Janet was awake when I got back and seemed much brighter than she was in the morning. I still found it quite challenging to stretch her legs out. Her right arm was very stiff at first but loosened up fine with a little effort. I had a chat with Emma about how the nurses can better relate to Janet and she wanted to know how they can help me. Apparently they were told to “help me out” as somebody is worried I will burn out. We agreed to discuss this in more detail after the team meeting on Tuesday when it will be more clear what Janet’s schedule will be. I then plunked Janet in the wheelchair and we sped off to Speech.
The first thing Connie asked her was to identify a cup amongst an assortment of other items. She nailed it. The second question was to do the same with a book of matches, she chose the comb that was just to the left of them. I think that was her vision affecting that one as she often misses to the left. The rest of the questions in that game got no response at all. I went to get her glasses to see if she wanted them, she put them on and seemed to brighten up a little more. She was given a book of picture questions and she happily turned through each page but refused to stop and answer any questions. Connie then gave her two pictures and two cards with the names of the pictures and Janet was to match them. She clearly wasn’t getting it so Connie simplified it by telling Janet what each picture was then asking her to point or touch a certain one. With some help she managed to get it right a couple times but never on her own and never repeated. Work in progress. Connie finished the session with a swallow test. So glad I got to see this for once. She uses this thickened clear liquid that has the consistency of melted Jello, if that makes sense. It wasn’t runny but it wasn’t jiggly either. Janet very willingly took the first spoonful of lemon flavored goo and swallowed it in about five seconds. Not bad. She clearly hated the taste as she puckered up and grimaced instantly but she got it down. Connie tried an apple flavored goo next to see if Janet liked that any better. There was a little less puckering and grimacing and she swallowed it in about six seconds. I was pleasantly surprised that she took more of the goo based on her reaction to the first taste but she never hesitated at all. In all she took four or five spoons full of goo and her average for swallowing was around five seconds. Connie says ideally she’d like to see her at two seconds and will try a cranberry flavor on Monday and maybe some thickened herbal tea as well. We want to find a taste Janet likes so there will be less hesitation in swallowing. A pretty solid first performance and I think Connie was a little surprised at some of the things Janet can do. Lots to practice on over the weekend.
I had Janet drive the hallways for a little bit for some exercise then we attempted a walk to the beach. I put her jacket on knowing it wasn’t that nice out today but half way to the beach she wanted it unzipped so at least she wasn’t cold. We felt our first rain drops in a very long time as we hit the sand so we didn’t stay long and the rest of our outing was spent in the various KGH hallways. Janet drove well today but not with the same determination or power she has before. Overall this was a sleepy day and I think maybe she has a cold or her allergies are acting up.
Emma thought it would be cool if Janet came out to the dining area to “eat” with some of the other patients and we were all set to do that but as we didn’t want to bring Janet into the chaos of the start of dinner by the time things had calmed down enough Janet was asleep. Hopefully for a long and restful night. I came home to my mom’s lasagna baking in the oven and a nice pour of scotch with a chance to sit and chill for a while. She came up with Maureen and Shannon from Nanaimo who are on an Okanagan fruit run and will take mom back on Sunday. Maureen sent along lots of goodies for our freezer (my tummy) and mom brought her famous sausage rolls too. Sorry Cam, they won’t keep. Thanks so much Mo!
Thankful for the things Janet accomplished today and praying for healing in her legs and right arm and for an active day tomorrow.