Struggling after a TIA/returning to work

Hi everyone, i had a TIA just over 2 weeks ago. Lost all movement on right hand side and was unable to speak properly. This did resolve after around 15 minutes on my way to hospital. The hospital discharged me after doing ct scans, ecg and blood tests but i have been given no information other than it was probably a TIA and to take statins and blood thinners. I have a phone call with the stroke unit on friday which will hopefully clear some things up. My biggest issue is i feel like everyone thinks i should be fine and going back to work as i “look fine” and it “was just a TIA” but i am exhausted all the time, have numbness in my hand and struggle to focus/remember words etc especially when i am tired. I know everyone will have different experiences but i guess i am wondering if this is normal or if alot of this is related to the anxiety i am feeling. Although people including my boss are being supportive i am feeling alot of pressure to return to work when my line is up on tuesday but i honestly dont feel like i would cope. Thanks for any advice or experiences you can share

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@Susank hi welcome to our forum but sorry you have had a stroke.

You should have an MRI scan as it scans deeper that a ct scan.

You will be exhausted it’s only 2 weeks past. My fatigues are always if I do to much it can wipe me out next day. I feel it’s too early for you to go to work. I hope someone will answer too so, you will get a variety of answers.

The blood thinners and statins will protect you but you do need a stomach protecting medication too.

Write questions down ready for your conversation on Friday with the consultant. Just incase you forget some. Brain fog is normal and tiredness too after a stroke.

If you read some of our previous headed threads you may get some ideas from all of us.

I wish you speedy recovery and best wishes loraine

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Thanks Loraine. My appointment is a telephone one so will definitely have a list of questions to ask and hopefully they will advise more re medications and further tests then. I think i was just so relieved to have mobility/speech back when i was in A&E that i didnt ask any questions! Only joined the forun today and already feel much less isolated reading through other peoples experiences it is so useful. Thank you

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@Susank welcome to the forum although sorry you’ve had a reason to join this merry group.

It is very early days yet & everything you are feeling is pretty normal.

Please don’t feel pushed into going back to work until you are ready. As you have realised the effects of a stroke are more than those things people can see. In my experience tge hudden effects are the most debilitating.

You still don’t really have any answers yet & you need to have some to make sure you are not doing something that puts you at further risk. The meds you’ve been given though do reduce the risk of a stroke happening.

Make a list of questions for the consultant & hopefully they will give you the answers you need.

Best wishes.

Ann x

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@Susank yeah this is a great place to be for our special gift :joy::joy: talk soon x

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Hello Susank. There are times when people see me they tell me I look fine. Apart from my walking sticks or my rollator perhaps I do look fine to them. However the disability is hidden and without my aids I would look like I am drunk. This is worse when I am tired (which is often). I did return to work a few years back but rarely got past lunchtime before having to return home. Eventually an ill-health early retirement package was negotiated and I retired early in 2018. Fortunately I worked in the NHS on a full time contract and the ill-health retirement is a standard part of the contract.

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@Susank whilst all the so called expert info out there, like on the NHS website etc, seems to suggest that the symptoms of TIAs don’t last long with no lasting damage, members of this forum like yourself will have a quite different view as fatigue and residual weakness/numbness etc can indeed go on.

As you and others have said, write down your list of questions to get your answers.

Take as much time as you need, don’t rush back to work, it’s only been a couple of weeks, you’ll need time to process and repair. Your GP should give you a further note without any issues.

Best wishes

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Thanks very much to everyone for their replies, i appreciate you all taking the time to share your experience and give support. I feel alot better having a plan for my upcoming appointment and knowing that how i am feeling is not unusual or all in my head. I need to learn to take the time i need to recover and not worry about what i think other people expect me to do.

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Hi sorry to hear you’re struggling. It really is very early days for you. I had a small stroke 6 weeks ago and at first they thought it was a bad migraine or TIA. It wasnt until I had an MRI they found I’d had a stroke but nothing had shown on a CT scan. 2 weeks ago had a deeper MRI so just waiting on results. Don’t rush back Im still off work and still not ready.

Take care
Heather

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I been off work for 5 weeks now

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I had a TIA and mild stroke about 5 years ago and it took about 6 months to get past the tiredness, I needed a short nap every day. My speech therapist told me to “listen to what your body is telling you” and the community stroke nurse said, “if you’ve got a big day coming up, try to rest the day before”. She also advised me not to try to go back to the stressful full time busy jobs I had before. I am not working myself as gave up when had my son years ago. Am considering going back but likely part time or short term temping. Hope this helps and hope you continue to get better.

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@Jewel welcome Jewel thank you for your advice. Great news you are thinking about part time work.

Thought of going back to school gives me a headache I’m 22 months on now but have other problems I do believe some of the problems are after stroke and my body escalating to older age.

Good luck on your job hunt and let us know how you get on. Kind wishes Loraine

Thanks again to everyone who has taken the time to reply and sorry you are all going through this too. It is incredibly helpful hearing other peoples experiences and i have accepted that I need to take my recovery at my own pace and not concern myself with what other people think i should be doing. I have spoken with my gp today and arranged a 3 week sick line with a view to returning to work after that potentially on reduced hours at first. My MRI is booked for tomorrow and waiting to get an appointment for an ultrasound on my heart. Feeling more positive knowing i might get some answers and i have a few more weeks to just focus on getting rest! Take care all x

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Hi Susank

Sorry that you feel you have little or no information - I had a TIA in March 2022 and I left hospital with very little information (thank goodness for The Stroke Association). I was also a job seeker dealing with DWP as my job had come to an end in December 2021 as the office closed. I left hospital on 10th March and started applying for jobs again on 11th March!!! I have only just realised how ridiculous this was due to another employer explaining last week I probably wouldn’t be able to cope with the training and note taking (which I wouldn’t due to my aphasia). When I left hospital I had a weak left side a droopy foot and struggled to walk, I got fatigued and had the aphasia. I am fortunate I can now walk properly and distances, my fatigue hardly ever bothers me and my aphasia has improved my keyboard skills are about 80%, I can write in moderation (I practice every day). I am appalled at DWP why did they allow me to keep job hunting straight after my stroke. Although I am fortunate in my improvement I know I could not work at the same speed and would I cope with a full working week? As I am single I cannot afford to work part-time. DWP are not capable of dealing with such issues and the national careers service are not much better. Having read lots of blogs and replies on the forum time and again people are left in the dark and the NHS and DWP are definately lacking

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Good luck @Susank for tomorrow

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Welcome !! Im new but the group is so supportive , i kmow how you feel i had a TIA left side affected most noticeable things speech and leg weakness resolved within 24hrs but gosh ! Everything you described i feel , i feel a fraud saying ive had a stroke because i dont ‘look’ like i have. But a stroke is a stroke not matter how small or big it is - we still have side affects , our bodies and mind is stills recovering we need to be kind to oursleves

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@Susank how did it go today?? Hope your ok :hugs:

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@Loshy thanks for asking, it was a bit of a weird experience getting the mri, im glad im not claustrophobic! All went fine though and I have spent the rest of the day chilling out and avoiding the rain. Just waiting on appointment for an ultrasound now and hopefully will get some answers

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@TootieB its such a strange thing isnt it! We definitely need to keep reminding ourselves that we are recovering and be as kind to ourselves as we would be to someone else. I am so glad i found this group as you say everyone is so supportive. I honestly dont know how i would have coped without being able to vent to people that understand

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Hi @Susank, welcome to the SS forum! I’ve found it really helpful to be able to talk to others on here. I had a Stroke in April while driving home from work. Lost speech and had right side weakness. Was in hospital overnight and discharged with little info except they weren’t sure if it was a Stroke or a silent migraine as CT didn’t show anything. So I blithely went home ‘wondering’ - felt incredibly tired, couldn’t concentrate, lost confidence, brain fog. My appointments came 4 weeks later through the post - and MRI in a month and a consultant appointment in another month which would be exactly 3 months to the day since my incident - it was only at that point I was told I had had a full stroke and was extremely lucky I was already on blood thinners or it would have been catastrophic.
My point in sharing this is that it’s so so important to be on sites like this and to talk to other stroke survivors. I had no advice when discharged, told to go back to work after a week but ended up off for 5 months. Listen to your body, be kind to yourself, talk to others, seek advice through groups like this one as the post stroke support is little to none officially!
I did have another, a TIA this time, in November a month after I began a phased return to work. Had two weeks off and am now phasing a return again - I found a site on Etsy that sells badges so I wear one on my lanyard at work, it’s quirky and cartoony but eye catching. It simply says “please be patient, I’m a Stroke Survivor and my words take time”. Not for everyone I know but I’ve found it helps enormously as I have lots of meetings with people and I know I ‘look fine’ but we all know that’s not always the case.
I hope you get some answers from your MRI and find some support and friendship on here. There are also some great groups on Facebook for Stroke Survivors too and I now have many friends I can talk to and share our recovery journey successes and setbacks. X

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