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Talk to me about TIAs

(15 Posts)
Feathersandbows Sun 18-Nov-12 17:36:00

My mum had a stroke earlier today; she is abroad so I don't know all the details, just what I've been told through various conversations with my siblings.

The details are:

She got very dizzy and fell over, was unable to talk or move. She was taken to hospital and arrived within thirty mins. The drs said the prognosis was bad, the stroke was severe and she had less than a twenty percent chance of regaining any speech or movement.

They gave her anti-clotting meds within an hour of the stroke happening and within another two hours, she was moving around, talking etc. I spoke to her on the phone and apart from sounding tired, she was fine - very aware of everything, great short term and long term memory, no slurring etc.

They are now referring to the stroke as a TIA because the symptoms improved so quickly.

Apart from being amazed at how fabulous the drs are, I am at a bit of a loss as to what happens next (can't ask the drs directly as it is the middle of the night with them now).

Can anyone help with some info?

I am assuming it is a very good sign that mum has responded so well and so quickly to the drugs, is that right?

Can someone experience a regression in their recovery? Or will she stay as alert / articulate as she is?

How long do you have to wait to fly after something like this?

Is there anything we should be doing, other than contacting the insurance company?

Thanks very much,

Xxx

tazzle22 Sun 18-Nov-12 18:20:10

transient ischaemic attack .. frightening to both experience and watch.

Cant asnwer all your questions but I had one 20 years ago and have been fine since. I took it as a wake up call and take all the usual precautions with regard to stroke risks.

very glad your mum is recovering well .. wish her all the best

Elibean Sun 18-Nov-12 19:26:21

My friend had one in the early summer - she is mid 60s. She had a milder TIA, by the sound of it (couldn't understand speech or use it for about 20 minutes, but didn't fall or get dizzy or lose movement) but is absolutely fine now.

She was told the risk of another one, or a worse one, decreases over time - so 24 hours without another is good, 48 better, a week great, etc. She has been on daily aspirin and statins since it happened, has had scans etc with nothing found, and is ok. She was shaken by it though - it made her feel very aware of her vulnerability for a few weeks, and she wasn't herself as a result: not physical, but emotional - still a big deal.

I hope your Mum keeps doing fine!

sandripples Sun 18-Nov-12 19:30:44

A friend of mine had one - she needed 3-4 months off work but has been well since. She felt very tired for a long time I think, and wasn't allowed to drive for quite a while.

But overall its excellent your mum got such swift treatment and that is a great recovery for your mum, esp compared to a full stroke which can leave you very impaired. The fact that she's doing so well is the best sign you could have of a good recovery.

Sorry I don't know about flying.

What a shock for you - sympathies.

I am glad to read that your mother was treated swiftly; this indeed helped her with regards to the TIA.

The UKs Stroke Association website is very good and has lots of information on it:-

www.stroke.org.uk/home

Feathersandbows Sun 18-Nov-12 20:31:16

Hello all, thank you so much for your posts.

I have just spoken to my mum who sounds fine. Apparently the neurologist said it was a massive arterial stroke (hence the dismal initial prognosis); they tried a new drug on her that has only been in use for a few months and it has now totally dissolved the clot. They are amazed at how quickly it started to work and at how it seems to have restored blood supply so thoroughly.

I think there must have been someone looking out for my mum today!

They are going to run a few more scans to double check everything before discharging her but they anticipate her leaving hospital in 36 hrs or so.

I think the results of the scans will determine what other meds she needs to take and when she will be able to fly.

Thank you all for your posts and info - very helpful and reassuring.

She had already started nagging my dad and complaining about the food so I think she must be feeling better emotionally too!

Xxx

smee Sun 18-Nov-12 21:24:09

Glad to hear your mum seems okay now. Must have been scary for you. I'm no medic, but the key thing is the scans in case her arteries are badly blocked. My Dad had a TIA last Christmas and they found his carotid artery was 80% blocked. He had to have an op to clear it, but is fine now. The TIA was scary, but in the end it did him a massive favour as it meant they found the blockage.smile

Feathersandbows Mon 19-Nov-12 21:54:18

Thanks smee - so glad your Dad is ok. Just spoke to my mum and she has now totally recovered. Amazing!

The scans showed her blood vessels are in quite good shape so they think the TIA clot must have been related to the long haul flight out there. Fortunately she is very healthy and keeps herself pretty fit so she was in good shape when it happened.

<note to self: put down the G&T and do some exercise>

<well, maybe tomorrow...>

grin

LittleTyga Mon 19-Nov-12 22:04:18

I had a TIA 3 years ago - I was in my early 40's at the time - I just dropped the dd's off at school and was checking my emails when I noticed my arm felt like pins and needles - thought it was the way I was sitting - but after a while it was still the same - and it was my left arm so got a bit concerned - tried to hold something but couldn't - was thinking about what to do when a friend called me and noticed my speech was slurred.

Cut a long story short went to A&E and a TIA was diagnosed. The cause was a hole in the heart and they said a clot must have come off there and travelled to my brain. I'm on aspirin and statins and have been perfectly fine since thankfully!

The scary thing was I felt really good one minute - next I'm having a stroke! Brought it home just how fragile we are and how every minute counts!

Maybe you could talk to your GP to discuss taking aspirin if strokes are in the family it may help you in future. Glad your mum has made a good recovery.

Feathersandbows Mon 19-Nov-12 22:14:50

Thanks Tyger - good point re the aspirin. I am on low dose aspirin at the moment anyway following preeclampsia with DD earlier this year (it's been an interesting few months!) but I will mention mum's TIA to the dr when we talk about coming off it.

So glad you are well and fully recovered now

Xxx

gingeroots Tue 20-Nov-12 11:19:20

So glad your mum got such excellent treatment and is feeling better .

But just wanted to say that as the neurologist said it was a massive arterial stroke then my understanding is ( might be wrong ) that it wasn't a TIA .

Ginshizz Tue 20-Nov-12 11:26:53

Ginger I was a bit confused about this too - apparently they downgraded it to a TIA because the symptoms resolved within 24hrs.

I had always thought a TIA was a "mini" stroke but I guess it is defined by the length of time the symptoms last as well as the severity of the symptoms. confused confused confused

Ginshizz Tue 20-Nov-12 11:27:48

Sorry, have name changed today!

gingeroots Tue 20-Nov-12 16:50:00

aah ok ,makes sense and good to know .

Hope all still going well .

Feathersandbows Tue 20-Nov-12 22:13:38

Thanks, just heard that her latest MRI has come back clear and they are talking about discharging her tomorrow and clearing her to fly whenever she wants.

The neurologist also told her today that this is the biggest stroke he has ever seen downgraded to a TIA so that makes me feel better about being confused over the terminology!

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