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Spontaneous Carotid Artery Dissection

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Old 03-24-2011, 08:31 AM   #1
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Spontaneous Carotid Artery Dissection

Hello! I'm new here... So, I'm 34 years old, a homeschooling mother, and one day last June, I had a stroke. No warning signs. Just a headache. My friend was over, and she's in the medical profession, so she recognized what was happening & got my husband (who was fortunately out of work at the time). He took me to the hospital, but...I don't remember ANYTHING. I just woke up a few days (??) later, somehow knowing I'd had a stroke.

My stroke was a spontaneous carotid artery dissection. (I had never even heard of that before!!) I considered myself to be healthy: normal blood pressure, normal cholesterol, I don't smoke... Buit I STILL had a stroke. Weird! Anyway, when I got home after about a month in the hospital/rehab, I looked up strokes, including at my local library. There were a ton of books about strokes, but only one of them mentioned SCAD (I made that up ).

I had speech and physical therapies for about five weeks after coming home in July. I still have occupational therapy. My stroke affected the left side of my brain, so obviously the right side's just not working. In fact, I am typing this with just my left hand.

So....I'm not sure why I'm telling you readers this.... But I just thought I'd share. And if anyone had the same thing happen, please respond! Actually, it'd be nice to hear from any of you, but if not, I understand.


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Old 03-24-2011, 09:01 AM   #2
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Smile Re: Spontaneous Carotid Artery Dissection

(Mine was a hemorrhage at age 36; I'm now 51.)
I'm rather new here too. The people that have responded to my posts have all been very kind and helpful. Please don't hesitate to post if you have any questions, or even if you just want to vent.
Subarachnoid Hemorrhage (SAH) 2/21/1996 Age 36
Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.

Old 03-24-2011, 11:02 AM   #3
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Thumbs up Re: Spontaneous Carotid Artery Dissection

hello Stacy, and welcome to our Little/medium size family of stroke survivors. I'm very sorry to read of your stroke, though you seem to be doing well, at least in the cognitive areas? your typing and punctuation is good. I've never heard of spontaneous carotid artery dissection. either. like you I'm typing this with only my right hand as my stroke was on the right side of my brain and I was left handed all my life. my stroke was caused by being crushed at work. I was healthy like you,(carried drywall 8-10 hours a day will keep you healthy) when I was hurt an ambulance took me to the hospital,I had my stroke in the emergency room, after my being combative they'd given me something to temporarily paralyze me. I remember most of it, even the 9 days I was in a deep coma. or I like to think I remember, I could hear and see, after I woke up I told my family who had been to visit me and what some were wearing, also told of conversations they'd had with doctors. but I'm sure there is much I actually don't remember? I was in the hospital/rehab as in patient for 30 months following my stroke, then another 6 months in out patient rehab 8-10 hours per day the entire time. I think I'm the senior stroke survivor who frequents this board? I'm just days shy of 18 1/2 years post stroke was age 42 at the time of stroke, just turned 60. anything I can help you with just ask, it took me 14 years of asking my doctors why I had a stroke? it took till then for my new neurologist to order an ultrasound of my neck which showed a complete carotid artery dissection. I'm assuming it's like yours? a spontaneous carotid artery dissection? it makes sense to me.

you are still young in both age and stroke recovery. I've made tremendous gains in my recovery, but I really don't expect much more? I don't want to sound like the grim reaper! the brain works very hard to re-round blood to the damaged parts of the brain, but if no blood is getting to that area of the brain, then how can it re-rout the blood? mine is 100% blocked on the right side your's is left side, my neurologist told me doing any kind of surgery to unblock the artery to allow blood flow would be more dangerous than leaving it alone, the rush of blood could flood the brain like a hemorrhage causing more damage than we have? just know we can learn to be happy the way we are now, there is not much I can't do now if I put my mind to it. I call it my triple A system Asses Accept Adapt. I'm the happiest now I've ever been in my life even though I'm completely paralyzed on my entire left side, I'm not home bound, I can spend time with my family and my 3 wonderful grandsons 1 age 14 1 age 13 and 1 14 months old.

if you get nothing from my post that helps you? remember this! it's never to early to start therapy! it's always to early to stop therapy do not listen to the "you have reached your plateau! we can get better just as long as we are trying to get better!

I'm sure you'll meet the rest of our wonderful family members in time just be patient we are here to help you any way we can?

good luck and god bless

happiness is a way of life, not a goal in life, success comes in cans not can'ts

Old 03-24-2011, 05:07 PM   #4
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Re: Spontaneous Carotid Artery Dissection

Hi Stacy! I have no insight into your "SCAD" and can just offer support.

I had a stroke last March, also apparently for no reason at all, or at least for no reason that could be found. I have recovered just about completely and hope you will too!

Can you use your arm at all?

Old 03-27-2011, 06:45 AM   #5
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Re: Spontaneous Carotid Artery Dissection

Hi Stacy and welcome,
I am happy you found us here. I hope you will get the support and comfort you need just as I did. It seems like you are a so young to have a stroke, but I know that a stroke can happen to anyone at anytime, not matter what age you are. I meet people that say I am too young also to have a stroke at 51 So obviously the stereotype stroke of happening at a certain age are just silly.

I also do not know what your "scad" is (good name you invented btw), but I have found that it doesn't matter what the stroke is called, it is just a stroke to me and I have found that we survivors have much more in common than you may realize at first. It was here that I first realized that I was a stroke survivor, not a victim, and I have met so many wonderful friends here, just as you will.

I just wanted to say that your post was so uplifting. You have such a positive attitude for just having a stroke in June... you are definitely a survivor. Good for you. If you ever have any questions or concerns or just want to vent, please feel free. Someone always responds.
Take care and God Bless,

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Old 03-28-2011, 09:13 AM   #6
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Re: Spontaneous Carotid Artery Dissection

My apologies for not responding oldest daughter turned 12 (!!!) on Saturday and I was busy. Making a cake with fondant is difficult when you've had a stroke - but that's another story.

Larry/coupe, that kind of stroke is EXACTLY what I had!! Although it was spontanteous but still. 30 months???? God bless you!!

Chloe1252, I can use my arm, but my fingers are toned. I started out completely flaccid, but it's progessively gotten better - I guess the fingers will be the last body part to recover! I'm getting Botox on April 20...I've had that once before, but it didn't do anything, so the doctor is going to give me a higher dosage. Maybe this will work.. ??

I forgot to say something in my last post - in January of this year, I got another MRA and the doctor told me that my carotid artery is still 90% blocked!! This is after about six months of taking Plavix (which I hated, btw) and 81mg of aspirin. I was so shocked - I thought it would have at least gone down a little, ya know? But I can live with that...only, no going on roller coasters. Well, my kids think I'm too old for them anyway.....

Sue and Tim, you're so nice! Everyone here is really understanding. I am adding this page to my Favorites.

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Old 03-28-2011, 05:08 PM   #7
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Re: Spontaneous Carotid Artery Dissection

Dearest Stacy,

I am Janet, another of our family members. We are so happy you found us, and we welcome you to our family. It is a good one!

I am so sorry to hear of your stroke, what a mystery strokes can be. I love your attitude, and I can really relate to the cooking thing. I just posted the other day about a battle I had with one dinner I worked on for 5 hours, serving it at about 9pm...I sure hope your cake wasn't late for the birthday! A fondant cake with one hand? Wow, impressive. Happy Birthday to your daughter. Any more children?

I did know the source of my strokes, hypertension. I had 4 while snorkeling in the ocean. I was 43 art the time, 50 now. My strokes caused my kidneys to fail, which is what I am battling now. Like our dear friend Coupe, I have never been happier. I have the deep sense of appreciation for life, for the people that really matter, and I now help others, something I have always done, but in a very different way. I hope you find the same sense in time. It is a very long process, but having others who really understand is very helpful.

I look forward to getting to know you more, and sharing with you. We are very happy to have you and we welcome you!


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