Hello I thought I would share my stroke story as I have been reading other stories on the forum and can relate to a lot of them especially regarding anxiety and depression.
I am 53 year old Man. In April 2006 I went to bed as normal, I woke up in the morning and could not get out of bed I felt very dizzy and vomited and I could not hear out of my left ear but strangely the ear was very sensitive to loud sounds. I was 36.
Because I had no classic symptoms of a stroke I was referred to my local ENT department (this was a week later) I actually had a mri on my head but nothing was found, the consultants were stumped so it was put down as Meniere’s syndrome.
Well big changes in my life I was a Civil Servant working as a manager of a Dog Section for the Ministry of Defence but could not continue this due to any loud noises and I would fall over and vomit. I was relegated to a desk job but even this was not sustainable so eventually a year later I was medically retired.
At the time I was married and because of what happened I went into a deep depression for over a year and unfortunately my marriage failed.
I got on with things so fast forward to 2018 a month from marrying for a second time I felt quite ill though it was a TIA so went to A&E had a MRI on my head, when we spoke to the neurologist she said no TIA but there is scarring in the cerebellum showing that you had a major Cerebellar Infarction Due to Arterial Dissection back in 2006.
So only at that point did I discover that in fact 12 years earlier I had a major stroke.
So got married and on our honeymoon in Mexico, I think it dawned on me that I had a stroke all those years ago, suddenly felt very ill my blood pressure rose and ended up spending 4 days in a Mexican hospital.
Got home and ended up being basically bedbound for a year not knowing what was wrong with me. Had all the tests under the sun including MRIs and a Coronary angiogram as I felt every night I was going to have a heart attack and die.
Well after all the tests (that came back fine) my doctor suggested that I might have anxiety, then everything made more sense, there wasn’t anything physically wrong with me and I did not realise how debilitating anxiety could be until it was explained to me.
Well the Doctor put me on Propranolol and I had a course of CBT, it was a very slow recovery and not very nice side effects from the Propranolol.
So 4 years later I am off the Propranolol I had Bariatric surgery to help with my weight my BP and Diabetes are under control and I only occasionally get anxious about things.
My attitude now is well I have lasted 16 years without having another stroke so that is good as long as I continue to try and look after myself that’s all I can do.
My main reason for writing this is that I had no idea anxiety could be as debilitating as it is and it certainly opened my eyes to how bad it could be.