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UNLEASHING THE K.I.S.S. MARRIAGE – “IF YOU HAD ONE WISH”

My friend Heidi’s excellent take on wishes vs expectations.

Heidi McLaughlin's Blog

Girl Dressed as a Fairy for a Birthday Party
If I had one wish that would get answered with the snap of a finger, it would be “to help restore marriages so that everyone can enjoy the pleasure and intimacy in the way God designed marriages to be.” It breaks my heart to see spouses angry, unhappy, resentful and turning to the searing pain of divorce.

If you had one wish for YOUR marriage to make it the way you envisioned it to be, what would that be? But let’s take it one step further, because marriages need more than a wish and a swish of a magical wand. A wish can sometimes look like this: Wishing you spouse would stop leaving socks on the floor, start putting down the toilet seat, stop playing so much golf, stop working so much, start helping with the children at bath time. Wishing something supernaturally would fall from the sky to change…

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Road Trip, The Return. #TSJ

I wish I could sleep as well as Janet has these last couple of nights. She never made a sound that I heard last night and when the clock said 8:30 this morning she was still snoring. That’s completely understandable as our bodies knew it was really only 7:30 but we needed to get the day going.

Once again Janet responded very well to the wake up call and we were eating breakfast around 9:15. Despite the good start we were still a little late to meet my mom at Horseshoe Bay. We had hoped to walk the seawall at Ambleside prior to lunch but of course the nice weather from yesterday was gone and replaced with the usual cold, damp, gray crap that Janet and I moved away from. That meant a tour of Park Royal Shopping Centre which surprisingly hasn’t changed much in the six years we’ve been away. Janet seemed to remember parts of it and I think the stroll around while it wasn’t busy was good for her.

I had made a reservation for lunch at Anatoli’s Souvlaki knowing how busy the Lower Lonsdale area can be but when we showed up at noon it was just us. Janet was trying really hard to say something about what she wanted to order but I couldn’t understand her at all so she ended up getting quite frustrated, to the point of crying. Mom and I eventually helped her decide what to order but there’s been too much of this really quiet talking and not using real words since the Dilantin OD. Today was not about Klingon it was just really low volume with the key words being scrambled. She ended up really enjoying her meal but not talking at all. Mom enjoyed her birthday lunch and shared some pictures of her trip to Hawaii with us. Makes you want to go. The weather was OK enough for a walk around Lonsdale Quay and the “new” pier area at the old shipyard site. I like what they’ve done there and it would be nice to see it in some warm sunny weather.

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After dropping mom off at the ferry we made a pit stop in West Van. then started our drive home. Janet slept off and on for a bit then all the way from Chiliwack to Merritt. She said she wasn’t hungry and was comfortable so we carried on to West Kelowna before stopping for dinner which included a DQ Blizzard for dessert. I think Janet learned her lesson after turning down that milkshake yesterday.

We arrived at Connect at pretty much Janet’s normal bedtime after a fairly bright last leg of the trip. Overall Janet was very quiet this weekend. She took a lot in as we were busy either driving, visiting or getting ready to do one of those things. She ate well and today drank fairly well as we stuck with using a straw. The pop at dinner went down faster than anything else all weekend. I still feel like she’s on too much Dilantin because of her quietness and overall lack of energy. I’ll give it a few more days and see if she changes at all.

Thanking Jesus for letting us live in the sunny Okanagan and praying for a night of rest and healing that prepares Janet for a productive day tomorrow.

A Reason for Everything. Janet under the weather. #TSJ

Our day started off great. Janet slept well last night and was pretty chipper this morning enjoying our breakfast time together. She enthusiastically helped start the purge of her closet for our morning activity and had a good chuckle over some of the things we found. Some things I’ve never seen her wear before and I’m glad of that. She was able to say goodbye to a lot of stuff and we only did one half the closet.

Lunchtime came and Janet was starting to fade. Even at the height of her chipperness this morning I noticed her speech was mostly in Klingon. She was fine with one or two words but when she tried to put a sentence together it came out a real mess. Not scrambled words at all but unidentifiable ones. I am a little concerned about this as I’ve noticed it happening throughout this past week.

Janet did not fade too rapidly and agreed to go for a walk as it was quite the nice warm day here. We were out for over an hour enjoying the sun and mild temperatures. Really nice to be doing that again.

That was about it for Janet today. As planned, it was nap time after our walk, 3:00, and after the usual “why are you putting me to shelter?” complaint (shelter is not the usual word) she was asleep in minutes and stayed that way till after five. In fact she is still in bed as I write this and I suspect will be for the night. She says she’s not feeling well but has no specific complaint. She wakes up a couple times an hour and each time her speech is better. She’s managed some water and her dinner time meds so I’m thinking the sleep and rest is all good healing and tomorrow she will stay chipper all day. I’m glad she is doing this at home rather than a Calgary hotel room so there’s one silver lining from yesterday’s adventure.

Despite the enormous rest she’s already had I’m still praying for a restful night as Janet clearly needs it. Also praying for a bright and chipper day tomorrow.

The Best Laid Plans. Avalanche! #TSJ

Today started out great and ended great, it just wasn’t that great in the middle.

I arrived at Connect just before ten after dropping Nash off at the kennel and Janet was pretty much ready to go. Our plan was to drive to Calgary to surprise Cam for his final college basketball game of his career tomorrow and things started off just fine. The weather was decent in Kelowna and was forecast to be quite mild in Calgary as well. I was a little nervous taking Janet on such a long drive but knew there were plenty of places to stop along the way if needed and we were in no hurry. She happily sang along to a few songs for the first while then near Armstrong she was nodding off now and then. It’s really hard to talk to Janet in the car as she has yet to get her volume level up where it needs to be so I felt a little awkward driving in mostly silence but she seemed content.

Every time we came near a gas station I asked her if she needed a bathroom break and she said no every time. We made it to Revelstoke and our planned lunch break by 12:30 despite some slow traffic and a delay for avalanche control. Speaking of avalanches the potential for such was extreme today in many parts of BC and that caused the powers that be to close the highway between Revelstoke and Golden ten minutes before we got there. So instead of a four hour drive from there to Calgary we faced a twelve hour one through the Kootenays or wait for the highway to open. The ETO was for eight or ten tonight and as I write this they are estimating eastbound traffic to start moving at 10:30. That would have gotten us in at around 3:30 local time which is likely the same as if we’d have driven through Nelson etc.

I was not interested in subjecting Janet to that amount of time in the car and with no hotel rooms available in Revelstoke we made the call to head for home. By the time we got there we should have been in Calgary and I got a really good look at Janet’s tolerance level for car travel. Next trip to Calgary will be by plane. Janet was uncomfortable on the way back and found it hard to sleep. She would have made it to Calgary but it would not have been pleasant. I think she’d be fine with the four hours to Vancouver but seven is too much. Good to know.

Nash was extremely happy we decided to go home and Barb made our decision seem right when she had Gary bring over two warm pieces of fresh baked apple pie soon after we got home. Mmmmm.

Janet was pretty out of it tonight but ate a good dinner and was happy to get to bed. I’m praying for a good nights sleep that recharges her for a fun day tomorrow.

Sing Song, Janet and John hit it off. #TSJ

SORRY. WORDPRESS APP GIVING ME A FEW PROBLEMS SO THIS POST DIDN’T PUBLISH YESTERDAY. WEDNESDAY’S UPDATE COMING SOON.

I arrived a little earlier than usual today as I wanted to meet John who is going to spend some time singing with Janet. Lorne was in the process of toileting Janet as I walked into her room and we just had time for our daily debrief before John showed up. The gym was really busy when Janet went down there this morning so Jess did some stretching with her on her bed and said that worked fairly well. Janet remembered that she didn’t go to the gym and that she did some stuff in her room. She told me she had sandwiches for lunch but wasn’t sure what kind. The rest of her report was pretty garbled so I focused on getting her ready for singing with John.

We met John in the Den and Janet had a nice smile for him right away and kept it on the whole half hour they were together. John has a very positive attitude and an energetic personality and I could tell Janet liked him right from the start. I left them alone partly because I don’t sing but mostly because I want Janet to feel that is her time to learn and have fun on her own. I came back after a half hour and Janet was still smiling and gave a nice encore performance of My Grandfather’s Clock and a song about Titanic. John asked if he could come back next Tuesday and Janet said of course. When I asked her what she had done today she couldn’t remember most of it but when she and John started singing songs she hasn’t sung in years, the lyrics were rolling off her tongue like she wrote them. Blows my mind. That, combined with the big smile is more than enough to keep this going.

Janet reluctantly agreed to a rest time after her session with John and slept for almost an hour. Once again she denied sleeping so I think it might be fun to record her snoring away and play it back for her sometime. Because of the nap we were a little late in Skypeing Mary/Gaga and Keith and Janet wasn’t totally back in form but had a nice conversation anyways.

Garrett and I took Janet to the gym for some leg strengthening work on the Shuttle. Janet complained about pain in her right knee a lot, could be from her fall off the toilet, but tried really hard with only one band of tension. I was happy she tried but disappointed with the results and hope that was a one off and not a trend. In the interest of helping reduce the pain and relax her legs Garrett suggested getting Janet onto her tummy so we took her back to her room thinking she’d be more comfy on the bed. That turned out really well and her legs relaxed nicely and I was even able to massage them for a while. I’d like to see that be an every other day type of thing and will talk to Tez about it.

Tonight was Janet’s night to help make dinner and she chopped onions and tomatoes and helped make seasoning for tacos. She was pretty tired after her workout but really wants to do this sort of thing and was determined to it well and she did.

Andrew was up next for a Skype chat and for a while Janet had Andrew on the brain, referencing him repeatedly when trying to talk about Cam even though she was looking at Andrew. Janet read a little bit for me afterwards then it was time for bed. We are still watching her former peg site closely. It is healing well but still oozing slightly and based on that we are delaying her start at the KGH Rehab pool. Don’t want her getting infected or causing anyone else too.

Praying for a healing night and a productive and fun day tomorrow.

The Hangover. Janet recovering from the weekend? #TSJ

As usual Janet was hanging out in the living room when I got to Connect this afternoon. She was lounging in her comfy chair, legs up, pillows in place, all she needed was a nice cocktail and she’d be set. She agreed it was pretty comfy and that’d she’d even closed her eyes a bit. Jess was there to help with the report of the day so far. Janet had trouble getting started in telling me what happened and couldn’t remember what she had for breakfast. Pancakes. She remembered going to the gym but not what she did there. Garrett told me it was a tough session with lots of tears. Janet refused the Shuttle and said her legs were sore and Garrett found the range of motion on her right shoulder to be less than previous. I found her legs to be quite stiff today and am hoping its just from her overall state of being as she seemed quite tired all day. That’s as much of a report as I got as Janet surprised me by agreeing to lay down for a while. She did so for about an hour but didn’t sleep much.

With a little more energy than before her rest time Janet got up and we went to see nurse Jen about her former peg site. On my way out to Connect today I got a surprise call from the KGH Rehab Pool saying Janet has been accepted into a program there for the month of March. Since I was on the road I couldn’t get details and I was really excited and shocked at the news. I figured there would be a lengthy wait list to get in there and when Dr. McCann’s office called this morning to say they had sent in the referral I thought it would be a few weeks before anything happened. What do I know. The down side is I’m not sure Janet has healed enough from the peg tube removal to go “swimming” and Jen isn’t sure either. We agreed to have another good look at it tomorrow. Janet is a little blasé about using the pool but I think she’ll like it once she starts. Dr. McCann’s office also said he is very supportive of more Botox for Janet’s legs but officially can’t get her in until July. His lovely assistant Pam will try and get Janet in before then. I have confidence in Pam.

Janet was able to set the table for dinner but needed quite a bit of help as she was tiring again. She gobbled up her dinner though and that gave her energy to Skype with Laurel afterwards for almost a half hour. Her voice was reasonably loud and she mostly responded appropriately to Laurel’s questions and comments but had trouble telling her own stories with a lot of them referencing Jews. The only association I can make for this is from the Academy Awards show when Mark Whalberg and “Ted” were telling Jewish jokes. I didn’t even think Janet was that awake during that part of the show but I have no other idea as to how she got onto that tangent. She was petty funny though. Funnier than “Ted”.

We watched a little YouTube and that was about it for the night. Praying for rest and healing and a hard working productive day tomorrow.

Sparkling. A bright day with Janet. #TSJ

Janet awoke rested and ready for a good day today. The morning routine went well especially since we weren’t rushing off anywhere. We lingered over breakfast looking at the real estate paper just for fun. Nothing terribly interesting to be found but it was fun looking.

Wanting to be productive Janet elected to start purging her dresser drawers. I have been in her sock drawer before and knew it was full but never realized what full meant until we emptied it onto the floor. I had no idea she was such a sock hoarder. I gave her the task of matching all the singles we found, and there were a lot. Working with the socks spread out on the bed so she could reach Janet did an outstanding job of matching then deciding which ones were worth keeping and which could go. She still has a pretty full drawer but at least now they are all useful socks in there.

The next drawer down was bras and underwear. Not quite as crazy as the sock drawer so I left this one totally up to her. She made a pile of each item on the floor then I held each one up for her to decide if it was a keeper or not. Most things were kept.

What seems like a mundane chore was actually really good therapy for Janet. There was matching and grouping involved along with some hand eye work and decision making. It took us well over an hour or sort those two drawers and Janet was pleased with the results. We enjoyed a relaxing lunch together then I insisted on a rest time as we had guests coming over at four. Janet was not happy about rest time but slept for half an hour or so after saying “I love you too just not when you do things like this”.

Janet was a big help in prepping for Barb and Gary’s visit. She got the crackers out of the cupboard, the pâté and sausage out of the fridge and made a nice display of the crackers while I sliced things up. We are blessed to have high quality neighbors like Barb and Gary and it was very nice to sit and chat and enjoy a glass of Grey Monk Sparkling Rosè with them. We are two for two in wine selection from Discover Wines, thanks again Kris!

After all the late afternoon snacking we kept dinner simple and and watched Cam’s Futsal game webcast while getting it ready then eating it. This was the gold medal game of the league championship and Cam’s team won with him getting a shut out and player of the game honors. Very exciting. Janet seemed eager to watch another movie tonight hoping for a comedy but we didn’t notice anything that peaked our interest so I got my choice of Skyfall. Janet was OK for a while but an hour in said she was tired, couldn’t understand the movie and wanted to go to bed. I got her all tucked in and told her I was going to finish the movie before coming to bed myself. She was fine with that and rolled onto her right side as she often does when first going to sleep. Five minutes later I heard her making some sort of noise so I ran down to the bedroom to find her crying and laying on her tummy. I rolled her onto her back and calmed her down. She told me she couldn’t get back over and that’s why she was crying. Scared herself. I told her I thought that was very cool that she could get herself onto her tummy. I’m pretty sure that’s a first and she said it didn’t hurt, she was just scared. Thinking she was back to sleep I got up to go finish the movie but of course her eyes popped open immediately but I went anyways. I came back a few minutes later to check on her and she was still awake. I snuggled up with her for a longer time this time but got the same result so decided to watch the movie tomorrow and join her in bed. She has been sleeping lightly while I’ve been writing this post occasionally opening her eyes to check on me. Could be a long night.

Praying for rest, healing and happy thoughts tonight and for a fun day tomorrow.

Free Friday. Home for the weekend. #TSJ

When I arrived at Connect this afternoon Janet was just about to take another successful potty break. Today was very good in that department and I’m very happy about the improvements she is making there. She wasn’t interested in wasting any time in going home but we did stop and have nurse Jen look at her former peg site to see if we needed to keep the wound care protocol going. Jen suggested we give the whole thing a rest for a couple of days and see how it goes. I brought the kit home with us just in case but so far it looks like it is continuing to heal very nicely and some air will probably do it good.

With our only plans being to watch a movie tonight Janet thought that reason enough to avoid having a rest. I explained I’d like her to stay awake during the movie so carried her straight from the car to the bed so she had no choice. She didn’t sleep long but it was long enough to give her a nice energy boost for the rest of the night.

Janet’s training as a prep cook continued tonight as she tore lettuce and chopped peppers by herself with the rocker knife and sliced grape tomatoes with my help. The only help she needed in setting the table was identifying my napkin. She hasn’t grasped the concept of the napkin ring that’s on it even though it was her idea way back when we got married. An outstanding job none the less.

Comedy was the genre of choice for our movie and without searching too much we chose Easy A. Turned out to be a good choice as Janet said it made her laugh. I saw her smiling but didn’t hear any laughter. She said she “was laughing on the inside”. I thought the movie had just the right pace for Janet to keep up to and some of the jokes were quite intelligent and certainly not crude. A good Janet movie.

Thinking she had a second wind Janet thought she could stay up late and it was already nine when the movie ended. She was sound asleep by 9:45. So much for the second wind. Our time today was nice and relaxed, unusual enough that Janet even asked a couple of times, “how much time do we have” when I asked if she wanted to do something. It was nice to be able to say “as much as we want”. Praying for a restful night of healing and a relaxing day of learning tomorrow.

Satisfying Saturday #TSJ

There is nothing better than watching Janet wake up in the morning, or the middle of the night, and see her big smile and sparkly eyes looking at me. She woke up once last night, shot me the smile, then didn’t wake up until after nine this morning, still with a smile. The morning routine went well and we were able to greet Heather by 9:30. Janet communicated well all morning as she and Heather talked wedding plans in between mouthfuls of breakfast. Janet’s answers to questions are more often correct now and I find she is asking more questions now too. Another sign of her short term memory improving came when Heather asked her what she thought of Beyonce’s performance at the Super Bowl. Janet very thoughtfully explained she liked the show but thought Beyonce could have focused more on singing as opposed to dancing. Her answer really impressed me.

We didn’t have a lot planned for today so in order to help me de clutter the house, Heather and Janet did some purging of Heather’s old room. Not that a move is imminent but it was nice to take advantage of some quiet time to sort through stuff I wouldn’t have a clue of what to do with. Courtney even stopped by, with a swollen face from having her wisdom teeth out, to grab some of her stuff I found this morning. Amazing what can hide in a house.

After watching a little tv and arguing that she didn’t need a rest, Janet slept for half an hour before Skypeing Leslie. That conversation went well, not as good as the last two Skype calls, but it wasn’t Leslie’s birthday so I guess the extra effort wasn’t there.

Janet and I had agreed to take Heather out for dinner tonight a couple days ago and made a reservation at one of our favorite little places, The Fixx Cafe. Unfortunately they are a favorite of a lot of other people and could only take us at five. Janet does need to eat early but it felt really strange going somewhere nice that early. Stranger yet was Heather grabbing the cheque afterwards. Kids these days! The food was fabulous and it was fun having Janet there again even if she didn’t remember it. To add to the enjoyment and since we haven’t broken any rules for a while, I figured it was time to rebel a little. You can’t eat good food like that with just water so I ordered a glass of Pinot Noir. Janet’s eyes lit up as our server poured it and a few minutes later I grabbed the glass and moved it to the other side of my plate in anticipation of offering Janet a sip. She was already waiting, fork down, smile on her face. I hadn’t even said anything. Needless to say she enjoyed the three sips and one gulp I allowed her over the duration of the meal and I feel blessed that she has reached a point where she can truly enjoy something like that. I realize there may be some potential for harm but I don’t think so from that little bit and I know when I ask her about it tomorrow I’ll get a huge smile from her. Worth it.

Since Janet enjoyed watching Zoolander last night we decided to try a movie again tonight. A number of people had recommended The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel as a good Janet movie so on it went. Heather and I both enjoyed it and Janet did too but struggled with staying awake. She was very full from dinner, so much so she turned down ice cream, and maybe had a hard time keeping up with the dialogue. It was still fun and she made it through and has been snoring beside me for the last forty five minutes.

It was a satisfying day in many ways. Janet continues to impress with her communication skills and overall awareness level and we got to go out with Heather for some very tasty food. Praying for a restful and healing night and a great day tomorrow.

2012 in review- Blog Stats

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 9,300 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 16 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.