Transient ischemic attack (TIA)

I experienced what I believe to be a transient ischemic attack (TIA), sometimes called a mini-stroke. I was driving to work a few days ago and apparently hit another car and then continued on (driving in the wrong lane) for a couple of blocks until I was pulled over by a motorcycle policeman. I have absolutely no recollection of this accident. In fact, I have virtually no recollection of anything a short time after leaving my apartment. The policeman gave me something called a Priority Re-Examination, which means I have to prove to the DMV I'm capable of driving. The policeman wrote that I exhibited impaired cognitive and motor skills. I could barely speak and was staggering around like a drunk.

Now I have about 19 days to visit a doctor for a checkup. My regular sclero doctor is all booked up for the next couple of months. My question is this: I understand there's no direct connection between Scleroderm and TIA, so do I really need to see my regular doc, or would a neurologist do?

Thanks in advance.

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Don't wait. Get in as soon as possible.

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I have had three TIA's not related to Sclero...they were heart related. I never saw a neurologist at all. I was misdiagnosed each time as having migrainous attacks. If you are not happy with the diagnosis, get another opinion. As it turned out I had 2 holes in my heart.

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I also had episode when driving. I got dizzy and my left side of face and arm went numb. No confusion though. It is very frustrating to know what to do. After seeing my primary care provider he referred me to neurologist. Still waiting for another test. I would not probably not wait that long to be referred to a neurologist anyways. TIA's can be an early sign of a stroke. Hope your feeling better.

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In early November, the Department of Veterans Affairs acknowledged three more diseases as linked to Agent Orange exposure. B cell leukemias (like hairy cell leukemia), Parkinson’s disease and ischemic heart disease are now officially recognized by VA as connected to Agent Orange - the herbicide used by the U.S. military during the Vietnam War.


I'd go see the VA.

OH, we were ahead when I left, it's not my fault.

Dave

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Thanks for all your replies. Dave: I guess I'll go see the VA, but I don't want to hear I might have ischemic heart disease. Thanks for the tip!

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Yes, it sounds possibly like a TIA. However, you could also have fallen asleep at the wheel. That has happened to me twice. The first time was 2 days before my already scheduled sleep study. I "zoned out" and went through a red light, scraping another car. The sleep study showed severe sleep apnea. I had great trouble with my first CPAP mask and was still sleep-deprived and so a couple months later I fell asleep at the wheel and ran smack into the rear of a car parked by the side of the curb. My car was totalled, and I ended up in the ER with scrapes and hematomas. I was quite disoriented when I woke up. The air bags had both punctured (car was purchased used and apparently had had defective air bags put into it.) So when slammed at impact I woke up to find myself inhaling this very caustic powder from the airbags. It was not nice. Anyone who saw me would have thought I was drunk, as I was leaning against the car trying to regain my breath.

There are statistics that show that people with untreated sleep apnea are more dangerous than drunk drivers.

So, what I am saying is that if you did not have any temporary paralysis, numbness, slurred speach, or difficulty swallowing, you should definitely have a sleep study.

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Hopefully it isn't, but it sure is something that needs fixing.

If it is, you may have some financial and medical benefits coming to you from the VA. They award based on the date you apply, not diagnosed, so sooner is better. Might try a VA Advocate if you run into problems.

This is one road i've rattled down.

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DaisyDo,

Whatever it was, it really shook me up. Someone else told me to get a blood test to see if I possibly need a blood thinner.

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That's a good idea, too. But if you didn't have any of the symptoms I mentioned even briefly, then you really should ask for a sleep study. Especially if you are waking up in the mornings feeling unrefreshed, or groggy, or with morning headaches.

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Thanks, DaisyDo. I'll bring that up with the nurologist.

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DaisyDo,

Thought you'd like to know that after an MRI, EGC, EEG and bloodwork showed no abnormalities that would indicate a stroke, two neurologists at UCLA agreed that I probably fell asleep at the wheel. Still not good, but better than a stroke I guess.

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Yes, so ask about a sleep study. They say that a person with untreated sleep apnea is a greater danger on the road than a drunk driver.

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You should have been taken to an ER immediately.

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Shorttail,

What was really odd is that the policeman cut me loose. I asked him if I really should be driving and he said it was up to me. I went home.

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My Rheumy says TIAs CAN be a result of Scleroderma because of the elevated anti-blood clotting factor that is often associated with Scleroderma. I have also had several TIAs. I am currently on daily baby aspirin regimen and a candidate for blood thinners - which I will only start as a last resort. I'm on enough meds for the systemic scleroderma already! My hemotologist advises that in addition to all the other tests run frequently to monitor my condition, I keep close eye on my cholesterol, lipids, etc.

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