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Worried after stroke
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emsangel77 posted:
Hi, I am Nicole and I will give you some background. I am 31, and on Jan 26th I had a stroke( or several I guess) due to a dissected and 100% blocked internal carotid artery. I am very lucky to have no major lasting physical effects from it, just weakness in my left hand and some issues with speech and memory. But now I am so worried that everything I feel is possibly a symptom associated with something aweful. It is so scary to have this happen out of the blue for no reason. I have no associated arterial diseases, eat right, and exercise. I guess I am wondering what is normal to experiance after a stroke and what shouldn't I ignore. Any help or support would be great, I have been looking online for a good support group and this one seems to be pretty active.
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unknown responded:
Dear Nicole (emsangel77),

Welcome! Iam glad you found us here. Let me get you some articles that can help answer your questions. This is an article on Stroke Rehabilitation, which discusses who may be involved, how long it will take and other issues related to that. Also, Stroke Rehabilitation: What to Expect After a Stroke.

Finally, here's an article about How to Spot a Stroke and Stroke Causes.

Remember to write down any of your questions that didn't get answered, so you can ask your doctor at your next visit. Also, check with your area hospital(s) for any information on stroke groups that may meet in your area.

Best wishes,

Byroney
 
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oc1dean1 responded:
Nicole, I also had a dissected carotid artery that is now 100% blocked, which means that that particular area is not something i need to worry about anymore. It took two years from the original stroke to close up completely and because the doctors never found the blockage I was at a high risk for another stroke during those two years. Needless to say I fired those doctors. Make sure you ask them for an ultrasound of your carotid arteries to see what the other one looks like. Your circle of Willis makes sure that your brain gets enough blood because there are a total of 4 arteries feeding the circle of willis. Dean
 
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emsangel77 responded:
They did two MRI's, they said that the other artery was "unremarkable" so there is no blockage at all, they also said that there is no sign of fibromuscluar arterial dysplasia, which I guess is why people my age usually have a spontaneous dissection. My artery was already 100% blocked when I arrived. So should I also request a ultrasound on my other one? Does it give a better suggestion as to the health of that artery? They are doing an angiogram 5 months from now.
 
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oc1dean1 responded:
I'm glad you mentioned the fibro thing since my original doctors said I had a spontaneous dissection also but never told me what might have caused it. I got the, It was a fluke and shouldn't hapen again.Sounds like at least 3 out of 4 arteries feeding your circle of willis are ok, You might want to ask them about the state of your 2 vertebral arteries, the ones that go up your spine to your brain. usually ultrasounds are done on both the carotid arteries at the same time. I don't know if it even possible to test the vertebral arteries. Dean
 
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JeffDaddy; responded:
Can the vertebral arteries be imaged with ultrasound? Yes.

Worrying just comes with the territory. I'm 48 had a vertebral artery occlusion just over 2 years ago while playing basketball. Low blood pressure and cholesterol, very active = no explanation. Immediately afterward, I felt that everything was a stroke -- vertigo, headaches -- it was all "a symptom". It took about 1.5 years before I decided that it was going to be okay. In reality, take it easy a little -- you've had a major medical situation. It will take some time both physically and mentally to get back to "normal". Physically, I went down the list of stroke risk factors and made sure I was working to reduce or eliminate the potential physical problems. Mentally, if you feel overwhelmed, get some help.
 
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emsangel77 responded:
Thanks for your reply, I considerd going to my therapist I had for my PPD, but once I had the second MRI and it was the same, I did start feeling better. I still am worried, more about the upcoming blood tests. They are testing for Auto Immune diseases since my dissected artery was spontaneaous and it usually only happens that way because of some underlying auto immune disease( from what I am told) my doctor admited that this is new territory for him so he is researching as much as he can. I will keep updated and thanks again for all the support.
 
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JeffDaddy; responded:
Good luck with the blood tests, hopefully it will be something treatable. I found the lack of certainty frustrating at times. Being healthy is sometimes a hurdle. I'd like to hear about the auto immune disease, if that's the diagnosis. Again, good luck, get help whenever needed and work on the things you can change.
 
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rlmnam4c responded:
I noticed several people mention a 100% blocked carotid artery. That sounds, to me, like a bad thing, but you are making it sound like a good thing. Are you referring to the tear as being 100% blocked (by scar tissue)? If so, then I can see how that would be a good thing. My wife had a very similar incident two weeks ago, and was diagnosed with a tear (dissection) of the inner wall of her carotid artery. Her symptoms were very much stroke-like (weakness on one side, slurred speech, spacey, etc.). The doctors said she didn't have a stroke (no brain bleeds), and the EKG came back normal. They did an MRI, and found the carotid tear, but couldn't really diagnose why she had the stroke symptoms (weakness), but no brain bleed. Did you have an actual brain bleed (stroke) due to the carotid tear? They have her taking aspirin, to make her blood more "slippery". She takes one 325mg aspirin at night, and then gets chest pains (to the point where she can't sleep). I always thought aspirin was something to take to help your heart (blood flow), but it seems to be having the opposite affect. Did you experience anything like this?
 
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astrod1058 responded:
My 21 year old daughter had a spontaneous carotid artery dissection in March. I was wondering if anyone who experience this same thing had any type of warning signs. She was in perfect health, not on the pill. they have no idea what caused this. She was sick and vomiting before this happened. She had a full stroke. Was in ICU for 4 days then went to in patient rehab for 3 weeks. She is now getting out patient therapy 3 times a week. She is doing wonderful. Hoping she can get back to school in the fall but we will see. We are just trying to figure out what may have happened. Scary not knowing. No further testing has been suggested. She is on coumidin but not sure how long she will have to be on. Family doc is unfamilar with this type of stroke so she doesn't even know. We were told the artery would repair itself over time but how will we know without further testing? Thanks for any info.
 
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emsangel77 responded:
Astrod, I posted an update. I left my email on there if you would like to discuss.
 
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JeffDaddy; responded:
As I understand my particular condition, the interior wall (endotelium) of the right vertebral artery ruptured, releasing plaque, ultimately causing scar tissue to block the artery. It cannot be dislodged, so the occlusion is permanent. The positive perspective from my doctor was that once that weakness is compromised, it's unlikely to repture again. That doesn't mean she won't have another rupture at another location.

You seem to be confusing the two different types of strokes: ischemic and hemmoragic. "Bleeding in the brain" is a hemmoragic stroke. A stroke is an attack of the brain where nutrients, in the form of blood flow, are cut off. Ischemic strokes can impact arteries outside the brain and cause damage to brain tissue.

No offense, but you have a lot of misconceptions regarding the fundamentals of stroke and cardiovascular disease. I was the same. I read a lot of medical journals, but the first thing I read was the South Beach Heart Program book -- just so happens that the doctor who wrote the book was on Larry King when I was in the hospital after the stroke. He provides what I would call a lay-persons description of everything from diet to vitamins to blood tests to actually what happens when you have a stroke or heart attack and related diseases. If you're looking for basic answers, it's a good source.

Sounds like she needs to talk to her doctor about the aspirin if it's keeping her awake.

From what you've described, I can't imagine a doctor observing your wife's symptoms and condition saying that she didn't have a stroke -- it sounds rather textbook.
 
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JeffDaddy; responded:
I had a TIA the day before -- while riding my bike, then had the full stroke the next day playing basketball. I've just recommended the South Beach Heart Program book to someone else on this string. I thought it was an excellent first book to read to consider your particular cardiovascular risk factors, explain the procedures (blood tests, sonograms, EKG, etc) and provide basic knowledge.

You say that there were no warning signs, and I thought so too. One of the risk factors (warning signs) I had was gum disease. I had a tooth that I'd been working with my dentist to save. There is a correlation between chronic gum inflamation and stoke and heart attack. There are also the obvious risk factors that we all overlook such as weight, blood pressure, etc. Being a guy, I wasn't on the pill either.

Personally, my general practioner (I've never had a patient with a vertebral artery stroke!) is great and very helpful, but when it comes to the stroke, I talk to the neurologist. I'm not on coumidin, but aggrenox. I asked when I might get off this and my neurologist just raised his eyebrow at me, which I interpreted as "never - and don't ask me again". Ask though, so you know what's going on.

As I understand it, at the blockage, the body enlarges the blood vessels around the area to increase blood flow and compensate for the blockage(collateral flow). In my case, the development of collateral was documented with a sonogram of the area.
 
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emsangel77 responded:
My stroke had nothing to do with my cholesterol, my levels are really low, lower than my sister who is a vegan.....LOL. They are currently looking for auto immune diseases that would cause weakening in the arteries. They can't seem to find anything wrong with me except that I had a arterial dissection. They are still putting me through more testing though, they found an abnormality in my heart, but it could have always been there. They say I am a rare one.........LOL
 
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hypercube32 responded:
I know what your going through. mine happened on February 15, which it could of been stopped but the stupid nurses in my town never did anything to help my condition get better. I told them too give me oxygen cause thats what I needed, but did they listen no. now I am mad all the time and my stroke is on the right side not to mention that it's in my spine and neck too. what to do, oh what to do. I AM GOING TO GO INSANE IF THESE PEOPLE AND DOCTORS DON'T DO OR STOP LYING TO ME. PLEASE HELP ME!!!!! I don't know how much more I can take.


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