Dear Neurogurl: I placed a thread about TIAs a few days ago. I have what's called white matter disease (periventricular leukomalacia). It destroys tissues of the brain w/symptoms like MS, but most symptoms do not go away. I had been having small TIAs and didn't know what they were. Then on 12-20-06, I was cooking in my kitchen & listening to holiday music when my body decided to have a temper tantrum. I lost the use of my left side, dropped the red beans I was cooking, lost balance & cognitive thinking ability. My heart rate dropped to 37 and I could feel my BP dropping. After I was admitted to the ER, I don't remember much about anything. I don't even remember having a CT scan (I'm on coumadin, 325 mg aspirin, & Plavex ... heart problems). They compared my CT w/previous CT & MRI. They told me I had a severe TIA. Once I got home after hospital discharge, I continued having small ones ... I could feel my blood vessels constricting, my HR drops, & I feel "heavy" on the left side. I was only having a couple of small ones a day, so I didn't pay much attn to them as they were not interrupting my daily life activities. Then about 3 days ago, I started feeling them growing stronger. I again was finding myself at the ER, but not quite as bad as the severe one. They wanted to transfer me to another hospital (my neuro was out of town & they wanted me around a hospital that had at least one on staff). It seems that my TIAs seem to be pointing to a stroke if they can't find out what's causing them. My primary MD thinks I am throwing off bits of placque into the brain. I just had an angioplasty/stent on 12-13-06 & have a partially blocked left carotid artery. I'm 5'4", 127-130 lbs, & look like the picture of health. I guess looks can definitely be deceiving! I'm terrified about having a stroke ... not for just me, but for my family. We've been through so much since Katrina.
Sorry to go on ... what I'm saying is that if your MD said you definitely had a TIA, ask him what he thought caused it, make sure your BP & cholesterol are normal, etc. According to all my med & reference bks, TIAs can lead to a stroke if not regulated.