was this a stroke?

January 16, 2013 at 3:36 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

tonight i talked to my ys on the phone for a short time. she was in such a great space and so excited about the future, it seemed like the wrong time to talk about what happened.  how do you bring this kind of thing up? so i didn’t.  i am so happy when i talk to her.  she is usually full of plans for the future and just a fun girl.  heather called and i spoke to her for a few minutes and again she was asking me how i was and it seemed wrong to bring it up. she was tired and had a long day, the call was so sweet.  she asks how we are and says let’s get together soon.  all i can say is that’s great and thanks for calling.  was this wrong?  would it have been better to say well this is what is going on with me?  somehow that just doesn’t feel like me.  so if one of you reads this now or in the future i want you to know it is not something you did that made me feel i couldn’t talk to you.  this is all me and i apologize if it hurts your feelings.

last night i may have had a stroke. actually it may have been a TIA.  i have done little reading about this tonight and with my own professional experience it seems to be the fact.  at the end of my writing i am going to share with anyone who wants to know more what a stroke is, what a TIA is and what the symptoms are for a woman.  of course the symptoms are a little different and that means sometimes women are misdiagnosed.  after making it through the night i am aware that more planning needs to happen.

for the next few days i will be getting together as much information as possible.  this is the best way to approach all this with chris.  he will have a lot of questions and i want to be able to answer them and make sure he feels like he can handle any situation with confidence.  maybe i should back up a little.  this afternoon when i was feeling  a little better i came out and told him what i felt had taken place.  he was shocked of course but just needed to be assured that we were going to make plans in case this happened again.

one thing i wanted to be very clear about is if something like this happens again and it is worse i want him to know what to do and what not to do.  i realized that all my planning earlier was just about my death and not about something like a stroke.  the one thing we talked about being definite was a nursing home.  my instructions are very clear and i will talk to others later to make sure he has a great support system that knows the plan.  if i can care for my personal needs (going to the bathroom) it is fine to take me home and maybe get some help.  if i cannot do these things then it is off to the nursing lodge (as julie calls it) until things are more clear.  if there is not going to be any improvement then it may have to be more long-term.  of course there are other options and those are most likely to be my first choice.  if i can’t speak for myself then i want him to feel ok with the lodge.  tomorrow we talk further and also make plans for a trip in april.  if i am ok in april then i am going to have a great time.  can’t say yet, all the plans are not complete, but i will surely write about it when it is more certain.

here are some excerpts from articles i thought would be helpful and important especially for women.

Common stroke symptoms seen in both men and women:

Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg — especially on one side of the body

Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding

Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes

Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination

Sudden severe headache with no known cause

Women may report unique stroke symptoms:

sudden face and limb pain

sudden hiccups

sudden nausea

sudden general weakness

sudden chest pain

sudden shortness of breath

sudden palpitations

“Understanding the warning signs is important because there are treatments we can give for stroke. If you understand the warning signs and get to the hospital quickly we can even possibly reverse the stroke itself,” says Dr. Dawn Kleindorfer, assistant professor of neurology at University of Cincinnati School of Medicine.

Mini stroke is the common name used to describe a condition known as transient ischemic attack (TIA). The mini stroke is characterized by stroke like symptoms which generally lasts for less than 24 hours (usually less than 2 hours).

What is a mini stroke?

A mini stroke is often considered as a warning sign of a true stroke in the future if preventive measures are not taken. It has been estimated that about 200,000 to 500,000 mini strokes are reported every year in the U.S. Mini stroke is also commonly referred to as TIA or little stroke.

A stroke in general refers to an attack that occurs within the brain cells. The brain controls a wide range of activities such as talking, eating, walking etc., and needs a continuous supply of oxygen through the blood.

What are the signs and symptoms of mini stroke?

Mini stroke signs and symptoms can vary with the duration and severity of the attack. It may also vary to some extent in women when compared to men. A wide variety of signs and symptoms may be noted in individuals suffering from mini stroke.

In general, mini stroke symptoms may appear suddenly, last for only a short period of time (few minutes to 24 hours), and then disappear completely. These symptoms may recur at a later time in some instances.

While TIA or mini stroke is different from an actual stroke the signs and symptoms of mini stroke are often identical to that of an actual stroke. However, it should be noted that while the symptoms of an actual stroke tends to last for a long duration, mini stroke symptoms do not last for more than 24 hours duration.

Some of the commonly noted mini stroke symptoms have been listed below. These symptoms may often be noted on only one side of the body in most of the instances.

Muscle weakness in the muscles of the face, arm, or leg on one side of the body may be noted. This may or may not be accompanied by numbness or tingling sensations.

When the speech centers in the brain are affected, one may have trouble speaking or understanding what others are speaking or trying to speak. In some instances other senses such as eyesight, touch, pain, temperature, pressure, hearing, and taste may be affected.

Change in alertness, mood, or emotions may also be noted in some cases. Some tend to suffer from confusion or a transient loss of memory while others may have difficulty writing or reading, clumsiness, trouble walking and dizziness.

Are the symptoms of mini stroke different in women?

While some of the mini stroke symptoms may be common to both men and women, there are a few symptoms and signs that are specifically noted in women. Studies have reported that when compared to men, women are 43% more likely to report many of the nontraditional symptoms of stroke. These studies reported that symptoms such as pain, change in the mental-status, a feeling of lightheadedness, headache, or other associated symptoms were often complained by women experiencing a mini stoke.

Women experiencing a mini stroke can experience abrupt pain in the face and arm or the leg (generally on one side of the body). In some instances they have sudden hiccups which do not subside after drinking water. A few may feel sick in the stomach (nauseated feeling) while other may abruptly start feeling tired. Mini stroke is also noted to cause sudden chest pain or pounding or racing heartbeats. Sudden shortness of breath has also been reported in a few cases.

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