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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.

Larry

This post brought to you by Heather

Mom woke up this afternoon after a short nap in order to talk to Aunt Leslie. Mom was pretty quiet but managed to tell Leslie she loved her.

After her chat with her sister, Mom and I did some sitting. Mom tried to stand and I told her she couldn’t, at which point she started to cry and said “Why does it matter if I stand” After that it took her a while to calm down, but eventually we read a bit more about Narnia and then Mom rested a little more.

Off to dinner we went and Mom ate all of a big bowl of what looked like cream of broccoli soup and then had half of her pureed apricots. After dinner Mom and I watched some youtube clips, chatted and waited around for Larry. When Larry showed up Mom broke into the biggest grin I have ever seen from her. She gave him a big hug and managed to use her loud voice to answer most of his questions. Larry helped her stretch and did a bit of standing exercises before we tucked her and headed home for some sushi and a visit with Ethan.

I have to say I was so moved watching Mom and Larry interact. Mom’s whole demeanor changed when Larry came in and I was so reassured seeing how much they loved each other. For those of you who knew my Mom before the aneurysm, you know she wasn’t the most emotive person; one of the blessings that has come with the injury is seeing Mom being so much more expressive, and that is most true when it comes to her with Larry.

I am sad that tomorrow will be my last day with Mom until late December. I am looking forward to an expressive day with Mom, and know that I am leaving her in the best possible care with Larry.

Where’s the Beef?

Janet was all snuggled into bed still when I arrived this morning. She had been changed but not dressed but I didn’t clue into that for a long time so I talked to her while waiting for nurses to appear. By 8:30 there was no sign of anyone then I realized I hadn’t left any clothes out for Janet and that’s why she wasn’t dressed. We made it out for breakfast with Sharon and Luella and Janet was happy to be there and ate most of her yogurt and some of the pureed peaches and a little thickened orange juice. Surprise.

I decided to give Janet a pretty good stretch this morning as I haven’t been able to for a few days. I know Moira and Jessica have but the more the better. We started with her sitting on the edge of the bed so I could stretch her ankles. They seem really tight today. Her right arm is a little tighter than yesterday but I was still able to work it pretty good. I spent a lot of time on her legs which seem to be getting tighter and tighter to me yet Janet is using her left leg really well and has had some moments of good movement from the right one as well the past couple of days. Confused. We ended the session with some standing practice. First with Janet trying to get up herself and she made a few strong attempts, one resulting in a very loud grunt from her followed by a little chuckle. I did one of the old style stand ups with me basically lifting her and that doesn’t work so well now without a wedge for her feet.

It was well after eleven by the time I got her into the wheelchair again and I wanted to do some talking exercises with Janet but her left foot hit the floor and she took off out the room like it was on fire. I followed her and she had a really good exploring session of the entire unit before getting herself to the table for lunch with Mary, Sharon and Edna. At one point during her adventure we passed Nick’s room and Janet cruised right in to say hi to him. I was happy to see soup on the tray when lunch arrived but was a little concerned when I saw it was beef barley. Janet is not a beef eater and would not have gone near it prior to May 15. SHE ATE IT ALL along with a little strawberry Ensure. For her reward she does not have to have a lunchtime tube feed so she is resting in bed listening to music until I get back this afternoon.

Still A Good Sunday

I returned to find Mom still curled up in her bed, but reporting that she did not rest. I have noticed that whenever she is in bed she is often trying to figure out how to sit up, get out, or otherwise move around…probably a good thing, but not so good as far as getting some rest. It was just about time to Skype with Aunt Leslie, so I started searching for the Ipad and by the time I turned back around she was half of the way to sitting on the side of the bed. Mom seemed to enjoy our chat with Aunt Leslie despite some difficulties with the connection, and had a good laugh when she saw Aunt Leslie almost fall off of her chair. We then did some more stretching and Mom seemed very intent on trying to get her right leg to move through the different sequences I was suggesting. Afterwards we watched some more YouTube clips of X-Factor and some old So You Think You Can Dance highlights. Larry surprised us as we were getting ready to head for dinner and Mom flashed her biggest smile of the day. Throughout the afternoon, she had a couple moments when her “loud voice” seemed to pop out, though what she was saying wasn’t always clear during these times. So nice to hear her voice, though.

After dinner we finished off the “Ramona and Beezus” movie, with Mom staying awake for the whole thing. She was quite agitated when the volume got loud, but once that was fixed she appeared to enjoy it. Some tears before bed but after a little pep talk she seemed content to drift off to sleep. So thankful for all of the time with her this weekend.

Good Sunday

I arrived around 7:50 this morning and found Mom already sitting out in the dining hall waiting for breakfast. She looked very spiffy, wearing a sweater, a scarf, and her glasses, and with her hair neatly combed. Apparently Nurse Jason had done a very nice job this morning. She wasn’t too interested in eating breakfast, and indicated that she wasn’t feeling so good, hadn’t slept well, and was tired. It was nice to see that she was responding to questions more like usual and talking again, however. In fact, she was quite chatty and really fun to hang out with throughout most of the morning. A definite improvement over the past two days. The unit appears to still be struggling with a change in the computer system, however, as she was oddly offered pancakes and sausage this morning, as well as medications to take orally, none of which she is cleared to have yet. The good news is soup finally came with her lunch today – yay!

Mom and I had a good walk around the hospital this morning, with her steering well when driving “Bam Bam” style. She was also able to clear both legs over the side of the bed when trying to sit up after a stretch. My favourite moment of the morning came as we were looking at the framed picture from Carrie and talking a little about her when Mom whispered, quite clearly, “I should send her something.” So sweet, and so very Mom-like. Love when those moments happen. She was quite often taking the time to swallow before responding to my questions today, which seemed to help make her voice more clear, and just generally quite a bit more understandable and more aware until she began to tire around lunchtime. She enjoyed a visit from Suzanne over lunch, and I definitely enjoyed the extra conversation at an otherwise very quiet lunch table. Looking forward to more hanging out this afternoon and finishing our movie tonight!