chopping

Devious? Janet planning to avoid the gym. #TSJ

I took my time going out to Connect today as I had an appointment to look at a Condo then get my haircut so I figured on arriving near the end of Janet’s nap time. She was waiting for me in the living room with a cup of juice in one hand and a big grin on her face. Former resident, Clint, was there to meet with his “worker” so it was nice to see him. Janet was not showing any signs of needing a nap so we hung out for a while chatting to Clint and Jess reported she had had a good day so far. Lorne had her in the gym “for a long time” and Mary Lou did some speech with her. She ate a large breakfast and lunch and hadn’t argued about drinking yet. She did argue about nap time though. After all the updates and chit chat we headed to Janet’s room for a bio break and were talking there afterwards when Garrett stopped by to ask Janet if she was going to have a nap or help prep dinner. In one of the quickest and surest responses ever, Janet loudly said “help with dinner” and was wheeling out the door immediately.

Dinner tonight was the roast chicken that Janet helped to spice up yesterday and she was given the task of chopping some asparagus and some potatoes to go with it. Using a rocker knife she needed no help with the asparagus and a little downward pressure from me on the potatoes. She then set the table and was visibly pleased to be doing these things, repeatedly asking in a loud voice if there was anything else she could do. Not sure where all this energy was coming from but I’ll take it.

We had to wait a while for the chicken to cook so I read some Slow Dance to Janet and once again there were a lot of similarities to note and this time they centered around rehab and the importance of Physio Therapy. Towards the end of dinner Janet was given the choice of going to the gym or the coffee house down the road to listen to some music. Normally she would reject a social activity like the coffee house but when it was placed against going to the gym the decision was easy. As we headed to the car I mentioned to her that this is the second night in a row where she hasn’t had to go to the gym. Janet said “ya, it’s great!” So much for what we read earlier, or maybe she remembered the part about rest being just as important? Garrett took Derick and Humberto and new staff member Keri (new to Janet’s house) and Janet and I followed in our car. Unfortunately when we got to the coffee house it was closed as they only do the live music thing on the first Wednesday of each month. The others went for a drive to Kelowna and Janet and I drove around Lake Country a bit since we are still rather unfamiliar with it. We managed to get up high on the hill to the east of town where there was a nice view looking down to where even Janet could see Connect. We also explored the area near Wood Lake and were disappointed at how inaccessible the waterfront is there. Most of the beach is privately owned and the one public area is not wheelchair friendly at all. Made me appreciate all those walks to the beach last summer at KGH even more.

I thought Janet would crash early tonight since she had no nap and she did fade a little during our drive but once back at Connect she wanted to play a game on the iPad. She chose the math game and did amazingly well for the first fifteen minutes or so, actually the best she’s done with me. Maybe it was the lollypop she was enjoying while we played or maybe she’s just getting smarter in her old age. I was impressed. That brain exercise did use up the last of her energy for the day and she very willingly got ready for bed but not until she was able to bite that lollypop into oblivion. It was quite difficult for her but when she finally did it she smiled with satisfaction.

Thankful for an enjoyable time with Janet today and the spark she had. Praying for rest and healing tonight and a successful session in the pool tomorrow with lots of energy for the rest of her day.

Surprise Ending. Janet finishes strong. #TSJ

By the time I was half way through my visit with Janet today I was prepared to write about another day where she took a step back. Our visit started off with her eating pieces of cantaloupe while watching TV in the living room. Lorne told me she didn’t want any lunch today hence the fruit snack. Janet told me she didn’t have time for a nap yet and reluctantly went to her room with me to try. No dice, as there was a lot of noise outside her room with Derrick moving in and Clint getting ready to move out. Every time I felt like Janet was nodding off she would open her eyes and smile at me like she was playing a game. Her day had been busy but not too busy for a nap. Jess had her in the gym and said it wasn’t Janet’s best effort ever. The singing session with John was cancelled again as he is still sick so actually Janet had lots of time to nap. It was very obvious the rest of the day that she felt the effects.

I got her up and ready for the scheduled Skype chat with her mom. Janet was talking much better than a couple weeks ago but not as good as yesterday with Cam. She still demonstrated an increased ability to recall short term memory stuff and relate to the topic of the conversation. We called Laurel right afterwards, Janet’s volume was turned down a notch and she wasn’t quite as engaged but still came up with good answers to questions and enjoyed the chat.

Tuesday is Janet’s day to help prep dinner for everyone. Tonight’s menu was salmon, quinoa and asparagus. Garrett coached Janet through opening the packages of salmon and placing them on baking sheets. Janet poured and spread teriyaki sauce on them then chopped some peppers and cucumber to add to the quinoa she had measured into a pot. Despite being visibly tired Janet did a good job with everything needing help with the peppers but not the cucumber. She thought it was fun to chop and measure things. She ate a relatively small portion for dinner and I attribute that to her tiredness.

The plan after dinner was for Janet to go to the gym with Curtis once he’d had his dinner. While we waited we looked at Nancy’s pictures from Africa on Facebook and Janet put away her laundry. Another task Janet strangely gets pleasure from. She got more and more tired as time passed saying she’d rather just go to bed early tonight. Curtis came in and I asked Janet one more time if she wanted to try the gym for half an hour. To my shock and awe she said yes and off she went. I’ve been speaking to Janet a lot about the need to keep working at getting better and so have others and I think it’s starting to sink in a little. There is no other explanation for her decision to go to the gym tonight. It would have been so easy to give into the tiredness and go to bed. I was really happy with her choice and we had a good talk about it when she got back forty five minutes later. She didn’t have the big smile on her face like last night but was able to understand she had done some good for herself.

So ended a decent day for Janet, not a full step back from yesterday, just a notch down and with a good strong finish. Praying for a good night of rest that provides lots of energy for tomorrow.