Monday, June 27, 2011

Transient Ishchemic Attack

On March 21, 2008, my mother started having Transient Ishchemic Attacks. A TIA is a "warning stroke" or "mini-stroke" that produces stroke-like symptoms but no lasting damage. Recognizing and treating TIAs can reduce your risk of a major stroke.

Most strokes aren't preceded by TIAs. However, of the people who've had one or more TIAs, more than a third will later have a stroke. In fact, a person who's had one or more TIAs is more likely to have a stroke than someone of the same age and sex who hasn't.

TIAs are important in predicting if a stroke will occur rather than when one will happen. They can occur days, weeks or even months before a major stroke. In about half the cases, the stroke occurs within one year of the TIA.

What causes a transient ischemic attack?

TIAs occur when a blood clot temporarily clogs an artery, and part of the brain doesn't get the blood it needs. The symptoms occur rapidly and last a relatively short time. Most TIAs last less than five minutes. The average is about a minute. Unlike stroke, when a TIA is over, there's no injury to the brain.

What are the symptoms of a TIA?

It's very important to recognize the warning signs of a TIA or stroke. The usual TIA symptoms are the same as those of stroke, only temporary:

Muscle weakness of the face, arm, or leg (usually only on one side of the body)
Numbness or tingling on one side of the body
Trouble speaking or understanding others who are speaking
Problems with eyesight (double vision, loss of all or part of vision)
Changes in sensation, involving touch, pain, temperature, pressure, hearing, and taste
Change in alertness (sleepiness, less responsive, unconscious, or coma)
Personality, mood, or emotional changes
Confusion or loss of memory
Difficulty swallowing
Difficulty writing or reading
Lack of coordination and balance, clumsiness, or trouble walking
Abnormal sensation of movement (vertigo) or dizziness
Lack of control over the bladder or bowels
Inability to recognize or identify sensory stimuli (agnosia)

On March 22, 2008, Mother suffered a major stroke and died on March 26, 2008.

I started experiencing the same symptoms last year, sparodic at first but graduallyu increasing in frequency and severity.

Since 2000, I have experienced three distinct episodes of severe chest pressure and severe pain radiating up my neck. The last episode occurred the latter part of April, right before I went for my annual physical.

I mentioned the episode to Stephen Reeder, my doctor. He sent me for test: carodid artrery ultrasound, abdominal aorta ultrasound, and a stress test. I had some blockage in my carodids but not severe enough for surgery. The stress test showed an artifact on the film in the same place as an artifact on the film from the stress test I took in 2005. Reeder sent me to cardiologist who ordered cardiac ultrasound-- which showed some leaking valves and an enlarged aorta.

Which lead to another test this morning whera tube is shoved down my throat and the doctor takes a look around.

He found something. A hole in the heart.

I'm getting it fixed.

Next stop, Dr. Otto, the neurologist on Friday


Anonymous said...

Geez I'm sorry it was rough...


Sara said...

Love you! It will be ok, I will try not to strss you out! (BTW, can I borrow some money?) Just kidding! Love you Dad!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Will get Bob Landewe to add you to his daily list.
Keep the chin up, you'll be back on your feet picking on Bozo before you know it.

Sorry missed your phone call tonight. Intense Physical Therapy today wiped me out. Now that I've had a nap, I'm wide awake... danged naps.

love ya

Anonymous said...

Jim buddy - hang in there, you'll be fine!!

Heck, think of it as a tune up like you tinkering on those old cars and trucks!! (Yikes)

Best wishes, you'll be back in no time.


The CDM said...

Wishing you a speedy road to recory, Jim. The bus needs to keep going.

Timeshare Jake said...

Praying for you Jim