Month: February 2013

Math. Janet smartens up. #TSJ

Jess was just putting Janet to bed when I arrived this afternoon. They had been in the gym with Tez and Janet was nodding off so they called the session short and Janet wasn’t complaining at all. The day had been a full one to that point. That was her third trip to the gym already, having gone with Jess after breakfast for the usual stretching then with Garrett just before lunch for some good Shuttle work then with Tez so he could get her on her tummy to stretch those hamstrings. They also tried the transfer belt but that’s when Janet started nodding off. More work on that next week. Mary Lou spent time with Janet this morning as well, working out of the new Speech workbook. Apparently Janet was a little tired during that session as well but overall had a good first part of the day.

Since she was headed for bed just after two I anticipated a nice long nap in hopes she would recover for a good evening session. I got my wish this time as she slept for a good two hours and was noticeably refreshed afterwards. I really think she’s not sleeping well at night for some reason and hopefully she’ll snap out of it soon as she normally does.

It took Janet the better part of an hour to come fully awake after her nap and she made a good effort at getting up from bed and “stood” really well for me transferring to the toilet. While she waited for dinner I gave her the med book and asked her to get Bob to get her meds for her. She thought about it way too much and by the time Bob came asking if she was ready for her meds she was a little confused and needed quite a bit of coaching to get through the process. Janet really enjoyed the dinner prepared by Chris especially the asparagus in cheese sauce but as expected was more excited about the Tootsie Roll for dessert. Unfortunately there was no Ladies Night tonight as this would have been a good time for Janet to try it out as she was pretty bright still. She was denying she wanted to go but I think would have a good time once there. Maybe next week. Surprisingly she agreed to play the math game on the iPad and she did remarkably well, the best she’s ever done with me at both answering the questions and tapping and swiping her way through the various levels of the game. She still neglects the right side of the screen a little but not as much it seems. It was fun watching her and only having to help occasionally and it was especially nice to see a little confidence showing in her.

Praying for a solid nights sleep that brings healing and lots of positive energy for tomorrow.

Uneventful. Janet tired today. #TSJ

Today was one of those days where I feel incredibly blessed to live in Kelowna. I woke up to sunshine, went skiing for a few hours in powdery snow and sunshine and on my way to Connect saw the first golfer of the season and a kid riding his bike in shorts and t-shirt. Spring has sprung and it’s awesome. Janet was really happy to see me and we had a good talk for about forty-five minutes with her sitting on the couch with me in the living room. She tried real hard to tell me about her day and managed to get the basics right with some prompting. Brian joined us for a brief chat prior to his week away in Cabo San Lucas starting tomorrow. We wish him a well deserved relaxing vacation. When he returns we will start looking to upgrade Janet’s bed, the falls mats are gone now, using a transfer belt for transferring Janet to the toilet and Shuttle etc., and getting started at the KGH pool. Tez spoke to pool guy Jim and it was agreed to wait two weeks for Janet’s former peg site to heal completely and then she can go “swimming”.

Brian exited around four and Janet said she had not had a nap so I suggested she have one even though it was kind of late. I was hoping for a more energetic Janet at dinner time and through the evening and she agreed. I had to wake her at 5:30 and she didn’t really want to get up then but it was dinner time and I was worried she’d be up really late then too. Quite the opposite. Her energy level was quite low all evening. She ate a good dinner cooked by Chris and monitored by Connie who was checking Janet’s swallowing and chewing abilities. No real change from the last time Connie saw Janet and she recommends we watch the Chipmunking Janet is doing on the right side and encourage her to chew on the left. Also, Connie wants us to monitor Janet’s coughing to see if it only happens when her head is lifted up or if it also happens with her head down. So far I’ve only associated the coughing with tiredness so it will be interesting to watch for the other trends. Apparently head down is a safer position to swallow in as the airway is restricted and Connie would be concerned if Janet were coughing then. The conversation at dinner was really good tonight but Janet was too tired to participate or maybe overwhelmed by it all. Often the table is on the quiet side so maybe tonight was hard to process for her. It was fun though.

Garrett weighed Janet after dinner and recorded another small gain. I asked her to put away her laundry which she happily did but needed a lot of coaching as she was very tired. I even had to rebrush her teeth tonight as she seemed unable to master the needed motion for that task. I had asked for her bedtime med to be switched to pills from liquid and tonight was the first go at that. Should maybe have stayed with the liquid. Hopefully she’ll do better when not so tired.

A rather uneventful day for Janet. She did have Speech and used her new workbook but could not remember doing so. I saw it on her desk after getting her into bed and asked her a couple questions from it and she answered correctly with a smile. Tired but not out of it. Praying for a restful and healing night and for a good day of rehab tomorrow.

Sing Song, Janet and John hit it off. #TSJ

SORRY. WORDPRESS APP GIVING ME A FEW PROBLEMS SO THIS POST DIDN’T PUBLISH YESTERDAY. WEDNESDAY’S UPDATE COMING SOON.

I arrived a little earlier than usual today as I wanted to meet John who is going to spend some time singing with Janet. Lorne was in the process of toileting Janet as I walked into her room and we just had time for our daily debrief before John showed up. The gym was really busy when Janet went down there this morning so Jess did some stretching with her on her bed and said that worked fairly well. Janet remembered that she didn’t go to the gym and that she did some stuff in her room. She told me she had sandwiches for lunch but wasn’t sure what kind. The rest of her report was pretty garbled so I focused on getting her ready for singing with John.

We met John in the Den and Janet had a nice smile for him right away and kept it on the whole half hour they were together. John has a very positive attitude and an energetic personality and I could tell Janet liked him right from the start. I left them alone partly because I don’t sing but mostly because I want Janet to feel that is her time to learn and have fun on her own. I came back after a half hour and Janet was still smiling and gave a nice encore performance of My Grandfather’s Clock and a song about Titanic. John asked if he could come back next Tuesday and Janet said of course. When I asked her what she had done today she couldn’t remember most of it but when she and John started singing songs she hasn’t sung in years, the lyrics were rolling off her tongue like she wrote them. Blows my mind. That, combined with the big smile is more than enough to keep this going.

Janet reluctantly agreed to a rest time after her session with John and slept for almost an hour. Once again she denied sleeping so I think it might be fun to record her snoring away and play it back for her sometime. Because of the nap we were a little late in Skypeing Mary/Gaga and Keith and Janet wasn’t totally back in form but had a nice conversation anyways.

Garrett and I took Janet to the gym for some leg strengthening work on the Shuttle. Janet complained about pain in her right knee a lot, could be from her fall off the toilet, but tried really hard with only one band of tension. I was happy she tried but disappointed with the results and hope that was a one off and not a trend. In the interest of helping reduce the pain and relax her legs Garrett suggested getting Janet onto her tummy so we took her back to her room thinking she’d be more comfy on the bed. That turned out really well and her legs relaxed nicely and I was even able to massage them for a while. I’d like to see that be an every other day type of thing and will talk to Tez about it.

Tonight was Janet’s night to help make dinner and she chopped onions and tomatoes and helped make seasoning for tacos. She was pretty tired after her workout but really wants to do this sort of thing and was determined to it well and she did.

Andrew was up next for a Skype chat and for a while Janet had Andrew on the brain, referencing him repeatedly when trying to talk about Cam even though she was looking at Andrew. Janet read a little bit for me afterwards then it was time for bed. We are still watching her former peg site closely. It is healing well but still oozing slightly and based on that we are delaying her start at the KGH Rehab pool. Don’t want her getting infected or causing anyone else too.

Praying for a healing night and a productive and fun day tomorrow.

The Hangover. Janet recovering from the weekend? #TSJ

As usual Janet was hanging out in the living room when I got to Connect this afternoon. She was lounging in her comfy chair, legs up, pillows in place, all she needed was a nice cocktail and she’d be set. She agreed it was pretty comfy and that’d she’d even closed her eyes a bit. Jess was there to help with the report of the day so far. Janet had trouble getting started in telling me what happened and couldn’t remember what she had for breakfast. Pancakes. She remembered going to the gym but not what she did there. Garrett told me it was a tough session with lots of tears. Janet refused the Shuttle and said her legs were sore and Garrett found the range of motion on her right shoulder to be less than previous. I found her legs to be quite stiff today and am hoping its just from her overall state of being as she seemed quite tired all day. That’s as much of a report as I got as Janet surprised me by agreeing to lay down for a while. She did so for about an hour but didn’t sleep much.

With a little more energy than before her rest time Janet got up and we went to see nurse Jen about her former peg site. On my way out to Connect today I got a surprise call from the KGH Rehab Pool saying Janet has been accepted into a program there for the month of March. Since I was on the road I couldn’t get details and I was really excited and shocked at the news. I figured there would be a lengthy wait list to get in there and when Dr. McCann’s office called this morning to say they had sent in the referral I thought it would be a few weeks before anything happened. What do I know. The down side is I’m not sure Janet has healed enough from the peg tube removal to go “swimming” and Jen isn’t sure either. We agreed to have another good look at it tomorrow. Janet is a little blasé about using the pool but I think she’ll like it once she starts. Dr. McCann’s office also said he is very supportive of more Botox for Janet’s legs but officially can’t get her in until July. His lovely assistant Pam will try and get Janet in before then. I have confidence in Pam.

Janet was able to set the table for dinner but needed quite a bit of help as she was tiring again. She gobbled up her dinner though and that gave her energy to Skype with Laurel afterwards for almost a half hour. Her voice was reasonably loud and she mostly responded appropriately to Laurel’s questions and comments but had trouble telling her own stories with a lot of them referencing Jews. The only association I can make for this is from the Academy Awards show when Mark Whalberg and “Ted” were telling Jewish jokes. I didn’t even think Janet was that awake during that part of the show but I have no other idea as to how she got onto that tangent. She was petty funny though. Funnier than “Ted”.

We watched a little YouTube and that was about it for the night. Praying for rest and healing and a hard working productive day tomorrow.

Sparkling. A bright day with Janet. #TSJ

Janet awoke rested and ready for a good day today. The morning routine went well especially since we weren’t rushing off anywhere. We lingered over breakfast looking at the real estate paper just for fun. Nothing terribly interesting to be found but it was fun looking.

Wanting to be productive Janet elected to start purging her dresser drawers. I have been in her sock drawer before and knew it was full but never realized what full meant until we emptied it onto the floor. I had no idea she was such a sock hoarder. I gave her the task of matching all the singles we found, and there were a lot. Working with the socks spread out on the bed so she could reach Janet did an outstanding job of matching then deciding which ones were worth keeping and which could go. She still has a pretty full drawer but at least now they are all useful socks in there.

The next drawer down was bras and underwear. Not quite as crazy as the sock drawer so I left this one totally up to her. She made a pile of each item on the floor then I held each one up for her to decide if it was a keeper or not. Most things were kept.

What seems like a mundane chore was actually really good therapy for Janet. There was matching and grouping involved along with some hand eye work and decision making. It took us well over an hour or sort those two drawers and Janet was pleased with the results. We enjoyed a relaxing lunch together then I insisted on a rest time as we had guests coming over at four. Janet was not happy about rest time but slept for half an hour or so after saying “I love you too just not when you do things like this”.

Janet was a big help in prepping for Barb and Gary’s visit. She got the crackers out of the cupboard, the pâté and sausage out of the fridge and made a nice display of the crackers while I sliced things up. We are blessed to have high quality neighbors like Barb and Gary and it was very nice to sit and chat and enjoy a glass of Grey Monk Sparkling Rosè with them. We are two for two in wine selection from Discover Wines, thanks again Kris!

After all the late afternoon snacking we kept dinner simple and and watched Cam’s Futsal game webcast while getting it ready then eating it. This was the gold medal game of the league championship and Cam’s team won with him getting a shut out and player of the game honors. Very exciting. Janet seemed eager to watch another movie tonight hoping for a comedy but we didn’t notice anything that peaked our interest so I got my choice of Skyfall. Janet was OK for a while but an hour in said she was tired, couldn’t understand the movie and wanted to go to bed. I got her all tucked in and told her I was going to finish the movie before coming to bed myself. She was fine with that and rolled onto her right side as she often does when first going to sleep. Five minutes later I heard her making some sort of noise so I ran down to the bedroom to find her crying and laying on her tummy. I rolled her onto her back and calmed her down. She told me she couldn’t get back over and that’s why she was crying. Scared herself. I told her I thought that was very cool that she could get herself onto her tummy. I’m pretty sure that’s a first and she said it didn’t hurt, she was just scared. Thinking she was back to sleep I got up to go finish the movie but of course her eyes popped open immediately but I went anyways. I came back a few minutes later to check on her and she was still awake. I snuggled up with her for a longer time this time but got the same result so decided to watch the movie tomorrow and join her in bed. She has been sleeping lightly while I’ve been writing this post occasionally opening her eyes to check on me. Could be a long night.

Praying for rest, healing and happy thoughts tonight and for a fun day tomorrow.

Free Friday. Home for the weekend. #TSJ

When I arrived at Connect this afternoon Janet was just about to take another successful potty break. Today was very good in that department and I’m very happy about the improvements she is making there. She wasn’t interested in wasting any time in going home but we did stop and have nurse Jen look at her former peg site to see if we needed to keep the wound care protocol going. Jen suggested we give the whole thing a rest for a couple of days and see how it goes. I brought the kit home with us just in case but so far it looks like it is continuing to heal very nicely and some air will probably do it good.

With our only plans being to watch a movie tonight Janet thought that reason enough to avoid having a rest. I explained I’d like her to stay awake during the movie so carried her straight from the car to the bed so she had no choice. She didn’t sleep long but it was long enough to give her a nice energy boost for the rest of the night.

Janet’s training as a prep cook continued tonight as she tore lettuce and chopped peppers by herself with the rocker knife and sliced grape tomatoes with my help. The only help she needed in setting the table was identifying my napkin. She hasn’t grasped the concept of the napkin ring that’s on it even though it was her idea way back when we got married. An outstanding job none the less.

Comedy was the genre of choice for our movie and without searching too much we chose Easy A. Turned out to be a good choice as Janet said it made her laugh. I saw her smiling but didn’t hear any laughter. She said she “was laughing on the inside”. I thought the movie had just the right pace for Janet to keep up to and some of the jokes were quite intelligent and certainly not crude. A good Janet movie.

Thinking she had a second wind Janet thought she could stay up late and it was already nine when the movie ended. She was sound asleep by 9:45. So much for the second wind. Our time today was nice and relaxed, unusual enough that Janet even asked a couple of times, “how much time do we have” when I asked if she wanted to do something. It was nice to be able to say “as much as we want”. Praying for a restful night of healing and a relaxing day of learning tomorrow.

Free Falling. An oops from Janet, a solid response from Connect. #TSJ

I met Janet today in our usual meeting place, the living room. She laughed when I came in and said “I always seem to meet you here”. That is true pretty much everyday and I like seeing her smiling face as soon as I walk in the room. Jess was there too and reported Janet had a busy day with a trip to the gym, Speech with Mary Lou and best of all, making cupcakes with Jess. One of the residents from the house above Janet’s is moving out tomorrow and there was a party for her tonight so Jess and Janet made some chocolate cupcakes and Janet seemed quite excited about that. She was not excited about going to the party though.

It was a beautiful sunny afternoon so I took Janet outside to get some rays and fresh air. Unfortunately there was just enough of a cool breeze to be annoying and we couldn’t find a place to escape it but we had a nice walk around the complex anyways. There was a sunny spot in the living room so we hung out there for a while before taking a bathroom break. Janet was on the toilet for a few minutes with nothing happening so as usual I asked her if she wanted more time. She said yes, I walked toward her desk and heard a loud crash. I ran back to the bathroom and she was on the floor beside the toilet crying. I pressed her alarm button and tried to calm her while waiting for help. Jess came seconds later and called the troops. We didn’t want to move Janet without being sure she was OK so we waited for Tez who took charge and determined Janet was alright and he and I moved her back up to sitting on the toilet. By the looks of things she scared herself more than anything and has a couple little cuts on her right cheek bone and a small scrape on her right knee. She told us she was trying to reach for something when she fell but couldn’t remember what she was reaching for. The Connect team responded quickly and professionally and Janet was well cared for.

Tez took advantage of the opportunity to observe me using a standing transfer with Janet from the toilet to the wheelchair. I thought Janet did very well especially after her scare. She calmed down a lot after we got her out into the room and Tez checked her over again to make doubly sure she was OK and also took time to check the spasticity in her legs. I asked him about Botox and he thought it would be well worth a try and suggested I contact Dr. McCann to get that ball rolling as well as the hydrotherapy idea. Here’s hoping.

Janet didn’t argue at all about laying down for a rest after all that but did manage to express her fear of going to the farewell party tonight again. Not sure what she was so afraid of and figured she’d come around when it was time to go.

After a short nap Janet was happy to lay in bed and chat for a while. She was quite happy and not showing any ill effects from her toppling. We went down for dinner and noticed most of the guys were having a pot roast and veggies. That reminded Janet of beef stew so Garrett made her some chili with a little pasta and that worked out fine. I watched Janet go over her med booklet with Garrett just before eating and noticed some improvement since yesterday. Back in her room after dinner she wanted to “read something interesting on the iPad”‘ her new thing, so I asked her what’s interesting to her. She said “you”. So we Googled me with Janet typing my name with some help and we found a few things out there about me. One of the results was the Janet After 100 Days video and I realized she has never seem it. I was surprised at her reaction, she watched intently, laughing in spots and shaking her head in others. Overall she agreed she has come along way and asked “what was wrong with me then?” and “how did you have the stamina to do all that for so long?” I half expected her to get all emotional watching herself but she seemed quite intrigued by it all and has no recollection of any of it.

Just before seven, Jess came by to see if Janet would come up to the farewell party. She didn’t hesitate at all in agreeing and had a nice smile on her face the whole time she was there. She was warmly welcomed by a lot of people and the cupcakes her and Jess made were a huge hit. Connie was there and had a nice chat with Janet and I saying she’d be back next Wednesday to watch Janet at dinner time. It was really nice to see a lot of off duty staff there to say farewell to Ellie, even Brian showed up.

20130221-222944.jpg I’m really glad Janet made the effort to go to the party and I think we can now get her to the ladies night they have there on Thursdays. It would be really good for her.

Not quite ready for bed after the party Janet wanted to watch a little TV. We watched the last few minutes of the hockey game with Chris and that was actually kinda fun. All tucked in with her falls mats in place Janet is looking forward to coming home for the weekend and I’m looking forward to having her here. Praying for a restful night and a hard working morning before a fun weekend at home.