Tennis

Janet, A Success Story. September 8. #TSJ

This turned out to be a rather mellow Monday for Janet. She told me that with everyone at the breakfast table this morning it was fun and kind of silly. That made for a good start and her gym routine was focused on stretching which can be uncomfortable but doesn’t require much effort from Janet. She was happy.

When I got to Connect this afternoon Janet was watching the final of the U.S. Open tennis so we hung out until that was over. Connect is celebrating it’s birthday soon and is putting together a memories book that the residents are being asked to contribute to. This proved to be a good memory test for Janet, and me, in trying to come up with an event that she’ll always remember. She was pretty stuck on how she feels grateful for the very helpful staff so she wrote a nice couple of sentences around that instead of going for the funny story like some folks. Janet did well to sort that out with only a little coaching from me.

After dinner I literally dragged Janet around the hallways of Connect in order to get her 400 meter walk in. Since I wasn’t sure how many lengths we’d have to do I got her to climb the stairs as well so by the end Janet was pretty tired. She did well and I’m not concerned about her stamina at all,just have to work on the speed.

The rest of the evening was hers and she chose to watch a little football before realizing she was too tired after missing her afternoon nap so she called an early bedtime and only lasted for fifteen minutes of reading before she was snoring.

Praying for an uninterrupted night of sleep and lots of energy for a productive Tuesday.

Janet, A Success Story. September 7. #TSJ LOUD

It feels like forever since I posted on this blog so this may be a little wordy. Janet and I had a great almost week together at home and on the road as this seems to be the summer that never ends. That’s a good thing.

Janet went for her Botox appointment last Wednesday morning and tolerated the needles well. Dr. McCann is happy with her progress and will keep her on a four month rotation. It was clear we need to keep treating Janet’s right hand finger flexors as well as her right hamstring. Dr. McCann also gave Janet a referral to an outpatient physio program that is run out of the local Rec centres as opposed to the hospital so we will see if that will work for her once she’s home full time.

The first stop on our road trip was Bellingham Washington. The idea was to break up the driving to the Seahawks game on Thursday to allow for a rest period for Janet before the game. Janet was a good passenger for the five hours it took to get to our hotel with a few bathroom breaks along the way and a very short wait at the border. Driving to Seattle Thursday was a breeze with no bathroom breaks during that two hour trip and we were pleasantly surprised to find our room ready for us even though it was only 12:30. Janet agreed to a rest before going out into the football madness.

Quite a few years ago Janet went to her first Seahawks game and she didn’t really like it much as it was loud and “mean”. A lot has changed since then and Janet is a true fan who joined right in on all the game day fun. Even as we arrived at our hotel the streets were full of fans heading to the pre game festivities so by the time we joined them it was hard to manoeuvre Janet in her wheelchair without running into someone. Janet was amazed by the number of people in the area and marvelled when she first saw the stadium. The weather could not have been better but to be safe Janet wore jeans and sat on a little jacket that she ended up wearing for the last ten minutes of the game. Janet chose to enter the stadium early and watch the teams warm up rather than stay in the crowds outside. Good call as we were able to familiarize ourselves with the washrooms and I gave Janet a good tour of everywhere she could go in the stadium. She declined to walk down to field level though. Maybe next time.

Ready for some football!

Ready for some football!


The game itself was so much fun with Janet getting right into it being as loud as she could. I think she was as entertained by the crowd as much as she was by the game which she spent most of the time watching on the giant video board as it was hard for her to sort out what was happening on the field. As opposed to her first game Janet enjoyed the action and still can’t get over how loud the crowd is. It was a great experience and we may have to start a tradition of going to the home opener every year.
Our view of the action.

Our view of the action.


It's LOUD!

It’s LOUD!

This video will give you a little sense of what it’s like at the game. There’s nothing like being there though.

We took the long way home on Friday, after spending some time on the Seattle waterfront and at a favourite beach of ours in Bellevue then taking I-90 over the mountains before heading north to home. Janet had a tough time after leaving the beach as she was tired and never really got control of her need for bathroom breaks so that made for a long trip that also wasn’t as scenic as I had hoped.

Everyone has a pic like this right?

Everyone has a pic like this right?


Meydenbauer Beach Park

Meydenbauer Beach Park


With just enough rest Friday night we welcomed some long time friends of Janet’s to the house Saturday afternoon. Diane and Blake were in the area and stopped by for a nice visit that meant a lot to Janet. I could see the wheels turning as the discussion centred around kids and friends. After church Janet insisted on watching the finale of So You Think You Can Dance as she wanted “to see my guy win”. He did! I owe Janet a Menchie’s treat and very proud of herself for picking the winner. High five! To cap off the weekend Courtney hung out with us this afternoon to watch some tennis and get us caught up on her life. Always nice to have her around.
A nice visit with friends Blake and Diane.

A nice visit with friends Blake and Diane.


Another summer vacation is over for Janet and there were no complaints about this one not being relaxing enough and there wasn’t much protesting about returning to Connect tonight. Janet did a four hundred meter walk this afternoon and on our way back from the beach I was able to demonstrate the speed she needs to go to get 400 meters in six minutes. She was rocked by that a little and I think will put in a solid week of work as she wants to be home full time soon.

Janet, A Success Story. September 1. #TSJ

This was a pretty quiet Monday as Janet did her gym routine in the morning with Jess and Garrett. It didn’t sound like it was anything out of the ordinary and Janet even said the walking part was fine. I convinced her to walk up and down the stairs tonight and she did great, her best with me yet. Very quick going up and more confident coming down.

Janet very efficiently set the dinner table tonight and we enjoyed some sunshine during happy hour. Tennis was a big part of Janet’s day again as she called me early in the afternoon to say she was watching Genie Bouchard’s match. After dinner and the stair walking all she wanted to do was watch the Milos Raonic match. That made for a quiet evening but Janet enjoyed what she could stay up for but will be disappointed when she hears the result in the morning. I tried testing Janet a few times to see how much tennis knowledge she’s gaining and there is more of an understanding of the game and the players for sure. Sometimes though, its like she wasn’t even watching so I’m not ready to call her an expert yet.

After reading it was lights out time with Janet being quite giggly as I said goodnight. She is excited to be coming home tomorrow and really excited about the football game on Thursday. Since we are home then travelling, blog posts this week will be random so don’t freak if there isn’t one there when you wake up.

Praying that Janet sleeps well and has a productive Tuesday.

Janet, A Success Story. August 31. #TSJ Homestretch

Hard to believe August is over. The home stretch begins now for Janet as her goals for coming home full time get closer and closer. September promises to be challenging and busy but not without some fun too.

This past weekend Janet worked hard on her distance walking, each day doing a 400 meter circuit that her legs told her they felt. We weren’t focused on the timing so much as getting used to the distance and Janet did the first 200 meters using her cane then the last 200 holding my hand so she could pick up the pace a little. I had to coax her out the door to do these walks but Janet felt good about completing each one. Her stride continues to improve and will do so more once her AFO gets adjusted. For the first time ever, I was able to bring myself to not supervise Janet as she walked from the kitchen, down the steps to the garage and into the car by herself. I simply told her I’d meet her at the car and when I got there she was in it with a big smile on her face saying “I did it all by myself!” High five!

Relaxing was the desired outcome of the weekend for Janet again but I managed to get her to help out a lot in the kitchen and do as much for herself as possible. She practiced the laundry machines and the cooktop as well as getting the dog a treat. Janet is getting very good at rinsing and stacking dishes while I wash and can do most of the emptying the dishwasher except for some things she can’t reach to put away. We have some tweaking to do still on where kitchen stuff should go so Janet can access it and will consult Brian as soon as he’s able to come over and do an assessment for us.

Janet was able to relax and watch a lot of tennis this weekend and really gets caught up in the personal stories and struggles of the players as well as the drama of a good match. It’s a great sport for her to watch as she can follow the game well and really see the players as they aren’t covered by helmets and stuff.

Returning to Connect tonight went smoothly probably because Janet knows she’ll be back home Tuesday so I can take her to her Botox appointment Wednesday morning then we are going to Seattle for a few days to watch the Seahawks play some real football. So, a little pain and a lot of fun this week. Praying for Janet to sleep well tonight and have lots of energy for a productive Monday.

Janet, A Success Story. August 28. #TSJ Frozen

Janet called me right at noon as she finished her workout and asked if she could come home sooner than planned. I obliged but she had to go grocery shopping with me on the way. Her morning was good according to her. Tez was away and sent a student to work with Janet and she liked him a lot. Not that he was that much easier on her but that he had a different approach to things. To help Janet take longer strides he placed markers on the floor and Janet had to hit each one as she stepped. A Tez idea but first tried today and Janet feels she did pretty well at it.

Grocery shopping was as fun as it can be and Janet enjoyed having a say in what we bought. She had another fun activity after that, a visit to the dentist. If they had automatic doors at the dentist office I could easily drop Janet off outside now and let her do the appointment completely on her own. Her cane walking is strong enough and she needs only the slightest bit of help lifting her right leg onto the dentist chair. Pretty cool. She was able to watch some tennis while in the chair and we watched more at home tonight treating this as Janet’s Friday especially since her mouth was frozen for hours. There are no specific plans tomorrow but I hope to have Janet practice some domestic activities as well as her distance walking. Praying for a restful night of sleep and continued improvement.

Janet, A Success Story. August 25. #TSJ

Today was a pretty reasonable Monday for Janet. Curtis coached her through the gym routine and challenged her to read The Hallo-Wiener to the Games Night group tomorrow. A challenge that Janet readily accepted surprisingly enough.

She had just made her way down to the living room as I arrived at Connect this afternoon and was quite chatty. We hung out there visiting with Wes and his wife Roz and got a surprise visit from former resident, Fred. He’s hear for a week away from Connect Langley and it was fun to have him around tonight. Janet liked how he livened up the place.

Chelsea and Karl, both from England, decided to make the house an English breakfast for dinner tonight. Sausages, baked beans, potatoes etc. You may have already guessed that didn’t go over well with Janet so she ate my shrimp linguini and I ate her sausages and beans. She sometimes is referred to as queen of the house and lived up to that tonight.

Janet may not be queen for long as we were told that a new resident moves in across the hall from Janet tomorrow and happily she’s a girl. Janet is looking forward to meeting her.

One exercise Janet did not get to this morning was the Shuttle so tonight I gave her the option of doing that or climbing the stairs instead. She chose stairs and went up and down all nineteen in good fashion, with a little sweat and a minimum of complaining. When given the choice of what to do the rest of the night Janet very nicely remembered there was tennis on TV so we watched some first round action of the US Open broken up by some speed walking to the bathroom and freestyle walking to get meds. A strong day.

Praying for an excellent night of sleep for Janet and the desire and ability to fully participate in her Tuesday.

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.