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 of the challenges facing stroke recovery patients and people in recovery can take strength and inspiration from knowing they are not alone.
I am now working at John’s Crazy Socks full-time. I am a so shocked that I got this position considering I have aphasia. But I am so excited to be working here, and I thank my lucky stars (and Mark Cronin) to be employed with John’s Crazy Socks. When I left the Huntington Historical Society, I gave them 6 weeks’ notice and I had nothing, but I couldn’t do it anymore. I just couldn’t go to work unhappy anymore. Then I started working for John’s Crazy Socks and at Town of Huntington, and I was so happy. And now this, to be full-time and have benefits with my handicap, I am overjoyed. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart.
I improved at speech therapy this morning. I am entering a new book as far as my writing goes. I also did word finding and that was harder than writing for me, but it was okay. I got through it. I stepped up on both of those things. I felt good leaving speech therapy. Maybe it was because the sun was out this morning, and maybe it was because I did good at word finding. Sometimes, I leave speech therapy and I feel like I had a bad day and I can’t talk that morning. Whatever it was, today was a good day.
But it’s still hard. I try not to let it bother me but over the weekend, I didn’t cry, but I had a moment (I have a lot of moments) where I just imagined talking like this for the rest of my life. I don’t want to mention that in every blog, but it is ever present. Enough of that…
I called the woman from American Stroke Association and left a voicemail. So, in a future blog I will tell you about my meetings with them. I sent out my Comeback Trail fundraising page in an email to my family and friends. My goal is $5,000. We will see if we get there. The way I see it is every little piece helps. I am at $415, but I only sent it out a couple of hours ago. If you would like to donate, you can do so here. I am so excited to walk, to meet other stroke survivors, and I am thankful to get everyone together. Support—and I mean mentally and physical support— it is a huge thing and I have so much to be thankful for.
I have to remember, every day, I take more steps, and this is a good thing. It is hard, but I keep getting better.