Writer, director and “The West Wing” creator Aaron Sorkin told The New York Times that he thought he might not be able to write again after having a stroke in November.
The incident happened while he was writing a new version of the Broadway play “Camelot,” which is set to open April 13, according to the Times. Sorkin told the newspaper that he woke up in the middle of the night and found himself crashing into walls while trying to make his way to the kitchen. The next day, he said he kept spilling orange juice as he tried to carry it to his home office.
The 61-year-old said he called his doctor, who told him that he needed to come in immediately. A check found his blood pressure to be so high that he said he was “supposed to be dead,” the Times reported.
In the month that followed, Sorkin struggled to type and to speak without slurring. He said that it was only recently that he became able to sign his own name again, and that he still has a hard time tasting food.
“Mostly it was a loud wake-up call,” he told the Times. “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.”
Sorkin had long been smoking two packs of cigarettes a day, though he said he quit cold turkey after learning he’d had a stroke. He has since adjusted his diet and begun working out twice a day.
“I take a lot of medicine,” he said, according to the Times. “You can hear the pills rattling around in me.”
He initially told the newspaper about his diagnosis off the record but later changed his mind.
“If it’ll get one person to stop smoking, then it’ll be helpful,” he said.
Sorkin, whose writing credits include “A Few Good Men,” “The Social Network,” “Steve Jobs,” and several others, said that since November, he has recovered well.
“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.”
©2023 Cox Media Group