Re: Re: spastic hemiparesis

Monday, Feb 28, 2005

Re: Re: spastic hemiparesis

Posted by Kay on 02/06/03 at 06:09 PM

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I am 52. Last September I suffered a stroke – thought to be from an embolism – but all CAT/MRI/Carotoid and heart ultrasound negative. It has finally been diagnosed as a hemiplegic migraine – no symptoms – no headaches – no aura. However, years ago, I had 2 major spells of vertigo (diagnosed as inner ear virus, later one as meiniers(SP), then re-evaluated as just an anomaly on how my brain reads balancing messages when I am tired, stressed, ill. The after affects lasted weeks. Have had occasional slight numbness on my left side of face and pain when breathing cold air (left nostril) ( diagnosed as sinuitis even though it only affected left side). And I have had numbness/weakness/tingling on last two fingers of left hand on occasion. In September I had what was believed to be a TIA (Trans ischemic attack) – numbness on my whole left side (face to leg) which resolved itself in about 4 hours, and felt perfectly normal again. 6 days later, a more intense one placed me in the emergency room, and with increased frequency I was placed in the stroke unit. There were 3 major attacks which left me completely paralyzed on my left side with slurred speech, unable to stick out my tongue, and lost the vision in my left eye temporarily though I could see light and outlines. I was placed on Haperin which helped – each episode lasted for about a half hour. After 5 days in the hospital placed on Coumadin and Lipitor. The Coumadin did nothing to stop the TIAs – though not bad enough to be paralyzed. But I believed that the Lipitor (a statin) did help because it changed the platelet stickiness (more later on that). Changed neurologist after 3 months because he was not listening to my concerns regarding the continued weakness and tingling numbness, and continued speech difficulty, memory/attention problems. In retrospect I can understand his assumption of embolism since it is difficult to differentiate between a real stroke and hemiplegic migraine – but you must have a physician who cares enough to work with you regarding your concerns, and willing to do more test to eliminate possibilities of other conditions as well until you have a diagnosis which satisfies you. TIAs and speech problems continued particular if I became stressed physically, emotionally, or mentally for 3 months while under the care of the old neurologists. My new neurologist working with my internist did one more MRI with contrast of brain and heart area, and EEG of brain. Again all negative for stroke damage by embolism or narrowing of vessels – by process of elimination and careful listening and information gathering, both doctors believe now that the stroke was vasospasm in origin. The neurologist believes that it was a hemiplegic migraine that triggered it – it is not a stroke in the traditional sense because it causes no anatomical damage, even though memory, attention, speech, and leg/arm/face sensation deficits are present. Channel-Blocker medication has made a tremendous difference, because it eases vasospasms, and is usually the first line of defense in migraines. These migraines are not headaches – I always thought migraines were, but they are migraines nonetheless, and researching it has given me a better understanding of all the years of differing diagnosis – all affecting areas on my left side. It is really one unified diagnosis. As I said, I have none of the symptoms of classic migraines. If anything, the only thing I usually feel is tiredness or the beginning of a tingling sensation, numbness or pressure somewhere on the left part of my body – but never pain. I am also doing a thallium stress test to rule out any heart problems (vasospasm can origin in the heart as well – and channel blockers help that as well). Realize this is long, but you might want to consider asking your neurologist if you might be experieincing ocassional hemiplegic migraines. It is treatable. The other thing you might check is whether your C-reactive peptide count is high or your cholesterol count. The reason I may have had such a severe case of paralysis
was because I am perimenopausal, had high CRP numbers which indicated cardiovascular inflammation, and high cholesterol levels – even though my diabetes and high blood pressure were under control – it made for sticky platelets which caused the vessels to stick together when I experienced the vasospasms (migraine). I have lost 23 pounds since September on vegetables, fruits, and fish, low fat, moderate carbohydrates (all whole grain), and very moderate exercise (I tingle when I push it), am on Plavix (an anti-platelet), Lipitor (a statin), and the Calcium-chanel blocker medication. Am doing much better, though, still have a bit of residual deficits which will resolve itself in a few months I believe, or with upgrading the dosage of the calcium blocker which is now under consideration.

Good Luck.

Posted By # Date & Time

Re: Re: Re: spastic hemiparesis
Valorie Holden 1 07/27/03 09:16 PM

Spastic hemiparesis
Ava 1 05/17/03 03:39 AM

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