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Thanks Ted, I appreciate the information. Falling over a table and not being back to herself for a week sounds like a stroke to me. My Aunt called us up from her apartment one day cause she couldnt move from her chair. She was slurring her speach and couldnt understand what she was saying. She was taken to the hospital who told her she "had no medical problem" they next day she signed herself into the local nursing home cause she couldnt function. They had a mri done a week later and thats when they said she had suffered a major stroke,and had previously. It is sad. Her speach becomes slurred quite often. Id say a couple times a week or better. Thnats when she seems to stoop over while she is walking, that side seems to get harder to use. Then shes fine. I kept thinking she was sleepy cause it happens so often. The more i read about this stuff the more i wonder if thats what is going on. Your insight from a person who deals with someone who has them is so helpful. We thought she was having a hardtime with falling asleep in her chair it causing her to be extremly sleepy so that she could hardly walk. Recently this happens when she has not fallen asleep, and sometimes she falls asleep and is fine. I have came across information on somthing called a low flow tia, which makes sense,except i can,t find any information on it. only that it is not as common. So i cant figure out how to keep her from having them. I guess maybe you can't:( I'm with you though about for your mothers sake it almost seeming more merciful. you are cuch a wonderful son for taking care of mom. Many prayers to you. Karen it's wonderful you have good support. I hope you can find out lots of good information. It's so hard when you feel like you are in the dark.
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Your welcome. Try to remember that quality of life is relative. If you can make her smile once in while, you win.
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Ted, that was very helpful information. I'm not sure if hers are from blood clots or plaque breaking off. Her appt. is next week at reg. doc than the neurologist a couple weeks later. My mom wasn't a member of Mensa but the same feelings are there for me cause she's always been extremely smart, very precise in her grammar, vocabulary, etc. There was nothing you could slip past her and now it's like seeing the vibrancy or color fade away from he. Part of this she understands and some she doesn't and I'm thankful for that, it would be doubly hard for a very intelligent person to know they were behaving in such a manner. Right now my dad, age 84, is doing most of the daily care giving with another family member coming every day to help and mostly be with mom so dad can go outside and do whatever he needs to do to say healthy and keep caring for her. it's a good thing they have many children as there are several of us to help now. In that way, I have so much more support as it sounds like you are alone in this and for that I am very sorry and know you have my support and caring anyway, such as it is. I also am encouraging mom and dad to try some naturapathic remedies as they can't hurt and maybe, just maybe they might strengthen the blood vessels. Thanks again for responding!
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My mom never really lost mobility in any particular part of her body, I believe thats a major difference in the symptoms of stroke versus TIA. Basically she is slowly losing her ability to think. It seems like mental laziness, but at times she suffers from Sundowners, which is when she gets very confused about where she is, who people she knows are, sometimes she thinks she's a child again and keeps asking for her mother.

I can usually tell when she is having a TIA by her slightly slurred speech, inability to speak, or stand, etc.

When she had the large one that I witnessed, she fell out over the diningroom table and was unable to respond or control her body although she wasn't out cold.

It took about a week before she was able to respond again, and then about 6 months before she would start a conversation, or at least say something without being spoken to first.

Dementia is something that doesn't have a definitive diagnosis really. there's is nothing to point to and say "That's dementia" except her confusion, change of personality, severe change of lifelong habits, etc. These things can be subtle or extreme, and can come and go. In my mom's case, although she will remember things and people when reminded of them, she doesn't seem to have any running memory of her life or the things she has experienced. She knitted constantly her whole life, it was an obsession of hers, but now although she still can, she has no interest in it at all. It's like that with a lot of things, She was always a very active person, but now she mostly sits and stares at me, she needs to see me and be around me most of the time and if I'm not in the room with her she will look for me over and over, but when i ask if she's ok or needs or wants anything, she says no, and smiles at me.

sometimes it drives me a little nuts becuase I can't tell what's going on in her head, but then I realize that there really isn't much happening up there.

i hope this helps, I haven't really studied up on the science of it all, it's hard enough to live with it day-to-day.
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Ted, my aunt had a major stroke last may, and now is living with us. We think she had one before that while she was caring for her husband cause one day her face was drawn but being to busy with hubby she ignored it. Her BP was extremely high for well over a year before the stroke. I have noticed her BP much better over the last few months going from like 180/70 to like 140-150/55. I have noticed over the last few months her walking getting worse. from the affected side of the stroke she has a leg that shakes and moves all the time. When she moved in here it wasnt noticable to any of us just her. Now all of us notice it. I also find myself finishing her sentances more and more. The t.v. is called a radio a lot and everything is a watchamacallit. If i dont give her the word sometimes she comes up with it on her own. She does however go to the bathroom on her own and takes care of here own finances ordering her meds and such. SORRY THIS IS SO LONG. My question is when she has one of these tia's what does it look like? How do you know she is having one. At what point did the doctors say ok she has demntia? Has you mother followed the same proggression as my aunt? I'm looking for awnsers because she has these spells sometimes but she dosnt get concerned. She showed me somepaper work ya da yada about white matter changes,artrophy,infrarcts. But nothing gave a diagnosis.
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Sounds like your mom and mine are going through the same thing..I had no idea they were happening at all until she had one big one that was obviously a stroke to me. It was still a TIA but a bad one. It is confusing, i know. becuase there are a few different types of situations here, two different types of strokes, bleeders and one where the blood is just cut off from that area of the brain, (My mom's) The bleeders are obviously when the blood vessel is weak and bursts and the released blood causes pressure on a spot in the brain, and the other one, (I forget what it's called) where a clot stops the blood from carrying oxygen to the brain. That's what my mom suffer's from and it is mainly due to plaque build up in her blood due to high cholesterol. she is on meds to lower the cholesterol, and Yes, blood-thinners, and high blood pressure meds to reduce the risk of loosening and sending clots to the brain.
Since we discovered the TIA's she has improved a lot, though it took some time. But now I think that since they do keep happening even though they're small ones, it all just adds up to overall dementia and confusion etc. etc.
I have to just trust the doc's at this pint and assume there is mothing more to be done and that they will keep occuring. It's hard to watch her slowly decline and sometimes I wonder if one massive stroke would be more merciful on her. My mom was a lifelong member of Mensa and having her brain betray her like this is heartbreaking to watch.
As for my treatment of her, I use all the advice and support that are given for alzhiemers patients because basically the symptoms and disabilities are the same, although I have heard mom's condition refered to as "Vascular Dementia".

I don't want to alarm you, but this has been a long, drawn out rollercoaster for me, I hope it won't be for you, but I want you to be prepared.
Keep strong and stay in touch, Ted.
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Yes, she finally did have a MRI, after we insisted. She's been having changes for over 6 months now and is was getting worse and worse. Personality, balance, weakness, etc. None of us thought of strokes, I'm so angry at myself for not thinking of that. I guess she was still getting along pretty good and then it become more much noticeable. The scan showed scattered areas of where the strokes had occurred. My mom is 77 and is elderly but never acted it until these strokes started happening. How can they tell if they will continue? Mom takes blood pressure medicine but it controls it very well. She also has rheumatoid arthritis and I wonder if that being an auto immune disease weakens the body on a whole. Anyway, thanks for answering, it feels so good to talk to someone else that is going through this. It seems with this kind of thing, the progression is inevitable but no one can tell how fast the strokes will happen or how many at a time, etc. I wish I had some concrete answers. Do blood thinners help for this condition?
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Yes, a TIA is what is known as a mini-stroke, and usually if a person has just one, the brain re-routes itself and there isn't much, if any, permanent disabilty. In my mom's case, she keeps having them over and over in the same general area and so they do cause More and more memory lose and dementia. that dead area of her brains just keeps getting larger.

If your mom has only had one and doesn't have high blood pressure or other things, her doc might think it was just a fluke, but it's hard to tell when some one is having them and my mom's went undiagnosed for a while.

Has the doctor done an MRI to see if the damage is bad? that was how they could tell that my mom has had many, and that they will continue. But her doc and nuerologist also seem to take it in stride, mom is 82 and I have to agree with them that any kind of invasive brain surgery would probably harm her more than help.
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Thanks for answering Ted. Are TIA's the same as mini strokes? I heard that TIA's don't really cause any damage but the actual strokes. The doctor has not given much hope at all and is not taking this very serious. Her next appt. after the diagnosis was scheduled 2 weeks out. Seems her doctor would want to see her right away and put her on something. I get the feeling that they are happy to usher elderly people out to the great beyond and have them quit sucking up so much social security.
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I think that each case is different, with my mom's TIA's, the nuerologists told me that there was nothing to be done, other than blood pressure and blood thinning meds, and that i simply had to be prepared for the TIA's to continue, which they do.
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