My husband had a suspected TIA last week. He was at work and came over feeling all odd and had numbness down his whole left side, along with pins and needles. He got himself a glass of water, then felt ok. Whole episode lasted a minute. The following day when he was driving he felt odd on 2 occassions and felt like things were “closing in on him”.
His tests and scans have been clear, we are just waiting on the heart monitor results. Hes been wearing the monitor for over a week.
Its hard as nobody, at the moment, can say for sure whether its a TIA and, if so, what caused it.
Hes on medicine - aspirin and satins. I believe his blood pressure was slightly high but no idea about cholesterol levels.
Im worried sick about him and whether this will happen again. Next time what if he has a full stroke? He says he cant imagine how he’ll drive again.
Also we may never find out what caused this,so no idea how can move on…
He has stopped alcohol (high intake before) and eating well
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Quite a few of us have never had a reason. Life goes on. Often a CT scan can’t see stuff and an MRI scan isn’t always available. Reducing the risk factors is a good idea.
the medication is the standard NHS knee jerk and it may be useful. he should definitely stick to it until further down the road - getting adjusted to the right medication regime might take a while .
The welcome post will tell the other stuff and everything it doesn’t tell you you should ask and somebody will pipe up to say what their experience is
PS the anxiety is very normal, I still get it 3 years on
@Karenemma Hi & Welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear of your husbands suspected TIAs. Has he had an MRI done? CT scans don’t always pick things up but an MRI is more detailed so will sometimes pick things up that a CT hasn’t.
It’s natural to worry about whether something will happen again but hopefully in time the anxiety will lessen. Perhaps talk to your GP as they can help you work through your concerns and give advice on what to do to reduce risks etc. no one can say for certain whether it will or won’t. It’s about reducing the risk factors and living as healthily as you can.
A TIA is a mini stroke, usually caused by temporary blockage to an artery or vein, so not necessarily detectable if the blockage clears by itself soon enough to not cause any more permanent damage to the brain. That’s the short explanation and at this stage in his investigation there’s really no need for anything more.
What I’m going to say here is merely precautionary because TIA’s can be the prelude to a stroke. So, if I were your husband I would refrain from driving until this has been ruled in or out, for obvious reasons.
I had 2 TIA’s on Christmas day nearly 2 years ago and I was back driving about 12 months after my episode. And there are others on this forum who are also back driving. Hopefully, now he is on aspirin to thin his blood and BP tablets, he won’t have any further episodes, only time will tell.
It is a stressful time for you both and telling you not to isn’t going to lessen it very much. But, it really isn’t worth catastrophising over, as chances are this has been detected early enough to minimise the risk of any further TIA’s or a stroke. And also at this stage, if it was a TIA, chances are he could recover back to normal over the next 4-6mths. You take care of yourself too now
I had all those exact same scans and tests and nothing was found.
That’s just the nature of this particular beast. Only with my TIA’s it was very obvious as it looked just like typical F.A.S.T. stroke symptoms. The aspirin is the important just now, chances are he’ll be put on BP tablets at some point, once they’ve got a clearer picture of what his are like.
To be brutally honest with you, as my stroke consultant told me, TIA’s or mini-strokes are all strokes! And until your husband is told otherwise, that’s what you need to believe it to be. And if he has any further TIA episodes, shows any of the FAST signs which also includes balance and vision, don’t hesitate to call 999 as that will save his life. Don’t bother calling your gp as they can’t do anything and time is of the essence.
@Karenemma along with FAST is BEFAST which includes balance and eyesight.
Not everyone has any of the FAST signs, at least 15% (I believe it is more like 25% from speaking to other #StrokeWarriors) don’t present with them.
It took almost 36hours for @SimonInEdinburgh to show them, he just ‘didn’t feel right’ and his balance was off.
As far as I was concerned my computer mouse wasn’t working properly and very shortly after I seemed to acquire a limp.
My wife had immediately phoned for an ambulance and the upshot was me taken off to hospital.
I was admitted to a general ward still able to stand and walk but quite quickly became confused and frightened not knowing why I was there.
Eventually after a day or two I was admitted to the Stroke Ward when a place became available. By this time I was paralysed down one side and have remained like that though there has been a little improvement since I got home months later.
If it is possible to avoid the worst of it with immediate treatment, I seem to have missed that.
I intend to persevere and get back as much as I can.
Having FAST at the head of the forum makes me uncomfortable because while it was groundbreaking it’s now demonstrably insufficient to be best advice
It should be replaced with the better message that most of the world has embraced which is BE FAST (or FASTER)
Also attention needs to be drawn to the fact that many people who have the longest consequences are because they didn’t get thrombectomy or thrombolysis - because of reliance on FAST.
Also attention needs to be drawn to the fact that young people who present with symptoms similar to alcohol and drugs are not taken seriously. Mistakes because of medical scepticism has decades of avoidable impacts.
The people who are on this forum are a force to generate change and the first place a change would be good would be in the stroke association continuing to promote an outdated message without moving on.
There is a lot about stroke care that is rooted in past tradition that is now shown to not be good advice and not updated with practise and discovery - for example ”recovery only happens in the first 6 months" is often repeated and thoroughly disheartening and wrong statement that can become a self-filling prophecy
We collectively should harness our influence and should be a force for good
Sorry to hear about your husband. I had a TIA in 1992 when I was 27. Spent a night in hospital, told to give up smoking and went back to work 2 weeks later with no after affects at all. I did have a full stroke in 2023 which has left me a lot worse off. After MRI’s/MRA’s I was advised I had a problem with the veins supplying blood to my brain.
You can ask your doctor for blood tests to check for high cholesterol and I believe there are home testing kits as well. If you are in a position to do so, you can ask for a referral for an MRI which is a snapshot of the brain affected by the TIA. I’m not sure if it is available on the NHS and if it is no doubt there will be a wait.
I’m afraid you will have to be your husband’s advocate to get help, it won’t come automatically. If I’ve found out one thing about having a TIA/Stroke there is little to no support after you leave hospital and you have to fight for any help. Sorry, not what you would like to hear but I think it’s only fair to warn you. Best wishes to you both.