Adjusting to life after TIA

Posted , 5 users are following.


I had a TIA in September 2017. Am a 63 year old woman, with a family history (Dad, uncles, brother) of TIA's and strokes.

Although I made a good recovery and have been discharged from hospital clinic, thoughts and possible future concerns are "getting to me". I have been prescribed clopidogrel for life.

I wake a few times a night (normal for me). My TIA occurred at 4am. Each time I wake now I am scared of stepping on to the floor in case my legs "give way" the way they did at TIA.

Another condition I have is diverticular disease, a gut concern which results in deeply unpleasant and potentially antisocial flare-ups. The discussion forum on this site is very informative and supportive. I have no children/family.

Occasional holidays abroad are no longer something I'm interested in, both because of the added expenses relating to travel insurance, but mainly in case I have health issue while away. I am very happy to continue to holiday in UK. Friends have suggested going away/abroad with them, but I do not wish to leave the UK/NHS, but nor do I want to offend their generosity. As often happens, unless a person has experienced something themselves they probably have difficulty understanding it.

Being realistic, I feel I am adjusting to this time of life in a way that is to be expected, but would love to hear from others who have also been through something similar.

As best I can, I have told friends that due to above concerns I am happier to stay in UK, but they look at me in such a way that makes me wonder if they think I'm being awkward.

Best wishes to all of us


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7 Replies

  • Posted

    Had my TIA in 2015 at the same age, 63. We had moved to Cost Rica at the end of 2014 and are still here. 

    I do Yoga twice a week, Latín Dance and Pickleball round out my activity.

    My best advice is work your own program, let others think what they will...

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  • Posted

    Hi Patsy,

    I had a TIA in January this year (I also have a family history of strokes etc) and have also made a good recovery. Had my carotid artery "de-furred" so everything should be fine. But, like you, I find it difficult to think about the future. I keep rubbing my right arm as that was the 1st symptom I noticed when the TIA hit. But despite all of the stuff I read/am told I feel as though I am waiting for the big one to hit and almost feel as though I don't want to make long term plans.

    I also don't feel inclined to go away from the NHS so have no holidays planned.

    It is difficult. My family keep telling je that it will all be OK and I am not likely to have another now they have removed the cause of the original one but when you wake up in the middle of the night scared stiff it is a very lonely time.

    I have my 1sy follow up at the stroke clinic in a few weeks and I really hope they repeat the Doppler scan on my neck to show me it is running freely now as I think that will make me feel better. I guess other than that it will just take time to come to terms wit what has happened.


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    • Posted

      My stroke was 6 years ago, I've had several TIA's since and what has been diagnosed (by GP) as a sensory stroke at Christmas. My confidence is rock bottom and get very depressed. I've had several counselling sessions, but they don't understand Stroke!  I too make no long term plans, it could happen at any time. My mother had two strokes, she passed away after the second. I assume the same thing will happen to me. The medical profession don't seem interested. I'm on warfarin and have regular blood tests

      Hope you come to terms with it and find the support you need.


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    • Posted

      Hi Lelly

      It was so nice to see your comment. We know how we each feel about our individual situations, but while not wishing problems for anyone else, it helps me feel as though I am not being irrational when others say they too have similar concerns.

      Best wishes to us all.


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    • Posted

      Hi Upatsy,

      so glad it helped. I have found the weeks since my TIA quite difficult. Unfortunately, I caught the flu immediately after my carotid surgery and due to not eating or drinking much for a week (plus a raging temp), I ended up passing out a couple of times. This put hubby into a real panic as he had to pick me up off the bathroom floor both times. As a result he spent weeks "on alert" everytime I had a shower as he was listening to make sure I was OK. But, it is 4 months to the day today and he is finally relaxing. I have pretty much got back to normal. Back at work (although I do work from home on a Wednesday to break up the week). The lasting effect I have is having to closely manage my energy levels. Last week I went into work every day and then by Saturday I just ended up feeling ill (hence the working at home midweek now).

      I have also had my first long trip for work (I travel a lot), involving a couple of nights in hotels in Scotland. I did add in an extra over night stay so I didn't get too tired and that went OK.

      I guess it is about adapting to what you can and can't do. I used to get to the airport for 4am, fly to Germany, work all day, fly back at 11pm and be in work for 8am the following day. Not any more. I would book an overnight hotel now.

      So keep positive, this too shall pass!


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  • Posted

    I am also 63 and had a TIA just a couple of weeks ago. I knew exactly what was happening to me, as I've read up on how to handle a variety of emergency situations.

    Watching TV at 4 pm and suddenly my lip, left side only went numb. Just like when your at dentist.

    As I was touching it, I thought this is odd.

    Then my left hand started getting pins and needles. I shouted out loud "my gosh I'm having a stroke!" Have Asprin next to my chair at all times. Took one quickly and called 911. Made a dash to get front door open before I went down. (Cant afford to replace the front door if they have to break it down)

    I ended up getting all the standard tests. CT scan to chevk for bleeding, MRI, EKG, bedside glucose test.

    My BP had escalated to 235/80

    My head was pounding.

    I'm much better now, but of course I worry I'm just on borrowed time now.

    I have diverticulitis as well. I was a 911 with that 2 years ago.

    I dont blame you at all for how you feel.

    Let them walk in our shoes for a bit. Bet they change their perspectives on the whole issue.

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