basketball

Janet, A Success Story. October 27. #TSJ

The goal today for everyone was to take some pressure to perform off of Janet and let her do her thing. It seems to have worked. Jess reported that the day was good in that Janet participated well in her therapies. When Janet called me she seemed satisfied with her day so far but unsure of how things would play out the rest of the day. She wanted me to hurry up and get there but I needed time today to step back a little and prepare myself for a new approach.

Janet was up from her nap when I arrived and met briefly with the new Communications Assistant for Connect who is doing a story on Janet’s visit to Okanagan College for a newsletter. Once a star always a star I guess. I didn’t “push” Janet for anything at all this evening. We chatted and responded to emails before dinner. Janet interacted really well at the dinner table and then amazingly agreed to walk the stairs with Chelsea afterwards. Her neighbour Debra is struggling with her Speech Therapy and Janet really wants to help her so we talked about that with Chelsea and I think Janet will approach Debra tomorrow to see if she’s willing to work with her. Janet is quite aware of her previous struggles and wants to give back. We showed Chelsea some of the Speech apps that Janet used to use and even played a few of them. Janet found it amusing that she was unable to correctly do a lot of them only a year ago. The evening was rounded out watching the fourth quarter of an entertaining football game with Wes, Brad and a new volunteer, Hannah who remembered me from being at a friends house a couple weeks ago, went to UBCO with a friend of ours and probably played basketball against Laurel years ago. She will be helping in Janet’s house Monday evenings for a while and seems like a great addition.

Janet walked using her cane all evening and I allowed that in hopes she feels more in charge of herself. Chelsea and I did encourage her to take longer strides if she’s going to use the cane and that was the extent of any nagging. Since was on think for yourself mode, it was pleasing when she remembered her meds all on her own.

As I was saying goodnight to Janet tonight she was very happy about how her day had been, especially the evening with me. She was relieved that I didn’t make her “do all sorts of things” and she promised to keep trying to get better. That clearly can only happen on her terms and my new role may have become clearer tonight. I believe Cam called it “husband”.

Praying for another good night of sleep for Janet and the confidence to have a productive Tuesday.

Janet, A Success Story. May 25. #TSJ

Mornings are becoming pretty routine around the house as Janet gets more familiar with things. She’s doing more of her dressing and personal grooming and I didn’t have to coach her on breakfast at all today. At lunch she turned the oven on with no assistance. The cooktop is still a challenge as its hard for Janet to see the controls while sitting in her wheelchair so as soon as she’s more confident with standing and walking we’ll get her working that more.

Janet eagerly practiced her reading this morning and read out loud to me using a bit of expression. Nice to hear! The Skype chat with Mary/Gaga seemed fine and brought the good news that Keith is home from the hospital and “doing well”. We seem to have sent our nice weather out to them for the day so Janet and I had to come up with inside activities today and she chose scanning old photos. That was a good call on her part as we are a long ways from being done and hadn’t worked on it for a while. Its not a lot of fun but we are both glad we are making progress and can see it will be cool when we are finished.

After a long and late nap Janet re hydrated herself while I made dinner. She was in no mood to return to Connect and took me up on every offer that kept her home a little while longer. Including watching the second half of a basketball game and then a little French Open tennis. I made sure the music was playing as we drove to Connect so at least the ride was happy and by freestyle walking all the way to her room Janet was too tired to be sad at being back.

Walking attempts were few today but of high quality and there was no mention of the sore right foot. Praying Janet gets lots of sleep tonight and is willing and able to fully participate in tomorrow’s activities.

Janet, A Success Story. April 25. #TSJ

For some of you, yesterday’s post was delivered to your Spam folder and I don’t know why. I have in light of that made a slight change to the RSS feed for this blog. All emails will now be only a summary of the post, you must click on the title in order to view the entire update in your web browser. Making a change like this may have solved the problem from yesterday or maybe not but it should at least give me a more accurate picture of how many of you are reading this thing each day as when you only read in your email editor you don’t show up in the blog stats. I know, numbers shouldn’t matter, but they do, I’m human.

The first part of Janet’s day was “the same boring stuff” according to her and she was eager to come home. I encouraged her to nap before I picked her up and she was in bed when I got to Connect but nowhere near sleeping, so home we went. Along the way and for the first hour or so there I thought this would be a short night as she seemed to be fading. Dinner in the sunshine gave her a nice boost though and we had a fun night together.

In an effort to help Janet gain confidence in walking I intend on having her do more and that started tonight. Each trip to the bathroom and the couch was walked instead of wheeled and I find Janet’s technique and speed to be better when I am in front of her acting as the cane. Her steps are long and deliberate and she pushes down well with her right leg. Tez may have a different opinion but we haven’t seen him for a few weeks so I’m going with this until someone tells me different. Janet likes it compared to the cane saying “it feels more like me doing it”. I think she means her motions are more natural and it feels more like walking. We’ll try and get a little video tomorrow to show you.

Leading into The Voice we actually watched the end of a basketball game and quite enjoyed it. We haven’t done any of that all season and don’t expect to get right back into it but it was fun. The Voice was much more intense though as Janet’s pick was in danger of being eliminated in the first live show. Facing the prospect of owing me two Blizzards Janet was chanting his name as the results were about to be announced. He didn’t make it and Janet was quite upset at being bounced in the first round. Being the nice guy I am I allowed her to go double or nothing by picking someone from her top four so she could keep playing. If this is any indication of what the season is going to be like, wow.

Instead of begin all tired and asleep by nine thirty, Janet was full of energy after that intense session of The Voice so we read for a while in bed and had some laughs from Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. Good way to wind down until almost eleven thirty.

Praying for a good night of rest and an energetic Saturday.

Janet, A Success Story. April 10. #TSJ

I’m not sure how to start this post as Janet and I along with a few other Connect folks saw the movie Noah tonight and I’m still rather consumed by it. I didn’t meet up with Janet today until she and the others got to the movie theatre but I did call her at lunch time and she was quite excited to be outside at Beasley Park having a picnic with a bunch of Connect people. She also was excited to tell me she had done some walking from the breakfast table to somewhere she couldn’t name, I’m thinking the Den but it may have been further. Point is, she was excited to have done it.

Janet expressed all emotions except laughter during Noah and overall thought it was a good movie with a lot of parts she didn’t understand. I would concur and Janet and I had a good talk about it in the car and right up until bedtime and would love to hear from any of you as to what you thought of it. It was exciting to be able to take Janet to a movie and for her to sit through a long one like that. Her sitting was made more comfortable in that she was able to sit in a theatre seat after a difficult transfer that included negotiating a three inch step down to get to her seat. Popcorn and pop helped too of course.

Praying for a restful night of sleep tonight and for an energetic Janet tomorrow and also for Heather to arrive safely and on time.

Janet, A Success Story. April 9. #TSJ

I was a little concerned as I arrived at Connect this afternoon and saw a tired looking Janet sitting in the Standing Frame. We had planned on leaving early for SheLife so we could run an errand and not be rushed through dinner. Turns out Janet was just getting out of the Standing Frame, not into it, and she had tried to nap but just couldn’t do it so off we went and my concern was all for not as Janet had an excellent evening.

The first part of her day was pretty routine from what I could gather as she had done all the requisite exercises and worked on Speech with Mary Lou. When I asked about walking, Janet was quick to say she had not done any yet but was going to at SheLife. I was pleasantly surprised she remembered that and that she still wanted to do it. We arrived at the church a half hour early so Janet could have a bathroom break before attempting to walk to her table for the evening’s session. She thought I was going to make her walk from the bathroom but that’s probably in the 150 foot range and even I am not that mean to have her try that yet. Janet happily suggested starting from a set of doors about 80 feet from her table. It was still early so no one was around as she started out which gave her time to really get going without the distraction of people watching. Twenty minutes later Janet sat down at her table to loud applause and cheering from the whole room and Janet was visibly happy with herself. Along the way, she took some really good steps, corrected her direction well with lots of coaching from me, and only once let people distract her from what she was doing. It was an excellent public walking debut and Janet is truly excited about having done it as she even reported it to Chelsea upon our return to Connect. I think I’m more excited about Janet feeling great about accomplishing such a thing than I am about the feat itself. Exciting times.

Praying that Janet sleeps well tonight and has a productive Thursday.

Janet, A Success Story. April 8. #TSJ

I arrived at Connect this afternoon to a very tired looking Janet hanging out in the living room. She said she slept but it sure didn’t look like it. That didn’t stop her from making a nice salad and setting the dinner table at Chelsea’s request. You think she knew I was lining up some exercise for her?

At my suggestion earlier in the day Janet did some walking in addition to her regular gym stuff and after dinner tonight I was able to get her to walk farther than I anticipated. She made it from her room to the Den very nicely and didn’t complain once the whole way. Despite a lot of resistance we went to Games Night following the walk. Janet feared not knowing any of the answers to the “stupid” games played and said she would only go to watch. On the very first question, Janet piped up quickly with the correct answer and did so a number of times during the evening. According to her, even with that success, “it was not fun”.

The last few days have been great for Janet both physically and cognitively. Her walking, in my opinion is improving, her short term memory is getting better too and she almost always can tell me the day, date, month and year, a skill Dr. Miller was encouraging a few months ago and I think we can now say has been achieved. Janet had another blood test today checking her Dilantin levels and they came back fine. All these positives are helping to grow Janet’s confidence to the point where she says she’s going to try and walk the last part of the way to her table at SheLife tomorrow. Can’t wait.

Praying for a solid night of sleep and a positive Wednesday.

Janet, A Success Story. April 7. #TSJ

Janet went right back to work today at Connect with a morning walk from the dining area to her room. That’s the longest walk she’s been on, close to 80 feet, and she was, dare I say, excited about it when I called at lunch time. She repeated that distance this afternoon with me, going the other direction, and showing improvement in her balance and confidence. Very exciting.

That was for sure the highlight of the day but Janet was in a good mood and quite bright the whole time I was with her. She practiced some hand writing using a workbook Mary Lou gave her and is producing more consistent letters than before. After reading The Artisan Soul, which talks a lot about artistic freedom, it is hard for me to tell Janet to stay between the lines, but I think it’s best she does. Janet reluctantly agreed to a Standing Frame session after dinner. It had been a while since her last session partly because of the pain she was complaining of in her right leg. That seems to be diminishing as Jess was able to stretch Janet well this morning and I got no mentions of pain tonight. Fortunately the NCAA basketball championship was on while Janet was standing and that provided a nice distraction and a fun way for Janet to end a very hard working day.

Praying for lots of strength and a positive attitude for tomorrow.