I am 67 years old. I attended Wilkes University where I wrestled and got a degree in teaching history. I taught history for 30 years. I coached and refereed wrestling most of those years. I have 2 daughters. I suffered a massive stroke in 1997 which left me unable to do almost anything. I could not walk, eat, speak, etc. Through 16 years of physical, occupational, and speech therapy each day I was able to very, very slowly start to recover. Today you can tell I had a stroke. I walk with a limp and do not have the use of my right hand or arm and still have choppy speech. What you maybe cannot tell is how much progress I have made. I am able to communicate in my own way. I understand almost all of what is said to me, but I just cannot respond as quickly as I would like. When I do respond, it may be choppy and the basic concept gets across but small connecting words may be lost. That is caused by aphasia and apraxia. Sometimes the words are difficult for me to say because of how my mouth and the muscles have to move. Pennsylvania is easy for me to say, but Massachusetts is difficult. When I first had my stroke I was very depressed, but today I can see every day as an opportunity to get better.
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