did I have a TIA?

Posted by keithl56 @keithl56, Jun 11, 2018

Several weeks ago while working in my yard half of my face went numb. It really scared me and I wondered if I was having a stroke, but it quickly subsided in a minute or two and I didn't think about it again. Last week I had vascular testing following a high (1014) calcium score which indicated coronary artery disease and now the carotid testing showed bilateral blockages in the 20-39% range, Could some unstable plaque have caused my symptoms? Is it something I should be concerned about?

I am very glad to hear you did have some testing relating to this (even if inadvertently). Did your doctor want to follow up on the test results with any treatment? Did you mention the numbness episode? Some numbness is just numbness (a nerve is pinched, then releases, for instance). But other times it means other things are happening. Your doctor will have questions. One might be whether during this episodes there was also muscle weakness or paralysis?
In general, I tend to find it best to be proactive while also avoiding the "worry" zone, when one can.
Keep us posted!


I had a TIA with symptoms of umbness and tingling, confusion, vision disturbance, and impaired speech. My blood pressure was 202/102 with severe headache. (I am now on 300 mg Diltiazem to control BP and Nortriptyline as migraine prevention, I have had no more severe migraine activity). An MRI was done to confirm TIA but no residual damage or recurrence. Statistics indicate people who have had TIAs are more likely to have another or a full blown stroke. ALWAYS seek immediate medical attention if you suspect a TIA or stroke. There is a shot given in the first three hours I believe which can help prevent lasting damage to the brain.


I think anytime you have a physical occurance that causes you to wonder if you're having a stroke, you need to go to the ER. Getting immediate medical help is vital in preventing damage or another full blown stroke. TIAs are warnings that there is a problem. If you ignore your body's warning, it may send you a stronger one later. My friend recently had a TIA, and she called me the next morning because it scared her. Her symptoms were that she suddenly dropped her wallet and car keys from her left hand, and when she bent down to pick them up, she couldn't use her left hand. When she stood back up, she felt weak and wobbly. She was in line at the bank, and when she stepped up to the teller, she suddenly couldn't speak for a few seconds, just kind of "blub, blub,blub." Then she was fine after that and decided to rest in her car for a few minutes before going home.

She talked to several people, some of whom were nurses, who told her she probably had a TIA, but now that it had passed, not to worry about it. I told her I was coming to get her and take her to the ER. By the time I got to where she was working, the "medical professional" she was housekeeping for had convinced her not to go with me. I was very worried about her, so the next morning I called a neurologist whose nurse told me to bring her to the ER immediately. I picked her up and we went. She ended up in the hospital for 2 days, with multiple tests run. She told the doctor that she had a second instance of the same problem the first day I tried to take her to the ER, and her brother had a stroke at the age of 30! She hadn't told me about those 2 things previously because she didn't want to go to the hospital. She did have a TIA, and it was discovered she has a heart defect and clotting that caused it. She's on medication now and further testing to see if she needs heart surgery.

I'm not a medical professional, but I know that certain symptoms are warning signs. I have paid attention to information about stroke warning signs because my family tends to have strokes and I'm nearly 70, and my husband is 73 years old. My advice is to pay attention to what your body is telling you, and your intuition about what to do. It could save you from disabilities or death following a stroke, heart attack or other problem.

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Excellent advice. Thank you.

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