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12 years



I had my stroke when I was 12 and this year I will be 24. It is kind of scary to think about it. It doesn't feel like it has been that long. 12 years since I could see in both my right and left fields of vision, 12 years since I could clap my hands in church and put my hair up in a cute ponytail. I have been using only my right hand to do virtually everything for 12 years. I have been missing so many people, images of places, objects everything in my left visual field for the last 12 years. I have spent have of my life on this earth as a stroke survivor. How many people can say that? I began thinking of this number 12 while reading some self help (personal development) books. In choosing a career or starting a business I am always advised to choose something that I am good at and have a lot of experience at. This led me to thinking well I know a whole lot about living with stroke so maybe I can be some type of motivational speaker, write a book, visit brain injury patients and stroke survivors in hospitals and assisted living centers. Maybe that is my purpose to use my experience to help others I relate to the most.


The pessimist in me is saying its been almost 12 years. I will be 24 soon, I still cant move my fingers see to my left or walk without a limp. But the optimist in me is saying I can do great things and help others with my 12 years of experience as a stroke survivor. I dont know what it is yet but I want to do something great for teens with disabilities. I want to be a motivation to those that were picked on like me. It feels so good when someone I haven't seen in a while says Im walking better. I seen a stroke survivor taking tiny steps outside with his cane and I thought to myself wow that was me and now I walk all through my apartment without my brace and navigate through patrons and book cases all day (mostly pushing a cart full of books) without running into anyone/thing or losing my balance for the most part.


Insurance has been slow and I am only eligible for one more session of OT but I am making it my goal to have my own e-stim unit and be sleeping in a resting splint by my 24th birthday. I will be using my left hand more even if assisted by my 12th stroke anniversary. Instead of dwelling on the therapy I didn't get and regretting all the exercise I failed to do and all the hours I couldve been preventing contractures by wearing my brace, I am focusing on the future starting now.


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It is true that is a blessing to see the glass half full. My mom said she didn't understand people like me who had terrible things happen in their life and they just shake it off and it doesn't affect them. I told her, it's not that I shake it off and it doesn't affect me, it's that I see what you can't see, and I know what you don't know. I know so many people who just died, and didn't have the chance to come back and keep trying. I am so thankful for my husband to be here, and consider our lives blessed, not cursed, as my mother would think. I see all the blessings of him still being here and the possibilities of life that we fight for. The best thing we can do with the past is learn something from it, that's it. The best thing we can do with today and the future is put what we learned into action!


Keep after it!



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Hey Katrina, Happy Birthday!!!! It is wonderful that you have become such a lovely young lady after that set-back twelve years ago. I know it is easy for me to say to concentrate on what you have and build on that but I will say it anyway.


Accentuating the positives in life works for me when I am surrounded by negativity so I hope it can work for you too. You have come so far and done so well...



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Katrina :


congratulations on your 12 year stroke anniversary. you are becoming wonderful young lady who have seen depth of despair & survived to tell the beautiful story of resilence of human spirit. keeping positive attitude towards life is such a huge blessing.




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I read what you said and I fully agree with you Katrina. Don't dwell on what all you didn't do because for the most part at 12 years old you didn't even know what all needed to be done to help you walk, use your hand or much else.


This is the time now to do and use what you now know to do that will help you along the way. No more hiding your weak side work with it and it will work for YOU! I will watch for your birthday coming up and figure out if there is anything I could send you to help you recover.

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Happy belate birthday Katrina, you are a blessing to me and lots of other people, who read and see how postive you are. Young people need postive role models, and you are that.Your story is about not giving up, lifting up your head, pushing on, showning how to push past road blocks, and keeping that postive feelings.

God bless



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