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Avatar universal

TIA or Migraine (frightened me?)

Hi Guys,
I have had ongoing symptoms again lately that have caused me some concern but I am heading to the neurologist soon (3 weeks time), I think they might be migraine aura without the headache because of the transient nature of my symptoms, although I do think my left leg is becoming weaker, I do find it hard to go up my stairs these days.

Yesterday I had a most frightening experience, I was swimming (doing laps) which I do daily when I come over feeling weird, my whole left side felt like jelly, I got out of the pool and my left leg felt like it could barely support my weight and I struggled to lift my arm to towel dry my hair (left arm), I had no headache but the weakness was sudden onset on my left side and very scary, then 5 maybe 10 minutes and I was back to normal, could this have been a Transient Ischaemic attack? Or just another migraine aura without headache?  When I had my transverse Myelitis attack I was weak feeling in my left leg but it come on gradually and stayed (not come and go in a matter of minutes).

Is there anyway of telling?  I don't have high blood pressure,  do not smoke, I am not overweight, I do not have high cholesteral, there is no history of migraine or stroke in my family but my mum does have a brain anurysm that was plugged up with platinum..  It was such a frightening thing to have happen, if it had stayed I was going to the doctor or the hospital.

Thanks in anticipation of some replies.

8 Responses
562511 tn?1285907760
Hi.  You have been saying that you think your left leg has become weaker for a while now, right?  This incident included your left arm (and this is new, correct?) .  Is the weather still hot?  If it is, raising your body temperature, even if the water you are swimming in is cool can cause problems.

I cannot tell you if it was an incident of transient ischemic attack or not, but I would suggest you use a vest so you don't sink to the bottom of the pool.  You are adding unexpected symptoms on a regular basis, so please be careful with your activities.  

I believe that an MRI can show repeated TIA's.  You know how I feel about so many of your problems being blamed on migraines. :-(      

If you were to be having repeated episodes of TM, would IV steroids not do you some good?  What is the treatment for a progressive-type of TM that keep reappearing?

Be well and please stay afloat.
987762 tn?1331031553
TIA's are mini strokes, you have by your neurologists words reoccuring TIA's, you have a history therefore of mini strokes, little ones are often seen prior to a big one, i'm concerned if you are having recurring TIA's which are from all acounts rare. Studies of TIA still indicate cognitive decline without the physical damage as seen in a major stroke, do not think TIA's are nothing, you should always go to the ED if you even suspect the posibility. Until your neuro determins that you are having TIA's and not MS, or even a migraine aura episode, you shouldn't assume all is fine, seriously though it probably is but YOU shouldn't assume everything is ok.

Call you neuro, tell him you've had another TIA, ask if it happens again should you go to the ED or just wait until your appt with him, i'm sure he'll say go to the ED. Its better to be safe and thought to be overly causious but according to your neuro you have recurring TIA's and it would be unsafe to not be causious and call for advice.

Take care

562511 tn?1285907760
What???  Your neurologist has told you that you are having TIA's?  
Avatar universal
Hi there,
No there must some misunderstanding my neurologist has NEVER said I am having mini strokes, he has said that I have had an episode at some stage of Transverse Myelitis (TM) and that I also suffer from migraines that could possibly be caused by the TM, but you are right Karen I am adding on symptoms (that's why I wonder if they are migraine?) but I do think there has been a gradual decline in my left leg strength.

I never actually thought about the fact that I could have just over done it in the pool, or that I could drown but come to think about it I guess I could.  My leg always feels a bit funny when I swim but this was different.  I usually feel a bit jelly like when I get out, especially if the pool is a bit warm.

I hope I do get another brain MRI ( I haven't had one done now for two years (last two MRI he has done have been cervical and thoracic.

Yes a course of IV steroids could possibly help if I am in a flare (which he did offer me last time he thought I was having a relapse)  

I should ring his nurse but they are so, so busy I feel guilty, I doubt if I would get in any earlier (we don't even have a neurologist in my city of over 80,0000 people so it's put a load on the existing neuro's.

Supermum if I have another episode like this I will ring as it did frighten the living daylights out of me.

I'm just so confused about all my symptoms.

Thanks for your input guys
Will keep you posted.
987762 tn?1331031553
Sorry Udkas,

I was sure it was you who's neurologist has said you could be having recurring TIA's, I remembered the Transverse Myelitis and the migraine without pain, sure did think TIA's was something your neuro was thinking, sort of tossing up between TIA's or Migraine unstead of the slamb dunk dx of MS.

With that (corrected information) in mind let me change my post to: Call you neuro, tell him you think you might of had a TIA, ask if it happens again should you go to the ED or just wait until your appt with him, i'm sure he'll say go to the ED. Its better to be safe and thought to be overly causious but according to your neuro your final dx is yet to be determined. TIA's are mini strokes, sudden and disapear just as quickly, your description fits TIA and it would be unsafe to not be causious and call for advice.

Its possible the warmth of the water exaserbated things and it might not be a bad idea to throw a float in the pool, something to keep you up if you cant get out on your own, noodles are good.

Sorry if i scared you a bit, i didn't mean for that but i did not want you to think its was just another oddity in your daily life of oddities, I think we get so use to the unexplained that we dont react as someone else would if these strange things didn't happen as part of their norm. I once lost the use of my left side whilst driving my son home from school, scared the carp out of me, had to pull over in peak hour traffic, id much rather the gradual going numb, than the sudden dead limb feeling.

338416 tn?1420049302
Hi, Udkas!  Hey, were you feeling more tired than usual when you had the incident?  Did you feel like you were exerting yourself more than usual?

Sometimes neurological symptoms that were dormant can be wakened up by becoming overheated, or tired, or both.  My right leg gets weaker when I'm hot and/or tired.

I can't remember if you're diagnosed, but it's always a warning sign to me when I have an extreme problem with a symptom, like yours.  It usually means I'm closing in on another flare.

Make sure you call your neuro, and get plenty of rest.  I wouldn't swim until you can be sure that you're not going to have another attack.  If you really want to keep your routine, try a kickboard - at least if your arm goes weak, you won't have to struggle to stay afloat.
Avatar universal
Hi Jen,
the kickboard idea is a good one, I will do that.  I swam last night but we have turned the heat down in the pool and it was a cooler night.  It was hot when I swam the other day and I have been under more pressure than normal, so very tired.

We are selling our Garden Centre and relocating to another Garden Centre that we owned and had leased out, so busy, busy, then I was hosting a surprise 70th birthday for my mother and I was scrubbing the house from top to bottom and cooking etc. so I was more tired and stressed than normal, my mum has early dementia and can sometimes have inappropriate outbursts and i was uncertain if she would be on her best behaviour for her birthday party, but it was all good.

No I am not diagnosed (other than TM), I have hyper reflexia, ankle clonus, positive babinskis etc. etc. but no lesions to be seen, my brain MRI was perfect (last one), not even a blemish.

Previous neuro years ago gave me a diagnosis of I am 99% certain you have MS but when MRI didn't confirm and change over the years he changed his mind (I think now hence the TM diagnosis from this neuro).  This neuro reckons my TM has reoccured and that the lesions in my cord are there (he reckons he has evidence on my physical exam) doesn't need the MRI to confirm? and by what I tell him.  I am pretty sure he wants to MRI my brain again this time but I don't think he thinks I have MS.

Will let you all know how my appointment goes.

Thanks for caring.
338416 tn?1420049302
It sounds like the heat and fatigue set off something...  Good luck!
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