My name is Sam.
I was stationed in Japan when I had my stroke.
I had a massive headache that lasted for five days.
I was confused with loss of balance.
My wife was in Ghana and took a flight to the United States so we could meet in Washington.
I was transferred by medevac to Washington, D.C.
I don’t really remember most of the journey.
I met my wife at the airport and we went to Walter Reed in Bethesda, Maryland.
I received a full, complete assessment at Walter Reed.
I met a lot of doctors and therapists.
They told me that I had aphasia.
In Japan, I was having troubles with my words and with related words like left and right. I would say words but mean something else.
I knew the alphabet and was able to count but I didn’t know letters or numbers themselves.
I started speech and occupational therapies for about a month .
After a month, I had a second stroke.
After about another week, I had a third stroke.
Doctors were not able to find any reasons for any of my strokes.
My aphasia got worse. When I talked to my wife, it was gibberish. She said it sounded like “blah-blah-blah”.
They discovered that I had a heart attack that I don’t remember.
I am now aware of my history, and can share my story.
Now I can write the alphabet and numbers. I can make sentences by writing and speaking. I don’t repeat myself.
I am still recovering. I want to be able to write a whole page and spell correctly.
I don’t want to have to be reminded to do things I have to do. I want to improve my memory and understanding. I want to read the whole encyclopedia!
I have had to adjust. I continue to work living my new normal.