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Old 11-10-2010, 06:31 PM   #1
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No Explanation for Stroke

Hello Friends,
I'm new to this stroke board. I've been on the TMJ and Pain boards for a couple of years.
On Monday (two days ago) I had what the doctors think was a minor stroke. I was fine one minute and the next minute I was having problems getting my words out. I knew what I wanted to say, but it took time to get the words out. Over the course of the next 30 minutes my symptoms went on to include pressure in the left side of my chest, tingling of my right leg, and more impaired speech.
I got to the local hospital within 90 minutes of onset of symptoms. I ended up with some weakness on the left side of my body as well as the speech impairment. Over the course of the past 2 days I've had 2 CAT scans, an echocardiogram, a doppler study of the carotid arteries, and an angiogram. The doctors have looked at all of the results and they can't find any indication of a stroke. They made the diagnosis based on my symptoms.
I'm very lucky that I'm home and will be able to resume my normal activities, including returning to work next week.
Does anybody have any ideas of how I could have what appeared to be a stroke, without any indication on the tests? I will appreciate any help that you can give me. Thanks for your support.
Peggy

 
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Old 11-13-2010, 09:05 AM   #2
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Re: No Explanation for Stroke

Hi Peggy,
I'm pretty new here too and discovered this forum after having 2 small strokes in March. I remember asking a similar question here since my initial Catscan didn't show anything either. I've since learned that this is common enough with small strokes/TIA's. Sometimes a repeat Catscan or MRI later on will show damage, but sometimes nothing ever shows up. It doesn't mean you didn't have a TIA or stroke, and the specialists treating you will make that determination. Based on the symptoms you had, they can usually tell you what part of the brain was effected. I had the same tests you did and they were also all clear. The neurologist then ordered a TEE (trans-esophageal echocardiogram) test which showed two heart defects that they think were responsible for a small clot/clots getting to the brain. Take care that you don't rush things too much, and make sure that you give yourself plenty of time to rest. I found I would get tired very easily and quickly, even though the other symptoms were gone. I wish you the best of luck.
Karen

Last edited by kmarla; 11-13-2010 at 09:12 AM.

 
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Old 11-13-2010, 05:49 PM   #3
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Re: No Explanation for Stroke

Dear Kmarla,
Thank you for your response. I wouldn't wish a stroke on anyone, but it is reassuring to hear that someone else had very similar symptoms to mine.
You're right about getting tired easily. I foolishly thought that I'd be able to jump back on the horse and ride off into the sunset. Instead I find that I get tired and a bit dizzy after being out of the house for a couple of hours. I see that I'm going to have to slowly ease back into my normal routine.
I'm fortunate to live near an excellent medical center, The University of Maryland Hospital. I have an appointment with one of their neurologists on Friday, November 19th. I'm hoping to get some answers from the new doctor. My biggest concern with not having answers is that I'm afraid that what ever triggered this week's stroke will trigger another one. I'd feel much better knowing what caused this week's stroke, and then doing whatever is necessary to resolve the issue.
I'll keep you posted on my progress. I have an appointment with my family doctor on Monday. He'll make a determination as to when I can go back to work.
Thanks again for your help.
Peggy

 
Old 11-14-2010, 07:12 AM   #4
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Re: No Explanation for Stroke

Quote:
My biggest concern with not having answers is that I'm afraid that what ever triggered this week's stroke will trigger another one.
Yes, that's exactly the feeling I had when I had a mild stroke last March and no reason that could be found. I wanted someone to say "This is why you had the stroke and if you do such-and-such, it will never happen again."

But now I realize having no diagnosis can be a good thing since it means there's nothing really wrong with me, in that I have no cholesterol, high BP, blockages, heart problems etc. Sometimes strokes can be ideopathic or even situational if something happens to temporarily raise your BP.

I was dizzy and very tired for months afterwards. Don't go back to work too soon. Rest and sleep are of utmost importance in recovery. Don't push yourself - you may think you're fine but your body and brain may disagree!

 
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:03 AM   #5
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Re: No Explanation for Stroke

Dear Chloe,
Thank you for your response. You make a good point that if the doctor's don't find anything wrong, then there may be nothing to worry about.
You're also right about not feeling up to par. I went to church this morning and realized that I shouldn't be driving very far. I was a bit dizzy, and came home exhausted.
I know that I need to count my blessings, but I'm very frustrated. I want to sound like I did before the stroke, and I want the dizzyness and exhaustion to go away. I realize that I have to accept the new me. I may sound a bit different, but I can still talk. I get tired easily, but I'm blessed to wake up each day and have a charmed life.
Thanks to all for your support.
Please let me know how I can help you guys.
Peggy

 
Old 11-14-2010, 11:58 AM   #6
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Re: No Explanation for Stroke

Did your doctor recommend speech or physical therapy? If you need any kind of therapy it should be started asap after a stroke.

I was very frustrated too in the beginning, thinking of all the things I needed to get done, but then gave in and if I needed to doze off and on every afternoon for hours I did. There really isn't much choice and you want to do everything possible to recover as quickly as possible.

It's only been a week since you had your episode and it can take months to really feel like your old self again. If you do a keyword seach on this forum, you'll find many many complaints about the dizziness and fatigue experienced by nearly all of us here. My doctor never mentioned it and I was relieved to find this forum and see it was such a common thing.

Limit your driving to strictly necessary trips, rest when you're tired and eat well if you have no nausea (another common complaint here) and you'll be stronger every day!

 
Old 11-15-2010, 06:07 AM   #7
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Re: No Explanation for Stroke

Hi Peggy,
I'm hoping that you will get some good information from your neurologist appointment today. Please remember to take it very easy for now. I'm not sure where you live, but after my stroke, I was restricted from driving for a minimum 30 days. That was standard policy after having a stroke in my province. In actuality I wasn't given permission to drive again for almost 2 months, after all my test results were in. Please double check with your neurologist to make sure that it's okay for you to be driving right now. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that you get the answers you're looking for. Take care,
Karen

Last edited by kmarla; 11-15-2010 at 06:09 AM.

 
Old 11-15-2010, 07:41 AM   #8
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Re: No Explanation for Stroke

Quote:
Please double check with your neurologist to make sure that it's okay for you to be driving right now.
Agree. I was forbidden to drive for 3 months. I thought that was excessive but soon realized there was good reason for it. I'm very surprised that someone would be allowed to drive immediately following a stroke.

 
Old 11-15-2010, 02:05 PM   #9
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Re: No Explanation for Stroke

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pegala View Post
Hello Friends,
I'm new to this stroke board. I've been on the TMJ and Pain boards for a couple of years.
On Monday (two days ago) I had what the doctors think was a minor stroke. I was fine one minute and the next minute I was having problems getting my words out. I knew what I wanted to say, but it took time to get the words out. Over the course of the next 30 minutes my symptoms went on to include pressure in the left side of my chest, tingling of my right leg, and more impaired speech.
I got to the local hospital within 90 minutes of onset of symptoms. I ended up with some weakness on the left side of my body as well as the speech impairment. Over the course of the past 2 days I've had 2 CAT scans, an echocardiogram, a doppler study of the carotid arteries, and an angiogram. The doctors have looked at all of the results and they can't find any indication of a stroke. They made the diagnosis based on my symptoms.
I'm very lucky that I'm home and will be able to resume my normal activities, including returning to work next week.
Does anybody have any ideas of how I could have what appeared to be a stroke, without any indication on the tests? I will appreciate any help that you can give me. Thanks for your support.
Peggy
Hello Peggy,
I had a major stroke in January of this year. In my case the CAT Scan showed obviously a dark spot on the left side of my brain that had died. Your doctors told you now no "evidence" of a stroke for you, but from what you wrote, all of your symptoms sound exactly like a stroke to me from my experience. When I was in the hospital my doctor told me that strokes are a mystery and every one is different, so that is why it is so hard to point to anything. It is not like a cut on your hand, that doctor says, that is a cut, I will stitch it and it will heal in 3 weeks. It just doesn't work that way when we are dealing with our brain. I agree with everyone here that rest is very important. I used to fight it right after my stroke, because "that wasn't me". I never took a nap in the afternoon. But sleep is like what our body needs to let our brain to heal itself. so try to rest as much as your body tells you it needs. there is more wisdom here about strokes than doctors may know, because it is impossible for anyone to understand that unless it happened to them. Sometimes our bodies can tell us something is wrong when others may not see it. i hope this helps.
God Bless,
Tim

 
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