Rule Out Stroke?

Victoria victoria at
Tue Jan 28 13:02:21 EST 2003

I am a 45 year old female with a complicated med. history and will try
to be brief. I had had breast cancer in 1995 and my treatment was a
lumpectomy and radiation. My recent diagnoses are: sudden onset of
high blood pressure (attributed to prednisone for "suspected"
autoimmune disease), Cushing's syndrome (due to the prednisone, but
being investigated for an adrenal tumor) vestibular neuropathy with
hearing loss, dehydration, abdominal stasis, scarring alopecia, and
errosion in my stomach. I also have a recent onset of loud snoring and
sometimes make a high pitched whistling noise while I sleep - per my
husband. I am unable to sleep or even lay on my back as my breathing
is obstructed - but only when I exhale. This occurs with an audible
"flop" or click, and I can feel something moving? in my throat or
trachea. I have a thick family history of coronary artery disease. For
example, my sister had a double bypass at age 39 and my maternal
Grandfather died of a heart attack at age 32. Although I've had
symptoms since the 1980s, autoimmune disease was completely ruled out
this week. I am doctoring at a large teaching hospital and have been
seen in numerous specialty clinics. The specialty clinics do not seem
to be communicating regarding my health care. Although I may receive a
diagnosis in one department, the next department is not aware of it.
My GP is not doing a good job of putting the big picture together for
me as he is only available 2 days per week. He recently apologized for
not keeping up to date with my case.
I have had recurring episodes of  confusion and sometimes experience
anger or rage. When these episodes first began, I was choking on water
for no apparent reason, but now I choke on food. I also experience
episodes of "tipping over," tripping, shakiness or tremors, slurred
speech, feeling cold and numb (especially in my extremities), some
drooling from the left side of my mouth, and headaches unlike any I've
experienced before. I'd describe them as sharp lancing pains in my
head, and sometimes they are just fleeting. I am articulate, but have
difficulty expressing myself. I guess I would call it the inability to
"find the right words" during these episodes. With great frustration,
I either end up rephrasing my question or just shake my head and give
up. I was taken to the ER during the 1st episode as a patient
presenting as a "possible stroke victim." My physician ordered blood
tests and a chest x-ray (I had just had a bronchoscopy 2 days prior to
the ER visit). He told me there was nothing wrong with me and not to
waste my money on another ER visit and ambulance ride. Please keep in
mind that this was my first ambulance ride and the first time I
requested medical assistance via 911. When my husband and I asked the
doctor what I should do if this were to happen again, he replied that
I should "take an anxiety pill." The other two times that I went to
the ER, I had an irregular heartbeat and was diagnosed with fluid
depletion, atypical chest pain and then released. I have never had an
MRI or CT scan. Although I think I know the answer, can a stroke be
ruled out with a simple blood test? Please tell me what the "typical"
procedure is for ruling out a stroke.

I recently had an endoscopy and anorectal manometry. My
gastrointerologist said that his findings indicate that something is
destroying my CNS. He said they were either paraneoplastic? or damage
caused by radiation during my breast cancer in 1995. Again, although
he practices at the same hospital, he did not know of my other
diagnoses aside from the vestibular neuropathy.

I'm tired of trying to manage or orchestrate my own health care (I
don't WANT to and I'm obviously not qualified) - I'd sure like some
"pointers" or to at least get some feedback.

Thanks in advance,

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