My rollercoaster journey - TIA at 30

Hi all,

I’m new to the forum :relaxed: And I thought I would share my rollercoaster of a story. Last summer I had an episode of blurred vision in one eye and remember not feeling quite right. It lasted about a half an hour. From that point I’ve had horrible vertigo off and on.

After complaining to my doctors they sent me to an ent specialist, we’re they diagnosed me with a type of vertigo.

After another episode of blurred vision and a headache at work, I knew something wasn’t right so I seen a neurologist and basically begged for an mri as alongside the vertigo these headaches were bad.

MRI results showed I had a cerebellar infarct aka TIA. After plenty of test and Ct scans later they told me a few weeks ago on two separate scans It showed I had a vertebral artery dissection and had a pile up of clots and a bulge that was an aneurysm. I was very shocked at this and it was hard to digest but I thought in a sense it’s great to get an answer for my stroke.

They rang me on Friday to tell me the nuerovascular team looked at the scans to see if I needed surgery and it turns out I don’t have a dissection at all. My arteries are very close and they can look like a dissection from a particular angle. Again, this had me shook. So I’m back to square one.

Yesterday I had another MRI and waiting for results to see if anything has changed. Today I have a bubble echo to check if there is a hole in my heart.

The past few weeks have been quite difficult to say the least, but hoping I hear something in the upcoming results.

Shauneen X


@shauneenmallon welcome to the forum. Sounds like you’ve been through the mill a bit. I can imagine it has all been difficult to understand given the contradictory info you’ve been receiving. It takes a while to digest it then they tell you something else & you have to take it all in again.
I hope they get you some answers really soon & you can get the right treatment that you need.
Good luck with your bubble echo.
Best wishes.

Ann x


Shwmae @shauneenmallon, diolch for sharing and croeso. I had similar story to yours, the cerebellar stroke I had (along with six TIAs) was initially cryptogenic while I had a cascade of tests run. It was concluded afterwards that it was trauma caused. It’s a very rare form of stroke, and requires it’s own unique physiotherapy. I hope you get some answers, and feel free to pitch in any milestones and ask any questions here throughout your rebuilding journey.

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welcome shauneenmallon to the group I had a bubble echo, and discovered I indeed had a hole in the heart. mine has been closed. it is a painless procedure, it’s a day case treatment. Everyone is born with a hole in the heart, 20% of people theirs don’t close. Hope the MRI is okay.
regards Chris

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Thank you all for your messages and support. The echo showed I have a shunt aka a hole. So I’ll just have to wait for the team to make the decision on whether I need surgery or not. Hopefully I’ll have the brain Mri results soon x


Shwmae @shauneenmallon, I enjoyed doing the echo bubble study but my PFO had closed over, glad you’ve had some resolution at least on the cause of the stroke.


my stroke consultant was contacted by my cardiologist and between them decided it was advisable to close it. Reduces the risk of a further stroke

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I forgot to mention I didn’t actually need the cannula bubble part. In the first part of the appointment using the ultrasound they seen the shunt straight away. I haven’t had the report back from the cardiologists to say how large the hole is in my heart - but I’m taking from that it’s big. I’ll wait to hear what they decide and whether I need the operation or not.

Good news my brain MRI showed no changes which is great to hear.

I’m on clopidogrel and have found I bruise so very easily. I’m sure everyone else is the same?

I also have elevated sticky blood so I need that checked again in January. But my stroke consultant said it sounds like the combination of the hole in my heart and the sticky blood is the cause of my initial stroke. I’m relieved after all the tests we are eventually getting to the bottom of things!

How did you find the procedure? I hope you are keeping well. I’m waiting to January when they have a meeting to discuss my case and whether I need it or not. If it reduces my risk of another stroke I would be happy to get it but I’ll go with whatever the experts decide.

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@shauneenmallon it was painless. I was under a general anaesthetic had it done at 8am home by 1.30 the same day. you need to avoid strenuous exercise for a couple of days. I’m keeping well, then put on clopidogrel for 3 months.

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