Janet had just laid down for her afternoon nap and was not yet sleeping when I got to Connect this afternoon so I scooped her up and took her home so she could nap there before our dinner date tonight. She had done a decent amount of exercise during the morning and seemed quite bright and excited about going out for dinner. For a few months now our realtor, Les, has been trying to get us out for dinner with him and his wife, Dianne, as a closing present for us. The hook was that another couple would join us, his boss, Cliff, and his wife Barb who was in rehab at KGH with Janet almost the entire time Janet was there. Tonight was finally the night we could all connect at Bouchons. Janet was concerned with what she could wear as the shoes she needs to wear with her AFO are rather ugly and unfortunately I never thought of just using the ankle brace until it was too late. That meant no dress for Janet and both pairs of dress pants are too small for her now so she had to settle for regular pants and a nice shirt with a little bling. She looked fabulous of course as we headed out with Janet saying “I hope these people like me”. She knows Les of course but was having a hard time remembering Cliff and Barb and I assured her they remember her and always liked her a lot. As soon as Barb walked into the restaurant Janet’s face lit up as she remembered Barb from the countless unpleasant hospital meals they shared. Tonight was the polar opposite of that with both ladies demonstrating amazing recoveries. It was a very very enjoyable evening that tuckered Janet out to the point that when we got home she just wanted to get ready for bed and have me read to her. I did and she fell asleep within ten minutes then woke up and begged me to read more, I did and she fell asleep within three minutes then woke again saying read more. I did until she fell asleep for what I pray will be a night of re-energizing sleep so we can enjoy a productive Saturday.
A cold but smiling Janet was waiting for me at the pool this morning just wanting to get “this swimming thing over with”. She was in a good mood in spite of not wanting to be there and as usual broke into a big smile and actual laughter as she started to swim her first length. She said she was laughing because it was cold and it was a little on the chill side today for sure. I kept her moving as much as possible and Janet swam strong today with nice rolls from tummy to back and a few fun attempts at treading water. Instead of being all frustrated, she laughed about spinning around in a circle because of her one arm. The kiddie pool was a welcome relief from the cold and Janet did some good knee bends and balancing before getting a really good stretch in the hot tub, the place she would like to start and finish and probably stay at forever.
Janet had another fun appointment to look forward to this afternoon, the dentist. She needed one small cavity filled and afterwards said it was an interesting visit. The folks there are very friendly and fun and Janet felt at ease and welcome and said it didn’t hurt at all. She couldn’t wait to get into bed for a nap as soon as we got home though and had a good little rest before the next event.
We met Suzanne for dinner tonight at Routes Grill which is near Connect. Janet and I had been once before and Suzanne never before so it was a good place to catch up with her. Janet says “its always fun with her” and it was. The menu is a little limited so Janet ended up with a seafood linguine that I try and have her avoid when we are out as its a messy eat. She did OK though and conversed well with Suzanne.
Today was a very full day for Janet and she held up very well. I found her memory to be slightly improved and her transfers excellent. I had her try and answer some emails before bed but she only managed a couple as I think she had just had enough for the day by then. Andre Agassi managed to get a few belly laughs from her as we read Open before saying goodnight. Praying for a solid night of sleep and a great Friday.
I caught Janet napping again this afternoon which is good as she really does function a lot better in the evening if she is rested. She wasn’t able to give me much detail about what she did with the first part of the day and I trusted her when she told me she did lots in the gym or “downstairs” as she calls it sometimes.
Our drive to the pre SheLife dinner was quite chatty for a car ride as Janet continued to try and tell me about her day. She struggled with details and getting the right word out and seems to be telling herself she can’t remember way too fast. I wonder if writing a note about each task as she completes it would help her remember it longer. Might try that soon.
Janet wheeled herself into her SheLife session tonight with me spying on her just to make sure she found the right table. She seemed more than happy to go off on her own. The session went quite long and Janet said the video they watched was too long but all the remaining ones are half the length so it should be fine. She said she was able to contribute to the discussion and enjoyed the evening. During the drive back to Connect Janet gave me a pretty good run down on what they discussed, much better than her earlier report on the days events.
Once back at Connect it was get ready for bed, read and say goodnight. Praying for a night of deep and healing sleep that provides lots of energy for a busy tomorrow. Thanking Jesus for the community of friends we are able to do life with.
Working out in the gym with a smile on her face is where I found Janet this morning as she was counting out her reps for one of the new exercises designed to increase control of her right leg. I was early to take her to the Botox appointment so I went to chat with nurse Jen and Wendy while she finished her workout. Jen agrees that Janet is doing really well with her toileting lately and wants to move very slowly towards stopping the laxatives Janet currently gets. The dietician is checking with Janet every couple of weeks and is in control of this part of things. I find myself wanting to end as many drugs as possible as quickly as possible for Janet but that’s not always best for her. I will be patient and enjoy the success Janet is having. Wendy agreed that Janet is making progress with the iPad but isn’t fully grasping what she’s doing. That is one of the trade offs of this method of teaching as Wendy wants Janet to not be thinking of how to do the simple things like turn the iPad on but it makes it hard to add more complex tasks right away as Janet doesn’t understand what she’s doing. Patience again and we decided to try and make the iPad more of a focus of information for Janet so no more white board in her room. The staff and I will communicate with each other and Janet using the calendar in Janet’s iPad so she has more reason to use it throughout the day. It would be great if more of you would drop an email to Janet more frequently. I know she doesn’t like to type replies but dictating them is kind of fun for her and that is something all of us can help her with. She just needs more, short, emails to reply to. firstname.lastname@example.org if you are willing.
Dr. McCann took his time with Janet today, really wanting to make sure the best areas are targeted with this latest round of Botox. Janet was a little nervous heading in but appreciated the attention and opportunity to say how she was doing and what hurt etc. We agreed to ignore the left leg, inject for the right fingers and wrist and especially the right hamstring and the muscle that controls the side to side movement of the foot. Don’t ask me what it’s called. Janet was a trooper and I think we hit all the right spots. Dr. McCann remains “surprised” at Janet’s level of progress and still has an image in his head of when he first met her and it’s not a pretty one. I think she was somewhat encouraged by his comments.
We did a little shopping before going home and Janet propelled herself around parking lots and stores really well and to the point of tiring. So much so that she called her own nap time shortly after getting home and slept for an hour and a half. A refreshed Janet did an outstanding job helping with dinner and was a lot of fun the whole evening at home, singing and just being happy. Her transfers were consistently better today and she knew enough to say no to a glass of wine with dinner, saying, “I have to go back to school tonight”. Back at Connect I noticed a little improvement in her one legged bike riding and she got a good hamstring stretch using the Standing Frame.
A very busy and successful day ended with some reading of Open and we got quite a few chuckles tonight and Janet stayed awake for the entire session. Praying for an energetic and productive tomorrow.
My day with Janet started with a nap. She had just gone to bed fifteen minutes before I arrived so I snuck into her room, but not very well as she woke up briefly to greet me then had a half hour snooze. Before getting up I tried to get the run down on her day so far but Janet has been having a little trouble with her short term memory lately and she wasn’t able to tell me much without a lot of prompting. I’m not sure what’s going on there and she is definitely worse when tired. It also seems like she gives up a little fast too. I’ll try and talk to Wendy about it this week.
Janet did report that she did everything in the gym this morning. Upon further examination I discovered she only did the Shuttle and mat exercises so after counting some pennies and eating a big dinner Janet reluctantly agreed to a little work on the bike. We tried a few different seat positions this time in an effort to give Janet the best chance at success. She’s a little down on the fact that her right leg doesn’t work that well and that is affecting her efforts on the bike. We found a position where Janet is able to get a few inches of pull up on each revolution and I think she can gain strength enough to complete a revolution soon if she keeps working at it. I’m also hoping for some help from tomorrow’s Botox.
Now that the Aussie Open is over there is nothing on TV and that turned out to be good as Janet spent over half an hour singing with Big Country. They took turns choosing songs from his iPad with Janet doing most of the singing on her choices and Big Country singing most of his. Janet was very supportive of his efforts and really encouraged him along in kind of a mother like way. Following that, Janet asked for her nails to be done and chose Seahawks blue as her colour. Honestly, she chose it with no influence from me at all. After getting ready for bed I read some of what is a very interesting chapter in Open to her but she was sleeping fifteen minutes in and I had to stop at a critical point. Janet denied falling asleep but I know snoring when I hear it.
Tomorrow is Botox day and I have high expectations for this round. If Dr. McCann is onboard we will focus on the right leg and arm, leaving the left leg alone. Janet doesn’t know it yet but as usual her exercise routine will ramp up after the injections too. Fun times.
Praying for a night of deep and healing sleep that brings a positive attitude and a willingness to fully participate in tomorrow’s activities.
Slow out of the gate again this morning Janet was full of energy so I guess letting her sleep in was a good thing. With coffee in hand she had a good Skype chat with Laurel before we watched the Men’s Championship match from the Aussie Open. Janet was cheering for Rafael Nadal but learned to like his opponent, Stanislas Wawrinka, who ended up winning. Janet seems to be able to really connect with the tennis players as they are not all covered up as other athletes are and there are only two on a court with TV providing plenty of close ups. She enjoys hearing their stories and really does get emotionally connected to what she’s watching. The Aussie Open was great fun and hopefully there is more tennis in our future.
Not having all the supplies needed to continue our work with Janet’s memorabilia we decided to try some baking. Yikes! It actually was a lot of fun as Janet was eager and knowledgeable and able to help quite a bit. I had to run to the store for eggs and when I returned Janet had most of the other ingredients out on the counter ready to go. We made Janet’s famous lemon squares and in the true spirit of baking are giving them away to an unsuspecting couple. I hope they turned out!
Janet faded late in the afternoon and had a very long nap not getting up until almost six o’clock. Again, it seemed to do her good as we enjoyed a nice dinner which I got ready as she talked to Andrew on Skype. She was able to keep the conversation going for a decent amount of time and only looked to me for answers a few times. She’s getting close to being able to initiate these chats on her own so beware.
Dinner was late and so were The Grammys so by the time we got back to Connect it was time for bed and a little reading. Janet enjoyed a leisurely weekend and hopefully is recharged and ready to tackle the week ahead. Praying for complete healing and thanking God for all we are blessed with.
Sometimes it’s hard to believe how much stuff there is to do in getting up in the morning and each time Janet and I get up I think we are off to a good start on the day. That is until I look at the clock and see its taken forty five minutes to get to where we are having breakfast and it’s no longer early morning. In fact, not far from here, it’s no longer morning at all. Such was the case today but it was ok as we had a very adaptable schedule.
The first commitment was the weekly Skype chat with Mary/Gaga who had to wait a little beyond her scheduled time as we were watching the women’s championship match from the Aussie Open and wanted to wait to pause at the end of a very exciting first set. Janet conversed well but asked me for help on more than her usual number of questions. The only reason I can think of for that is she was really caught up in the tennis and couldn’t think of much else. We watched the rest of the match after Skypeing and when I asked Janet what she wanted to do next she said, relax, as “I was all nervous about the tennis”.
We did practice a little standing and walking even though Tez said not to walk. I’m scared Janet will forget how so I’m going to have her do a little anyways. When we purged our old house we filtered out a lot of Janet’s recipe collection but were still left with a large stack of paper. I’ve slowly put some of the recipes into an app on Janet’s iPad but there are a lot to go. Thankfully Janet’s friend Janet F. asked for a recipe today so we were able to enter it and then email it to her. Janet read me the ingredients as I typed and then she dictated the email to Janet F. Another project started. Yeah.
Janet did a good job making her lunch today then opted for a nap before church. She slept for an hour and a half and was a new person when she woke. During our drive to church she was quite stern about informing me that she was not propelling herself in from the parking lot as it’s “too hard”. Janet has been using the words “too hard” a lot lately when trying to get out of something. Each time I explain she’s done before what she’s being asked to do therefore it’s not “too” hard. She might be starting to agree. Naturally she very competently wheeled herself into church and did an excellent transfer into her seat. The music tonight had Janet standing and smiling and singing away for all but one song and she even leaned over to me after the first one to say “that was a fun song”. Cathedral Made of People by Downhere if you want to check it.
We enjoyed a quiet evening at home, making dinner together and watching The Breakfast Club. Janet was on point the whole time and enjoyed the movie. It is a classic. Praying for a night of uninterrupted sleep, full and complete healing and a productive tomorrow.
Since today was going home for the weekend day I fully expected to find Janet packed up and ready to go this afternoon. Instead, she had just decided to have a nap before I got to Connect. She told me she was tired so I let her sleep for an hour which was all she needed. On the way home we stopped at Urban Fare to get a dessert for our dinner party tonight and Janet propelled herself around the store and back to the car very very well. Sometimes it’s hard for me to keep from helping her but I find the more I can let her go the better she gets and the more confident she gets too. At home we got right to work getting things ready and Janet was a big help in gathering ingredients and washing vegetables as well as setting the table.
Randy and Claudette and Barb and Gary joined us tonight for some good conversation and sharing of food. We hadn’t seen our former neighbours since our house dedication party so it was nice to catch up with them and especially nice of Barb to bring her yummy cinnamon buns and fresh baked bread. It was also nice to be able to sit and chat with Randy and Claudette without dust flying and compressors running. We are blessed to have a home we can share with friends. Janet really enjoyed the evening and even initiated the conversation a couple of times. She admitted as we went to bed that she felt a little drunk and I suppose three glasses of wine will do that to some people.
Praying for a solid night of sleep and a productive tomorrow.
It was back to the pool today for Janet after a couple of weeks off. Her complaining hasn’t changed and neither has her swimming ability except for the time she drank a little water from the deep tank and I had to pull her to edge so she could cough it up. Scarier for me than her. In the kiddie pool Janet did some great standing and knee bends with a decent amount of push from her right leg. There was a two year old girl in the pool at the same time as us and she made a point of staring down Janet every time she jumped in and she wouldn’t jump until Janet was watching. Kid magnet.
After a short nap Janet cooperated with me and did a good session on the Shuttle and a better one than yesterday on the bike. I’d say she’s making small gains on the Shuttle and the bike is going to take a while.
Ed Mitchell is a counsellor who comes in every Tuesday morning and facilitates a group discussion for the residents of Connect. Janet has been but is not really interested. Tonight Ed started a group for the spouses and families of the residents so I went to see what this guy is all about. Ed is a nice guy who is offering his services to help anyone who wants, unfortunately tonight me and Willie’s wife were the only two there. The intent is to meet once a month on Thursday evenings but I’m not sure I want to give up that time with Janet as all she did while I was there tonight was watch TV. Nice idea, but.
I convinced Janet to do forty five minutes in the Standing Frame before heading off to her room to plan meals for the weekend and read Open. She was disappointed we couldn’t watch any tennis tonight and didn’t last long with me reading either as she stared snoring four pages in. That’s a good thing and hopefully she snores all night. Praying for lots of energy and a positive attitude for tomorrow that enables Janet to keep working hard like she did today.
Today was the fifth anniversary of Connect Communities and the whole place celebrated with a little party that Janet attended. I think the birthday cake gave her enough of a sugar high to keep her going the rest of the day. She was in a good mood when I arrived and looking forward to SheLife at Trinity this evening. Jess reported that Janet covered off everything in the gym this morning without arguing. She wasn’t thrilled about any of it but she did it. There was an attempt at a nap that turned out to be just rest time with some music on and that seemed to be enough as Janet was pretty bright the whole time I was with her today. We had a chat with Brian to ensure we are on the same page as far as the next round of Botox goes. He feels that focusing on the right leg with a little attention to the right wrist and fingers is a good plan and is pleased with the improvements Janet is showing.
One of the benefits of SheLife starting at six thirty is we get to go out for dinner beforehand. Dinner at Connect is not typically served in time to make the twenty minute drive in afterwards so Janet gets a treat. Tonight she selected sushi and after a few miscalculated attempts got her chop sticks working nicely and said she was “stuffed” as we made our way to the church. During our dinner Janet remembered by the date that it was her sister Leslie’s birthday today and gave her a quick happy birthday phone call that contained as much laughter as it did talking.
Janet propelled herself all the way from the car into the church then to the room SheLife is held in and is getting more and more confident out on her own all the time. Heidi graciously accepted Janet at her table again as Janet had hoped and by all accounts at the end of the evening this will be a good activity for Janet. She loves being in a room full of women talking even if she doesn’t say much herself.
After her evening routine was complete we read for a while before saying goodnight after a successful day. Praying for a solid night of sleep and lots of energy for tomorrow.