Claudia Fortunato-Napolitano is the Happiness Hero at John’s Crazy Socks. While still a young woman (Claudia is only 35), she suffered a major stroke in January 2017. Claudia is an essential team member at John’s Crazy socks working to spread happiness and show every day what is possible when you give a person a chance. Claudia is sharing her recovery in this blog, so others can learn off the challenges facing stroke recovery patients and people in recovery can take strength and inspiration from knowing they are not alone.
I write this blog in the hope that my experiences, may offer hope and inspiration to others. Recovery is hard, really hard, and sharing the journey makes it a little less difficult. I know that my blog is connecting with people when I hear from other stroke survivors.
I am excited to tell you about a response to my blog post. A woman responded and said that she had a stroke at age 34. I connected with her on Facebook, I scrolled through her posts and noticed she had other friends that were stroke survivors. Friday, I messaged her. Her name is Sarah and she’s from Omaha, Nebraska. I asked Sarah how she met her friends who were also young stroke survivors. She said the American Heart and Stroke Association. She gave me a website for the Long Island chapter and told me volunteering is a great way to meet other survivors. I had no idea that the American Heart Association was also the American Stroke Association. I thanked her and made a call.
Leslie from the American Stroke Association called me back. She is coming to meet me, along with the communications director. They wanted to hear my story, and possibly take a picture of me. I am full of hope.
This is probably a great start to making friends, because I was down on Friday evening. And I cried a little bit. It was the first time in 3 months that I felt down. I got home to my husband and just opened up about everything. My husband was so good. He listened and held me while I cried. Then he said, go inside, take an hour to feel bad, then we are going to dinner. And I did, and we went out and I had the best time. Sometimes it’s okay to feel down, but then we need to get up again.
I am going to London with my mother soon. I am SO excited. I just need to figure out what we should do about my puppy, London (yes, I love Great Britain). I have been there so many times, and I am still excited. We are going to Downton Abbey and we are going to have tea at The Ritz Carlton. We are going to see the inside of Buckingham Palace. Ah, 5 days of bliss. I can’t wait.
Every day, every week, I take more steps. It is hard, but I keep getting better.
To read Claudia's last blog, click here.