Houdieno was in full action when I returned this afternoon.
This is how I found her and my first words were, “hey, what do you think you’re doing?” Her response in a loud whisper was, “what do you think I’m doing?” It was hard to stifle the laugh but when I explained that she could hurt herself if she fell and there was no one around to help she seemed to understand that. She also seemed to appreciate the fact she should use her loud voice more in case she needs to call for help. She told me “I don’t have a loud voice”. I told her she does and I’ve heard it many times and she’s been practicing with Connie and others. We discussed talking for a while and she went from “I don’t care about that” to “I’m using my loud voice” when she was actually whispering, to in full voice telling me “I noticed” when I reminded her I shaved my face for her last night. She had a huge smile as I told her how easy it was to hear that. I then got the nurses in so I could explain what is wrong with the picture of Houdieno. The head of the bed is too high, makes it real easy for Janet to sit up. The bed was not at its lowest level, makes the fall that much harder. The middle of the bed was too high, giving her extra leverage in getting her legs over the side. The bed alarm was not on, I’ve forgotten this one myself so a good reminder to all of us. Both nurses have not worked with Janet much and were quite surprised at the Houdieno move and took this all as a good lesson.
Janet remained anxious to get up so I let her try a few times with me watching and the bed flat. She came really close on the left side and made a strong effort on the right side and did not seem to mind leaning on her right shoulder. Things may be improving there. We tried one stand up from sitting and considering I hadn’t stretched her before hand it was a pretty good attempt. Jessica arrived then to show Amy how to use the Arjo to get Janet to the toilet. I stayed and watched this time and was impressed by Janet’s fearlessness. When she was up she looked like she was ready for skiing Big White and said she was good to go. The girls plunked her on the toilet, turned a little water on and left her alone for a few minutes. To everyone’s surprise, Janet peed! First time in five and a half months and she was actually pretty happy with herself. She was giving a little brush off kind of grin but I could see happiness behind it. High five big girl!
It was so nice and mild outside I figured we better take advantage of it so out we went to enjoy a nice Fall stroll. I made the mistake of treating it like a school field trip at first. I asked Janet the colors of a few flowers and then leaves on some trees. After the fifth question she scowled at me and said “I’m tired of you asking me”. Right then. For the rest of the walk I did a commentary instead, pointing out the pretty yellow trees and brilliant red ones just like the one in our yard. That seemed to work as she agreed with my observations and hopefully she was remembering the colors and other info I was putting out there. We went down one new street to us, the aptly named Maple St. Absolutely stunning! Huge maples on both sides with all the leaves bright yellow. It was like being in a leaf tunnel with this really cool yellow light. Would have taken a picture but not convinced I could have done it justice. We came to a fork in the road and I asked Janet how she was doing, she said “I want to go home”. I took that to mean her room, and she nodded, so back we went. With a few minutes to wait before dinner we chatted in her room. She was quite talkative and I showed her a picture that her stepmom Joan sent for her and asked her who it was. She happily said out loud “my big dad”. A little while later she was looking all around the room and started crying and managed to say “I want to go to my room”. I explained we were in her room then I asked her if she meant our room at home. She cried “yes”. My heart sank a little but I promised to take her there for a visit tomorrow and she seemed good with that.
We made our way to the dining area with feed pump and all and sat with Gail and a couple of other ladies who weren’t as impressed that we were there as Gail was. Janet got Thickened Lemon Water, Thickened Cranberry Juice, Thickened Strawberry Ensure, Apple Sauce and Cream of Carrot Soup. She liked the soup, yay! Didn’t care for anything else but tolerated the Ensure and the Apple Sauce. I explained she would have to keep trying a whole bunch of things in order to find a few things she likes. She surprised me by wanting to stay out in the dining area for about an hour. Thought she would want to bail at the first chance but she was enjoying the buzz of activity.
The last half hour of her dinner feed was spent in bed with me reading Anne 2 and her listening with her eyes closed. She dutifully brushed her teeth and tolerated me stretching her a little. So far I’m not really impressed with the splint. It is holding her wrist nicely but it seems as though she is clenching her hand more now. We’ll see how it goes over the weekend. Janet was really close to sleep as I said goodnight and reminded her I will see her for breakfast in the morning.
Praying for a restful night and an active and fun day tomorrow.