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Re: Stroke

Posted By CCF Neuro MD on February 06, 1998 at 16:35:39:

In Reply to: Stroke posted by Lisa on February 06, 1998 at 15:53:19:

: I'm 29 and had a stroke 3 weeks ago.  Compared to what I know could have happened, the damage I have is very minimal.  Some speech issues, left side weakness & some loss of use in left arm/hand, right side sensory issues, and some personality changes.
While in the hospital I did not get all or any of my questions answered and my neurologist won't even return my phone calls since the hospital.  I have an apt. with another Neurologist later this month but, I was hoping you could clarify a couple things for me.
They have determined that the stroke was caused by a birth defect type issue.  My right Vertebral artery (or whaever it's called)is really thin/skinny and my whole life the left one has compensated for it and a dissection occred.
What is a dissection (in words I'll understand!)?
For two weeks prior to my stroke I had a headache always centralized in the base of the back of my head on the left side.  I went to the doctor and they treted it as a sinus infection.  After 1 week of antibiotic/decongestant I went to the doctor again because there was no relief from the headache and the day I went in it was particlarily bad.  The doctor switched the antibiotic and put me on an anthistimine and a nasal spray.  Less than 18 hours from starting the new medication I had my stroke.  It was the wierdest thing.
I strongly believe the headache was affiliated with the stroke, but the 2 doctors I saw in the hospital kept saying there was no way for anyone to know because I am so young.  Is there a possibility the headache was affiliated with it?
What are the chances of this thing doing this again?
How long does it take for the dissection to heal or go down or whatever it has to do!?
The doctors were guessing full recovery within 60 days.  I hope they're right, that'd be incredible.  But, as my body heals,etc. should I be doing some therapy to help my left side?  
Any input would be greatly appreciated by myself & my husband!!
Thank you!

A dissection is a tear in the wall of an artery, when it occurs blood
ruptures through the inner lining of the artery but instead of bursting out
completely it is contained by the outer layer and tracks along between the la
yers, this obviously causes some compression of the opening within the artery
and may block off the artery completely or cause reduced flow and clot formation where the lining is disrupted.
It sounds very likely that your headache was related, especially given the
subsequent developments, but there is no way to go back and prove absolutely that
this is waht happened. It certainly sounds plausible to me though.
if your symptoms have settled the process of dissection has stopped and you should have
no further problems, the clot should be reabsorbed from the vessel wall within a few weeks,
depending on its origional size.
If there is a danger of this happening again especially if there is a possibility of clots
forming you might need to be on a blood thinner for up to six months.
You should discuss this at your new appointment.
If you have significant weakness physical therapy is always a good idea, you should ask for this to
be prescribed at your next visit as it will maximise your recovery.

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