Confused

I am told that I have had a stroke recently, but I did not have all the symptoms of a stroke, just numbness down one side of my face, heaviness and numbness in my arm, and tingling in my fingers. Did I really have a stroke??? I am still undergoing tests as nothing else abnormal has shown up so far. I now have numbness in that same arm every now and then. I would like to now if that is normal and can anyone throw any light on this please? I feel confused?!?!

Dear Kazzer
Unlikely that we ever get all the symptoms of a stroke. Even the FAST is easily thought to mean every symptom but in fact it means any one symptom. I certainly didn't know this before the stroke bit me.
All strokes are different, but many fall in to one of two categories . Transient(TIA) are often less severe and hardly show any permanent damage. Recovery is often 3 months or less. "Full" strokes are often long recovery periods and do leave damage. There will be dead cells which show up on an MRi scan.
Your symptoms are less severe than "normal" full stroke. But we all differ. Don't knock it..I am delighted that you might not be going through the long period of injury that follows a full stroke.

TIAs are often called mini strokes.
Different hospitals classify things differently. So a TIA in your hospital might be a full stroke in mine. Confusing ? Very. Some say a stroke is a stroke, whether its transient or full.

TIAs can also be a warning, so if you are TIA do not ignore what has happened. Stress and anxiety often cause numbness.

So I would ask for my diagnosis and ask if there is any permanent damage. Then you start to take remedial steps.
I have no medical knowledge, this is just what I pick up from fellow stroke survivors.
Best wishes
Colin

Thanks Colin, your reply is very helpful! My friends say I am in denial of a stroke because I keep questioning it! It is a scary experience! I am taking the medication and having a 72 hour ECG and a further head scan soon. Whether this will show anything I’m not sure? I still worry about the numbness in my left arm that I still get occasionally and wonder if this is normal?

Dear Kazzer
It would help you clarify things if you have your diagnosis. Were you admitted to hospital. If so, then when you left, the hospital doctors will write to your GP, with a diagnosis. You are entitled to a copy. The GP staff will get you a copy.
I do wish that non medical people would stop declaring you are in denial. Quite honestly, its a big put down. The stroke that bit me was a classic, simple, unmissable and uncomplicated stroke. It was a full stroke, clot not bleed and the diagnosis was ischemic right lacunar infarct. I could not possibly misunderstand the stroke. Initially paralysed. Consultant showed the MRi scan, a small white ball of dead cells. I have the diagnosis in writing. Yet big mouth wider family have declared I am in denial. It really does bug me.

The head scan, will probably (?) be an Mri which will search for any damage. I am guessing there will be no damage.

Lets hope so

Colin

Kazzer, Like Colin I have no background in medicine and am in my third year of recovery. I would suggest that whether or not you had a recognised stroke is relatively unimportant. The important thing is that you are the only one who can help yourself now and I'd suggest you got stuck into an exercise routine to get those offending parts moving correctly again.
I'm not sure what is meant by 'in denial'. Can you explain please?
Deigh

Hi thanks for the reply, I have started swimming and doing some light jogging to up my excercise. By denial they mean I’m not accepting the fact that I have had a stroke! I’m finding it hard to accept and as I am only 57. On the other hand it worries me that I might have a more serious episode.

Thanks for that explanation. Your negative thoughts about another stroke are not uncommon, we all have that terrible feeling initially. Good that you are into exercising, that is the only way that things will improve.
I'm sure the medical profession uses the word 'stroke' to cover a multitude of unexplained complaints when the brain is the only obvious fault. I have a friend who collapsed on the floor of his house and laid there for three days unable to summon the energy to act. Two years later he has no joint stiffness, no faulty arm or leg movements, no droopy face muscles and can talk without problem. His case is labelled 'stroke' for want of a better description, I expect yours came under the same heading!
Deigh

Hi, I had a stroke in March. The only symptom was my fingers started to move involuntarily and then my hand went limp. I didn't go to the GP until the following day. When they did the CT scan, nothing, but the next day, they did an MRI and there it was. A definite stroke. They are all different with different ranges of symptoms, the scan will give you a definitive diagnosis and then you know what you are dealing with.

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