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Second oppinion as I have been ill and was old the I was just going through menopause.

By Anonymous September 23, 2011 - 10:31am
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I had a spell being light headed and became semi unconsouse. I was in the hospital for 3 days having all sorts of tests done and was told they believed by one doctor that I had a tia do to migraine complications and then by others that they don't know what is wrong and we may never find out. Although I do have migraines I did not that day. It ended up that my left side became week and twitching and jerking of my left arm. I felt like I was going to fall as my left leg leg was very week. I was released and then 2 weeks later I was back in the hospital for 1 day and night as they thought I had had heart issues. I was having some heaviness in my chest ans small short pains in my left arm and in my rib cage under my left breast. My back is sore almost every day and my headaches I have are tingly at the beginning and work there way around the left side of my head. I have just started having crampie pains in my legs and numbness in my left leg at times. They fall to sleep while I am sitting. I have been told several different things from "I don;t know what is wrong as nothing is showing on your tests" to "you are going through menopause" to "you had a small TIA" I have been referred to nurolugist and he is the one that told me it was menopause. To this day I still have the twitching and jerking in my left arm at times. There are days that is is hard for me to get out of bed or out of a chair as my muscles and some times joints in so much pain. I do not know what to do or who to speak to as I still am not feeling well I am still having all the same symptoms and feeling lightheaded some time during most every day. I have been doing some research and feel I have most of the symptoms for MS. How should I talk to my primary doctor about this as when I speak to him about it he tells me I need to eat healthy and get some excercise. He said we may never know what is wrong with me. I am 5'6, weight is 175 yes I may be a little over weight but don't think that is the issue. There has to be a reason for what is wrong all I want is some answers and not to feel as though it is all in my head as I am starting to feel.

Thank you so much for your time,

*personal details removed by Moderator per EmpowHER policy.

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HERWriter Guide

Hi Sharon

Thank you for your question! We had to remove your personal information in order to protect your privacy - thank you for your understanding!

I think you absolutely need a second opinion! What you have gone through is not "menopause"! Menopause is a natural occurrence in every woman's life and although it can have various unpleasant symptoms, it does not cause what happened to you.

You may well have had a small TIA. This is a transient ischemic attack that stops blood flowing to the brain for a short period of time and can cause stroke-like results. In fact, a TIA is sometimes a warning that a real stroke is on it's way.

Symptoms of a TIA are similar to what you experienced:

TIA symptoms occur abruptly. They usually last less than 10 minutes. They may persist for up to 24 hours. The effects differ depending on the location of the blockage. TIA symptoms are similar to those of a stroke. They require immediate medical attention.

Symptoms may include:
■Blindness in one eye, often described as a window shade dropping, and/or other visual problems
■Weakness, numbness, or tingling of the face, arm, leg, or one side of the body (usually affects one side of the body, but there are exceptions).
■Difficulty speaking or understanding words
■Dizziness, unsteadiness of gait, or falling
■Trouble with balance or coordination
■Loss of consciousness
■Sudden confusion or loss of memory

Anonymous, this is the procedure that should have followed your episode:

The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medial history. A physical exam will be done. Particular attention will be paid to your blood pressure and nervous system. A primary goal will be to determine your stroke risk.

Tests may include:
■Blood tests—such as a complete blood count, blood sugar (glucose), cholesterol and other fat levels, clotting factors, and a check of other elements in the blood
■Electrocardiogram (EKG)—to measure heart rhythm (which would be irregular in, for example, atrial fibrillation) and check for other signs of heart disease
■Doppler ultrasound—a test that uses sound waves to help determine if there is compromised blood flow in the arteries supplying the brain
■Echocardiogram—another ultrasound test to look for blood clots and valve abnormalities within the heart
■CT scan of the head—a type of x-ray that uses a computer to create images of structures inside the head; in this case, to look for evidence of bleeding or other damage to the brain
■ CT angiogram—a CT scan which uses dye to evaluate the blood vessels in the brain and neck.
■MRI scan of the head—a test that uses powerful magnetic radiowaves to create images of structures inside the head; in this case, to look for evidence of bleeding or other damage to the brain
■Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA)—generally performed prior to carotid artery surgery to determine how much the artery has narrowed
■Arteriogram—a test in which contrast dye is injected into selected arteries and x-ray images are produced to precisely locate the blockage and to determine its extent
■Electroencephalogram (EEG)—a test that can detect the presence of seizures by measuring brain waves (used only if a seizure is suspected)

Which of these tests were performed, do you remember?

Please read more on our TIA page here, including treatments:

Anon - we certainly cannot tell you if you had a TIA or not, but for one doctor to tell you you're going through menopause and another telling you that you had a TIA means a second opinion is definitely warranted.

With regard to your questions about MS, there are tests than can be done: They include:

The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam.

Tests may include:
■MRI scan—a test that uses magnetic waves to make pictures of structures inside the brain and spinal chord
■Evoked potentials—a test that records the electrical responses evoked after a sensory stimulus
■Lumbar puncture (spinal tap)—removal of a small amount of fluid from around the spinal cord to check for white blood cells, antibodies, and proteins

You can read more here, including symptoms of MS: http://www.empowher.com/condition/multiple-sclerosis/symptoms

Read up as much as you can and write notes so that you are ready for your doctor appointment. And please do seek a second opinion.

I hope this helps and please keep us updated!


September 23, 2011 - 11:22am
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