Fitness · Health and Wellness · Jeanette's Story

Stop in your tracks- Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)

I wanted to start this blog post a year ago, but I wasn’t ready to share my story. So I am going to play some catch up over the next several weeks to share my story with you.

It’s been a year now since my world was turned upside down. As I was working out during one of my normal workout sessions, I experienced a transient ischemic attack (TIA). During some abdominal cool-down work I heard a light cough. I was thinking it was coming from the girl behind me. I didn’t feel any different, but as I come up a second time I noticed what seemed like wheezing. So I tried to clear my throat and just sat there thinking it would pass.  As I was sitting there my right arm started to tingle and then got heavy. I tried to get the attention of the girl next to me, but couldn’t speak and then felt my right side of my face start to droop. Right then and there all I could think to myself is that I am having a stroke. So I tapped the mat to get her attention.  By the time my friend turn to look at me to ask if I was ok, it started to ease up and I was finally about to talk. All in all it was probably a matter of a few seconds. Although the tingle sensation lasted most of the afternoon.

Next came the emergency room visit followed by an overnight stay at the hospital for observation.  I was very thankful for the team of doctors/nurses I had. Blood work was drawn, CT for neuro/stroke, Chest X-ray, CT Angio head and neck with contrast, MRA head and one of the Neck without contrast, MR Brain with and without contrast, and echocardiogram just to name a few. It was to say without a doubt an emotional day and night. All blood work came back normal. Most of the imagining also came back with no issues. The echocardiogram did show I have a patent foramen ovale (PFO). Which is a small hole in the heart where blood can flow between the right atrium and left atrium of the heart. This is more than likely something I have had since birth.  This could cause a stroke though if I had a blood clot and it traveled to the brain.  I also had an unremarkable CTA of the head and neck. No carotid stenosis or occlusion. Normal intracranial circulation. Although, my MR Angio of head without contrast came back with a slight superior out pouching of the distal left M1 segment which measures 1 to 2 mm. This may reflect artifact from small branch vessel origin. This is less likely a small aneurysm given lack of findings on  the CTA that was previously done that same day. Also fetal origin of the right posterior cerebral artery was noticed, but this is also found to be common in 30% of individuals.

All I could think about was I am a young mom with five young kiddos and a husband. Why is this happening to me? Is it going to happen again? I was scared and at times still am.

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So now what? I am young 34 year old female who exercises daily, and eats healthy.  Day to day I am about 80/20 Paleo and on a gluten-free diet for several years. Also I try to limit my dairy intake as I tend not to digest it well either. On another note, I  just ran a half marathon less than a month ago. Overall, I feel I am a healthy individual until now. I think my doctors were as stumped as much as I was.

The following day I was discharge with really no clear answers as to what really happened and why. I really put my faith in God and tried not to question the “why” as I didn’t want to dwell on the unknown as I would go crazy.  At the same time, I felt like something was just not right. Questioning if my body was out of balance or if there was another underlying cause. I feel like I am really in tuned with my body.  So over this past year I felt like I have been through ups and downs with this TIA diagnosis. I been on a heart monitor for 30 days, and an at home sleep study.  Both came back negative with no findings. I saw the Neurologist, Cardiologist, and Hematologist…All came back with unsure to the “why” but lets treat with Aspirin. I honestly think there is a time and place for medications, but we all too quickly jump to them. At the age of 34 I wasn’t ok with being on Aspirin for the rest of my life. There is got to be something better.  Why is it that I feel I take so much time trying to figure things out then my own doctors do? Why is it that I pay insurance for health care, but the healthcare industry has a say of who they cover and don’t cover? Why is it that insurance companies are so against alternative medicine? I have an HSA account, but this medical incident takes up everything I put in just to pay back for the hospital visit. Which then makes it even harder to see a doctor who is out of pocket. Oh my issues regarding this can go on and on. You never really think about it until you are in it.

As I continued to look deeper, I started to look deeper into myself. First step I made was changing up my multivitamin. After doing a lot of research, I felt maybe I was not absorbing all the nutrients I needed. I have dealt with anxiety for most of my life. The kind of anxiety that takes over your life. I would get anxious taking tests in school. Anxious when I needed to be somewhere. I get anxious at times for no apparent reason.  If you ever dealt with anxiety you would know what I am talking about! There would be days where I would be an emotional roller coaster for no reason at all. All I could say is something isn’t right today and try to do my best to get through it.  When reading research articles and looking into reasons people may have a TIA, I decided to try out a new multivitamin that aids in micronutrient absorption. So in February 2016 I made the switch to Nutreince and have been using this liquid vitamin for over a year now. I can’t pin point exactly, but I can tell you I feel different. I am not on the edge of my seat all the time or overly anxious anymore.  I wish I would have found this supplement sooner because I am honestly feel a hundred times better since taking this.  The multivitamin comes in a AM and PM packets. This way they separate out certain vitamins from each other so they don’t compete with one another.  This also aids in micronutrient absorptions. So I added this to my daily supplements which also consist of fish oil, probiotic, and liquid vitamin D. Later I will get in more detail as to what I am taking now.

This is the start of my journey and over the next several weeks I will be sharing more about my journey and some missing links we found along the way such as MTHFR and Lp(a). It was been a long year, but finally starting to break the ice in hopes to keeping this heart healthy!

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