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Recovery progress after stroke and vertebral artery dissection

This is an update about my recovery at 8 weeks after a vertebral artery dissection and stroke with images from my latest MRA.

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.

781 replies on “Recovery progress after stroke and vertebral artery dissection”

Hi, search for my posts (Agus or Agustin) I explain how much workout I can do a week and how much I have to rest to recover properly. In the first months you have to take it easy. More than 10 minutes is too much in every aspect. I can tell you that after 3 and a half years I can ride my mountain bike even with one vertebral artery gone (It didn’t heal). Be safe

Thank you Agus.
So really is just more time required before I can expect to exercise normally, or somewhat normally again.

Hi all. I’m in the UK and I had a VAD 8 days ago. I’m 54 so I guess outside the usual age range for it but nonetheless, here we are. Set off for a run, slow pace, went about 100 metres and felt a sharp pain in my neck, left side. Started to lose balance, dizzy and nauseous and had to sit on the pavement for ten minutes. Made my way back to my car, and thought it was recurring malaria. Drive home and then to hospital. Luckily, other than diagnosis, the hospital just scanned my brain. No intervention and very luckily, no side effects by the time I left hospital 5 days later. As I write this, I wouldn’t know I’d had a VAD last week. I’m carefully taking my time and walking quite alot. I want to run, but I was advised at least two weeks off. (I have had a he’ll of a twelve months – June 19, heart attack, August 19 malaria and typhoid, June 20 VAD… I’m both unlucky and lucky at the same time!) take care all of you.

Hi everyone, I had my VAD around 3 weeks ago. I’m 17 so obviously it came as a shock to me as well as my parents. I was out for a run, something i used to do all the time (5/6 kilometres a day) so it wasn’t out of the ordinary for me, within 5 minutes or so i felt a sharp pain on the right side of my neck but continued running as i thought it was a result of the exercise. When i returned home however i realised something was wrong, I started becoming numb on my right side and began to stumble about so i went to bed early thinking the symptoms would resolve by morning. The next day i woke up and couldn’t get out of bed, the numbness had become worse and i was totally unable to move the left side of my body so we called and ambulance and i was admitted to the ICU and stayed there until i got my MRI scan, confirming it was indeed a VAD. Luckily within a few days i was able to stand up again and 3 weeks in and im still going strong, the strength has returned in my right side and im anticipated to make a full recovery. There’s one think that still irks me and that’s the stoke like symptoms like the numbness and tingling on my right side that continue to persist, just wondering from experience how long can this take to resolve so i can feel again.

Hi Eoghan
Did u actually have a stroke? I truly tho k every case is so different. I had a VAD after a trauma to the head w concussion. Then.. I had a stroke to cerebellum with an aneurysm that still remains. I’m 2 years out and still struggle w effects ,but no where near as bad. They were mostly from my stroke. Your so young! I’m sure you hear that all the time… I’m 47 and hear it! Lol I think the most important tho g for you in my opinion is finding out WHY this happened to you. Crazy part is… I know sometimes there’s no explanation and that’s difficult to swallow. I’ve met many people in your situation that have had then effects of their VAD gone with in 3-6 months Or even sooner. It’s really so personalized. Like a fingerprint. Allll different. I would ask a Sr if there is any Benefit from physical therapy And start ASAP if they think so. Patients. Music. Meditation. Rest. Make sure you know your limits….weight lifting and movement restrictions etc. good luck to you. I’m on IG if u want to follow or send me any messages I’ll be glad to chat!!! @traylo17
Xo good luck, don’t give up

I had a left VAD in Oct 2019.
I was told I have FMD in my left vertebral artery, but I feel my intense work outs may have contributed.
I was previously a highly functioning mother of 2, working full time, doing high intensity interval training 5 mornings a week and juggling kids extra curricular around this.
Seven months on my symptoms are fatigue, dizziness when turning my head, anxiety of it recurring and find it hard to do anything under pressure or quickly.
Whenever I exercise for more than 20 minutes or so I feel it sets me back and I am dizzy, tired, and feel like I’m floating or rocking on a boat for the days following.
Can anyone relate? Everything I read on recovery says physical therapy and exercise is key, but I can’t do it without feeling awful.
I am so impatient, when will I feel normal again?

It will go away, You Will be fine. There is nothing wrong with your workout. Your artery has been working at least 60 times per minute since You were born si there is no way of avoiding vad. Unless You have another desease You don’t have to sorry. Dizzines lasts depending on cerebellum damage, but it will go away

I left comments on this site 6 years ago following my cerebrovascular surgery for a right vertebral artery dissecting aneurysm (that occured in 2013 and due to increase in size surgery was my only option) where the aneurysm was clipped and the dissection was wrapped. Six years on and I still have irreversable nerve damage. I am unable to walk freely. I still experience major migraines, vertigo and severe memory inadequacies. Follow up 6 years following surgery Neurosurgeon can’t comment on longemity of success as there are no cases to compare with. Those telling others to carry on and things will repair and get better are full of shit. It sucks when it happens and it continues to suck for every day after then.

Terrie, I suggest calling the Institute for Neurological Recovery in Boca and find out if their treatment may help. I have post stroke Thalamic pain which seems to be worsening with time. My stroke was 6 years ago. I went to Boca for a treatment and plan to go back and get more. Also look into LDN. I have started that. Your doctors will advise against both because they are “off label” but functional medicine doctors are more open to try whatever might work.

Hi Mary. Thanks for response and future ideas. This sounds great but I’m in Australia. It is disappointing your option isn’t feasible for me…. but thanks.

Terrie, Just for fun, there is a 60 Minutes Australia clip about INR’s treatment on their website.

I am having improvement with Lamotrigine, with no side effects. Not much change at 50 mg, but significant for me at 75 mg. Trials show that 200 mg optimum. (I washed kitchen floor yesterday. Not able to do for 5 years.) This med has been around awhile and well tolerated. You may want to ask your doctor about it.

Hi to all of you! I am glad to find this thread! I had a severe headache with severe vertigo in the beginning of August 2019. At first I was told I just had a migraine and I dismissed it but the headache was so bad I insisted on more testing. I found myself getting an MRI with no contrast of just my head. All that found were hyper-intensity in my white matter of the brain. I also was told I had a partial empty Celia(SP). at this point I was about 4 weeks out from the initial episode. I still had major issues with headaches, cognitive, and balance issues. Then they sent me for an MRI with contrast because the neurologist I finally got to see decided she would suggest it as a precaution. The MRI tech ended up taking it of my neck as well as my head. She asked me if that was ok. I got a call 1hr later that I needed to go to the hospital for a spontaneous bilateral vertebral arterial dissections. Here we are all these months later and my right side has healed greatly but the left side shows minimal improvement. I still don’t have clarity if I had a stroke but one of my eyes drooped and I still have cognitive issues. Is this possible that I had a mild stroke and they didn’t catch it because it took so long. I read that the hyper-intensities of the white matter can indicate damage. I hope this heals completely I am afraid it will happen again because they have no clue what happened. Now I have sharp pains in my neck on the left side and I worry it will cause further issues. I still have cognitive issues and I am off balance a lot. I have been cleared to go back to exercise but I am still afraid. Any suggestions?????

My husband’s dissection caused a hemorrhage stroke in the cerebellum. His balance was off for several months, but he improved greatly. Thankfully the hemorrhage was small and healed. The left dissected artery never reopened but his body has compensated. I’d think that a stroke is very possible, but should be visible with MRI or other testing. Lifestyle change exercise, stress mgmt, meditation, Mediterranean diet, antinflammatory foods, vitamin c, folic acid, and lots of patience and prayer have all been part of healing since 2017 when he had the dissection. So few answers, and no cause discovered. We’ve had top neurologists in Houston, and it’s still an x file of medicine. Blessings of good health to you for a full recovery.

Hi, I suffered right spontaneous Vertebral Artery Disection and a cerebelar stroke 3 years ago. It took 2 months to diagnose it. The artery didn’t heal but the blood flow is compnsated by the other arteries through the Willis circle. I can have a “normal life” or close to it.

It takes time, months or 1 and a half year to feel that the symptons are going away. Feeling like in a boat, dizziness, mind fog. Believe me, no matter desparate you feel, it goes away eventually! Have a lot rest. I mean sleeping for more than 8 hours a day. Be patience, surround you by your love ones, and take a step at a time. I only took 2 months off work. Now I can even work out, exercise and pratice my fauvorite sport: mountain biking (just a little bit). It is a huge change from a intense amateur to a occasional sports man, but I’m happy that I’m almost fully recovered.

I just have baby aspirin to prevent clots from a another spontaneous VAD. It is something extremelly weird. The probability of suffering a VAD it lower than 1/100.000 people a year. In my case, I’m joint hyperlax and the probability is a bit higher, but still rare. Don’t worry about it and focus in your recover. There’s no magic trick than having a lot of rest. Let your body slowly heal. Speak low, walk slow but steady, avoid vertigo triggers like intense light, loud noises, etc. It will be normal if you feel dizzy walking an aisle of a supermarket or outdoors in the dark. Check out the american “Dizziness Handicap Inventory” and score yours. You will be surprised that your are in the middle of the scale. Be strong and get well
Best regards and best luck

3 years Update
I’m fine and very happy considering I suffered a VAD and a cerebelar stroke 3 years ago (Jan 2017) and the right artery didn’t heal. I can handle the brief ‘being in a boat’ feeling after standing up or turning my head suddenly. I can work, I can do a normal life, I can even practice some sports. I have the baby aspirin just to prevent a clot in case of another VAD. The only way to get to the weekend is to rest a lot
I usually sleep 7 hours, but If I want to make it to the end of the week, I have to sleep for more than 8 hours on thursdays or fridays. After resting or lying down I feel again like in my “new normal”, which is quite an acceptable situation. The nausea is gone. The lightheadedness is mild and just for short periods of time. I think the body and the mind get used to the new situation and they don’t turn the previous alarms on. The good news is that the scary feeling that something is really wrong with my leg coordination or my gait is completly gone. I’m aware that the bad coordination feeling is present when walking and feeling very tired, but it does not trigger vertigo symptoms. 3 years ago, it took me 4 hours being completly still to recover from the dizziness and nausea.

If you have had a VAD recently, be patient, lay down as much as you can to let the blood to get to your head easily, and keep in mind that is going to vanish eventually

Good luck for everyone


This thread has been super helpful for me. Thanks to everyone who shared their stories .

I suffered a VAD about a month ago when I sneezed. It didn’t feel like a violent sneeze or anything, but I got immediate vertigo and nausea. I thought it might just be a migraine, so I laid down until my boss basically forced me to go to the hospital. In retrospect, I remember having horrible neck pains the day before, but I just thought it was a pulled muscle. I didn’t have any physical trauma or anything like that, so we’re unsure where the tear came from. The neurologists said it was small enough to heal itself, so like one of the women in another comment, I’m also taking 325 mgs of aspirin every day.

I found this post while looking for answers on healing, and am encouraged about my recovery. I still get little headaches here and there, and the occasional burst of lightheadedness, but it’s never bad enough to affect my daily life. For the first two weeks after I got out of the hospital, I didn’t sneeze, though. That was giving me serious anxiety, but once I did, nothing bad happened and it was a huge relief. The more days that pass, the better I feel, and the less I think about it happening again.

I was doing CrossFit 3/4 times a week, and I’m excited to get back to it, but it seems like it’ll be a couple more months before that happens. Hang in there everyone, and thanks again for all the stories!

My husband’s VAD was also unexplained and sneezing seemed to have affected the tear. There is little explanation. Genetics, previous neck trauma, inflammation, stress- many possible factors, and the unknown with this health event leaves us with more questions than answers. We are two years out- one minor episode after year one, but doing quite well. His artery never reopened, so he’s minus one highway, but we take extra care with his neck and just move forward. These type of incidents are unsettling, scary, and strange, but it did remind us of how fragile we all are, and how precious life is. Many blessings for good health to you

I wanted to ask you how long it took after your VAD to return to work and normal activities ?
I’m at almost 2 weeks after my hospitalization and I’m still very lightheaded, unsteady walking and have bad headaches …I have been unable to work.
Any feed back would be greatly appreciated

Has your doctor given you anything for your head and neck pain? Mine gave me gabapentin for the headaches and a muscle relaxer for my neck.? (I guess your neck muscles respond to the dissection and worsen your neck pain). It was so wonderful to have some relief from the headaches! You should ask your doctor maybe? I am a week out from my hospitalization.

Im at one month with all your same symptoms….less severe now but unsteady walking … my neurologist says it’s usually 4-6 wks average
Started amitriptyline for headache and vestibular physical therapy which has helped .
Good luck

I suffered a cerebral stroke with dissections in both vertebral arteries in Jan, 2019 with brain damage left pica. I have made great strides, but still can’t drive very far with a lot of stimuli. I get nauseous and what I’m told is vertigo. At times, I know I placed an item somewhere, but when I look for it in that spot 2-3 times, I don’t see it. Only to see it the 4th time. It’s like my eyes are seeing it, but the message isn’t getting to my brain the first few tries. I’ve been cleared for work, but I can only drive 10 minutes without getting sick and my job is 40 minutes away. I live in a very rural area with no taxi, Uber, friends and/or family to drive me. I’m also scared I may or may not see someone/something. My short term disability ran out and I have no income now, so I can’t pay someone to drive me. My job wants a list of restrictions, but all my neurologist will put is no straining of neck. I guess that doesn’t suffice because all they keep asking me is what I can do. My ST says I still have some brain fatigue and concentration issues. I don’t know until I try to do what I was doing. I have heard nothing from them, like they are not even willing to try. I seen a Neuro- Opthalmologist. My eyes are healthy and the issues are stemming from my brain. Indicated my brain needs more time to heal. I’m at the end of my rope here. If anyone can supply direction as to what my next step should be, please let me know. I don’t know what to do. Thank you in advance.

I suffered a cerebral stroke with dissections in both vertebral arteries in Jan, 2019. I have made great strides, but still can’t drive very far with a lot of stimuli. I get nauseous and what I’m told is vertigo. At times, I know I placed an item somewhere, but will look for it in that spot 2-3 times not see, only to see it the 4th time. I’ve been cleared for work, but I can drive 10 minutes without getting sick and my job is 40 minutes away. I live in a very rural area with no taxi, Uber, friends and/or family to drive me. My short term disability ran out and I have no income now, do I can’t pay someone to drive me. My job wants a list of restrictions, but all my neurologist will put is no straining of neck. I guess that doesn’t suffice because all they keep asking me is what I can do. I don’t know until I try to do what I was doing. I have heard nothing from them, like they are not even willing to try. I seen a Neuro- Opthalmologist. My eyes are healthy and the issues are stemming from my brain. Indicated I needed more time to heal. I’m at the end of my rope here. If anyone can supply direction as to what my next step should be, please let me know. I don’t know what to do. Thank you in advance.

Missy. I can totally relate. My VAD &stroke was 2-25/18 and I’m still in vision therapy, OT & PT… not working. I have had to retest at motor vehicle for my license after taking 25 of driving lessons. I had a trauma n hit my head bad which caused this. I have the same memory issues as you too. I feel a lot of doctors don’t feel all of theses issues are caused by the stroke and it’s extremely frustrating. Have you spoken to a lawyer at all? Get some advice for disability. Also, do you have any brain injury support groups in your area. They are so so so informative on where to go for all of these things when you’re in a situation like yours. I am in New Jersey and I deal with the BIANJ support group and they are very helpful. They have a hotline to ask any questions and can lead you in The right direction. May even possibly able to help financially. Your situation is very difficult I understand. It almost makes you feel like your in a medical situation trying to heal and now your stuck and just expected to resume life . It’s wrong. . Missy it’s your new normal FOR NOW. It will get better day by day . I’m not a dr , but a survivor, like you. If you have Instagram find me I’m traylo17 , I’m always here to talk. I don’t have all the advice but I’m here to listen . Good luck we are all here for you .

I had a vad 2 years ago. I recovered completely. 2 years later I’ve had another vad. Now I workout. I’m concerned i won’t be able to work out. The vads appear to be spontaneous although I’m very active.

Tyler- do you have any other cardiovascular issue, or have you been tested for a genetic issue? There’s so little known about VAD and I wonder what your docs are looking at.

Hi Tyler,
I hope you’re ok considering your situation
I had a VAD 2 and a half years ago. I’m hyperlax (excesive joint movility). Nothing pathologic it is genetic, but I’ve always had a lot of ankle sprains a few shoulder and knee dislocations. I’ve been told that if one is hyperlax, this tissue condition is related with VAD. The internal tissue of the arteries is too “flexible” and it is prone to tearing while exerting and streching the neck at the same time
I keep on riding my mountain bike (only downhill) trying to avoid neck whiplash

I hope you get on well soon

Regards Agus

I’ve had Cartoid artery dissection in August this year which caused a stroke of 3 small clots I’m suffering from headaches, sickness and dizziness still 6 weeks later, was this the same for you? Or anyone else that’s had the same. The consultant said I should be ok now and is trying to say it’s a seperate issue to something else. My main symptoms were all of the above. So I find it hard for them to say this..

Hi…JO.. IM NOT A DR… I’m a SURVIVOR!!.. 1 year 1/2 after my dissection and stroke time my cerebellum .
BE YOUR OWN ADVOCATE. I still Experience dizzy spells and have a hard time laying flat or to the right. Everybody’s issue was different. Just a millimeter off I’m the brain can make a huge difference when it comes to these situations.. personally I don’t understand how a doctor can say that. I’ve talked to people years after a situation like mine that have fully recovered.. and lots of others who struggle terribly on a daily basis . Be your own advocate. See as many therapist and drs , specialists as you can. Attend groups , meeting and surround yourself with a wonderful support system. I’m still nauseated.. dizzy.. off balance.. it’s so so so much better but it is still present. I’m thankful I’m here and happy to be able to share my story. Good luck to you. You know your body best!!! Prayers and well wishes !!!

I had a left VAD which resulted is a basilar clot. Started on a Friday (3/1/19) with a persistent headache on left lower skull/neck. Thought I had slept funny. Kept on that Saturday and by Sunday I was just fatigued.
That evening I felt weak. Laid down on the floor, felt better and sat in a chair. EMTs came and I convinced them it was a false alarm. They left and about 15 minutes later right side got weak and speech very slurred. Needless to say the EMTs U-turned back and took me to nearest hospital. CT scan ran and the clot was discovered.
Rushed to Comprehensive Stroke facility and they tried to dislodge but vessel was too narrow. Placed into ICU with heparin drip for 48 hours. Speech came back and besides exhaustion felt better. Discharged that Thursday and now recovering at home.
Eliquis, 2 BP meds and strong statin (had been on weaker BP meds and statin for several years). Had all risk factors. Overweight, father had massive stroke at same age (65.5) that left him a hemipalegic, drank a couple craft beers daily, smoked 1 good cigar daily, BP was always in high 140s/high 80s, ate a lot of high fat/sodium and processed foods.
Now, have lost almost 20#, BP averaging upper 120s/upper60s, eating lots and lots of veggies, fruits, fish and chicken. No alcohol or smoking since the stroke. Keeping totals at 1500 calories daily. Will begin going back to gym 4/15.
Passed driving tests and had first doctor follow up. Looking good, slight loss of coordination on right side evident when walking heel to toe in straight line. Re-imaging scheduled for mid-July. Still have neck aches but much less than prior to stroke Nonetheless, have what I call post-stroke paranoia every time I feel a twitch or pain on my right side. Not severe enough for therapy unless it persists.
Biggest hurdle (aside from physically healing) is that everyone looks at me and says “you look great” or “can’t even tell”. Need to voice that I am glad I look good but I’m dealing with quite a bit of physical and psychological things without looking like I want sympathy. Just need understanding.

Pat. I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND. I’m one year out (concussion , 40 days later stroke with VADthat was never found in tests, and aneurysm which I still have) im still in therapy and dealing w many issues. All you see is a turned in foot. A very small speech delay and a hand that drops almost everything. I’ve lost a huge chunk of friends and even some family I dont want to be around. I’ve found that I actually think people don’t know what to say so they make you try and feel better with sort of a “ compliment .” What they don’t know is that it’s actually pissing us off and not acknowledging what we are going through. I told my friends and family “ thank you , but I’d rather hear YOU APEAR HAPPY TODAY that’s great! Seems like a good day am I right? Or ,I love your smile ! You sound sad today. Etc..Anything else than “you look great though “Just because I attempted to put on “ real clothes” and maybe some lipgloss today doesn’t mean I’m not dealing with the horrible PTSD, dizziness, off balance, vision issues , nausea, struggle finding words, right side weakness, light and sound sensitivity and on and on. …. I get very emotional with major anger outbursts, crying etc… so I may look 25 yrs old at 47 and cute & healthy but walk in my shoes then talk !! I don’t want this to be about me but sometimes hearing other people’s experience helps. Only one year dealing with this and INVISIBLE ILLNESS part has been one of the biggest struggles. I’m not big in the “ it could be worse” phrase either! Of course it could. Could be better too?!? Lol I don’t feel gratitude off of someone else’s misfortune. People see you start to try and live and you get talked about . “ oh well I saw her at cvs so she must be fine!” Lol ok!!! Yea that’s how it works. Ok. Try having an 11 yr old son and mom doesn’t drive. That’s fun !!!
Pat, it took almost this entire year to START to let that go a bit. I hate to say but there’s people in life that will understand, be empathetic, and encouraging.. and there’s some who will be in denial of your health, ignore, say your faking, or simple not acknowledge the fact your hurting, have issues or need help. I’ve turned to 3 different support group settings . All different but I love them all. I find it helps SOOO MUCH being around others who go through a lot of the same things. You have to accept the invisible illness diagnosis. I searched for stroke support groups but at my age I found much more help with TBI, (traumatic brain injury groups) or the BIANJ groups)Brain injury awareness of NJ) I live in NJ. Search out some support on line , or ask at rehab centers. Not sure if your that type of person. The only thing you can do is nicely tell the close people how that makes you feel. That you need to be heard even if they don’t understand. Which they may not. I did the isolation thing for a while because I couldn’t deal with people but that’s so not healthy. I speak w a psychologist now and she made me really understand a lot of this. Kind of make sense of it all ,if you will. I needed to feel validated!!! This online community that you reached out to really has helped me through As well. It was my first step. Good luck to you. Stay well . Keep pushing through .. you’ll get to a happy place with in yourself. That’s what truly matters.

Hi Pat, I visit this site annual since my stroke three years ago that was caused by VAD. I needed this site after my brain injury. Neurologist considered my brain injury as a minor stroke, but there is nothing minor about a stroke. I was fortunate to recover with the help from speech, physical, occupational therapists. However, I should have been recommended to a mental health therapist. I struggled with the residual effects from the stroke. Some were physical but mostly psychological. My anxiety was severe and had mild depression. I experienced some of the same things that you and Tracy underwent socially. And of cause, I questioned the universe; why me and why now. Because I am a school counselor, I saw my PTSD symptoms. Therefore, sought out a therapist two months after I returned to work. I needed help understanding how to have peace with myself and to bring JOY back into my life regardless of my current existence. The therapy allow me to see my (new/evolved) purpose and that it gave me new meaning. Mental health is greatly tied to physical health and because of this I became, two years, a licensed therapist in NJ. I know my recovery would not be at its maximum point that it could be for me without the mental therapy. Remember, be patience find the right therapist. If you don’t feel comfortable one therapist, find try another; there is a lid for every jar! Be well!

Thanks Darryl. Glad to hear you’ve made progress and some peace in your life.
Physically I am doing very good with the exception of the persistent neck & head aches. Have lost over 40#, BP is in 120s/60s, no more smoking and very, very limited drinking. I am in a cardio-rehab program exercising 45+ minutes 3x a week – because I suffered a minor heart attack in mid-May. Had been doing everything I was supposed to and then this happened. Angiogram showed no blockage and no need for stents. Follow up MRI of heart and subsequent echogram showed the heartbeat at low normal.
Going to acupuncturist for neck relief. Cardio rehab for heart. Mentally, doing okay considering the numerous life changes that have occurred in the past 5.5 months and the added burden of the heart attack diagnosis.
See cardiologist the end of the year for heart review, neurologist for stroke follow up in January. Can’t complain when I’ve seen what strokes and heart attacks have and can do to people.

Coach Hockey and at one of my practices a kid stepped on a puck and lost his balance. He took my legs out from under me (standing behind me). I fell backward (no head trauma) but the whiplashing effect of my fall caused a VAD. Four days later had massive dizziness and ended up being diagnosed with a stroke. I am month out and starting to feel more normal but still get intermittent shooting pains etc etc … my neuro says I should heal and get back to 100%. My neck still a little stiff but he says that is surface trauma from the whiplashing. Skated the other day with my team I coach after only one month post VAD, probably too soon as the doctor said no ice for 2 months to give vein time to heal. Felt great skating, but a few days later I’m feeling like I probably should have listened to the 2 mos, the doctor had suggested. Still feeling pretty good but I understand some of the posts where you become fixated on every little pain, twitch etc etc … I’m chalking that up to anxiety … Best of luck to everyone who had had or has recently had VAD!

Coach Hockey and at one of my practice a kid stepped on a puck and lost his balance. He took my legs out from under me. I fell backward (no head trauma) but the whiplashing effect of my fall caused a VAD. Four days later had massive dizziness and ended up being diagnosed with a stroke. I am month out and starting to feel more normal but still get intermittent shooting pains etc etc … my neuro says I should heal and get back to 100%. My neck still a little stiff but he says that is surface trauma from the whiplashing. Skated the other day with my team I coach after only one month post VAD, probably too soon as the doctor said no ice for 2 months to give vein time to heal. Felt great skating, but a few days later I’m feeling like I probably should have listened to the 2 mos, the doctor had suggested. Still feeling pretty good but I understand some of the posts where you become fixated on every little pain, twitch etc etc … I’m chalking that up to anxiety … Best of luck to everyone who had had or has recently had VAD!

This site is very helpful…seems to clear a lot of issues as personal
experiences are shared…wonder if VAD RESIDUAL SYMPTOMS HAVE SOME PHYSCOLIGAL affects too…forgetfulness and confusions are there and takes lot of effort to concenterate too…

I’m 10 months after a VAD w aneurysm and stroke. Yes. I’m not a dr but I’ve experienced all of that. I say I went from OCD to ADD over night. Memory. Congnition. Confusion. Brain fog and overload. I’m completely different. I don’t care if drs say it shouldn’t effect those things in certain areas of the brain. I know my body. I know myself. It’s getting a lot better but it all takes time. I don’t think I’ll ever be the same, and that’s ok! Follow your journey. Don’t fight and resist it so much I think it makes it harder. See a psychologist for validation. Go to cognitive therapy. What ever works!! Good luck to you!!!

Thanks for your input…little is known and each case differs but what works has to be tried and what we learn here helps a lot….thanks to everyone and regards to all.

This is the first time I have been on this site and you said almost exactly what I want to say. I recovered fairly well a year or so after my stroke and went back to work got full custody of my 5yr. Old daughter, then one week later my sister passed, and my balance started getting worse, I still can’t get my words out right. My thinking. It’s like I’ve had another stroke. My Dr and I think and hope it’s been the stress and traumatic events that has made my symptoms worse. Of course my family thinks I’m faking

Hi John,
I hope you’re doing ok considering your situation. I had a VAD and a cerebellar stroke 2 and half years ago, and I completly understand your thoughs. We all been there before. I read a lot of personal stories, here in this site, and in others like strokeblog from Dr Dodds, I read her book,, etc. I saved a line which I consider one of the best: “never let anyone to diminish your symptoms” and a saying from Hippocrates: “No head injury is too severe to despair of, nor too trivial to ignore”. Please, keep these 2 ideas in mind and ask for professional help if needed (I did it), but be sure you will recover completly. Regards Agus

So I’m about 2 1/2 years into my recovery after i had bilateral VAD which resulted in 2 strokes. I’m 28 years old now and I’m wondering if anyone who’s a few years into recovery still experiences issues with vertigo / dizziness. I am still not able to sleep on my back with getting the spins! And whenever I accidentally do, i deal with vertigo for the rest of the day. Wondering if there are any “vets” with some tips.

So they did heal and were open for full blood flow? That is great, bc my husband’s left artery stayed closed and never reopened which means he’ll live minus one vertebral artery. The circulation system to the brain is amazing and little veins and other arteries compensate, but not always at the same level I think. I hope your healing continues as your brain takes a couple of years to adjust. Meditation, exercise, healthy foods for your blood and arteries, and this detour won’t disrupt too badly. Blessings to you

Hi, my stroke was 18 months ago. Now I can exercise, but 4-6 days later, I feel sudden dizziness when rotating my whole body or my head. The symptoms are getting mild with time, but still lightheadedness for several days after moderate exercise. I think this is either the stroke aftermath or the blood flow, that is less than before. The polygon of willis avoids a masive lateral damage, and I’m glad I have it working fine, but the inputs to this polygon have been reduced in a 25% because my right vertebral artery is gone

Salud y mucho deporte!

I still experience those symptoms 4 years later related to exercise unless I exercise with my funcuntional intentional trainer. He worked with me to modify all the movements to still get a good workout, but not cause the dizziness. There is hope of a good workout without the side effects.

Thank you for your respond. I read it in November, but I din’t realize that you were saying explicitly, that a good workout without side effects is possible. I was just going over my posts in this forum now that it’s been 2 years since my VAD and stroke. It is funny that the functional train is what makes me dizzy the most. Particularly the sit-ups. When I getup suddenly I feel my heart pumping to my head and I feel dizzy after several days. What kind of movements does your trainer prevent you to do?



Just had a Dissection 10days ago… Horrible headaches, neck pain. Thinkimg will this get better? 51 yrs old,i took a nap in my truck leaned forward andfelt a snap, day later had a stroke. They will not stint it as of now, this really sucks. Will itget better?

Hi, I had a left VAD a year ago, I had headaches for 6 months, felt dizzy for maybe three months, but now I feel normal again, practice sports that I love without any problems. Just alow your artery to heal, take your aspirin and live your live again. My sport is offroad- enduro. PD: I read everything there is to know about VAD in medicine because I am a physician

Hi Jaime,
I’m glad to hear that you have recovered almost completly. I’m wondering if your artery healed. In my case, right VAD, the artery didn’t heal. Do you know any case or someone in a similar situation? Can they practice sports normally? I’m going back to practice mountain bike but after moderate exercise I get dizzy 6 days later (not inmediatly)


I ride mtb and road bikes, went to the granfondohincapie to celebrate first year after stroke, no problems at all, if your artery díd not heal the blood is going to your brain thru other arteries, you have a poligon of Willis that makes sure you get the right amount of blood. Check your mri or ct

Hi all – 25 year old female with a VAD suffered a stroke in my left cerebellum about a month ago. Still having intense episodes of lightheadedness, vertigo, nausea but worst of all is the anxiety that I’m having another stroke. Any advice?? I’m on 325 mg aspirin. My doctor said the tear should heal on its own. I’m afraid I’ll never feel normal or that I’m having strokes all the time…

Hi Pia. I totally get it. 45 yrs old dental assistant , mother and wife. I had a concussion, 4 weeks later stroke to right cerebellum. Had the VAD and didn’t know it. I STILL have the aneurysm to this day. I’m about 10 months Out. Even though I’m tested every few months to see the size of aneurysm (slowly shrinking) it’s a terrible feeling. I do understand. But it DOES get better. I never ever thought I’d be able to focus on a thing but having another stroke. It’s hard. But you can do it. Be brave. Be educated , but DONT OVER READ!! I’m only on 81 of aspirin. I take my pressure all the time to monitor. I’m going in for another angiogram this month with possible surgery , not sure. Do you see a therapist /psychologist if you dont mind me asking?? It was a huge help to me. I faught it for months. Wound up being the best decision for me. It’s a very personal decision though. I’m still lightheaded, dizzy, off balance BUT, it’s NOT constant anymore like it was. It does get better. I’m still in occupational therapy for my weak hand and my vision. Did you do any rehab? Unfortunately it’s a waiting game and you need to let your brain heal. It takes time. Time ,time ,time. Frustrating but so true. I didn’t opt for the antidepressants but I hear they do help a lot. I take a Xanax at night to sleep and relax if needed on a bad day. Sleep is SOOOO important! Other than that I meditate and try and do tai chi. Find what works for you . It WILL get better. It will. You will trust your body again but don’t rush recovery. My instagram is @Traylo17 if you ever want to message me. I also wrote my story in medical news today online. I go to as many young stroke , or traumatic brain injury (TBI) groups as I can It’s good to meet people that share the same situation. A lot of people don’t understand. Find your inspiration. Find your strength. But allow your self to feel your feelings it’s okay to have a bad day just know that there are great ones ahead. Show that stroke your middle finger and don’t let it take away who you are. Good luck to you.

It will get better. I had bilateral VADs last March with 2 small strokes following chiropractor adjustment. I took coumadin for 4 months, and follow up angio showed open healed vessels with just slight irregularity to wall. I too suffered anxiety and panic attacks, tingling and dizziness that has pretty much completely resolved at this point. It got significantly better after first 2 months. I remain on baby aspirin for now.
The further out I have gotten without dying/stroking again from this, my anxiety has improved. I am back to work as of july, but had the luxury of going back part time. Do not rush it, and have faith that you will heal. I took this as a lesson that I need to slow down a bit, be careful with what I do to my body, and enjoy life. Good luck to you!!!

E Stallworth, could you please reach out to me at your situations sounds similar to mine. I could really use some honesty regarding outcomes and residual symptoms. I’m so scared about my dissections and what to expect. Thanks.

(Agus, Male, 45)

Hi Marle, I suffered a right VAD and cerebellar stroke 18 months ago. It was spontaneous, probably making a sudden movement with my neck while bending and exerting with the whole body at the same time. The artery never recovered ( I was misdiagnosed for the first 2 months) but the stroke symtoms are fading away after 18 months. Of course, having a lot of rest and working out very ligth. The probability of having another VAD is very very low. If you’re on a blood thinner there is even less prob. of having a stroke.

It takes time for the feeling of “being in a boat” to go away. Spend time with your love ones, be patient, and it will be just a nightmare before you could think

Keep in mind that a lot of people in these forums (I’ve read around 100 stories) have fully recovered after some time depending on the severity of the damage. From 12 months to 4 years, but recovering. Cheers to everyone


Pia – I completely understand. I had my strokes 12 weeks post partum in the left cerebellum. Time was the only thing that helped me. My VAD took 17 months to heal, but it did heal. I could see the progress with the CTA’s every 90 days. Be kind to yourself and know that it will be an up and down emotional experience as it heals.

Exactly one year ago my husband was diagnosed with a spontaneous left VAD and cerebellum stroke. He spent three nights in the hospital and was started on aspirin, Lipitor, and Xarelto for 3 months. We changed to much fresher, healthier diet, he walked daily with some weakness on his right side and tingling in finger tips. He was back at work after a month, and had been recovering well. The VAD never reopened- very disappointed, but grateful for his recovery. Nearing the one year anniversary he suffered a big sneezing attack followed by sudden weakness and imbalance on his left side. Back to the hospital, labs good, CT scans and MRI showed no new stroke, but something obviously happened. Now we are back to meeting with his neurologist, cardiologist, and PCP, but no answers only guesses. His MRI from last year showed a small lesion in his C4-5 vert., and some issue at c6-7 vert that could pose risk to nerve root. I’m basically on a hunt for what might have caused this recent episode. Genetic predisposition? Probably, and he’s on Plavix now at a precaution. We are switching neurologists since each one has a different level of curiosity in an area that doesn’t have many answers. He’s doing well, and started PT for some issues with his left arm and his balance. I know its very frustrating for him after a year of recovering steadily. I pray a lot, read a lot, but I believe our immune system and brain are still unknown frontiers, so we do the best we can and keep moving.

I, too, had a cerebellum stroke 4 years ago. I seemed to be recovering well for almost a year and then developed what has been diagnosed as central regional pain syndrome (crps). It is described well on the NIH website. Don’t know if this could possibly be in play for your husband, but you could check it out.

Agus, 45, Male

Hi Marle, I suffered a right VAD and cerebellar stroke 18 months ago. It was spontaneous, probably making a sudden movement with my neck while bending and exerting with the whole body at the same time. The artery never recovered ( I was misdiagnose for the first 2 months) but the stroke symtoms are fading away after 18 months. Of course, having a lot of rest and working out very ligth. I’m a little bit hyperlax (high joint movility), therefore, I’m on baby aspirin indefinitely. The probability of having another VAD is just a little higher than a regular person with regular laxity. This is a light conecting tissue disorder that is related with VAD according to one of my neurologists. Ask his doctors about this laxity issue.
I hope he is doing well, and keep in mind that a lot of people in these forums (I’ve read about 100 stories) have fully recovered after some time depending on the severity of the damage. From 12 months to 4 years, but recovering. Cheers to everyone


Thank you Agus- This is very helpful and I will certainly share your story with my husband. The laxity issue is also key , and I will discuss with the neurologist this week. Good health to you and continued blessings.

Update after 18 months vertebral artery disection and cerebellar stroke
(44 years old, Male)

after 18 months of my vertebral artery dissection and cerebelar stroke I’m feeling very well, just some dizziness
if I sleep less than 8 hours for 5 days in a row or if I over exercise. My artery didn’t heal because I was
diagnosed 2 months after the first symptom and I didn’t take aspirin during this time except for the first 5 days when
I felt a strange and new pain in the lower back side of my head. Now, I try to sleep 7-8 hours from monday to thursday but it is not
easy when I get up early to work, then I sleep on the friday evening about 4 hours (a long nap) and 9-10 hours
at night. My fitness training is now pilates 2 days/week and some spinning (around 25 min/week) under
80% of my max. heart rate. 4-5 days later I feel just mild dizziness very easy to stand. The good news is that I’m able to do a short
hike in the mountains even at very steep paths. I’ve been traveling by plane, visiting cities and noisy places. I still feel a little
confused when walking in mall corridors or brightly lit rooms where the vertigo triggers are always present (a lot of light and noise)
My conclusion is that is very important to rest as much as possible and to move the head slowly to avoid sickness and nausea,
but the tangible improvement is real even 18 months later. I hope it will be a huge encouragement for everyone.


Hi:) Glad to hear you are doing better … I have just been diagnoised with the same thing through a MRI/CT i have not had a stroke but definetely worried I might before I get to the doctor …I do have symtoms like Pulsating tinnetus and pressure and pain in my head…any advise for me before I can get to the specialist …worried to death …dont even want to lay down in the bed afraid something will happen before I see someone …did you have any warning signs before the stroke?

Hi Sheryl . I wanted to reply and tell you from experience please don’t be so anxious and stressed. I know it’s so much easier said than done. Now looking back I actually did have some warning signs before my stroke. I had a concussion and five weeks later I had the stroke. But one week before my stroke I experienced two different instances where I had what they think could have been a mild TIA . It hit me out of the blue and I was extremely nauseous, dizzy, profuse sweating, confused, my hands and lips were tingling and I felt exhausted afterward. The “episodes“ lasted for about 25 minutes And left me exhausted. It was the strangest feeling but I knew it wasn’t normal. At first I thought it was a panic attack but quickly realized it was very different. I called my dr and he said it was part of the “ post concussion syndrome “ (not)
There are all different types of strokes . Mine seemed to be not as “ common” as others . It was extremely violent .
You are aware of what’s going on. Your under a doctors care and soon to see another. Your anxiety and worry isn’t going to help but only hurt you. Trust me . Easier said than done , I know, but It’s so true. You are a Step ahead by knowing what’s going on and having a diagnosis. Not everyone w a VAD has a stroke. I’m not a doctor and just giving you my opinions and passing along knowledge I’ve learned from the past 8 months. Be smart. Know , trust and listen to your body. If your not happy with your doctor or treatment plan, get a new one. I did. I understand exactly what your feeling because I’m still living with my aneurysm. I understand the feat . It’s gotten smaller but it’s still present. Im still not lifting anything heavy. Bending my neck up toward the ceiling ,cracking or fast twisting, (no hair salons ) no stretching yoga positions , no hard neck massage and so on. Im still following those rules. I too still have the ringing , seconds of hearing loss, and whooshing sounds in my right ear. I get pains in my head where I hit and also where I had the stroke (right cerebellum) I’m trying everyday to be the best 45 year old mom to my 11 year old son. I used to have a very busy job as a dental assistant, part time baker and babysitter to my niece . Now my days are at PT, OT, and cognitive therapy. My life stopped short after hitting my head on the X-ray machine at work 8 months ago. In an instance my path has changed. I’m thankful and blessed to be here after my event. Try and find the good in everything. Count your blessings not your worries. I wish you all the luck in the world . Don’t care what anyone thinks or says .. you know your body better than anyone. Trust in your faith . ❤️

don’t worry you’re are safe having aspirin or other blood thinner.
The odds are very very low.
I had acute and sharp pain in the low back of my headthe first week before the stroke and I was very sleepy all the time. These were the indicators of the VAD, but It may seem like a normal headache. Don’t panic and ask for a blood thinner


Wow. It’s good to hear. 7.5 months out after VAD, cerebellar stroke. Age 45. After a bad concussion stroke was weeks later. It’s grrat to hear and very inspiring. At times I feel worried I will stay dizzy for the rest of my life. All of my issues are getting better day by day. There are so many things that still affect all of my symptoms. Walking too fast moving my head too fast too many people talking, lights, too much noise, multitasking, sitting up too quickly , tv, not enough sleep and the list goes on and on. I’m still not driving and probably will not for the next few months. I’m dealing with some convergence issues with my eyes and also some right hand coordination and weakness problems. I’m currently still doing outpatient therapy twice a week for the next month or so. It’s so good to hear that you are slowly getting back to your old routine. When I read that you were flying in a plane, hiking, working out I was surprised but it inspired me . Thank you for sharing your progress with us all it’s really good to hear !

“Walking too fast moving my head too fast too many people talking, lights, too much noise, multitasking, sitting up too quickly , tv, not enough sleep and the list goes on and on”

It rings a bell to me
But it is fading slowly. Just don’t rush going back to work. You will able soon. Patience

I’m much better even with a 20% less brain blood flow in my brain (the artery didn’t heal)

wish you all the best


Wow. I never thought of the artery “ not healing” I guess it makes sense . I may have to live with the aneurysm too. Who knows. They want to do another angiogram but I have a bleeding disorder where I don’t clot and some allergies to dyes,so it complicates things . I’m having the issues with my hand so it definitely impacts my job as an oral surgery/dental assistant:( super busy multitasking demands. I may need to seek a new profession. I’m not even thinking of work right now. Mind body and soul first. I’m glad to hear your doing okay. Like I said it gives hope to people who are only a few months out. Thank you !! Bless you !

Sheryl- yes I would definitely discuss a blood thinning medication to prevent any stroke incidents if your not on them already. I’m only on one baby aspirin a day since this and it’s helping a lot. Keep us posted. Stay positive and calm as you can. Good luck with your recovery . Have faith !

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.

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 !!

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.

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?

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.

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?

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.

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

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

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!

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.

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.

I’m a 33yo female and have had 3 spontaneous vertebral artery dissections. My last ones were almost 5yrs ago and I still get extreme pain and headaches and nausea. It is very debilitating and I am wondering how others are able to control the pain and if others experience this pain still years later. Please help, I’m in need of answers and help. This has taken over my life and I need help.

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!

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!!

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!

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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)

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 🙁

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

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…….

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.

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! !!!!!!

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.

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

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?

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!

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 ……….

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.

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.

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

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.

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!

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

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

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.

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”

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.

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

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.

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!

Emily. I see your just over a year out. Congrats. Happy new birthday? I’m just a year myself. 2/25/18 concussion , 4 weeks later stroke to cerebellum. Very violent stroke I may add . Most of your symptoms sound very much like mine. Actually everything . I have arm and leg weekends on the right and coordination issue with my right hand. Vision issues. I was a dental assistant. My question to you or anyone else out there is how are your symptoms? I’m doing better but one quick move of the head and I’m “ on the boat again” as I say. It’s like constant motion sickness and nausea. For days. The dizziness is horrible. It’s definitely gotten better !!! But I fear I’ll have this forever. 🙁 I get the drops feeling like I’m in an elevator. I do not drive yet. Maybe taking the course in the spring. I just need to hear from people post stroke longer than me. Monday is my 1 year survival anniversary 🙂 I’m celebrating with a tattoo! Stay strong every one. Thank you. I just need some extra encouragement today xo

Hi all,
It’s been 2 years since my right VAD and cerebellum stroke. I’m much better, but if I exercise a lot, like 2 days ago (90% of my max heart rate for 10-15 min) I get dizzy, lightnessheaded and “being in a boat like you say”. The feeling of dropping to the right side is also present but only if I overexercise. I was used to workout a lot and ride mountain bike.

If I have a quiet life, respect biological schedule (time to go to bed, to eat,…) and sleep 8 hours a day, I feel quite well. I would say that my new normal is almost like my before stroke normal. I can ensure that recover is possible. My current situation is just a matter of brain blood flow. My right vertebral artery didn’t heal, so I know I don’t get enough blood at the brain when my heart pumps strongly. I’m aware that when, I get up from a chair or do sit-ups (picking up things from the floor at home) or climb stairs I will feel the dropping or that my head is not matching the inertia feeling of the rest of my body, but it is a minor issue.
The best part of all this it’s that I can reset the issues sleeping a lot (10 hours or more). Nowadays I can work, drive, travel by plane, ride my bicycle in a flat surface. I hope this helps. Regards. Agus

Hi! Yes thank you so much . It helps. It’s encouraging and inspirational to hear. Thank you for sharing. I still currently have the pseudo aneurysm but its shrinking thank god. I go back in May for a repeat (4th in a year) MRA to see where I’m at. I’m continuing therapy and to push through the balance issues . There are just some very hard days. I’m so thankful for this site! Stay well everyone

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

Hi, I thought who ever had anything similar or has read my story, it’s been a year July 1st operation. I still have what I call my Jewish head cap. Has greatly improved, I can put pressure on the back of my head which I could hardly touch before. Improvement. I really am what the hospital called a miracle man, 3 days in hospital released drove, 2 weeks later I had stroke. Left artery pulverized left side of head from vertebrae l3 to brain. The second vertebrae was in 7 pieces glued back together. I can turn my head about 20-25% each direction.. they told me (Drs) I’d never turn my head at all.
I’m living a normal life(who knows what that is, but I’m living it without to much trouble) my greatest help is I get hard mussel therapy twice a week! Complete hard body massage. I’m working 14/15 hrs a day. 1/2 way normal life. Sometimes after long day on my feet I lose my equilibrium slightly. dr wants me to take a CTA (like mri but with contrast) but with main artiery gone I’m afraid another piece of plaque could break lose. So at this point they will not operate on it, so why touch what is not bothering you.
End of story I’m living life the best I can, not worrying about it, no sense wasting good energy on something that can’t be corrected. End of sorry, they said I should be dead or paralyzed… neither.. so there is hope for all.
I believe in prayer.!!! My advice live don’t waste good energy on something you have no power to correct! It’s in GODS hands! LIVE

Omg!!! I soooo needed to read this today!!! I’m having a very “ off day” and I needed these works to put everything into perspective . I’m so glad to hear your doing okay and living life to best you can right now. I’m very impressed. Empowered , encouraged , and feeling more positive after reading your post. I’m sorry you had to go through so much but Thank you For inspiring others. Good luck to you !!!!

Hi you all this is Andrew I’m going to be 76 in two weeks.
If you read my story it should give you some incouragement. June 30th it will be 1.1/2 since car accident. Living a full life, some probelems.
1) when I speak or get excited , my voice rises, everyone thinks I’m holloring at them,
2) still have my skull cap, except I can actually put some pressure on the back of my head.
3) still have some very tiny bleeding seeping thru my skull cap at nights(skull cap feels like blood clut between skull and layer of skin back of head
4) lost concentration off and on , but only for a few seconds. Used to be worst, but improving.. bothers me feel like I’m forgetting things
5) little out of balance once in awhile…
Other than that, I feel pretty good. Haven’t lost work, put in about 7 hours a day. ( standing on cement floor for periods of time bothers me..
Therapy , hard myself massage, the greasy thing that happened to me, love to get back to 3 times aweek(down to one)
Haven’t been to Drs in 6 months.. looking to have MRI soon only for my self interest. Still can’t , probably turn my head more than 20% each direction, but u learn to adjust with shoulder movements. Voice can’t control, still rises, everyone still thinks I’m yelling. You would think people would understand by now. But a lot of people don’t kno what I’ve been thru. With the 1-thru 3 vertebrae’s all busted up, second half pulverized, lost of artery to brain on left side… I believe I’m doing well..
I believe ether key is to keep living, try to enjoy yourself, don’t care what others think.. you’ll do well. I walk around with stiff straight neck , I hear few comments, don’t have full strength back yet, walk 2-3 miles a day,,, I’m alive , suppose to be dead, end of story till next time…

Update after 32 months vertebral artery disection and cerebellar stroke
(45 years old, Male)

2 and a half years I suffered a vertebral artery dissection and cerebelar stroke. Right now I’m feeling very well, just some light dizziness
if I sleep less than 8 hours for 5 days in a row or if I over exercise. My artery didn’t heal because I was
diagnosed 2 months after the first symptom and I didn’t take aspirin during this time except for the first 5 days when
I felt a strange and new pain in the lower back side of my head. Now, I try to sleep 7-8 hours from monday to thursday, then I sleep on the friday evening about 4 hours (a long nap) and 9-10 hours
at night. My fitness training is just pilates 2 days/week. I bought a mountain eBike that help me to climb steep paths without getting exhausted. It
allows me to keep my heart rate below 80% during the route and thenseveral days before I don’t feel sick and I can enjoy my spare time and my job.
I also go downhill at the nearest bikepark and I can enjoy my bike with friends for the whole day (5 hours) taking some rest between laps
I am less and less affected by the intense light corridors at the mall or by other vertigo triggers (noise, sun burn, extreme hot in summer, etc)
Light exercise – deep rest, Light exercise – deep rest,… is the only key. Super happy with the improvement. Sometimes I think that everything about the stroke is left behind
I hope that helps. Be strong


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