Speaking

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. 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. October 16. #TSJ

Janet is often at her best when sharing and today she was doing her best to help some students learn about what she’s gone through the last couple of years. Carly, one of the staff at Connect, invited a few residents to visit her former program at Okanagan College so the students could get a first hand look, and feel, of some of the conditions their future “patients” will have. Janet loves this sort of thing and told me the students she spoke with were very nice and wanted to learn. She was in the class for a couple of hours letting students flex her arms and legs to experience the tone she has and talking about the positive effects of Botox.

Janet and the Therapist Assistant Class.

Janet and the Therapist Assistant Class.


Carly saved me a trip to Connect by bringing Janet to OC. I met Janet there with her wheelchair and we walked home via the grocery store. She was pretty wound up after the session at the college and went the rest of the day without a nap. Needing only a quick reminder as to which buttons to tap on the cooktop, Janet made steamed broccoli all by herself as part of our dinner tonight. She did everything, including chopping it and filling water in the pot and figuring out when it was done. High five!

The rest of the evening was pretty chill as there is another busy weekend ahead of us. Praying that Janet sleeps well tonight and has lots of energy for tomorrow.

Janet, A Success Story. October 15. #TSJ

Talkative Janet was going strong again today. I went out to Connect for what I thought would be the end of lunchtime but Janet and the others were just getting going on their meals. Janet was excited to see me, knowing she was going home for the afternoon, but instead of rushing through her meal she kept jabbering away with Wes and Brad. She was having fun and was in good form, nice to see.

During the ride home Janet was able to accurately tell me about her day so far and in a voice I could hear easily over the car noise. She sure has come a long way. She braved a cool walk with the dog before calling her own nap time at home. After helping me make a salad we enjoyed an early dinner discussing SheLife and our Christmas trip to San Diego. I’m trying to get her to stop agreeing with every suggestion I have for activities there so she can pick some herself but I think its a little too far away yet for her to really focus on it.

SheLife was good tonight according to Janet. The most impressive part for me was her calling a bathroom break in the middle of it. Maybe she is making progress on that reluctance to interrupt something. Back at Connect Janet learned that it is not a hotel after all as even though her laundry was being done when we left this afternoon, it was not put away and her bed wasn’t made when we got back. She actually expected it would be but did a good job putting her clothes away and helping me make the bed. Dare I say, a little more confident on her feet?

Praying for a long night of sleep and a confident Thursday.

Janet, A Success Story. August 26. #TSJ #Storytime

Tuesdays are usually work with Tez days for Janet and she kind of dreads that. This morning she knew that AFO lady was coming to see her and that her session with Tez would be delayed. Well, AFO lady came rather late and Tez wasn’t feeling well so Janet had an easy morning. AFO lady was happy to see how much stronger Janet’s right leg has gotten and as a result has ordered some parts for Janet’s AFO so it can be modified to be more flexible. To further illustrate her increased strength Janet really impressed me with her bike ride tonight going farther and at a harder setting than ever before. She even climbed all nineteen steps very well on her way to Games Night.

Games Night was more of a story time with Janet night as she read The Hallo-Wiener to the group. Curtis couldn’t even finish introducing Janet and explaining what she was going to do before she started reading. There was no hint of nerves or anything as Janet jumped right into it. Like her previous public speeches, Janet tended to ad lib a lot instead of reading each word. That got her confused more than once and disrupted her rhythm. The good news is she knows she does it and agreed to work on stopping it. The group enjoyed the story and were very encouraging to Janet afterwards. Janet said it was OK but needs to keep practicing.

Storytime with Janet.

Storytime with Janet.


Praying for a good night of sleep that provides lots of energy for tomorrow.

Janet, A Success Story. August 22. #TSJ @cbcradiowest

This is a special edition blog post in case you missed the live broadcast of Janet’s and my radio debut. We were on CBC Radio Kelowna’s afternoon show called Radio West and it was a lot of fun. Janet was nervous heading in and put in a stellar performance when she got on the air. I was OK going in then got quite nervous for both of us but enjoyed it in the end. The host, Rebecca Zandbergen is very welcoming and professional and enabled Janet to be herself.

Here’s a link to the interview, we hope you enjoy.

Janet making her point.

Janet making her point.

Janet and Rebecca

Janet and Rebecca

Janet, A Success Story. July 13. #TSJ Heat

Janet and I had a good weekend, mostly very positive with one lingering negative that I hope we can resolve soon.

We are in the midst of a heat wave here, 40C today, and not even Janet is complaining about the A/C being on. I still can’t convince her to go swimming though, she’s hung up on not being able to walk “like a regular person” and looking “weird”. Next weekend, if we have time, I’m just going to tell her we’re going and see what happens.

Friday, we spent most of our time getting ready for our dinner guests. Janet insisted on making a carrot cake for dessert and I agreed as long as she helped. Her confidence and abilities in the kitchen continue to increase and this cake turned out better than the first one. Heidi and Jack joined us for a very nice evening of conversation and food. Janet was engaged the whole time and was a huge help in getting everything ready. That seemed to make the evening even more special for her but begin able to host two people that have been a huge support from day one was cool. Thanks for being you, Heidi and Jack.

Saturday had us visiting John just before his lunchtime. Janet remembered he wanted us to bring him a “double double” from Tim Horton’s so we did and boy was he happy about that! I’m glad we could cheer him up. Church was the one negative of the weekend, not the service at all, but the “accident” Janet had with three minutes left. I was mad because she gave me the old “I didn’t want to leave in the middle of the sermon” excuse and I don’t know how to get her to stop thinking that something else is more important than going to the bathroom. A work in progress. We turned things back to the positive side after we got home by walking down to Gyro Beach for a picnic dinner then a walk along the lakefront before getting home for ice cream. Being out at the beach at 9 o’clock at night in 30C weather is why we moved here. Love it.

Today was a little extreme, I’ll have to admit. 40C, even Janet was sweating a little, but still loving it. After Skype chats with Brittney and Leslie I dropped Janet off at Wendy and Tim’s house where a bridal shower was being held for a family friend, Amy. Janet was excited to attend as I guess she likes hanging out with other women and I’m glad she got the chance.

Nora, Janet, Amy

Nora, Janet, Amy


She told me after that she spoke a little to the group and “everyone was really nice to me”. The relationships that Janet is building within our community are helping her rehab a lot. We are blessed.

With the heat and lack of time for a nap, Janet was pretty tired heading into dinner time but still managed to help and did a good chunk of her help standing at the Island. After the prep work was done Janet mustered enough energy to Skype with Andrew and they seemed to enjoy talking tennis.

I sometimes get a little discouraged and frustrated with the pace of Janet’s recovery but I can look back on this weekend and see notable improvements like her being able to stand and work at the Island. Her walking around the house was slower but she did way more of it and never complained or asked for help once. Her stair work is greatly improved and we went on our first outside walk together. Janet walked holding my hand for five houses away from ours before we turned around and walked back. I can remember back in the KGH days saying to her I wanted to go for walks with her again. It’s starting!

Praying for a cool night of sleep for us all and that Janet has lots of energy and a positive attitude for the week ahead.