Vertebral Artery Dissection

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Personal VAD & Stroke Stories - Page 7

These are just some of the personal stories people have sent to me since April 2008.  There are many more but problems with email accounts mean I don't have emails previous to that.

Please share your personal story on the site.

Go to Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15

The stories are in no particular order and I have purposely not included names or personal information.

VAD, Stroke, Spontaneous, F39

Happened 12 days ago. Watching TV on a Sat night before Easter. Vision loss on the right side, tunnel vision. Went to the ER for the first time in my life worried about a retinal detachment. They sent me driving 15 minutes away to an opthomologist. They said I had a migraine. Then 2 days later, watching TV again, I fall, room spinning, hearing loss on right ear, in pain, throwing up. My fiancé calls the ER, my father comes over an hour or so later and demands I be admitted for an MRI. The admit me, I am ignored for 13 hours.

Finally the MRI performed. I had two strokes. Once on Sat, a bigger one the night before. The neurologist asks that I be put on a heparin drip which doesn't happen for over 2 hours despite my finance, a med student there, asking for it over 3 times, because they did not have a stand. Suffice it to say, it's been over 12 days, I got out of the hospital and am on disability, worried about my cerebellum (30% gone) and balance, and angry that they were so tardy. I am not a usual suspect. BP is 100/70, resting heart rate 64, and cholesterol is amazing. Thank you for your site.

VAD, Stroke, Spontaneous (after chiropractor visit), F34

I had a stroke June 24th 2010 after visiting a chiropractor for a headache (FRONTAL)... this was the third visit and my neck was no longer "cracking", so he was a lot rougher than in the previous two visits trying to get my neck to crack. I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary at first, other than this visit was much rougher than any previous visits.

The next day, I was getting ready to play volleyball when I fell to the right. It felt like someone was pushing me down. The paramedics came, couldn't figure out what was wrong. My vitals were all "normal"... they kept asking me if I had done any drugs. After about a half hour, an ambulance arrived. They slowly loaded me in but no one was really sure anything was wrong yet. We slowly started the 20 minute drive to the hospital when my husband pointed out that my face was starting to droop on one side. This was the first point that the paramedics seemed concerned. They turned on the lights and proceeded to the ER.

 It took a while in the ER as well. No one thought I was having a stroke. My left arm felt cold and heavy, but I still had feeling in it. They did finally decide to give me a CT scan, and then after several hours determined that I was having a stroke (I had 4 "strokes") and they sent me to a more sophisticated stroke center in a larger city.

I don't remember a lot in the next couple of days, but I was in the special stroke unit ICU, then to rehab for a couple of weeks, and now it is almost a year later and the chiropractor will probably never be held accountable. The neurologists and therapists are amazed at my recovery to this point, but I have so many residual effects that I think about it absolutely every single day. I have two small children who both still tell everyone that their mommy had a stroke. This was a horrible time and I will be affected forever and the chiropractor won't even admit that he touched my neck. We can't prosecute because it is too expensive to prosecute and I've recovered "too much" for any jury to make it worth a lawyer's time and risk.

I am so frustrated and sad. Why does every neurologist and occupational therapist know that you should not let a chiropractor touch your neck, yet this is still legal? And tell me how signing an "informed consent" paper completely absolves the chiropractor from any culpability whatsoever?? I just needed to vent. I know in the grand scheme of things that it could have been a lot worse and I am "lucky". I just feel very alone right now.

VAD, Bi-Lateral, Spontaneous, F24

I am a 24 year old, relatively healthy female (a few issues with kidney stones, some unexplained abdominal pain, and history of headaches). I work as a manager in retail and do a lot of lifting on a daily basis. One day after a particularly busy shift I developed a horrible migraine. I went home at the end of my shift thinking it was just a particularly bad headache and I could just sleep it off. Woke up about 2 hours later with severe right sided neck pain. I thought I had maybe pulled a muscle or slept wrong and just tried to continue going about my life. The migraine and neck pain continued for a week and became so severe that I went to the ER.

They treated it as a headache, loaded me up with drugs (ran no tests at all, even at my protests that this was not a normal headache for me) and referred me to a neurologist for follow up. Took me 2 more weeks to get in to see this neurologist. Saw my primary care in the meantime and she thought I had a pinched nerve and gave me muscle relaxers and percocet.

By the time I got in to see the neurologist the pain in my neck had gone from the right, to the left, and then finally stayed on both sides. Neurologist thought maybe my occipital nerve was being pinched but ordered an MRI/MRA of head and neck (stat). Due to insurance hang ups, it took me a week to get into the MRI/MRA. Received the results the same day, being told that I had 2 VAD, one on each side. I was referred to a stroke specialist.

Later that night, pain became worse than ever and numbness, pain and tingling started in my left arm. Admitted to the hospital for 6 days for pain meds, testing, and getting a regimen in place to relieve the pain over the long run. Had 3 other short admissions to hospital over the next 2-3 months for pain, an extension of the VAD on my left side, as well as loss of blood flow in my right leg which has since caused in-balance.

Since then, everything has been relatively well-controlled other than a constant fast heart rate that is being controlled with beta blockers. I am 3 months in from my diagnosis and am being told that I am on the healing track. But the medicine they had me on for pain has now stopped working and I am again having excruciating pain in my neck. It makes me worry that maybe I have had a re-occurrence, but I'm also being told that this pain my continue for quite a while until a better regimen is found for me.

I am finding it very frustrating to deal with and stay positive when it seems there is always a set back. I have been unable to return to work because of the nature of the work and the fact that the doctor suspects that my work caused it. Any advice for dealing with the pain would be greatly appreciated! It is hard to discuss with my family and fiance because they become so concerned and worried.

VAD, Stroke, Spontaneous, M38

My name is Marcy Lohr. I am typing this for my son Chris because he is not able to type well since his stroke. This is his story.

His name is Chris Lohr. He is a 38 year old who is a professional musician (guitar player) in a band. In January of this year his band had traveled to Los Angeles from Nashville to play several shows in Hollywood at the House of Blues. They had finished their tour and were getting ready to go to the airport to fly home when he suddenly got severe pain in his neck and right arm and passed out. His band mates rushed him to the closest hospital which was Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank. He had come to by the time they got him to the emergency room but was still having pain, plus his heart was racing.

He said he asked them if he could be having a stroke and was told "No, You're too young for that." In the ER they did an EKG to rule out heart attack, a CT of his head, chest X rays etc. He was there for several hours before they said everything checked out OK and discharged him. He did not even get out the door of the hospital before he passed out again in the ER waiting room. They brought him back to the ER and decided to admit him. In the next 3 days they did x-rays of his spine, a lumbar puncture to rule out meningitis, multitudes of blood tests and finally after 3 days they did an MRA with contrast and discovered he had a huge right vertebral artery dissection which had caused him to have a cerebral stroke which destroyed 50% of his Cerebellum.

They said it must have been spontaneous because he had no trauma. At this time they put him on pain meds and Heprin blood thinners. They moved him to rehab after 2 days in a regular room but he was only there about 15 minutes when he started to have very severe head and neck pain and couldn't feel his right arm. They thought he was having another stroke so they rushed him to the ICU where he stayed for 6 days having unbearable head and neck pain which they said was because of fluid build up in his brain because of the stroke. When they returned him to rehab he had to re-learn to walk and was still having severe dizziness.

They kept him in rehab for about a week, then we had the problem of how to get him home from California. Some Doctors said he couldn't fly after a stroke because of the pressure problems, but others said he shouldn't ride in a car for more then 3 hours a day in his condition and at that rate it would have taken several weeks to get him home either to Tennessee or to my house in Pennsylvania, and we would have been driving a lot of that way through deserted desert with no hospitals nearby. They finally agreed to let him fly and he did alright with the 4 hour flight.

Since his return to Nashville he can now walk fairly well but his right arm is weak and his fingers are still numb. The dizziness is getting slowly better. They have him on Coumadin and are suppose to do another MRA next month to see if the dissection has healed. I don't know if he will ever regain the coordination and stamina required to play guitar professionally again, so now he is basically unemployed because of this.

I would like to know if it is possible that the dissection could have been caused by his constant nodding and bobbing his head that he does while he plays guitar? He has done this constant head motion for 25 years, for hours every night during shows and every other guitar player I've ever watched does the same thing. Could they all be at risk for this? Does anyone know of any other guitar players that this has happened to? Also I would like to know if anyone is doing research on VAD and if there's any way to participate in the research. He would be happy to do anything that he could to keep someone else from having to go through this.

VAD, Spontaneous, F39

My VAD happened on March 2, 2011, I went to a chiropractor for muscle pain in my right shoulder. After he manipulated my neck he had me stand up and walk around, I was a little dizzy at that point, but he told me it was normal. About five minutes into the drive home from his office I started to feel numbness in the inside of my left cheek, I called the chiropractor's office hoping that I was having an allergic reaction to the cream he put on my neck, the office was closed for lunch, so I continued to drive all along the left side of my face was becoming more numb and tingling and it started to feel like it was drooping.

When I parked my car and got out I had the worst pain ever go up the left side of my head from the back and in my left ear. I got super dizzy and had trouble swallowing, I had a really hard time even calling 911 and trying to explain to them what was going on. Upon arrival to the hospital the ER doc heard that I had just come from the chiropractor's office and he suspected VAD so he sent me for a CTA and sure enough I had a left-sided vertebral artery dissection.

Even though I am almost done with completing my RN degree I couldn't comprehend what the dr was saying to me about my diagnosis. BAM, in that split second my life was changed forever and for now has come to a screeching halt. I was transferred to another hospital where the neurologists are great. I was hospitalized for 10 days to get heparin levels therapeutic and to control the pain and nausea. When I was discharged from the hospital I was on Coumadin, Neurotin, Valium, and Fiorcet. The headaches were so bad at times that I could not get out of the recliner, where I slept most nights because of needing to be somewhat upright. My PCP was in charge of my Coumadin regimen and it was out of control. I was on 20mg twice a week and 15mg the rest of the week and my levels were still below 2. I was becoming very sick from the coumadin, every joint in my body hurt, I was swelling up and just felt awful. I finally told my PCP that I have had enough, so he sent me to a hemotologist to do something with my coumcadin. The hemoc took me off coumadin right away and gave me the vitamin k tabs and within a week I was feeling better. In the meantime they ran all of theses blood tests to see if I have a clotting disorder or not. They also wanted to see if I was predisposed to this dissection.

Two weeks later I got the results, I have no clotting disorder, my body just didn't agree with coumadin and I am not predisposed to dissections of any kind. The hemotologist told me that I am 1 in 20,000 that this happens to from a chiropractor. So now I am on a newer anticoagulant (Arixtra),very expensive, daily injection in my stomach. I am being weaned off my neurotin which sucks because I get more headaches now and still feel the tingling in my face which is annoying and worrysome sometimes. I still tire out pretty easily, I am on restrictions until at least October when I go back for follow up CTA.

I go back to work tomorrow on light duty, I am a little nervous because I am forgetful and I am not as sure of myself as I was before. It is crazy that a week before all of this I was walking 12 hrs a day at work up to 11 miles and now I am so tired all of the time. I am so grateful to be alive someone was watching over me that day. Oh and by the way when the chiropractor called me back after lunch he left a message saying that the numbness was probably from the toxins releasing in my body. HA I wish it was that simple, I am still so angry that I wasn't informed that this could happen. So wrong to put people at risk without them even knowing, I went to the chiropractor so that I didn't have to take all these meds for my shoulder and now I am on these meds to keep me alive. It's just not right!

VAD, Spontaneous, M28

I am a 28 year old male who has recently had two vertebral artery surgeries. My story starts with having headaches almost every day. One day while laying in my chair I turned my head to the right and a very strange feeling came upon me. I felt sick and my vision went black almost instantly. I had a horrible ringing in my ear also. After I turned my head back within 15 second everything was normal again. I spent 3 months going to many different doctors to figure out what was wrong. I was being put to sleep and had neck injections every week for pain but they did nothing.

Then I was introduced to john Andraka my PT and he had all the answers I was looking for. He was 100 percent sure I had VAD. When my vision went black I would get (nystagmus) shaking of the eyes. I did not know this because I couldn't see anything. I could put my head in this position at anytime and it would shut the blood flow off every time.

The first bypass surgery I had did not work. I was released from UOFM hospital the very next day. I had blotchy vision and could not hardly see. The doc said it was from swelling from the surgery. A month later for a check up he discovered I had a blood clot in the graft he put in. We did another surgery and the graft has good flow but I had complications after the surgery. My blood pressure was averaging 156/105 my heart rate would spike in the 150s without even doing anything.

Its been 3 months since my last surgery and I am doing much better. Blood pressure is stable and my heart rate is much better. I am Nicholas Ryan Fall and this is my story. If you have any questions that I might be able to help you with feel free to contact me at 1-989-533-8497. Good luck to everyone and god bless you.

VAD, Stroke, Spontaneous (heavy lifting), F41

I had a cerebellar stroke in April, 2011 as a result of a left vertebral artery dissection. Prior to the stroke, I was in perfect health and did not so much as get a cold.

I was in a volleyball tournament in March and I believe I strained my neck. The day before I had the stroke, I lifted a television up 2 flights of stairs and I think that was the culprit. The next day, I had dizziness, the left side of my face went numb, and I lost my equilibrium on my left side.

Since that day, I have had a couple hospital stays and countless tests. I am told now that my artery has healed; however, I have residual effects of dizziness and some nausea at times. I am looking into support groups for VAD as the neurologist is telling me that my residual effects are not explainable and that perhaps I am being hyper vigilant about my attention to them (AKA: is it all in my head.)

I need to separate from the science of VAD and hear from people who have experienced it and what kinds of symptoms they are having in the aftermath, if any. This has been quite a roller coaster and I am glad that others have shared their stories on this site.

VAD, Stroke, Spontaneous, F55

It was about 6:00 pm and I was at my ladies Bible study. We were all sitting around a patio table, just talking, and my head started to ache profusely, at the forehead behind my eyes. I got into my purse to get some Ibuprofen, without saying anything to my friends. Then the back of my eyes started to burn as though there was a little man holding a match to them. I tried to stand up, as if to control what was happening to me. I felt like a drunken sailor and started to go down. The stroke had started, I felt the vertigo getting worse. I felt like I was trapped inside myself. I tried to speak but couldn't.

My friends wanted to call 911 but somehow I convinced them to call my husband instead, never listen to a stroked person, always call 911 immediately. My husband and 15 yr. old daughter arrived and got me into the car, setting off to the hospital. About 10 blocks into the ride I started to projectile vomit so my husband stopped at our little fire station. There was no one there because the fire station was only a little volunteer station but there was a phone inside the door that rang into a larger station and they were there in minutes, I was never so glad to see professional strangers in my life.

I don't remember anything until I came to at about 1:30 in the morning and saw my husband, my youngest daughter and my best friend. I had survived thanks to my friends and family responding so quickly. I arrived at the hospital in just under an hour, they gave me the stroke shot and my body responded very well to it.

Two weeks later I found out that I had to have an angioplasty to have a stent put into my left vertebral artery. When my artery dissected the lining of the artery flopped over the artery stopping an immediate bleeding into my brain but requiring the stent. What an experience. I've gotten better every year. I wanted my life back so I worked very hard. I still get dizzy if I get too tired or go too long without eating, but I still work 5 days a week as a hairstylist, my movement is more deliberate, but I do just fine. Thank you God, You saved me again.

VAD, Stroke, Spontaneous (after drilling), M27

I was drilling on a drilling rig for 6 out of my 7 days on the drive back to man camp I felt a slight numbness and 30 min back at camp I started stocking. First with ringing in my ears and then vertigo and my eyes were stuck to one side and I could not focus on anything. I thought it was an inner ear mal-function.

I was in the shower just sitting there unable to stand I crawled naked back to my room at man camp by my self. I laid in bed while everything spun. I finaly went to sleep but woke up three hours later and it felt like the stoke moved to the other side. my other eye was fixed and I couldn't focus started throwing up and was in a sweat. One of my side felt weaker and I couldn't see the whole time. I got dressed which took an hour and sat by the door and waited for my crew to come back and pick me up to go to the ER. I was taken via life flight to a bigger hospital with a VAD and stroke in the pons and celibelum.

VAD, Spontaneous (after chiropractic adjustment), F26

9.5 weeks ago, a month before my 26th birthday, I was healthy and happy. I was running 5 days a week, doing martial arts, hiking, rock climbing, and backpacking. That all changed when I went to see the Chiropractor about my sore knee from running. I saw him on Jun 7th, 2011 and had had a migraine a couple days prior and mentioned it to him. He said "oh I'll adjust your neck too". So, knowing and trusting him, I let him. I felt weird later that day and ended up leaving work early. i had a headache and felt kinda nauseous.

The next day I went on a small hike by myself, nothing big and when I came home, my neck started hurting something FIERCE. I felt nauseous from the pain. I ended up taking a nap in the middle of the day because I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer. I called the chiropractor and he suggested I come back in because "the other side of my neck was out of alignment probably." Honestly, this sounded feasable, so I went back 2 days later and he adjusted me again.

He said "You'll feel 70% better by tomorrow". The next day, I didn't. It was Friday by this time so I called him and asked him if I should go to the doctor. He said no, and then later in conversation said "Well, if you have to over the weekend, go to the Urgent care and tell them you are being treated by a chiropractor for muscle spasms and get some muscle relaxers. Then come back and see me." So, I went to the ER that night because the pain was unbearable. They gave me muscle relaxers and narcotics and I was on my way.

The only thing those did were make it so that I could sleep for a while.

I ended up back at the Chiro on Wednesday, June 15, 2011 and he adjusted me one last time, ASSURING ME that I would feel better the next day. I felt nauseous and exhausted from the pain. He adjusted me and on my way home I KNEW I was coming down with a fever. Something was terribly wrong with my body and so I drove myself to the ER again.

The nurses were thoroughly unimpressed with me because I had been there a couple days prior and sent home. I pushed my way back in though by emphasizing the fever and neck pain.

I ended up having a very smart ER doctor this time. He said to me "Wait...you said Chiropractor? I need to consult with someone and i'll be back ASAP" He ordered me a CT scan with contrast. I waited for what seemed like hours. Then he came back with the results and told me the news. "Are you ready for this? You have a dissection. A left vertebral artery dissection. We've already called the neurologist and he'll be here in 15 minutes. In the meantime, we're putting in another IV and starting you on blood thinner."

It was as if the whole ER stopped. They all went into serious mode with me. This was not a light matter anymore. The neurologist came and he assessed me for stroke and asked me all sorts of questions I don't remember anymore. He then told me I had to be transferred to the other campus of the hospital to the ICU. So, I rode in an ambulance to the other campus and was admitted.

I had contacted my parents and they hopped the first plane they could (they're from michigan, but i live in colorado) and got to me the next morning. I had an MRI at the ICU and the neurologist said it looked great (no signs of stroke or brain damage, thank god). I dont remember much except blood pressure cuffs, needles, heart monitors, pain meds, throwing up from pain meds that didnt agree with me, and tons of doctors and nurses asking me questions. Oh, and a fever I randomly had that kept rising.

I was in the ICU 3 days, then in the regular hospital for 5 more days. Then discharged, and readmitted to the hospital 5 days later for another week (I had a secondary infection that I picked up in the hospital, had nothing to do with the dissection).

Now, I am 8.5 weeks out. It'll be the 2 month mark tomorrow. I had a 1-month followup scan that showed no healing, but had a freakout 10 days later and went to the ER where they scanned me again and said that my artery looked to be healing now.

I worry constantly, everyday, that something bad is going to happen to me. I am on Coumadin to prevent stroke/clot and that medication also worries me. The side effects are awful. I am crippled by anxiety, and I barely am able to move my neck. I have started going back to work but it's hard for me to focus on anything because of fear/anxiety.

I have to believe that things will get better though. I have to keep moving forward and not lose hope. I want to believe so badly that my life will be normal again. My doctors and physical therapists tell me my prognosis is good. It's just this waiting and unknown that is SO hard. A lot of my life had to get put on hold because of this.

I don't want anyone else to go through this. Ever.

VAD, Stroke, Spontaneous (playing sport), M44

First time, I was playing cricket, bowling. Felt nauseous and dizzy. Thinking it was illness or dehydration I sat down for several minutes. On feeling better I starting playing again, but more gently and the symptoms returned so I sat down again. I then started feeling some left sided tingling in face and arm. When I tried to walk to another player's car, I couldn't walk straight. I realized these were stroke symptoms and asked to be taken to Emergency at the local hospital.

Triage nurse was great and immediately had a CT Angiogram that showed a left VAD. Had an MRI that showed no damage to the brain. Admitted to Neurology ICU. Couple of days later I had a formal angiogram. The dissection was quite long and they couldn't use a stent. There was talk about operating to shut off the artery as my right one was dominant, but the neurosurgeon suggested they wait and another formal Angiogram a week later showed that the artery was healing. Whilst in hospital I was on heparin via a drip. After 2 weeks I left hospital and was on wharfarin. Follow up with the neurologist a few months later and further CT Angiogram showed the artery had healed. I moved on to aspirin. Further follow up 9 months after VAD, and another CT angiogram, all still OK. I asked if I could go off aspirin and he said it should be OK. I was told not to wrap myself in cotton wool, and was OK to continue sport - my main sport is soccer where I have to head the ball as a defender which I explained to the neurologist. Up to that point we all felt that this was a one off. The chance of recurrence was 1 in 1000 whether I played sport or not.

Almost 2 years later after two full soccer seasons, same thing happened on the last game of the season, I was tripped and fell down, but not heavily. When I got back up, I was severely dizzy and nauseous. Knew to call an ambulance straight away. Had a CT angiogram that showed narrowing in the right VA, then MRI that confirmed right VAD. Then a formal angiogram. This time they had me on Plavix and heparin injection whilst in hospital. After 2 days I was allowed to go home and on Plavix. One week later I did a follow up with neurologist who said I could move to aspirin.

So I have been extraordinarily lucky. No deficits, though slight damage to the cerebellum the second time. I went back to work after 2 weeks at home. I have also escaped with no pain which, given what I am reading, is a major blessing.

The big question if 'why'. like many of the people on this site, I have taken care of myself and kept fit. There was no extraordinary neck movement, though both times I had some neck issue prior to the incident. The first time, I had what felt like normal shoulder pain / muscular tightness.

The second time, I had a strange sensation at the top of my neck for some days prior to the 'stroke'.

I have some signs of Marfan Syndrome, but not nearly enough of the symptoms.

I have decided to see a cardio vascular specialist in case. Also, it seems to me that this is a vascular issue. In the non-trauma related cases, something is causing a weakness in our artery walls. Could this be caused by genetics, diet, cholesterol?

Other things occur to me: I am tall and thin. Could there be a physiological issue with my neck?

All the doctors and neurologists tell me that this is rare and therefore there isn't enough data on this to study. However, I haven't been asked a detailed list of questions about my lifestyle, preceding issues, and other potential factors that I feel might be useful to collect as part of a wider study. There seems little interest in pooling data from worldwide sources.

I don't smoke, hardly drink alcohol, normal blood pressure, so there isn't a list of things I should now do differently, or should avoid. I probably won't play contact sport again, but I would like to keep fit. The neurologist I last saw had no answers except that it probably was a good idea NOT to head a soccer ball!

One cardio specialist I talked to suggested that maybe I have a spike in my blood pressure whilst playing sport.

I have received incredible care from the neurologists and doctors and nurses. I am very lucky that they were so quick to diagnose this and are up to date on the information. However, as I say above, they don't seem to have much to go on.

Perhaps this could be the function of this site. I have done some Googling research and found that a wider study is being carried out in Europe but they haven't replied to my request for info.

VAD, Spontaneous (trip and fall), F30

I found this site while I was in the hospital being treated for my VAD and I found it very helpful and informational. On August 14th, 2011 I woke up with pain in my right neck. I thought I had just slept wrong, took some ibuprofin and went to work.

 Over the next three days the pain got worse (migraine-like pain on my right side and a tenderness behind my right ear) and I attempted to treat it with Tylenol, Flexeril, a heating pad, Excedrin...nothing worked. I have suffered from migraines since I was a teenager and knew enough to rule out a migraine. By the fourth day the pain was so intense that I decided to seek treatment and toughed it out until 11:00 am to see my PCP.

He diagnosed is at muscle spasms, gave me a shot of Demerol and Valium and sent me home. I waited the 4 hours that he said it could take for the Demerol to work and still had no relief, so I called my PCP back to ask his advice and left a message with the nurse. After waiting 2 hours for his reply, I finally had enough so I had my husband drive me to the ER.

At first they treated me like a migraine patient, but I told them about my experience with migraines and about the Demerol from my PCP not helping earlier in the day. I insisted that it was NOT a migraine and that something was wrong in my head. The PA said that she would talk to the doctor to see if they wanted to check any further and thankfully decided to perform a CT scan. The CT scan showed an abnormality in an artery in the right side of my neck so they told me they were admitting me and that I was waiting to get an MRA.

I was admitted to the neurological and stroke unit and the next afternoon I had my MRA, which confirmed the VAD on my right side. I was told by the neurologist how lucky I was, as generally VAD is not confirmed until after a stroke, which I didn't have and had no other neurological symptoms. I spend the next 5 days in the hospital. I answered all of the questions they asked about posssible causes and the only thing that happened to me that could have caused the VAD is that on July 12th, 2011 I tripped and fell on the floor because an empty bread stock cart was left in the aisle at a grocery store. I sprained my right ankle at that time and am already working with the bread company for a settlement, but now I have to try to show them that my VAD is related to it as well.

I am 30 years old, am married and have a 3 year old daughter. I work full time as a mental health and substance abuse therapist and am going to school online for my doctorate. I am returning to work after 3.5 weeks off, am pretty feeling good and stopped taking any pain medication a week ago. My INR has been good so far since they reduced my Coumadin after I was discharged.

I feel very lucky that I did not have a stroke and that so far I am healing well. I am grateful to read everyone else's stories and look at the advice that everyone has. I have so many questions...Can I fly to California in December like I have planned? When can I start exercising again? Can I ever go on a roller coaster again? I would like to have another child, will I have to have a C-section? Any advice or support would be greatly appreciated, I don't have an appointment with the Vascular Surgeon until mid-October.

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Read other Personal Stories of VAD's and share your personal story on the site.



Share your personal story of VAD and/or stroke caused by a VAD.

Chiropractic Adjustments Causing Vertebral Artery Dissections?

Sandy Nette's Story

Sandy's goal is for chiropractors to stop neck manipulations.

Britt Harwe's Story

One of Britt's goals is that chiropractors be required to offer an informed consent form.