alone

Janet, A Success Story. December 10. #TSJ #Independence

Its still too early to nail down any sort of routine for Janet living at home full time. Each week brings different appointments and responsibilities so in that regard Janet has been kept busy in various ways. Since the craziness of her homecoming weekend there hasn’t been a day without something significant going on.

I’ve backed off on taking Janet to H2O as often as I’d like as there is already some resistance developing and I want Janet to want to go. It’s not always fun working out but I hope to get her to the point where she sees the benefit and is willing to go without hesitation. The times we have been have taught us it takes a lot longer for her to go through every element than we thought. If Janet does everything on her list, it’s a good two and half hour outing, which is fine, we just have to figure out how to fit things into the rest of the day.

A friend of ours recently asked if we would meet with the mother of a young lady in KGH who is going through a similar situation that Janet did. Janet was all over the opportunity to share and encourage and has twice been to the young lady’s room to read to her or just hang out. It has been very cool to watch Janet in that hospital room knowing she was there two and a half years ago. She’s handling it very well and wants to go regularly, each time we are there also provides an encounter with someone who cared for Janet back then. She has received lots of “wow, look at you” and “you look great” and “I’m so happy to see you”. So much so that I think she’s actually starting to believe those compliments. Janet laughs each time we meet someone as it happens all over the hospital and she repeatedly comments that “we can’t go anywhere without being recognized”. Celeb.

Continuing in the spirit of sharing and encouraging, Janet went back to Connect today to sing with Debra. She dreaded the drive out there even though she was only visiting. Too many bad memories still. When she arrived though, it was all smiles. We spent a half hour with Debra singing Christmas songs and Debra would like to do it again next week and Janet is happy about that. Singing was an amazing tool for Janet and I can see the benefits to Debra already as she smiled and laughed a lot.

Christmas Sing Along with Janet

Christmas Sing Along with Janet


A major goal for Janet being at home is to be as independent as possible and she took a huge step in that direction today. I’ve left her home alone a few times so far for various lengths of time and with different projects to attempt. Tonight, at her request, she was to make chocolate haystacks while I worked at the church for a few hours. Never before have I even considered leaving Janet to cook anything unattended but she was really wanting to try this, so after dinner, a reading of the recipe and a walkthrough of the procedures, I left. To fill out the time I would be away Janet chose to watch a movie then do her baking. I fully expected a phone call anytime the whole time I was away and was tempted to call her myself but didn’t. When I got home three hours later Janet was standing at the sink with a huge grin on her face washing the pot she’d used for the haystacks. The house smelled like chocolate and a nice collection of tasty treats were cooling on the island.
MMMMM

MMMMM


She did it! She followed the recipe, except for the coconut, operated the cooktop and cleaned up after herself, all by herself! Amazing! So happy!
Success!

Success!


With all that said, things are going well at home so far. Our Christmas vacation to San Diego is approaching and that will become the focus next week I’m sure. Alyssa and I hope to get Janet in the pool Friday as well as find a way to make exercise more fun for her. Praying for Janet’s confidence to keep growing.

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

No matter how we plan it, our day always seems to start later than intended and that was the case today. We were late enough in getting up that it actually worked in Janet’s favour. I had an appointment downtown that I thought would be our first stop while running a bunch of errands today. There was no need for Janet to be at this appointment and since we were running late I decided to go on my own and leave her to enjoy her toast and coffee in peace. I was gone for twenty seven minutes and I think Janet was disappointed it wasn’t longer. She enjoyed being on her own and was happily sipping coffee, watching The Marilyn Denis Show after finishing her toast and putting the plate in the dishwasher. High five I guess. I’m not really ready to make a habit of this but it’s nice to know she feels confident being on her own.

When we finally did get to running our errands it was well past lunch time and Janet kept saying “so what” about lunch and refused to bother with any. I was concerned about that when we got to Connect for a gym session but she insisted she didn’t need any lunch and rolled right to it with Curtis and I. Garrett and Curtis seemed genuinely pleased to see Janet and eagerly assisted in the gym putting Janet through a full workout. Janet showed signs of being away from the gym for over a week and was noticeably slower on the bike but that was after lots of stretching and a good session on the Shuttle. It will be good to get her back into the groove next week.

Janet vetoed my suggestion for dinner and requested her favourite, pizza and salad. I agreed knowing she could help make that. She was on the ball in gathering ingredients from the fridge and gadgets from the cupboards and drawers and did a good job helping. Needless to say there wasn’t a crumb left on her plate at the end of dinner and the lack of a nap was starting to show as well. The house hadn’t been vacuumed since before Christmas and there was a pile of dishes to do so there was no time for rest yet. Janet accepted the job of vacuuming and did a decent job. She’s getting better at spotting dirt on the floor and even thought to vacuum the top of the coffee table and the shelf the toaster over sits on. High five.

With the house a lot cleaner it was time to clean Janet. Even she was complaining that her hair needed washing and she hates showers. I gave her a bath last week and today got a handheld shower head rigged in our bathroom so we could try that in hopes it would be faster and easier to wash her hair. It worked well but Janet complained of being cold so next time I think we’ll combine the two methods and see what happens.

The work was finally done and Janet was happy to sit down with a bowl of ice cream and watch a little TV before bed. She lasted long enough to finish the ice cream and that was about it. Praying for a night of deep, healing and uninterrupted sleep that provides lots of energy, a positive attitude and a willingness to participate fully in everything we do tomorrow.