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Old 08-16-2014, 10:30 AM   #21
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Thanks so much for the advice everyone. I just got off the phone with my sister and she is going to sit down and talk with my aunt about this tomorrow.
I don't think the URGENCY of this has been fully communicated. If these are mini-strokes or if they are TIA, there is no way your Aunt should be driving. There's no reason to believe that a future attack will selectively affect speech in an easily recoverable way. Imagine a future attack while driving at highway speed that involves losing motor control, or vision, or simply knocks her out. She needs to get this diagnosed (and treated if possible) before she gets on the road again.

These can also be warning signs of conditions that could lead to a more severe stroke. Get diagnosed and treated before a more severe stroke leaves permanent damage.
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Old 08-16-2014, 10:31 AM   #22
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If this is TIA's is this normal that it could go on this long, more than a year, and the if they are getting more frequent, is this a sign that a major stroke is becoming more likely?
Yes and yes. (A non-medical person's opinion.) I have know people who have had TIAs for so long (years) they no longer see them as a threat -- a serious lapse in judgment. It goes something like each TIA destroys a small portion of the brain that is compensated for until the destruction is so great the healthy portion of the brain cannot handle it -- death by a thousand cuts.

A Google search should be useful here.
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Old 08-16-2014, 10:35 AM   #23
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My MIL had tia's for a long time. Never had a major stroke. Died of natural causes at 92. She said she could see bright colored stars on the floor. When she would see them she would sit down and wait for it to pass. I guess in this way it is like a hallucination.
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Old 08-16-2014, 10:36 AM   #24
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A Google Scholar search is the way to go for scientific research.

Population based study of early risk of stroke after transient ischaemic attack or minor stroke: implications for public education and organisation of services | The BMJ

http://scholar.google.ca/scholar?q=t...n&as_sdt=0%2C5
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Old 08-16-2014, 10:36 AM   #25
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Perhaps she is in denial, but if so, how do you convince someone that they need to seek help NOW?
For one thing, don't go along with her treating it lightly. I don't know if you rode in the car after that episode but don't do it again, and make it clear to her that you won't because you don't feel safe. Call her every day because you are afraid she'll be incapacitated by a stroke. Maybe she won't let you tell her what to do, but perhaps if you treat her like she's got a potentially dangerous health issue she'll get it.

Can you call her current doctor now and make sure he/she is being told the full story, and find out why the doctor is not concerned? The latter probably can't happen unless your aunt gives her consent for the doctor to give you information, but at least you can tell the doctor everything you are seeing and express your concerns.
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Old 08-16-2014, 10:43 AM   #26
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Thanks so much for the advice everyone. I just got off the phone with my sister and she is going to sit down and talk with my aunt about this tomorrow. She hopefully will get thru to her and try to get her to go to the doctor ASAP but if not, then she will definitely accompany her to her physical which she said was on the 29th. Hopefully we can get it sorted out.

If this is TIA's is this normal that it could go on this long, more than a year, and the if they are getting more frequent, is this a sign that a major stroke is becoming more likely?

Perhaps she is in denial, but if so, how do you convince someone that they need to seek help NOW?
I don't think it is a good idea to wait 13 days. I suggest your sister call the physician today and describe the symptoms. If the physician is up to date, he or she should offer a same day appointment. If not, this is a legitimate reason to visit the Emergency Room.

Yes, if they are getting more frequent, a major stroke is more likely.

And yes, getting treatment makes a big difference, as in 80% of major strokes prevented.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...40673607614482
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Old 08-16-2014, 10:44 AM   #27
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[QUOTE=RonBoyd;1482667]... I got in my car backed out of the driveway, went to the end of the street and stopped at the stop sign. Suddenly, I had complete amnesia -- I didn't know who I was, where I was, where I was going, how to get back, etc.../QUOTE]
+++

I always assumed that everyone has that experience that on a daily basis. No?
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Old 08-16-2014, 10:45 AM   #28
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My MIL had tia's for a long time. Never had a major stroke. Died of natural causes at 92.
And I've known smokers who smoked for thirty years and lived into their nineties (well, one). Of those that died as the direct result of smoking, most of the others didn't make it out of their fifties and the rest not past early sixties. Yet, all of them smoked up to the end claiming they were exempt from harm.

So what's your point?
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Old 08-16-2014, 10:58 AM   #29
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An opinion, nobody can accurately diagnosis this over the net. Your Aunt needs a DR(s) help.

Years ago I had an incident at work, confused, couldn't relate to conversations etc.(not like the symptoms you describe). Ambulance called, the two EMTs insisted I was having a stroke, took me to a level 1 trama center. Within 5 minutes of exam the specialist told me he was 99% sure it wasn't a stroke. CT and other tests confirmed, doc was correct. I had a TGA(Transient Global Amnesia) occurrence, weirdest day of my life.

My point is that if two trained EMTs having performed physical exams got it wrong, the chances of reading symptoms here and getting it correct are small(as in I wouldn't bet my life on it). I hope you can convince her to get the help she needs, as soon as possible.
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Old 08-16-2014, 11:40 AM   #30
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It was 1995.. DW was line dancing with our senior community's dance group, when she had some trouble speaking. One of the girls in the group had been a nurse, and, even though the problem resolved itself in minute or two, she insisted that my DW go directly to the hospital. That saved my wife's life. A scan revealed a carotid artery blockage, with a trailing clot that threatened to break loose. This would have gone directly into the brain, and either caused death, or permanent physical damage. The warning was a TIA.
As a second part of what I consider a miracle, the premiere brain surgeon in Florida, was in the hospital at the time, and the operation prep and actual surgery was over in a few hours.
The doctor came out, at one point in the operation and told me that he was still operating, and that he could not guarantee a positive result. Later on.. after the operation was a success, he brought out a picture of the clot he had removed, that showed the piece that was breaking loose, and with some pride, said he would feature this operation in his lectures.
It doesn't get much closer than that.
Nothing in DW's health history showed any indication of a problem prior to the incident. No warning... no discomfort... normal blood pressure. Had our friend not forced the emergency room issue... well...
We DO have friends who deal with TIA's... and have for many years. Small clots usually disappear and resolve themselves, leaving no after affects, but according to American Heart Association, about 1/3 of persons who suffer TIA's will have a stroke within a year.

The problem that enters in, is that there is nothing to be done (an operation) when the clot resolves itself, except to prescribe medication to hopefully prevent future problems. Thus the situation where people have continued TIA's, but for which nothing can be done mechanically (operation) to prevent future recurrences.

Not a medical opinion... just what I picked up from reading about the subject.
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Old 08-16-2014, 12:08 PM   #31
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Great story imoldernu, and it proves the point that this symptom needs to be taken very seriously. Your DW is a very lucky woman!
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Old 08-16-2014, 01:19 PM   #32
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I've had two mini-strokes. In both cases the symptoms were rather atypical. The first occurred a year ago. I ignored that one and pretty much forgot about it. The second stroke was about a month ago.

The symptoms were that my left arm went numb suddenly. It's like my arm belonged to someone else. I think the arm was doing things, like going through my hair or scratching my back. I don't know if that actually happened or I imagined it.

My face did not sag. my speech was not slurred and I could raise my left arm and I had good strength in my left grip. No pain or discomfort.

I called my primary care physician. I could not reach him immediately. I left a message that I was headed for a particular hospital ER. DW drove me to the ER where they took me in quickly when I said I thought I was having a stroke. After they had triaged me and decided I was stable and not likely to die on the spot they put me in an ER room. The experienced ER doc (not a resident or intern) said he did not think I was having a stroke but he said he would be a fool if he did not run me through an MRI. The MRI revealed that I had a recent stroke (within 6 hours) and an earlier stoke.

Before going to the hospital while I was doing my self-diagnosis on the internet. I had taken 8 81 mg aspirin. The ER doc said I had lucked out. Since my stroke was caused by a blood clot, this was the right thing to do. On the other hand If the stroke was caused by bleeding, the aspirin might cause the stroke to "bleed out" which might be disastrous.

The ER doc admitted me to the hospital. I made sure this was a regular admission and not for observation. This is important for Medicare patients. I think this was discussed on another thread. The ER doc said he had never heard of such a thing, but another patient mentioned that the same day. I spent four nights in the hospital where they did lots of other tests, physical therapy evaluation and a large dose of blood thinner.
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Old 08-16-2014, 03:41 PM   #33
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OH, BTW, make sure your sister that goes tells the doc exactly what you are saying...

I know that my mother has had problems before... and when she is visiting the doctor and he ask 'have you had this problem', she will say 'no'... when my oldest sister is with her, she sometimes does not say anything... when my sister (the nurse) goes, she tell the doc what mom should have told her..

My mom had problems with incontinence.... for years she denied it and told the doctor something else..... and by the time my DS tried to get her a doc to do an operation... she was too old... medicare would not cover the cost...
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