Fear of another stoke

Hi. I’m Elizabeth (42). I found out i’d had a stroke in December 2020, mid-pandemic and 11 months after having my little boy. I developed stroke like symptoms, completely out of the blue. I had some visual disturbance and then this developed into losing the use of my arm/hand, difficulty speaking and a numb mouth (like after a dentist injection). I was taken to hospital by paramedics who thought I may have had a TIA.

CT Scan was clear and was given a diagnosis of atypical migraine with a follow up MRI to be absolutely sure. The scan revealed no new stroke but showed an old one, which came as a total shock. I’ve had follow up to check my heart and bloods etc to see if they could find a potential reason but nothing has been found.

So I have had a stroke but I could have been born with it or it could have happened a few months before the scan. There is no way of them knowing - and thats where i’m struggling. My greatest fear during my pregnancy was of having a stroke (having seen a patient on my grandmothers stroke ward who was there after having a stroke during childbirth). I got through the pregnancy but needed an emergency c-section which I was very poorly from.

I feel abandoned. I can’t fault the medical care i’ve received. It’s been amazing and they have done everything they can to find a cause and to give me reassurance but the reality is they can’t give me the reassurance I want - that is - that I won’t have another stroke. I’m just hoping someone else reading this will be able to understand and so I don’t feel so alone with this burden. My little boy has just turned 3 and i’m terrified I won’t be here for him.

I feel so guilty as reading other people’s stories on here, I know i’m so so lucky that the stroke hasn’t massively physically affected me. Can anyone else relate?

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Pretty much the same as me. Suddenly I hadn’t the strength to get out of my armchair: spent the night in hospital where they discovered altrial fibrillation .I came home next day and although I feel fine I worry about getting another stroke and then being a vegetable. I’m lacking motivation and this cold weather inhibits me going out. I feel useless and pathetic.

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@Smily_Bear Hi Elizabeth welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear you’ve had a stroke & that you are struggling.

There is never a guarantee that you won’t have another stroke but there are things you can do to reduce the risk & that is all any of us can do. It sounds like the medical professionals are doing all they can to rule out anything obvious (heart, cholesterol etc).

Are you on medication now? You can help by eating healthily, exercising, not smoking etc. You may already be doing all this.

Take heart in the fact that you’ve got through the last few years without having another stroke. Being a mother, I think, does make you worry more about being around for them. There’s no reason you wont be so just try & enjoy all the time you have with him.

Many people have this anxiety so be assured it’s a normal reaction. Have you spoken to anyone about your anxieties? I know there are people on here who have found counselling useful.

Wishing you all the best.

Ann xx

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It is not unusual to have these feelings but it’s not good dwelling on them, providing you have regular medical checkups and take prescribed medication and eat and exercise sensibly you should be ok. The less we can worry the better after two years I’ve seen how negative it can be and hope I’ve cracked it. Your little boy must give you great joy give your concerns a rest ,what will be will be, you have survived accept and rejoice

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@Smily_Bear Hi Elizabeth it’s scary being told you’ve had a stroke and fear of having another is understandable. Unfortunately anyone is at risk of having a stroke, concentrate on being as healthy as you can be.

If you’ve been prescribed meds, take them, manage your diet eg eat healthily, exercise, most of all try not to worry.

Enjoy your family, best wishes

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Hi @Mrs5K Ann

Thank you for replying. I have discussed it with my GP and she has given me as much reassurance as she can - maybe some counselling would help. Thank you for the suggestion.

Yes i think i’m doing mostly the right things with exercise and diet (though could make improvements here) and taking aspirin.

Elizabeth.

@Pds this is such good advice. Thank you, you are absolutely right.