I don't know if this is related to my (possible) TIA, but since it's all happening now, I'm posting here as possibly connected.
Over the past week or so I've been having dizzy or lightheaded spells. The first one struck just as I was getting out of the shower after exercising, so maybe ten minutes after, give or take. It was pretty severe for a few minutes, and then diminished. Of course my first thought was "Oh, shit! Is this another TIA? Do I need to call 911 and go to the ER again?" But I didn't have the mental confusion. But I wondered if maybe it was just that on a second event, having experienced it once, it wouldn't be as confusing. I didn't have any of the symptoms of stroke: drooping, weakness on one side, etc. Nothing but the dizziness, which subsided into a feeling of lightheadedness. So I didn't make the call. It subsided after a while. But then a few days later it happened again. It subsided again, but during the course of the day it would hit, just a slight bit of lightheadedness.
I talked to my friend the cardiac rehab nurse, who thought it sounded like hypotension. She recommended staying hydrated, eating something when I felt lightheaded, and moderating my cardio workouts by interpolating some very brief rest periods and not pushing my heart rate all the way up to the top of my cardio zone. She thought I was right not to rush to the ER, but suggested that if it kept happening, I should call my doctor's nurse and see if they wanted me to come in.
Those episodes were after exercise.
This morning I felt a bit lightheaded when I got out of bed, and still felt the same 2 1/2 hours later when my clinic opened, so I phoned and talked to a nurse. Based on the negative results of all the tests they did after the TIA, she thought it did not warrant a trip to the ER, but suggested I see my doctor, and she got me an appointment for this afternoon.
After that I ate a light breakfast (one egg over easy with half a slice of bread and a cup of artificially-sweetened hot chocolate made with skim Lactaid milk) and felt noticeably better, though not 100%. Then I did an easy cardio workout, after which I still felt pretty good.
I did some looking on line and saw that I could get a blood-pressure monitor at the drug store for a reasonable price, so I went out and bought an Omron 7 Series 652N, which Consumer Reports says is very accurate. Back home I took my blood pressure and looked up the blood pressure table on line, and it said I am not hypotensive, but am pre-hypertensive. I took a bunch of readings, all similar. I was glad I had the appointment with my doctor.
At the doctor's office the nurse took my blood pressure lying down, sitting up, and standing, and then once more sitting down, but with a different sphygmomanometer. (Both were the pump-and-gauge type, not the automatic ones.) Then I took it with mine to compare. Mine is way off and reads way too high. I am not hypertensive. A preliminary diagnosis is that I have positional hypotension: When I stand up, my blood pressure goes down instead of going up as it should. Otherwise, my blood pressure is borderline, but not high. (My doctor said that the category of "pre-hypertensive" on the chart does not apply, and I am okay in that region.)
He recommended staying well hydrated, and switching from my normal one big meal at noon and small meal in the afternoon, to eating several smaller meals. I'm still wearing the Holter monitor, so we'll have those readings as additional data. No medication other than what I'm already taking for my thyroid and my cholesterol.
And he wants me to call him if it gets worse, and to call him to check in early next week regardless.
If I keep having these episodes in spite of the change in my eating pattern and staying hydrated, he may order a treadmill stress test, which I kind of think I'm due for anyway. He thinks we can get that all done before my trip to Maui at the end of February. Having to eat every few hours would be a nuisance, but I can live with it if that's what I have to do as I enter my decrepitude. (I'll be 70 in a year and a half!)
I'm going to return the blood-pressure monitor tomorrow and try a different kind. This one goes on the wrist, which I thought would be okay because sometimes in doctor's offices they use those. But I'll get the kind that goes on the arm instead.