BBQ

Janet, A Success Story. June 27. #TSJ Staff BBQ

To try and compare this to what will be a typical Friday at home for Janet wouldn’t be fair as we had a lot to do in preparation for the BBQ we were hosting this evening. Janet started her day with a shower which was no where near as easy as that awesome bathroom we had in Ottawa. We bypassed filling the tub up this time though and had Janet stand pretty much the whole time. It was faster but not any warmer as we couldn’t leave the water on as it would spray everywhere. If anyone has a spare 45 grand we could make our bathroom like the Ottawa one. Anyone?

Today was Mary/Gaga’s birthday and Janet remembered all on her own and called her mom just as her and Keith were heading to Toronto for a Blue Jays game. Janet’s memory continues to improve as does her cooking skills. She was a big help in prepping all the food for this evening and even did a good job vacuuming. Those activities took us right up to nap time save for a brief walk in the sun which was well deserved.

Janet didn’t sleep at all after trying for an hour so I got her up so she could set a few things out before people arrived. First on the scene were Brian and his daughter Olivia who Janet took an immediate interest in. Surprise surprise. Olivia didn’t take to Janet as quickly as she took to the bins of Barbie stuff Janet suggested we bring out. Good call.

Janet right at home

Janet right at home


The evening was very enjoyable as we got to wait on some of the staff that have worked so hard with Janet the last year and a half. Janet has a hard time keeping up with the conversation in group settings but was happy to sit back and listen. We are blessed to be able to host good people in our home.

Praying for a night of deep and reenergizing sleep.

Janet, A Success Story. June 19. #TSJ Girls Day

Spending time doing things like going to a Spa or having her nails done has never been a Janet thing but she willingly went this morning with Heather, Laurel and Courtney for a pedi and a mani. It was not easy for me to let her nails grow as long as they got but it seemed best to give the pro something to work with when the time came. All reports were that Janet did well while out with girls and her nails do look nice. Janet says the lunch they all went for was fun but the nail thing was so so. Had to be done and I’m glad the girls got to spend time on their own.

Girls day went pretty much until nap time for Janet but I did get her out for a walking trip down a nice long hallway in the hotel. She’d been sitting a lot and needed that stretch. Her walking was quite good once she warmed up.

After her nap it was off to the birthday BBQ at Heather and Allan’s. This was our first visit to their new home and a nice one it is. There are a few steps for Janet to negotiate and using her nice strong legs she managed very well. Janet was excited to see so many of the family gathered together, especially Andrew, whom she greeted with a cheery “hi honey”. Something Janet never would have said pre injury. Cute.

Heather and Allan did a great job cooking for and hosting everyone and tonight was a nice warm up for the wedding festivities which start tomorrow. Praying for a night of re energizing sleep and a fun Friday.

Transfer of Power. Janet powers through without a nap. Again. #TSJ

An all too familiar sight greeted me at Connect this afternoon. Janet lounging in the living room with a big grin on her face. This time she very intelligently explained that she didn’t think she needed a nap so she chose to watch TV instead. This was not the usual defiant Janet or the whining tired and stubborn Janet. This was a very calm, articulate and reasonable Janet that I couldn’t get upset with. She understood that she would likely be ready for bed earlier than usual and that proved to be true.

Janet wanted out of lounging mode so after chatting with Jess to see how the day went we headed for Janet’s room but Brian was in the kitchen so we got to talk to him for a while and that took up any possibility of a power nap before our Skype chat with Mary/Gaga. Jess said Janet’s day had been busy starting with a shower then an early visit to the gym at which she was able to get really good stretches on Janet’s legs. Janet reported that singing with John was fun but she didn’t have the same sparkle in her eye about it as I’ve noticed before. Maybe just because she was tired.

While Brian was around I asked if he would watch me do a few car transfers with Janet to see if there’s any better methods than the one I’m using. He smartly invited Tez to observe as well and we spent a good half hour discussing how best to get Janet into the Santa Fe. Getting out is no problem thanks to Janet’s increased strength and her ability to “stand”. The consensus for getting in seemed to be, continue with the lifting for now but we’ll try and have Janet practicing moves that can enable her to do more herself. Long term it may mean a different car for us, one that is a little lower to the ground. Brian mentioned there is a Lexus that kneels like a bus so I checked that out but was extremely unimpressed with their website and couldn’t even find a mention of that feature. Very cool idea though.

Because of the transfer experiments we were a little late for our chat with Mary/Gaga but I think the movement and sunshine gave Janet a bit of a second wind and she was able to have a very nice chat with her mom. That took us to dinner time and Garrett had Janet BBQ a some chicken breasts for everyone. She’s really getting the hang of the BBQ thing and enjoying the challenge of cooking.

I gave her the option of going to the gym with Bob or Garrett and that seemed to prevent her from arguing about going so she wheeled off with Garrett. Janet was pretty tired by this time and was almost ready for bed when she returned at 7:30. That was too early though so we did a little research on something that was mentioned in the book Slow Dance. It’s called The Feldenkrais Method and is based on the theory that your brain can always learn new things and you can teach your body to move as it naturally wants to because over the years it’s learned to move incorrectly. The whole thing seems a little weird, like yoga for people still doing acid, but I think there’s some truth in it as well. If any of you know anything about it or have experience I’d love to hear from you.

Today was a solid day for Janet with good visits to the gym, good standing transfers(even surprising Tez when he “danced” with her), great BBQ’ing and really good communicating. I’ve stopped nagging her about drinking water and today she did quite well on her own. Looking forward to a fun day tomorrow. Praying for a restful and healing night.

Flipping Out. Janet BBQ’s and gets mad about the gym. #TSJ

Even Janet was upset this afternoon as I arrived to find her sitting in the living room saying “I’m trying to have a nap”. She knew she was supposed to be napping before I said anything and that’s a really good sign. Why she wasn’t, I don’t know as all the staff were in a meeting and I never saw the day shift folks at all. We need to develop a strategy that gets Janet some afternoon rest without me being there to put her to bed. We especially need to at least put her in lounging mode if she’s going to be sitting in the living room. She was not again today and because I was unable to see the daytime crew I have no idea how her morning went.

We had a lot happening starting with a visit from Courtney so I gave Janet a choice of trying to power through or have a power nap before things got started, she said it’s probably best to have a nap. I laid her down and left her for forty five minutes and when I returned she was awake but I think she slept a little. We made our way down to the living room and Courtney arrived to a big smile from Janet. Just before our scheduled Skype chat with Leslie a little while later, Connie stopped by wanting to observe Janet taking her meds with only water to see if she can do it. Of course she can and Janet also demonstrated her prowess at drinking with a straw. Those accomplishments mean Janet no longer has restrictions on her diet other than to not be alone when eating and to watch the amount of food she puts in her mouth. Connie spent over half an hour with Janet catching up on things then Brian came by to chat about the new wheelchair. I’m pretty happy with it and Janet seems to be as well. We will try a few minor adjustments over the next week or so then probably buy one. I think we get a choice of colors! At one point during this impromptu meeting we had Connie, Brian, Garrett, Courtney and Chris all visiting Janet at the same time. What a celeb. Chris was more visiting Courtney as he swims at the rec centre pool that Courtney guards at and has been hoping to meet her for a long time. Unfortunately because of all that we missed the chat with Leslie but at least there will be more to talk about when we do connect. Once all the commotion ended we were able to have a more private chat with Courtney and she gave us the official word that she and Mike are getting married this summer. When Courtney told me she was coming out to talk to us I asked Janet what she thought she wanted and she said “she’s getting married”. Such a mom. We are excited about this news and if we still have our house in August look forward to hosting a small ceremony there.

The dinner menu tonight included BBQ steak and Garrett coached Janet through putting some spices and BBQ sauce on hers. He then took her out to the BBQ and had her grill her own steak. She did amazingly well and the steak turned out perfect. There’s a video of Janet flipping at the grill on Keek if you interested. @larrylatour

The flipping didn’t end after the steak as Janet totally flipped out about going to the gym. She was tired from not napping but I didn’t think she was that tired. I tried every motivational tact I could without success and finally just turned her over to Garrett and said see you in a bit. Other than being tired I can’t explain the tantrum Janet had tonight. She never gives any constructive reason for not wanting to go to the gym and gets herself so worked up it just drains her. By the time Garrett took her she had calmed down and ended up doing a good full workout and sneaking up on me all happy upon her return. One common thread in our discussions is she doesn’t give herself much credit for achieving anything and thinks the stuff she can do is “no big deal”. I think it’s time for a chat with the neuropsych team.

I read some of Slow Dance to Janet before bed and even through her yawns she managed a laugh and some acknowledgements of similarities to her situation. She even was still coming up with well thought out comments and statements in between her bouts of Klingon which started to appear as she grew more tired. She was quite confused during teeth brushing time and was virtually asleep before I could turn the lights out. Tomorrow may be a repeat of today as there will not be time for an afternoon nap between swimming and a doctor appointment. It is music night at Connect tomorrow so if Janet does well in the pool and is tired like tonight I may let her skip the gym. Don’t tell her that.

Praying for lots of rest tonight and lots of energy tomorrow.

Green Thumb. Janet does some gardening. #TSJ

For some reason both of us slept in this morning so it was pretty much a mad scramble to get to church on time. I woke up just after nine and Janet was still sound asleep but wasn’t angry when I woke her up, in fact she was surprised it was so late. She did very well with her morning routine and was eating breakfast sooner than I anticipated.

Church was thought provoking with Janet staying awake for the entire service for once. When discussing it afterwards she said she enjoyed the music, I did see her singing along, and found Tim’s message interesting. He was quite animated today and I think that helped keep Janet’s attention. We thought about going to do a little shopping afterward but vetoed that in favor of BBQ’d hotdogs and a chance to get outside at home. Today was another one of those days that looks like summer but feels like Fall. It was still nice enough to get out in the yard for an hour or so and see some of the neighbors you don’t really see during the winter. We had a nice Skype chat with Laurel from our outside set and are excited to see her and Raj this coming weekend. Janet wanted to help with some gardening so I had her help cut back one plant that I should’ve done in the Fall and then we pruned a rose bush together.

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As if on cue, Janet asked to go to the bathroom which was a nice transition into nap time. I allowed nap time to happen later than normal so we could maximize our outside time and I think that was a good call as Janet really enjoyed being out there. I did have to wake her again though as she would have slept through dinner time otherwise. She cleaned her plate but made sure she had room for ice cream before the drive back to Connect.

Janet continues to struggle with the water drinking thing although there has been an improvement. One time today when I was hurrying her up she said she couldn’t because it was too cold. I felt like a real dummy for not considering that before. She always used to drink water with ice in it but would sip it over a long period of time. I’ll try less ice next time. That was a good comment from her and I’m seeing more of those. Another example came as we were leaving tonight and admiring the moon. I asked her which she liked better the moon or the sun. She said the sun because its warmer. I can’t recall her putting two and two together like that since this all started. Good sign.

Thanking Jesus for being able to have Janet home this weekend and for the enjoyable time we had. Praying for a restful night that brings healing to her legs, right arm and hand and gives her lots of energy for an active day tomorrow.