Cam surprised his mom with a visit at lunch time and reports that Janet took a few seconds to realize who he was then reacted very happily. Cam was pleasantly surprised that he could have a conversation with his mom now and she even asked him some questions, especially about his girlfriend.
As I walked up to the rehab unit this afternoon I could see Janet sitting near her window and she saw me before I got to the grassy area in front. That’s a record. Inside, she greeted me with a big smile and a loud hi and as we were talking I noticed an unwrapped lollypop lying on the little table beside her. I questioned her on it and she calmly told me she got it from the “bottle over there”. She pointed to the candy dish on top of her dresser where previously there was one last Halloween lollypop. While we talked about how she got it she picked it up and started eating it like a pro. It was so cute and funny I just let her enjoy it as she really wasn’t showing any signs of biting it or choking or anything and it was a good workout for her oral motor skills. After a while she rested it between her thumb and pointer finger on her right hand and kept it there for quite a while. During our chat about the day so far I asked her if anyone had come to visit her. Often her answer would be no but this time she remembered yes. When I asked who, she very confidently and loudly said “my brother Mike”. She remained confident with that answer until I corrected her that it was Cam, she looked a little puzzled then shrugged it off.
We talked some more then noticed Cliff getting ready to take Barb home for the weekend so I had Janet go out to tell Barb to have a good weekend. We got up to the door of Barb’s room and I cued Janet who then said what she was supposed to say in a nice loud voice that Barb could hear all the way from where she was sitting in the sun window of her room (Janet’s old room). Barb was so impressed that her and Cliff came by Janet’s room on their way out to say how nice it was to hear Janet’s voice. That gave Janet a massive smile and she used her loud voice a little more to say “have a good time”. It was then time to read a Christmas card from Nancy and Jim. Janet opened the envelope and pulled out the card completely unassisted and managed to read the first couple lines of the inscription. She enjoyed the pictures and letter that were enclosed and was able to name everyone in each photograph except the one person she’s never met, Josh, but she knew that was Gillian’s boyfriend (now husband). Pretty impressive. Connie stopped by as we were looking at the pictures and Janet gave her good loud answers to her questions. Connie still seems concerned about Janet’s swallowing and I think I’m going to stay for lunch next time Connie does as I’m getting different results at dinner than she says she’s getting at lunch. She is focusing on Janet’s gurgly throat but she is like that most of the time not just at meal times and tonight she ate very well again. I think she’s ready for the full on pureed diet. I guess it’s Connie’s reputation if she advances Janet too soon and something goes wrong so I understand the caution and overall she is pleased. Janet chose to play a game on the iPad next and with some guidance she was much better at tapping and swiping than previous and scored 17/21 on a flash card test of the letter P. That brought us to dinner time and Janet fed herself 99% of the Oriental Chicken and the soup but of course was not interested in the Ensure or apple sauce. First time she’s had two entres and she gobbled them both up with no coughing or swallowing issues that I noticed.
After dinner I let her cruise around a bit and she headed for the magazine rack. A nurse had a little chat with her and helped her pick two magazines which she proudly brought over to me. One had Jessica Simpson on the cover and the other had Shania Twain. Janet agreed that Shania is prettier. She seemed to be inviting me to her room to look at them so I told her to lead the way. I sat and watched her Bam Bam away and stop at the nurses station window to have a chat with the assistant. I could hear most of it and Janet was answering her questions well then asked “where’s my husband”? She gave me a laughing smile when she turned around and saw me and off we went to read some trash. I asked her to identify some of the celebs in the photos but she only remembered some of them after I told her their names. The rest of our night was kind of like a date night without going anywhere. We had some funny conversation and at one point I had to go move the car and when I came back she had wheeled herself into the bathroom, undid her seatbelt and was trying to get onto the toilet. She said she was doing it “in case she had to go”. RJ put her on using the Arjo and she went. To finish the evening I layed in bed with her to listen to a Stuart McLean story which she listened to with her eyes shut. She was listening though as every now and then she would smile at an appropriate time.
Janet continues to noticeably advance with her ability to converse and understand things and her mood today was very positive. She did not have one meltdown with me today at all. Praying for continued healing especially for her legs and right arm.