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.