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Avatar universal

Please describe your experience with transient ischemic attack.

The control centers of the brainThe brain controls how our body functions, how we think, how we see, how we talk, and how we move. The signals to and from the brain are transmitted through the spinal cord to the rest of the body.The right side of the brain controls the left side of the body, and the left side of the brain controls the right side of the body. This includes movement and sensation.Speech centers usually are located in the Broca's area on the left side of the brain.Vision is controlled by the back of the brain in the occipital lobes.The carotid arteries provide the majority of the blood supply to these parts of the brain (known as the anterior circulation).Balance and coordination are controlled by the cerebellum, or the base of the brain, and its blood supply comes from the vertebral arteries located in the bony canals in the back of the vertebral column (referred to as the posterior circulation).When an area of the brain loses its blood supply it stops working and the part of the body it controls also stops working. This is what happens with a stroke or CVA (cerebrovascular accident).When the brain loses blood supply, it tries to restore blood flow. If blood supply is restored, function may return to the affected brain cells, permitting return of function to the affected body part. This is what happens with a TIA (transient ischemic attack). Some may consider this a mini-stroke, however, in reality, it is a stroke that has resolved or has improved functionality in the affected body part.By definition, a TIA resolves within 24 hours, but most TIA symptoms resolve within a few minutes.TIAs are often warning signs of a future stroke. The risk of a stroke increases dramatically in the days after a transient ischemic attack, and the TIA may offer an opportunity to find a cause or minimize the risk to prevent the permanent neurologic damage that results because of a stroke.
59 Responses
Avatar universal
The day before I had the TIA, I was dizzy at work and my blood pressure was high. I also had ringing in one of my ears. I felt like I was in a big pool of water in my head. I was rather loopy. On Valentine's Day, I was in the kitchen and I suddenly fell to the floor, like someone had pushed me hard. I grabbed the counter with my right hand to hold myself up. I was so shocked at what was happening to me, but I finally made it to my bed. By this time, I was in a cold sweat. I had begun to feel my eyes closing and I had a lump in my throat. I was having problems swallowing and I could feel my mouth drawing to the left. After all was said and done, I was put on two blood pressure medications and I am taking two baby aspirin per day.
Avatar universal
My experience was different. I was watching TV when the vision in my right eye faded into blackness then slowly returned to normal. There was no pain and no warning. After extensive tests, no abnormalities were found. My doctor put me on blood thinners, but we found I cannot take them without having a major stomach crisis. My blood pressure is naturally 100/60 and my cholesterol is 155 with medication. I learned that the vision change is an emergency which I hope I never have again.
Avatar universal
When I had TIA, I had difficulty reading, as in the words I was reading made no sense.  I had difficulty speaking, as in I know what I wanted to say but the words would not come out. I also had a sensation of pins and needles in my right hand. I was a bit confused as well, as in I could not remember my dog's name. This ordeal lasted about 4 to 5 minutes, followed by a headache. Then I had a general feeling of being unwell, which last about three hours. I have had several of these episodes, and my doctor has me on medication to help control my symptoms.
Avatar universal
I awakened form a short nap approximately 1:00pm.The right side of my face from the cheek bone down was numb. I had a pain on the right outside of my head and I felt dizzy and off-balance. I immediately went to the computer and typed in STROKE. The answer spelled out several conditions of which I had three out of five. I called my wife and we immediately left for a doctor's office. Just prior to leaving I took two (2) Bayer aspirins (325mg).The doctor examined me and recommended that I go to the hospital. He called a Nassau County ambulance and went directly. They immediately give me an injection of an anti-coagulant and did a CT scan of my head. I was in the hospital within 45 minutes of not feeling well.
Avatar universal
At time of attack, my blood pressure was very high. A few hours after my attack, my blood pressure became normal. I had no pain with the attack. My vision went blank, not black, with horizontal bars, and color was present. My vision returned, but was fuzzy, and then finally returned to normal. The episode was about 10 minutes. I wasn't dizzy or nauseous. About a half hour later, I found out I couldn't spell simple 4 and 5 letter words when trying to reply to emails. All motor skills seemed fine throughout. Spelling popped back in after some minutes.
Avatar universal
I am a 5th grade teacher. I was at work and suddenly I had a very bad headache.  Then I felt like I wanted to vomit, so I went sit by the air conditioner.  Then, my left arm and face became numb.  This all happened within 10 minutes.  I was rushed to ER.  I am only 28 years old and I will definitely take any steps necessary to prevent a future stroke.
Avatar universal
I am 75 yr old female and have had TIAs for 18 yrs. I have a family history of hypertension and strokes. I have taken meds for hypertension and high cholesterol for 20 yrs.  Recently suffering drop attacks and problems with left ear and fluid in both ears.  Daily baby aspirin for many years evidently did not reduce TIAs (left eye only) and after recent drop attacks and all kinds of tests during 3-day hospitalization, was put on medication.  Have had only two additional drop attacks since then, but have recurrent left ear pain, now seeing ENT doctor. I quit smoking 6 months ago (after 50 years). I hope will improve, along with moderate exercise; cholesterol and blood pressure remain under control.
Avatar universal
I sat down at my computer and couldn't focus on the words on the screen.  Looked away and everything looked double.  A friend who is a medic told me I needed to go to the ER immediately.  Another friend drove me - on the drive I saw flashing strobe lights on the upper right of my vision.  The ER folks got me in immediately - didn't even have a chance to get to the waiting room.  I have no risk factors; my blood pressure is normally low, my cholesterol is very low, and I don't smoke.   Went back to work after an MRI which showed nothing, and have started taking a daily aspirin.
Avatar universal
I drove to a restaurant one morning on the way to work, went to work, sat at my computer with a blank stare and didn't know what was going on.  I don't remember driving to the restaurant or work.  My niece at work drove me to my primary care doctor who performed test on me.  I don't remember anything that went on for 2 days.
Avatar universal
I had a TIA while pregnant with my third baby.  I lost all vision in my left eye and lost all feeling on the left side of my body.  I regained control of everything within a period of about 12 hours but was kept in the hospital for a week for observation.  I was placed on Plavix for the remainder of my pregnancy (I have an aspirin allergy) and have been fine since.
Avatar universal
The vision in my right eye caused everything I saw to turn sideways.  My left eye had normal sight.  My speech was slurred and it was difficult to walk.  I had to use both arms to try to pull myself into bed.  I was very lucky because I took a nap for an hour and woke up with the same symptoms.  It was then my husband took me to the hospital.  The eyesight readjusted about two hours after on-set and my speech was somewhat slurred for about two weeks afterward.  They were never able to figure out why this happened.  I was 40 years old and no history of high blood pressure or high cholesterol. It could have turned out very badly because I took a nap instead of going directly to the hospital.  I just never imagined that I was having a stroke. I was very lucky.
Avatar universal
Excellent article.  I have a friend who was hospitalized recently due to "unexplained symptoms" such as twisted side of face, swelling under one eye with no change in color, but full of what appeared to be fluid. Tests included blood work, scan and IV antibiotics. They told him everything was "OK". Nothing was found. The doctor told him that he probably got bitten by something. I would like to know what you think about this situation. I told him he probably had a TIA. He also doesn't take a daily ASA. His only diagnosis is BPH and is on medication for it. I was a nurse for over 30 years.
Avatar universal
I had congestive heart failure in 1998. Female symptoms of a heart attack are not always the same as the ones we all know to watch for so at the time I didn't know I was having one. Found out I have high blood pressure in 2007. I have huge problem with edema, taking 2 different diuretics (1 also helps with the HBP). My TIAs started in 2008. Most of the time they start with facial numbness; feeling nauseated and I get confusion sometimes. They are happening more often. I have had an echocardiogram in 2006 that showed a valve not opening and closing correctly. I live alone and worry about this sometimes. Tonight, my vision was so blurred I could not see to find phone to call for help. Because they are happening more often, I am having more tests done.
Avatar universal
When I had my TIA, I had trouble talking with my wife. I knew what I wanted to say, but the words would not come out.
Avatar universal
I am an 83 year old male. While standing in the bathroom after just arising in the morning, my left leg "gave out" and I lurched against the wall, trying to maintain my balance. My entire left side became numb, including my left arm which hung uselessly at my side. When trying to brush my teeth, I could not direct the toothbrush into my mouth. These symptoms lasted about three minutes. I was later driven to the hospital where I was admitted for an overnight stay and given numerous tests, including functional tests by a Neurologist. No further symptoms occurred. Diagnosis was that I have a 50% blockage in my right Carotid artery. It is assumed that a small particle of plaque broke off and traveled to my brain.
Avatar universal
It started with a dead/tingling left arm. The following day the left leg was very slightly affected in that I would occasionally trip when walking. The left arm remained numb for 24 hours or so and then it was very weak and I couldn't straighten my fingers for two days or more. I was not admitted in hospital at all.  The MRI scan took place 4 days later. The Doppler was almost 2 months later.
Avatar universal
I am now 85 years old, but had about 3 TIA's in my mid teens.  No more until 1 at about age 29, then no more until about age 70.  Since then, I've averaged 3 or 4 per year.   All begin alike, I note a visual distortion first, then it moves to numbness somewhere on the left side, maybe the cheek, or fingers, or other.  It can move in 10 minutes to where I might not control my movements and will fall.  Several trips to the ER have occurred, with my family doctor involved.  All sorts of tests show no serious problem, I've been on BP meds and Plavix for many years, still have these every so often.  NOW, of the most valuable use, my family doctor suggested several years ago to INCREASE my CO-2 in the blood to make the blood vessels enlarge, in the area of the brain where the clot/constriction occurred.  He suggested breathing in and out of a plastic bag, until I had to catch a fresh breath, and keep doing it until the TIA was checked early on.  That has worked for me for at least 9 out of 10 such events.  Unfortunately, the latest occurred when I was sound asleep, and I didn't wake up to use the bag to breathe in and out of.  As a result its effects were serious:  Severe headache for the entire next day, and visual distortion still with me after over a week.
Avatar universal
The whole right side of my body went heavy, I couldn't move it, my face was saggy, and my husband noted my right eyebrow was lower than my left. I could barely speak and had an extremely hard time thinking. After 10 minutes my body felt okay, after an hour my speaking was better. I was an idiot and didn't go to emergency, but did see my doctor the next day. There was muscle weakness still in the right side. I am waiting for CT scan, an ECHO and a Doppler. I do not smoke, have lost over 100 lbs in the past 1.5 years, and I have perfect blood pressure and cholesterol so finding out why this happened and stopping it is main concern.
Avatar universal
When I had my TIA I was 44 years old. I had gotten up in the night to go to the bathroom and all of a sudden the entire left side of my body went completely numb. I couldn't speak and my left hand drew up. I had to wait a few minutes before I could finally speak enough to get my husband up to help me. I was a fool and didn't go to the doctor right away and ended up having to have a triple by-pass 3 months later. Then I had to have 2 stents, and I had a heart attack.
Avatar universal
I was at a friend's house for dinner with my wife and when we were saying our good-byes I suddenly felt extremely dizzy.  I made my way to the car and managed to get in the passenger seat.  As my wife got in and started the car she looked over and I was slumped over in my seat, non responsive, grayish white and sweating buckets.  After a minute or so I regained consciousness.  My pulse was weak and I could not talk.  I knew what I wanted to say but couldn't get the words out.  My arms and legs were numb and tingly for another 30 min or so, and the sweating subsided after about 15-20 min.  The emergency was 30 min. away and by the time we got close enough to go I felt better and decided to go home. (Dummy).  My doctor is now in the process of conducting further tests!
Avatar universal
I may go as long as 2yrs without a TIA then I may have several. Mine begins with double vision and what I think I am saying is not what comes out. I then realize what I am saying does not make sense. I try to follow orders but my attention span is only seconds long. I have been hospitalized because one lasted over 8 hrs. No damage resulted that I knew of but recently I noticed the right upper lip disappeared into my mouth from drooping. My main concern afterwards is how tired I am because it usually takes 2 days to get my strength back.
Avatar universal
My mother, age 80 and a type 1 diabetic has had several alarming short events which I think may be TIAs. She suddenly becomes unfocused (to say the least), her face sags, she is not able to speak in words, and sometimes growling sounds other times disjointed syllables. She then appears to fall asleep. The events last only a couple of minutes and are several months apart. Since she also suffers from Alzheimer's it is difficult to know exactly what is happening. She has no memory about the time she is out of it and thinks we are making something out of nothing.
Avatar universal
Actually, I'm seeking advice. I'm a 59 year old male; non-smoker with a moderate BP problem (currently 80mg BP med). My concern is maintaining my balance when walking; periodic numbness in my right leg and feet. Sometimes it feels as if my right leg is responding slower than my left leg. Also whenever I attempt to lie on my right side, I immediately become dizzy. I've had MRI's on my brain; right leg; as well as my heart.
Avatar universal
I am a 55 year-old female. I suddenly lost my balance and fell into my 13 year-old daughter who was seated on a vanity table stool. She got up to allow me to sit down and told me later that my speech was slower. I wasn't aware of this, but remembered seeing double of everything, two dogs, two lamps, two beds. She asked me how many fingers she was holding up. I said four and she said "no, mom. Two." She immediately called my husband at work and to the ED we went. All scans CT, MRI, MRA were negative. I am already taking Zocor and that was doubled. At the time of the event, I chewed an aspirin even though this is really for a heart attack. I also take a daily 325 mg. aspirin. Also, during the event, I had a very euphoric feeling during the event and felt very relaxed. I am glad to hear that others my age or younger have experienced this.
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