Even though Janet will complain sometimes of having to do the same things over and over again there are a lot of new things in her repertoire and this past week was full of them.
On the cognitive side Janet continues to become more aware of the moment she’s in as well as her overall situation. This past Monday while on our way back to Connect Janet took a big step by saying “I want to be a regular person”. The day had been very successful for her and included Janet doing a lot of “regular person” things and when I pointed all those out to her she seemed to accept that. I discussed this with Brian and he said that Janet accepting her situation is a big step towards continuing the recovery process. It’s only after someone acknowledges where they are at that they can really start to do something about it. Janet has done well so far so I see this as a positive sign of her maybe being able to work even harder as in not complaining about the gym or drinking water. That of course remains to be seen but maybe with everyone trying to get her living in the moment and pointing out her accomplishments she’ll start to believe in herself more. Her confidence is growing in her singing for sure and this week was her loudest by far. John called me into the room just five minutes after starting with Janet on Tuesday and she wowed me with a very loud rendition of Do a Deer. I asked Leslie and Gavin to come in after that and Janet sang loudly for them too. A couple of times this week Janet started singing along to performances on The Voice, most notably The Swon Brothers rendition of Danny’s Song. She sang it again for us with John and was very confident in doing so. Her Skype conversations this week were solid but she’s getting bored with the whole thing and often feels she has nothing to say. I can help her with that part but am going to stop scheduling calls so they are more spontaneous and less of a chore. One night I worked with Janet from her Speech Therapy booklet and was impressed at how well she did naming opposites and matching categories. She continues to express her opinion more and more, unfortunately its more when she’s angry about something that she’s at her most demonstrative. Still, I see more and more of the former Janet coming out.
Physically Janet is really impressing me and some of the staff at Connect as well. The Botox really should be worn off now but we continue to get good flexibility from both legs and tonight Janet stood in the Standing Frame for one hour at ninety degrees and complained very little. The lack of complaining can only mean it didn’t hurt that much and that is cool. Garrett worked with Janet in the gym tonight for the first time since he got back from his vacation and he had all great things to say about Janet’s performance especially with the extension she was getting on The Shuttle. That’s a key one as the more she can extend the more strength she can build. She’s very confident in her pole transfers now and has no problem standing and holding onto the pole for a minute or two and can shuffle her left leg around pretty well. There’s still not a lot of control on that right leg but I still have hope for the future. On Monday Janet reached another swimming milestone by making her first unassisted 180 degree turn while swimming on her back. She smiled the entire time and of all the physical activities Janet does, swimming is by far her favorite. As much as she likes it though, Friday afternoons aren’t working well for her as she’s too tired so for now I’m canceling those sessions. We will use our pool at home on the weekends to compensate and continue with Mondays at KGH. As we were leaving KGH one day we snuck up on Rob the PT and I asked Janet to kick him. She happily obliged but did so with her right leg. First time I’ve seen her try that move. It was all from the hip but a very deliberate attempt to use that right leg. High five. Tez had Janet try walking in the sling at the parallel bars and said that went well enough to continue doing it. Janet found it very hard and I think until she gets more control of her right leg it will be a very difficult exercise for her.
Janet was scheduled to go sailing this morning with the Disabled Sailing Association but the weather was kind of iffy so the outing was cancelled. Janet isn’t really excited about it but I think it would be good for her to try so maybe next week. In lieu of sailing Jess took Janet to a pottery class today and reported that Janet enjoyed it and has started making a bowl. Janet says she didn’t like it and it was boring so we’ll have to see who wins out next week. I hope she continues to go as these activities will help get her mind off of the trips to the gym she dislikes so much.
We spent Sunday afternoon at City Park in the sunshine cheering on those getting baptized in the lake. Janet really enjoyed the outing and was fascinated by all the support each person getting baptized had. Sunday also marked the first conversation Janet’s had with her dad in a couple of years and thanks to Skype it went quite well. Not a lot was said as neither have great conversational skills right now but it was great to make that connection again. The weekend ahead promises more adventure as Leslie and Gavin are here until Sunday meaning we get to do fun things we wouldn’t get to do otherwise like winery touring, and the weather is supposed to be Okanagan hot finally.