Did I have a stroke or TIA?

I am a 23M. These were the drugs I was on at the time: 100mg pristiq, 50mg vyvanse,100mg zoloft, nicotine alchohol and weed.I am 6’1 150 pounds and currently use minoxidil 100mg pristiq and 50mg vyvanse. I have hypermobile ehlers-dahnlos. I do not use recreational drugs or drink.I was with a buddy about a 2 years ago when I was (21M, 132 pounds), and we decided to smoke some weed. I had recently started pristiq xr a week before, and was on vyvanse 30mg during that time as well. At the time, pristiq and vyvanse both made me manic, but it really helped me work on the project I was doing at the time. The day I smoked with my friend, I had switched back to zoloft 100mg and 40mg vyvanse that day in fear that the pristiq would mess the with the weed. Needless to say, the pristiq was still in my system, since it was extended release.At first, when I smoked, I felt nothing at all. My friend was feeling it, but I was not. This prompted me to take another hit. As soon as I took that hit, something disastrous happened. I had numbness and tingling on the left side of my head, and it felt awful. Then came these waves of brain zaps. My heart rate was going up, and I felt awful. Then, at the very peak, it felt like something burst in my head on the left side; I felt this cold rush on my scalp that was just inexplainable. I couldn’t really open my eyes, and the zaps got worse.My friend thought I was just panicking, so I was brought along to a food place. He was talking me down, but I could feel my lower extremities convulsing a bit. My left arm was numb, and I felt as though I was going to die. I had a really hard time talking, and could only really manage to get a few words out at a time. Finally, I snapped back to reality. As soon as I did, I felt like I lost some cognition or something. The rest of the night, I had brief moments of seizing, but they subsided quickly. The following semester, I found myself struggling more and more in school, and overall my memory was much worse. It felt like I lost some neurons. I saw a neurologist last August and the MRI did not show anything, but I definitely still don’t feel fine. Does anyone know what could have happened? I’m still struggling with my memory and everything just seems harder.Also, it’s worth noting that pristiq and vyvanse no longer make me manic after this experience.All of the above is what I posted 6 months ago in some reddit post; I recovered somewhat but I’m nowhere near my baseline; this begs the question, what actually happened to me? Pharmological intervention helped, and I am now on 100mg prisitq and 50mg vyvanse which helps with the executive deficits this experience brought onto me. I now always have a dull headache.

I’m honestly pretty sure it’s just brain damage because stimulants are the only thing that fix the executive deficits. I also have memory issues now, and it’s really getting to me.

I had multiple episodes prior to this one with pristiq and vyvanse alone, but ignored it. I’m looking for some kind of answer


Hi @mishuhamchu

Wow having read all that it sounds like you are going through a lot!! Very sorry to hear about all your issues.

Welcome to the community!

I have no particular experience with most of what you have said but I do suggest that you revisit all of it with medical professionals. Mayve the combination of drugs be they anything did not agree with you?

I have had a series of strokes and seizures but I do still smoke weed and drink alcohol and they don’t seem to affect me as much as pre strokes.

But I hope some of the other people on here may have some more answers and sorry that I cannot be more helpful!

But have a look at these if you feel like it…

I hope you will find support and empathy on here…

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Kieran :polar_bear: :wink: :roll_eyes: :exploding_head: :exploding_head: :exploding_head: :angry:

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My mri was clean, so they don’t know what happened. However, the mri was 10 months later. I’m just wondering, did you suffer anything similar to the symptoms I’ve described? It doesn’t help that I didn’t acknowledge that a stroke happened, and continued drinking after the event that took place.



I’m about to go to bed mate / mam,

But I will say that I have had a lot of those symptoms and a lot of people on here will have too so I’m sure you will get many helpful replies tomorrow.

I will say honestly that I was on a cocktail of legal and illegal drugs (more illegal than legal) and was incredibly stressed and my initial TIA happened at about 2am in Nov 22.

went to hospital had recovered enough and regained feeling in my left side so I said I’m fine no issue I want a cigarette and to go home. Don’t worry polars was with me. said I was fine as I had another series of strokes and insisted on going home even though I’d just walked into a tree and there was a baseball bat smashing into my head (metaphorically) - I just wanted to go home and sleep. JP had a cab and cig ready innit.

I then was called back to the hospital the next day as I had vision problems and etc etc etc

So I get the fact that you didn’t acknowledge it and shrugged it off.

Subsequent CTs and MRIs show I had a series of stroke events culminating in a heamorragic stroke in the left side of my occiptal lobe causing hemianopia.

So basically I’m saying go speak to a medical professional as I am mad!

Good luck!!


:polar_bear: :wink:


I actually have an mri scheduled for next week. I had an mri in september 2022 but nothing was found. Hopefully this subsequent mri will show something.


Hi there. This is not a professional opinion. My guess here is because I identify with your experience. I hope I don’t freak you out, so brace yourself for the following: This sounds like a hemorrhage; you are feeling the blood exit the main artery (or a less critical vein) and spill onto your brain. Well that sounds a bit dramatic, but it’s basically what I felt when I had my stroke one year ago. Did you feel your pressure spike? (heart going up) Anyway, I’d say that was a full blown stroke. Perhaps check your blood pressure regularly just to see what’s happening.

Remember I’m not a pro, so there’s every chance I’m completely wrong.
How d you feel now? Got complete range of motion in limbs?
Is your sensitivity back?

Good luck, ciao, Roland



I find this Forum to be a great place to check out the experiences of others. There is much that can be learnt with new ways of looking at things.

But this is the wrong place to be if you suspect you are having or have had an undiagnosed stroke. There is no-one here qualified to give a diagnosis.

There is one simple thing to do if you suspect stroke:

Call for an ambulance, ring 999, and do not delay.

When you’ve done that please come back and let us know how you are doing.

Keep on keepin’ on
:writing_hand: :slightly_smiling_face: :+1:


Hi @mishuhamchu I want to say welcome to the forum and so sorry you’ve had need to join us. It sound like you have had a lot going on inside your head, only wish we could see inside it and say one way or another what exactly is going on. I’m guessing you are in the USA from the way you talk about semesters and being in school?

It does sound as though you have something going on that is stroke like, affecting your head. Only medical investigation can get to the route cause, be it blocked or ruptured veins or arteries in the head or elsewhere in the body starving the brain.

What I would advice though, is that you lay off the weed and alcohol until this has been fully diagnosed and treated. They will be starving your brain of much needed oxygen and nutrients, needed to both recover and fully function.

While this goes undiagnosed, you are putting yourself at continuous risk of further episodes. The symptoms of full blown strokes are far worse than you’ve already experienced and can take many years of recovery depending on the extent of damage and what the brain can recover…and you are never fully recovered as we are all discovering here.

Some of your symptoms I can relate to; I had 2 TIA’s 3yrs ago I was 58yrs old. It’s taken me that 3 years to get myself back to some kind of new normal. In that time I’ve had to learn to walk, talk, read and write, balance, think straight, brain fog and fatigue. I still have mild Aphasia and cognition is not 100%, I also still have weakness down my right side and foot drop. But I can drive, work out at the gym, do most daily tasks I used to. All independently, thought at a much slower rate as I’m 61 now. And I consider myself one of the lucky ones on here.

TIA’s won’t necessarily show up on scan, especially if the scans were some time after the event happened…you’re lucky if they show up a couple of hours after. And it also depends on the extent of the damage. It “sounds” like you’ve got off lightly so far, please try and keep it that way. You’re very young still, with your whole life ahead of you, don’t throw that away by being careless with your health, especially your brain health. Broken bones can reset good as new, joint and organ replacements are quite successful these days, but the brain cannot be replaced and is still very much a mystery despite all that medical science do know about it!


Wouldn’t this show on mri? Granted i had the mri 10 months later…

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So an mri would miss a small hemmoharage?

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To be honest, it would have to have been pretty small haemorrhage for you to get away with it for 10 months.

It could have been a TIA that you had and these are hard to detect on either CT or MRI because they tend to be a blood vessel that has had a temporary blockage but managed to clear itself. And that could explain the bursting in your head.

When you’ve been sitting on your leg or your arm is bent in one position for anything length of time. You know how it goes dead from having the blood circulation cut off, then when you move the arm/leg again you get this really cold feeling and get pins and needles as the blood starts to rush back into circulation. That could have been your TIA, the blood vessel making to bursting sensation in your head as it blockage broke free.

I am not an a medical expert, my knowledge and understanding stems from my own TIA’s and life experience.
But, it still needs to be thoroughly investigated, you need to get to the bottom of this. It’s still could be any one of a number of other conditions that mimic TIA’s and stroke. And that’s another reason why they are sometimes hard to detect or misdiagnosed. You’re only 23 and you don’t want to have any more TIA’s or heaven forbid, a stroke!
As it is, it will take a couple years yet to recover from the damage already done, you don’t want any more permanent damage to mess up your life. :pray: :people_hugging:


this event took place two years ago. I still have the cognitive deficits. I am honestly quite depressed over it.

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It’s been 3 years since my TIA’s. I still have mild aphasia…trouble finding my words, speech slightly slurred, a constant pressure headache just the size of my hand (hard to really describe so don’t usually bother mentioning). I’ve had a few notable improvements over the past 6 months with cognition, I’d say I’m about 90% recovered with that. Still have foot drop, thought it had improved twice now, just can’t seem to retain it.

That’s where I am at now, compared to what I started out with after 2 tia’s: Couldn’t walk with right leg, couldn’t use right arm/hand, couldn’t communicate, couldn’t read or write, couldn’t think with the brain fog, couldn’t sleep despite the fatigue and numb to all emotion. And that was despite getting to a hospital and getting scans, diagnosed, treat, etc. And nothing showed up on the CT or MRI scans but I’d definitely had 2 TIA’s and they can be the precursor to bigger strokes. TIA’s are strokes, the only difference is any blockage has cleared itself without the need for medical/surgical intervention.

So yes you can/do recover from TIA’s…sometimes within the first year post stroke, and for others it just takes longer. I still consider my deficits works in progress. You however also have the benefit of youth on your side :smile:


This is truly a blessing for you as your brain is not set in stone yet as it’s not fully matured! So you still have an excellent chance of making a full recovery. It is slower after the first six month post stroke but it doesn’t stop. You just need to be patient and take good care of your health. You’ve had your warning and been given a second chance so blow it. Start retraining your brain now, there are apps online that are good for that.
Have you had to give up education or work as a results of this?

There is also another useful site you could join where are more likely to meet younger stroke survivors you can better relate to: Different Strokes Facebook group UK younger Stroke Survivors


Am i supposed to see improvement? My cognition is basically the same as it was 2 years ago after this incident. The only thing thats helped me is adhd meds and nicotine(I’ve always had adhd, but it’s much worse now). Its worth noting that i continued binge drinking following this episode because i pretended nothing happened. It’s kind of tragic. At least I’ve seen some notable improvements with the reintroduction of pristiq and vyvanse(which is strange considering the pristiq made me manic previously).


I find that brain training apps are really helpful to improve your cognitive function. I do 2 or 3 of them everyday, most of them are free although with reduced function. I am also learning Spanish (badly) and I meditate. You have to push your brain a bit learn new things. You will benefit from it.

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Your cognition still has plenty of time to recover, if you let it!
For me, it happened almost instantly one day 5 months ago. It was like the throwing of a light switch moment when it came back on. It was quite literally a case of suddenly one day I was thinking and functioning with more clarity and understanding to everything and I knew it had happened at the time. But I could never, in a millions years, try to explain it. So that was 2 years and 7 months after my stroke. I don’t see a reason why it couldn’t be the same/similar for you being 38 years younger than me, it could happen any day now for all we know.

You may have slowed that recovery with the binge drinking but all is not lost. So get retraining your brain. Your young so you’ll know all about computer games, they are a good source of OT for the brain if that’s what interests you. Being on this forum is another good one, and that’s one reason why I spend so much time on it :smile: This kind of thing is familiar to me so I use it to reawaken the brain. The brain will respond better to what it’s familiar with than anything else…a bit like a coma patient :smile:
So find what interests you and go for it, so long as it’s not binge drinking or drugs that will mess with your mind :laughing:
And remember, the brain is another muscle, it needs good nutrition, fresh air and plenty of exercise and you have to take good care of it…you only get the one in life and it doesn’t respond well to abuse.

I am only an expert in my own stroke, I’m not medically qualified in any field of medicine. Unfortunately strokes are one of the conditions that rather neglected in terms of research, particularly in the recovery area. But I think they do know it can take anything from 6 months to 7+ years.

All strokes are different, they’re individual, a stroke is like having an electrical surge in your house.

So it’s a case of what is singed needs time to heal, neuron connections may need to reform, some neurons may need to find new alternate pathways through and some neuron may have been burnt out. They say new neurons can grow but who knows how long it may take.


This analogy makes sense; I hope I didn’t permanently damage my cognition. That would be a bummer. I’m making the appropriate steps to recover it as of right now.


The brain has great potential to repair and recover much of what has been damaged or lost in my view. And even more so in one so young as you. It may take several months more or a couple years more. But what you need to do is take good care of it.

You’ve been given a second chance to put it right; your health must come first. And now you know what happens when you don’t! Just don’t choose to make life hard on yourself, life can be hard enough as it is. Make yours a good one :people_hugging:


And like I said 5 days ago above, my cognition came back online 2½ years after my TIA’s so there’s still plenty of time for your cognition to come back online too. :wink:

Concentrate on keeping up your level of nutrients particularly vitamin D, vitamin B12, and iron for both your EDS and your brain’s repair. Work out your food triggers for your EDS and try to cut down, if not out, the alcohol as that starves your body’s nutrients. And you can’t afford such risks while you are in recovery.

Alcohol Intolerance and Food Sensitivities
For many with EDS or hypermobility disorders, certain substances like alcohol or specific foods can trigger adverse reactions. These aren’t just minor discomforts; they can significantly disrupt daily life. It’s essential to identify these triggers.

Hypermobility and EDS: What is the best diet? - The Fibro Guy


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