I feel like we have started a new phase in Janet’s recovery. She opened her eyes when I greeted her this morning and was bright right away, smiling and raising her brow. The first task of the day was teeth brushing and after that I asked her to say something. She was a little slow to start and not as clear as last night but eventually I was getting good imitating from her. It was then on to stretching. Janet got very emotional as I was working on her right leg, maybe triggered by pain but most likely the frustration of not being able to move it and needing me to stretch it like that. It was quite a prolonged cry and I ended up agreeing to stop the stretch session there.
Janet drove down to physio and was extremely bright and responsive for Moira, smiling as I started to tell the story of last night as if she totally knew what I was going to say and was pleased about it. I wasn’t going to stay at all this morning but because of Janet’s emotional outburst I decided to linger and see how things went. After our five minute chat to start things off with Moira I was confident Janet would do well on the tilt table, especially after she whispered hi to Moira, so I left to go spread the whispering word. First person I saw was Chantelle from OT and she was so excited for Janet. She asked permission to spread the word on 4B and I said go for it. I also saw Dr. McCann. His reaction wasn’t as enthusiastic as I had hoped but I think it was mostly due to his busyness. He did seem pleased and is looking forward to a good week. I went back to check on Janet and she was hanging out at sixty five degrees quite comfortably. She did some left arm reaching for Moira and allowed her to work her right arm pretty good. Her feet were nice and flat on the deck so it was a good stretch despite the shortened warm up this morning. Janet had a little emotional outburst near the end of the session and was for sure trying to tell us something but we couldn’t figure out what.
Still in bright mode I had Janet drive over to Speech and Connie was pleasantly surprised to hear the news. She got right to it trying to get Janet to say a bunch of different words. Janet was a little slow to respond but when I put my ear up to her mouth she went for it all out going right through a list of six or seven M words that Connie gave her. Even though Janet was whispering into my ear Connie could hear her and see the mouth movements. She didn’t want to overwork Janet on that so we moved on to swallowing. Connie mentioned that whispering is great but does not involve the vocal cords so she gave me some suggestions of sounds to have Janet try and make to encourage the vocal cords to come into play. Janet had her best swallowing effort to date with consistent scores of 4-6 seconds. I now have permission to have Janet try swallowing each day on my own to see if we can speed the progress. While Connie and I were talking Janet reached out and grabbed my water bottle and took a drink. Connie motioned to stop her then saw I wasn’t trying to stop her so we watched Janet take a nice sip of water and swallow it immediately. Connie is still nervous about Janet drinking thin fluids as we don’t know if she is silently aspirating or not. I bet on not. I talked to Nicole from Speech (she gave us the lip exercises to do earlier) and she is going to test Janet on chewing this week. Exciting stuff. Connie asked Janet to show her one thru five fingers and she did with modelling but not without so that is another homework assignment. She also had her touch her nose, ear and chin but Janet only got the nose. It was clear she was getting a little worn out by this time so off to the “sun window” we went for a break.
After the short drive to OT, I left Janet with Nathan and came home to meet with another mobility equipment guy in regards to getting Janet in and out of the house. Hopefully this guy knows more than the last one.
Praying for a fun afternoon of progress.