Those of you who have been on this journey with us from the beginning will be familiar with the name Houdieno. It was coined by our soon to be son in law Allan when Janet was doing everything in her power to escape from her hospital bed. She of course was physically unable to do so but was determined to try. This blog site is named in honour of that fighting spirit. Janet continues to work hard and desires to be better in every way. She hasn’t displayed Houdieno like behaviour in quite some time, until today.
I called Janet a couple of times during the day and each time she reported she was not feeling that great and wasn’t doing much. When I arrived at Connect I was seriously considering taking her home until she is rid of this stomach bug. As I discussed things with Jess, Chelsea arrived saying she had just helped Janet get her shoes on and that she was going to go to the bathroom. Janet routinely gets herself from bed to bathroom and out again using her wheelchair. You regular readers will remember I’ve mentioned feeling as though Janet is close to taking an unassisted step but has so far chickened out when asked. I guess she just didn’t want anyone watching because that’s exactly what she tried to do in getting to the bathroom. Janet stood up using the transfer pole, let go of the pole, took what must’ve been a couple of unassisted steps, grabbed the bathroom door for support and lost her balance as it swung open on her. I came into the room and found her laying on her back on the floor kind of upset and kind of laughing saying she hurt herself but not really. Chelsea and Jess responded and we helped Janet up and she confirmed she felt fine. Once sitting in her wheelchair I couldn’t help but high five her! Yes it was dangerous and she could have been hurt but as I asked her later, “how do babies learn to walk?” She said “they try and then fall down”. I had to remind her that they then try again and keep trying but hopefully with a little supervision.
That was an exciting start to my time with Janet today and her willingness to try other things earned her the right to stay at Connect. I didn’t mention the home idea to her. She was still feeling a little sick and had only eaten a piece of toast all day so I was surprised when she accepted the idea of a popsicle. Janet had always given her kids banana popsicles when they were sick and Laurel had suggested it over the weekend. When we got to the store the first thing we saw were banana flavoured popsicles and Janet laughed at the irony. She enjoyed it immensely and it got her started on a reasonably active evening.
Exercise has been out of the picture for four days now so I worked Janet pretty hard to get her on the bike for a bit. She agreed to five minutes, I programmed it for twenty and she went fifteen. Well done! That took a lot out of her and she lay down on her bed for half an hour until dinner was ready. I had to kick start her a little bit and once at the table she enjoyed a small portion of pasta and participated in the conversation nicely. She was also showing signs of grumpiness towards me so I know she’s getting better.
After a post dinner rest Janet went upstairs to participate in games night but wasn’t very focused and only answered one question. I did get to watch this time and think its a great concept that needs a little tweaking and with some coaching Janet can do quite well at it. Good for her for going tonight.
That was all the energy she had though and was sound asleep by 9:30 after we read for a little bit. Praying for the end of this stomach virus and continued determination to walk.