Bubble Echo for PFO

Hi all, I’m just on my way home from London after having a bubble echo to test for PFO (hole in the heart between the 2 sides). It was thought that could have been the cause of my stroke. The good news (I think) is that they didn’t find a hole so I won’t need the procedure to close it. But it does mean they are no closer to finding the cause.
I maybe one that doesn’t have a clear reason for the stroke. I’ll put it down to :poop: luck!
Hey ho best get on with making the most of what’s left of me (although may sound annoyed I’m not really, it’s just one of those things).
Hope you are all doing as well as you can.
Keep smiling :grinning:.

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@Ingo66 hi that’s good news in one way . It is frustrating when you don’t know the reason, keep going at least it’s one less thing to worry about. All my best Loraine :blush:

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@Ingo66 good news that you have no hole in the heart. We all crave answers when these things happen but sometimes there aren’t any. Do you have any more tests scheduled?
I had a carotid artery dissection which caused my stroke but they never did any further checks to see what caused the dissection. The consultant put it down to no obvious reason. Like @Pontwander I suspect my Covid booster played a part in mine but will never know for sure.
Best of luck

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@Pontwander thanks Al, I was just having a look. When I had my stroke I did wonder if my stroke was caused by Covid booster as I had no risk factors and the day after my booster I had symptoms that I now know (but didn’t then) to be signs of a carotid artery dissection. I did mention it to the consultant but they just brushed over it. I have often thought about it but not really let it bother me. When I saw the ophthalmologist the other week she asked me if I thought Covid had played any part my stroke as it had been put down to no obvious cause. She said she had seen a few ladies in my age group recently who had either had Covid or Covid jab shortly before their stroke. My stroke was 3 weeks after the jab but I had signs from the next day. After speaking with her I was more convinced that it may have played a part. I decided to report it to the MHRA Yellowcard website. I have since heard from them and they are going to follow it up with my consultant. It could be a coincidence but seems too much of one to me. I will never know for sure I guess.

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Thanks all for coming back to me and for the information. I thinky stroke consultant wanted to keep me on his books while I was having checks done. He is also liaising with the Brompton hospital (as I have had 2 previous open heart surgeries - unrelated to the stroke they think). So I’m not sure if they will do any further tests but I’ll obviously continue going for cardiology appointments.
Like I said before they can’t always get to the bottom of the cause. Other than the obvious things like diet and fitness, going forward it would have been handy to get any other advice for future stroke prevention.
Tips & advice on here are always helpful.

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@Pontwander Hi Al, I think we will be seeing the consequences of Covid for a very long time to come. I don’t know for sure if there was a link in my case (although I do think so) but I felt that by reporting it it might help the MHRA build up the bigger picture to help others.

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@Mrs5K my stroke happened 5 weeks after the AZ jab in February, it happened 17 March. I was ill 7 hours after jab and couldn’t get up for 2 weeks GP said I’m making antibodies! I didn’t feel well to the run up to the stroke dizzy nauseous headaches weak and body felt battered. :flushed:

@Loshy I was really ill after all 3 of my jabs so maybe I made too many antibodies :blush: lots of people around me said I hadn’t been right after having the jab. It all sounds very familiar.
Hope you’re doing OK after your op xxx

@Mrs5K Recovering nicely and had 4 full nights sleep! First time in a year thanks :blush: I’ve had 5 jabs now being clinically vulnerable 2x AZ which I was ill with 2x Moderna and 1x phizer. I was ok with other 2. I would recommend to anyone with carpal tunnel in their hands to have the operation. :wink::blush:

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Hi @Loshy , I Didn’t realise you’d now had your op (bit behind on posts sorry). Good to hear you’re doing well and fingers crossed it will give you the benefit you deserve.

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@Loshy wow 4 full nights sleep…that’s amazing. I bet you feel so much better for it. Hopefully won’t be too long till you get your left hand done too. Onwards and upwards now :blush::blush::blush::blush::blush:

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My stroke was about a month after AZ booster so obviously I too wondered if any connection. I realise there is a test for a particular known condition that can cause stroke after AZ but I seriously wonder if there are other possible less documented links. I have seen a fair few on here questioning this as it was one of my first suspicions as I was coming round in hospital

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Shwmae @Ingo66, same, I went through that. After speaking at length with my consultant, after two MRIs, he concluded that mine most likely was caused from a small tear in one of the arteries due to silly neck movement or heavy lifting. So, trauma based, however, my own research reached a slightly different conclusion but still trauma based, which he wasn’t convinced about but at the time of me bringing it up as a cause, said that it was possible. I had a bilateral stroke, and recently listened to a podcast with clot specialists talking about how a bilateral stroke may occur, a large thrombosis becomes embolic and, because of its size, needs to split two ways. Well, I had a large seventh inch thrombosis in my arm. An anomaly to be sure, so I have put two and two together and reached the conclusion that it may have been that. At the end of the day, if it is not trauma, it may be one of the common causes, or a rare cause like sticky blood and some bone marrow diseases.

Indeed, there’s not much point in being annoyed about it if it remains cryptogenic, the fact that we survived is good enough reason to re-fuel our efforts and embrace life from another perspective that may have been missing pre-stroke. Also though, researching and discovering more about conditions and the body is no bad thing, and it can only benefit ourselves and others, at the end of the day we are learning about ourselves and our physiology in the same way that medical experts have done. We may lack the language but we have the experience.

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I totally agree Rups, thanks for the response. I have found that I appreciate many things that I didn’t before the stroke
I also think I have more empathy towards others and I don’t get angry as often as before (frustrated yes). So strangely I think there maybe some improvements in my personality :grinning:.
This stroke journey we are all on has to have some positives right? I think I care more about others than previously. I certainly care about the welfare of my fellow SS’s on here :heart_eyes_cat:.
Onwards and upwards everyone!

Hi I am going for bubble echocardiogram on Thursday morning to check for pfo to see if this was the cause of my stroke in December 21 . I am a bit nervous of the procedure , I was thinking of taking a diazepam before my husband has said he doesn’t think I should , I was just wondering how long it takes and is it painful.
Thanks
Lizzy

Shwmae @Lizzybobs, I am nervous of needles, and was a little anxious at first but it was really nothing. I sat in a chair, they put in a drip thing, very unobtrusive. I think it’s saline that is fed through the drip. They then look at a monitor to check for bubbles popping out of the PFO. They checked mine twice. My PFO had closed up, so no cause from that. Overall, they were friendly and chatty, and it was more intriguing than fearful. I always get lightheaded or anxious with anything to do with needles, even held my partner’s hand when having my Covid jab, and nearly fainted once during a recent blood test. The echocardiogram bubble-study was a doddle in comparison. That was my experience anyway.

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Thank you for your help this has set my mind at ease a bit as I am also fearful of needles .

Hi @Lizzybobs , Not painful at all. I have had lots of injections and canulars over the years due to having had two heart surgeries, but even if you don’t like injections it is only a tiny prick as they carefully put the canular in. The procedure after they have done the canular only takes about 10 minutes or so and as Rups said is actually quite interesting
For me they actually did a full heart echo check after, which takes about 30-40 minutes but not at all painfull just slightly awkward having to keep rolling into different positions. I have an echo every year to monitor my heart so I guess they thought they’d kill two birds with one stone.
It really is nothing to worry about but understand it is the unknown that causes the stress.
Best of luck for tomorrow.
Mark.

Thanks I definitely feel more at ease now .
Regards Lizzy