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Old 08-16-2009, 12:01 PM   #1
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mini stroke or pinched nerve?? Need advise

Hi, this is the first time posting. I wasnt sure where to post since I dont know whats wong with me. This all started about thre weeks ago with a bad stiff neck and headache, with no known injury. About a week ago, my vision got blurry and confused, then intense pain came in my left side neck, head and jaw area, then left side of face became numb. Took about 45 minutes then I felt somewhat better, the tingling in my face went away, but not the pain. I thought I had a mini stroke. I went to the ER where they did blood tests and a CAT scan. Everything came back normal. They said it could be a pinched nerve or slipped disk. Then about 4 days later. My vision got blurry again and confused and I lost motor skills in my left arm, hand and leg. I had no balance my arm was twitching and I couldnt control my leg. I also vomited which is very unlike me. So I go to the ER again! They treated me for a migraine. I will not go back to this hospital. I just want some answers. Has anyone expereinced anything like this? Im thinking mini stroke (TIA) MS, or pinched nerve or disk rupture. I am only 35 years old. My BP yesterday at the hospital was 158/ 106. My BP is usually perfect. Can someone give me some advise here? I have small children and need to be around and healthy for them. Thanks for any and all replies.
Shonny

 
Old 08-16-2009, 12:34 PM   #2
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Re: mini stroke or pinched nerve?? Need advise

OMG , with these symptoms - how can they so dumb in the ER twice.. this is classic encephalitis or meningitis symptoms. The shouldnt being running all those useless tests. You need a lumber puncture/spinal tap. asap..... you have viral or bacterial infection in your brain.....

headache+vomiting= serious brain condition
headache+stiff neck= brain infection

these are almost absolutes......

unfortunately,you do need to go back to the hospital - but i would choose a different if possible. and demand a Lumbar puncture. its not pleasant.. but its not too painful if they are quick and accurate about it. hope you dont get a first-time resident like i did. i have a scar and some residual disc injury from the process. but this test is not optional with your symptoms.. and risks are low -considering the chance of infection. - its really not a bad procedure .. just try to extend the vertebrae as much as possible when you are in the fetal position - with a good stretch and hold and dont move. - its not really painful.. just uncomfortable and akward. unless they they cant find there way around between the vertebrae carefully

Last edited by pitcherred; 08-16-2009 at 12:50 PM.

 
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Old 08-16-2009, 03:55 PM   #3
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Re: mini stroke or pinched nerve?? Need advise

Hi Shonny...

you haven't mentioned a fever of any kind and an infection would have a fever and I really don't know if it's a serious brain condition or not but if your CT scans have been negative, then probably not. A TIA would cause the lack of function but not twitching or loss of control. A herniated disk up at either C2-3 or C3-4 could cause the pain in your jaw, neck and headache and could even cause the loss of function on the left side with twitching and loss of control but not the vision problems. I've herniated the disks that high and I've had TIA's, a regular stroke and lacunar strokes in the base of the brain. None affected my vision and from what I've learned, they shouldn't unless the optical area of the brain is involved. But a severe migraine can cause all of what you described and then some.

I'd advise you to call your regular doctor and see him/her and ask about seeing a neurologist to confirm what on earth is going on. You might even want to see a neuro-ophthalmologist....a neurologist who is also a ophthalmologist and specializes in tough problems involving both sight and nervous system issues. I have something called optic neuropathy as my optic nerves are lacking blood flow due to inflammation of the blood vessels in my brain from rheumatoid arthritis. That took a while to sort out but I know one thing he looked at was a migraine. Migraines can lessen the blood flow to the brain and optic nerves and cause all sorts of problems....vomiting included.

See your doc. There are all sorts of migraine meds out there and you might get a quicker diagnosis by trying a migraine med and see if it works. If it does, you'll know. You'll still want to see a neurologist as a sudden case of severe migraines can signal other problems coming like a stroke. But don't give yourself a stroke worrying. The ER was probably right but if it happens again, go to another hospital and see what they say. It's like getting a second opinion.

My daughter and husband both get migraines and they get really sick, for days. You need to get it further checked out but don't panic. You don't have a fever and everything comes back with time. That's good. So take the time to see your doc and figure out what it is.

Jenny

Last edited by Administrator; 08-19-2009 at 10:32 AM.

 
Old 08-16-2009, 04:02 PM   #4
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Re: mini stroke or pinched nerve?? Need advise

deleted



Headache+ vomiting AFTER A HEAD INJURY=possible serious head injury
Headache+stiff neck+FEVER=possible brain infection

Ask anyone with a bad cervical spine about how often then have a headache with a stiff neck...daily for me. And a headache with stiff neck and vomiting with a bad cervical spine...too frequent. There are no absolutes if you've injured your neck. In fact, I've learned the hard way that there are no absolutes when it comes to headaches.

just sharing my experiences.

Jenny(fused from C3 to T1)

Last edited by Administrator; 08-19-2009 at 10:32 AM. Reason: answer the thread originator, only.

 
Old 08-16-2009, 05:15 PM   #5
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Re: mini stroke or pinched nerve?? Need advise

Hi,I too just got on this board and am glad I found it. People here are so kind and helpful. I shall try to share my experience with you as it sounds a little bit familiar. A couple of months back I started having neck pain on left side. Upon wking on computer and if I get stressed or sit watching tv for long periods it hurts bad. When I stretch to the right side, it is tight, stiff and painful. Now, five days ago I started getting niddle *****s running up and down that same area, then they stop. I was taking tramodol the doc gave me for this pain and it helped a little bit for a month, then these *****ling needles started when I skipped some doses. I am trying to get off the tramadol bc I have read terrible things about it. I don't have any numbness on my face but just this. It is enough, when I have had a full day it really hurts. Have you had any tests done? Please write back.

 
Old 08-17-2009, 05:21 AM   #6
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Re: mini stroke or pinched nerve?? Need advise

Thank you for the replies. I still do not think it was a migraine because I ve had migraines and my head did not hurt like that. I was outside in the heat both times these episodes happened, so the nauseua could have been from overheating. I dont know. I feel ok now, but i felt ok before the last episode. I will try to get a second opinion. I will just pray it doesnt happen again. The first felt like a mini stroke, and the second was worse. Would a stroke show up right away for CAT scan or blood work? Anyway, thanks for any and all advise.
Shonny

 
Old 08-17-2009, 07:40 AM   #7
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Re: mini stroke or pinched nerve?? Need advise

the one thing that really does tend to show up well upon just a CT IS blood. so if you did indeed have any level of brain bleed, it would have shown it then. i still think, and i do agree totally with that jenny told you by the way, that this just DOES really sound like a 'migrane syndrome" with possible involvment of the c spine too. i too have been getting migranes since like the second i hit puberty back in the 70s. there were no actual abortives for migrane back then either so it was just go to a dark room, pack the head in ice and ride out the like 12 hour pain and the recycling of that aura that can severely impact vision. my pre migrane auras ALWAYS hit the vision hard, always. do things ever look rather jagged and like a bit of a strange "light show" along with the blurry vision, or is this just blurred vision only? the actual migrane itself,well, i just prayed for god to please come and take me every time around like hour five of this brand of hell. it is just that bad.

the one thing i would seriously do here is try and obtain an MRI,with a contrasting agent on your brain(would show a heck of alot more IN the brain and down to that vascular level too like a CT can't) and also getting the MRI on that c spine as well. while it is not typical with some c spine issues, you CAN actually have vision problems if something either IN or on your actual spinal cord is actually affecting particular spinal tracts within your cord(could be caused by herniations, bone spurs or even certain types of congenital malformations that are just a big possible to have within that cord from birth. like vascular lesions among others). or your sympathetic nervous system being involved at that cord or outside column level too(the sympathetic chain that simply runs along both sides of the column) also, within the brain, there just are quite a few different things that can also affect vision too. espescially ANYTHING that could be impacting that cerebellum or something impacting the optic nerves too.

once you get the actual MRIs done here that alone would show what could be there that may be crating alot of different types of symptoms. but most importantly, it would kind of dictate what your very next steps should be based upon any hard findings or nothing that shows up, like do you see a neurosurgeon or what jenny mentioned with the neuro op, these specialists are really amazing when it comes to brain problems that impact vision, either from trauma or incidents/events that can simply be there or occur within the brain. spinal cord injury/findings can very much also impact vision, mine did with a horners syndrome. but i just do have a strong feeling just based upon what has taken place as far as symptoms and what occured with you that "something' is going on either within the brain area or within that c spine which could even be at that cord level.

just obtaining the two areas tested with a contrasted MRI could show alot of what could simply be behind all this. and like has been already mentioned, a possible major type of classic migrane syndrome. mine have put me thru absolute hell at certain times in my life. migranes can and do change somewhat with age and shifting hormone levels too. there just ARE alot of different individual types of real 'triggers' that if we actually are prone at all to migrane can and will usually be there. i have actally IDed about 7 seperate food triggers for mine alone. and i still even at 48 years old, keep finding new ones here. just insane really.

any real true Dx is made by looking at the overall symptoms, and trying to track them back to the actual generators with testing and ruling out things along the way. having the two areas MRIed would just really really help here in actually finding the possible true scource or sources of your head pain and other symptoms. its just how a real solid dx is made. right now, those two areas would simply be the "most likely" sources of possible generators so they just do need to be looked at more closesly with testing.

i do hope they can get things rolling here as far as the MRIs done asap for you(with a contrasting agent for sure). have you actually tried ANY of the migrane 'abortive" type of meds for the head pain? did anything actually work for this? good luck and please keep us posted. FB
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11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
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Old 08-23-2009, 04:00 PM   #8
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Re: mini stroke or pinched nerve?? Need advise

Hi, It was your "four days later" that got my attention. You did mention you thought MS as one possibility. You really need more testing done. This might not be you, but I have MS, and I could tell you that before I got diagnosed, I had similar symptoms. Some came then left, but no vomiting. I had the blurred vision, brain fog, weak arms, complete loss of control of left leg, spasms and others. A neurologist can find MS in a brain MRI. Mine were performed with and without contrast. My neurologist did MRIs from brain to lumbar. Lesions of MS where found in my brain and neck areas. A Lumbar puncture also helps diagnose MS along with a blood panel to rule out anything else like Lupus, Guillian Barre and others. Most of all, try not to get so worked up. I think that's why your blood pressure went up so high. I know easier said than done when you're so worried about family. I'm on BP meds and my BP still rises when I get really worked up. I hope you find answers quickly. Take care.

 
Old 08-24-2009, 08:08 AM   #9
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Re: mini stroke or pinched nerve?? Need advise

Thanks for your info plus1more. I am waiting for insurance, hopefully some time this week. Since the episodes I have been felling ok except Ive lost my balance and felt dizzy a few times and felt like something was blocking my vision in my left eye, but nothing was there. It was like I was seeing a black spot in the middle of my eye. Anyway, I hope to get an MRI done soon. Thanks so much for taking time to post.

 
Old 08-25-2009, 07:07 AM   #10
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Re: mini stroke or pinched nerve?? Need advise

please let us know when you get the results,K? are they doing the brain AND that c spine too? if not they realy do need to just do both areas in order to just rule in or out certain findings within both areas that could possibly produce these types of symptoms. at least you will know ethter way, ya know? they would have absolutely NO problem at all doing both at the same MRI visit. good luck and make certain to get copies of your own results. they really do come in very handy and you can also post the summaries here too so we can help you better. FB
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