movies

Janet, A Success Story. November 9. #TSJ

Only two more Sundays of taking Janet back to Connect, thank goodness. She handled tonight’s return well as her weekend was relaxing and entertaining and there was no time for a nap today so she was too tired to complain. A couple from our Small Group joined us today to watch the Seahawks game and that made for an enjoyable Sunday. Janet enjoyed the mixture of football talk and family talk and contributed well with both.

Neither day at home this weekend was too structured. Saturday night was different from the usual in that Courtney was home for dinner after church and we watched a movie together too. We are enjoying having her around and Janet is benefiting from having someone else to talk to. Friday we stopped by the church to do a walk through of the baptism tank. Janet did a great job walking up the steps, down into the tank then back out again. I’m confident she can handle it for real on Saturday and we thank Dave for taking the time to let Janet try that in advance. She was pretty pleased with herself for being able to do it. Our Small Group met Friday night and Janet participated well and even asked the group a question on her own for the first time. She wanted to hear everyone’s take on the Brittany Maynard and Lauren Hill stories and was rewarded with some good conversation. That was a good demonstration of Janet’s memory improving along with her confidence to initiate conversation.

Thursday night Janet recorded her baptism testimonial video. It was understood that she’d be able to use a teleprompter but it wasn’t ready when her time to shoot arrived so we tried feeding her two or three sentences at a time. That was a struggle for Janet but she made it through for the most part. By the time the teleprompter was ready Janet was tired of the whole thing so struggled reading from it too. Jody, the videographer, will work his magic and Janet’s story will come out loud and clear. There’s no magic needed to make Janet look good though.

Under the lights again.

Under the lights again.


Janet was a big help around the house this weekend as is becoming the norm. We didn’t take any formal time for exercise so all of Janet’s walking came associated with practical tasks. Talking with her tonight, she was happy about that but admitted she wasn’t moving around as easily. She disagreed that it was a result of a more relaxing weekend but resigned herself to the idea of using the indoor track at CNC sooner rather than later. Winter is supposed to arrive this week so the days of walking outside seem to be done and Janet needs to keep moving. I think she’ll be OK with it as long as we don’t overdo it.

Praying for a week of progress.

Janet, A Success Story. September 17. #TSJ Strolling Along

Janet and the other residents from her house at Connect spent the morning in downtown Kelowna today, walking around to the various parks and of course a coffee shop. The purpose was partly to break up the routine of life at Connect and also to gain some experience walking around in the real world. Jess said Janet walked the most ever, probably a kilometre, and did really well at it. Janet said it was fun, especially the stop at the coffee shop and she was still buzzing from that when I got to Connect this afternoon. There was one interesting moment crossing a street where the light changed really fast catching Janet, Jess and Garrett half way across and Wes barely off the curb. Thankfully the drivers were patient but we may need to talk to the city about the short walk signal.

Since she did so much walking earlier in the day it would not be fair to have Janet do any of her gym exercises today so we kept the walking to purpose driven stuff. I did take away her cane for any time she moved about her room and for one walk with me to the kitchen during which she grabbed a wall whenever she could but also did a fair bit on her own. I think there’s been some progress and maybe we’ll time her 400 meters tomorrow.

Every once in a while Chelsea likes to plan a movie night with Janet and tonight they (we) watched The Fault In Our Stars. It was supposed to be a real tear jerker and Chelsea had lots of Kleenex ready but she was the only one that needed it. Janet enjoyed the story though as well as the chance to chill before facing Tez tomorrow morning.

Praying for a night of sound sleep and a productive Thursday.

Janet, A Success Story. August 13. #TSJ

After yesterday’s greatness, today was as expected and rather relaxing. Janet did her usual morning stuff including reading with Mary Lou which went well and Janet has now been charged with reading The Hallo-Wiener twice a day to keep improving. For the second day in a row Janet lost her balance enough to take a little fall. Both times she landed on her butt which thankfully now has more padding than the former Janet had. Both instances at least in part are the result of Janet having her feet too close together, something she struggles with during sit to stand procedures. She doesn’t seem overly concerned by these falls and maybe even has become more body aware. I saw her really focussing on keeping her feet apart tonight without prompting.

Not surprisingly Janet has picked up a little bit of a cold that Ethan shared with her this past weekend. No big deal but enough to justify a relaxing evening. Chelsea had previously planned to watch My Fair Lady with Janet tonight and the timing ended up perfect. Janet enjoyed the movie and getting her nails done while not having to do much of anything but sing along to most of the songs. The words weren’t too familiar to her but the tunes definitely were.

Praying for a deep and healing sleep tonight and a healthy Thursday.

Janet, A Success Story. July 20. #TSJ

You know its’ been hot when you think 28 degrees is cool. That’s what it was this afternoon as Janet and I strolled the beaches in our neighbourhood. We discovered this really cool ramp into the water, with hand rails, at Rotary Beach, so now I just have to convince Janet to “jump” in the lake. Wish me luck.

This past weekend was very relaxing and Janet and I had a lot of time together just hanging out. Friday evening was our Small Group meeting with Annie and Patrick, the only two that have persevered with us and we appreciate them for their openness and willingness to share. Saturday morning was a visit with John, who seems to be doing a little better, then church in the evening which got Janet’s brain wheels spinning and we had a good discussion well into the evening.

That was it for formal events, the rest of the time was spent walking around the neighbourhood, sitting in the sun, walking to do some errands, cooking and watching a little TV. Janet walked around the house a lot and is still doing great with it save for some overthinking when going down the steps into the garage. Going up seems to be much more automatic. She admits to being quite nervous walking still and that makes it more difficult and sweaty. Janet never was much of a sweater but she sure can get it going now when she’s walking on her own.

At home Janet does great in getting herself to the bathroom when she needs to, which is quite often lately. When we are out, she’s not doing so well and I think it’s time for a doctor visit to see what can be done. I don’t expect the GP to have much to offer but I hope we can get a referral to a urologist. In my opinion its definitely a neurological issue, not physical so it may be really tough to treat. It could also just be a temporary set back and that’s what I’m hoping for.

One of the highlights of the weekend was watching the movie Forrest Gump. I don’t know why, but neither of us remembers watching the whole movie before and we so enjoyed it. Janet said there wasn’t a dull moment in the entire film and she was in tears at the end. A strange reaction to liking a movie but touching just the same. Its a lot of fun and actually very special to be able to watch something like that and have Janet totally understand the storyline and get most of the jokes and even remember some of it the next day. Love her.

Praying for a solid night of sleep for Janet and a dry and productive Monday.

Janet, A Success Story. June 25. #TSJ

The lunch time phone call today came from Janet who said she had everything done including sitting in the sun a lot. I was glad to hear that and could recognize the energy that had given her. She said she wasn’t going to nap today and asked if I could come out a little earlier than planned as Jess wanted to talk to me. I arrived just after three, talked to Jess as she was leaving, went to Janet’s room to find Curtis helping her get ready for a nap. Now she was tired. Sheesh. Jess was giving me the heads up that there is an opportunity to go hiking on July 26. The CRIS Program would be leading the day and Janet would be pushed in a wheelchair adapted for rough terrain. She of course isn’t wanting to go but so far the calendar is clear then and I think I can convince her to try, she used to love that sort of thing.

It wasn’t much of a nap and when Janet woke up she immediately asked to go to the bathroom. I like it when that happens. After a little sun soaking Janet set the table for dinner then went back outside to warm up. We are having a hard time with the air-conditioning always blasting at Connect and don’t understand why people think its necessary. It wasn’t too bad during dinner but a nice walk in the sun afterwards made Janet feel good. Up until that point she had been walking freestyle the whole time and continues to do better than when holding my hand. A perfect example was going through the door to the patio with me and moving side to side so much she bonked her head on the door jam. Janet still wants to hang onto me for security sake but I’m trying to convince her to fly on her own.

Angie has a 3D TV that we moved out into the living room so people could watch Avatar in 3D. That was a new experience for Janet and although she didn’t really get the movie she enjoyed watching it in 3D and was impressed that it looked so cool. Unlike her.

Janet's Ray Charles impersonation.

Janet’s Ray Charles impersonation.


Unfortunately when she was done watching she habitually tried closing the glasses not knowing they don’t close. There is some damage to one arm that I might be able to fix. I hope.

Praying for a night of uninterrupted sleep and a happy Thursday.

Janet, A Success Story. June 7. #TSJ

Another independent morning for Janet as she made breakfast, typed an email herself and waited in the sunshine for me while I showered. I still get anxious about her when I leave her in situations like that. She is unable to get back into the house on her own from the patio and I worry a little about her needing to when I’m not available. I finished my shower as quickly as I could and went to check on her, she was singing away to the music I’d left on for her. I need to have more faith.

Its a good thing we were up at a reasonable hour because we had an early lunch date with John. He hasn’t been out for a meal in months and was raring to go as soon as we arrived at his care home. We wheeled the few blocks over to Joey Kelowna and sat outside for a nice leisurely lunch. I didn’t arrange the seating very well so Janet had a hard time hearing John but we managed. I think he really enjoyed getting out and we enjoyed listening to his stories.

With lunch done early Janet agreed to brave the mall as long as we shopped for me not her. She was a big help in colour selection as I actually found clothes that fit me and I managed to sneak a few things in for her too.

After a nice little nap we headed off to church without the wheelchair. After getting out of the car and closing the door unassisted, Janet walked across the parking lot with my help then went by herself the one hundred plus feet to “our” door then demanded my help to walk down to our seats. Janet got lots of encouragement along the way from friends and even people we don’t know. I had to remind her that her story is out there and more people know about her and are cheering her on than she may realize. Walking out of church was similar and took longer as people stopped to chat and encourage and ask about the wedding. Even someone neither of us knows asked Janet if she was ready for the wedding. Kiko walked with us the last little ways to the car and for the first time got to see Janet walking freestyle and even opening the car door unassisted. She is always so encouraging and upbeat, it all made for a very positive evening.

Our time at home tonight was positive as well. We enjoyed some good sushi and the movie Son of God which spurred a good conversation afterwards with Janet feeling touched by the film and glad we saw it soon after church as it helped to see things acted out rather than just spoken about. I guess we were both so immersed in the movie we forgot Janet’s meds until she was tucked into bed. It crossed my mind once during the movie and I thought I’d prompt her during our ice cream break but forgot by then. Oh well.

Praying for a night of deep and healing sleep that helps to bring lots of energy and a sharp mind for tomorrow.

Janet, A Success Story. May 31. #TSJ

Being up late last night didn’t deter Janet from getting up early this morning which was surprising to me but I’m glad she did. Mostly because the landscaping committee rang the doorbell at 9:30 and Janet got a say in where some new plants went. Shortly after that we got a call about something we are selling then we walked over to the pool to help clean and set up the furniture and stuff for it as today was opening day. Janet helped me put some stuff away from Wine Club when we got home and by the time noon rolled around it had been a very productive day which meant we could spend the afternoon in the sun.

I tried to convince Janet to go for a swim but she wasn’t buying it despite the air and water temps being right in her range. Hopefully tomorrow. She did do good work on her tan before nap time though.

Our outing to church this evening was Janet’s first without her wheelchair which meant she even walked down the ramp in our garage for the first time. She was a little scared at first but handled it very well. Guess its time for a hand rail.

Pizza, a movie and ice cream rounded out the night and Janet was in bed snoring at a much more reasonable hour. Praying for a long night of sleep that gives Janet lots of energy for a fun Sunday.

Janet, A Success Story. May 17. #TSJ

Today you could really sense the rhythm of Janet being at home for an extended period. Our morning was relaxed and talkative with no urgency to do anything in particular. We continued to discuss the movie Heaven Is For Real and watched YouTube clips of the real people plus a young artist who painted an image of Jesus around the time the real events of the movie were happening and the little boy from the movie said that was the Jesus he saw. Janet was fascinated by it all.

We went downtown to pick up a book we had ordered, One Hundred Years of Solitude, and cruised through “the store we never buy anything at”, just in case there was something to spend the gift card we’ve had for three years on. Nope. If any of you have legitimate use of a $100 Lakehouse gift card, it’s yours.

The only physical workout Janet got today was walking from the car to her seat at church and back out again. On the way in there was no mention of a sore foot but it did come up on the way out without impeding her performance though. There was no mention of it the few times she walked at home.

It was sushi and movie night at home and after rejecting Her thirty minutes into it we both enjoyed August: Osage County. There was not one happy person in the entire film but somehow we enjoyed it anyways. Janet understood it and gave a good recap after and did the same for the day as well even as she was falling asleep. Her memory is improving and I suspect the Dilantin situation has improved, allowing her some cognitive gain.

Praying for a long night of healing sleep and an energetic Sunday.

Janet, A Success Story. May 16. #TSJ

I was so pumped to write yesterday that today seems a little anticlimactic but here goes.

My intention for the day was to let it unfold at a Janet pace with therapy taking place covertly and I think that’s how it ended up going down. We were up at a decent hour and Janet elected to have a shower to start off with. That made breakfast to be more like brunch which also set back the planned trip to the grocery store. Janet wasn’t too into that idea so she was thrilled when I offered to go alone and have her vacuum while I was gone. That is a challenging task for her and she was still working at it when I got back although more accurately she was trying to free herself from the hose so she could go to the bathroom. High five for effort.

The sun was shining again so we went for a nice long walk then sat out and had a late lunch while trying to get some colour on Janet’s legs. She’s been somewhat shy about showing her AFO and I’ve had to really insist she wear shorts or a skirt so far. She’s getting more confident about it though and was pleased to see some tanning happening on her legs today.

We simplified our dinner plans to take in a movie tonight, something Janet was very excited to do. When asked what it was that was so exciting about going to a movie, she was like a little kid saying, “just the whole thing about going out”. There aren’t too many Janet movies out right now and we agreed on Heaven Is For Real. Janet said she was “into it right from the beginning, I couldn’t even eat the popcorn”. I wasn’t sure if she was into it or zoning out so was glad to hear at the end that she really enjoyed it. Janet also mentioned its not a movie for everyone but really was for her. A big part of her connecting to it was the fact its centred around a four year old and we all know about Janet’s connection to them.

I mentioned there was to be some covert therapy today and it came in the form of purposeful walks, like to and from the bathroom. Janet really complained about her sore foot and I’m starting to think she’s psyching herself out about it more than anything now. There is nothing to indicate any soreness anywhere except when she puts weight through it. She said tonight that she felt like she hadn’t been walking enough and things felt stiff. We’ll change that tomorrow. The rest of the therapy was focused on independence with Janet doing a lot of “everyday” tasks on her own. I tried to get her to tell me what she thought she’d be doing with herself once she’s home full time and neither of us has an answer for that right now. That’s a little scary I must admit.

Praying for a solid sleep and a Saturday full of progress.

Janet, A Success Story. April 26. #TSJ

Thanks for complying with the new settings to the emails you receive for this blog, there was a nice spike in the numbers today and that is encouraging to me.

Our morning was leisurely today and Janet started off with a decent Skype chat with her mom. She seemed a little quiet to me in spite of a sleep in but she did toss and turn quite a bit last night so maybe the sleep in just kind of evened things out. Janet came outside with me as we met with the Gardening Committee from our Strata to discuss what shrubs we would like removed and who’s responsibility each one is. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that costs would be shared and most of what Janet and I want to do is likely to be approved.

It was just warm enough outside for Janet and the gardening ladies but not enough to stay out any longer than that so we scanned old photos into the computer until we were hungry for lunch. I made sure Janet helped as much as she could in the kitchen today and she did a solid job. I did give her a break from chopping duty though as she does that a lot at Connect so today was largely assembly practice and Janet is improving nicely.

After a decent nap we went to church this evening where Janet got her first real walking done today. She bravely walked the entire length of the aisle to her seat with me in front acting as her cane. Her steps were large and fast and wobbly at times but got praise from Tim who saw her without the wheelchair and came over to encourage her as did Randi and Wayne a little later. We had a nice long chat with Randi after the service that Janet chose as one of her highlights of the day tonight. He is a kind man going through some tough times and we are grateful we get to cheer him on a little. Janet then walked back up the aisle to her wheelchair more confidently than she did down. Soon I won’t have to be her cane. Walking around the house didn’t happen as much as I wanted to today but when Janet did, she did well. I’ll try again tomorrow to get some video.

Janet and I hadn’t watched a movie for a while so when I pitched the idea, Janet actually got excited. We chose Philomena, making sure the only options were Janet appropriate films. I only had to explain a couple things as the movie went along and Janet remembers seeing the great Judi Dench in other films but couldn’t name them. Unlike Noah, there was not a lot of discussion afterwards but Janet and I both enjoyed.

Praying for a night of uninterrupted sleep and a productive Sunday.