Month: November 2013

The Team Save Janet Report is Out! #TSJ #Home

Renovation Day 53. I finally got the dining room light installed and purchased what I hope will be good replacements for the way too hot halogen lamps under the cabinets. LED all the way baby. Randy came in and did the backsplash in both bathrooms and is almost done cutting, priming and spraying the shelves and doors for the kitchen.

To my surprise Janet was in bed when I got to Connect. I thought she’d be packed and waiting for me so she could go home for the weekend. She told me she thought maybe I changed my mind about when I was coming to get her so she decided to have a little rest. Her day had been busy starting with a shower, breakfast, The Shuttle, stretching, lunch then Sling Walking. I think a rest was totally appropriate. I’m not hearing any real complaining about the workouts now, they are still hard and they tire her out but there has been a shift in attitude and I think it’s due to Janet realizing she is making progress.

We stopped at Save On for some supplies then hung out at home where I encouraged Janet to do as much on her own as possible. She was able to get herself a glass of water, get numerous cooking tools for me, access the fridge and freezer, set the table and started to learn how to operate the cooktop and the oven. She never once complained about not being able to do something and went about each task determined to get it right.

Sitting down having dinner gave us a chance to look closely at our new house and Janet is very pleased with how it’s turning out. One thing we haven’t figured out yet is the furniture configuration in the living area and Janet came up with a good suggestion tonight that we’ll try for a while and see how it goes. The first test for it came as we watched X Factor and I think she may be on to something. We enjoyed the show and Janet came up with a very valid analysis as we discussed the results. We questioned how her choice to win it all ended up in the bottom three and Janet surmised that perhaps it was because she performed first and by the time everyone else had gone they forgot about her. I thought that was brilliant and very possible. As to why my choice was eliminated, Janet agreed that she just never moved out of her comfort zone enough to win a broader audience. Janet doesn’t always look like she’s engaged in something but tonight’s discussion is proof that the wheels are always turning and producing useful and retrievable data.

The bedtime routine was easier tonight as they are fewer things to trip over in the bathroom and bedroom. Janet will try the left side of the bed again this weekend and I think she can figure out how to manoeuvre from that side just fine.

I feel blessed to have Janet home this weekend and we look forward to sharing it with Laurel starting tomorrow. Praying for a deep and healing sleep tonight and lots of energy and a positive attitude for tomorrow.

The Team Save Janet Report is Out! #TSJ #Strong

Renovation Day 52. A work from home day for Randy and a little sleep in for me this morning before taking advantage of Black Friday to score some new cookware. Our old pots and pans won’t work on our new induction cooktop so we now have new ones. Yeah!

Today of course was swimming day and after last weeks session in the deep pool I decided to have Janet do that again. We didn’t have Courtney with us this time but Ashley from Connect was there with another resident so I felt confident that Janet could be rescued if something went wrong. Since Janet is doing so well with her balance and walking on land I’m giving her a break from the cold water and letting swimming be just the fun it ought to be. Prior to getting in the water Janet was saying she doesn’t like swimming, she was upset that the water was cold as soon as she got in but immediately upon swimming she had a big smile on her face. She swam strong and for long distances managing a few roles from back to tummy and back again. Her confidence level is definitely increasing as is mine which gave me the idea of throwing Janet off of the ladder just for fun. She agreed so I tossed her gently from maybe eight inches out of the water and she went about a foot under. With the wetsuit on I expected her to pop right back up and when she didn’t I reached down and pulled her back up. She wasn’t too happy about that saying “I was getting ready to swim”. She was fine, I panicked. Silly me.

My schedule didn’t allow me to go back to Connect right away with the group so I missed out on today’s session with Tez. Janet told me as soon as I got there that she walked up and down the hall again with a cane and she seemed quite excited and proud of herself. It was hard work and combined with the swimming I expected Janet to be zonked right out. Not the case, her stamina is really building.

Since she had energy she agreed to catch up on some correspondence that she has been delaying. Responding to emails has never been a favourite past time of Janet’s and it takes a lot out of her now so I have to catch her at just the right time in order to have her be able to focus and come up with good responses. That led us to dinner which included more vocal aerobics from her and Big Country and Willie. This time there was a contest to see who could hold a note the longest, Janet tried but burst out laughing fifteen seconds into each attempt. Good fun.

Still with energy Janet surprisingly was up for a bike ride after dinner and set a new personal best. 2.5 miles in thirty minutes at level 2.5! High five! I see no way for Janet to argue that she’s not getting stronger anymore. The proof is evident even to her now.

We watched a little TV with some of the others then read some of Open as Janet faded into sleepy time. Today was a very full day with lots of physical activity and some good brain exercise with Janet impressing me in all areas. Thanks again for all the positive feedback from Janet’s walking video, there was more to read to her today and for once she is accepting the compliments and encouragement and that is feeding her determination.

Praying for lots of healing rest tonight and an energetic day tomorrow.

The Team Save Janet Report is Out! #TSJ #TrinityKelowna

Renovation Day 51. Randy continues to work on drawers and shelves for the kitchen. I took the morning to catch up on bill paying and other paperwork knowing Janet was coming home in the afternoon to help unload a few boxes.

Janet was helping Jess do dishes when I got to Connect and she was quite cheery. I dare say she’s ramped up the brightness level a little since her walking yesterday and the confidence level seems a little higher too. Thanks to all of you that sent comments to us. I read them all to Janet and it really helps her to hear what you all think and have to say about her. She knew exactly what we had planned for the day and wasn’t too excited about going home to unpack saying “its a lot of work”. It is and she’s a big help to me especially in deciding things like what colour of towels go where. We got a good start on the last of the boxes today and I’ll be able to handle the rest on my own so we left the house early to run a couple errands before dinner and SHElife.

Dinner was at Milestones tonight and Janet was looking pretty tired before the appetizer arrived. The food gave her an energy boost and by the time I dropped her at the church she was doing fine. Tonight was the church AGM combined with a group packing of Christmas hampers. Janet really enjoyed the meeting but couldn’t give me any details on what was discussed. She did name a few of the speakers and very accurately described her challenges when it came to packing the hampers. Whoever pushed her down to where that was happening didn’t realize Janet can’t really write and left her at that station. Unfortunately she didn’t think to move on her own but someone came along and realized the problem and took her to the station where she could help load things into bags. Janet had nice things to say about quite a few people she interacted with tonight and that has been a huge benefit of her SHElife experience. I hope she decides to go again in the new year.

There were no big break through moments today like there was yesterday but Janet was very bright despite being tired and I noticed a lot more initiation of conversing than ever before and her response time to questions seems faster as well. It was a good day overall and one that Janet was happy to let happen at a slower pace than yesterday.

Praying for complete healing soon.

The Team Save Janet Report is Out! #TSJ #Babysteps

Renovation Day 50. Wow, 50?, really? Crazy. Randy installed almost all of the kitchen drawers today as well as the shelves for the remaining two closets. That means Janet will come home tomorrow after lunch to help load stuff into those spaces. I installed some towel bars, a new smoke alarm and started installing the dining room light.

As reported earlier Janet took her first steps using a cane today and we are still very excited about that. Here’s the video I shot this afternoon with her walking in the hallway assisted by Tez and Jess.

These are baby steps for sure and more of a confidence booster than anything else. Janet fully realizes and accepts how well she did today and that is the biggest win in my mind.

By the time we had settled down from all that excitement it was after four and Janet was feeling pretty tired so she went for a little pre dinner nap. That enabled her to get in a decent bike ride after dinner starting out at level two but asking for the pedalling to be made easier ten minutes in so I dropped it back down to 1.5 respecting how much the walking had taken out of her. Curtis informed me later that Jess had Janet on the bike yesterday starting at level three then dropping to two and Janet tolerated that well. As long as she’s not too tired I’ll get her going like that as well. She can handle it.

To be productive before watching The Voice Janet wanted to do some reading so we downloaded a book to the iPad in hopes she could read off of that easier. I had her read the opening quote in the book and she read seven lines with only two prompts from me along the way so I think this will work well. We chose the book Open by Andre Agassi and are enjoying it so far.

Janet stayed very alert throughout the reading and also for The Voice. Our contestants are both safe again and Janet is starting to remember some names from the show. Our bedtime chat included some serious thinking on Janet’s part triggered by her physical success today. She asked why she got sick and repeatedly mentioned she doesn’t want to be a waste. Instead of the old very emotional statements like that these were stated quite seriously with a hint of emotion. We had a really good talk in which I was able to reaffirm the many positives that have come in the last eighteen months. I sense a real turning point in Janet’s recovery and look forward to what she will accomplish in the near future.

Janet and I send our prayers and love to Heidi and her family today as they grieve the passing of her mother. Heidi and Jack are key members of Team Save Janet and inspiring examples of how to live out a life of faith and love.

Thanking our Lord and Saviour for all He provides and praying for complete healing.

A Team Save Janet Special Report. #TSJ #babysteps

I arrived at Connect a little after three today and was chatting with Janet and Jess in the living room when Tez dropped by. He asked Janet if she wanted to show me what they had done earlier. She agreed thinking he meant on video. When Jess came down the hall with a cane I was shocked and Janet got a little nervous.

During her Physio session this morning Janet was standing on her own and noticed Wes’s cane beside her. She grabbed it and took a step much to everyone’s surprise.

I’m unable to upload video from Connect so I’ll post it in the regular update later. Glory to God and go Janet!

The Team Save Janet Report is Out! #TSJ #singing

Renovation Day 49. Randy worked from home again today building drawers etc. He was kind enough to come to the house late in the afternoon to let the electricians in so they could fix what was left not working from last week. We now have a working wall oven and counter plugs, the only thing I see remaining is the island plugs and maybe there’s a plan to remedy those tomorrow. Joel came over this morning to solder some speaker wire for us and he also came up with a brilliant plan for hiding the TV wires in the Den. Love him.

I’m pretty sure I woke Janet up when I went into her room this afternoon. She was in a good mood, although a little groggy but she snapped out of it pretty fast and we went to the gym for a Shuttle workout. Janet told me she’d ridden the bike and did some stretching in the morning so she was OK to do the Shuttle. I’ve been questioning just how much stronger Janet has been getting the last few months and I really need to stop it because every time I get her on the Shuttle I can clearly see she is getting stronger. Her performance today was great, she even managed a personal high of six bands of tension using both legs for her final set and pushed really well with her right leg during those sets as well. She is making slow and steady progress in the strengthening category. Her balance is improving as well and that allowed her to shift her weight nicely on the balance board today getting into a really nice rhythm for a good minute or so. It seemed as though her struggle today wasn’t the fear of falling as much as it was being able to do the mechanics properly. She had that one moment where everything was working well then she seemed to get confused and quickly crashed. Repetition seems a good solution.

Dinner was hilarious tonight after I said it was going to be quiet without Kieran there. Big Country is determined to increase his speaking volume and has really taken to using singing as a tool to get there. He started doing some vocal aerobics at the table and before you knew it there was a competition going on between him, Janet and Willie as to who could be the loudest. They went at it for a good half hour, doing scales, animal noises and the few words they all knew to Jingle Bell Rock. It was a great time and I’d have to say Big Country was the loudest at times with Janet being the most consistently loud.

All that fun gave Janet good motivation to get into the Standing Frame after dinner and she stood nice and straight and strong for forty five minutes while we watched some football. I always stand with Janet during these sessions and each time I’m reminded of how difficult it is to stand for that long. Realizing that doesn’t mean I’ll take it easy on her though, just saying.

Janet chose to watch The Voice tonight rather than wait and watch our recorded version at home and I’m glad she did as it was a very good show. Janet offered some really good critiques of the performances and I’m more convinced than ever that her guy is going to win.

Today was loads of fun with Janet and it was difficult to leave but I know she’s in a good place that continues to provide healing and recovery in so many different aspects of her life. Thanking Jesus for everyone that is working for and caring for Janet and praying for complete healing and recovery soon.

The Team Save Janet Report is Out! #TSJ #energy

Renovation Day 48. Not much renovating going on today but Janet and I managed to empty a few boxes and have declared the Den/Second Bedroom completed except for decorating and hiding TV cables. After all the purging at the old house we surprisingly still have excess furniture so will be selling some things soon I guess. Still can’t find our lamps although we didn’t really look today.

Overall, today was a low energy day for Janet. She woke up with a bit of a spark but after breakfast and a Skype chat with Heather she started to fade. She was a big help in arranging furniture and she managed her first two loads of laundry with minimal assistance. I’ve no doubt she’ll master those machines very quickly. She’s pretty much got the ice and water dispenser down and can easily put her dirty dishes in the dishwasher. I’m liking this already!

I suggested a nap before going to the Grey Cup party and got know argument from Janet, in fact when I woke her at the agreed upon time she asked for another half hour. Not sure why she was so tired today but there’s no problem with taking a restful day and the long nap did enable her to enjoy the party. It wasn’t the most lively event we’ve ever been to and we didn’t hardly know anyone there but it was a good place to watch the game and Janet liked the Bingo game that we all played. You filled out your card with random numbers that corresponded to questions you could only answer by talking to other people. Janet had no problem going up to a few different folks and asking them the appropriate questions. She got enough correct answers to earn a line on her Bingo card but no prize. Oh well, it was fun. Not as much fun as watching Janet eat, to my knowledge, her very first chili dog! With no other dinner choices Janet didn’t even hesitate at eating some classic football food. High five!

Upon our return to Connect Janet surprised me again by agreeing to a bike ride and promptly tying her personal best. She kept saying how tired she was but she peddled and peddled the entire thirty minutes. High five!

We closed the day with a few minutes of real football and Tootsie Rolls and with Janet looking forward to Wednesday when she can come home and help set things up some more. Despite her tiredness today there were lots of encouraging signs of improvement like, Janet knowing where her slippers were after not having them on for over an hour, waking up with me telling her it’s two thirty and her saying “we have to go soon”, and the very good “tired” bike ride. It was fun having Janet home again and will be even more so as soon as we are totally unpacked and settled in.

Praying for a night of healing sleep, total control of her right leg and lots of energy for an active tomorrow.

The Team Save Janet Report is Out! #TSJ

Renovation Day 47. Randy worked from home today and Janet and I emptied a few boxes and arranged a few things in our room and the Den/Second Bedroom. There’s not really that much more we can do until the kitchen is finished. There is lots more I can do of course but that’ll have to wait for Monday when Janet is back at Connect.

The first night in the new house was a good one with Janet waking up refreshed and in bed still. The sun was shining brightly into the house as we had breakfast then called Mary/Gaga for a Skype chat. Janet was pleased with the way the conversation went and thought she did well. She did.

Our day consisted of puttering around the house, unpacking what we could and setting a few things up. We can’t for the life of us find our bedside table lamps so if anyone has them or knows where they are I’d love to hear from you.

It was nice enough for us to take the dog for a spin around the complex after lunch and we used that time to knock on the doors of a couple of our new neighbours so Janet could meet them. Since she’s hardly been here she’s missed out on people dropping in to say hi. We are blessed to have a lot of good neighbours here and Janet noticed that, saying, “we are lucky, because there could be a lot worse people living here”.

Janet thought the service at Trinity tonight was “really good and fun”. It was and she did a great job standing a couple of times during it. Moxies was our dinner choice tonight and Janet found it to be too noisy. Those environments are really bothering her lately so I’ll have to be mindful of that when deciding where to take her.

Today was a total day off from exercise and its hard for me to allow that as I want Janet to keep working her right leg especially. I notice she’s cold a lot these days and that really impedes the use of that right leg never mind the tone and neglect. Hawaii would be a great solution.

The benefits of the new neighbourhood are starting to be realized as I made a less than ten minute round trip run to Save On for ice cream tonight while Janet got ready to watch the X Factor results show. That trip was ten minutes one way from the old house and I was never comfortable leaving her alone and being that far away. This seems much safer although we should figure a way for her to call for help if needed. Ideas?

Praying for a night of healing sleep.

The Team Save Janet Report is Out! #TSJ #Home

Renovation Day 46. Finally, the electricians showed up today! We now have laundry, dishwasher, cooktop and oven along with some countertop plugs and under cabinet lights. There is a problem with the plugs on the island and one set of counter top plugs so they likely will need to return to fix those unless Randy and I can figure it out tomorrow. Randy worked hard to get everything ready for the electricians and can now finish the last two closets before focusing on the kitchen drawers and cupboards.

Surprisingly, Janet was asleep when I got to Connect. I thought she’d be raring to go knowing she was going home for the weekend. She woke up when I went into her room but clearly needed more sleep so she did for about an hour. That paid off nicely as she had good energy for the trip home and was a big help in putting away more of her stuff and helping to arrange furniture in the living area. That is very much a work in progress but at least things are in the general area so we can see exactly how it all fits instead of imagining it.

We could have cooked something for dinner and that would have been nice but there really wasn’t time so we ordered out pizza. LJFirstLanfrancouse
Kind of lame for the first sit down meal in a new house but thats the way it goes. Next weekend we’ll cook for sure.

Janet was comfortable sitting on the couch tonight watching X Factor. I could see the contentment in her eyes. There is still a lot of work to be done here but it was awesome to take an evening and spend it with Janet in our house, something we haven’t done in fifty five days.

Praying for complete healing and a finished home that we can soon for God’s intended purpose.

The Team Save Janet Report is Out! #TSJ #Home

Renovation Day 45 was more of an unpacking day for me. Randy continues the renovation side of things, finishing Janet’s closet and the one in the Den/Second Bedroom. He also did a great job installing our new dryer which required adapting the exhaust vent to run out of the bottom of the machine. Still no sign of the electrician but rumour has it he’s coming tomorrow and if so we will then be able to do laundry. Yeah!

I met Janet at the pool this morning along with Courtney. It was great having Courtney there as we were able to take Janet into the deep pool where the water is warmer. Janet swam well there but that’s all you can do so we did a little time in the lap pool as well so she could practice balancing and walking. She had virtually no push down in her right leg at all but was able to move it forward well. Janet enjoyed having Courtney in the pool with her and went the entire session without whining, pretty much a first.

After lunch with Courtney at The Asian Pear we went home and Janet was able to load some of her closet. She admitted it was a little overwhelming trying to put all of her stuff away so I stopped her after an hour and a half and got her into our new bed for a nap. I had hoped to give Janet the side of the bed closest to the bathroom so that’s what we tried today. The transfer into bed was OK and will be much better using a stripper pole when we get that installed. Janet found it a little hard to manoeuvre on the bed, feeling its a little soft. She slept well and really liked the bed once snuggled up in it. Getting out proved more challenging as she has to use her weak side more being on the opposite side of the bed from Connect. I think we’ll try it for the weekend and see if she can adapt, otherwise a switch may be in order.

We don’t yet have any means of cooking at the new house so out for dinner we went. This time to Original Joe’s. We hadn’t been there since early in the summer but Janet remembered the room once we were in it. The food was good but the place was very noisy so I think we’ll leave it as a lunch option as it should be quieter then.

Janet had enough energy in her to put in a decent bike ride when we got back to Connect and closed a busy day with some TV and Tootsie Rolls. Praying for a night of uninterrupted sleep, lots of exercise in the morning and complete control of her right leg.