'The West Wing' creator Aaron Sorkin told he'd had a stroke after waking up at night and crashing into walls
Aaron Sorkin was told he'd had a stroke after he woke up at night and crashed into walls.
"The West Wing" creator shared his story to raise awareness of the risks of smoking.
"If it'll get one person to stop smoking," he told The New York Times, "then it'll be helpful."
"The West Wing creator" Aaron Sorkin said he found out he'd had a stroke after waking up in the middle of the night and crashing into walls.
Sorkin shared his story with The New York Times ahead of the opening of the musical adaptation of the book "Camelot" on Broadway on April 13, which he's rewritten.
Sorkin, 61, said that in November 2022, two months before the show's rehearsals were set to start, he woke up in the middle of the night and walked to the kitchen, crashing into walls and corners as he passed.
The next morning the Hollywood screenwriter, who won an Oscar for the 2010 film "The Social Network," kept spilling his orange juice while walking to his home office.
He called his doctor, who told him to come immediately for a review: Sorkin had high blood pressure, and had suffered a stroke, which could have killed him, according The New York Times.
Sorkin said the doctor told him:"You're supposed to be dead."
An acute stroke, or "brain attack," is when a blood vessel supplying the brain gets blocked or busts, which starves the brain of oxygen and can cause brain damage.
Strokes can happen to anyone, but the risk of getting one varies from person to person. In the US, someone has a stroke every forty seconds, and they're a leading cause of death and long term disability in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and high cholesterol can all increase a person's chance of having a stroke. People can reduce their stroke risk by: cutting down on salt (which can raise blood pressure), eating less saturated fat, moderating alcohol consumption, and quitting smoking.
Classic stroke symptoms typically start suddenly and include: numbness or weakness in the face or limbs (usually on one side of the body), difficulty speaking, confusion, dizziness, a loss of balance or coordination that causes trouble walking, and vision changes in one or both eyes.
Sorkin said he smoked as much as he wanted and ate whatever he wanted
Sorkin said that having a stroke was a loud wake-up call: "I thought I was one of those people who could eat whatever he wanted, smoke as much as he wanted, and it's not going to affect me. Boy, was I wrong."
According to the Times, Sorkin smoked two packs of Merits a day since high school, and used it as a writing tool.
"It was just part of it, the way a pen was part of it," he said.
Sorkin shared his story to raise awareness: "If it'll get one person to stop smoking," he told the Times, "then it'll be helpful."
Sorkin feared he wouldn't be able to write again
Sorkin said that he slurred his speech for about a month after the stroke, and had trouble typing and writing — there was a moment when he feared that he wouldn't write again, including finishing "Camelot."
After the stroke, he quit smoking, ate more healthily, and started to exercise twice a day. He also takes "a lot of medicine," he said.
According to the Times, Sorking is now commuting between his Los Angeles home and New York, where he's refining "Camelot." He doesn't slur his words anymore and can type and write, though he still can't taste food properly.
"Let me make this very, very clear," he told the Times. "I'm fine. I wouldn't want anyone to think I can't work. I'm fine."
Read the original article on Insider