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 21. #TSJ Walking Best

Tez put Janet through the ringer again this morning and she responded very well. The cold has all but disappeared and Janet was highly motivated today in contrast to the last couple of days. Walking a lot without her cane Janet showed improvement in her stride to the point where Tez feels its time to adjust her AFO so that its not so rigid. Currently it supports Janet just like a ski boot and I think we all know how difficult it is to walk in those, so for Janet to have progressed to where she can where a more flexible AFO is huge. When the lady who built Janet’s AFO was chatting with us I got the impression she didn’t feel Janet would get there. Well, this coming Tuesday Janet will get to show her it wasn’t a matter of if but when.

Back on July 24th Janet did her first six minute walking test and managed to travel 27 meters. Today, less than a month later she more than doubled that distance to 55 meters! Her goal for leaving Connect is now set at 400 meters, a number Tez is confident she’ll reach provided she keeps putting in the work. We have a busy weekend planned but will find time for lots of walking.

Before going home today Janet got to stop at the dentist to have more cavities filled. The dentist feels these latest ones are still related to Janet’s very long time in the hospital where she wasn’t able to brush her teeth and he’s not worried about the future as Janet has good brushing and flossing habits.

It had been a long day by the time Janet got home so she went for a late nap so she could better enjoy her first night of the weekend. A glass of wine and the semi finals of So You Think You Can Dance made for a nice relaxing evening and a satisfying one as both of our contestants made it into the finals. As a bonus, our tickets to the SYTYCD Tour arrived today and even though its not until February, Janet is excited about going. Me too.

Tomorrow we make our radio debut and Janet says she’s a little scared about it. I know she’ll do well and it will be an exciting experience. Listen live at 5pm PDT here on CBC Radio.

Praying for a restful night of sleep, a fun Friday and for our story to inspire, encourage and bring faith to others.

PS. I’ve added a new page to this blog, Video. On it you will find each video that’s been posted of Janet since this adventure began. Enjoy.

The Team Save Janet Report is Out! #TSJ #AFO

A milestone day for Janet today. I picked up her AFO on my way to Connect and after her nap we tried it on. It came with it’s own pair of very ugly shoes but for now they are the only ones the AFO fits in so we are stuck with them. Janet was nervous about putting the brace on but found it comfortable and once up said everything was OK. Curtis happened by just as she was getting ready to stand and I had him operate the camera so we could record Janet’s first steps. She was reluctant at first as the combination of shoes and brace made her leg heavier than normal. We challenged her to walk all the way down the hall for dinner and she did!

Watching the video it is obvious where Janet needs to improve, feet further apart, right foot farther ahead on each step amongst other things and I know Tez is aware of those things so it will be interesting to see what his plan is tomorrow.

Janet was adamant that there be no exercises tonight as she had done everything during the day then had the big long walk down the hall. I pressed a little but didn’t win and gave in to her wish to read. After a little debate Janet read a page and a half of Open tonight and I paused her after each paragraph to tell me about what she’d just read. Each time she started with “I don’t know” then proceeded to tell me a pretty good summary. Her memory is definitely improving and when I asked at bedtime what was happening tomorrow she quickly said we have a meeting at 10:30 with Greg. Bang on except it’s with Tez. High five anyways.

After reading about tennis we decided to watch some before bed and Janet did so intently giving me some good descriptors of the match we watched including an accurate observation that the women’s game is much slower than the men’s.

Janet has come so far in the last twenty months its hard to imagine sometimes, then there are milestone days like today. A long walk with medium assistance, intelligent conversation, accurate memory recall and that awesome smile. All twenty months to the day this all started and one year to the day when we spent long hours in the ER after Janet suffered a seizure and I wondered if she would ever got out of this. By the grace of God, the love and support of all of you and by her determination, she is.

Praying for a restful night and a productive tomorrow.

The Team Save Janet Report is Out! #TSJ #Open

Janet and I met with her memory coach, Wendy, this afternoon to make sure I’m teaching Janet how to use her iPad the same way Wendy is and to make sure Janet is clear on what the goals are. I was relieved to learn I’ve been doing things pretty much the way Wendy wants other than giving Janet a few more steps than she’s probably ready for. Janet likes Wendy and seems to have resigned herself to learning this technology as its a fact of life now. Wendy’s technique is all about repetition in small steps and I think Janet will respond well.

Our next appointment was at Ortho Design with Birgit for a fitting of Janet’s AFO. Janet was nervous going into the appointment, fearing what she would be asked to do. There was no reason for her fear and the appointment went smoothly. I was expecting some magic to occur when Janet got the AFO on and stood up but was quickly shown that like learning the iPad, this will be a slow process.
Janet was scared as she attempted her first steps and for five minutes or so I was contemplating asking for a refund, then she found her rhythm and you could see the confidence build. With me playing the part of a cane she walked in a continuously improving manner for a good fifteen minutes covering a distance of about forty feet or so. With some coaching from Tez and a lot of practice as well as some nice loose hamstrings I’m confident Janet will make significant progress. Birgit is making some final tweaks to the AFO and I’ll pick it up Wednesday for Janet to start using for real.

Since she had done “everything” with Jess in the gym this morning and completed that nice long walk with Birgit, Janet was looking forward to a “quiet evening”. I went along with her request and after dinner we completed an iTunes playlist for her to use when singing with John who has been running out of material to use with her. They now have printed lyrics of twenty five songs and can play them on Janet’s iPad to help learn the tune. It took a while to build the playlist as Janet started singing along to each song I played for her and I just couldn’t stop her in the middle of them. She gets so much joy from singing.

One of our favourite sporting events is the Australian Open tennis and we watched some of that tonight for our TV time. That set things up really nice for a good long read of Open which mentioned some of the players that are now coaching in the Aussie Open and also a commercial that Andre Agassi shot in 1990 and we were able to watch on YouTube. A great way to bring the book even more to life.

This was a good day for Janet and once again I left her smiling and happy and looking forward to tomorrow. Praying for a solid night’s sleep and a productive Tuesday.

The Team Save Janet Report is Out! #TSJ #Music

Janet was chatting in the living room with Willie when I got to Connect just before lunch today. Nice to see her doing that even though she couldn’t see that well as she didn’t have her glasses on. She told me she couldn’t find them but as soon as we got to her room we saw them right on her beside table where I put them last night. Her splint was right where I left it too, meaning that’s the second day in a row she hasn’t worn it and that’s not cool.

After a quick lunch we took off to her AFO appointment. Janet said the appointment went about the way she expected and the lady was nice. I got the impression the lady didn’t really think Janet was ready for an AFO or to be seriously considering walking but maybe that’s just me. I didn’t relay that to Janet at all as she needs to stay as positive as possible and she is looking forward to wearing this brace in hopes it will keep her right leg more stable. We go back Monday afternoon to have it installed and I know if nothing else it will give Janet the confidence she needs to work a little harder in learning to walk.

We made one stop along the way home to finally get our address changed on our Id’s and Janet had a one hour nap as soon as we got there. Upon waking she had just enough time to brush her teeth and get ready for her dentist appointment. Things have really improved in that area and Janet only had one small cavity that will get filled at the end of the month. She was a little disappointed but considering how long her teeth were neglected for I think she’s doing fine and she brushes quite well now.

Back home for dinner we went and Janet was showing signs of being tired again but perked right up when some songs came on that she really likes. She started to sing along and there is nothing I know of on this earth more joyous than Janet singing with that huge smile on her face. I’ve said it before and it continues to impress me how powerful music is and don’t tell anyone but Janet’s singing is contagious as I even sang a little to teach her one of my favourite songs right now,The Giving Tree by Plain White T’s. Janet thought it was great that I sang. There may be hope.

Sadly, we had to get back to Connect for meds and a little exercise. Janet did not want to go and didn’t cheer up until we were half way there. She put in a good effort on a difficult bike ride that I actually had to make easier part way through and was too tired and it was too late after to do any walking so it was off to bed to read. Janet is really enjoying Open and looks forward to our time doing that. Hopefully some nights she won’t be so tired and I can get her to read a little herself.

Praying for a solid night of healing sleep that provides lots of energy for tomorrow’s activities.