TIA or not?

So hello everybody, my first post here. I want to share the story of my mother who had 2 “events” happening first in November and then this April (5 months apart) to see if anybody experienced the same with TIA as we had basically all the tests one could imagine and no conslusion what was it.

The first event was pretty short: in the morning after woke up she felt dizzy, shakes, then sit down and loss consciousness. After laying her down she woke up immediately, spoke ok, know where she is etc… Ambulance came, in hospital this happened again, they did CT, neurology consult, ECG, EEG but all clear. Upon follow up one professor said TIA usually doesn’t make you consciousless.

Second event was much much longer with slightly different symptoms: she started to walk dizzy and became sleepy, she could speak ok but slowly and symptoms are worsened, getting more sleepy etc… I didn’t notice the “FAST” symptoms though on her face and she could lift both hands above her head as well. Now this time we didnt call ambulance. The symptoms improved in about 2 hours but slow speech remained over the day with continous improvements. The next day we went to neurologiest then had a brain MRI (within 48h) but didnt show anything compared to the CT made back in November.

So the question is: could this be TIA? anybody experienced similar symptoms like loss of consciouscness?

Of course she is old (74) and have all kind of problems (high blood pressure, diabetes and stressful life) but no obesity, no smoking, no drinking so it could explain things obviously just really looking for some personal experience here as it seems the experts just not sure.

thank you all

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Hi @andrewn welcome to the forum. Sorry your mum is having these episodes & not having any answers must be difficult.

Many people say TIAs show on an MRI & spunds like they have looked for this. It’s not always the case though.

Have they looked into whether they are any sort of seizure? These can lead to unconsciousness & might be a possibility. I would imagine they’ve checked but if not get them to. Not all seizures are epileptic ones.

As @Mahoney says not all strokes present with FAST symptoms (mine didn’t). I would keep pushing with the neurologist to try & get some answers.

Best wishes to you both.


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Hi Ann,

Thanks for replying. This was one of the possibilities yes but after EEG on the spot (right after it happened the first time) and 24h EEG a few days after the second time didn’t show anything there was no consensus for epilepsy either :frowning:

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I hope they are going to do more investigations to see if they can pinpoint something. Fingers crossed she doesn’t have any more.


Hi @andrewn and welcome to the forum.

Not all TIA’s will show up on scans as the blockage may have occurred and cleared itself as what tends to happen in TIA’s/mini strokes, they may also have occurred in smaller/deeper veins that won’t necessarily show up scans. This is basically what my stroke consultant told me. The damage caused may not be enough to show up on scans either, depends on where/how much of the brain, if any, may have been affected I suppose.

The main piece of advice the doctor instilled in me was that all TIA’s are STROKES! You’ve had one, you could have another one any time, the next one could kill you. Do not hesitate to call the ambulance, don’t bother calling your gp or anyone else, phone for ambulance or have someone do it for you if you can’t, and tell them you are having a stroke.

I had 2 TIA’s within the space of 15mins or so…didn’t lose consciousness with either though. With the first I became seriously drowsy and my body was listing to the right, just wanted to fall asleep and speech was somewhat slurred, couldn’t lift my right arm. I rallied round so went and to get my blood sugar monitor to test. As I was doing that I started to fail again, this time my whole right side collapsed, seriously drowsy again, mouth drooped on right side, couldn’t raise arm as high as left, and speech just slurred and drifted away. Fortunately I’d was sitting down for them and family were quick into action and getting me off to hospital. If I was alone I suspect I would have just gone to sleep in all ignorance and no telling what damage could have been done in that time.

So if ever you are in doubt again, you know exactly what you should do, don’t hesitate, just call the ambulance. Its what they are to do, we are not! :wink:

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@EmeraldEyes thanks for your response, it’s very useful to know that you became seriously drowsy and just wanted to fall asleep…I believe this is exactly what has happened in our second case.

Again exactly what my thoughts was the second time it happened that her blood sugar dropped! We have a 24h monitor implemented so it was not that though.

In your case did they figure it out why it happened? high blood pressure? high cholesterol?


No they didn’t. I was already on blood pressure and cholesterol tablets and normally a fit, healthy and active 58yr old woman, both then and now. The only thing they could put it down to was age and genetics basically as all these things run in my family.

And actually, my blood sugar spiked that day at 25 mmol/l but we’d just finished Christmas dinner at the time, but I still only eat very small meals so couldn’t really account for that either.

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@EmeraldEyes I see. When was this if I may ask and whats your target BP? Are you ok since then?

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This happened 25.12.2020 and I’m more than happy to answer your questions.
I’d say I’m relatively ok now, but I’m still a work in progress :wink:

It’s about 2½ since the stroke and I spent 5 days in hospital. When I came out, my right arm lay across my chest…couldn’t bring it down to my side; couldn’t hold a cup in it, right leg could hold me up but couldn’t walk unaided.
Couldn’t speak, have aphasia, drooled a lot, couldn’t swallow without choking, brain somewhat scrambled and a bit confused, fatigued all the time.

In those 2½ years I’ve relearnt to walk fairly normally…still suffer foot drop, arm is back to normal though hand still has a tendency to be overly clicky on the keyboard when typing. Brain fog lifted, don’t suffer fatigue so much anymore, still have aphasia though speech is improved…can form thoughts/sentences normally in my head but still a work in progress when it comes to getting the words out, and can swallow drinks without chocking.

I go to the gym, hike, gardening, drive, shopping, cook, clean, etc etc etc alone and unaided.
But I know there are still kinks/quirks/whatever you want to call them in my head. I’m not 100% back to my old self and probably never will be. This is the mark 2 version of me and I’m perfectly fine with that. And I’ve not had any further strokes/TIA’s :crossed_fingers: :crossed_fingers:

All strokes/TIA’s affect everyone differently though according to which parts of the brain have been affected. Your mother will likely never be 100% either and she may not be able to explain it to you, you’ll “think” she’s back to normal again but she’s not. I “look” normal, my thought process is normal, no one would ever know I had a stroke. So you are going to have to patient with her. Recovery is fast in the first 6mths after that it slows down. She will need lots of rest, daytime naps, so don’t be alarmed. Brain recovery saps energy so plenty of good nutritional food with added nutrient supplements if need be as the body tends to burn them fast.

My target BP 140/80 but that fluctuates throughout the days depending what I’m doing.


Cva to me is major stroke and there TIA ministrokes