Fear of another stoke

Hi. I’m Elizabeth (42). I found out i’d had a stroke in December 2020, mid-pandemic and 11 months after having my little boy. I developed stroke like symptoms, completely out of the blue. I had some visual disturbance and then this developed into losing the use of my arm/hand, difficulty speaking and a numb mouth (like after a dentist injection). I was taken to hospital by paramedics who thought I may have had a TIA.

CT Scan was clear and was given a diagnosis of atypical migraine with a follow up MRI to be absolutely sure. The scan revealed no new stroke but showed an old one, which came as a total shock. I’ve had follow up to check my heart and bloods etc to see if they could find a potential reason but nothing has been found.

So I have had a stroke but I could have been born with it or it could have happened a few months before the scan. There is no way of them knowing - and thats where i’m struggling. My greatest fear during my pregnancy was of having a stroke (having seen a patient on my grandmothers stroke ward who was there after having a stroke during childbirth). I got through the pregnancy but needed an emergency c-section which I was very poorly from.

I feel abandoned. I can’t fault the medical care i’ve received. It’s been amazing and they have done everything they can to find a cause and to give me reassurance but the reality is they can’t give me the reassurance I want - that is - that I won’t have another stroke. I’m just hoping someone else reading this will be able to understand and so I don’t feel so alone with this burden. My little boy has just turned 3 and i’m terrified I won’t be here for him.

I feel so guilty as reading other people’s stories on here, I know i’m so so lucky that the stroke hasn’t massively physically affected me. Can anyone else relate?


Pretty much the same as me. Suddenly I hadn’t the strength to get out of my armchair: spent the night in hospital where they discovered altrial fibrillation .I came home next day and although I feel fine I worry about getting another stroke and then being a vegetable. I’m lacking motivation and this cold weather inhibits me going out. I feel useless and pathetic.

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@Smily_Bear Hi Elizabeth welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear you’ve had a stroke & that you are struggling.

There is never a guarantee that you won’t have another stroke but there are things you can do to reduce the risk & that is all any of us can do. It sounds like the medical professionals are doing all they can to rule out anything obvious (heart, cholesterol etc).

Are you on medication now? You can help by eating healthily, exercising, not smoking etc. You may already be doing all this.

Take heart in the fact that you’ve got through the last few years without having another stroke. Being a mother, I think, does make you worry more about being around for them. There’s no reason you wont be so just try & enjoy all the time you have with him.

Many people have this anxiety so be assured it’s a normal reaction. Have you spoken to anyone about your anxieties? I know there are people on here who have found counselling useful.

Wishing you all the best.

Ann xx

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It is not unusual to have these feelings but it’s not good dwelling on them, providing you have regular medical checkups and take prescribed medication and eat and exercise sensibly you should be ok. The less we can worry the better after two years I’ve seen how negative it can be and hope I’ve cracked it. Your little boy must give you great joy give your concerns a rest ,what will be will be, you have survived accept and rejoice

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Hi @Mrs5K Ann

Thank you for replying. I have discussed it with my GP and she has given me as much reassurance as she can - maybe some counselling would help. Thank you for the suggestion.

Yes i think i’m doing mostly the right things with exercise and diet (though could make improvements here) and taking aspirin.


@Pds this is such good advice. Thank you, you are absolutely right.

This is so upsetting to read as I relate so much. I’m 45 with young children. I had a stroke in Feb this year. I’ve been left with very little physical issues (bit of temperature sensitivity and my eyes get more tired) but, my god, the fear! I was sent home twice with migraine and clear CT scans but an mri scan (just to be safe) showed a small clot in the right medulla. It took a couple of days of the doctors telling me how serious it was before I felt like my whole future fell through the floor. I torture myself with how it would have affected the kids if I had not survived. Or if it happens again
All my tests have so far come back fine too. I wasn’t very overweight or had high cholesterol/ BP. There is a wait of nearly a year for a bubble echo which will show if there is a problem with the structure of my heart. I feel like I’m in limbo
I can’t deal with the gasps or looks of sympathy when I tell people I had a stroke. I say I’m fine! Nobody wants to hear me say how terrified I am

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@Sarah6 welcome to the forum. Sorry you’ve had a stroke. It comes as a big shock doesn’t it.

It’s still very early days for you yet so the fear of another stroke is understandable & normal. Sounds like you’re still awaiting answers on what may have caused it too.

As time goes on the anxiety will lessen. All you can do is try & stay as healthy as you can, eat a good diet, limit alcohol, no smoking etc.

Wishing you all the best.


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Thank you. I think the fact I exercised and didn’t drink or had ever smoked makes me wonder how much I can do to protect myself in future. I’m taking the prescribed meds though so that’s something.

@Sarah6 i was exactly the same. The fittest i had ever been probably but still got struck. As you say the difference now is we’re on meds to prevent another. I’m 17 months on now & rarely think about it happening again. Hopefully you’ll reach that point soon. xx


I’m similar but older! As the testing of me began after my stroke it was discovered that I have arterial fibrillation and my heart is only 30 % effective. My arteries have been examined and found ok, I ve had electrical shock treatment which hasn’t worked. Am now waiting for the next step. All very concerning. If only I knew what was coming next!

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It is concerning :frowning: the one piece of comfort might be that your meds should now be covering the risk. Not a guarantee but hopefully some comfort

What did you mean in terms of the coming next? I think the normal treatment for AF is described here


Hiya, yes, this has struck a chord with me. I had my mild stroke in March ‘21 and have made a very good recovery and yet I’m constantly aware that statistically now I’ve had one, I’m quite likely to have another one - and this bothers me ! I take all the meds I’ve been prescribed, watch my cholesterol intake (it caused all the trouble) and do yoga regularly to keep fit and yet the worrying thought is always there. And then last night I was watching TV and suddenly felt a stabbing pain in my head and an intense wooziness which only lasted for about a second but gave me quite a scare. Sleep was quite scarce last night, I can tell you ! I’ve had blood tests recently and the results are ok but I’ve made a doctors appointment anyway. I explained all of this to the receptionist and the appointment’s in a week’s time so I’m guessing it didn’t sound as urgent as I thought it was……. Crossing everything.


I had a follow-up with the GP today after bloods that were taken a couple of weeks ago because I’ve had some spacey feelings and hypertension that is caused by stress created here.

We discussed hyper awareness of small changes that are typical for #StrokeWarriors (those that battle the legacy every day) and the possibility of an SSRI as a useful component to address anxiety.
I’m naturally inclined away from SSRIs because of there reputation - but they may be worth considering

It’s a balancing act for sure & there are no guarantees either way

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