Month: April 2014

Janet, A Success Story. April 23. #TSJ

Remember those toileting issues Janet was having recently? They appear to be gone, at least for now. Janet had just rung her alarm when I walked into her room this afternoon. She had been in bed for an hour and a half, not sleeping she says, and needed to go to the bathroom. Often this requires some pretty fast action but today she said there was time to put her AFO and shoes on and I actually had her walk to the toilet. She held it all the way and walked back out when finished. High five!

After a little chat and opening a very nice card made by our neighbour Bonnie, we headed out for dinner and SheLife and arrived at the church with lots of time for a bathroom break and some walking. Janet did the same distance she’d done the first time walking into SheLife and did it considerably faster tonight. I’m still not happy with her tendency to walk a little sideways but she’s working on it. Janet enjoyed the session tonight and was happy she got to share Willie’s story with her table. Other than that, she said she didn’t say much but enjoyed listening to the discussion.

Back at Connect while Janet was taking her meds and enjoying some Easter chocolate we watched another TEDx talk from Dr. Grahn. This one was on the myth that listening to Mozart makes you or your baby smarter. There is one line in the talk that I thought really pertained to Janet, watch it and let me know what you think it is.

Praying that Janet realizes full and complete healing soon.

Janet, A Success Story. April 22. #TSJ #firstrealsteps

This is one of those days where I could just post a video and let it speak for itself but there is more to today than that. Janet continues to amaze.

The first part of her day seemed routine and she was giggly and doing fine when I called at lunchtime. She was awake in bed when I arrived a few hours later and was happy to open a package from her mom while I did some light maintenance on her wheelchair. In addition to some Easter treats, the package contained info on a lecture Mary Gaga and Keith had attended given by Dr. Jessica Grahn, a cognitive neuroscientist who studies music. Check out her talk at TEDx Waterloo, it’s fascinating and we’ll be checking into her studies more as we all know Janet has benefitted hugely from music during her recovery.

We spent our pre dinner time talking and learning and after a good dinner I challenged Janet to walk back to her room. Her acceptance was reluctant of course but for once there was no real complaining during the walk. She asked a few times to stop at the Den and complained once of feeling a little dizzy. I asked her to stop and stand tall and stretch a little then she was able to power on, reaching her bed in a record smashing thirty five minutes! Her technique has improved for sure, larger steps, much larger steps with her right leg, and managing to stay on a better angle. Janet was visibly pleased when it was over, both that it was over and that she had done it. Chelsea and Curtis stopped by and encouraged her a little and when Janet stood up for a reason I can’t remember, I felt prompted to ask her to step to me without hanging onto anything. Without hesitation she made three steps toward me in succession. Chelsea agreed to be camera operator and here’s what happened next.

So exciting!

Janet repeatedly said she was not going to Games Night but she did and she participated well and said it was OK afterwards. Willie stopped by to tell us he was able to share his story at his church this weekend. There seems to be a lot of that going on lately. Good stuff.

After Janet shared and ate more Easter chocolate it was reading time and we shared a lot of chuckles from Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. Feeling very blessed for the gains Janet is making and praying for Janet to be a willing participant in everything she’s asked to do tomorrow.

Janet, A Success Story. April 21. #TSJ

Back to “work/school” for Janet today. She calls Connect by both names depending on her mood. Negative is work, positive is school. When I called at lunchtime today she was very positive and sounded confident. Her gym session was “OK” as opposed to the more frequent “terrible” and her voice just had a real nice tone to it that wasn’t diminished when I got to Connect later in the day. Janet excitedly told me she did some walking and it was “fine” but the nap thing didn’t work at all. She was pretty alert so we got on with the most important activity of the day. Her new Mother of the Bride dress arrived and she couldn’t wait to try it on. It took me a while to figure out how to get all the material over her head but we managed without much stress and here is the result.

Saying Yes to the Dress.

Saying Yes to the Dress.

To make sure all was well with the dress I asked Chelsea for her opinion and she raved about it. Later we showed Tiffany who also thought Janet looked great in it. Janet agrees but still needs reassurance from her peers (other women) before completely accepting any compliments.

Janet’s mood shifted a little downward after dinner as she realized she had some work to do. There was a bright moment before that though as she was able to have a nice Skype chat with Andrew. Janet excitedly reported on her SheLife speech and carried a good conversation. I think that chat improved her mood enough to where she actually enjoyed her bike ride. She sang a lot during it and didn’t complain once about the hard parts. Janet wasn’t up for any walking tonight so we did some Speech type work by filling out some customer feedback forms that Connect has going around. It was an opportunity for Janet to think about a few staff members and how they differ in their job strengths and to create comments on each of them as to how she feels they work for her. Good brain exercise.

To close out the night we got Janet onto the Tilt Table again and she was not pleased about it. Chelsea and I didn’t have her set up exactly like she was the first time and I think it was too late for Janet to get comfortable after we corrected her position. It was still a good stretch and weight bearing time.

As Janet got into bed tonight she ended up laying on her back with her right arm stretched out at her side. I’ve never seen that before and am not sure how she got it there but it is cool that she can do that with no pain.
JanetRightArmStraight
Praying for a productive Tuesday.

Janet, A Success Story. April 20. #TSJ

I hope everyone enjoyed as blessed an Easter as we did. It was awesome to linger this morning having nothing scheduled until a Skype chat with Leslie at 11. Janet called time to get up when she was ready and because it was Easter, I served her breakfast. Of course she wouldn’t stray from her toast and coffee except she’s added a small bowl of fresh fruit the last couple of days and I hope that trend continues. The talk with Leslie seemed to go well until some technical issues arose. I stayed away trying to have Janet fully engaged and responsible for the conversation. She seemed pleased afterward.

A couple of days ago I mentioned I would try and have Janet take some steps unassisted. She has made a few attempts with success on three occasions. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to capture them on video as I need to be right there with her and can’t control when she’ll take a “free step” so the camera angles have not been good. Hopefully we can get some this week at Connect. Janet is still very scared of trying it and doesn’t believe in herself yet but I’m going to keep pushing the envelope as we’ve now seen that she can do it.

Heidi and Jack graciously invited us for Easter dinner today and we enjoyed a lovely afternoon on the deck with great food and conversation. We are blessed to know them both and call them friends. Great day!

Returning to Connect was a possibility after Heidi and Jack’s but it was too early so I brought Janet home for a while longer and we enjoyed a stroll around the neighbourhood. One of the nice things about living here is you are pretty much guaranteed to see some of your neighbours when you go out and we saw a bunch this time which is good for Janet as she hasn’t been able to connect as much as I have. Neither of us were hungry for dinner so we scanned a bunch more pictures into the computer which Janet really enjoyed and did a good job of dating for me. She was quite giggly after singing her way back to Connect later and eagerly shared her Easter chocolates with those that were around. We read and talked and by 10:30 she still wasn’t asleep despite the lack of a nap but there were lots of yawns so I’m sure she’ll rest well.

Praying for a week of strengthening and confidence building.

Janet, A Success Story. April 19. #TSJ

I could go on and on about today but I won’t. It was our eleventh anniversary and we celebrated that as well as our risen Lord. Happy Easter!

Anniversary dinner at Quail's Gate.

Anniversary dinner at Quail’s Gate.

Janet, A Success Story. April 18. #TSJ

A Good Friday it was! Janet was up early and I’m glad now that she was as we had an unhurried breakfast and a smooth trip to church for a 10am service which could have been a real scramble. Had we been five minutes later we would not have gotten our usual seat, which is important to me as we’ve chosen one that allows Janet the best view. Janet really enjoyed the service as it was done in a narrative form with four different readers and interspersed with songs. Janet said she could follow it the whole time.

Since we were in the area we stopped by to see John, Janet’s first visit to his room. She commented on the way up that “this place is really run down” and on the way out “I hope I never have to be in a place like that”. I reminded her that she was in the queue for just such a place even as she transferred to the Rehab ward and because of her hard work she progressed past that. John put on a good show for us but I get a sense he’s not too happy and maybe concerned about something he’s not sharing with us. It was also evident that no one is pushing him to do anything, if he wants to sleep until 9:30 and not have breakfast, they let him. Not cool. Please keep him in your prayers.

Janet helped make lunch before we both had a nap this afternoon which for some reason I seemed to need as much as her. The sun was shining when we got up and Janet went for a nice walk around the kitchen area. It was her first time on this particular course and it included lots of turns, even a 180 degree one that she executed very well. High five! Tomorrow I’m going to try and have her take a step without hanging on to anything. She sort of did it at bedtime tonight and I think she can, I just have to convince her she can.

Our evening was quiet save for a nice conversation with Cam who is in snowy Saskatoon and we got a picture from Laurel in snowy Calgary.

Good Friday?

Good Friday?


Glad we live here!
Our sun bathed tulips

Our sun bathed tulips


Praying for a night of deep and healing sleep and a day of celebration tomorrow.

Janet, A Success Story. April 17. #TSJ

On a high after her speech last night Janet had a good day today. Her morning consisted of a routine visit to the gym and some speech therapy work on her own. When I checked in at lunchtime she was waiting for lunch and not sure what she ought to do the rest of the day. I suggested walking or Shuttle which of course failed to excite her. When I got to Connect I noticed the large tilt table being used in the living room and went to sneak up on Big Country and say “hi shorty” but to my surprise, a real shorty was in it, Janet.

Not happy but standing tall.

Not happy but standing tall.


Tez figured she may as well try it in an effort to get more weight transferring through her right leg and it appeared to be working. Janet was in it for forty five minutes like the Standing Frame and after a little coaxing simply stepped off and sat in her wheelchair. Much easier than the other machine. She had walked from her room to the Den and gave her usual rating of “terrible” to that experience but I’m sure she did fine.

Even though we weren’t staying for dinner, Janet agreed to help Curtis prepare it as he was by himself and running a little behind schedule and Thursdays are Janet’s days to help. She did a great job chopping peppers and onions for a stir fry.

We made our escape after that and enjoyed a simple but tasty meal at home during which I read all the messages people sent in regards to her speech from last night. Janet is amazed and genuinely pleased that so many people liked it. She was definitely a more confident person today, even willing to try some red wine with dinner and liking it. Nice!

Happy

Happy


Her confidence and good mood lasted through the evening and Janet had a nice walk from the dining table to the couch before laughing and singing her way through The Voice. It’s awesome to have her home and I’m praying for a positive and productive weekend.