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Justjo Justjo

TIA - Amaurosis fugax?

Hello. I know you're not medical professionals, I'm just looking for a little reassurance if anyone can oblige? I have spent the last few days rigid with fear and I'm too scared to be left alone through fear of having a stroke and I'm scared of eating the wrong thing..I was diagnosed 5 days ago by both GP and neuro consultant, as having a tia and have been prescribed 75 mg aspirin and 20 mg statins and told not to drive for a month as I'm at risk of a stroke.

My day started as usual.. I was sat on my kitchen worktop talking to my hubby, I jumped down off the worktop to follow hubby outside, as I put my head up I was aware that something was wrong with my vision in my left eye, I followed my hubby outside and told him I couldn't see properly, looking straight ahead everything below my sightline was black yet I could see clearly above sightline, my eyesight was literally split in two, but just the left eye. I stood still for a minute and hubby then guided me to sit down, where my sight just went back to normal within 10 seconds. I had no other symptoms and no pain anywhere. The whole episode from start to finish lasted 2/3 minutes.

So, I suppose I'm looking for reasons.. I'm 47 years, Im a casual smoker and I know this can be a cause, but would this show up in an MRI? I have not touched one since and never likely to again! I'm 8 stone so no weight problem. I've had some tests at my local stroke assessment unit which all appear fairly normal? BP 123/82. Pulse 62. ECG normal. Angiogram/MRI normal. Bloods showed cholesterol at 5.6, but GP doesn't find that overly worrying? (I don't know anything about cholesterol). All other bloods normal, not diabetic either. 

I do suffer from anxiety and at mo it really is off the scale so please don't put anymore fear in me 😩 At the time neuro tried to reassure me that my age, weight, not diabetic, BP good etc, puts me at even less risk, but for me all I'm hearing is that I'm at enough risk to warrant meds and driving ban for a month like any other person who has experienced a tia. Honestly my head is really spinning, am I being stupid, overly anxious?

thanks in advance 😊

19 Replies

  • phoebewhite phoebewhite Justjo

    Hi, you are in no way being stupid or overly anxious, it's a shock to have this type of thing happen to you, My ex husband (who I'm good friends with still) had a similar experience to you about 3 months ago now, he was mowing the lawn it was a hot day and I popped in the see him, I took him a glass of water and as he spoke to me I noticed his speech was very slurred, he hadn't felt anything different, long story short he was taken to hospital had MRI etc and was told he had had a mild stroke, he was only in overnight, he was also told he couldn't drive for 4 weeks, doctors have to be careful and this is just a precaution as yes, you can be more at risk after having these symptoms, sorry but there is no other way to say that, my ex was also given statins, not aspirin though as he is already on Warfarin which is a bit ironic really, I had a horrid diagnosis a few years back myself and I also suffer terribly from anxiety but I have tried not to dwell on it, it's not easy I know but you have to try as you could make yourself feel a whole lot worse than you do already, have you spoken to anyone at your local stroke clinic? if not see if you can get an appointment, they will reassure you and give loads of information.

    Keep your chin up as they say.

    Take care.

    Phoebe. :0) 

  • flor93928 flor93928 Justjo

    i too had a tia 14 months whole side went numb arm leg and my face at the signs of a stroke but they call it a mini stroke because it has stroke signs .So what they did find in the mri i had an aneurism but they fixed it.After that tia i was afraid to go out and lost my confidence so i stopped going got two months .But i said to myself i can't live in fear so i  started praying a lot and i got my confidence back.Theres times i get lightheaded but i suffer from anxiety i'm really not sure if it's  that.But i made a decision to be happy stay busy so i don't think of any negativity .So far so good it's been 14 months and i been fine .i refuse to live in fear .i do take my aspirin daily.My advise stay busy and pray go to church .Faith gives you a lot of hope and strength to keep going.

  • Justjo Justjo

    Thank you both for taking the time to respond to my anxieties.. I have had a seriously off the scale stressful 12 months and I don't know if what those 12 months could have added to the cause of a tia? I suppose now for me it's having lots of questions and finding a definitive cause so I can help prevent as much as poss anything further happening, but having to wait a few weeks for a follow up with the stroke unit is a nightmare for me. As I've have said above, I stopped smoking immediately, but I'm scared to eat in case it's the wrong thing, scared to excercise in case it's the wrong thing to do, scared to rest in case that's wrong.. really my head is spinning with the lack of info I've been given, I'm doing my best in researching online etc, but it's so much to take in, I seriously feel abandoned at the moment 😢

    • phoebewhite phoebewhite Justjo

      Try to carry on as usual, you'll drive yourself nuts if you don't, well done for  quitting smoking, I'm an ex smoker too (gave up 18 years ago), more or less carry on with what you normally eat though, cut down on salt intake that's always a good thing to do but don't be afraid to eat, you must know that stress doesn't help these types of things, and I know (I know) it's not easy but you must try to calm yourself, get out in the fresh air, go for a walk do deep breathing exercises etc, I'm agoraphobic and when I was diagnosed with cancer a couple of years ago I knew I would have to go into hospital and the thought of it (ironically) made me want to run away but I got through it somehow, I can't say i know exactly how you feel but I have a very good idea, you can do this Jo, you will get through it, try to think positively.


    • Justjo Justjo phoebewhite

      Bless you Phoebe 😘 Hour by hour I feel things are getting easier, thank you for helping with that. My hubby has been a great support in taking me to work with him daily so as I'm not scared and alone. 

    • flor93928 flor93928 Justjo

      Hi.Dont be afraid to eat .Now not eating can affect you more  because our bodies needs nutrients Of choose healthier choices .Ask your dr about exercising..Me i don't eat anything fried like once in a while i'll treat myself.i don't eat sweets but once in a while i'll have a small piece of cake.i don't diet i just count calories.Myfitnesspal app it helps you not over eat.You make a profile and put to loose a pound a week and if you don't exercise put sedentary.I lost 37 pounds but i go to the gym one hour 5 days a week I got better mentally by staying busy .i decided i want to be happy and by worrying i'm adding more stress to my body and it's no good since i had a Tia.I know people that had Tia like 20 years ago that dosnt mean you gonna get another one just start taking care of yourself and you will start feeling better.Put all your effort in getting well .You can do this i know you can.Stay strong😀

  • Chikoy Chikoy Justjo

    Hi Justjo

    Your reaction to your having a stroke is normal for any stroke victim. The fear of another attack is a clear and present danger. According to statistics, there is a 25% chance of recurrence within one year. One out of four will have it. But according to my neurologist, the chances of another attack is much minimized if you take the following precautions- 1. Take your meds daily(statins, aspirin, clopidogril). 2. DO NOT SMOKE (chances of stroke is twice). 3. Exercise (cardio) 30 minutes daily. 4. Eat more vegetables and fruits. 5. Avoid high cholesterol and oily foods like RED MEAT ( fish is preferable). 6. Drink sparingly (if you drink). 7. Make sure your blood pressure is normal - the primary cause of stroke(3x) is high blood pressure. 8. Take your meds if you have high blood pressure. Have your bp checked daily. 9. Avoid STRESS (as much as possible). 10. Think positive about life and avoid negativity. These are some tips you can do to avoid another attack. I hope these tips can help you cope your cerebrovascular condition.

  • faycal23939 faycal23939 Justjo

    Hi Justjo

    I am not a doctor nor a medical professional. I have suffered a stroke also almost two months ago. It was a mild one, according to the doctors. It is true that I don't have any sequel. I am 62 years old and for the doctors I am too young to have had a stroke. But I did. They found an obstruction in one of the brain arteries which blocked the blood to irrigate it at least for a few seconds. I did not faint but I felt bad in the street and I had to sit down. Then after 5 mn, I got up to go to work (what a stupid guy I am!) and I felt my left side heavy and my arm and leg did not respond while I was walking or trying. I was limping. Then when I started to speak, I found it difficult as if I was completely drunk, having difficulties to say words. Anyway to cut a long story short, I spent one week at the hospital in intensive unit. But I am, let's say well today. It was at the end of July of this year, so really recent. But my brain is working a lot and I have the impression I am going to faint or to have another stroke. There was a fat ball that had slowed down the irrigation of the brain. Fortunately, I have been controlling my cholesterol level for two years, so it was not that bad. Those are the medical words. But a little bit like you I still fear another stroke. I have been controlling my food, limiting or in fact eliminating any food that could bring or raise the fat level. I have to walk a lot and to do some exercises which I do. However, I often have the feeling that I am going to faint. My brain doesn't let me live normally. I have some difficulties to walk but I am going to see a physio therapist to help me walk normally again. I have started writing my life in a document just to spill things out in order to help me and I have to confess it helps. I have also decided to do only things I like and forget about anything that could stress me or make me angry. I need, and I think it could be good for you too, to live the best way possible and to forget what makes me mad and raise the pressure. 

    I have just read again what you wrote: you are a casual smoker. The first things the neurologist asked at the hospital was if I smoked. I don't want to give you lessons, but if you could stop smoking it would help you. 

    I have to say that your description of what you went through matches exactly what has happened to me. 

    But please, try to forget bad things and your anxiety. I know you'll tell me it is easy to say but hard to do. But try. Don't take those things like lessons but just some thoughts to help you live better. I know exactly what you feel. I still feel the same effects but I have decided to spill things out in writing all my life in I wouldn't say a book but for me writing helps. I am a free lance reporter for CNSnews in Virginia. I live in Paris and I want to avoid having another one. 

    Thank you to share your thoughts with us. I am trying to do the same as it helps me a lot. 

    All the best


    PS: don't hesitate to write again if you want. 

  • amkoffee amkoffee Justjo

    I had a stroke about 5 years ago and I woke up seeing cross eyed. I had no idea that that was a sign of a stroke so I went to my eye doctor many and many hours later. It was he who said I probably should go to my GP. And I went to my GP who wanted me to get an MRI. It took 5 days to get an MRI, but when they did they found I had had a stroke. But by the end of the day of the stroke my eyes were back to normal. And at that point in time they put me on aspirin and cholesterol medicine just like you. Then in December 2016 I woke up and I couldn't use my right arm at all and I couldn't speak very well either. Very scary. Knowing that I'd had a stroke I went to the emergency room and was surprised to find that it was a TIA. And of course within a few hours all of my symptoms were gone. They put me on Plavix instead of aspirin and changed my cholesterol medicine as my cholesterol was high. Plavix is a platelet thinner not really a blood thinner. If I have another stroke I'm sure they'll put me on something like Warfarin. I think I'm very lucky that I have not had any deficit that lasted. Unlike you I fear the unknown but I don't let it get to me. I mean I've cheated faith once with a stroke and a TIA . I don't think that a TIA ever cause lasting deficits.

    Sorry I'm talking about all of my experiences but I don't want you to worry about this. For obvious reasons worrying just causes more problems and doesn't solve anything. But I know telling you not to worry is one thing, but doing it is another. Unfortunately I think the doctor may have really scared you more than need be. You of course can stand to quit smoking but you said you were going to and you said you're not overweight so that's good. You want to make sure you get some exercise. And being on the aspirin is the recommended treatment for a TIA and that's because it thins your blood. Now as far as the cholesterol medicine that is actually to control your high cholesterol. But apparently your doctor doesn't think it's too high but I think they're doing it as a precaution. Cholesterol builds up in your veins causing the blood to have trouble to flow. And if a small clot forms it won't be able to get through because of the cholesterol buildup that you have in your veins and then you have a stroke. So I hope that explains the need for the cholesterol medicine. Hope this answer some of your questions and if you have any others feel free to ask

  • Justjo Justjo

    Hi everyone, I just wanted to give you all an update, but firstly I'd like to thank you all for responding, you've helped me tremdously.. 

    My hubby banned me from the internet until I'd had contact from he stroke unit, hence my slow response to some of you.  To date, I have been going to work with my husband each day, since I'm not allowed to drive at the moment.

    Further to my original post re smoking, I have not touched a cigarette since the day of the TIA and i am extremely confident that I won't ever smoke again. 

    Regarding anxiety, this is still an ongoing thing what with all the questions I have, but I'm finally getting to see my GP this afternoon.  I also received a letter from the stroke unit, only to confirm diagnosis, that all the tests were normal and that meds prescribed are for life..  I'm wanting to know if that is it as far as the stroke unit are concerned, do they not want me back for further testing? 

    Although cholesterol was ok, I'm still very worried about what food I'm eating, which is currently impacting my already low weight. Also can't get my head around that if smoking had caused the TIA, how would they know, what test would have shown this?  Another concern I have is whether any of this is hereditary? my dad's first stroke affected his eyesight just as I had experienced, yet his was permanent, all of his general tests were normal too. I'm hoping my GP will be able to give me some answers...

    Anyway, I thank you all again for taking the time to respond and share your stories..

    • lorraine21063 lorraine21063 Justjo

      Justjo, you probably have not had time to read my response to your chat yet, and I wanted to add something. I also have high anxiety and am currently on meds for it. One of the best things that has helped me was to identify what exactly caused stress or anxiety and to deal with it in a natural way if possible. Deep breathing, watching things that calm me down (such as nature shows) or shows that made me laugh and finding quick solutions to problems when they loomed ahead of me. If I couldn't find a solution, I separated myself from the problem mentally until I could. And I always pray. I did find out mine was genetic as well. I hope you can see a neurologist. They know the most. and can order tests other doctors don't think to. Ok, Good luck, Lori 

    • amkoffee amkoffee Justjo

      About your smoking, I used to smoke and I quit 11 years ago. At the time of my stroke I had quit 6 years before my stroke. And yet they still blamed my stroke on my smoking. And I think they did that cuz they had nothing else to blame it on. But the doctor's reasoning was that smoking constrict your veins and that can cause a clot to form in your head. Then it was 10 and a half years of non-smoking when I got my TIA and nobody said anything about my years of smoking.


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