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Possible Stroke

Hi there, this has been bothering me for a long time and I am grateful if anyone can offer any advice. So, here goes:

In Fall 2002, my senior year in college I suffered from a series of strange physical occurrences which I now believe may have been strokes. The first one was the most intense. I remember it started when one of my legs went numb, then after a while my thoughts had trouble connecting, then darkness began closing in on my field of vision, and then finally my ability to produce the words I desired was completely impaired. I knew what I wanted to say, but it just came out as nonsense and it was extremely frustrating. It was so unusual that I stayed on at a social event, not understanding what was going on. When I got home I slept, or tried to sleep, and I began throwing up, and then dry heaving when there was nothing to throw up. I became very dehydrated and I could not even bring myself to stand up. I had a terrible headache and I felt as awful as I have ever felt.

In the morning my roommate took me to our seriously lacking medical center on campus where they gave me a blue pill to keep me from throwing up and instructed me to keep drinking water because I was extremely dehydrated. The doctor told me that it was a migraine headache.

This happened a few more times that fall, but with less intensity. The numbness happened, so did the inability to connect thoughts, the vision, and the ending with vomiting and dehydration. At the time I attributed it to the fact that I was under an incredible amount of stress, had an unhealthy sleep schedule, and because I was a poor college student, a very unhealthy diet. And these things probably are a big part of the reason this happened.

But my question is, was this a stoke? The more I read about strokes the more my experience seems to be in line with the symptoms described. The doctor said it was a migraine, but I have also learned the "migraine" is an extremely broad category of something that happens in the brain that isn't exactly understood. Given the low quality of medical care in that facility, I would not be surprised if the doctor really had no idea what was going on.

My second question is that if indeed it was a stroke, is it something that I should be concerned about now? Many years have passed and I feel fine, though I do have some subtle mind problems that could just be me or perhaps could be attributed to this event. In any case, any advice is appreciated.

Thank you everyone for your time and help.
1 Responses
910419 tn?1289487327
There are migraines that MIMIC strokes. It's called Migraine Accompaniment. I have it. I got a MedicAlert bracelet in case I became incapacitated and couldn't explain what was happening to me. It reads "Migraine Accompaniment; Mimics TIA or Stroke". It's a rather common label for atypical migraine symptoms. I've lost the use of my left eye, the ability to talk, and use of my limbs (all separately) and have never had a stroke. This is because migraines are caused by the spasming of the blood vessels in the brain, (along with other things) and can temporarily restrict blood flow to a part of the brain, similar to what happens with a stroke, but with no permanent damage.

I would think that if you did have a stroke, you would have noticed significant after-effects. However, if you're seriously worried, you could always make an appointment with a doc and ask for a CT scan to look for past damage.

Hope this helps,

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