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Possible stroke? [Lengthy]
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Watarimono posted:
I recently had an odd thing happen then I wonder may have been a small stroke. As a chronic migraine sufferer I know the neuropeptides released in such high levels contribute to vascular inflammation and weaken several main arteries. This is what happened, I'll try to keep it short.

I was relaxing. My vision began to drastically change, as happens periodically. It was as though the right visual fields wasn't properly mixing with the left. I began to look at objects and noticing an inability to see the objects themselves, only the spaces between them, which built themselves in gradually more divergent trees and patterns. text began to shimmer in between the lines. I thought it was a migraine, but it was not like any of the others. Then I felt the entire right side of my brain go cold and numb. Felt dizzy and nauseous, like I was on a ship moving side to side, my vision wouldn't line up. I felt paranoid, as though something was right near me. I could see it in my mind, so close. Tall, standing right next to me, then leaning over, with its neck protruded outwards, the sensation that its face was right next to mine, but when I turned, something was occluding my senses of it. I've had this before, but it was different this time. I heard footsteps, tick, tick, tick. Saw movement in the darkness of the other room. Looked out. It was as though I had night vision of a much greater acuity than I could ever recall having before, objects shrouded in darkness pulsed in and out of focus, then faded to black. Looking out, I saw things morphing into faces, staring back. I continued staring, the longer I stared, the less I felt I should avert my eyes of it. I finally looked away, and felt that such a thing would spell death. But it did not. The sensation of the being in the room with me had changed, it felt behind me, arms close to me. Maternal, and attempting to entice, yet under the surface malicious with waves of aversion. My own transportation was out of commission. I attempted to get up, but my limbs felt weak, yet coordinated. Made my way to a phone, had to look up a number of someone I knew. My mind kept dumping the number before I could dial it. Finally dialed it, told them I believed I might be having a stroke of some form. They had the nerve to tell me "Maybe you should just go lie down." they finally agree to give me a ride to a hospital, I call them back 20 minutes later, they haven't even left yet, give me some bullshiot excuses. I sit down on the floor, remain somewhat conscious, they finally roll in 3 hours later, despite living 20 minutes away. (relying on others, a mistake I never thought I would make again). I said screw it, I don't care anymore. Get out, I feel sick, and I'm going to sleep. Checked pupils, they were responsive. No obvious motor deficits, thinking was, and still is very cluttered though. I went to sleep.

Next day, and the day after, and the day after (today), the right side of my head feels numb and strange inside. Thinking and conveying thoughts is difficult and feels foreign. Emotions (anger and irritation) are harder to control, I feel quite depressed, and as though once again, my body has let me down. I have let me down. Maybe its time to stop fighting, and simply die, because there isn't much left. Too bad for me my self respect would never let me come to that brink again, you fight until you're dead.

I'm not the sort that normally reaches out for external help. And I'm used to not being "balanced". But I'm feeling quite strange, and certainly cannot afford an MRI, nor do I feel like waiting months months for a neurologist appointment, which again, I cannot afford. Does anyone perhaps know what this might have been? Thank you in advance.
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Richard C Senelick, MD responded:
It is always difficult to make a diagnosis over the Internet. So, my first caution is that you do need to get the advice of your regular doctor. I understand that you do not have insurance, but thefact that this episode was so different than your prior episodes.

If you are a chronic migraine sufferer, then it most likely that this was an episode of "complicated migraine." Migraine can mimic a stroke, but migraine sufferers are also at a slightly increased risk to have a stroke. The type of visual disturbances that you describe are much more common in migraine than any other problem. All of that said, a neurologist should sort this out "face to face", examine you and possibility repeat a scan.

A lesson learned for everyone is that if you think you might be having a stroke, do not call a frined, call 911!

Good Luck
After your stroke you may be experiencing a new normal, but remember what George Eliot said- It is never too late to be what you might have been. You still can achieve new goals.


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Richard C. Senelick M.D. is a physician specializing in both neurology and the subspecialty of neurorehabilitation. He did his undergraduate and medic...More

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