Month: February 2014

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

Around lunchtime today I called Janet and on the second ring she answered all by herself! She was about to have lunch so didn’t want to talk much but she sounded great and it was really cool to be able to call her like that. I did it again just as I was leaving to pick her up and this time she answered right away saying she was going to sleep. Good thing I called. I held back for an hour then went to Connect, loaded her up for the weekend and headed to KGH to see John.

John was awake this time and we were able to have a nice visit. He is looking and feeling a little better and enjoyed teasing Janet who was very compassionate and all on her own wished him a speedy recovery and a hope that he returns to sing with her soon. There is a real connection between the two of them and we are blessed to have John in our lives. As we made our way out of the hospital we ran into nurse Arlene headed off on a break. Janet didn’t remember her but Arlene took the time to really speak some love to Janet and assure her what an inspiration she is. I love it when others tell Janet truths like that.

Janet helped make dinner and we settled in to watch the first two episodes of The Voice. It is amazing to me how much Janet takes in and correctly processes things now. It wasn’t long ago that TV watching took place with no interaction at all, now Janet sings along, comments on performers, laughs and genuinely understands what’s going on. She is truly disappointed she has to wait a week to watch more.

Looking forward to a great weekend and praying for lots of energy and a positive attitude.

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

Curtis put Janet through an intense workout this morning in which he says Janet did well. Her version of the story is a little different of course but overall I think she feels better about it than usual. Wendy helped Janet with using her iPhone and found Janet to be a little nervous about doing things fast enough. I called Janet a few times today and she said she saw and heard the phone ringing but couldn’t answer in time and didn’t totally remember how. We practiced tonight and I think with a lot more repetition she’ll get there.

Having done all her exercises except the Standing Frame it was a pretty relaxing evening for Janet and that worked out well as one of the staff members tonight was a nurse who cared for Janet back in the 4B days. Amanda remembered us right away. Not unexpectedly, Janet has no recollection of her. I vaguely remember Amanda but it took me a while and I’m a little disappointed in myself for that as from what Amanda said she was right there from the beginning in 4B and fairly often even though she’s a Casual. We had a very long and interesting chat with her after dinner that Janet really enjoyed and contributed to. Still no recall of those days for her though.

Janet did her Standing Frame routine while we visited with Willie’s wife Val. It is their 44th wedding anniversary today! Impressive! After responding to a few emails and listening to me read for over half an hour Janet agreed it was sleep time. Praying for a fast recovery for John and a solid night of sleep for Janet that allows her a productive Friday.

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

Interior Health is in the midst of a project aimed at identifying what information a stroke patient and or their family needs and when would be best to provide that information. Today the lady in charge of Acquired Brain Injury for the Okanagan and a fourth year Social Worker student were at Connect to get feedback from those willing to share. Janet and I attended and I was very impressed with how involved Janet got in the discussion. The line of questioning, I thought was rather ridiculous as they asked about day one through seven of a stroke incident. Not one of the patients in the room remembers day one through seven and Janet doesn’t remember month one through month seven so what the heck. Janet very clearly explained that to them and also commented on what she feels she needs now and heading into the future. She surprised me by saying she has flashes of memory from something in a hospital but doesn’t know what it is. This is the biggest example of her taking ownership of her situation that I’ve seen. High five!

Garrett took Janet to the gym right after the meeting and did some stretching then I assisted with some Shuttle work. Janet is certainly at a higher energy level in the morning than she is at night and even said so herself. After a light lunch we took off to KGH to visit John. Unfortunately for us he was sound asleep when we got there but we had a nice visit with Chantelle, one of Janet’s former PT’s who’s now working the ward that John is on. I took Janet over to 4B where she spent such a long time and gave her a good look at her old room to see if there was any memory there at all. Her answer was no and she didn’t remember Jacque, the head nurse either but we had a nice visit with her anyways.

Janet had the privilege of spending a little time at home today which consisted of a short nap followed by a home made dinner then it was off to SheLife. Janet was very prepared for tonight’s session as Heidi had wisely emailed a couple of questions for everyone to try and answer. I was able to help Janet with them and then have her try and remember her answers a couple times each day leading up to tonight. Heidi says Janet shared a lot tonight and Janet seemed pleased with herself afterward. Tonight was also different in that I didn’t stay and help with the Tech Team. It was our Strata’s AGM and I felt it was important to be there so I left Janet at Trinity and went to the meeting. It felt a little weird but I knew she was in good hands and I think she liked the increased sense of independence. She’s also very much accepted the idea of having her own phone and is quite excited to receive calls. If you wish to have Janet’s number please email her your request and I’ll have her send it to you. Be patient when you call, you won’t always get an answer and it may be good to call back a minute or so after your first attempt. The best times to call most days are between 9am and 10am, noon and 2pm and 6 and 9pm.

Praying for a solid night of rest and an energetic Thursday.

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

I called Janet at noon today mostly to get her some practice answering the phone but also to see how her morning had gone and to offer some positive feedback. Her morning was still happening as she was up at the parallel bars with Tez and not exactly thrilled about it. She was laughing to Garrett as she hung up from talking to me so maybe the call lifted her spirits a little. Jess informed me later that Janet had done well up there and for the first time had put an equal amount of weight on both legs when standing on the scales. That’s a significant achievement that I praised Janet about all night.

After a short nap I helped Janet get up so she could do the Standing Frame at the same time as Big Country. This was his second day using a custom built frame and its pretty cool seeing a seven foot guy standing up. Janet was sufficiently distracted by Big Country and with me cleaning and trimming her finger nails that she stood for over an hour before realizing she was allowed to get down.

There was a little arguing about having to do the Shuttle after dinner but Janet caved relatively quickly and had a good workout. We spent a lot of the evening reading and responding to emails before watching a couple of I Love Lucy episodes to wind down the night. Janet remembered Lucy, Ethel and Ricky but needed some help with Fred. She laughed a few times and got a real kick out of the clothes they wore and the old fashioned telephone they used.

Praying for complete healing and a massive increase in confidence.

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

Janet rang her pendant for help just as I arrived at Connect this afternoon. She had been lying down for a while so I figured she was wanting to get up and she was but she was a little confused in thinking it was Tuesday and that I hadn’t been to visit her Monday. I think she had a moment of really deep sleep that caused that disorientation as I didn’t sense anything the matter with her. The daily report I got from her was typical in that she said she went to the gym for a long time but couldn’t remember what she had done. Once she was up, the first thing she wanted to do was figure that out. Chelsea looked in her chart and it was noted that Janet had done everything except the Shuttle so she readily agreed to go and do that straight away to get it over with.

The encouragement I’ve been giving Janet lately has been to do her best at anything she’s asked to do and she did just that on the Shuttle. I was especially impressed with her use of her right leg. She was able to push out a good distance on her own then slowly let it go back but not all the way before pushing out again. That kept tension on her leg the entire time and I have to believe is a more efficient and effective technique. High five!

With a little bit of time before dinner Janet checked emails then asked me to read a bit while she was awake enough to pay attention. For the first time with this book I got some laughter from her along with some good comments on what was taking place.

The house had a movie night tonight and everyone gathered in the living room to watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Janet has seen it before but until she saw the “bring out your dead” scene she didn’t remember it. She vaguely remembers giving coconut shells to her preschool classes and having them pretend to be horses but I remember her telling me how much the kids loved doing that not knowing the idea came from that movie. Janet laughed a few times but overall thought it quite the silly movie and it is.

Reading at bedtime went better than usual as Janet was more awake than usual after that good afternoon nap. We had a good talk about the positives from today and how she needs to try her hardest when working with Tez tomorrow. Praying that she follows through.

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

For the first time since way before getting sick, Janet intentionally woke me up. She brushed my chest and said “Are you awake?”. It was almost 8:00 and I had not heard anything but snoring from her all night so wasn’t surprised she was raring to go. What did surprise me was her reasoning for wanting to get up so early. Neither of us like hockey enough to get up at 4am to watch a game so we agreed last night to record the gold medal game and make an effort to have it watched before the scheduled Skype chat with Mary/Gaga at 11. After Janet’s question to me came this comment, “we have to watch the game”. She was genuinely pumped for it and displayed her best recall of short term memory yet in saying that. Up we got and while she watched the start of the game I made her breakfast. It was really nice to be able to fast forward through the intermissions and a little bit near the end to make sure we were done in time. Janet really enjoyed it and was excited Canada won, giving them her patented fist shake as the final horn sounded. It was then safe to make the Skype call.

Janet didn’t have a lot to say this time as I think she was still trying to process the hockey game but she did alright. The rest of the day was wide open and Janet chose to finish watching the figure skating next. Overall, I think the Olympics were a good thing for Janet. It sometimes caused a little too much TV watching but the quality of what we watched and the stories connecting us to the athletes made it very real and understandable to Janet. Good times.

The bulk of the rest of the day was spent scanning old photos and watching the closing ceremony. Janet seems quite determined to complete the sorting and scanning of all her old pictures and she had great fun dating pictures and naming people. In an effort to get her thinking more about being able to walk, I had Janet walk almost everywhere in the house today. She made numerous trips from the table to the couch and back and from the den to the entrance to our room. She never once complained about it or said “I can’t” so that was good and for the most part her steps were deliberate and strong. At least three times today she stopped walking, let go of me and brushed her hair out of her face. I praised her on being able to do that and instead of immediately dismissing the compliment she seemed to take it in and accept it. At least that’s how I’m reading her silence.

There was a little resistance to going back to Connect tonight and I took the opportunity to run down every positive thing she did this weekend and recently in general. Instead of anger and frustration I got calm listening and perhaps a little acceptance. I repeated the weekend’s “wins” for her at bedtime hoping to keep her focussed on positives.

Having gone napless today Janet was asleep before ten tonight and I pray is ready for a week of hard work and progress.

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

Mostly because of the dog, our day got off to a rather early start which was kind of nice. We were finished breakfast before we often have started it and that left lots of time for other things. After making her own breakfast, coffee first of course, Janet had some emails to respond to and once completed asked if we could work on the old photos. She did a great job with the scanner again and we got a nice pile of paper transferred onto the computer.

I convinced Janet to try something other than grilled cheese for lunch and she enjoyed making a turkey breast sandwich for herself. Her kitchen skills are improving steadily and she needs very little coaching as long as she’s awake enough.

We tried to finish watching the Ladies Figure Skating today and got through the first half before Janet needed a nap. Knowing that the Olympics end tomorrow has Janet a little sad but The Voice starts Monday and that should fill the void nicely.

Yesterday’s pants shopping needed correcting today and as we drove to the mall before church we both wondered where the day had gone. We had that early start and it felt like we had so much time but it just flew by. We exchanged Janet’s pants and picked up a few other things Janet slowly lost her energy. The mall is bad for you. I wasn’t expecting much from Janet heading into church but she pulled off her best transfer into her seat yet. Very strong and deliberate and following my verbal cues exactly. While standing during one of the worship songs Janet let go of the pew in front of her for a few seconds and scratched her nose. I don’t even think she realized she was free standing but I sure did. Nice!

Janet helped put dinner together and chose to watch the rest of the figure skating after that which was a bad call as she fell asleep with six skaters to go. Guess we’ll try tomorrow. Praying for a solid night of sleep and a productive Sunday.

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

The Olympics has done something strange to Janet. Today was the second day in a row she watched hockey and as she told me about today’s game she had a big smile on her face. Hockey? Seriously? At least she was happy. Not as happy as she was from getting a phone call from Laurel this morning as she called to announce where her internship will be. Janet had been anticipating the call and I left her my old cell phone for that reason. She was able to answer the call herself and seems far more receptive to the idea of having a phone than an iPad.

In bed and sort of sleeping when I got to Connect I convinced her to go pants shopping on the way home. Because of the AFO, only one pair of Janet’s decent pants fit her now. In a very un woman like manner she didn’t want to go shopping and I probably should have held back as the expedition really did tire her out. So much so that when we got home at 6pm she decided all on her own to have a little nap. She wasn’t too tired to get out of the wheelchair and onto the bed all by herself though. High five!

The rest did Janet good and we ate dinner while watching our recorded version of the Women’s Figure Skating. No surprise, Janet really enjoyed it and looks forward to finishing it off tomorrow. She is soundly sleeping as I write this and I pray that continues through the night and that she has lots of energy for a productive Saturday. We continue to pray for John as well as Barb and Gary who are battling the flu. Get better kids!

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

Once again Janet was in bed and wide awake when I got to Connect. This time she was awake not because she wasn’t tired but I think because she was upset. Tez had worked with her at the parallel bars this afternoon and according to Janet it had not gone well and it wasn’t the usual “it was terrible” this was legit “it was bad”. Since she clearly wasn’t going to sleep I suggested she get up and we go find Tez and see if we can help her feel better about it. She agreed and we found Tez in his office. He was really good towards Janet who was awesome in stating her feelings about the workout and it all boiled down to Janet’s lack of confidence preventing her from doing the things she needs to do in order to reach her goal. That goal remains, walking by June, and is totally realistic but Janet needs to buckle down and do lots of difficult and un-fun work. Each time Tez praised her on something she asked him “really?” or would look at me and I would affirm what Tez said. I don’t understand the self doubt, I know it was in her pre aneurysm, but why is it so prominent now and why when she has so much evidence showing her how well she’s doing does she lack confidence to such a degree that she gives a half hearted effort or worse. Tez laid it out on the table for Janet today, work hard or stay in the wheelchair. Janet says she doesn’t want to stay in the wheelchair and it remains to be seen how hard she’s willing to work. If any of you have suggestions as to how to build her confidence and or can spend some time to encourage her please let us know.

Janet felt better after talking to Tez and was able to have a good Skype chat with Heather just before dinner. I had to prompt her occasionally but it was a much better conversation than last time. Based on the Tez talk Janet agreed to a Shuttle session after dinner and did quite well. There was good effort there along with some whining which I don’t think will go away ever and that’s fine as long as the work gets done.

Chelsea invited Janet to help her make chocolate cupcakes this evening and Janet was all over that idea. It was hard and messy work with Janet doing a lot of mixing and reading instructions out loud. It took all evening, right up until bedtime, and was well worth it.




We read some Long Walk to Freedom before Janet fell asleep. She was even asleep as she mumbled goodnight to me. Praying for a night of deep and healing sleep that allows Janet to have a productive and confidence building Friday. We are also praying for John the sing along man as we found out tonight he is in hospital and not doing “particularly well”. We pray for a speedy return to health.

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

Wednesday started out fairly routine for Janet with a Speech session with Mary Lou after breakfast. They looked at the worksheets Janet had completed and Mary Lou decided it’s time for some harder ones. The rest of the session was spent talking and Janet described some of the things we went through as we moved houses. When she relayed that to me it was evident that she remembers a lot of it and can recall it too. Her visit to the gym included a bike ride and Standing Frame and maybe some walking but she couldn’t remember exactly.

In bed but wide awake when I arrived, Janet and I had a long chat before getting up to get ready for SheLife. During our chat I asked Janet if she had checked her emails today and she said no. I told her she has some so she should check more often. When she got up a half hour later she remembered to check them without prompting from me and only needed help unlocking the iPad screen on her way to her inbox. Progress.

Janet complained to me on the way to SheLife that someone has been helping her stand for the worship segment and she wants to do it herself. I suggested she practice when we get there. After dinner and a bathroom break we got to her table with only minutes to spare but Janet wanted to practice anyways. I did not intend for it to be a show but everyone seemed to be watching and they burst into applause as Janet stood all by herself. The former Janet would’ve been totally embarrassed at that point and there was a hint of that below a big smile and some nervous laughter. I believe that moment did a lot to encourage Janet and on the way back to Connect all she could talk about was how many people came up and hugged her and told her how happy they are to have her there and how they can’t wait to see her walk. Janet may not be learning much from the material being studied this session but tonight especially she received a whole lot of encouragement. Thank you ladies!!

By the time we returned to Connect it was bedtime with one of Janet’s last duties of the day being to straighten out her legs once she’s nice and flat on her back. Recently she’s been gaining enough control of her right leg to push it out after I give it a little kick start. Tonight I didn’t have to help at all. High five! After reading for twenty minutes or so Janet had drifted off having just enough energy to say she is enjoying the book more and more now. Thanking Jesus for all the kind people in our lives and praying for a confident and strong Janet.