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Old 06-02-2009, 01:10 AM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 7
justrobin1111 HB User
Could this be a stroke... or cranial nerve problem? PLEASE HELP!

Hello Everyone,

This is my first time posting to a health message board. I'll give you the basics, please, any insight you have would be really helpful. I have custody of my 8 month old grandaughter and because I've lost partial eyesight/balance and they dont know what's wrong, the state is talking about moving her....I need answers...thanks for any help you can give.

For starters, I'm 35 years old, I have diabetes (type 2 in excellent control) high blood pressure (managed) lymphadema in my legs, and sleep apnea. I quit smoking a year ago, and I'm overweight (and working on it)

Seven days ago I was sitting on my porch when my right eye went black to a point. After that it went into this prism/kaleidoscope where there was four of everything. I covered the right eye, and it started to happen in the left, only worse. I tried to stand and almost passed out. I had to crawl into my house. I was very disoriented, but managed to call for someone to come help and pick up my children. By the time they got here I had fallen three times, and my left eyeball had rolled completely inward towards my nose..I fell down every time I tried to stand up. My husband got home and called 911. At the hospital they told me they thought I had a small stroke. They left it up to me whether to stay or go home, and I chose to go home and see a neurologist. All my symptoms went away, except now I have constant double vision. I have to wear a patch so Im able to keep my balance. my left eye vision has been greatly reduced. I saw the neuro dr. who said I had "bilateral INO's" (eyes moving different directions).

I had high blood pressure and heart rate when admitted (I was scared!) and I have been having daily headaches for approximately two weeks before the episode. I have also had a lot of stress and had a very busy weekend. I had normal bloodwork, cat scan, EKG, ultrasound of my neck, and MRI. The opthomalogist said that its the muscles in my eyes, and its possibly some kind of "cranial nerve palsy" caused by my diabetes. The neurologist said he thought it originated in my brain stem.

I havent had a sugar over 200 in more than a year. My A1C is darn near perfect. Does anyone know what else could cause this and not show up on an MRI? Could it have still been a small stroke and not shown up on the scan? I am having trouble with my coordination, and in the month before had some problems with speech and word finding. We thought it was due to a new medication.

They are telling me it will take 2-3 months for it to get better...they say it will eventually "resolve on its own." I have no answers, no reason for why it happened, real diagnosis, or whether last week's "episode" could happen again. In the meantime, I'm a writer and now I can't read, write, drive, and with my bad balance I'm worried about carrying the baby around. I also just bought my first home and will be moving in two weeks. I'm having a hard time adjusting to only one eye working.

Thanks for reading all this, I appreciate any ideas you might have or questions for my neurologist. He has adopted a "wait and see" approach to what has happened. I'm thankful its not a huge stroke or a brain tumor, but not knowing what happened is really scary.

Have a wonderful evening,


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Old 07-12-2009, 07:55 PM   #2
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,897
Blog Entries: 12
jennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB User
Re: Could this be a stroke...or cranial nerve problem? PLEASE HELP!

Hi Robin...sorry I haven't been around to see your question as I think you and I are having the same problems. They call them lacunar storkes....tiny strokes deep in the base of the brain that can cause havoc but are so small that they can't be seen. We're talking a stroke of 2-3 mms. But in the base of the brain you have all sorts of nerves going to the spinal cord as well as the nerves gong to the eyes and eye muscles. I've had 4 of these since January. I take a full strength aspirin to help thin my blood but this is caused by small blood vessel disease where the blood vessels collapse and cause the stroke. They either heal or another vessel forms to take over the task affected so you do recover in about 3-4 months and physical therapy or visual therapy can help. I'm doing a lot of work on balance right now.

I hope you see this and are doing better by now. It's scary but from what my neurosurgeon said, these are the best kind of strokes to have as they almost always heal themselves.

gentle hugs...............Jenny

Old 07-16-2009, 10:24 PM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 7
justrobin1111 HB User
Re: Could this be a stroke...or cranial nerve problem? PLEASE HELP!

Hi Jenny,

Thanks so much for your message I actually have an appointment with a neuroopthomologist tomorrow, hope she has some answers because so far no one has. The kaiser neuro doc says he doesnt think it was a stroke but it "acted like one" and he thinks its in my eyes, possibly a sixth cranial nerve palsy. the eye drs say its in my brainstem, so they have been bouncing me back and forth.

I have gotten most functions back, except my left eye is still completely blurry, but thankfully the double vision has stopped. It is very scary!!

thanks, and hugs to you. * email address removed by hb-mod, moderator *

take care,


Last edited by hb-mod; 07-17-2009 at 04:04 AM. Reason: Please don't post contact info, such as email address, per Posting Policy.

Old 07-16-2009, 10:55 PM   #4
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 5,114
writeleft HB Userwriteleft HB Userwriteleft HB Userwriteleft HB Userwriteleft HB Userwriteleft HB Userwriteleft HB Userwriteleft HB Userwriteleft HB Userwriteleft HB Userwriteleft HB User
Re: Could this be a stroke...or cranial nerve problem? PLEASE HELP!

Hi Robin, and welcome to the boards.

I have had 4 simultaneous brain strokes, due to malignant hypertension. This also caused strokes on my retina's. The eyes are quite vulnerable to hypertension, being the tiniest blood vessels in the body.

My ophthalmologist always says he can see all my past, and future strokes in my eyes. I suffered from "cotton wool spots" on my retina's, and sure enough, my eyes were able to heal themselves (with great BP control). I could not see, write, draw or drive for a long time.

Although our particular experiences are different, and it is nice to share our stories with others, to offer support and understanding. I wish you well!

Old 07-17-2009, 06:10 PM   #5
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,897
Blog Entries: 12
jennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB Userjennybyc HB User
Re: Could this be a stroke...or cranial nerve problem? PLEASE HELP!

Robin.........I'm glad you're seeing an neuro-ophthalmologist. I see one too. They are "the docs of last resort" when no one else can figure out what is wrong. They are as thorough as can be. I love mine....feel like I'm finally getting a handle on things.

Let us know how you are.

gentle hugs.............Jenny

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