Deb’s Stroke Timeline

Reliving my stroke timeline was difficult and reminds me of how I needed to push myself to keep improving. It can be a tough journey — you can do it!

2016
September

Survived a PONS Ischemic Stroke

Survived a PONS Ischemic Stroke

I experienced my first stroke and spent 37 days in the hospital with no use of my right-side.  Wow, what a life changer and this was only the beginning.

October

Consistently Low Blood Pressure

Consistently Low Blood Pressure

My blood pressure was constantly very low 40/62, making therapy challenging as I was always on the verge of passing out.

December

A Second Stroke

A Second Stroke

I survived my second stroke, a TIA and spent 8 days in the hospital filled with endless tests. Yes, they literally took 19 vials of blood in ER when I arrived. The tests continued, but the root cause of the second stroke was never determined.

December

Thankful for Life

Thankful for Life

It was great to spend the Holidays with Bob and our wire hair fox terriers in a calm environment.

2017
January

Heat Lamp Acupuncture Therapy

Heat Lamp Acupuncture Therapy

I explored acupuncture for my stroke rehab with needles in my hands and feet to help the healing process.

January

Physical and Occupational Therapies

Physical and Occupational Therapies

Outpatient therapy at Good Samaritan Hospital was critical for improved mobility and the therapists helped me stay motivated. They are a gift from God.

February

First Dinner

First Dinner

Getting dressed and ready was exhausting and thankfully Bob helped with my hair, false eyelashes and shoes… he was a champion!

March

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)

The HBOT therapy was relaxing and I believe the oxygen treatment helped me immensely. It became part of my weekly regimen with three sessions a week.

April

A Wonderful Caregiver

A Wonderful Caregiver

We hired a caregiver to help Bob and I with everything around the house; scheduling therapies, doctor appointments, she helps me with home exercises and drives me everywhere. She is amazing!

May

Acupressure Therapy

Acupressure Therapy

Remaining limber was important, and I really wasn’t good at stretching, so I reached out for some acupressure massage and therapy which kept me flexible.

July

Short Outdoor Walks

Short Outdoor Walks

Mentally, I needed to feel like I was getting back into the real world, and while sidewalks and curbs were tricky to navigate, Bob and my caregiver kept me safe.

September

Beach Therapy

Beach Therapy

This was fun but hard, as I needed to navigate hotel steps, restaurants, crowds and a lot of mental stimulation. I did it, but it was exhausting.

November

A New Set of Challenges

A New Set of Challenges

Bob had a business trip to London, and I was determined to go with him.  Our caregiver came with us, and I took my wheelchair and walker.  My therapists helped me practice exercises to prepare me for getting out of cabs, getting on  escalators, and a lot of real-world travel tips that made it possible.

December

Holidays by the Sea

Holidays by the Sea

The town of Carmel is magical, so this was a special Holiday with just Bob and I and our two fox terriers.  I focused on enjoying life and not thinking about therapies or strokes.

2018
February

Introduced Aquatic Therapy

Introduced Aquatic Therapy

The buoyant water was a real benefit, as I was able to get my legs and arms moving against the water resistance — it built my confidence.

May

Golf Therapy

Golf Therapy

This was an attempt to connect my brain to a new exercise that took skill and focus.  I surprised myself and I think my golf coach as well.

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June

Physical and Occupational Therapies

Physical and Occupational Therapies

The pace of therapies, stretches and exercises increased — as well as my home program.

September

Keynote Speaker

Keynote Speaker

As the keynote speaker for the Golf4Life Stroke Event, I was honored and inspired to help others.  This was the event I introduced my 3 P’s of Stroke Rehabilitation—Reimaged, and it was a big hit.

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December

Holidays at Home

Holidays at Home

A fun Christmas at our home with my 92-year-old father-in-law, Dale, Bob’s brother Jeff and his wife Taylor.  We played games, had good food, and celebrated family time together.

2019
February

Improving with Therapies

Improving with Therapies

This year was just hard therapy work averaging four hours every day.  It included a combination of all the areas covered earlier.

May

Not a Third Stroke, Please No!

Not a Third Stroke, Please No!

The picture tells it all.  I had my third stroke and this one was in the retina of my eye. I blacked out, fell and hit my head resulting in a concussion and ended up in the hospital for eight days.  Thankfully, it appears no long term affects, hopefully.

June

Began Balance Classes

Began Balance Classes

I was discharged from out-patient therapies, signed up for balance classes three times a week, and continued with home sessions.

August

Real World Therapy

Real World Therapy

Our first ever cruise, and Bob and I needed a vacation.  This was a great trip, and each day provided a new type of real-world therapy.  The vacation included cobblestone streets, stepping onto moving canal boats and lengthy museum walks as we traveled to the Baltic Sea with port visits every few days and three wonderful days of exploring St. Petersburg, Russia.

November

Driving a Golf Cart

Driving a Golf Cart

Driving a car is my next big goal, and my practice is driving Bob in a golf cart.

December

Christmas at Home

Christmas at Home

Relaxing and enjoying the Christmas Holiday and New Year at home was just what the doctor ordered.

2020
January

Virtual Reality Therapy

Virtual Reality Therapy

When I put on the headset, I disappear into a world that is all my own, and my brain really doesn’t know the difference between the real world and the virtual world.

February

Outdoor Balance Classes

Outdoor Balance Classes

Keeping balanced is the most important part of therapy for me.

March

Telehealth Therapy

Telehealth Therapy

I miss seeing my therapists face-to-face. COVID has pushed us all to a new level, some good and some bad.

July

Creating a Non-Profit Organization

Creating a Non-Profit Organization

My mission is to provide stroke survivors, family and friends with inspiration, technology reviews and insights they will find useful. I looked everywhere and could not find what I am creating with my husband, Bob.

September

Wrote Seven Booklets

Wrote Seven Booklets

The booklets are free and filled with tips and ideas.  Many people have found them helpful during their recovery.  We provide them to stroke survivors as they leave the hospital.

December

Working from Home

Working from Home

The COVID-19 mandate to “shelter in place” created the opportunity for me to spend time exploring my favorite hobby, watching hummingbirds at our feeders.

2021
January

Official Website Launch

CTC Homepage

Our website championthechallenges.org was officially launched and we are focused on helping Stroke Survivors find that inner hero to Champion the Challenges of living a fulling life.

February

Making Local News

Los Gatos Weekly Mercury News

We were featured in the San Jose Mercury News and Los Gatos Weekly Times as a Foundation with a clear purpose of helping others and great interest in Deb’s VR Therapy

March

Featured on ABC 7 Evening News

A wonderful evening news story on the Foundation and Deb’s stroke experience, and technology insights. This news features helped boost the website visits and interest.

May

Good Samaritan Educational Session

Good Samaritan

Deb was invited to provide a one hour educational session for the Mission Oaks Stroke Center therapists on Champion the Challenges, all the online booklets, and tools available for their stroke patients—a huge success!

June

Stroke Awareness Event

Stroke Awareness Event

Champion the Challenges is hosted for a stroke awareness event at local retailer J. McLaughlin

“Whatever the mind can conceive
and believe, it can achieve.”

Napoleon Hill