A "Stroke" of Luck

November 30, 2018
A "Stroke" of Luck

When Andrew​ Arriola, DDS, suffered a stroke, doctors discovered a surprising underlying cause.

One day after work, Dr. Arriola noticed numbness in his upper right cheek that gradually moved to his arm. Knowing the symptoms of a possible stroke, he went to the ER at Temecula Valley Hospital.

He then became disoriented and passed out. “The next thing I knew, I was in a bed and slurring my speech,” says Dr. Arriola. “They sent me for a CT scan, and at that point, I couldn’t talk or do anything. But once they administered clot-busting medication, I was able to talk again and regain movement.”

While he was still in the hospital, one of the nurses noticed that Dr. Arriola’s heart rate was irregular during the night. Further testing indicated that he had a heart rhythm disorder known as sick sinus syndrome, when the heart’s natural pacemaker doesn’t function properly. It causes a very slow heart rate, which can lead to fainting and possible blood clots. A few days later, his cardiologist inserted a pacemaker, and Dr. Arriola has had no issues since.

Dr. Arriola completed a few weeks of physical therapy following his stroke and fortunately did not suffer any long-term damage. He went back to work two months later. “They​ didn’t just fix the stroke problem, but found the root of the issue and fixed both,” he says. “I’m so lucky. I had a wonderful patient experience here, and it is thanks to the medical staff at Temecula Valley Hospital that I am here today!”

Dr. Arriola advises that if you don’t feel right, get checked right away. “Don’t think it will go away after a nap. There are facilities right here available to take care of serious conditions. I had a great outcome, in part, because I knew there was a problem, and I went to the right facility – Temecula Valley Hospital,” he says.