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Did I have a stroke or TIA affecting both sides?

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Last night while driving home I stopped to run some errands. When I got out of the car I noticed my left foot and ankle were tingling and numb. I figured it fell asleep but after 20 to 30 minutes of walking it did not get better. While in the store I felt kind of strange and ended up laying my car keys down in the store and had no idea. Luckily someone found them and I got them back. On the way home my right arm found very weak and was trembling when I tried to pick anything up. I was talking to a friend on the phone when it happened and he said my speech sounded slurred. I got home and felt tired so I laid down. Upon waking up everything was back to normal. My wife and I thought this was strange since about 2 yrs ago I had the same sort of thing when my left arm went numb and I felt confused. I went to the immediate care clinic and the doctor just felt around and said he did not see anything wrong and to take it easy, and if it happens again to go to the ER. He said it was not a stroke or TIA because it involved both sides (left foor and right arm). Is this correct? Do they always only affect one side or the other? Should I be concerned and see someone else about this? What could have caused this?
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replied April 10th, 2011
Hello, and thanks for your medical question on e health forum.

A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is an episode in which a person has stroke -like symptoms for up to 1-2 hours.

Symptoms begin suddenly, last only a short time (from a few minutes to 1 to 2 hours), and disappear completely. Symptoms usually occur on the same side of the body if more than one body part is involved.

A TIA is different than a stroke. However, the symptoms of TIA are the same as a stroke and include the sudden development of:

1. Muscle weakness of the face, arm, or leg (usually only on one side of the body)

2. Numbness or tingling on one side of the body

3. Trouble speaking or understanding others who are speaking

4. Problems with eyesight (double vision, loss of all or part of vision)

5. Changes in sensation, involving touch, pain, temperature, pressure, hearing, and taste

6. Change in alertness (sleepiness, less responsive, unconscious, or coma)

7. Personality, mood, or emotional changes

8. Confusion or loss of memory

9. Difficulty swallowing

10. Difficulty writing or reading

11. Lack of coordination and balance, clumsiness, or trouble walking

12. Abnormal sensation of movement (vertigo) or dizziness

13. Lack of control over the bladder or bowels

14. Inability to recognize or identify sensory stimuli (agnosia)

Though your symptoms did involve both sides of the body, it might benefit you by consulting your doctor again and to rule out any predisposing risk factors like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, and peripheral vascular disease.

I hope this helps.

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replied October 29th, 2013
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