Stroke Community
3.21k Members
Avatar universal

What is wrong with me....???

I'm a 26 yr old male. I have had 2 strokes, one at age 23 and the other at age 26. The first was on November 17th 2000. I was paralyzed on my whole left side for several days. The last stroke was on september 29 2003. It was alot more mild. The ER actually didnt believe that I had one at all but I could tell. It later showed up on the MRI's that I really had it. Doctors  said the first one was caused by a sinus medicine that I had taken and now they are baffeled as to why I had another one. I am in perfect health acording to them. I have been taking 100 mg Zoloft and 1 baby asprin every since my last stroke. The last stroke caused mood swings etc so they put me on the Zoloft. I've had dizzy spells everyday since the last stroke. I feel the Zoloft is working but anytime I run out or I try to quit taking them, I cant turn my head or eyes swiftly to the left or right with out having a scratchy noise in my ears accompanied with dizziness and my eyes kinda unfocus. Every once in a while I feel like I'm gonna pass out. There are times that I feel a weight or a tightness in my chest. Its hard to read because my eyes jump around. I have difficulty talking sometimes and I often studder. I never have any energy and I get tired very easy. I feel like I'm 70 years old all the time. I sleep like the dead, but I dont feel rested after awakening. I fall asleep at work everyday no matter how much sleep I get at night. I have read many bad things on the net about zoloft. I feel like I am addicted to it. I get really shaky with out it. What is all this? Is it from the strokes or the Zoloft?
13 Responses
Avatar universal
I forgot...  They were Ischemic strokes.....
Avatar universal
Just to clarify, the doctors told you that sinus medications caused the first stroke?  And after the first TIA, you discontinued the medication and then had another one 3 years later?

You also said that besides the TIA's the doctors said you were perfectly healthy, so I take it that you do not have hypertension, elevated LDL cholesterol, or uncontrolled diabetes....but did you ever use any stimulant drugs prior to the strokes (i.e. cocaine, speed)? I've read some stories where younger people have strokes after heavy use of drugs, but again, it doesn't sound like you did....but at the same time, a sinus medication seems like an unlikely culprit, but it very well could have, who knows...

As for the Zoloft, it can cause lightheadedness/dizziness as this is a common side effect to the SSRI's, but I am not sure if it's CAUSING or contributing to the dizzy spells..you may want to ask your doctor about a different class of antidepressants for the mood spells.  From what I know (out of personal experience and what I've read as well), Wellbutrin is less likely to causes dizziness and lightheadedness than the SSRI's or SNRI's (like Effexor and Remeron).  If you do switch medications, make sure you taper off the Zoloft gradually and not discontinue it abruptly.

And you mention that you have trouble reading because your eyes jump around.....do they "jump around" costantly or is it sporadic?  There is a condition called acquired nystagmus which sometimes arises after a TIA or stroke, but if the eye movement isn't constant it could be a side effect of a medication so you may want to discuss this with your neurologist as well...

As for the speech difficulty, this could also be a result of the stroke; there are two conditions that come to mind: dysarthria and aphasia, but it doesn't sound like you have aphasia, since that is the inability to understand language.  Again, something you want to discuss with an experienced neurologist who specializes in stroke....

I'm curious to know what Dr. Rubin makes of all of this.  In any event, you should make an appointment with an experienced neurologist who has a specialty in strokes, especially strokes in younger adults.  You could find these doctors at large academic health centers.  You may also want to see a speech therapist depending on the recommnedations of the neurologist, especially if the speech difficulty doesn't get better.  Finally, talk to your neurologist about the dizziness and see what he or she says about either continuing it or swtiching to a different one.  

Good luck to you.  You sound like you've been through a lot at 26, and I hope things get better for you.
Avatar universal
You was right about the narcotics.  I have never used any drugs like cocaine or speed or anything of the such.  When I was younger I tried pot but didnt enjoy my experience like my friends said I should.  I dont smoke cigarettes or use any tobacco products.  When I was 20 I started drinking socially I guess because I was trying to fit in... I stopped before turning 21 and havent used any alcohol, with maybe 2 exceptions.  I try to eat right and I get quite alot of exercise because I am pretty active outdoors.

I have had many tests done after the first stroke and many retests after the second TIA.  Just to name a few: Nuclear, several EKG's, Geosophical Scope, Arteriogram (Cerebral angiography), several Cat-scans, Many MRI's, 2-EEG's, EMG, Vascular Ultrasound, and alot of blood work.  I am very sure alot more was done but I cant remember very well because of my terrible memory.  

Doctors said that I have 0% blockage in my blood vessels and Arteries.  My blood pressure was a little high but it was because of being scared.  My doctor proved that buy cutting up with me for about 10 minutes and retested it many times and said it was perfect while I wasnt stressing as badly.  My cholesterol was perfect and the said everything looked perfect with my blood, my heart, and my lungs.  My nero. Dr. Smith said that There are tiny legions in my brain that are probably causing the TIA's and he also included that it could be impossible to find the exact ones that are causing problems.  He also added that the Medical world needs improvement on strokes like mine.

My eyes seem ok but I really notice it while trying to read something small close up.  I cant really keep a steady stare at anything now.  I lost alot of fine motor skills also.  I'm very fortunate for my motor skills returning but I guess the fine motor skills are gone for good.  

My speach isnt really a big problem but I often cant think of the words that I want to say and quite often I dont get the words out just right.  I feel like I really dont need a speach therapist, but then again I'm not sure. I used to be a perfectionist on everything in my life.  I never studdered and hardly ever mispronounced words.  I was extremely talented with intricate movements of my hands like with building very small models and putting high detail in them.  I no longer can do anything like that anymore.  It takes me forever just to thread a fishing hook with line....

I really appreciate you spending you time with me on this...  I often feel unwanted and alone.  I never felt that way before the TIA's.  Thank you again...
Avatar universal
I know how you feel.  I was poisoned by my former employer and have had 3 strokes since 2002.  The doctors dismissed the first stroke, told me I was too young and that the tightness in my chest was probably heart burn and nothing worry about.  Then they sent me home.  I had another stroke a few days later.  Some doctors are maroons.

Stroke cause many changes and effect many things.  I was left with numbness, tingles, the feeling of bugs crawling on me, and reduced sensation.  I was a perfectionist and now many things just left undone.  I stutter and slur words now, never ever did.  I can not remember words, lost many of them, and often say the wrong ones when talking too people.  I only know if they tell me it is wrong word and correct it for me.  Only my friends and family will take the time too do this.  Then I forget because most my short term memory was destroyed.  

Other people just get really mad and scream at me and tell me that I slow and stupid.  This is hard too take because I had genius level IQ before all this happen too me.  I worked at many things like design and build special equipment, lot very fine work.  I not remember a lot of this now.  Tests of brain functions show that I function now in impaired to the very bottom end of average range.  The tests cover everything like memory spelling speaking reading math motor skills.  Have you had any tests like this done?

I have constant tremors, from vibrations in the muscles that the doctor can not see but feels and shows on the EMG too massive ones that leave me not able to do anything.  According too EMG my nerves is worse then 80 year old.  I am 35 now.  I have problems with fine motor skills the more I try the more I shake.  I think this is what they term intention tremors.  I am not on any meds.  So, your shaking may be from the strokes not the meds.  

From what I have been told, strokes can damage the nerves in the body and the pathways in the brain.  The brain sends signals too the muscles says does this does that, this may not get thru or go to the wrong place because of nerve damage.  The brain also sends silence signal tells the muscles be still.  If this is not getting thru then the muscles keep going. Result vibration, tremors shaking.  Comes and goes.

I also have problems reading and focusing on things.  I have the dizziness all the time.  It is hard to travel in cars because things move too fast and cause what I call overload because I not able to keep up with it all, makes the dizziness worse and makes me feel sick.   Basically, scrambles my brain.  This I was told is typical for people with brain injuries.

The tiredness is the same for me.  I only manage a few hours a day where I function and manage some things.  After that I may be awake but my brain is off line.  The rest of the time I sleep like the dead and often not return too the land of the living for 12-20 hours.  The doctors tell me this is common for stroke victims and any one with brain injuries.

I know the feeling of tightness in the chest and the feeling that I will pass out.  I have blacked out a number of times and have hit the floor hard in public and at home.  The heart is controlled by the brain so if the brain is damaged then there can be problems with heart function, breathing.  Fact is everything is controlled by the brain so anything can be affected after brain injury.  Based on this and the things that happen before and after the blackouts the doctors think that the signal between my brain and heart is being affected and I have what they called heart seizures.

I also suffer other seizures where I just go blank, eyes open, breathing, heartbeat but clearly I not there.  Then I come back with whole body shudder or jolt.  This is what others see when it happens.  The only thing I know of is the feeling of tingles down arms and legs.

Now you know someone else with same problems, so you not fully alone in these things

Just wonder
Avatar universal
I really feel for you, and I wish you the best with your conditions.  You seem like you have a heavy weight to bear, and the lack of understanding from people around you seems to make everything worse.  I know how it is (to a milder degree, and a different condition though) and I know how frustrating it can be, not only to deal with your condition, but have everyone around you dismiss it, think that it's all in your head, and that you're making excuses.  I totally understand how aggravating it can be.  At a time you need understanding and sympathy, you get scorn instead.  Recovery is a long and slow process unfortunately, and I've read that younger people with strokes have better recoveries than older people, because their brains are able to make adjustments after a stroke that the brains of older people cannot.

Two things though: you should try to get a question posted in the Neurology section and see if the doctor there can provide any good advice.  It's harder to get a question posted there than it is here, so it make be tougher to get through, but it's worth a shot.

And second, have you tried swtiching to a different antidepressant or are you still taking the Zoloft? There are newer, more effective medications than Zoloft these days.  And you may want to switch it up.  As well, maybe a mild dose of Valium or Xanax (remember, mild doses, as higher doses lead to a whole new set of problems) would take some of the edge off and ease the frustration....

In any case, good luck to you, and I hope everything gets better, and wish your family much success with the child to come

Avatar universal
Hello and thank you so much for writing.  I live in Fairdale, Kentucky.  I am truely sorry to hear about your illness.  Just by what I'm reading we have alot of the same symptoms but mine seem more mild then yours.  

Sometimes the hardest thing for me to deal with is people not believeing me actually having strokes.  The Hospital was the worst, but like at work my boss dont seem to believe what I tell him and of course all the other workers think I'm just trying to get paid for time off.  It makes it so hard to deal with.  

I had my first stroke when I was working and everyone knew something was wrong with me.  My boss told me that I should go to the doctor.  I told them no and I drove home.  I could barely keep the car on the road.  With my left hand I kept running off to the left of the interstate, with the right I could drive just fine.  I drive a Mustang GT with a 5-speed tranny.  I kept grinding the gears because my left leg  wasnt working well.  When I got home I could hardly keep my balance and my wife said I looked like a zombie.  She told me to go to the ER but i went to bed instead.  I slept a long time and when I got up I collapsed.  I adventually made it to my feet and I kept walking to my left and I didnt have much use of my left arm.  I also had slurred speach.  I called my doctors office and they got me in.  As soon as my doctor seen me he had me rushed to the hospitals ER.  Later that night I had no movement in my whole left side including the mussels in my face.

I was out of work for about 6 months and then I decided to go back to work early because we was barely making it with money.  Well I would sometimes wakeup with a dizziness that was so bad there was no possible waay that I could drive the 45 mile drive to work.  I missed and come in late several times and I was fired over it.  I loved my job at the time.  I was an Aerospace Technician and Machinist.  How can it be that we can go through something so horrible and lose our jobs, posessions, good established credit, and even friends over something that we cannot control?  I'm so sick of my life right now that I cant stand it.  I'm working on a production line that builds kitchen cabinets and its so boring.  There's not a day that goes by that I dont wish that the stroke would have taken my life.  I feel as if I'm in Hell.  My wife is going nuts about all the medical bills and everything.

My wife is pregnant now and in June we will be having our first kid.  I've always wanted a family of my own so I guess its what I needed to make me happy and want to go on with my life.  Everyday I worry about what will happen when I have another bad one and I die or cannot work to support my wife and child....

I can ride in cars with few problems.  If I'm driving or riding with someone else and we go over a hill very fast,  I can feel like a head ache or pressure in my head.  Does yours do that?

I forget so many things like how important it is to buy things for my wife on her birthday and christmas.  I get to where I dont feel like celebrating them for myself and my brain does the same on her special days.  She often feels like I dont care about her but its not true at all and I tell her that.  I usually work 10 hours a day and 5 days a week.  Its very hot unhealthy and extremely exhausting.  No one can understand why I come home from work and dont feel like doing anything.  i tell them over and over that the strokes have done this to me but I guess they think I use it as an excuse.

I feel like I'm gonna have a nervous breakdown or something.  I have a child on the way really soon and I just hope I can be there for it.  I want to play with him everyday after work and on the weekends.  Will my body handle it??  I know there are many people out there thats much worse off then I am but its driving me completely nuts.  I need to get to bed its very late and my head is spinning.  I would really like to keep in touch if you wouldnt mind....  Maybe we can somehow help each other along in this so called wonderful life...
Avatar universal
Glad too see that you found my post.  I was wondering if you would check back or not.  Fairdale, Kentucky is a long way from me.  I wonder if they have any groups for stroke victims or people with acquired brain injuries around where you live.  I shall have a look.
I know up here they have a group for people that have acquired brain injuries that provide a place for meeting and getting help with workers comp, lawyers and the like.  It may also be good for your family or friends to go there so that they can learn and understand what is happening and why.

Yes, it appears that we have many of the same problems in common.  I went thru pretty much the same thing.  My girlfriend was freaking out because I was stuttering and slurring words and barely able too talk.  My left side was pretty much dead this could be clearly seen, if I smiled only the rite side of my face moved.  I was having motor and vision problems, walking in to walls.  The doctors at the ER were not of much help as I said.  They dismissed it as heart burn.  I told them I never had heart burn in my life.  They did not listen and pumped me full of antacid and anaesthetic, thinking that would fix the problem.  It did nothing and I told them so.  According to them it was a cheap trick too try rule out heart burn.  Since it did not help and they felt I was too young for heart attack/stroke they sent me home.  Not only did the doctors ignore me and my girlfriend they also ignored the info my family doctor faxed over stating that I had been exposed to many heavy metals and was suffering heavy metal poisoning.  The effects of heavy metal poisoning are many
Avatar universal
Heavy Metal poisoning...???  I have never heard of it.  I worked as a machinist for 6 years everyday welding and grinding and constantly soaking my hands with metal cutting fluids and coolants.  I used many differents types of metals and alloys.  Carbide cutters, tungsten tips in the welders.  I've never thought about it causing short term exposure problems...  I will answer more of your questions as soon as I find time...  Thanks alot!!!,  Steve.
Avatar universal
Yes heavy metal poisoning or toxicity or metal poisoning.  Different names but it basically all means the same thing.  It is very common and often overlooked because many of the signs or symptoms are the same as other diseases or conditions.  However, new research has shown that what was thought to be hereditary diseases are actually the result of toxic exposures.  You probably know that aluminium has been linked to Alzheimer
Avatar universal
A week ago Monday I was shakey and I had a hard time speaking.  I was studdering to the point of my brain going faster than my mouth...then I would make the moise "EEEEEEEE" and then start to cry...I went to the regular docto and he did not say much other than I had a fever and showed some dehydration...so he blamed it on that.  I also used a walker as I was very wobbely.  I felt like I was gonna fall.  I have a Pituitary Tumor, but I do not think this is any symptoms of it.  I saw the Neurologist and he wants to get an MRI of my neck because I have ALOT of problems from a car accident in 1991, but that is the neck...so I dunno what is going on.  I called the Neurologist and the nurse said that they can not tell me anything until I get the MRI like I was told to do.  I just don't understand what it would mean for the symptems that I am having now.  My daughter thinks I had a stroke, but I do not have any peralosis anywhere, so I am not thinking that could be it.  It seems like I get worst at talking (or trying) when I am under immediate stress.  Is there anyone that can help me with what is going on with me?  I don't know what to do or where to go or who to believe...Thanks and God Bless You All...Debby...PS...you can feel free to email me directly at  ***@**** if you would rather talk to me than post here.  I do not mind...just put in subject "Speach" so that I do not delete your messages..I do not open mail from people that I do not know...Thanks! Could this still be a stroke from nowhere???
Avatar universal
I think your daughter is correct that yu had a stroke.
yu do not have to have total paralysis to have had a stroke
I have had 3 of what doctirs call mild strokes maybe more.

I lost some control on one side and have weakness on that same side
ans speech problims like stutter,and loss or words and stuf
also I can not spell too good now.

so I think yu need to go get taken care of get the mri and also find out what all yu can do to leein the effects  asprin is suppose to help but chek with the doctir first
Avatar universal
any body heard from screwed up?  Just wondering.
Avatar universal
I am 18 years old and I've been to the doctor and they told me I have mvp and they put me on medication for it and the medicaion isn't working but I've been back to the doctor and he keeps saying give it 2 more weeks and it's still not working. I use to be a softball player and I was reall into sports and now I can't do any thing anymore because I'm just do tired. I cant do nothing without it filling like my heart wonting to jump out of my chest, sometimes it just all I can do is walk up stairs and sometimes I can even it do that I have to stop in the middle and rest.  But my syptoms are shortness of breath,dizzyness,headaches,nausea,chest pains,numbness in left arm and left leg, tired all the time,sometimes not wonting to eat at all and the sometimes I cant get enough.  
What ever it is It has really interfeard with my life.  I mean I'm 18 I shouldnt be tired all the time and stuff. and the only test that my doctor will do is a ekg but I mean what's that gonna show just my heart rate, which is always high but still all he can do is give me the same medications. and the medication that he put me on is citalopram 20mg, and metoprolol 50mg three times a day. if anyone can help me please!
Have an Answer?
Top Neurology Answerers
1780921 tn?1499305393
Queen Creek, AZ
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Find out how beta-blocker eye drops show promising results for acute migraine relief.
In this special Missouri Medicine report, doctors examine advances in diagnosis and treatment of this devastating and costly neurodegenerative disease.
Here are 12 simple – and fun! – ways to boost your brainpower.
Discover some of the causes of dizziness and how to treat it.
Discover the common causes of headaches and how to treat headache pain.
Two of the largest studies on Alzheimer’s have yielded new clues about the disease