Janet was happily eating a bowl of what looked like soup to me when I arrived at Connect this afternoon. Turns out it was actually chicken pot pie, or at least it used to be. Hopefully we are nearing the end of the pureed diet. Mary Lou dropped by the table and gave a very positive report on Janet’s Speech session for the day. They have been working towards getting Janet to turn up the volume and part of that process is being able to string at least five words together on one breath. Janet is now doing that and Mary Lou is quite happy with her progress. Mary Lou was standing and talking to us on Janet’s right and I noticed a couple of times that Janet turned her head way to the right to look at Mary Lou. I have noticed Janet more aware of things on the right side lately but have not seen that extreme of a turn before and asked Mary Lou if she is noticing more right side awareness and she said yes. Good news. Janet seems to be responding well to Mary Lou and I think she’s got a good program in place for her. Once Janet was finished her “soup” I took her for a bathroom break before our meeting with Brian and team. The bathroom breaks have been going well lately, Lorne even took her for a successful one this morning.
Brian led us through the first of what will hopefully be a bimonthly team meeting. Janet’s ABI Coordinator, Terri was there along with Lorne and Jen, the house manager. It was a good chance to get to know each other a little, especially for Terri as we had only spoken on the phone previously. She won’t be as directly involved as Cathryn was during Janet’s stay at KGH but once we get closer to Janet moving home then Terri will become the key player. One priority for this meeting was to come up with a rough schedule for Janet’s day. That schedule will be built around meal times and a quiet time in the afternoon. We know that Janet likely will not sleep and will not want to go to bed during that time so Jen came up with a good idea of putting a lazy boy type chair in the living room and having Janet chill in it from two ish to three ish each day. Worth a try. We also agreed to let Janet try and sleep at night with no rails on her bed. Connect will procure a couple of fall mats and once in place the experiment will begin. I’m confident HouDieno will exit the bed at least once but I believe she is more aware of her surroundings now and will learn from any such fall. Janet says she doesn’t remember any of her previous escapes but accepts her nickname for what it’s worth. I can understand Connect being nervous about doing this but I really don’t see how else Janet will progress if we don’t give her the chance. There are a few things to discuss with Tez before finalizing Janet’s schedule and hopefully we can do that before the weekend. Brian says he has feelers out for a music therapist for Janet and has a couple nibbles. I’m really hopeful we can get something going that way as I believe Janet will respond very well to it. Today’s meeting was a good foundation builder and I am confident Janet has a good team looking after her.
After another successful bathroom break I took Janet to the gym for a good leg stretch and some work on the Shuttle. She set a personal best today going for thirty two reps at two bands of tension, then six reps with three bands and thirteen reps with one band using her right leg only. High five! She required a fair bit of encouragement during the routine as she keeps saying things like “it doesn’t matter” and “so what” when given the reason for doing something. I’m confident these responses are coming from a lack of confidence place rather than an unwillingness to get better place. She managed a big smile after doing the thirty two reps as I reminded her she only did sixteen the last time.
Dinner was fun tonight as Janet reluctantly chowed down on pureed Spaghetti and all the guys were BBQ’ing steaks and Leanne was making baked potatoes for them. The chatter was good and that helped Janet plow through her mush. We played a game of Chutes and Ladders before bed and Janet won easily. She had a lot of trouble spinning for her turn no matter where I placed the spinner. She said she could see it fine but couldn’t make her hand do it. I noticed a few times today that she was trying to get her right hand involved in things and she did try and lift it to spin a couple times. I want to think this is a sign of something coming back to her right arm but won’t go there yet. She asked if I would read some Slow Dance to her in bed and four pages into it she was snoring. It really is an interesting book, she was just played out from a busy day.
Praying for rest and healing tonight, a good workout in the morning and a bright and ready to swallow strong Janet for the afternoon.