Feel stuck

Hi all,
Ive posted before & received some really helpful replies.

My husband had a Tia about a month ago now. All the tests he’s had (mri, ct scan, heart monitor, blood tests) have come back fine. Slightly elevated bp.

Im struggling with the fact a single cause hasnt been identified. I know as per previous replies that this is common but im still finding it hard to accept.

Also how much will the meds stop another attack or prevent a further stroke? I want statistics really but i know there are no guarantees. Hes on clopidogrel and atorvastatin.

Should i be asking for further tests?
Im just an emotional wreck and just feel everything now is paused.

Thank you again



Sorry, but I can’t offer any satisfactory answer & no guarantees. Unfortunately, I am familiar with the sort of worry that troubles you. We are fragile, frail, creatures and our lives are finite. A single cause that you wish be discovered may never be found. Consider my stroke (actually my 1st & 2nd stroke); a bleed. Yes but why? High blood pressure? But why high BP? Because it spiked. But why did it spike? etc. Of course I keep listing what happened, and not the reason why it happened.

However, consider and make a list all all the things you can do to improve his chances of a long life. You (& he) can certainly do that. 1) Eat well, 2) Keep an eye on weight 3) take good relevant supplements / meds 4) Do exercises, walks, swim 5) Take up isometric exercises or Qigong or a hobby 6) Do things together 7) Leave individual space 8) Laugh 9) Get plenty of fresh air 10) Bed early. Now this list is based on my list, but yours might be similar though. In short, think of what is in your power to improve, starting from now.

I apologize that this is not the answer you were looking for. But it’s all you / we can do. Change of lifestyle is the hardest, but possibly the most necessary change you can do. Maybe it’s already great, in which case research a little and tweak it and have complete faith in your list.

Good luck, and with best wishes,

ps. Very importantly, don’t forget to look after yourself !!


I reiterate what Pando says. I gave up trying to find causes long ago. Blood thinners and cholesterol drugs are a “belt & braces” approach to most stroke survivors to minimise the occurrence of another stroke but lifestyle changes are just as important. This doesn’t mean he can’t enjoy the odd treats (life can be extremely dull otherwise), but good food and exercise can make all the difference.
Good luck to both of you (and be good to yourself too!)
Minnie x


Hi @Karenemma

I second everything Roland @pando has said.
It probably doesn’t directly help you but you’re focusing on what you’re aware of and the mythical red bus could be right around the corner.

Take the precautions that you can for both of you -again Roland was right by pointing out that you need care post stroke too - The needs are different but not less. In the extreme you could move to a postcode that has the best record for stroke but then perhaps you’ll need different services in the future that another postcode would be better at?

There are a ocean of statistics that will prove anything you want them to. a statistic applies to a universe of cases never to an individual case. Statistics are utterly useless when examining a specific case rather than a population.

Perhaps the best approach if you are finding that anxiety is impinging on life is to get some talking therapies to help you live with the uncertainty. If you can access a GP maybe they can help but there are certainly plenty of sources on the net if you look for them.

The NHS is stretched. In the main acute care seems to be hanging together and chronic care isn’t if you can afford to go privately you might - but there’s little guarantee - get better access

Sorry we can’t give you an answer that plugs into your question seamlessly - We would all like that certainty and we’d have all like to the preventive services to have prevented things unfortunately it’s one of the cases where c’est la vie is actually of the essence :frowning:

What is also of the essence is that there are folk here who understand and care and will give you answers as honestly as they can from their own experience


Strangely enough the most appropriate thing to say at this point is bobby’s keep on keeping on



@Karenemma The 3 replies you got from Simon, Roland and Minnie are spot-on and worth heeding. Good stuff. And best of luck to you.


You know, doctors don’t know absolutely everything, particularly when it comes to the brain. There just isn’t enough research, despite how much has been done. I think it’s the most complex part of the body of all.

And we have all gone through the same grieving process as you, we are all either stroke survivors or carers on here.

Speaking as a survivor, I think we all still have that fear in the backs of our minds no matter how far along in our recovery. But as time goes on it becomes, “well I could just as easily be run over crossing the road in the morning”. By the time I got to that stage in my grieving, I knew I’d come to the conclusion that ‘it is what it is’ and got on with living.

I broke my ankle a few years before the TIA, and I still worry that I could do it again, probably more so than having another stroke.
It’s no fun being legless…pardon the pun :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: And I had a hip replaced a year or so before that. It takes an awful lot of upper body strength to haul your old body around on crutches. And it’s draining both physically and mentally. You are constantly having to plan and strategise manipulate and manoeuvre with every move you make…not dissimilar to stroke survivors in some ways :wink:

He’s had 1 TIA so there’s always going to be an element of risk. Transient ischaemic attack (TIA) - Causes - NHS. And the older you are the greater the risk as our bodies age and decline in years.

If the clot that caused your husband’s TIA was small enough to clear by itself then naturally it’s undetectable. So if he is doing all that he can do now to limit the of another one, then that is all you can do. You can’t predict a stroke any more than you can predict a heart attack or cancer, you can only reduce the risk.

There’s no harm in asking for a second opinion or further tests if there are any, and if that’s what your husband wants.



There really isn’t an answer to your question & statistics can be made to read anything you want them too. They really are open to interpretation. Your best bet is to try & find some way to deal with your anxiety. Life is fu of unknowns & tomorrow is not promised to any of us. Live your life the best you can. As long as you’re doing all you can to keep the risks low there’s nothing else you can do.

You could ask for more tests or get a 2nd opinion. It might help but if still might show no obvious cause.

Best wishes.


We never knew why my mother had a brain bleed stroke. She had very low platelets, but they can’t trigger a bleed all by themselves. Something else was going on. They said high blood pressure, but she never had a history of high blood pressure at all. Her blood pressure might climb to 170/90 when very nervous, but I doubt that level would have triggered a brain bleed in the presence of very low platelets. Who knows?

In life, we often don’t get answers. We just have to accept what is.

Take care of yourself and be grateful for every day you have. Life doesn’t last long.
Live a healthy lifestyle and do something different that helps you spiritually and mentally.


I know why I had my stroke but it still doesn’t stop me doing everything I can to stop me having another one. There is little that can be done to remedy the problem I have bar medication (in short I have arteries that are too narrow) I was born with it. I think you have to try not to worry about something that, with regular management, will probably never happen. You’ll drive yourself daft otherwise. Perhaps you should see a councillor and talk to them about your fears, it will help.


I know why I had a stroke - a near drowning pushed my blood pressure up which triggered a CVA. This knowledge doesn’t help prevent another stroke, Those circumstances are unlikely to reoccur. As others have said the best thing we can do is make lifestyle changes and take the recommended drugs. I came very close to being a statistic in the terminal effect of stroke so i try to think of every day as a bonus. It is the realisation that life is short that makes it sweet.


Such a good attitude to have taken from a stroke event


No guarantees
After 8 years I wake up in the morning with gratitude that I am still here! My doctors couldn’t find a reason for my stroke, I was reasonably fit, slightly high bp, and other similar things to your situation.
Probability is difficult to live with but by unfortunately we can’t get certainty. Sounds like all the preventative measures are in place, as far as medicine currently knows. As a carer, I would just suggest that perhaps you talk to the GP yourself and ask if theres anything else that can be done at this point. He may never have another one. So far I haven’t. But I can’t say it won’t happen. I did go through a dark period worrying. Thankfully that passed, I didn’t get depressed not through any great effort or virtue of my own.
I doubt thats much comfort for you. All I can say as a relatively long term survivor is take it a day at a time but as a carer make sure you get all the support you can. Oh and it isn’t all down to you to solve it. You’re doing great!


Thanl you so much the supportove replies xx


There a few people on here who don’t know the cause of their strokes. Same thing with my mother: while they said her severely low platelets played a role, they were not the trigger; they just exacerbated things once the brain bleed started.


Hi Karenemma, sorry to hear of your husbands stroke.
Rewind five years and I was in the exact same position. Fit, healthy and then boom, things changed. Test after test and no reason why.
I too am on the same drugs, yes you have to change things slightly but try and put the reasoning behind why out of your mind.
Easier said than done I know but look forward not back. If one good thing came out of this it is my ability to do just that.
Good luck for the future.