Jangled Vision After Stroke

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I suffered a small stroke in my right occipital lobe about five weeks ago.I woke up early in the morning with a slight headache around my right eye and when I checked on my iPad to see the time, I could see the iPad display but I couldn't make any sense of the time.

Hours and hours later, after a long wait in A&E, my wife and I were finally seen by a doctor, who informed us that we had nothing to worry about, it was just a migraine!

We insisted that I needed a brain scan and in the end, and very reluctantly, he arranged for the radiographer to give me brain scan which eventually happened.

Once the results had been assessed the doctor reappeared, somewhat chastened, and admitted that there was a problem and I was pumped full of clot busting drugs and sent to the stroke unit.

Overall, I have been very lucky, I am left with a slight deficiency in my upper left quadrantI can detect movement and trying out visual field tests online, I score 100%, but my vision is still weirdI get hints of things which aren't there in the affected area.

My question therefore is twofold:

Firstly, will I get used to this new way of seeing things? I think a portion of my problem might be that my brain is still in a state of post trauma and I am hoping that this will alleviate itself given time.

Secondly, is there hope that my brain might still have some re-wiring up it's sleeve, and should I just give it time?

I appreciate that my concerns . compared to the post-stroke misery a lot of folk have to endure may seem a little self-indulgent, but this problem is exacerbated by the fact that my work is bound up in visual communication. I am looking for some hope that things might improve for me either in terms of making further gains with my vision and/ or readjusting to the new post-stroke world I now inhabit.

I would be grateful to hear fellow sufferers experienceson an earlier thread I found both fraggles and Helen03706's responses particularly inspirational.

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi peter 

    Sorry to hear what happened to you 

    I had a stroke myself 3 days ago but I want to hospital as soon as it happened it was a small one when it happened my left arm and leg became very week 

    But I got my strength back next day

    And put me on aspirin , I hop you get better soon 

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    • Posted

      Hi Joe and thanks for your input.

      With regard to drugs, I am on blood thinners, statins and beta blockers as my heart was discovered to have an irregular beat and that was the cause of the stroke.

      Good to hear that the doctors have also got you on the right medication.

       

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  • Posted

    Over the last 6 years or so I've had two strokes. My first one my only symptom was my vision which was cross eyed. It never even crossed my mind that it could be stroke-related so I went to my eye doctor. He was the one who suggested I see my doctor so I did. That was a mistake I should have gone to the emergency room before I go to confirm that it was a stroke. My vision corrected itself within the first 10 hours of the stroke. And like you I woke up in the morning with that vision change. Then my second stroke which was a year and a couple of months ago I woke up and realize I had no use of my right arm and I could not speak clearly. I'll tell you that was frightening indeed. Well I went immediately to the emergency room and of course they did an MRI. I was very lucky to learn that it was a TIA also called a mini-stroke. Once again within about 4-5 hours I got that use of my right arm back and my speech improve slowly and was completely cleared up by the time they got me from the emergency room to a hospital room. I don't think anyone who has any kind of a stroke even a mild stroke should be any less concerned about it then someone who had a lot of residual impairment. Because their chance of having another stroke is much higher now. As for the answer to your question about your vision it is very likely that your eyes will adjust to the change and you will probably get to a point where you no longer even notice it. I say this because of something an eye doctor explained to my sister. The contacts he had made for her were different for each eye. One was for seeing up close and the other one was for seeing far away. Naturally one would assume you have to close one eye to see up close, and the other eye to see far away but you don't. The eye doctor told her that your eyes learn which one to use for which ever vision is needed. So if they can learn which eye to use then I would assume that you're eyes will adjust to a small blurry area as well. Whether it will actually come back I don't think anyone can answer that. Maybe it will and maybe it won't. Of course the longer it goes on the more likely it's not going to go away. You might check with your eye doctor to see if there are any physical therapies for the eyes. I've never heard of any but it might be worth just asking. Keep on those aspirin so that you don't get another stroke. BTW I am very disappointed in the doctor in the A&E that did not automatically do an MRI. I suspect the migraine he was referring to was a ocular migraine which can have no pain whatsoever or it can come with a bad headache. I had one of these in between my two strokes and when I went to the emergency room for it they almost immediately determine that that's what the problem was. I did not have any pain with it and they did not do an MRI but my vision cleared up very quickly so I believe they were right. Good luck to you I hope things work out for you.

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    • Posted

      Many thanks for getting back to me and very interesting to read your thoughts about your sister's contact lenses. My brother had a similar experience and I think the brain is very adaptable in this regard.

      I am on pretty powerful medication and, despite the initial scepticism of the assessment doctor, once I was in the stroke unit, the care and attention were second to none.

      Great to hear that things are working out for you.

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  • Posted

    Hi Peter so sorry that this has happened to you but it seems that you were on the ball and got treatment really quickly which is great I had to wait 6 days before they gave me a CT scan and it showed that I had suffered an occipital stroke to the right lobe which affected all my vision off to the left like you I have a portion in the upper left quadrant that is gone mine was 3 years ago and the early days the vision was weird I kept blinking and shaking my head hoping that it would right itself but of course it never did but I can drive and do nearly everything I could before the stroke all be it with a slight adjustment sometimes if someone is walking towards me and they are just in that bit I really can't see them unless I move my head slightly then its ok I totally get you wanting to know I was exactly the same I just wanted to go back to how I was before the stroke had happened but sadly that's not going to happen so just think it's s**t and we know s**t happens but on a brighter note it could have been tons worse and it will improve in that it will become your new normal if that makes any sense? I know mine is still weird and if I make like pretend binoculars my vision is perfect try it ha ha you look a little strange doing it in public but frankly my dear I don't give a damn if I want clarity I say to my partner ill just get my bino's out lol and it's lush just like nothing ever happened I want someone to make me some round thick framed glasses with clear glass in them just so it blocks all the weird stuff off to the left and I can see great then you will get used to it and I am sure it will improve greatly its such early days for you yet I wish you all the best in your recovery it's a weird old stroke world we inhabit but we are alive my lovely and life is good take great care xxxx

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    • Posted

      Hi fraggles and many thanks for getting back to me and especially for all your encouraging and motivating thoughts.

      Apropos of your comment that it's still early days—did you get much more improvement after the first month of your stroke? Are we talking weeks or months? I remember reading some of your earlier posts, and it seemed that, despite the doctor's gloomy pronouncements, you continued to make good progress.

      I really am touched by your kind words and inspired by your positivity.

      Many thanks and all the best to you for the future.

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    • Posted

      Sorry Peter got a little carried away there unfortunately I can’t type as fast as  I talk 🙄 crikey yes it was probably for me  after 3 weeks or so that I started to think it wasn’t going to be as bad as they first thought  as the first week after diagnosis I was in hospital then sent to a place for recovery bless poor OTs she came to me and said Tania we are taking you to the kitchen? To watch you make a cup of tea? I said I don’t mean to be rude but I never made a cup of tea before I had a stroke  there is no chance I’m making one now 😂😂 anyhow I digress I do that a lot after the stroke oh and my short term memory is shot to pieces what I am trying to say the first 2 weeks were really in a hospital setting it was during the third week that I was sat on the sofa by the window facing forward and I thought I had seen movement out of the left side I turned to look and somebody was coming down the path OMG I could have run out the door and kissed them I was so excited then it’s like I said had field vision tests and even though you pass because you can detect movement it’s the fact that it’s not clear for me that still now bugs the hell out of me sometimes it still makes me feel dizzy but I just try to work through it I am very fortunate in that I don’t have to work so really for me it hasn’t been that much of a problem more frustrating because you know it’s not right just like when we were having a stroke we knew it wasn’t a migraine!! You will improve because you will get by and get used to what you have but also you will have to deal with the emotional part of what has happened the fear of it happening again and the fatigue so slowly slowly  😘 I know I cannot do slowly either I wanted it right NOW 😂 I hope you post in a year or two so we can see how far you have come xxxx

       

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    • Posted

      Oh yes-the make a cup of tea moment!

      That was part of my assessment too.

      At the moment, although I haven’t lost too much ability to decipher visual information, it’s more a matter of weird rather than nothing at all. Watching TV is still weird and looking at books with illustrations is also not as much fun as it used to be.

      Here’s hoping I get acclimatised to it.

      Once again, many thanks Tania for your thoughtful and very encouraging reply.

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  • Posted

    Hi everyone

    I am very new to this I just had a stroke 3 days ago happened to me while I was in a car with a friend  , I was a passenger 

    All what I remember that I lost my vision 

    Went blurry then went blank he took me straight to hospital and I was in a coma for about 6 hours 

    My left side was weak but I gained my vision back 

    Now I am back to normal I can walk and see normal but so tired 

    All happened very quick and I am back home 

    I didn’t have a chance to get answers for some questions

    Do I have to stop doing some physical activities as in in building business requires moving around a lot and going up and down stairs also am I allowed to exercise or not 

    It feels like it is going to be a new life style for me 

    Best of luck to you all

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  • Posted

    Hello PeterR51,

    Sorry to hear about your stroke but welcome to strokes r us, lol. I had my stroke 2 1/2 years ago. When I first had it I was told all kinds of stuff about what might be in my future as a stroke survivor, like you do most of your recovering in the first 3 months. I have learned that the only thing that each stroke patient has in common is the fact that we have had a stroke. I refused to call myself disabled and I didn't give up on my recovery, still haven't. Today, people can't tell I've had a stroke. I believe we all believe our own story. In other words, you can recovery as far as you believe you can. It doesn't happen instantly, or over night but if you keep expecting improvement, you will continue to get improvement. You'll have your good days and your bad, and that's ok, just don't give up on your recovery. You can recover just pay attention to what your body is telling you. I've noticed more issues with my sight when I get tired. Stay positive and when you're have a not so good day reach out to some who inspires you. Cheers to your recovery, you can do anything you put your mind to.

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    • Posted

      Many thanks for your very reassuring and warm-hearted message. Messages like yours are so uplifting-I am feeling that much better for reading it.

      Best Wishes to you in your ongoing recovery.

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  • Posted

    Hello Peter. I wasn't going to reply, as it looked like a lot of people were giving you plenty of input and good suggestions. 

    I was so encouraged after reading all of the replies that I wanted to thank you for sharing your experience. I had 2 TIAS and finally a stronger stroke that I'm still recovering from.

    I found that I was l encouraged to expect more recovery by looking for it. I really appreciated that.

    I have noticed that fighting depression and discouragement with one pervasive thought...is this as good as its going to get?

    It has been almost a year now. I find that particular invasive thought had the power to paralyze me from improving if I allowed it to stay in the back of my thoughts. The positive outlook from your letter as well as from the people who replied to you has really helped to identify and dislodge that paralyzing thought in my mind. 

    Thanks again to you and all of the kind people who replied to you.

    Lorraine21063 ~

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    • Posted

      Many thanks for adding your thoughts to the discussion Lorraine, the depression is something we all have to deal with. I am lucky, insofar as I am blessed with a very supportive wife and family and a very supportive GP.

      Talking to other stroke survivors, the general observation is that it is a long haul and you have to find positives in each and every day to latch on to.

      So walking the fresh air, the countryside, the sound of water, meeting with friends, the taste of food you enjoy, an audio book, anything that brings you pleasure and you can chalk up as a plus for your day.

      I wish you all success in your ongoing recovery.

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