Patient Comments: Stroke - Signs

Question:

Did you notice warning signs before you had a stroke? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Hannah john, 35-44 Female (Caregiver) Published: July 11

My sister did not notice any symptoms of stroke before the breakdown, and right now she can't, talk, sit or stand.

Comment from: Crihards, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: May 08

I was 23. The night before my transient ischemic attack I felt an indescribable pain in my head. It was like a headache, but a very different sensation. The next morning I was getting ready for work and began to feel dizzy and had vision loss - like the sensation you feel when you stand up too fast after a workout. I sat down to breathe and noticed that I couldn't feel my left leg, left arm, or half of my face. I am the type to avoid the doctor at all costs but decided I needed to go to the hospital a half hour later.

Comment from: Jimbo, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: July 28

Warning signs of stroke! Heavens, I'd had them for over 18 months and didn't even know it. Now I know the whole story. I'd been having lightheadedness, speech disturbances (although I didn't notice them, reported to me by family and friends), episodes of (so unlike me) weird behavior, and finally, my vision would 'star up' and I'd feel like I was going to faint. Finally, the vision and fainting symptoms were too much to ignore, and I saw my general physician, who listened to both sides of my neck for bruits (noises caused by disturbed circulation); he sent me to the hospital that very same afternoon for an ultrasound of both carotid arteries. Sure enough, the blockage was rated at 90 plus percent, and the next morning I found myself admitted through the emergency room for surgery. They did an endarterectomy on my right carotid, and after a long period of recovery from the surgery, I'm finally ok. The vascular/neuro surgery team said it takes about 5 years for a carotid to become blocked; but the terrible thing is you don't know when that 5-year clock starts ticking, and the symptoms get worse very subtly over a long period of time. The advice given on this web site is wise; do not ignore it. If I had the past 40 years to live all over again, I'd watch my diet and make sure I exercised.

Comment from: Cathy, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: July 14

Prior to having a stroke, I had a severe headache, worst one ever experienced and extreme sensitivity to light.

Comment from: old is new, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 17

I had an unusual type of headache and severe pulsating pain in right shoulder continuing up the neck to my head, resulting in basal ganglia stroke.

Comment from: Tom Egelhoff, 65-74 Female (Caregiver) Published: April 20

Most of us are familiar with the more conventional stroke where the symptoms are more dramatic. Slurring of speech, loss of motion or paralysis on one side of the body, loss of the ability to smile, loss of balance, blurred or double vision. Many people never recover their normal way of life after a stroke. However, this is not the only kind of stroke. I'm talking about my wife's experience with mini-strokes and the dangers of not recognizing the less obvious signs. One Monday morning my wife was walking to the couch carrying a small plate with a sandwich. The plate was tipped toward the floor and the sandwich was ready to fall. She didn't even notice it. In hindsight she realized her left leg was not moving as well as her right leg. The next day she was fine. No problem. But again, in hindsight, how could we have been so blind to these obvious signs! At physical therapy four days later upon hearing her description of the previous Monday the staff rushed her to emergency where is was discovered she'd had a mini-stroke four days earlier. I get up one morning a few weeks later to get my morning coffee and my wife has two black eyes, a sore nose, and a scrape on the chin. Our first thought was I rolled over in the night and smacked her. Or, our medium sized dog might have hit her jumping into bed. Once again, a hospital visit confirmed she had had another mini-stroke and fallen face first, got up, went to bed, and had no memory at all of what happened. Now we're on guard.

Comment from: lizineaston, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 16

It was 8 pm, and all of a sudden I was very tired. I told my husband I was going to bed. I went upstairs, put on my night clothes and suddenly got a terrible pain in the pack of my head which radiated to my ears. I knew something was wrong. I went to my husband's night stand and got two aspirin and swallowed them. I headed for the bathroom, was walking into walls to get there. I called for my husband. He came upstairs, could not understand what I was saying. He called 911, the emergency medical technicians (EMTs) came while he was on the phone with 911 operator. I was rushed 6 blocks to the hospital. In minutes I had a CT scan and was given the clot buster drug. In less than an hour my speech was much improved. I had some weakness in my left arm. That was a Wednesday, by the following Friday afternoon I went home. Seven weeks later I am 95% improved.

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