TOTAL FEAR: Am I doomed to have another?

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I had a TIA 9 years ago and a mild ischemic stroke 2 1/2 years ago. (Actually, I had two of them 17 days apart. The first was mild, the 2nd was milder). I recovered completely in a short period of time, lowered my cholesterol from 300 to 200, and take Plavix and Pravastatin daily. I live in constant fear of having another stroke...the next one being bigger...debilitating or deadly. I've always been a worrier, but am a hundred times worse, now that I have something to worry about. Is there anyone out there who had a stroke a long time ago and never had another? Can people be stroke-free once they've had one? (Or two?) I feel doomed and worry about it daily. I'm 66, but don't feel old ....just terrified.

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Well, there are two main types of stroke (and then sub divisions), TIA/clot and the bleed on the brain/haemorrhage.

    The latter is the killer and the most debillitating, the former is the more likely to reoccur.

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    • Posted

      Haemhorragic stroke doesn't always kill, of course. The statistics are fairly scary, but I had a major haemhorragic stroke, in 2012, from an aneurysm I hadn't been aware of, but I'm in fairly good shape, and mine was on top of MS, which is what's slowing me down, now.

      My former father-in-law had several mini strokes, in his early 70's, he started taking the medication he was prescribed, and lived in relative good health, for more than a decade, eventually dying from an entirely unrelated medical condition.

      I hope these things give you a little hope, take care.

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    • Posted

      'Haemhorragic stroke doesn't always kill, of course'

      Of course not, I wouldn't be here now if it did, but it has a high mortality rate, completely different to TIA/ischemic. I had my ICH with 6mm midline shift in 2014 and the lead consultant told me whilst in hospital that I 'shouldn't be here now'.

      Fortunately they tend to be more of a one off, whereas TIAs can repeat many times.

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    • Posted

      It seems to have escaped your attention that the original poster said things like:"live in constant fear..." and "I've always been a worrier...", it struck me, that a word of calm was called for, not "the latter is the killer...".

      I had a subarachnoid haemhorrage, from a posterior, inferior, cerebellar arterial aneurysm, like you I was also told how unlikely it had been for me to survive, let alone make a good recovery. My original point, was that it ISN'T all doom and gloom.

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    • Posted

      'It seems to have escaped your attention that the original poster said things like:"live in constant fear..." and "I've always been a worrier'

      In which case I would suggest that the OP asks their GP or equivalent in their country. However, the fact that the OP has posted on a forum populated by non medically trained people but people who have suffered the relevant illness and have first hand experience, leads me to believe that they are not getting the answers to their questions.

      I quite clearly made the distinction, that one type is life threatening, but unlikely to repeat and that the type the OP had, is not very life threatening but does carry a higher risk of reoccurence.

      So I have explained that their stroke is unlikely to be fatal. However, it does carry a higher risk of vascular dementia.

      I have struggled to get decent information from the medical profession, including a number of doctors/surgeons at a stroke rehab hospital, I wish I'd had somebody who had been through it and could give me straight answers.


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    • Posted

      It is possible to pass on information without alarming someone who, by their own admission , is really scared. Just because you would have liked brutal 'truth', the apostrophes are because it's definitely subjective, doesn't mean that your should be ignoring someone's fears. A little kindness can go a long way. The idea of vascular dementia being casually thrown into the mix definitely isn't a kindness

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    • Posted

      Well, I tell you what, instead of discussing it with me, why don't you do as I have done and give an answer to the OP, because from what I can see, only one person has actually answered them and there is a good chance their questions have been ignored by the medical profession, which is why they have been driven here to seek answers.

      So, instead of replying to this, reply to the OP and answer their questions in a 'kind' way and I look forward to reading your response. Especially whether you include some hard facts or a fluffy nothing to worry about answer.

      Now, I know you're probably sitting there, thinking what a complete and utter cretin, but please don't respond, we are starting to derail the OP's thread, please just give them some advice/answer their questions.

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    • Posted

      My first post was intended for OP, certainly didn't intend it for you, my sight is damaged by optic neuritis, hir the wrong thin. silly me hoping to sooth OP's apparent terror.

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  • Posted

    Hi, If you haven't had a stroke or TIA in the last 2..5  years and your only other risk factor of high cholesterol is well controlled and your on Plavix then you're doing great! Following a TIA or stroke,the risk of a further event is highest in the first 2 weeks and this is one of the reasons I ( and all the National and International Guidelines) bang on llike a mad woman about people getting seen by a Stroke Specialist and getting investigations and a plan for control of their risk factors.

    Deaths due to acute stroke are falling all the time since stroke being treated as a medical emergency, improved access to CT scanning 24/7, the introduction of thrombolysis (clot busting drugs), organised stroke services with hyper-acute/acute stroke units, specialist stroke teams,  24/7 therapy and stroke consultant access and recognition of the need for rapid investigations/interventions for the prevention of complications and further stroke/TIA. We can now operate on blockages on the big arteries in the neck without even making an incision.

    Stroke thrombolysis was first approved for use in the USA about 20 years ago. UK was much later as we're more cautious, but now , Nationally, we do a far better job with stroke patients than the USA. I believe some of the other Northern European countries have the best stroke outcomes in the world.

    More lives would be saved and, crtically IMO, more disability from stroke prevented, if people got to hospital more quickly.The more quickly clot busting drugs can be given, the more likely they are to be effective and reduce the severity of the stroke. 

    Quote from Henry Saver 2005

    Every minute in which a large vessel ischemic stroke is untreated, the average patient loses 1.9 million neurons, 13.8 billion synapses, and 12 km (7 miles) of axonal fibers. Each hour in which treatment fails to occur, the brain loses as many neuron as it does in almost 3.6 years of normal aging.

    Thrombolysis has to be given within the first 4.5 hrs (preferably 3 , but ASAP) after the onset of symptoms, however , not everyone will be suitable for treatment, even if they get to hospital quickly enough, but they will still get other assessments and investigationsand care which is vitally important.

    Despite the FAST , fire in the brain TV adverts etc,  We still have too many people who fail to recognise stroke (especially those caused by infarcts) and respond appropriately, ie by calling 999.

    Many strokes start with mild weakness affecting just one body area,or slurred speech,(for example) but often over the next minutes to hours the symptoms get worse. If people wait, thinking it's a "mini-stroke" (roll eyes) or that  " it'll get better, I'll just wait " or call 111, the GP surgery or A N Other, millions of brain cells are dying every minute.

    Please remember FAST, and if in doubt, call 999 or go straight to A and E. Better to be safe than sorry.

    I will post a link to a great video in a separate post, but it's probably on Youtube so might be moderated out.

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