Follow
Share

Hi, last week the ambulance was here because my Mom was passing out and I grabbed her before she fell down. I walked her to a chair (she had problems walking) and made her sit down then I called 911. They did an EKG and other tests and told me privately they thought she had a TIA (mini-stroke).


Twice in the past couple of days she told me that she can't see out of her left eye. Could this be from the TIA if she did have one?


I just called and left a message with her ophthalmologist who she hasn't seen in years due to her having 20/20 vision after cataract surgery years ago. Waiting to hear back.


The EMT's think it's possible that she may suffer a major stroke.


If the ophthalmologist can't see her right away should I bring my Mom to the ER?


Thanks, Jenna

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Oh my that sounds very much like what happened to my mom, she already knew she had early AMD but a sudden bleed in one eye robbed her of most of the sight in that eye.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Jenna; I'm sorry that it's AMD (but better than a stroke, any day!). My late FIL had AMD and his vision varied day by day and at times, minute to minute. I have no idea why!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Another update: My Mom saw the eye doctor and she has AMD (Advanced Macular Degeneration) in her left eye. The doctor said there was nothing he could do for that. She has it slightly in her right eye as well but it's not advanced yet.

The good news is the doctor didn't see any blood behind my Mom's eye.

Of course my Mom is upset and she's worried about going blind.

Just wanted to update everyone.

Thanks again for your support,
Jenna
Helpful Answer (3)
Report
AlvaDeer Nov 6, 2020
Thank you for this update, Jenna. So many never come back to tell us. Is your Mom completely blind in that eye at this point? Or is she "legally blind" that is able to see light, shadow, some objects? I don't blame her for being scared. It has always been one of my worst fears. Is she a reader? Tell her Kindles are great and you can blow that print up huge. And it has a light. I love mine and waited years before admitting I need to have it. I have had virtually one well functioning eye for some time, after a vitreous separation. I do quite well overall with it. Tell her she cannot afford to worry about the future, just take good care of her eyes as she is able, keep up on the progress of everything. I am sure she is upset and we all would be. So sorry.
(1)
Report
Jenna,

That’s fantastic! Hope your mom continues to improve. Wonderful to hear good news.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Wonderful news, JennaRose. I bet you feel relief. Hugs to your dear mom.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Jenna, what WONDERFUL news. I am so glad. I think I told you I had these funny things happen, like a shade being drawn down my eye. And I had to go to Opthalmologist who said at risk for stroke, then for carotid studies and then for brain MRI. So scared. 9 years ago. All tests were fine, and it never happened again. Was so very weird. I am so relieved to hear this is over for you and your Mom.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report
JennaRose Nov 3, 2020
Hi Alva, I'm so sorry this happened to you and I know how scary this is. The ER doctors led me to believe that she had clogged arteries when she didn't but they didn't have all the test results back. I wish they didn't scare me the way they did.

I'm so relieved!
(3)
Report
What a relief!
Has her vision improved at all?
Helpful Answer (2)
Report
JennaRose Nov 3, 2020
I don't think so. When I ask my Mom she tells me her left eye vision is blurry, then when I ask her a couple of hours later she tells me it's fine. Maybe her dementia? Hopefully her eye doctor could find out why her vision is blurry.
(0)
Report
Update: Just spoke with my Mom's doctor and he gave me her test results. She does not have plaque or clogged arteries. He said that the doctors in the ER don't know why she lost partial vision in her left eye and wants me to make an app't with her eye doctor.

He doesn't believe she is at risk for a major stroke now based on the results of her tests.

So I feel relieved (though I know anything can happen at any time).

That's it for now.

Thanks everyone for your input and support!
Jenna
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

I've been hesitant about sharing this because statins are so controversial but my mom's neurologist added a statin to her medications and encouraged a vegan diet (or as much as possible and willing) and I was astonished to see the decrease in carotid plaques in the follow up ultrasound. My mom was over 90 then and had been experiencing repeated TIAs but was still in fairly good health otherwise.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report
JennaRose Nov 2, 2020
Hi cwillie, thanks for sharing the above information. My Mom does take a statin (atorvastatin aka Lipitor). As far as a vegan diet I don't know if my Mom will go for that as she loves the meatballs I make for her (though now they sell plant-based meat). She also loves chicken.

You reminded me that I used to make my Mom Green Smoothie drinks (blend veggies and add a banana to sweeten the drink (I would use fresh spinach leaves, kale, celery, etc.). I need to go back to making those for her since she would drink them.

Thanks!
Jenna
(0)
Report
Jenna, thinking about you and mom today...I hope you are abke to get answers from her doctor.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report
JennaRose Nov 2, 2020
Hi Barb and everyone, I just received a call from the doctor's office and they told me my Mom's situation is not an emergency. The person who called me told me that she couldn't give me the percentages of my Mom's blockage and that someone else will call me later today.

She did tell me that my Mom had 2 CT-Scan's: one of her head and one of her neck (one with contrast and one without).

My Mom did have an app't with her doctor before this last episode happened and the app't is going to be moved up sooner.

Also, the doctor's won't be in until tomorrow. Thus I will be talking to a technician or someone that knows about the blockage percentages later today.

I guess that they don't consider it an emergency gives me some relief until I know more.

Jenna
(2)
Report
TIA's usually last less than 24 hours and then person is back to baseline. My mother had TIA's for the past ten years. She is doing well. Her doctor said she has vascular dementia which was caused from the many Tia's in the past and the main cause is UTI's Her last one was a month ago. If it was my mother I would leave her alone and not have the surgery greater risk for a stroke. I would get her checked out right away and take her again to the ER. This is new right since her last ER visit? I would also make an appointment for her to see a Neurologist.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report
JennaRose Nov 2, 2020
Hi earlybird,

Thanks for telling me about your Mom. I think (my non-medical opinion) that my Mom has been suffering from TIA's for many years and my mom also has vascular dementia. She has never had a UTI (she keeps getting checked for that) plus I give her D-Mannose powder in juice everyday to help prevent UTI's.

Her last ER visit was due to her bleeding from her rectum and she had said it was her time to go and hospice was brought in. She has a DNR and I was all prepared to let her go when something happened and she changed her mind. That was over a year ago.

As I posted earlier I am waiting to talk to her doctor (hopefully today) to get his input.

Thanks, Jenna
(2)
Report
Jenna, are you still thinking which way to go on this, or is further chatting with docs on the schedule for next week?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report
JennaRose Nov 2, 2020
Hi Alva, I'm still waiting to talk to my Mom's doctor (hopefully today). He has all the test results and can tell me what he thinks should be done.

He can also tell me what percentage of my Mom's arteries are blocked or clogged.

My Mom saw a neurologist a couple of years ago (for her chronic headaches) and after doing tests he told me she has vascular dementia.

Mom keeps telling me that her vision out of her left eye is still blurry but then she says to me "I'm glad I am old"... We did manage to play cards because she really wanted to play but I put a limit on the time we played since I don't want her to strain her left eye.

After I talk to her doctor I will post here.

Thanks again everyone for caring.
Jenna
(2)
Report
I do want to say one thing. My GFs father suffered from ALZ and he had this operation. They hoped it would help with his ALZ, it didn't.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report
AlvaDeer Oct 31, 2020
I hope no doctor led them to believe it would. I guess there is SOME argument to be made with narrowing of the arteries causing lower blood flow of oxygenated blood to the brain, but I have never heard an MD who does this surgery suggest that Alzheimer's would be improved unless the person dementia of a vascular type from constant mini strokes, and that was proven.
(1)
Report
See 3 more replies
Jenna Rose, the fact your Mom has atrial fib does make her more susceptible to strokes in the current opinion of the medical community. This being likely due to irratic blood flow. So she could, yes, have this surgery and STILL be more susceptible to stroke. There are the two major branches of the carotids and they will tell you if one or both are blocked and how blocked. Anything done will likely involve blood thinners; hey can have many side effects such as a "bleed" type of stroke. So she is not out of the woods for sure WITH the surgery. If she has a lot of things, and getting to the surgery difficult, given the possibility of complications, side effects of blood thinners, surgery complications from anesthesia, ALL CAN BE PROBLEMS. This is by no means an easy decision to make. I would talk as frankly to the docs as you can. Find out percentage of blockage, ask the age old "if this were your Mom given ALL the complications of atrial fib, dementia, travel, blood thinner complications, anesthesia dementia, would you do this, or would you not. You may get an honest answer; they may hedge. Sorry to leave you with this tough decision. It IS a tough one. You will likely be wanting to kick yourself if something goes wrong either way. DON'T. This is not an easy decision and I would myself be uncertain.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Not sure I would put Mom thru it since she has a Dementia. Especially since the doctor is 3 hrs away and the hospital 2 hrs. If Moms Dementia is so far that driving 3 hrs and then staying overnight somewhere will upset and confuse her, I may not do it.

Alva thinks the operation is an easy one. Its just a shame that you have to go so far to find a doctor and hospital that can do the surgery. I live in a small town but is considered a suburb of a small city that has these type of specialist.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report
AlvaDeer Oct 30, 2020
And then, yes, the dementia, which momentarily I had forgot. I think I might think differently with that. It makes it all so much more difficult. Just depends on how bad it is. What a hard decision. If her Mom prefers not to do this, perhaps best to let her make this decision even with not full capacity.
(1)
Report
See 2 more replies
As a nurse working cardiology, Jenna, I saw many of these surgeries done. MANY. It is generally an easy surgery to undergo, goes well, is quick healing. The doctor will completely explain this surgery to you and to Mom. They will warn you that a stroke CAN happen during surgery and it CAN. I never saw it happen, but it can, as a tiny piece of the plaque they are peeling out can be loosed.
Consider this carefully. As an RN of 78 I would do almost nothing. No dialysis, no this and no that but I WOULD do this surgery. Minimally invasive. In answer to another responder, no you cannot be awake during this surgery, no locals.
Your Mom is already having TIAs. She may be willing to die of stroke, but the problem is they often don't KILL you, they just knock you out with paralysis on one side, no speech, no swallow, and etc.
It is up to Mom but listen to the doctor with her carefully and know that this particular old RN would be signing on for this surgery. No guarantees, and I would not sign on for almost anything unless I had an obstruction somewhere that required it, but I WOULD have a carotid endarterectomy.
Look the surgery up online.
I am sorry she is facing this, but I am relieved she is diagnosed and has a chance. A FB friend just had this. Was home in two days, said the amount of pain in her neck surprised her for a few days as she had been told she wouldn't have much, and is right as rain now. Again, no guarantees for ANY surgery. But I sure would consider this one.
Sorry you are facing this down and glad she has you and hope you will keep us updated.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Oh Jenna. I am so sorry that you are facing this with your mom.

I believe in honoring my parents wishes for their own health, so I understand how gut wrenching it can be to just stand back and let the crisis happen.

Great big warm hug!
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Jenna; One additional thought. If after careful consideration you and mom decide against the surgery, please consider enrolling her in Hospice.

If her desire is to die in peace from a major stroke, you want to make sure that there are no last minute heroics that bring her back from the brink; she clearly doesn't want to live in a permanently disabled state.

It is going to take real fortitude on your part NOT to call 911 the next time she appears to be having a stroke; that's why you want Hospice involved, so you are able to get in touch those folks involved to make her comfortable.

(((((((hugs)))))))))
Helpful Answer (3)
Report
JennaRose Oct 30, 2020
Hi Barb, thanks again for your input. Yes, if I do talk to my Mom about it I will call it a procedure not surgery, you are right.

The closest surgeon is 3 hours away and my Mom doesn't handle car rides very well. If I take her somewhere that is 15 minutes away she starts getting anxious.

She has told me numerous times that she wants to die in her bed at home. I don't want her to be in a disabled state or uncomfortable in any way so yes, I would not call 911 and get hospice involved.

I'm not going to try to appear brave as I am scared and this is going to be hard on me because I love her so very much. That said, I want what she wants and if that means dying from a major stroke, so be it. I want to respect her wishes and not do what I think is the right thing to do. This is not about me it's about my Mom and her wishes.

Thanks again for taking the time and giving me different options.

Hugs, Jenna
(1)
Report
See 1 more reply
Jenna, in your shoes, I would make an appointment with a surgeon and start asking questions.

1. Can this procedure (dont call it surgery) be done under a local?

2. What does the recovery period look like? (Home, rehab?)

3. Is there a minimally invasive way this can be done?

Start calling this a "procedure" not surgery. My 92 year old ex MIL just had it done, one overnight in the hospital and then back to Independent Living.

I think getting all the info might put mom's mind at ease.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Update: Before we left the ER last night the doctor told me that she will be faxing the results of the last scan for carotids to her doctor today.

She did mention a carotid endarterectomy which can not be performed at the hospital we were in but another hospital which is about 2 hours away.

My Mom (who will be 95 in December) doesn't want the surgery. From what I have researched she will most definitely have either a major stroke or more TIA's. Her mother (my grandmother) died from a stroke at the age of 97 if that means anything.

How old is too old to have this surgery done and should I put my Mom through this? Thanks everyone!

Jenna
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Get a good night's sleep! Glad you are home!.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Jenna, gald that they are investigating further!!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report
JennaRose Oct 29, 2020
Thanks Barb, they did all the possible testing they could for a small country hospital. Seems from what I know now my Mom did suffer a TIA.

We wanted to go home since there was no more testing they could have done in this small hospital so the results of the tests will be faxed to my Mom's doctor tomorrow and we will take it from there.

We were in the ER for about 7 hours, very tired right now.

Thanks for being there for me!
Jenna
(3)
Report
The ER that admitted her should have placed her into at least and MRI and a CT scan ... an EKG isn't enough to evaluate a Transischemic attack. Please make an appointment with a NEUROLOGIST, who will order a series of scans such as a CTA (angiogram) scan to obtain images of her large (arterial) and smaller (veins) vessels in her head neck, etc.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report
JennaRose Oct 29, 2020
My Mom had the CT scan and the CTA scan. She is going to be 95 on New Year's Eve and the hospital she was in doesn't do the carotid surgery. The results will be faxed to her PC doctor tomorrow.

Seems like my Mom did suffer a TIA.
(1)
Report
Glad they are looking at carotids. I mis-read a previous post and thought they were sending her home to do some outpatient testing later.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report
JennaRose Oct 29, 2020
Barb, you didn't misunderstand, I posted that we were leaving because I misunderstood. I thought the first eye test was all they were doing but they did another in which my mom failed. Thus the carotid test. Waiting for results. Thanks again
(2)
Report
Hope your Mom gets the help she needs.
Waiting with you.....
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Update: My mom failed the visual test so they are going to do another type of scan to see if there's bleeding behind the eye.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report
NeedHelpWithMom Oct 29, 2020
So sorry. Keep us posted.
(2)
Report
See 1 more reply
Jenna, they checked her carotids?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report
AlvaDeer Oct 29, 2020
I think they are on their way to ER.
(0)
Report
See 2 more replies
Jenna,

Glad your mom is doing better!

Best wishes to you and your mom.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

JennaRose, I am so glad your Mom is on the way to get this checked out. It is the best move. They will bring the doc to HER, because right now she shouldn't be running around to this and that doc and this and that test. I hope you will update us. We will be pulling for you both.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report
JennaRose Oct 29, 2020
HI and thanks everyone. I'm on my phone in the ER. Mom is okay for now, no strokes and no glaucoma. We will be going home soon and they want her to have an MRI outpatient since they want to monitor her for TIAs.
(2)
Report
Jenna; Sending good thoughts and prayers to you and mom. ((((((hugs)))))))
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter