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Final update, what caused my stroke.

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Tracyarts

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Oct 3, 2005
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My new neurologist finally received all of my medical records going back to the beginning of 2016, and was able to go over them in detail, and came to a conclusion as to what he believes caused my stroke.

Vasculitis, combined with hypotension. Triggered by an autoimmune flare-up.

I have an autoimmune disease called Sjogren's syndrome, and am just within the diagnostic critera for Lupus. Right before I had the stroke, I came down with two serious viruses back to back (viral bronchitis then shingles), which triggered a major autoimmune flare up. I also started having issues with low blood pressure about that time too.

What he believes happened, based on the evidence in my medical records, was my blood vessels were constricted from the vasculitis inflammation, and my blood pressure dropped too low to push the blood flow through the narrowed vessels and it backed up just long enough to develop a small clot that lodged in my brain. Same thing when I had the TIA this past spring. Except, then the blood flow wasn't impeded long enough to cause any further brain damage.

At the time I had the stroke, and also when I had the TIA, lab tests showed that I was having a serious autoimmune flare up, and I was also having very low blood pressure readings. Especially when I had the TIA. My blood pressure was recorded at 60/30 at one point while I was in the hospital. Both times, by the time I had the kind of imaging tests necessary to show any kind of narrowing of arteries and vessels, mine were clear and free-flowing again. But this kind of vasculitis is temporary, caused by the inflammation that happens during an autoimmune flare up. When the inflammation subsides, the vessels return to normal.

So, I stay on the Plavix and baby aspirin to thin my blood, and help keep it flowing if my vessels get inflamed again. I check my blood pressure regularly and watch for it to go below 90/60, and if it does, I need to do something to bring it back up again. And I'll be following up with a new rheumatologist to have more lab work to check the current status of the autoimmune diseases and decide how to move forward with treating them. Hopefully I see him in February. I also need to stop half assing it with the anti inflammatory diet and start putting more effort into eating better, that will help minimize flare ups and minimize risk for further vasculitis episodes.

Since nothing abnormal ever showed up on my heart monitor implant, I'll have it removed this coming October and my cardiologist will release me from care. And unless there are any new developments with my brain, my neurologist will only see me once every year for a check in here on out, and to order an MRI to track any growth or changes in my hemangioma.
 

loopytheone

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Well I'm really glad they finally got to the bottom of what caused it all. Now you can take action to help prevent it happening again, which is positive news. Hope the anti-inflammatory diet helps and best of luck managing your health.
 

Tracyarts

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
Messages
2,197
Location
, Female
I had my appointment with the rheumatologist last week. I've been feeling really bad for the past few months, and she thinks that the autoimmune disease has progressed. So I had a bunch of lab work to see exactly what has changed since my last round of tests. She went ahead and put me on a medication to minimize flare ups and manage ongoing symptoms. So far so good. No serious side effects, just some minor stomach upset. I should start to feel better in a couple more weeks.
 

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