In 2013, a 33 year Diana Hardeman bent down to slather coconut oil on her legs after a shower, when she suddenly felt profoundly weak and her right arm went numb. Within 20 minutes, Hardeman, whose speech by then had returned to normal, was in the ER. 45 minutes later, she received tPA and most of the feeling on her right side had returned.
Doctors ruled out common causes of a stroke, including Deep Vein Thrombosis. They discovered that Hardeman had a common heart defect called a PFO, or Patent Foramen Ovale. Tests also revealed that she had actually suffered two small strokes in different parts of the brain which appeared to be the result of a tiny tear in her left carotid artery. She was advised to take aspirin and a blood thinner to prevent another stroke and to avoid exercise, including yoga, until further notice.
Within 3 years, one day as she leaned over to plug in her computer, she felt a sudden weakness on her right side. Her face drooped and her speech was unintelligible. The 2nd stroke puzzled the doctors who classified her stroke as cryptogenic, meaning its cause was unknown.
Tests revealed a previously unknown condition: May-Thurner syndrome, a disorder in which a leg vein is compressed, promoting the development of problem clots. But doctors were still confused whether this finding was unrelated to Hardeman’s strokes or had helped cause them. The same was true of the PFO.
What is your opinion?
Clue lies in what triggered the stroke each time...