biking

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

I half expected to find Janet napping when I got to Connect this afternoon but she was very much awake and was hanging out in her room saying she’d given up on TV. That’s good, the last thing I want her doing during the day is watching TV but I guess sometimes that’s the only option. She was pretty firm on not having a nap so after the daily debrief we set about to book our trip to Ottawa for Heather and Allan’s wedding. Janet helped me select flight times then she composed an email for a hotel reservation request. She did most of it typing and some voice to text which worked pretty good this time. Janet also sent a little email to Heather announcing we had booked the flights. That one she typed all alone. High five!

Brian dropped by for a long overdue chat with the highlight being he will talk to Tez to see if he is onboard with weaning Janet off of the transfer poles now that she is capable of getting out of her wheelchair without them. We are sure he will be. Janet seems a little nervous about it but Brian reminded her that if she wants to walk, getting up and down on her own will help where using a pole will not. I could tell that really hit home with her. Janet was engaged during our chat and commented after that Brian has a nice smile. Good thing he’s married.

Janet deferred dinner in order to get her bike ride in and that decision paid off with a personal best tying performance. Unfortunately I haven’t had Janet in the gym with enough energy to do any one legged biking except for a brief attempt a couple days ago. Hopefully we can do that before she comes home Friday as Tez wanted her doing that as much as possible to try and build strength.

Things were pretty quiet after dinner. Janet tried a little walking from her room and only made it into the hallway before complaining her legs hurt too much. She said she was OK standing and waiting for me to get the wheelchair but I wasn’t confident so I had her turn and walk so she could lean against the wall for the five seconds it would take me. Worked fine. Janet wanted her nails painted so I put on some YouTube and cleaned and painted her in a nice Merlot colour before getting ready for bed. The reading of Open lasted only a few pages tonight before Janet was snoring. She had a pretty good day and is really catching on to the iPad and working her way around Gmail. Her typing was solid today and she was hilarious speaking for the voice to text stuff we did and clearly is learning each time she does something. No longer is she forgetting things minutes afterward. Her long term memory is coming back too. While she was riding the bike, Stevie Wonder’s name was mentioned on the radio and Janet remembered she had gone to a concert of his back in her high school days. She was pretty proud of herself for remembering that.

Praying for a solid night of sleep and a fun day tomorrow with my mom visiting for the weekend.

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

Renovation Day 73. Is this the last day? Could be! Randy was at the house today to complete the grouting on the back splashes in each bathroom and I can’t think of anything else that needs doing. I’ll wait to confirm with him before making it official but either way, Janet is able to come home for Christmas to a beautiful new home.

I met Janet at the pool this morning for the last swimming session of 2013. As an early Christmas present for her the water was notably warmer than usual and she had another strong session. We started in the deep tank again and did some lengths with Gillian whose doing a Physio therapy practicum with Tez. She showed Janet a few good leg exercises she can do in the deep water and told us how we can adapt them for at home too. Nice to have her there. Janet swam probably her longest times on her tummy today and is clearly getting stronger in the water. She also did a great job of getting her feet down so she could rest against the pool wall. In the kiddie pool Janet did some good balancing and sit to stands. It’s of course much easier to standup when your sitting in waist deep water but I think it’s still good practice for her. The hot tub as usual was a rewarding way to finish.

Janet returned to Connect with the staff for a house Christmas party that had just wound down by the time Laurel and I got there. I think Janet was on a bit of a coffee or sugar high when we got there as she was sitting on the couch with a big mug of coffee and a tray of cookies and butter tarts in front of her. She had way more energy than I expected her to have and it was fun to hear her tell of how it all went.

Knowing she had to get some exercise tonight Janet chose a bike ride first. I challenged her with level five and had her sit farther back than normal. She found it a little hard but still rode well and had a good workout. Dinner was lively tonight as Kieran and Big Counrty were in fine form with Janet in the middle of it all. She was quite proud of the fact she had two servings of dinner to Big Country’s one. To work that off we went upstairs with Dyllon, a part time staff member we haven’t worked with before, to do some walking. We took Tez’s advice and started slow to allow Janet’s right ankle to stretch out and after going about half way down the parallel bars she started to get into a pretty good rhythm with assistance. She was too tired to make it all the way back to her wheelchair so Laurel brought it to her to give her a rest. Her side stepping tonight was actually pretty good and she had one successful unassisted sit to stand from her wheelchair. High five.

Maybe pushing things a little too far I had Janet use the Standing Frame after her walking practice and fifteen minutes in she complained of a sore tummy. Fearing a repeat of that really bad pain she had a couple weeks ago we bailed out of standing and let Janet relax the rest of the evening. The three of us watched the finale of X Factor occasionally joined by some other residents. Janet said that watching the show was fun but I think she was a little too tired to fully enjoy. That should make for a good night of sleep and I pray she has lots of energy for a fun day with Laurel and Heather tomorrow.

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

Renovation Day 71. No action at the house today. Tomorrow?

I met Janet and Jess at KGH this morning for our regular chat with Dr. Miller. As usual the conversation was very positive with Janet talking louder than ever and expressing her thoughts better than ever. She continues to impress and I got the feeling she values Dr. Miller’s comments so hopefully she takes them seriously and uses them to lessen her self doubt.

Janet’s celebrity status continues at KGH as she saw a number of her former nurses, rehab coaches and even Barb, a former patient. Janet didn’t really remember Barb as she looks quite different than when she was in rehab with Janet. We hope to meet her and her husband Cliff for dinner in January and I’m sure once the stories start flying Janet will remember a little.

Jess took Janet back to Connect while I tried to be productive around the house for a bit. Didn’t really happen but I made it to Connect for the last part of singing with John. Their session today was pretty casual and took place in the living room so others could join in. Janet gave me a demo of an old song her and John sang way back when they started working together and she sang it loud and word for word from memory. John has been a huge blessing and we wish him a very merry Christmas.

Tez met us in Janet’s room a little while later to discuss transfers and walking. I was concerned about the verbal and physical cues I’ve been giving Janet now that she is getting to a standing position mostly on her own. Turns out I wasn’t too far off the mark and Janet impressed Tez with her ability to stand from her wheelchair using only the armrest. Sometimes its necessary to give Janet a little lateral boost from behind but other than that she is getting really close to not having to use the transfer poles at all. When walking I learned I was completely out of position and with Tez assisting, Janet took some excellent steps with her right leg, moving it forward more than I’ve noticed before. To finish off I asked Tez to observe Janet on the bike and he proceeded to make things a lot harder for Janet than I had. He believes Janet is capable of more on the bike so he moved her seat back a little to allow more leg extension, increased the level of difficulty and wants her to do that in spurts like hill climbing. The most interesting part was when he had Janet pedal with only her right leg. It was no surprise that she couldn’t complete an entire revolution and really interesting to see that. Janet didn’t seem upset by it and Tez feels she can get that going but has to keep working hard at it. I’m hoping we can do that and still keep the bike fun. Janet had forgotten Tez’s Christmas card so got it from her room and took it upstairs to him all by herself, impressing me quite a bit. She’s such a big girl now.

Janet was pretty exhausted after all that and tried to have a little nap but couldn’t fall asleep so we took off to do a little shopping. We knew what we wanted to get and picked the right time to do it as we were in and out and at home with ten minutes to spare before The Voice Finale started. I decided it was best since we were out to go home for dinner and watch The Voice live instead of trying to stay up till eleven watching it at Connect. It was a good call as Janet made it through the show but had no chance of making it to eleven. We got back to Connect at nine and Janet said she’d go for a bike ride “if it’s good for me”. Certainly couldn’t hurt so off she went for a twenty minute hill climbing ride and considering how tired she was had a good result. That was the capper though and it was into bed right after that with Janet looking forward to Laurel meeting her for lunch tomorrow.

Praying for rest and healing tonight and lots of energy for tomorrow and a safe flight for Laurel.