Recovery progress after stroke and vertebral artery dissection

I have been meaning to provide an update on my recovery progress after suffering the vertebral artery dissection and stroke. I had another MRA (magnetic resonance angiogram) scan of my head and neck vasculature on January 30th, about eight weeks after the stroke and six weeks after beginning the anticoagulant therapy.

MRA results

The report I received from the radiologist who read/interpreted the MRA images stated that my vertebral artery had an “essentially normal appearing lumen” with no signs of the dissection from before. This is simply amazing to me that the dissected vertebral artery has healed completely.

While I’m overjoyed, I do need to await the consult with my neurologist to discuss the MRA report and determine what happens next in my treatment plan. That appointment is in about 10 days from today. My expectation is that I’ll still need one or more follow-up MRAs to watch for any potential issues with my vertebral arteries or cranial vasculature—just in case—and hopefully I can scale back or discontinue the anticoagulation therapy immediately.

Vertebral artery images: then and now

Below are images of my vertebral artery showing the dissection and narrowing of the lumen ← as compared to the same after six weeks of anticoagulant therapy → showing a return to normal size and function.

Comparison MRAs showing vertebral artery dissection ← and recovery →


And, below is the larger image of the latest MRA of the carotid and vertebral arteries with the right side showing signs of recovery.

My follow-up MRA showing recovery of right vertebral artery 8 weeks after dissection.

What now?

My primary doctor has cleared me for any activity I want to do including running, cycling, and other sports with the exception of anything at high altitudes (> 10,000 ft.) or at extreme pressure (scuba diving). I’m slowly getting back into my fitness/training regimen with an eye toward some ultra running goals later this year. With the recurrence possibility of this type of artery dissection and stroke slim to none, I intend to live life fully and demonstrate that exercise truly is the best medicine.

678 Replies to “Recovery progress after stroke and vertebral artery dissection”

  1. Hi Tracy,

    Sorry can’t reply either. I think I wrote myself of but the pain is pretty classic and they gave me the CT scan straight away which also was pretty clear. I didn’t know what I know now. I put my additional symptoms down to all sorts and I work in health ! My diagnosis was easy once I got back to the UK. GP could tell from symptoms sent me straight to stroke a &e.

    I didn’t have concussion or an injury I remember just that I had previously been dancing and then bam dizziness.

    I have therapy from the stroke team next week and still have physio, OT and health worker.

    I don’t have much vertigo head goes funny and I take clopidogrel which is blood thinner I also take for high blood pressure (amplodine).

    We can do this ! Hope I answered all your questions.

  2. I can’t seem to reply directly but this was in response to Sasha’s comment.
    WOW! You sound a lot like me . Did you actually ever get diagnosed with a stroke ??? im about 12 weeks out of stroke ( the injury / concussion happened 4 weeks before my certebellar stroke . )I’m still having dizziness like I’m on a boat. Not cleared to drive or work. ( I’m a dental assistant and I need my hand!) Weakness in right hand , off balance , ringing in ears and yes of course a bit of anxiety. Who wouldn’t at 45 yes old dealing with all of this. Are you getting therapy?? I’m still doing OT, PT, and soon cognitive. I feel very confused and have trouble finding words. Not sure if that was related to concussion or stroke . Are you on any meds besides probably meclazine? Once you tell drs you had vertigo before they right you off! Ugh!! A cerebellar stroke is only 2-5 % of stokes. It’s misdiagnosed all the time. Fight for your treatment hun!! I’m praying for you as well as all the others !!

  3. Hi There.

    This thread is so helpful came across it looking for help.

    I’m a 39 year old woman from the UK. I got extreme vertigo, vomitting and neck pain on a dancefloor with my sister in Spain. I’d had vertigo before and told doctors it was exactly like that but with neck pain. I then had a huge acute painful attack and they finally took the pain seriously. ( I read on here that’s a Spanish thing) . The CT scan showed hypodensity of my cerebullum. No exam, no diagnosis told to get an MRI to check and they don’t know what it is. They discharged me 24hrs later with vertigo pills and what I now know is right sided weakness and ataxia, pins and needles in my right hand and extreme temperature problems on my left (which I told them about). We were stuck in the country as I was pretty incapacitated. Eventually I was diagnosed in the UK 2 weeks later.

    It’s 7 weeks now. I have residual weakness in my hip area and forearm on the right. I can use my right hand, control is still slightly affected and it tires easy. Temperature is nearly all back but I have some weird sensations. Haven’t had my follow up appointment yet. I also was active and what physio call strong is so different from what I mean so I struggle with that. I have bowel problems. Emotional lability. Tiredness and emotional problems sneaking in.

    I haven’t gone back to work. I haven’t even thought about it. I still feel like although progress is made I’m battling alot. I’m not confident to be out long alone. Shop alone. I get worn out easy . Don’t like too much noise etc. Foggy head.

    It’s all getting there slowly and my physical symptoms aren’t always a predictor of how good I feel in myself on a day to day. All will be well but I’m not rushing.

    Hope my story helps someone.

  4. I am a 23 year old female and I was recently diagnosed with a left VAD after almost a month of terrible neck pain, 3 er visits, and dr visit after doctor visit! Luckily one of the drs ordered a ct scan. Was only hospitalized for just shy of 2 days. Thank goodness! They put me on a heparin drip while I was in there and informed me that I had multiple mini strokes. After getting discharged they put me on lovenox shots twice a day and 5 mg of warfarin! The first week was miserable due to the insane headaches, I’m asuming from the lovenox. Which I was only on for 6 days. I was discharged from the hospital on April 15th and I am still in quite a bit of pain. My question is if any of you experienced pain how long did it last until it started getting better and what helped with the pain?

    1. I am 2 months out from bilateral VAD following chiropractic adjustment, and still have some mild headaches and neck discomfort. I was extremely stiff for first few weeks as I was trying to protect my neck. I had mild dizziness for several weeks which seems to have resolved. My greatest issue at this point is fatigue. I need to rest often and have some days where I do nothing. If I overdue, I feel it in my head and neck. Will have follow up angio in June and hope for complete healing.

      1. Hi Mary..I had a neck adjustment of c1 and c2 and c7..I had terrible headache for 2 days and then headache is gone…now it’s been 18 days I had it adjusted..I don’t have any headaches..but today I felt little balance issues..
        Do you think I may be also having mini stroke??
        Please tell me your I have to worry?

      2. I am not sure if the disections caused the dizziness due to decreased blood flow, or the 2 small strokes that i had. I too was worried that i had had another stroke due to worsening dizziness and headaches. Neurologist was not concerned. I think it was stress. I had a second mri 10 weeks out, to give me peace of mind, no new strokes and my original strokes werent visible. I am still on coumadin, so should be protected from furthur stroke. I will have repeat angio later in june to assess healing and hoping to transition to aspirin.

        I would ask your doctor if you are concerned, especially if this is new symptom. This has been a very stressful and scary experience for me, but it has gotten much better. Good luck with your recovery.

        1. Can you still get a VAD after 3wks of chiropractic adjustment..I don’t have any headaches.but have imbalance issues.plz someone share your experience on after how many days after the chiropractic adjustment did they get a VAD..please

          1. Hello! I did not have a chiropractic adjustment but I did have a head injury. I hit my head on the x-ray machine where I work as a dental assistant. I had CT scans and MRIs within two weeks of the incident. They were clear and showed nothing. Then, A total of five weeks after I struck my head ,I had a stroke. At that time the CT scan and MRI with contrast showed the stroke ,but the only thing that showed the VAD was a “MRA.” Each situation is so different it’s very hard to say. Supposedly depending on the injury or adjustment the VAD would normally happen immediately to three days later from what I’m told. It is odd to have a stroke 5 to 6 weeks out like I did . I had a stroke in the cerebellum part of my brain (controls balance) from my right vertebral artery with pseudo aneurysm. When I was taken to the hospital no one even mentioned stroke and I couldn’t believe what I was feeling. I told everyone that I was dying. I think doctors don’t have enough knowledge or experience in this type of stroke and write it off as 1 million other different things. I am in the medical field ,but by no means am I a doctor. This is all my opinion and I’m going by what I’m told and what I read . I am now 104 days out and I’m still experiencing dizziness off-balance ,cognitive issues right hand and foot weakness , ear ringing, confusion, face twinges, vision issues, and nausea . My symptoms obviously gotten a lot better and each day it does. I will continue physical therapy for the next few weeks to months. I’m still considering myself extremely lucky, blessed, thankful and proud to be a survivor. My prayers and wishes and love go out to you all. Remember -we have one brain ,one body ,one life. Take care of it and don’t quit until you get answers . Good luck to you all. I’m glad I found this site! Xoxo

      3. I also had a VAD after a chiropractor adjustment. I went to the chiropractor, then the next day I was hit with severe dizziness and vomiting. At the ER they said I was unresponsive and thought I had a drug overdose. I felt like no one believed that I did not do drugs. The next day I went back for some dizziness worried from the day before while there may speech became slurred, so they did a CT and found the VAD. That was about a month ago, I now mostly have dizziness and numbness in my left fingers and toes. The fatigue is also hard to deal with, I’m learning when I need breaks, especially social situations tend to wipe me out. But everyday it gets a little better!

        1. Hi, I am Martha, a 64 year old that just found this site. On Oct.3rd I was rushed to the hospital because I felt I was stroking. At hospital they did a ct scan but wee confused because they could not see the stroke that was producing my symptoms on the left side. They did find where I had a previous stroke on the left side that I did not know about. So they did an MRI and found the stroke on the right side. They also found the torn artery in my left neck. Originally the heart specialist said it was a stopped up artery. In April I seen another doctor and he explained it was a VAD. He couldn’t do any thing for me and just start living life. I have had no therapy and did not know what doctor to go see. I am now going to make apt with a neurologist. I still have dizziness, tingling on the whole left side from top of my head,, trough my face neck chest arm and down through my left foot which feels hot and swollen all the time. I have trusted completely in my Jesus not knowing where to turn. Thanks again for this site. I am not alone. I also have trouble w/ left eye so this was a struggle to write. Hope it is readable.

    2. I am also interested to find out how long people that were diagnosed with dissected carotid artery continue to have headaches. I was in the hospital for 2 weeks, on warfarin and high cholesterol meds, but continue to have nasty headaches. Blood pressure is good and I no longer have to take those crazy lovenox shots.

  5. 36y/o female, had a right cerebellum stroke last September 28, 2017 due to a VAD. I thought the dissection was stressed induced, but every doctor says there’s no clinical evidence proving this link.

    I knew at once I was having a stroke and told everyone this – headache, couldn’t walk straight, seeing double, and ringing in the ears. The ER that night thought I just had a bad headache, didn’t order any further tests, and sent me home because I was passing all the stroke strength tests. I went back the next day since I was still having issues typing, texting, and writing. The MRI or CT revealed the stroke and the angiogram later confirmed the dissection.

    6 months later- a CT confirmed that the dissection has completely healed. Yay! The neurologist is recommending that I discontinue the warfarin and if I want, do a MRA in another 6 months.

    Within the first 4 weeks, dizziness and headaches were common. and general right PT/OT stuff was slow. I went back to work full time after 4 weeks.

    Six months later, my right hand accuracy is still not great. it just takes longer to type. My hand writing is awful and not fast. My right hand will sometime tremor lightly when holding something. But everything else is pretty much back to normal. Running and workouts are going fine. A glass or 2 of red wine no longer causes a headache.

    The first few months were rough mentally. I just felt off and thought another stroke was imminent. After my neurologist at a follow up told to me chill out, not to make any major life changes, and I physically started to feel better- all was much better. I’m very thankful that it was so minor and am comforted knowing that the chance a repeat dissection is crazy low.

    Thanks for posting your story!

    1. Hi Amy. Good To hear your story. I’m sorry you had to go through that. I’m experiencing something similar. Do you know what caused your VAD? I’m a dental assistant and I hit my head extremely hard on the x-ray machine and got a concussion. Four weeks later I suffered the cettebellar stroke. I actually felt like I was dying. The spinning was so incredibly intense it would not stop. I had no headache but I heard the swishing in my head and I was violently vomiting. It woke me up out of my sleep at 6 AM. I told my husband to call 911 because I was dying . This went on for hours and then stopped for a while at the hospital. They did a CT scan and an MRI. It started happening all over again at 6 pm to 10 o’clock at night and no one had come in to tell me that I had a stroke. They kept misdiagnosing or saying I was experiencing severe vertigo. I don’t feel that doctors cannot correctly identify this type of stroke. It presents as either migraine, vertigo, or sinus issues being exaggerated. I too also did great on some of the neurological exams from what I’m told. I don’t remember much. I remember when I was being taken from my home that I could not feel my arms and legs and I also lost a small amount of bladder control. The stroke happened on February 25 and I’m still feeling a lot of dizziness that fluctuates throughout the day. I have something in ringing in my ears. I feel off confused and my short-term memory is not great. I also have a dropping feeling, does anyone have that ?? Like The end of an elevator ride . I just had another MRA 4/18 , my birthday 🙁 yesterday and it shows that the aneurysm is getting smaller and the dissection is slowly healing. Yay! I’m scheduled to have another MRA in July and we will go from there. I am so happy you’re back at work I wish I was too. I am extremely Busy dental/oral surgery assistant and we have a lot of patients in multiple rooms. I cannot even imagine myself doing that type of job in the near future. I don’t think I would be able to take care of patients, walk around with surgical tools and Assist the doctors properly at this time. I too also have right hand weakness. I lose my grip often and Feel that overall it’s just a lot weaker. My question for you is what did your neurologist restrict you from? I’ve heard so many different things from so many different doctors and post I’m reading. I was told never to wash my hair in a salon sink, which I don’t anyway, …paint ceilings, ride adventurous rides., have my neck back for extended periods of time in a dental chair , bumper cars, Zip line or anything like that . …Are you restricted from anything? Thanks for sharing your story stay well. We must counter blessings not her worries . Thank you to all!!

      1. I had and still have no restrictions. Maybe it’s different for where the stroke was or if the aneurysm is still healing. My fogginess finally went away between 3-4 months after. Hopefully things will get better and you’ll feel more confident about what you can and cannot do at work. Good luck!

        1. Oh and no we couldn’t come up with a reason for the dissection. I had no pain. The “worst” thing I had been doing was regular hot yoga with maybe some weird twists. No trauma or chiropractor adjustments. I rode a kiddie roller coaster in August. That’s about it.

          1. Hmmmm yea they told me no yoga neck moves going forward … the doctors advice on restrictions very so much it’s crazy !

  6. I’m a sixty one year old male ,had a right carotid artery dissection four months ago with no stroke.My neurologist and primary care Dr. put me on 7.5 warfarin a day with absolutely no restrictions on any kind of physical work.I do hard labor as a longshoreman and I smoke a pack of cigarettes a day .They did tell me to quit smoking and I’m trying really hard to(almost there) but wonder why there were no restrictions on hard physical work,seems kind of strange because I’m always craning and turning my neck and lifting and pushing heavy loads at work.Anyway it’s been four months and I’m still here,have to go in for an MRI in two weeks to see if it’s healed.I have been real lucky and I hope the best for the rest of you.

    1. Hey Ray wish you the best of luck. I’m a 60 yo male that lifted to heavy at the gym one day and suffered a dissection and stroke on Jan 10th. Stroke effects were minimal. I was on 7.5 warfarin for two months and told not to lift anything heavier then 10 lbs. for six months. Now on aspirin only. Mostly ok if i don’t do much, but my head aches when i move around. No way could i be working an outside type job as i do still get dizzy easily. It does seem the restrictions from the Drs are all over the place as i don’t really think they have a handle on this medical condition. Hell my head is hurting just looking up and down from the keyboard to the screen as i type this. I’m a finger picker typist. 🙂 I was pretty sexually active and liked to smoke an occasional cigar, now i not doing either much so i know i not feeling very good. It sucks but an grateful i’m not in a wheelchair.

  7. It’s 3am. Im 45 yrs old. Laying in a rehab center after my right VAD 🙁 I got a concussion after hitting my head extremely hard on the x-ray machine at work. Five weeks later I woke up to the worst morning of my life . Long story short, I was hospitalized for 10 days, and now in rehab. So lucky but as now now dealing with a small speech delay, weekness in the right side when walking and issues with Motor skills , perception and planning. The dizziness is a constant feeling of being in a boat. They all say it should go away slowly with time. I’m scared. Confused. And not sure with what I’m restricted on doing for life. The neurologist even mentioned never washing hair in a salon sink do to leaning back. I’m so lucky to be able to be talking and walking but I’m stricken with anxiety of this happening again. I just want to get home to my 10 year old son, husband, pets ,amazing family and get back to working in the medical field again. Suggestions welcome. Thank you all.

    1. I had a right VAD and a cerebellar stroke very similar to yours one year ago. I started to feel unable to walk properly, dizziness, strong nausea, and delay talking (short memory problems). It took 3 months to diagnose it properly. I was unable to work for days. Starting and stopping again when the symptoms where unbearable. At that time the arteria was completely damaged from its start to the beginning of PICA arteria which was occluded and caused the stroke. A psychiatrist helped me with the anxiety and the fear. It is very important to re-start working very slow and part time to avoid getting very tired or anxious. It is also very important to sleep a lot. I’m now able to do very light exercise at the gym, home or ridding bicycle. If I exercise anaerobic I have very strong dizziness 10 days later (I have one less arteria giving blood flow to the brain) so up yo now, it is not possible to move my head quickly or demand a lot of oxygen in the rest of the body. The improvement is very slow, but don’t worry anytime the dizziness gets stronger it’s completely normal. It takes a lot of time. I’m still wondering if I will be able to ride my mountain bike as hard as I used to with my friends and family. I’m 44 years old, healthy, sports man. The VAD was probably cause by an unfortunate strong turn of my head while making a very strong effort. No cervical adjustment in the last 3 years. No others possible causes. No blood or cardiac issues. But it is important to say I have a little tissue disorder (a lot of ankle, knee twists, several shoulder dislocations. Then the internal artery layer is weaker than the regular ones and the VAD is not so rare in my case. I’m not scared about having another one. The odds are very very low even in my case.
      Hope this helps
      Agus (Madrid, Spain)

      1. Thank you. Reading everyone’s posts are helping. BUT.. my doctors feels opsosite and I’m extremely upset. I’m dizzy pretty much all the time. It’s more difficult to look walk or turned to my right. My stroke was in the right side of my cerebellum. My right hand is just to touch weaker my leg is getting a lot better. The dizziness is the thing that’s very difficult. If I talk too fast or loud and very lightheaded. I cannot make any sudden movements especially to the right. I tried to sit outside yesterday and even the WIND made me dizzy. Along with this dizziness comes a constant feeling of nausea. My injury and concussion we’re on January 16, my stroke round of happening a few weeks later on February 25. I’m currently not working as I was a very very busy dental assistant. I need to be 100% myself to take care of my patients. I’m going for another MRI and MRA together which will be about total 2 1/2 hours in the machine on this Wednesday. Ugh but needs to be done. I’m hoping they see everything is healing but I’m wondering why I’m still feeling with this way If the doctor says i should feel better . Super frustrated!!!!!!! I don’t like to take the meclazine because it makes me drowsy. The other problem is this falls under Workmen’s Comp. and Seshan. So I’m very limited on doctors and making my own appointments. I have to play by their rules. That’s just adding to the frustration because I want to get 1 million opinions and I’m at a point where I’m going to need some legal advice on my rights. Not stuff I need to deal with mentally while I’m trying to heal. I still have a ringing and thumping in my ear is probably almost all of the time. Ii have s feeling I’m always on a boat. Loud noises, too many people, too much movement like TV or children running also makes me feel dizzy and sick. I’m always off and I feel like I can’t concentrate . I’m currently in physical and occupational therapy two times a week but I don’t feel it’s doing much . I try to not let the anxiety get to me but it’s difficult when you have these feelings because you think “is it happening again” I feel horrible for all of you that are going through this but yes we have to thank God and count our blessings not our worries. I just feel like I want some clear answers and I’m getting it better from this site then my doctors 🙁

        1. hi, it will take longee to start feeling that the symptons go away. I was scared for the first 5-6 months. The feeling of being in a boat was strong and I was worried about being able to work again. After 2 months on sycholog. therapy and having Paroxetina, a serotonin reuptake inhibitor drug, I started to feel positive, I re-joined work in the seventh month (the first 3 months I was working, calling sick a few times). Now I can tell you, I work full time, mulitasking, even coping with some stress and travelling abroad collaborating with a company at Boston after a 7 hours flight. I’m sure that you will be able too, but you have to take it step by step. Ask your company for half-time work for the first 2 month when you feel completly ready. Don’t rush. I know work is a paet of our lifes. It needs time to recover the basic performance. Your symptons are exactly mine. I still have some. they are all fixed by sleeping a lot. I hope you starr feeling better soon. I know that to be off work in Spain is different. But I didn’t have proof that I suffered a stroke after 2 months of the first episode. It is normal that people think you are overreacting. I still some times feel that I’m falling to rhe right side, even when I’m sit. I takes time to get used to it. Now, 13 months after, I’m sure that it will eventually go away for good. Cheer up! your’re strong and able to beat it

          1. Wow. Thank you. I need to hear from people that are understanding of what I’m going through. I know I’m not even 2 months post stroke but it’s hard to picture me running around a crazy busy medical office again. I’m afraid I’ll have to change my profession. I’ve been out of work since the concussion January. My employer is super understanding , as he is a doctor himself. I guess What ever it is, it is. I’m trying to notice what increases the symptoms. Laying flat. Loud noises, Darkness. Quick moves. Car rides (only been to drs and tests) alot of people, chaos , TV, .. it’s just all over stimulating and adds to the always dizzy feeling. I appreciate you response. I need positivity and reassurance. I’m only 45 and a super busy multitasking mom! I know I need to slow down and be thankful but it’s hard. I just want to be understood. It’s my path for some reason and I need to just breath and follow it….. easier said than done .
            Thank you for your posts.. . I’m so glad your doing well!!! Great to hear. Day by day…….

        2. Tracy,
          I had a VAD cerebellum stroke 2 years ago. It took 3 months for me to get back to work full time. I couldn’t ride in cars the first month without becoming dizzy. The scenery moved too fast so I would close my eyes everywhere I was taken to. It took awhile for the rest of my brain to process past the damaged part. It takes time but will get better.

          1. Wow only 3 months???? I’d say that’s great right? Mine happened on feb 26 I think and I’m constantly dizzy . Increases and decreases with different things . I know.. everyone’s strokes are so different and individualized. Praying and hoping for the best. Thank you so much! !!!!!!

          2. Tracy,
            There are some effects and things that will never be the same like even after 2 years I still get wonky on an escalator. It takes awhile to find your new normal but you will find it. Praying for the best.

    2. Hi again, I forgot to mention that I had a bad episode 10 days after riding my bicycle for several hours climbing a mountain. It was around the 8th month. I woke up in the middle of the night feeling like I was falling to the right side repeatedly, vertigo and nausea. Like someone was pulling me to the right continually. My neurologist told me that it was related with my damaged ear nerves at cerebellum. She prescribed me vertigo pills but they didn’t make any difference. The symptoms were fading with time, patience, a lot of rest, and 14 days off work. It was scared but I lost it very quickly compared to the dizziness feeling of the first 6 months. 12 months later I’m much better and the mind fog is not as heavy as it used to. The dizziness is lightly present. A friend that suffered a heavy cerebellum stroke told me that I am very lucky because my symptoms status are like his after 6 years of recovery. I’ve assumed that some things (to do) are out of my league but I’m happy now about being able to do a lot of things. I don’t know, may be lucky I had aspirin the first moment I had pain punctures in the back of my head.
      I hope you recover soon

  8. 16 Jan 2018 dissection of back left artery in the neck C4 region. Occurred during early morning surfing and collapsed 2 hours later vertigo and vomiting. Admitted to hospital within 35 minutes of the mild stroke occurring. I have walked away with zero negative effects of the stroke (fortunate). Back at work after 4 weeks. Did my first light workout at gym last weekend. Another 5 months of warafin ahead with a CT scan. I am 50 years old, fit with an at rest heart rate less than 58 beats per minute. My query relates to what long term limitations are put on sports participation – I have currently told no contact sports including surfing, and no participation in anything where my neck can be moved suddenly. Is this consistent with feedback given to others?

    1. You are so very lucky and blessed. I am 32 yrs old female and had a right VAD with stroke 5 months ago. Took 2 hospitals and 3 days to diagnose so the effects are still very much struggle in my life. It’s so hard to stay positive when you feel trapped in your body. Happy for you and remember u are blessed!

    2. I have been told by very experienced specialist to do anything except lifting heavy weights . I run 7km 3 times per week relatively hard and do other sports as well as walk 50km per week . I’m 58 with RHR 52.
      My friend who is on warfarin ( 8 years ) after stroke is a regular surfer and surfs narly conditions . His doctor says he’s an idiot but he wants to live normally ……….

  9. Hi All,
    It was such an inspiring and useful healing group of people going through same page.
    My husband 36, recently had a bad headache for a week, sumptom: nausea , headache, dizziness, slowley neck pain started.
    We did MRI, the report was abnormality blood flow to brain and suspected VAD, to confirm it we did CTA and it was cobfirmed VAD.
    We was admitted in hospital for 5days, given heparin, Warfrin and now discharged and at home. We have appointment after 1 month to see the healing. At current his on ibufen and
    Pantaparazole. I am worried if these medication help in blood thinning? No aspirn or wrfin given since after his dicharge from hospital.
    Thank you and and all.

    1. Dale
      Hi I’m grateful for this site.
      I am a active 60 yo male that worked out most day with heavy weights and walking/light jogging. A non smoker non drinker with a fairly healthy eating habits. Was lifting on Jan. 9th and after a heavy set for me my vision shook momentarily. The next morning i woke up and laying on my back every thing was fine until i sat up and then the vertigo smacked me. Took me a while to make it to the bathroom where i layed on the floor sweating and dry heaving.
      Spent 5 days in the hospital with a diagnosis of a VAD and a stroke. Given heparin, Warfrin and now discharged and at home. I am still on a 81mg aspirin and Warfrin. Blood levels are now at 2.5. Believe i will be on Warfrin for three months. Have always had the pulsatile tinnitus but it’s much loader now. Am disappointed with what has happened but am only suffering mild effects from my stroke. Do have the ringing in the ears , sore neck and headaches. I know many are suffering much worse effects and i do have gratitude that i can take care of myself as i live along. I do still suffer from anxiety that another stroke is a moment away. I have been told to only lift 10lbs for 6 months so haven’t made it to the gym but for now i’m ok with that. I have been on 2-3 mile walks. All my neurologist kept saying how lucky i am and to go live life. I’m trying but hard to with the headaches and neck pain.
      Thank you for reading and God Bless.

      1. Hi Dale
        How long ago did this all happen to you?
        I’m at nearly at the 5 week mark and like you feel lucky that it wasn’t worse but still finding it very hard, Have same as you … tinnitus and terrible neck and head pain plus some numbness on the left side of my face and right leg doesn’t know hot or cold, blunt or sharp
        I just want the pain to go away and dizziness

        1. Hi Kira
          Happened on Jan. 10th. I had a lot of tingling on my left cheek -chin area for the first month but that seems to have gone away. Today it’s seems i’m doing better as i’m not as off feeling (less dizzy, less headache & less neck-ache). I do have the Rice Crispie neck that snap, crackles and pops. Hopefully with some time our bodies will heal.

  10. I had a cerebellar stroke a year ago feb 2017. I am 43 years old, healthy, mountain biker, no toxic habits. I suffered dizziness, difficulty to walk, hoarseness, difficulty to focus at work, to talk in a group, driving with too much traffic, feeling confusion when hearing a lot of people, or walking in a mall where lightning is intense and hallways are very wide.
    It took 2 months to diagnose it properly because the synthons where not severe. And one month more to find the root cause: spontaneous vertebral arteria dissection (no trauma). At first it was a releif because I was constantly wondering “what did I do to suffer a stroke?”.
    4 months after the first episode I felt worse 7 days after some workout at rhe gym and rinding my bicycle , the inertia of my head after a sudden movement (it was like it weighted 50 kg), the sun (even under the umbrella), the walks… and then I felt depressed because instead of improving my health I was feeling very dizzy even more than the first days.
    1 month later, I got used to dizziness, I tried to be accompanied by friends and family, and I got well. I came back to work after a lot of highs and lows. I still have problems when getting up quickly, starting to walk or talking to fast and loud. Patience and more Patience is the only way.
    I am “joint hiperlax” (a lot of ankle and knee twists, and several shoulder dislocations until I went to the OR). No pathology, but inherited laxity. Neurologists told me that is related to VAD.
    After 11 months I can ride my bicycle but 7-10 days later the sympthoms are unbearable. Then I have to sleep a lot to recover and workout light at the gym. ¿Does anyone have the same problems when doing sports?
    Thanks for the web and all the stories that help to understand the condition, the rehabilitation and that there are really a lot of strong survivors!

  11. Hello ,

    I had a VAD in July of 2016 and had a stroke that hit my left cerebellum about a week later. I’m now 27 years old and almost 2 years into my recovery. There are so many posts on this forum which i have found incredibly uplifting and helpful. My question is has anyone gotten pregnant post VAD/ stroke ? Did you have any complications or problems? I’d like to try and get pregnant later this year but there is so little information out there for people like

    1. Hi Taylor! Wanted to reach out regarding the pregnancy question. while I haven’t gotten pregnant since my VAD, I did ask my neurologist about this she said its perfectly fine once healed. She did state that a C-section is safer than the straining of natural birth. That’s all the input I can add. Congrats on your healing and hopefully a new baby soon!
      Best Leah

    2. Hi, I too had a Bi VAD and left cerebellum stroke in February 2016. I was 31 years old then. In November 2017 I delivered a healthy baby girl via C Section cause my baby was in Breech position. My pregnancy, delivery and postpartum we’re very smooth. I made it a point to take rest during pregnancy. My gyn was fine with vaginal delivery. My neurologist had suggested to try for pregnancy after healing of VAD because he wanted not to be on blood thinners during pregnancy. Presently, I am on no medication but have moderate feeling of numbness, stiffness and heaviness on my right side of body which I believe will fade with passing of time. Speak to your neurologist if he says it’s ok then you can go ahead.

  12. I am a 27 year old RN recovering from a spontaneous right VAD which caused a stroke in my cerebellum 2 months ago. I still experience headaches, dizziness with fast movements or any movement of my neck, ringing in the ears, eye twitching and off Balance. I am currently only taking Aspirin 325 mg daily. I am so glad I found this forum. It’s hard to explain to others how I don’t feel like myself, they just don’t get it. I always feel “off”

    1. Emily, If you are feeling “off”, you’ve come to the right place. So many of us in this forum know how that feels.

      So many symptoms I experience in the months following my stroke eventually went away. When I saw the neurologist at the 3 year mark, he said he thought I had “stabilized” and he didn’t need to see me for a year. That was the first I had heard that term and I wonder if there is a pattern of this and that happening immediately after the event (such and you mentioned) and then things quiet down on their own. Perhaps you could check with your doctor and see if he/she thinks time will heal some of the symptoms you are feeling. I remember I worried a lot in those first months because having a stroke is so unexpected, and I wondered if I would have another one, and what each strange feeling meant. In time they went away, and I suspect they will for you too. Your doctor may be able to reassure you about that.

      1. Mary I am 32 yr old female and 5 months out of right VAD with stroke. Mine left me unable to walk for several weeks with numbness and bad balance. I have developed central pain syndrome and it leaves burning feeling in parts of my body. I still don’t work and I was a busy woman before. I have the stamina of a 9 month pregnant 80 yr old. Not trying to be funny but it’s the truth. I am exhausted ALL the time and I feel trapped in my body and I cry all the time. My question is when did you feel you stabilized? Can use get better after 5 months??? So hard to stay positive. Thanks for any advice

        1. Yes. there is so many sea changes between 5 months and 3 1/2 years, that you can’t imagine. . I had over 40 weeks of PT this winter and it helped a lot with muscle pain and stamina. (By the way, I am 80, so if I keep improving, you surely will!) So sorry that you are crying a lot. To ease that, can you look at stroke recovery as a “project”? Seeing it that way made it easier for me to cope.

          Neurologist mentioned that I had stabilized when I saw him 3 years after the stroke. But the stroke after-affects keep changing, even though from his point of view I am stabilized.

          The exhaustion I share, and know exactly what you mean. “Pace yourself” was the advice of my neurologist when it first happened and I asked about fatigue. That was one of the many life style changes I have made. You are almost 50 years younger than I am, so I think you can look forward to great healing and recovery. If you are on Facebook, and want to discuss the RPS further, I would be happy to.

      1. Yes, feeling some numb is normal and takes away. Many of the symptons describe here are exactly the same I’ve been feeling for months. It is very important to have a lot rest and have light activity in a daily basis. But eventually you will be able to go back to your life. A new. life in which it is important to slow down at the beginning. You will be surprise about the ability of the brain to recover. Cheer up!

  13. Bad car accident 7 weeks ago, stroke 18 days later, piece of plack broke from artery (stroke)vertebrae artery pulverized between vertebrae 1-4 . 2nd vertebrae 1/2 pulverized. 3 2/2 gone inserted 2 pins 7 screws. 2 screws first vertebrae, 1 scree 2 vertebrae ( no place for second screw, 3 vertebrae like popcorn. Main vertebrae artery between 1-4 pulverized, but I’m walking , talking, alive. No polarized, moving neck aprox 70% , Rehab 4 times aweek, dropping to 2-3 times a week. Mussel therapy really helping! A little loss of balance, have to think twice on occasion. Otherwise 1/2 normal and who can define normal.
    I’ve got questions
    1) hight/ planes
    2) running
    3) what am I limited to.
    4) a little red wine
    5) feel like I have Jewish skull cap on when I wake up for about hour standing up
    6) like tiny release of blood (pin holes) on top of skull 2/3 times week, like tiny scabes. Scrape off no problem.
    7) only good by dr to not do any exercise like bobbing of the head.. no 4 wheeling, horse back ridding

    Back to work (manage hotel) 7 -8 hrs a day encluding 1 3/4 hrs driving back and forth.
    help for comfort level want to stay alive as we all do. Going to follow this app

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