Only a mini-stroke but were there warning signs?

Sometimes when I read others’ stories I don’t feel entitled to write my story.   I had a TIA last May (10 days before my 70th) but a few days before it I had had a strange experience on Saturday evening of feeling weird and dizzy - wanting to sleep and not being able to grasp the cushions behind  me.  Anyway I did sleep and awoke feeling fine. I did think stroke when it happened but then thought this must be the results of Lockdown disturbed sleep.  

A few days later the same thing happened and although I thought this was maybe a stroke I rang 111 who said call an ambulance...but first I staggered round the garden doing the watering! Totally irrational I know, then I phoned the ambulance told a neighbour and waited.  By the time they arrived I again was much better and was given all the regular checks but we’re not definitive signs of stroke.  The paramedics said they could take me in but it was up to me given the hospital operating under COVID conditions.  They made it clear they would happily turn straight round if I felt bad again and if not to call my doctor in the morning. 

I slept through the night but woke with a facial droop, arm weakness and slurring. Should have phoned ambulance straight away but dutifully waited to phone doctor who of course said phone ambulance -don’t know where my logic went?! I was taken to St George’s who were fantastic and had all tests, meds etc and after a night in hospital returned home late afternoon with exercises, meds etc.  

It was the tiredness and weepiness that was overwhelming while the arm and hand weakness improved quite quickly. Living on my own I was told to read aloud to help with my speech and I soon discovered the ‘Romantic poets’ were a miserable lot, obsessed, rightly in those times, with death.  What I did read was those membership mags that you are always going to read later - Natural History, Botany etc

There was a time I thought I’d never regain any oomph at all but because my stroke was probably linked to cholesterol I took my slow diet very seriously and lost  quite a bit of weight which helped with knee pain so meant I could do more excercise thus propelling me from a vicious to a virtuous circle.  

A few months later I managed distanced Riverfly Monitoring which felt like normality was returning.  It was interesting having the combination of avoiding Coronavirus while getting out for excercise too - meeting up with friends while my speech was still a little stumbly and mumbly while wearing a mask and maintaining distance.  Luckily I already had some food deliveries so it was just a matter of increasing those and my son-in-law topped up my shopping.

Because it was a mini mini stroke I feel very lucky but still occasionally stumbling over words and fearful of getting another.  Does that ever go away?  I did hear that Monty Don had a TIA 15 years ago as has Prof. Tim Spector of Zoe COVID and that knowledge gave me some reassurance but because my symptoms were mild I talked to local stroke nurse who didn’t put me on local list as I needed no further intervention.  

I guess it would be good to hear from others like myself who because of their reasonable good health are not sure this is the correct forum!? 

My experience has been fairly similar. I've had 2 mild strokes in Sept '20 and Nov '20 and had a couple of what I now realise were TIAs before the first stroke. Felt dizzy for half an hour each time and then was fine. Trouble is I've had a mild balance problem for years and get dizzy spells fairly regularly, so I didn't recognize the TIAs..

I've got most of my movement back, lost a stone(must lose more) and can walk up to 5 miles now (used to do 10. Working towards this) Feel lucky but get tired and weepy, can't lift heavy things, get weird pins and needles etc. Fear of having another stroke is there, but a bit faded. The good advice seems to be: concentrate on controlling the things we can control e.g. weight, sugar/salt intake etc. but be kind to yourself. Make a conscious effort to enjoy life, add Andrew Marr to the list of stroke survivors doing well! You seem to be doing all this, so give yourself a pat on the back (not so easy these days!)  I reckon this is a wide enough forum -  us 'lucky' ones need support too!


I'm sorry you feel let down.

I'm 53 and behaved similarly to you I wrote on the 'not understanding what's happened ' thread my experience.

Keep asking for help if you need it. I'm terrible at asking for help. 
ive found this group really helpful.


I did a similar thing, my symptoms was feeling dizzy and my speach was odd, instead of 99 i called my dad, who came over and then called 999 thankfully. I was more worried about leaving my dog and missing a zoom meeting - completely ridiculous!

I think at times everyone can be guilty of just getting on with things and hoping that something with a serious sign just fades. whats done is done, dont worry about it now.

just concentrate on your recovery.

i'm lucky to be back working for myself, having read other peoples experiences on here i am thankful for the progress o have made and the opportnities that lie ahead hopefully.

Wish I could even do 5 miles. Maybe 2 at the moment. Bad  knees which improved somewhat with weight loss but not as much as I would like.  As they say it’s wear and tear,  which I must have had since teens!  My sister says get knew knees like her but I’m afraid she’s a bit out of touch with NHS funding. 

My strength is back though - can carry bags of compost again and never had pins and needles luckily.  

I too had dizzy spells which doc said was to do with top of vertebrae - got pills for vertigo and other symptoms which I didnt need that often so when I felt wobbly I reached for those the first time.  It’s still a worry to distinguish what’s what but have taken them once since and seemed to work. 

I’m at that maddening stage where I can see distance perfectly now but need mild (pound shop!) reading glasses which I often forget to take off (put on head) and then wonder why I feel dizzy!  

Yes Andrew Marr had a ‘real’ stroke though!  

One thing that really brought me down - and one is emotional enough after a stroke - was not being able to give blood any more now I’m on blood thinners.  Still get weepy at the thought of it! 

Sorry btw for not responding earlier as not used to website and didn’t see any responses at first.. 

Here’s to being good to ourselves and slowly re-entering society 2nd jab Saturday.  

Keep well


i enjoyed reading your reply

Thanks for your reply and apologies for not getting back to you sooner .. I hadn’t realised there was a message and there again where does the time go? The Covid time warp is well in place ..keep talking of things last year then realise I mean two years ago! 

Yes I had had some tablets for occasional vertigo like symptoms (felt like I was listing although I have good balance)  so thought it was that as I’d actually been to A&E the year before with a really bad attack of profound dizziness and sickness.  After thorough examination TIA was ruled out and an injection of the vertigo meds put me right.  Probably why I staggered ridiculously round the garden trying to water it before calling the ambulance!!

18 months later I still get tired - especially after meals - but not sure I can say if it's down to the TIA.  Anyway it’s been good to hear from you and thanks for saying this is the correct forum.  Six months on how are you doing?