When I thought about launching Research & Hope, I envisaged all kinds of potential obstacles. Could I complete the research? Would anyone be interested? Would the medical establishment recognise my work? As it turned out, the answers were all positive. I have been able to research 24 treatment for stroke so far; everyone I have approached with the demonstration site is extremely interested; and some members of the medical establishment have been working with me. I have even been invited to join a group of ‘friends’ of James Connolly Hospital in Dublin to discuss stroke.
What I could not have predicted was the snow! Two weeks ago, I was ready to meet my web designer, Paul McDonnell. We were going to finalise what he calls the “bit under the bonnet” of the website and then finish the task of blending design with function. I have also been working with a small, but brilliant, team who are helping with some of the research, proofreading, getting permission to use photographs and so much more. We were all supposed to meet Paul, so that he could teach us how to turn a computer full of data into a friendly, useful website.
Instead of frantically working to bring the Research & Hope website to life, I am sitting here looking through my window at thick snow, treacherous roads, and the ice sculpture that was once my car. Despite frustrations and setbacks, however, I will get this website live as soon as is humanly possible. It may not happen by the new year, as I had hoped, but it will happen. I always have to remind myself to take a step back, accept that there are things I cannot control, and try to take charge of what I can control. This is my attitude to what is happening. As Marcus Aurelius, one of the Stoic philosophers, wrote:
‘If you are distressed by any external thing, it is not this thing which disturbs you, but your own judgment about it. And it is in your power to wipe out that judgment now.’