Sunday, December 15, 2013

MIA due to TIA

I paused a while before posting this, then I decided that not many people visit this blog anyway, and the ones who do so regularly I like to regard as friends. This is something I choose to share with friends.

Thursday night I had a serious wake-up call. I suffered a minor stroke - a Transient Ischemic Attack.

As such things go, a TIA is quick and leaves no lasting damage. But it is a warning - not to be ignored - of possibly more to come.

The event itself was strange and disconcerting. I was about to drive Matthew downtown but hadn't yet left the house, which was frighteningly lucky.

I turned to put something down on the stairs, and was surprised to see this strange arm reach around in front of me. I turned to see who was there...nobody. But...there was that arm again. It took me a few seconds to recognize it as my own. The recognition was purely visual and intellectual, there was no feeling of ownership there. I felt utterly disconnected from what I was seeing.

That scared me, and told me that something was wrong. I called for help. My voice came out slurred. That's when I suspected a stroke.

The ambulance arrived a short while later, and while the paramedics checked me over and asked lots of questions, the symptoms evaporated leaving me shaken but unharmed.

Off in the ambulance for a long evening of more questions and tests. All clear - whew! - but leaving one huge big elephantine question unanswered: what next?

So, now I'm walking around gingerly, trying to avoid stress and exertion, feeling like I'm carrying a ticking bomb in my head. I haven't yet figured out how to come to terms with that or what in practical terms I can do about it. And of course my family is freaked out.

To put things into perspective, though, we all carry our ticking bombs around with us with a greater or lesser chance of setting them off. And I must have been carrying this one with me for a long time. I just didn't realize it until Thursday. This could be just the first of many episodes leading up to a serious and lasting stroke, or I might never experience anything like this again. I just don't know.

Meanwhile, I'm treating this as one of those perspective-altering moments, time to decide and act on what is really important in my life...while trying to persuade everyone around me that I'm not a bloody invalid!


  1. Well I'm holding on to the 'may never happen again' idea. I am so glad there was no lasting damage done. You have a good, positive attitude going for you which is a good thing. I shall send positive, healing thoughts your way.

  2. Dear Ian,

    And with such a scare, my good friend, indeed, your life has taken on a new perspective. I would reckon a new appreciation for all you have. I know you will listen to your body and you will take all the positive actions required. To echo Delores, I'm also relieved that there was no lasting damage done. And here's to it never occurring again.

    Positive, hopeful wishes, your way,


  3. I understand the meaning of every moment counts. When you go through something like this, your whole outlook on life and death changes. The things you thought were so important become very non-existent on your radar of stress.

    Take care and know we're all thinking of you.

  4. I've heard that sometimes this can be triggered by elevated stress in one's life. Have you been under more stress than usual recently? Or for the past few weeks? Have you been getting enough sleep?

    The fact that it was so mild is a good thing. It might never come again. Or, like you said, it might be the warning sign of things to come. However, I would first look around at your quality of life. If you are under more stress, naturally you must figure out how to eliminate it. And get more sleep if that is a problem as well.

    Hang in there, buddy! I'm wishing you and your family the best!

  5. Delores, thanks. Positivity may not alter the outcome in the end, but can't hurt and it beats the heck out of collapsing in a miserable heap!

    Gary, you are the master of positivity in adversity. Good wishes to you, too, my friend.

    Diane, this isn't the first time I've had my perspectives forcibly altered so I know exactly what you are talking about!

    David, I think you nailed it. I'm pretty much negative for all the usual risk factors, but stress has featured hugely in my life recently. What to do about it is another matter altogether.

  6. Hi Ian .. thanks for posting this - my recent experience about six weeks ago ... I fell outside 8.00pm in rain and wind ... I was cross because my trousers had got dirty - that was the immediate thought .. the next one was oh that might be more serious as my face hit the pavement. I have no idea what happened ... the odd thing was I had no bruising on my body, but I certainly didn't trip, or feel myself falling - who knows: not me. My face was a little battered and I was exceedingly lucky all is well and healed now.

    I too wondered if mine wasn't a TIA - and so I'm going to make sure I walk more, don't sit for too long and exercise gently at home (ie move all my limbs around etc). Also eat properly .. and try not to indulge!

    I haven't got worried about it - thankfully .. but with a family I can understand where you're coming from ... I just hope all will be well ... and I was interested to learn of your symptoms: that was very interesting ...

    Look after yourself .. with thoughts ... re stress: when I realised I couldn't do everything .. it made my life easier - but that was 20 years ago or so .. it was a concerted effort not to get fussed.

    Thanks for posting ... Hilary

  7. I'm so glad you're okay. It still amazes me how perspective and our whole life can shift with the passage of just a few moments.

    I think you have the right idea. Figure out how you want to spend your time, what's important, imbibe life. Don't do anything that doesn't fill you with joy!

  8. Step one: have a good talk with your family doctor. I, too, have a ticking time bomb - possibly, possibly not - MS. Right now I'm healthy with no symptoms but know likes the "not knowing". The best advice I can give you is live your life. I still wake up in the night with the odd panic attack but hey, it doesn't last long. I wish you nothing but the best. Have a great festive season.

  9. Hilary, that certainly sounds possible. Please, if anything like that happens again, get it checked out without delay. If it is a TIA, it is a very serious signal.

    Johanna, I have been amazed many times by how life can turn around in the blink of an eye. We rarely realize just how fragile our nice comfortable existence really is.

    Wendy, talks already happened and more to come. So sorry to hear about your own ticking bomb. The "not knowing" sucks.

  10. Wow, that is scary! Good thing you were at home. Whatever the doctor tells you to do - do it.

  11. I wish you well. How scary. But most people this happens to don't go on to have a stroke. Be careful though.

    Happy Christmas !

  12. Alex, I am definitely listening to whatever the doctors have to say...

    Denise, am being careful, and it helps to look on the "cup half full" side of things too.

  13. That's so scary!!!! Major MAJOR hugs!!!


  14. Thanks Valerie. Hugs gratefully accepted right now.


I love comments. Please feel free to join in the discussion.

I also try to respond to comments. I usually do so during the early evening (Pacific time) which may be many hours away from now!

So if you leave a comment and return some time later and I haven't responded yet, please don't think I'm ignoring you. I'm not. Honest.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...