Claudia's Blog 16 – New Year’s Resolutions

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 beyond grateful for everyone who came and walked with me at my Comeback Trail back in October.  I was so proud of myself.  I don’t mean to brag, but I’m proud of how far I’ve come in recovery.  I still have a long journey ahead of me, but I’ve overcome a lot of challenges.  I can now walk and talk with aphasia.  When I first had a stroke, I couldn’t do either.  I can move my arm.  That’s huge! That was something I didn’t think I would ever get back.  But I did.  And the people who came out and supported me, I am overwhelmed with how many people woke up early, came out in the rain, and fundraiser to get the #1 team in terms of donations.  My team got $5,000 in donations, and my employer, John’s Crazy Socks, sponsored $3,000.  That is $8,000 for Stroke Awareness made to the National Stroke Association.  Woo-hoo!

It has been a long road to recovery and I have a long way to go, but I’d like to thank everyone for coming to the Comeback Trail, donating to the National Stroke Association, and believing in me. I can’t tell you enough how much that means to me. You are my inspiration every day. Thank you, thank you, thank you! And to my husband Sean, thank you for being such a worthy partner. I love you! 

Kim, my Marketing Wizard here at John’s Crazy Socks, just told me that my writing has improved a lot.  She told me that she barely edited anything in my blog post.  And what did you think happened?  I cried.  Ha!   But you have no idea how that makes me feel.  To have another person tell you that makes me really believe it now.  Thank you, Kim, for making me believe it.  I am getting better. I am making progress. 

So, I didn’t do physical therapy, but I know I have to do it.  After the holidays, in the new year.  Maybe I will make that my New Year resolution.  But if you are active, like I am, you have no more time to devote to stroke recovery.  I know. You are probably hearing this and you’re saying, “Are you serious?  Stroke Recovery is the most important job that you have.”  But, I will take issue with that.  I have to work to pay my mortgage.  (If you live in New York, you know we would have to move out my little 2 bedrooms, 1.5 bathroom house if I didn’t work.)  I have to focus on my speech therapy, and my speech therapy homework twice a week.  And I am busy, with my friends, my family, my husband and, of course, puppy, London.  But I know I have to do it.  Moving the computer mouse or walking with no shoes on are things that I would love to have.  Just thinking about it…. Ah!

Every day, every week, I take more steps. It is hard, but I keep getting better.