'It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.'
So it's 2016 now. A new year has begun.
What resolutions have we all made, if any? I suppose there's the usual ones; go to the gym more, eat healthily or lose weight.
I decided this year I'm just going to set one 'goal' for myself. And that is to be happy. I've started exercising a lot more and I've gone completely healthy now (well I do have the odd takeaway now and then). My confidence at college has increased, I've set my mind into 'achieving' mode so I'm determined now to do well academically.
Stroke recovery-wise, this year (9th February) I will undergo a full investigation on my speech and soft palate to determine what exactly is wrong and from there, get options on how I can improve my talking. At the moment, my only problem with my speech is the nasality. The articulation is no longer a problem to me anymore. I know that there is an option of surgery to correct the nasality which I would improve volume and clarity as well- this would obviously be permanent and would have a typical success rate of 80-90% (so I would be near 'normal' again).
If I had this done, I think life would be so much easier. My speech still holds me back in most things, not as much, but the worry of it letting me down, is at the back of my mind always. It's just one barrier I haven't quite got over and one that I never really will if I do not have this surgery.
I know you're thinking, 'you just need to exercise it!' No. My soft palate, since my stroke nearly 4 years ago, has been paralysed ever since. I've exercised it everyday since and it hasn't even twitched. Even if it moved like, 1mm, I would still need the surgery as it still isn't working to it's full.
Anyway, having near-normal speech would 100% give me back my confidence. It's something I have forever longed for since September 2012. Something that I never thought would ever make it's way back to me.
I know I cannot walk properly still, I still require support at times (linking someones arm) and my left arm still isn't usable but I'm at a stage where I can say that I'm comfortable with myself. With reference to the quote I used at the start of this post, it's been (well coming up to) 4 years since the horrific night in September 2012 and progress started off great, but has slowed and ok, I'm not where I want to be but fine. That does not mean I'm am going to stop exercising and trying my hardest, oh no. Even if it takes me another 4 years to get walking how I want, then so be it. I'm working on myself, for myself. Not anyone else. It's about me.
If you haven't thought of a resolution yet for this year, set a goal. Just be happy and only do what YOU want. No-one else. YOU are the stroke survivor. YOU will make it happen, however long it takes. YOU are important.