Month: August 2013

The Team Save Janet Report is Out! #TSJ #home #sytycd #homeless

Another good first part of the day for Janet today. Garrett reports lots of smiles, laughs and a good attitude towards all she was asked to do. Janet is still laughing about the tan lines on her feet from her sandals. Not sure why its so funny now as she’s had them for a couple of months. It doesn’t matter though as laughs are always good. When I arrived Janet was “napping” with her eyes open and a smile on her face. I was surprised she was in bed as she’s usually waiting for me on going home day but Garrett said she asked for a nap around one so I’m sure she got a bit of a rest.

On our way home we drove through several neighborhoods looking for possible places to live and have arranged with our realtor to look at a little house in the morning. Of course after driving all over the place the one most appealing to us is quite close to where we live now. The rental game is proving quite difficult to play so we are looking to buy something that would suffice while Janet is at Connect and we can keep an eye on our preferred neighborhoods in the meantime. Then when she’s done and if we aren’t totally groovin on where we live we can move again. Sounds like fun right? Janet did well with all the driving around and seemed to enjoy looking at the different areas and houses. This is proving to be an important issue for her and she’s been able to give me some very insightful feedback on some places. “Feels like an old persons place”. “Not very fun looking”. “Too dark and dreary”, are just a few of her comments. The place we are going to see tomorrow got a “what’s wrong with this place?” As in “why not” look at it. Why not indeed.

I guess her nap at Connect wasn’t very long because as soon as we got home Janet asked for some nap time and was out minutes after hitting the pillow. She woke up an hour later and did a great job building pizzas for dinner and commented afterwards that “that was a good dinner”. I think last night’s meal at Connect is still haunting her. We did a little online house hunting then enjoyed a nice hot tub under a clear sky that was dark enough to do some star gazing. That’s one good thing about it getting dark so early now. Janet had trouble seeing some of the things I was pointing out to her so next time she can leave her glasses on and that should help. We watched a very enjoyable So You Think You Can Dance before bed and even with the late hour Janet was fully engaged the whole time. She even initiated comment on a few of the routines instead of waiting for me to ask her about it. Fun times.

Praying for a deep and healing sleep tonight, lots of energy for tomorrow and a clear message as to where we are supposed to live next.

The Team Save Janet Report is Out! #TSJ #Workout #Homeless #Strength

Today started out great for Janet according to Jess who said she was laughing a lot, working hard in the gym and just generally really bright. Of course when I got there she was in bed but not sleeping and the first thing she did was ask me “what the lady said about her house”. It’s amazing to me how Janet can lock in on an event or topic and remember it for a few days yet not always remember my name or what she did a few hours earlier. I was thrilled she did remember about the house and Jess told me Janet is worried about me as I have no where to live. Unfortunately that remains the case as the lady who owns the house we had our eye on is apparently in no hurry to sell. Looks like we will be renting something until we find a place worth buying.

Following her little rest time Janet had the choice of helping with dinner or going to the gym, she chose gym and ended up having time for both. She delivered a very strong performance on the Shuttle this afternoon, an improvement from yesterday and a dramatic improvement from earlier in the week. I can see she’s making gains and I think we’ll come out to Connect on Sunday and hit the gym so she doesn’t lose much of what she’s gained. Janet isn’t too happy with that idea but I think that almost three days off is too much and gaining strength is too important. A good example of her improved strength is her ability to transfer from the wheelchair to the Shuttle unassisted except for a little lift of the right leg at the end. When Janet first started using the Shuttle I had to literally carry her onto it. Her pole transfers at the bed and in the bathroom continue to get better as well and tonight she made a couple of good steps with her right leg while transferring from the toilet back to her wheelchair. Nice move!

In order to give Janet time to help prep dinner we postponed the stretching routine and made our way to the kitchen. Janet was able to work with Curtis in making a salad to go with the smokies and perogies on tonight’s menu. I could see Janet cringe when she heard what was being served and I give her a lot of credit for eating what she was given. That’s a pretty lame meal and if it wasn’t for the salad I’m not sure what nutrition anyone would have gotten. Janet did a decent job of chopping things but still moves from one thing to another before completing the first thing and ends up with a mess of half cut stuff on her cutting board. Curtis taught Janet to use some nails embedded in the cutting board to hold whatever she was cutting still and that seemed to help. Janet was very determined to complete her task despite the challenges.

The sun surprised us after dinner so I insisted we go for a walk. Janet wanted to get the Standing Frame over with but I felt the fresh air and sunshine ought to be taken advantage of and we ended up enjoying a nice warm walk. We spent the hour with Janet in the Standing Frame looking online for rental properties and have a couple options to check on tomorrow. The rest of the night was pretty quiet and Janet was asleep minutes after I got her tucked in just before ten.

Praying for a place to live and for Janet to continue gaining strength and awareness.

The Team Save Janet Report is Out! #TSJ #Blizzard #Shopping #Standing

Instead of snoring away, Janet was grinning at me as I snuck into her room this afternoon. She just doesn’t seem to be able to nap anymore even though she sometimes asks for one. It seems as though she is much better able to function through the rest of the day than previous so there’s no need to force a nap but quiet time does have a clear benefit.

I gave Janet a choice of shopping or gym to start our time together and she chose gym. No real shock there as lately she’s been quite determined to get the “bad things over with” rather than face doing them later. I like the attitude and with Curtis watching Janet did a good job on the Shuttle today. She seemed a little stronger than the last two days with me and also had a good little standing on her own session before “walking” over to the table mat for some stretching. As Janet finished her standing session I sensed she wanted to walk a bit and she didn’t hesitate when I asked her. The first few steps were very small and slow with me holding her up. Curtis then started assisting with her right leg and that allowed for a fairly steady pace with Janet feeling more confident. There isn’t much communication to her right leg and we noticed the majority of the effort to move it is coming from her hips. Its awesome she wants to try and walk and she even acknowledged the need to get stronger. Confidence and a lack thereof is a big part of her challenge now along with command of the right leg. Time will tell.

We had time to do forty five minutes in the Standing Frame before dinner and Janet got nice and straight without pain again and never complained about doing it at all. The more she is in charge of her exercises the better I think. We joined in on the communal dinner tonight and enjoyed some lively conversation. Kieran is a noisy and fun addition to the house.

Pants weather has arrived for Janet and that’s why the option to go shopping today. I also needed something to do with her anticipating an early gym visit leaving us with too cold an evening to walk. I wanted her to have some nicer pants to wear rather than her old stretchy things all the time and I needed some storage bins for the house. Felt like a good reason to check out the new Target store. We were both underwhelmed but Janet found a pair of pants so all was not lost. She did much better at the Gap scoring three pair and we ended the night with a Smores Blizzard. Good but nothing beats Skor.

Today was a lot of fun with Janet and I look forward to more of the same tomorrow. Praying for an increase in strength and command of her right leg.

The Team Save Janet Report is Out! #TSJ #Connect #sleepy #walk

Jess reports Janet was quite sleepy most of the day today and that she asked to lay down after her singing with John session. Sure enough, Janet was sort of sleeping when I snuck into her room. She looked super cozy all wrapped up in her blankets and true to form as soon as I let go of the door handle she opened her eyes. We chatted for a while and it was clear she wasn’t going to sleep so up she got so we could sit in the sun and talk some more. I had lots of news to tell her, most important was that I finally made contact with the owner of a house we’ve had our eye on. She is going to sell but was waiting until Spring. I’m praying that the good conversation we had this morning will encourage her to sell sooner, like now. She kindly gave me a tour of her house and I liked what I saw, especially how wheelchair friendly it is. Her husband was in a chair for five years there so most of the house is easily accessible for Janet who was very excited to hear my report.

Understanding that she needs to make two trips to the gym each day Janet elected to do the Shuttle and Standing Frame before dinner. Again today, not her best ever performance but decent. I’m very happy with her Standing Frame tolerance though. Nice and straight for forty five minutes and no complaints until she let herself down and that’s just the pressure coming off of her knees. By the time she was done all that the other residents had finished dinner so we had the table mostly to ourselves. I’ll have to watch the timing a little better in the future as I like Janet to be a part of the community table.

We went for a nice long walk after dinner and noticed the cooler temperature and lack of daylight. Janet agreed that it will be difficult when it’s dark at five o’clock to find something interesting to do. We’ve enjoyed a lot of time outside this summer and are kind of dreading the end. It will be a big adjustment.

That was pretty much it for Janet as with not sleeping well last night then not really napping this afternoon she was ready to call it before nine o’clock. She’s doing a great job with her pole transfers even when tired and her bedtime routine is quickly becoming more independent as well. She told me tonight she “needs to walk” and knows she has to work hard to get there. Tonight was a good effort and hopefully that continues.

Praying for rest, healing, strength and a positive attitude. Thanking Jesus for all we are blessed with.

The Team Save Janet Report is Out! #tsj #home #Connect #Swimming #KGH

Another good nights’ sleep for Janet and a good start to the day this morning. She knew it was Monday and that we’d being going back to Connect later, she knew there was something else, just couldn’t get the word swimming out. We got to the pool in plenty of time and the first session was alright with Janet’s right leg doing its own thing instead of what she was trying to get it to do. Her walking was not as strong as last week partly because of that right leg or maybe totally because of it. Some days she just seems to be overly buoyant and today was one of them. Janet tried really hard to get her feet down to the pool floor from floating on her back but had a heck of a time today as they just wanted to stay near the surface. Tez joined us for session two and was happy with Janet’s sense of balance and her ability to swim. What he observed from her walking challenges confirmed the need to really go hard at making that right leg stronger. He reinforced that with Janet and will do the same with the Connect staff.

As we were leaving KGH I had Janet drive by what I thought was the room she described to me a week ago or so. No bells went off though and she didn’t even really remember telling me about a room before. I will have to strike sooner next time she does something like that.

Janet built herself a nice sandwich for lunch once we got home then agreed to try and have a nap. I should have bet her as she of course didn’t think she’d sleep but she did for a little bit and helped me start making dinner before having a late Skype chat with Andrew.

The return to Connect was smoother than I expected and Janet cooperated nicely in going on the Shuttle and into the Standing Frame. This was not her greatest Shuttle performance ever but considering the time of day I’ll take it. She tolerated the Standing Frame very well and we enjoyed some interesting conversation with Kieran, a new resident from North Vancouver who’s mom’s name is Janet so he calls Janet mom. He’s twenty four and very positive and Janet liked him as soon as they met. Janet stayed up a little late because of the Kieran conversation but that was a fun way to end a good day. Praying for rest that brings lots of energy and strength for tomorrow’s activities.

The Team Save Janet Report is Out! #TSJ #moving #skype #hottub #botox

Janet seemed to have one of the best nights’ of sleep she’s had in a while last night. She was asleep before prayer time and I don’t recall her waking until around seven this morning and then she promptly fell back to sleep until nine thirty. Good for her, except that gets our day off to a late start but I’m happy she slept. That sleep probably gave her the good strong voice and brightness she displayed during our Skype chat with Leslie. Fun to listen to.

For work today we decided to finish off Laurel and Heathers’ old room which went quite smoothly as it was mostly a matter of bagging things and getting them out of there. That leaves two major rooms still to be purged, Cams’, which we’ll tackle when he’s home next week and the garage, which will wait till much closer to moving date.

After lunch we drove to what we think would be nice as our future neighborhood and went for a walk. It was nice to be out in the sun and fresh air and that set Janet up nicely for an afternoon nap. Heather was next on the Skype list and Janet was into it enough that I could leave them chat and start dinner. We finished in plenty of time for a relaxing hot tub followed by watching AGT with Janet’s legs in the extenders. With almost two months to go before the next round of Botox I’m a little concerned about the amount of tone in Janet’s legs. It seems like the effect is wearing off sooner this time or things are just different, I don’t know. Her functionality seems the same with a little more command of the right leg and that is good. The hamstrings however seem tighter than they should be at this point. I’m looking forward to Tez joining us at the pool tomorrow and getting his opinion on it all.

Praying for a restful and healing sleep and thankful for the relaxing sunny day we had today.

The Team Save Janet Report is Out! #TSJ #purging #trinitykelowna #toast

After a pretty good nights’ sleep Janet got up fairly early for a Saturday and we enjoyed a pleasant breakfast time making sure we were all fueled up before tackling the day. Janet continues to gain confidence in her abilities and scared me a little this morning when she tried getting up from the table to walk to the other end of the kitchen and make herself some toast. I had left her sitting in a dining chair eating breakfast while I showered and by the time I got back she had spun around in it and was clearly trying to stand up. She was frustrated to realize she couldn’t do it but I love the attitude in initially thinking she could. One day.

We had a nice Skype chat with Mary/Gaga on our new computer then headed downstairs for more purging. Today was to be a final sweep of Laurel and Heathers’ old room and we didn’t quite get it finished as we had no idea there was that much stuff in there. A lot of it is garage sale material and in fact we sold their desks and dressers today just after cleaning them out. Good timing.

Courtney came by for a visit and joined us for a late lunch. It was nice to catch up with her and really nice to have her go through her stuff and lessen some of the clutter. Janet and I stopped work in time to do a drive by of a couple houses on the way to church. One looked promising but we decided against the neighborhood, the other was the one that’s not listed yet and we keep trying to catch the owner at home. No luck. The church was happy to receive some of the spoils of our purging today and we enjoyed the worship experience and being able to visit some of the Team Save Janet crew.

It was dinner and a movie at home night following church and we are 0 for 2 in recent movie choices. Don’t bother with I Give it a Year. We usually do well with British comedies and there were a few very funny moments but not worth recommending. Janet stayed awake the whole time so it couldn’t have been that bad I guess. We started getting ready for bed as soon as the movie ended and Janet was sleeping before prayer time. Praying for a full night of sleep that provides lots of energy for tomorrow.

The Team Save Janet Report is Out! #TSJ #sold #home #preschool


The SOLD sign went up at our house today! The Subjects are removed and we are headed for a September 26th closing date and September 30th possession. Now we just need to figure out where we are moving to. Suggestions?

Janet was very excited to see me this afternoon saying she didn’t want to be watching anymore silly television. She’d had a pretty good day so far with a good Shuttle routine and Standing Frame session but she was more than ready to go home for the weekend.

Once at home and after a brief chat with our realtor, Les, we got busy sorting out the remaining boxes from under the stairs. Janet was a little tired but determined to see this through. There were a couple more boxes that triggered some sad thoughts about never being a pre school teacher again but those were alleviated today by realizing how much work was needed to be a good one. Janet worked extremely hard as a teacher for very little reward the last few years and she remembers that and so is able to part with that stuff. We aim to find a worthy pre school to donate all the toys and supplies to. Naturally we had to keep some things for future grand kids and Janet instantly exclaimed that was what the Barbie stuff and Duplo stuff is for. That was the last of the really tedious purging expeditions so I think the priority for the remainder of this weekend will be to find somewhere to move to.

Just before we finished with that load of boxes we stopped for dinner and Janet was very helpful in building our BBQ chicken pizzas. With work all done and before watching SYTYCD we went for a hot tub. The weather is noticeably cooler in the evenings now and I wonder how Janet will manage hot tubbing in the winter if we are fortunate enough to have one still. I have my doubts about her out in the cold but we’ll try because the benefits remain huge. I thought Janet would fade quickly while watching TV tonight but she was quite interested in all of the routines on SYTYCD tonight and didn’t fade until she hit the pillow a couple hours later.

Praying for deep and healing sleep and stronger legs. Sending a special prayer to Barb and Gary as they drive to Powell River tomorrow for a month. Enjoy kids!

The Team Save Janet Report is Out! #TSJ #LaurelandRaj #lunch #standing

As expected, Janet got up fairly early this morning knowing she could visit Laurel and Raj. Her night was somewhat restless with a good start and a not so good middle. The morning with Laurel and Raj was good though and Janet seemed quite bright and happy the whole time. Laurel went through some of the memorabilia we had found and shared a lot of it with Janet and that produced a lot of laughs. Laurel and Raj treated us to a nice lunch at Joey’s before they started their drive to the coast. Janet got quiet at the restaurant as the lack of sleep caught up with her. It was still a nice time and Janet ate well saying “that’s way better than what I get at school”. Connect has been referred to as school a lot lately and I guess that’s ok.

Once back at Connect a very tired Janet hung in there for our meeting with wheelchair guy. I think we’ve finally started the final bit of test driving and should have something to buy in the next few weeks after one more modification. Sounds like Janet has selected the color of the chair already, pink. She very willingly headed to bed for a nap right after the meeting and slept for a short while then was awake more than sleeping for the next hour. That gave her enough energy to say “let’s get done what I have to get done”. Meaning, lets go to the gym. With a much better attitude and me not distracted by my phone, Janet had a great Shuttle workout, followed by a good little standing session and some good stretching with Garrett. After dinner she said she wanted to do the Standing Frame so she could be done and she handled almost an hour in it nicely. That left us a little time for a walk and some YouTube before the tiredness crept back up on Janet.

Another solid day with signs of improvement. Praying for an active and productive tomorrow.

The Team Save Janet Report is Out! #TSJ #LaurelandRaj #home #purging #meltdown

Jess reports Janet had a very busy first part of her day, doing lots of work in the gym, Speech with Mary Lou and helping Jess make biscuits for tonight’s dinner. Tez mentioned he wants Janet’s work on the Shuttle to focus on her right leg as she really needs to build strength in it. She did the full workout as well as lots of sit to stand exercises. Janet said she didn’t help much with the biscuits but it sounds like Speech was incorporated into the process as she did say she read the recipe out loud. There hasn’t been much change in Janet’s volume level but the memory keeps improving even if she struggles to find the right words. Tonight she retold the story of the lunatics at the London Drugs parking lot on Monday correctly stating “we were only in there ten minutes…” then carrying on with a somewhat jumbled but accurate description of the encounter. Pretty impressive I think.

I snuck up on Janet as she wheeled from the living room and followed her to the kitchen sink and almost out the door to the patio after I got to Connect. She couldn’t quite get the door open herself but gave it a good try. We had a nice talk in the sun for a bit and since she had just gotten out of the Standing Frame decided to do a Shuttle session then hit the road for home as Laurel and Raj were coming in tonight for a brief visit. I didn’t get the sense that Janet was particularly tired prior to getting to the gym, that sure changed in a hurry though. My original thought was for her to have a rest, dinner, gym then go home. Should’ve stuck to that as Janet had enough of a meltdown in the gym to warrant a time out for an hour after Garrett managed a little stretching with her. She definitely was tired as she slept for almost an hour but I’ll take some blame for the meltdown for not being focused on her when she was on the Shuttle. I need to ignore my phone when working with her like that.

Janet made a nice recovery after her nap. She of course said she wouldn’t sleep and when I checked her after thirty minutes she was right out. We stopped at Save On and got a bunch of groceries on the way home then built our own sandwiches for dinner. I’m having to help Janet less and less with this sort of thing as long as we can take the time needed for her to figure things out. I’ve never had her try the squeeze bottle of mayo before but she quickly figured out how to open it, she just isn’t strong enough to do it completely. Before Laurel and Raj arrived we had time to sort through a few more boxes from under the stairs and these made Janet a little sad. Most were filled with stuff she was saving for the possibility of her opening her own pre school one day. She repeatedly said “I guess I’ll never be a pre school teacher again”. No tears but close and I really felt for her but I also know its really good she acknowledges things like that and it reminds me of the need to keep her contributing to our life and hers at Connect. She needs to feel useful.

Laurel and Raj arrived just after nine and we enjoyed a nice visit before bed. They are on their way to the coast for a wedding so we’ll see them for half the day tomorrow before its back to work for Janet. There were lots of positives today even with the little meltdown and Janet of course was very excited to see Laurel and Raj. Praying for lots of rest tonight and a fun day tomorrow.