I am a 54 year old woman who is pretty healthy, but suddenly started having problems
I was sent to a neurologist as I was having sudden dizzy spells, or rather where my head was spinning with loss of vision,sometimes double vision or perhaps better described as blurred vision and the sensation of my body pulling to one side, these attacks would occur without warning and only last a few minutes ,
the worst attack was whilst driving where i got double vision and then I lost my sight altogether, again only for a short period of time, ( I managed to get onto the hard shoulder and to safety) but could not call for help as i could not see to operate my cell phone
anyway to cut a long story short, the neurologist after some basic tests, heard a whoop whoop in my neck arteries, despite the carotid artery scan showing no blockages, and some other basic tests, said that I had been having TIA's, (mini Strokes) and showed me where the problem was
He also said that if i had a big stroke it would be very bad,
he has ordered an MRI, MRA, and also a EEG, all to be pre approved by my medical insurance company,
I kind of understand what a TIA is, what i really don't get is what can be done for it, other than the aspirin that he has me on, they also put me on Simvastatin to lower my cholesterol, even though I am slim and pretty much healthy, (or so i thought)
I need to know for my own peace of mind what the prognosis is for this kind of thing, Do i really have to fear having the big one with no warning, and what are the chances of this happening,
The Cardiologist done the stress test, a complete ABI i think it was called and a bubble study, and also the Carotid scan, and they were all OK according to him, could they have gotten it wrong, or would all those tests not have disclosed the mini strokes
I have been getting myself in a real state, thinking this is the last year of life, am i just panicking ? for no real reason, or should i be very concerned, I do not smoke nor do i drink Alcohol, though i know my cholesterol is elevated,
Yes, you're panicking just a bit...but hopefully I can provide some insight that'll help you understand what you're going through a little better, since I've been through nearly the same thing. Most of the tests ordered by your neurologist are standard for someone believed to be experiencing transient ischemic attacks (TIAs). They have to rule out stenosis (carotid artery ultrasound) and look for an embolic source and rule out heart defects (echocardiogram), both of which would indicate TIAs are occurring. Whether or not evidence of a TIA is found from either of these tests, patients are generally recommended to begin taking some dose of aspirin daily. I'm a bit confused as to why your neurologist still thinks you're experiencing TIAs given your stellar results, but in some cases, TIAs aren't easy to prove, which is why your doctor is digging deeper for answers and may even want to repeat one or more of the tests (probably not the carotid artery ultrasound, but maybe the echocardiogram).
While this certainly doesn't mean the "last year of life", it isn't to be taken lightly, as a TIA is given the nickname "mini-stroke" for a good reason...they are often considered a precursor to, or warning of, an actual stroke, which could cause permanent paralysis and other serious neurological damage should one occur.
It sounds like your neurologist has everything under control, though, and is doing a great job of ensuring you're diagnosed correctly and any future problems, such as TIAs, are avoided. Just don't hesitate to ask him questions and be sure to inform him of any future TIA-like episodes immediately after you get yourself to the nearest ER. If you happen to have an actual stroke, and not a TIA, you need to get to an ER within 2 hours so medication can be administered to reverse the effects of a stroke before it's too late and they become permanent. Sometimes, it's difficult to differentiate between a TIA and a stroke, which is why it's important you get to a hospital.
Hope this helps! Take care and keep us posted on how you're doing.
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