My Mom (91) is showing signs of having a stroke but tests say she didn’t. Has anyone heard of this?


Doc says a past stroke could be causing symptoms. My Mom’s heart rate dropped she passed out unfortunately she was climbing stairs when this happened. Turns out she had pneumonia, treated for 6 days in hospital released ended up back in hospital with build up of fluid. She was in ICU for around 25 days intubated 3 times pulled through all of this including a fractured clavicle from the fall. She is currently in nursing home/rehab. She, to me, is showing signs she had a stroke. I talked with the Doc who says no signs of new stroke but says it could be her previous stroke appearing. Not sure “appearing” is the right word but has anyone experienced or heard of this?

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What kind of tests has she had, unless it was a CAT scan or MRI then the doc can't possibly know for sure.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to cwillie

My dad who just died was diagnosed with ALZ two years ago. It was a bit strange as up to a month or two before that, there had been some slight memory issues, but things suddenly went fast as though something happened. They did an MRI and the neurologist said they showed no indication of a stroke. A few months later, we took my dad to the Mayo Clinic here in Minnesota for a second opinion. The MD there agreed with the ALZ diagnosis, but also pointed out on the MRI that there had been some event at some point. He pointed out some white spot. We asked if this was a mini stroke, and neurologist at Mayo said MDs don't use that term, but something had happened with the past year. He seemed to think the ALZ had already been at play, and the event was not he primary cause, but may have very well played into the sudden acceleration a few months earlier. Anyway, two neurologists looking at same MRI and coming up with two different opinions, though I guess that is normal They say if you ask ten doctors the same question, you will get eleven different answers.
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Reply to Karsten

Thanks for both these answers didn't think about her possibly hiding systems. I know she has been through a lot and my expectations is that she is not going to get back to her previous base. She is currently in intense therapy at the nursing home PT, OT and SPT 6 days a week. Hopefully, she will be able to give some assistance in her mobility
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Reply to BelAsh

What "signs of a stroke" are you seeing? Your Mom is 91 years old and she has been through a lot over the past month or so. You Mom is not going to recover from all of her health problems as quickly as she used to. It is possible that what you are seeing are results of the low heart rate, the hitting of her head, the pneumonia, fluid build-up, ICU with 3 intubations, and fractured clavicle. It is to be expected that your Mom may not be able to perform her ADLs, eating, getting dressed, walking, etc. like she used to and she may never be able to take care of herself like she used. I think that what your doctor is trying to say is that previously you couldn't really "see" the physical limitations that the first stroke caused because your Mom was able to "hide" the physical limitations from the first stroke, but she is not able to "hide" the physical limitations now that she has experienced so many other health problems.
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Reply to DeeAnna

Yes. My husband had a stroke in 2003, and his primary after effect was aphasia, the ability to get words from his brain and out of his mouth and make sense in the process. He once told me I wash dishes in the toilet.

Over the past few years, since he’s been pretty much immobile, I too have noticed a pronounced garbling of speech and once again his searching for words. There are many times during the day I have to ask him to repeat things because I cannot understand him. Your poor mom has been through so much and probably on so many medications that they could be causing this as well. Are her symptoms mostly speech related or are they mobility related as well? Do you think she might benefit from some therapy or is she already getting it? If her symptoms continue, I would ask her doctor if there are any other options for her since her tests show no stroke.
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Reply to Ahmijoy