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

From a secret location really close to Janet.

The first day of October and the winds of change are blowing. Outside, there’s snow on some of the mountains and inside Connect there’s big changes to Janet’s exercise routine. Tez popped by this morning after breakfast and agreed to stay and talk as he may not make tomorrow’s Team Meeting. I’m really glad he stayed as we had a very productive time together. I explained how the KGH pool is becoming more of a chore for Janet and the Rutland Family Y Pool is at least fun for her. Tez agreed that Janet would receive more benefit from going to the Y as there will be staff there to work with her and he is able to attend often especially if there’s a large group there. Besides the fun element there are more therapeutic opportunities at the Y because of the variety of pools you can access. As long as the water is warm enough. So, unless Janet wants to go to KGH, we are done there.

As a goal for the next couple of months I want to focus on strengthening Janet’s right leg and Tez advised that weight bearing and gaining trust in herself will be the keys to achieving that. He said the Shuttle sessions should include a good warm up then pushing as much weight as possible with that right leg. He instructed everyone to place Janet’s feet much lower than we have been in order to allow her a greater stretch. We tried that tonight and what a difference! It’s harder for Janet to push but she pushes two to three inches farther which is a huge benefit. For weight bearing there will be lots of standing and some parallel bars work. Tez introduced a new technique on the Standing Frame which is very cool and allows for Janet to stand almost free and put weight on her right leg.

Here’s a pic of her in the new position making me a peanut butter sandwich, the first meal she’s made me unassisted in sixteen months. It was damn good. Janet will be using the Standing Frame this way to perform some tasks like making a sandwich or working on the iPad or playing cards. We tried it tonight with minimal success but after returning her to the old position minus the table she stood the straightest ever as she had nothing to lean on and for the first time I’ve noticed, there was some weight going through her right leg. I made sure to ask Tez about the frequency of workouts for Janet so she could hear the answer. I jokingly said four times a day and Tez wisely agreed. Janet negotiated down to two times and didn’t argue about going at all tonight. I hope she remembers that for tomorrow and beyond.

Janet worked super hard today and accomplished a lot. She’s not totally convinced of course but there is some improvement in the confidence area. I think she feels better about herself after a busy and tiring day than one that’s not super busy but still successful. It helps if you can spell out a big list of accomplishments like I could today. Praying for an uninterrupted sleep tonight and a productive meeting and day tomorrow.

Still no correct guesses on the car. Does this help you?


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

We are moving right along with our move and I almost brought Janet home this afternoon so I could keep packing but we also need to figure out the car situation and decided to use our time for that.

Jess brought Janet in to KGH early this afternoon where I met them and took Janet to her appointment with Julie the splint lady. For the past few weeks Janet has complained of a little pain in her hand when wearing the splint for long periods of time and we’ve noticed her arm tightening up a little over that same period and even more so now that the weather has cooled. Julie was very impressed with the state of Janet’s hand and wrist and offered two solutions towards making the splint more comfortable. One would be to adjust the splint to allow for a more bent hand position, the other a different strap that would place more pressure on Janet’s fingers giving her hand a more relaxed position. Julie agreed that an adjustment to the splint would be a step back so we did the strap option. Once installed, Janet’s hand and wrist were in good positions and she said it felt fine. By seven o’clock tonight she said it was starting to bother her so maybe we just need to pace this thing out a little better. Julie encouraged continuing to stretch Janet’s wrist and fingers as much as possible to enhance the work of the splint. Too bad we no longer have a hot tub as that’s where I got the best stretches for her.

Our visits to KGH often result in seeing someone that cared for Janet at some point and today we saw Chantelle and Kathy. Both worked as Physio Assistants back in the 4B days and Chantelle is the one who coached Janet during her first days propelling a wheelchair. They had lots of encouraging words for Janet and I and it was a blessing to run into them today. Hearing the things I tell Janet from other people gives those comments way more weight and Janet seems to get a kick out of people she has no memory of knowing so much about her. She’s finally starting to believe that there are/were lots of good people caring for her.

Janet agreed to do more car shopping with me on the way back to Connect. She’s getting tired of all this as am I but understands the reasoning behind doing this now. We cruised a Nissan lot but saw nothing close to what we need then returned to the Subaru lot we visited right at the beginning of our search. I remembered that visit begin rushed and me being disappointed that Janet couldn’t get into the car I thought was going to be a good one for us. This time I was hoping they had an older model on site as they were lower to the ground and I was very confident Janet could get in. I was right but the only car of that style they had was a 2002 and I don’t want to go that old. While we were there and had time we decided to try the newer model again just for kicks. Janet got into it easier than anything else we’ve tried that wasn’t a pure car and I don’t know how we misjudged it so poorly the first time. The car we tried was taken in on a trade just thirty minutes before we got there and was by far the most fun car I’ve driven during our hunt. We may have a deal tomorrow!

A very patient and tired Janet was happy we finally found something worthy and upon our return to Connect was hungry for dinner. It took a lot of convincing but I actually got her to go for a session on the Shuttle tonight and was happy with her performance. Despite the persistent neglect of her right leg it is getting stronger, at least for being able to push on the Shuttle. Sensing her tiredness and wanting her to be happy I gave her the night off from the Standing Frame and we enjoyed hanging out the Humberto, Wes and Kieran in the living room for an hour or so. Janet told me she liked hearing the “banter between all these people”. She will answer questions from people well but still won’t initiate a conversation but she is picking up on more of what people are talking about and keeping it in the right context.

The busy day caught up to Janet in a hurry and she asked to go to bed at 8:30. She did want me to read to her for a little while and responded well to some questions on what we read. Today was a fun and productive day with Janet. Praying for healing of her right hand and arm and for lots of energy for a fun day tomorrow.

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

After a busy day of preparing to move I got to Connect to find Janet lounging by the TV in the living room. She was eager to do something so my suggestion to go car shopping was readily accepted. Combine that with dinner out and a visit to the church before going back to Connect and she was all smiles.

I was too late to get a briefing on Janet’s day so far and all she could tell me was she just had a shower and doesn’t like having them so late in the day as her hair doesn’t dry fast. She also mentioned going outside with Garrett for exercise but wasn’t able to give me details.

Car shopping is proving as difficult as house hunting was. Janet is being very patient through this process and understands she needs to be there because if she can’t get in and out easily there’s no point in considering that car. We did find one SUV that she can get into but in reading online about it tonight there is quite a discrepancy between the gas mileage the salesperson told us the vehicle got and what the websites list. Not sure if that was an honest mistake or what. Still searching.

Dinner was at Gengie and was “yummy” according to Janet. Her chop stick skills are improving and this was by far the least messy sushi dinner I can remember. We stopped by Trinity to check out the Small Group kick off event. The goal was to connect with a small group that I could take Janet to during the week for social and spiritual gain. We ran into Heidi who invited Janet to join her at She Life, a group that meets Wednesday evenings at the church and will be discussing the book we are reading, Not a Fan. Janet accepted the invite quickly and seems quite excited to try the group out. I hope to be able to help with the Tech Team while Janet does her thing so it could be win win. Don’t tell Joel.

We made it back to Connect just before nine and Janet put away a bunch of her things I had brought out from the house then asked to get ready for bed so I could read to her a little. That was quite a different day together than typical and Janet seemed to enjoy it all. I wouldn’t want to keep her away from the gym or that busy too often but it was fun and we learned a lot and had nice chats with a few people. All good therapy.

Praying for a healing night of sleep and a positive day tomorrow.

The Team Save Janet Report is Out! #TSJ #CarShopping #TrinityKelowna #Sunshine #XFactor

Today was a nicely laid back Saturday. There was no rush to do anything and except for going to church and Skypeing Mary/Gaga we made the day up as we went along. Janet slept well but not long enough really as she went to bed so late. Her morning was good though and the chat with her mom went well. Neither of us was in the mood to do any packing so out into the sunshine car shopping we went. I was looking forward to zeroing in on one particular make and model but it wasn’t to be so after driving eight different cars since we seriously started looking there is still no clear winner. We did enjoy a nice lunch outside at a Extreme Pita location and even though all the outside tables were full a family invited us to share theirs. Nice!

Home for a quick nap it was back out to church then back for dinner which included probably the last corn on the cog of the season. With one talent show ending of course another has begun and tonight instead of packing we got caught up on X Factor and are really glad we did. This has got to be the best audition I’ve ever seen on any of the shows. Am I right?

With the day off from exercising I noticed Janet’s right leg being very independent today. Her right arm seemed stiff too and she said she felt a little cold most of the day. In the hot tub I was able to get good stretches on everything but aside from that it was hard to keep her right foot on the wheelchair footrest and when standing to transfer, her right foot was no where near being flat on the floor. We’ll do some standing and other exercises tomorrow and see if that makes a difference. We’ll also do some packing. No choice. The clock is running out.

Praying for a good night of healing sleep and a bright day tomorrow, Janet’s last full day at this house.

The Team Save Janet Report is Out! #TSJ #mad #stubborn

Our time together today started out really well. Janet was doing her usual lay awake in bed routine when I arrived and after a little chat time she agreed to humor me by going car shopping. We certainly don’t need another project but can’t take two vehicles to the new house so it would be nice to find the right next car and get on with it. I’ve decided against a second wheelchair for Janet so that means our car has to accommodate her rigid one without folding rear seats or anything like that. The choices are very limited. Or so I thought. We stopped first at Kelowna Ford to ask about the Ford C-Max, which seemed very promising except no one in the Okanagan plans on selling them and there are only a handful in all of Canada. On a previous visit the salesperson figured the Escape was the car for us but deferred to my concern about height preventing Janet from getting in and out on her own. Today he stuck by his theory so we tried one. Shockingly Janet can get in and out no problem and of course there’s lots of room for the wheelchair. Since the Escape fits I think we now have to look at some other small SUVs before deciding. More shopping!

Dinner was ready as soon as we got back to Connect and following that we made the trek to the gym. Even though Janet agreed to go she put up a real fight against going on the Shuttle. Her stubborn side really came out and I wasn’t sure I was going to win the battle but did eventually. I really have a difficult time with her saying things like, “I’m going to quit” and “nothing is working” or “it doesn’t matter”. Fortunately I was able to talk her into doing it this time but later on I failed big time.

After the Shuttle always comes the standing frame and Janet’s attitude towards that was way better. Watching TV is about the only thing she can or wants to do while in the Standing Frame and tonight’s session ran into the first half hour of X Factor, a show Janet loves. Looking back I shouldn’t have let her watch as much of it as I did. It would’ve been way better to read or play some games. Earlier in the day it was agreed that Janet would go swimming with the other residents tomorrow morning and when I reminded her of that at bedtime we got into a very childish argument about it. Janet of course took the “no I’m not” role, and I the “yes you are” one. Unfortunately there weren’t too many more intelligent words spoken and for the first time I can remember, I left the room angry. I’m disappointed in how I handled the evening and need to remind myself what I tell Janet often, that she is there to work hard at getting better. Watching two hours of TV is not working at getting better and I need to keep her doing something productive.

Praying for a positive day tomorrow.