Confused and frustrated after being diagnosed with a lacunar infarct
I suffered a lacunar infarct in November of 2004. My main symptoms were numbness,loss of fine motor skills of left hand and leg, along with short term memory problems. A CT scan that day showed the lacunar infarct...as did MRI done 5 days later. I spent 2 days in hospital, began inpatient, then outpatient OT. A visit to the neurologist had me begging them to double check the tests results, at which point the neuro and his nurse gently redirected my denial to acceptance. I have regained so much. I re-learned how to use my left hand (typing was very difficult for 4 months-and I still have to concentrate on some letter placement at times.) I could not horseback ride (I train horses and ride avidly) for a few months unless someone lifted me into the saddle as I couldn't get my left leg to move well. I still have intermittent numbness on that left side that is really getting better as time goes by. I can now mount and dismount my mare without aid. My family doctors had me re-evaluated last November and I still show a great discrepancy in strength. What confuses me is I had a cat scan 6 months ago, and there was no evidence of the previous lesion. I was seeing an endocrinologist for thyroid problems, and he questioned whether I had a stroke. This opens up all the questions I had 2 years ago and leaves me feeling like I am unsteady ground. What if it wasn't a stroke? I was only 32 when diagnosed with the lacunar infarct, and it was a tiny area of ischemia- could I have healed so it wouldn't show on catscan? I'm so confused and angry.
For months after the stroke I slept a lot, I cried at the strangest times--And yet, I also pushed myself in good ways. By February of '05 I put myself into a painting class offered by local art guild. I could only handle 30 minutes of the 3 hour class as it wore me out. I found out I can paint!! But I also find myself still very angry at times, and obsessing over "Did it really happen." There seems to be some discord between my doctors opinions. It has been mentioned that a migraine caused a temporary occlusion. (I do suffer from migraines, but was not having one the days prior or during the stroke).
I truly feel frantic at the discrepancies and questions.
I am not a medical person. I only know a lot about strokes due to my mother having a massive stroke leaving her paralyzed on right side and unable to speak. The fact that you "slept a lot and cried for no reason" indicate that it could have been a slight stroke, but you were very young and recovered quickly. Look up "emotional lability" as a symptom of having had a stroke...it means you cry and don't know why you are crying, limited control of emotions. Also sleeping a lot is a symptom of having had a stroke, stroke patients are very, very tired after a stroke, but sleeping is when their brains are healing. Did you have any memory loss?
People often assume that if a stroke has not affected language and speech, a stroke survivor is not impaired. This is not true! Left hemiplegia may result in problems with spatial-perceptual tasks - the ability to judge distance, size, position, rate of movement, form and how parts relate to wholes. People with severe spatial-perceptual deficits may have more trouble with self-care than those with equally severe language deficits. They may not be able to read a paper - not because they can't read, but because they lose their place on the page. They tend to have a behavioural style that is too quick and impulsive, and behave in a way that makes overestimating their abilities easy. They are often unaware of their deficits, and may think themselves capable of tasks they are not-driving for instance, which even with minor spatial-perceptual disabilities can be dangerous. ***************
I found that description to be very appropriate for me. Navigating stairs is very nerve wracking for me, as well as driving at night.
I wish I knew how to let go of the angst inside from this. How can I still be so frustrated after all this time?
Thank you for answering my post.
I did have memory loss. The days leading up to the stroke are fuzzy, and treatments that I underwent I had to be reminded of that they had happened. While being outpatient for OT, I was told I would re-introduce my husband to the therapist every time my husband came to pick me up. I remember being in a panic many times the first few weeks, as what I thought were "new" symptoms were actually lingering residual effects. I feel as if I have "lost" a year of my life, and I find myself still writing 2004 on my checks. 2005 is a haze of distorted images and memories. If I am especially tired I can't remember my address or phone number, and often recall the address and ph# of where I lived 6 months before the stroke. I can't tell you how many times I have frustrated my family when they tell me that we've had a conversation, and I cannot recall it ever happening. I write EVERYTHING down now, and writing it down makes a huge difference (unless I can't remember where I tucked away that information!)
I believe frustration is a big part of stroke, not only for the patient, but for the family. I know I am constantly fighting the anger, guilt and resentment I feel towards the whole situation of taking care of my mother for so far, 4 years...of course, it is not her fault in anyway and yet I still feel these very bad emotions. I have to distance myself from her a lot of the time to get my head "screwed on straight." Do not feel you are alone in your frustrations and resentments. I think they are only natural. It helps me to be out in nature with my dog, as I am sure your time with your mare helps you..stick with that.
Hi Like you I also had a lacunar infarction in 2004 in September and in October. The first one occurred while I was lying in bed with my husband and my right arm suddenly started to feel as though it was lit on fire and my muscles were burning. I got extremely hot on my entire body like being boiled and then I was like an ice cube in a freezer. I could not speak or move for awhile. I don't know how long it was. When I was able to speak I slurred the word hospital to my husband who was lying next to me and was unaware it had happened. He asked me to repeat the word and I did but I was very frustrated to have to do that as it was hard just to get the word out. When I was able to say it again he realized something was wrong. I am a disabled female age 42 who suffers mobility issues with my legs and use forearm crutches full time. I tried to use my crutches but I was too weak to do so. I was carried to our van and brought to hospital. The doctor came in and without doing any tests told me I was just having female stress problems and he gave me ativan and sent me home. I did not feel any better a couple of days later when I went to my doctor who immediately sent me to see a neurologist who then sent me for an MRI. Two days after the MRI which happened two days after seeing the neurologist the doctor called me and told me I had had a lacunar infarction. He told me that I needed to increase the dose of aspirin I was on to a regular strength dose. I also have a rare condition called Takayasus Arteritis which affects my blood vessels and this was what they figured caused the lacunar. They think my artery or other vessel spasmed and blocked blood flow to my brain. I am very frustrated as I find myself having problems remembering words that just a moment ago I had in my head. I do repeat my conversations and have now learned to ask the person I'm going to speak to to stop me if they have already heard it. I have found depression affected me as well and still cry a lot with very little stress. With my condition of Takayasus the scarey thing is that I may have more than just the two lacunar's affect me. Takayasus has caused me to have no blood flow to my heart while having an angiogram at age 31, two strokes and stopping breathing last year and actually dying. Luckily my hubby was there to smack me in the face in a panic while shaking me. Boy was I sore after I woke up. I couldn't figure what had happened. I do get a good chuckle out of it now though.
To all the frustrated ones out there I just wanted to let you know you are not alone. When I was 25 years old I worked in the local E.R. and going through a hard time in my life. My ex assaulted me. I want to the E.R. where I worked for the last 10years the place I felt safe my home away from home. You can only imagine how I felt to pick up the phone and call to the back of the E.R. And tell the dr my co-worker “I NEED TO BE SEEN MY HUSBAND ASSULTED ME". So as I told my story to all my co-workers and the local police dept. I was overcome with emotions. Then from there I was sent over to x-ray and had a ct scan. Let me remind you this is were I worked for years. I was waiting back in my room the dr came in and said you ct came back and it was NORMAL. So I was discharged home. So the next day I started to pick up my life and facing the reality of being a single mom with to little girls under the age of three. For the first couple of weeks thing were ok just a small headache no big deal I mean that was to be expected after what had happen right. After a few weeks I became very angry I started having trouble with my words. Sometimes words would come out when I was talking that just were not Wright one time I was telling someone family how to get to there families room I told them to get on the umbrellas and take then to the seconded floor. There was time when the words would not even come out at all. Things just keep getting worse over the next three mos. I worked nights then but the time came when I could not make it past 3 am. Now I went to the dr repeatedly during this time and was told repeatedly and over I was STRESSED. Now remember these are people and a hospital where I worked for years. To tell you the truth I was truly starting to think they were right I guess I am loosing my mind. I mean I an only 25, 25 years old do not have strokes, stokes only happen to old people right. Then one day in September I got up and felt ok. So I went to the gym and just got so tired I really did not think I was going to make it home. I laid down on my couch and just knew something was not right so I got my phone and called 911 the next thing I remember is the police dept and EMS talking to me I could here them and I keep trying to tell to call my good friend who is a cop so she could call my mom and ex to be with my kids. To me these words were coming out of my mouth but later I was told I was just moaning. So ems took me the E.R. were I worked I was put in a trauma room I was awake enough to know what was going on and my words were starting to come together enough to ask short questions. Again, I was off to ct for yet an anther scan. I was so drained and so tired that to breath was taxing to me. I must have feel asleep for min. in ct the next thing I remember is looking up and seeing my friend Dr. P and him saying I’ll take her back to the E.R. , and thinking to myself this must be bad (that’s the only time doc's come over to ct). He came in my room with a couple of nurses and gave me the news. Jamie you had a left lacunar infarct. I said a stroke who but I am only 25. now it all started to come together I wasn’t” loosing my mind from all the female stress I was going through" I mean what the hell I know myself I know there was something wrong but when people and machines you trust are telling there is noting wrong I guess you start to believe you are loosing your mind. Ok now for the real kick in the face when I was told this it astounded me. Dr. P said Jamie I am so sorry to tell you THIS WAS THERE 3 MOS AGO BUT THEY MISSED IT. This happened 5 years ago and I am still mad as hell at my hospital my Dr. at that time and myself. I know there was something wrong but I let them make me think I was nuts and it was all in my head, even though I know something was wrong with me. I no longer work at that hospital. I have moved on with my life I still make many mistakes (spelling, speech, confusion, forgetting thing, repeating stories, and my brain just not getting things) but I can make light of it now, but last night I got a phone call. I was told my friend Robin died she wife and mother of two girls and one boy who just turned one. She had a bad headache for a couple of weeks, and since she is only 30, she could never have a stroke. Well guess what my 30-year-old healthy wife and mother had a stroke and died. Please spread the word and do not let this happen to your friends.
Rest In Peace
I am pleased to say that I am still here. July 2008 I was told by MRI that the headache that I was suffering from was the result of a stroke. Not just that, but a CT scan taken in November 2006 indicated blood clots on the brain, but for some reason, neither of my physicians told me about it.
Needless to say, I was shocked when my doctor asked me when I had a stroke. I wondered if it was any of the times within the last two years that I bugged the HE** out of him to find out why I couldn't maintain my balance, was extremely tired, my vision was changing for the worst, my tongue seemed tied with slurred speech, or a number of newfound abnormalities.
I was told at the time that it was stress. I bought his words, but I feel as if I am paying the price for such bad advice. Everyday I fight to maintain balance in every area of my life. And I too find that I don't know if I spoke of certain subjects before, and if there is something that I don't remember.... rather in the distant past or recent...I tell them if its important they will tell me about it, and we will experience it again.
I laugh at it. WHY? Because I am here to laugh at it. My heart goes out to those who have lost family and friends to this silent killer. I say silent because so many women are told that what they are experiencing is "female in nature".
Dear Reader: Be encouraged despite the change in how you define yourself and the quality of your life. Change comes to bring about more changes - that is inevitable. It is how you handle those changes that makes a world of a difference.
[Please forgive any mispellings. I used to work as an editor and teacher, and was very astute. The stroke has stolen some of my ability to articulate the English language]
The biggest lesson that I learned from the stroke is this:
IT'S OKAY NOT TO BE PERFECT, AND I FORGIVE MYSELF MORE FOR FALLING SHORT! And for those who don't embrace the new me, I simply don't allow them to embrace me.
Hi my name is Christine............... I was having bad headaches and eye pain for about week in a half. I finally went to ER and they did a CT Scan of my head, I was told it showed Lacunar Infarct which I guess is a small stroke or busted blood vessel. The hospital admitted me to do a MRI of my head and neck and MRA of head and they showed negative! I am so confused because why would the CT Scan show such and then MRI show perfect normal? Who do I trust? I ask the Dr could it had been there and went away and he said no! Please if anyone can help answer should i know if the MRI and MRA showed normal, then should I over look the CT Scan as the Dr said? I'm so upset and worried.
I just was recently told I have a STABLE Lacunar Infarct. I have numbness all the time in my hands and feet, have consulted a neurologist, and they have done nothing. Not that I think they can do anything at this time. What should I be asking the doctors to do? Is there anything I can do from the Stable portion of this becoming a stroke?
I too have this problem. I went to my dr after being sick for already a month with stroke like symptoms...(i am frequently ill so i didnt think anything of it at the time...) but then i was gettin worse and worse so i went to my primary and my heart rate was 130 resting! it was very unstable and they rushed me to a ct which showed a lacunar infarct at the basal ganglia which corresponded with my symptoms. I had to wait 4 days for an MRI and it only took them 10 minutes to send results showing it was normal...so everything was dropped just like that! I have yet to kno why im having all these problems STILL. this was november and it is now may and i have no answers. just meds to control the migraines and vertigo...but its very tiresome. this area is far from medically advanced and i have not found anyone who can find answers for any of my problems. Everything i have researched has all linked back to a lacunar infarct or lacunar stroke of the basal ganglia. EVERYTHING links to the basal ganglia!!! What the mri DID show was a pre-branching of my right middle cerebral artery indicating risk of an early aneurism...
They originally guessed small stroke or cancer...which was frightening as that is my 3rd cancer scare in 4 years. I have a tumor in my spine as well...that they have yet to identify tho its invasive and growing.
I am confused and certain that my problems, whtever they could be, may be linked to the basal ganglia. they wouldnt do another test nor use contrast or the type of mri that could help verify...and i am concerned how it only took 5 mins for the radiologist to look at the images since it took only 10 for it to show up on my records which takes a few minutes!!!!
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