Another progressive week for Janet with some interesting trends starting to show.
On Thursday Janet was basking in the sun waiting for me with a big smile and a self initiated kiss. When I asked her why she was waiting for me she said “now we can have some fun”. Nice to know that she still thinks that way sometimes as most of the time she complains about all the things I make her do. To start our fun we went for a nice long walk. Janet is improving with her directions and did well at naming things we saw along the way. We really took our time and I tried to keep her talking and observing as much as possible. As we returned to Connect we noticed the ice cream stand was very busy and I suggested we go there after dinner. No surprise, that got a very positive response. There was a CFL football game on TV as we waited for dinner and to prove her cognitive gains Janet said she was cheering for Saskatchewan over Toronto. That’s my girl. Not that I really care, as real football doesn’t start until September but it was still fun to hear her pick against her hometown. Janet had a good Shuttle routine and shocked me by choosing to do the Standing Frame before going for ice cream. There was a real risk of missing the ice cream by doing this but I had to honor her choice. We made it to the stand in time and Janet enjoyed her mint chocolate chip while spilling only one little drop.
On Friday, Janet was waiting on the patio again but was a little upset that I wasn’t there sooner. It was only 1:30 but I guess she’d had a fairly quiet day so far and was aware she would be going home with me so was looking forward to that. We made some shopping stops along the way, one of which resulted in Janet getting some clip-on sunglasses. She’d been refusing to wear her regular ones as she can’t see well without her prescription glasses so her optometrist suggested the clip-ons and I think they work great. Janet doesn’t mind wearing them so if nothing else her eyes get some protection now. By the time we got home it was too late for a nap so Janet just had a little quiet time lay down then got ready to go for dinner with a friend of ours from Nanaimo. The Rotten Grape turned out to be an excellent choice as we were able to sit outside in the sun listening to the Music in the Park happening right across the street. We even had a visit from Janet’s former PT, Tom. It was really nice to enjoy good food and conversation with Wendy and Janet really impressed us by sitting on a backless stool the entire time.
After a good hot tub at home and while getting ready for bed Janet called Nash, Calamity. That was the name of one of our cats that died a few years ago. Janet realized that almost as soon as she said it but was upset that she didn’t realize Calamity had died. Took her a good fifteen minutes to get over it.
We were up pretty late Friday so Saturday started off late with a nice Skype chat with Mary/Gaga. I then put Janet to work as we cleaned up the spare room in preparation for Laurel & Raj 2.0. Janet had fun with lots of laughs as we found things we hadn’t seen in a long time, one thing in particular I hope you’ll here a lot more of in the near future. Stay tuned. The more I get Janet to help with domestic stuff the more I realize how much she wants to contribute. She really goes at a task with determination and concentration and is visibly pleased when its done, usually asking if there’s anything else to do. That is, as long as she feels she can do it but occasionally now she’ll take my suggestion that she can do it and run with it. Previously my suggestion was met with self doubt. I’m seeing a little less of that now. Almost as impressive as her domestic enthusiasm was Janet’s choice for lunch Saturday. Grilled cheese with BACON! Totally her idea, never seen her eat it before and did she ever eat it. That gave her enough energy to do a little house hunting with me followed by a stop at the grocery store. Wanting to press on she insisted we go to church which turned out to be a good call on her part. She was able to have nice visits with quite a few people there and the service was really good too. Our evening was quiet and Janet wound down nicely to wear she was sleeping by 10:30.
Start time Sunday was a little more normal but Janet maybe should’ve stayed in bed a little longer as for once she picked the wrong puppy on Pick a Puppy. She’s now three for four and was a little upset about being wrong. We went for a rather long walk to a local store for some dinner supplies and Janet asked to take a shorter route home so I guess it was a little long. Our thirty degree pool water was too cold for Janet so after a relaxing hot tub I laid her down for a good nap. We had another hot tub after dinner then Janet passed on ice cream in favor of going to bed. Lights out at 9:45 seemed strange but sleep is good.
Janet’s sleep must’ve been good as she woke Monday very chipper and chatty. She wasn’t really looking forward to going to the rehab pool as her mind was very much on the impending arrival of family for Laurel & Raj 2.0. Janet is having a bit of a tough time realizing this is not a full on wedding and she worries about her appearance and abilities. I think once people are in town and things start happening she’ll be fine. Her swimming was decent with her most notable accomplishment being able to swim to the wall, grab on and “stand up” all by herself. Really nice smiles after doing so too. On our way home we did a little more house hunting and Janet asked afterwards why we didn’t look at the upstairs. It didn’t have one. At least she’s thinking. Needing to do more cleaning of the house I decided to test Janet’s vacuuming abilities. She was never very fond of this chore but loved it this time. She can only do the hardwood and furniture as she can’t maneuver herself around on the carpet. Here’s a link to a short video of Janet in action,
.She was also a huge help in dusting some shelves and nick nacs and again I could see the satisfaction she was getting from being able to help. Relaxing in the sun with a Fresca Janet explained she was afraid she’d miss something if she wasn’t coming home until Thursday. She also came out with the comment that “it’ll be awkward having Chris here”. Chris is Janet’s first husband and their parting was not amicable but I assured her he would be polite and so should she. Janet hasn’t talked about the battles she went through in that former life since she got sick but I hope the encounter on her home turf on a happy occasion leads to truly forgetting all that nonsense and moving on. It will be fun to see. Janet and I had a lot of fun eating dinner outside on an absolutely gorgeous evening and it was really difficult to gather the motivation to head back to Connect.
After a busy Tuesday morning I met Janet and Brian at KGH for her appointment with Dr. McCann. The main goal for this one was another round of Botox, this time, both hamstrings and a little in her right arm finger flexors. The previous treatment was a huge success and we are looking forward to similar results this time. The decision to treat the finger flexors came as a result of Janet clenching her right hand less and its hoped the Botox will enable even more relaxation of that hand. Dr. McCann agreed to refer Janet to the hand clinic at KGH where they can make a brace she can wear during the day to further promote a more relaxed position for her right hand. The next round of Botox will be in three months or so using Dr. McCann’s new machine that will allow him to treat Janet’s right subscapularis in hopes of increasing range of motion for her right shoulder. Another big plus that came out of this appointment was the discontinuation of Baclofen. Janet had a terrible reaction to an increased dosage a few weeks ago and the amount she was still on was too low to do any good so now its one less drug for Janet. Yay! Brian followed us home as best he could and took a look around the house to assess what he’d do if we were determined to stay here. We ended up agreeing it doesn’t make much sense then we enjoyed a nice cold beverage in the sun. Janet later commented that its nice having Brian around, “he’s easy to talk to”. Not surprisingly Janet enjoyed herself in our pool with the water being a ridiculous 32 degrees. She still wanted to hot tub afterwards too so I was able to get a good stretch and start working that Botox into her. Quite the busy day so far and Janet easily agreed to have a short nap. I woke her an hour later and positioned her so she could watch for Laurel’s arrival. I really wish I’d recorded that moment as it was absolutely priceless when Janet started giggling and smiling and laughingly saying ” there’s someone here! It’s her, it’s Les, Na, Laurel!” I thought she was going to cry but she just kept on giggling and waving like a star struck little kid. Awesome. The excitement continued as we went back to Connect for a Shuttle and Standing Frame session. Janet was very cooperative I think because Laurel was there and did a good job on both apparatus. There was very little pouting and once given the goal time for getting down from the Standing Frame did a great job using her watch to tell what time it was and how much time she had left. That was a pleasant surprise as she was bang on with fifteen and five minutes remaining. That watch has been a very effective tool so far. Well done Jess! While in the Standing Frame Janet demonstrated more cognitive abilities in correctly identifying Sally Field in a movie that was on TV. Impressive.
Wednesday morning the focus was on Janet’s regular therapy routine. She went to the gym for a thorough workout then had Speech with Mary Lou. Laurel and Heather met up with their mom in the afternoon and hung out until bedtime, making sure she got in another gym session. When I arrived with Andrew late into the evening Janet was talking very loud and clear, was obviously excited to see her kids and I think is going to have a really fun time this weekend.
One of the more noticeable improvements Janet has made over the last few days has been in the quantity of liquid she will drink at one time. Historically her drinks have been very tiny sips. Now they are not near gulps but I’ve seen her do what would qualify as a shot more than a few times. She still needs to be reminded a lot to keep drinking but there is a definite increase in the speed with which she can down a beverage. The volume of her voice has gotten louder and she is definitely more “with it” than she was even a couple of weeks ago. Praying for continued healing, an increase in her water intake, for the Botox to have maximum effect and for everyone to enjoy themselves at Laurel and Raj 2.0.