Janet, A Success Story. May 15. 2 yr Anniversary Video. #TSJ

Feeling confident after having Janet’s doctor adjust her Dilantin dosage I chose to hold off on getting her blood tested today and instead went to Connect this morning to observe Tez working with her. Janet is still complaining of a sore right foot but indicated it might be a little better after not having walked at all yesterday. There were a group of students with Tez who invited Janet to be a bit of a guinea pig in demonstrating the walking sling and sharing her story and the challenges she’s faced along the way. Janet did so with great enthusiasm and humour and I think made the session a good learning experience.

Given the choice between lunch and a bike ride, Janet chose bike ride so she could get it over with. We had to wait a few minutes for another resident to finish which gave me time to ask Curtis about Janet’s positioning on the bike. She had typically been seated fairly close forward to give her the easiest pedalling position but I wondered since she is so much stronger now if it would be more beneficial to sit farther back and extend her legs more. Curtis agreed and we set Janet up that way with the bike on the same difficult settings as yesterday and she rode really well, only sacrificing less than half a mile while gaining a much better stretch and more activation from her right leg.

We enjoyed lunch in the sun then got Jess and Chelsea to help with a little video shoot in the parking lot. Janet nailed her scene in one take! As a reward for her hard work and to “celebrate” her second anniversary I brought Janet home for the weekend a day early. She was thrilled and even tried powering through without a nap until almost five o’clock when things finally caught up to her. It had been a much improved day compared to the last couple and we finally got news from the neurologist re the Dilantin levels. He said fluctuations are common and Janet’s don’t present any reason to change course other than trying a lower dosage. One contributing factor is hydration level and with Janet walking more and the warm weather she’s sweating out a lot of fluid without replacing it all. This time I believe she fully understands and drank well tonight. We will continue to watch her levels closely.

A lot of you have been with us since day one of this journey and on this two year anniversary day Janet and I want to honestly thank you all for your prayers, encouragement, support and friendship. Each day, Janet seems more and more aware of the impact you have had on her recovery and realizing that, motivates her to share her story with others and give support where she can to those facing their own challenges. Today could have been a sad reminder of a horrible day but neither Janet or I had even the briefest thought of that. Today has been a quiet celebration of the amazing recovery that Janet has made through the grace, love and mercy of our Lord and Saviour, and a look ahead to the changes yet to come. This video is a reminder of Janet’s amazing success story and the beginning of a new chapter in a life full of love.

Janet, A Success Story. April 19. #TSJ

I could go on and on about today but I won’t. It was our eleventh anniversary and we celebrated that as well as our risen Lord. Happy Easter!

Anniversary dinner at Quail's Gate.

Anniversary dinner at Quail’s Gate.

Anniversary. KGH revisited. #TSJ

Janet was at it early this morning working out with Tez doing some standing and walking at the parallel bars. Janet still says it’s difficult but she isn’t quite as emotional about it all as before. She still has not had a BM even with the Peg-Lyte so nurse Jen recommended a trip back to ER and that was suggested by Janet’s GP as well. I had hoped to delay the return until tomorrow in part because today is the one year anniversary of Janet’s aneurysm and the last place I wanted her to be was the hospital. However it was the right thing to do.

Lorne took Janet from Connect to KGH and I met them there, saving me a trip out there and back. Janet was in good spirits and seemed OK with the idea and prepared to wait. The ER wasn’t nearly as busy today so I had high hopes we’d be in and out pretty quick. Last time was five hours, today two and a half. Dr. Eppler saw Janet today and he confirmed that it was good we brought Janet back in but at the same time he wasn’t ready to bring out the dynamite yet. He consulted with Dr. Agnew, the GI, and he recommended a drug that Dr. Eppler had never heard of and the KGH pharmacy didn’t have in stock. He seemed super confident in it though and also ordered Janet to be on a slightly different formulation of the Peg-Lyte she’s been drinking and that should help Janet stay regular once she gets cleared out. He gave Janet a dose of it as we left and she drank it quickly on the way back to Connect. The plan now is to try this new drug along with the new Peg-Lyte and if there’s no result soon Janet will go back to the ER for the dynamite treatment.

It was dinner time when we got to Connect and Janet ate heartily. Not sure where all the food is going but she seems fine. Garrett negotiated a bike ride from Janet afterwards and she performed her best ever. The deal was more than twenty minutes but less than thirty. I went in to see how she was doing and she just eclipsed the twenty five minute mark. I didn’t let her know I was there and she continued until she went over twenty eight minutes. Garrett and I showered her with praise hoping it sinks in that she is improving. The praise continued as Janet took a much needed bio break and produced a very small BM. Something is better than nothing and I credit the long bike ride with moving things along a little.

Janet was quite insistent that the rest of the evening be fun and she elected to lounge while watching basketball in the living room. That was a perfect way to end another busy yet productive day for her.

I thought about a lot of different ways to acknowledge this anniversary. A video timeline or a re posting of key events along the way. A photo montage showing the very obvious progress Janet has made or having her say stuff on camera today. As I thought about it and talked about it with her it became clear that celebrating this day would be inappropriate. Janet still gets very emotional thinking about the past year and even though she doesn’t remember much it still brings tears. I don’t want to generate more tears. I also realized that the anniversary probably means more to those of us who have been alongside Janet during this journey than it does to her. So in that regard I want to thank all of Team Save Janet for your continued prayers, visits, virtual visits, care packages and words of encouragement. Janet and I would not have managed to get this far this well without all of you. Looking back at how much has changed in the last year I have nothing but optomism for what the next year holds. God continues to place the right people in our lives at the right time and through His grace all will be well.


Anniversary. We celebrate ten years together. #TSJ

April 19, 2003. Lynn Valley United Church

April 19, 2003. Lynn Valley United Church

Today I am happy to say is the tenth anniversary of Janet and I being married. At our age, ten is not a huge number for married years but boy has a lot happened over that time. All seven of “our” kids are “grown up” and are out on their own, we moved to Kelowna and have been through career changes and life changes and have developed a network of friends and supporters unlike anything either of us has ever had. I am blessed to be married to Janet and we are blessed with family and friends that we love dearly.

The day together got off to a bit of a rough start as I delayed my arrival so that Janet could do her routine things, including a nap and be rested and ready for our dinner date tonight leading into the weekend at home. Janet was in bed when I got to Connect but wasn’t sleeping and after the surprise of seeing me wore off she started crying as she had been waiting for me all afternoon. I told her last night I’d see her towards the end of her nap and we would get ready to go out to dinner. She remembered the going out for dinner part well as she refused lunch but forgot about the arriving after nap time part. It’s nice to be wanted but that wasn’t the way I wanted to start the weekend. After lots of talking while laying down with her she fell asleep for an hour and awoke refreshed and determined to go out. I had brought some fancier clothes to try on her for dining out but the pants that barely fit her a month ago no longer do so back to the usual pants we went with a slightly dressier shirt than normal.

Dinner was at Bouchons, a French bistro in downtown Kelowna. I had showed Janet the menus from there and one other restaurant that we both really like and she chose Bouchons and a great choice it was. Very good service, beautifully presented and prepared food, a good wine list and a really cute room that is bright and lively without being loud. Janet really enjoyed her dinner, even commenting on it later on her own, something that never happens. I’m sure it was the food but it could have been the wine too. Janet actually had two glasses tonight as the baked pear tartlet she started with commanded a lovely Sauternes to accompany it. A great start and it was pretty funny watching her drink the Sauternes and a glass of Viognier during the main course. Just before the mains arrived I presented Janet with an anniversary ring. Something I would not have gotten away with prior to the aneurysm. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that she knew how to put it on and on the correct finger too. There is a video of the presentation on Keek.

Janet chose ice cream at home for dessert in typical Janet style and we enjoyed that while I showed her our wedding pictures from ten years ago. There were lots of laughs, a few surprises and some memories kicking in as we scrolled through them all. We both have to laugh at the fact there isn’t one photo of just the two of us on that day. Silly us.

Janet went to bed, full and happy and looking forward to a relaxing day tomorrow.

The intent of this blog has never been to shine a light on myself at all and I don’t want you to read this next story in that way. I include it so that we all may remember the power of words and the importance of taking action.

As Janet and I were leaving Bouchons we spent a few minutes having the hostess take our picture and after that we went outside so I had room to put Janet’s coat on. While doing that a gentleman who had been at the table next to us came out of the restaurant saying he wanted to thank me. My first response to him was “for what?” but I knew by the look on his face what he was going to say next. He went on to praise me for my care and love of Janet and how inspired he was to see us together. I’m never sure how to respond to compliments like that so I reiterated by commitment to Janet and thanked him. I truly thank him for leaving his table, coming outside to shake my hand and “thank me”. Kind words delivered that way have enormous power. Janet almost cried after he left saying “that was really nice” and I am touched thinking about it now. Something prompted him to take the risk and come out and talk to us and by obeying that prompt he made two people very happy. It has been my prayer since very early on in this journey that Janet’s situation be used to inspire others. That prayer has been answered many times and I pray it is many more. If you get a chance to say a kind word to someone, anyone, do it.

Thanking God for everything.