Panic and Anxiety

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On 29th January I took my partner to our local A&E as he was experiencing right arm heaviness. He showed no other outward symptoms. A sixth sense told me to get it checked out. Following in-depth neurological examination and assessment by an Advanced Nurse Practitioner, the A&E doctor and two Stroke Consultants, a CT scan, chest x-ray, ECG and blood tests were requested. CT scan came back normal. Chest x-ray normal. ECG a normal sinus rhythm. Full blood count, U/E's and liver function all normal. Cholesterol 5.6. NIHSS score is 1 based on a very slight weakness in the right arm. We have an MRI scan on 13th February. Diagnosis is a possible minor postural circulatory stroke. It has knocked us both sideways. I am trying to be strong for him but inwardly I am a mess and I fall apart when on my own. My partner is a fit and healthy man who does not smoke or drink alcohol and has a very strong constitution. Neither of us can rest until we know what the MRI is showing. I am planning to make some slight alterations to his otherwise very healthy diet and also to increase the level of aerobic exercise. Blood pressure is perfectly normal and we are monitoring it twice daily. Dr has prescribed clopidrogel and a blood thinning medication whose name has now escaped me. Dr says this is precautionary and would be the treatment if it is a minor stroke. Are we doing all the right things? Neither of us wallow in self-pity. We just want to know what we are dealing with and how we can best get the right treatment and move on. I am sure he will need some physio to get the heaviness out of his arm. He also feels his throat is closed up slightly which I have read is another symptom. No face droop, no speech difficulties, no double vision or headache. No nausea or vomiting. I suppose I needed to get my feelings down and off my chest. We are determined to get through this minor hiccup and move on.

I am a natural worrier and always think the worst when it comes to the health of my loved ones. Other than that I am a very sensible, confident and positive person. Any advice anyone can give would be much appreciated. Thank you.

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  • Posted

    Hi Lynn,

    i am not sure what is the diagnosis there.. a stroke or not?

    is your partner's arm heaviness still there? can he swallow or not?

    Has the doctor been reassuring or seemed cautious?


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    • Posted

      Hi Stephanie. At the moment doctors are treating as if it is a minor postural circulatory stroke but this is not definite. MRI scan on Saturday. Arm heaviness is still present. He can swallow fine and gets food and liquids down easily. The doctor has been reassuring and has already done lots of tests which have all come back perfectly normal.
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  • Posted

    ok, sounds reassuring apart from the doctors' reserved diagnosis.

    It is scary, I have myself so many similar symptoms and all checks came back fine. You never know.. you did well to go AE, dont panick too much though, there is no definite diagnosis of stroke yet. I do have numbness/wekneess in my right leg every night, it's been a few weeks but because I have had so many panic attacks in the past I'm trying to put it aside for now...I do have loads of difficulties sawllowing, throat feels very close up sometimes but they say it is anxiety..

    having my 3rd endocscopy in 2 weeks..

    let us know the results but as long as you are there to check on him it is good.

    I also heard a stroke is very much recoverable, so even if it was a minus one, it might be fine?.. your partner seems so very healthy, nothing much you can do to improve his life style!! ;-)

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    • Posted

      Thanks so much for the message Stephanie. I am trying to stay calm for both our sakes plus our wider family. A sixth sense told me to go to A&E and I am so glad I did. I listen to my gut a lot!! I have never seen my husband so down and distressed as he was on that Friday afternoon in A&E. The way he was speaking was totally out of character for him. It was almost like life had come to an end. He took early retirement in June last year and was saying things like 'you hear of these people who take early retirement and something happens to them in a matter of months'. I think it was shock and anxiety. I work full time so he is spending a lot of time around our daughters who has a 4 month old baby girl who he adores. She may be the one to help him out of this current situation. As the days have gone on he is a bit more positive but you can tell it has shaken him and he will not rest until we know what the MRI shows, if anything. I also know that anxiety can also bring on physical symptoms. I do not like to keep asking him how he is every 5 minutes because that will only increase anxiety levels even more. I guess it is down to time.
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  • Posted

    Yes, keep the faith! I have ended up in AE so many times, I am by myself, with symptoms of heart attacks, but I had to listen to my guts telling me I was unusually unwell.. and not once the paramedics or doctors have told me I should not have.. you never know.. but yeah, anxiety can cause so many horrible and scary symptoms.. so let's do hope it is only that or stress..
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