Janet met me in the hallway as she returned from a reading session in the Den. She was quite smiley and chatty saying she was having a good day. She mentioned going to the gym and having lunch and reading and while she tried hard to say what she had for lunch, just couldn’t get it out. Lorne reminded her it was grilled cheese and she smiled big when she heard that. Sensing she needed a bit of a break after reading I lead her to the living room to watch some TV before Brian’s scheduled session at three.
It was good to chat with Brian this afternoon so we could all get up to speed with each other. He reads this Blog daily so is well aware of what Janet has been up to and that enabled us to talk about bigger picture items such as the wheelchair, food and transfers. I requested a few tweaks to the chair before we purchase it and Brian is confident those will be done without problem. He had read about the beef stew incident and I was able to tell him about Garrett’s meal plan that is in writing somewhere and he said he’d find it and follow up on its implementation. He encouraged a discussion with Tez over which form of transfer Janet should be focusing on now. I’ve been using mostly a standing transfer where Tez would prefer using the sliding board probably feeling it’s too early for Janet to do the standing thing and he’s probably right. I paid close attention to our transfers today and although Janet is stepping with her left leg without cueing now I notice she is not really holding her body that straight, I’m doing most of that, and her right leg is taking virtually no weight at all. I’ll use the sliding board between her bed and wheelchair and other chairs and will stand her for toilet transfers.
Time for a bio break after Brian’s visit. Success again! I then had Janet put her laundry away which she seemed quite pleased to do and was happy when she completed that task. I need to find more chores like that for her to do as she is now not at all interested in the board games. The last couple of days she has demonstrated some real assertiveness and I can sense her wanting to do more constructive things. After a brief rest time she started getting up from bed and got a little mad at me for being in her way. I now realize that reaction came from a “I can do this myself” perspective and she did. I backed right off and said nothing and she got herself all the way to sitting and was quite pleased.
We headed down to see what was happening in the kitchen where Garrett was preparing a nice salmon dinner. Janet asked if she could help with anything but most of it was done by that time so we watched a little more TV until dinner was served. Janet really enjoyed the meal and was too full for dessert. We hung out in the living room for a little while after and I threw some family geography questions at her. She did pretty well, correctly answering where she was born, where Andrew lives and where we met. We had a heated argument over where her mom and Keith live with her finally relenting when she remembered we visited them in Collingwood a couple of summers ago.
I have been counting down until Thursday when Janet gets her peg tube removed and think I am more excited about it than she is. Only two sleeps to go! Originally I figured that was because I deal with it way more than she does but tonight it came to the surface that she’s afraid it will hurt when it comes out. I explained as much of the procedure as I know to her and then changed the subject to focus on the more fun things we are doing that day and she calmed down then. The time I’m spending with Janet is split pretty evenly now between moments of heightened awareness and real insightfullness and moments where she just isn’t processing things effectively. We had another talk on the importance of the afternoon rest time this evening as she lost her energy before 7:30 tonight where as when she has that rest she can go strong until 8:30. I got a little bit of a “so what” from her but I think deep down she knows the rest makes a difference. Before bed I read to her a Christmas letter she started writing a couple of years ago that I found while purging some cupboards today. Janet’s writing has always been very difficult to read and this was no different and we both had a good laugh trying to decipher what she had scribbled. Janet says she remembers writing that letter and I believe her as she wrote some things there that are true Janet things to say and I could see the recognition on her face before she even said anything. Cool.
Praying for rest tonight and an active day of learning and recovery tomorrow.