56 YO male. Life long serious runner. Last Tuesday suffered a stroke [TIA]. Prior to this event the only red flag was a slightly elevated cholesterol level. No meds prescribed as doctor was lowering thru exercise / diet. On Tuesday I had two minor strokes on either side of my heart. Right side went numb, vision blurred. Worst was the 1st 1 minutes and progressively improved from there. Within a few hours vision was normal and could walk without aid. Went into the E/R about 10 hours later [I know] and was on the Brain / Stroke floor for two days. They discovered a PFO but everything else [other than the cholesterol and slightly low hemoglobin] came back ok. Honestly, felt the same physically walking into the E/R as I did leaving.
Everyone was very encouraging and at no time was there any urgency in my situation, they just needed two days to complete all the tests [which I passed, except for the PFO]. Was on a blood thinner and when released wrote me a 'script for Lipitor [20 mg] / aspirin. I guess, I was lucky as my event was minor. I still have slight tingling in my toes and memory is shaky. Last three days have slowly resumed activity; walking on TM / running mile, then 2, then 3 miles. Unfortunately, I feel most stable when I'm running but otherwise still a little shaky [emotionally]. Meet with cardiologist tomorrow and my ortho in a few weeks.
Questions; how long did it take for the tingling to disappear and does my progress seem normal [better / worse?]. Also, what's the opinion on Lipitor? I also started taking Omega 3 / fish oil as I'd like to get off the Lipitor. Curious about those with PFO, if you opted for surgery, did you notice any physical changes resulting form it? Thanks in advance!
Last edited by MothAudio; 09-01-2013 at 11:21 AM.
Update: Since posting I was able to get an appointment with my cardiologist [the one that'll do the procedure] tomorrow. In addition to the questions I posted is there anything else I should I ask him?
Hope you're doing well today. I had deep left brain TIA. At the time of stroke I passed all the physical stroke exams except the MRI(14 months ago) I was able to walk, talk, swallow, etc with no problems. My BP was off the charts and cholesterol was high. my entire right side was tingle/numb. I was put on full aspirin, 2 types of BP pills, and cholesterol med. It took several months to find the combination of meds that's work but i am on lipitor now.
I don't want to sound negative or discouraging....I just want to tell you my experience. EVERY stroke is different. I was in denial at first. I was only 51, very active, considered myself healthy, and was not taking any meds. BUT I did smoke cigarettes. (have since quit). After getting out of the hospital, I took off work maybe two weeks or so then went back to work Half days.....and within 1 month I hit rock bottom Emotionally and physically. Depression set in. I couldn't sleep. Tingling and numbness turned to hypersensitivey. My memory especially short term was slacking. Had weakness, balance issues and fatigue. I was a mess and had to take a little over two months off work.
I ended up doing PT and OT. My pain level is worse now. I have found that stress and over activity effects my stroke side to the point of very heavy feeling leg and arm.
I recommend that you get a neurologist and have all three doctors work together to make sure you get the best care. I hope that you recover fast with no lingering affects. REST and stay hydrated is what everyone told me.
Another thing I think is important to point out. The term "small stroke" can be misleading. A stroke is a stroke. Some affects are immediate and some can tAke months and sometimes years to show up.
I hope my story helps you and others seeking information. Please keep us posted.
The following user gives a hug of support to Iwamura: MothAudio (08-20-2013)
Thanks for sharing. It's strange but this afternoon I felt like a fog had lifted and the uneasy feeling I've been carrying has disapeared. The tingling in my toes is still there but otherwise I felt almost 100%.
I'm retired and a competitive runner. 4 days after my stroke, one day after being released I walked a mile on the TM and that evening ran a mile in front of our house while my son recorded me. Sunday ran 3 miles - felt great - and yesterday 2 miles. This morning hit the gym for an hour to test the strength of my affected side and tonight ran 8 miles and felt like I had more energy than I can remember.
It's weird, like the clot was blocking something and now I feel more energized. I think this explains a lot of the performance issues I've been struggling with the last 1.5 years. I knew it wasn't just because I was getting older!
I'll be interested to hear what the cardiologist says about how quickly I've ramped up my activity. I'll post after I see him tomorrow. Thanks for sharing and wish you all the best in your recovery!
The following user gives a hug of support to MothAudio: Iwamura (08-20-2013)
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I don't know how people just put a small part in quotes but this part below is so true.
A year later I started getting headaches.
Another point is that some issues go away and then just pop back up for no apparent reason. ???
"Another thing I think is important to point out. The term "small stroke" can be misleading. A stroke is a stroke. Some affects are immediate and some can tAke months and sometimes years to show up."
Update: The following week I ran 55 miles [which is light for me] and the bizarre thing is that I felt great! I ran my fastest time this year for my 8 mile loop. It seems like I have more energy now than I did pre-stroke, which I understand is highly unusual post-stroke.
Then Monday morning my car began to overheat dropping the kids off to school and I was panicking driving it to the shop. I felt more anxious than normal [car never overheats] but I felt like this incident was affecting me differently than it would prior to my stroke. After dropping it off I began running the 5 miles back home [like always] when I began to feel slightly dizzy at mile 3.
Since this never happens I decided to walk the remaining 2 miles home. Since then I've gone through a series of ups-n-downs where I feel anxious, my heart rate would be slightly elevated and I just didn't feel right. I saw my neurologist yesterday for the evaluation of the PFO closure but they didn't find anything unusual. Said this sort of thing is typical following a stroke... especially since it's only been 2 weeks! I know it's been a short time since my stroke but I'm much more sensitive to emotional stress now than I was pre-stroke. I suspect that's normal.
Since curtailing my running the past three days I felt better today. Not sure if that's the cause, maybe I rushed back into activity too soon or the crisis with the car push me over the edge but I just felt like continuing to run wasn't helping [as I felt it was last week]. I've been doing yard work and trying to stay somewhat active and hope to resume training in a few days. I'll see my orthopedic next Friday.