you guys had any thoughts/advice/reassurances I'd really appreciate it. I'm worried about this happening again.