cognition

Janet, A Success Story. May 21. #TSJ

Tez put Janet through her paces this morning and when I called her at lunchtime Janet was feeling good that Tez praised her for how well she was doing. I’m not sure what all they did but Janet described it as “a lot of walking”. She did a lot with me this afternoon as well, the first trip being freestyle from her room to the patio to enjoy some sun. There was a little protesting along the way but each time I do this with Janet the need for me to be right there to catch her is lessened, in fact her last walk of the day was from her bed about four feet to her wheelchair and I let her do that with me still sitting on the bed. I had to help her with the very difficult pivot move before sitting down but the whole point was to give that feeling of independence. I think I saw in her face some satisfaction in getting there on her own.

The only other exercise activity Janet needed to do tonight was the bike and again I had her sitting farther back than what was usual and kept the degree of difficulty high. She did well and felt the difference in both legs. I tested her in pedalling with just her right leg after her ride and noticed some improvement but really shouldn’t compare as I left her in the new riding position which she’s never done a one legged pedal from. Maybe tomorrow we’ll test for real.

After dinner we tried our first neighbourhood walk in the sun of the year but some high cloud and wind made it a little too cool for Janet. We did get a little ways along our route and Janet remembered it from last year which is a good sign. Janet did a great job counting out pennies to be rolled up tonight. It had been a while since she’s done any of this and I noticed her stacks of five more often actually had five pennies in them this time and she was better at counting in general. Curtis mentioned he noticed an improvement in Janet’s cognition and that goes along well with today’s report that her Dilantin levels are back into therapeutic range. They are still a little higher than I would like but nice to see some correction taking place.

We read quite a bit of One Hundred Years of Solitude tonight and Janet had a little difficulty figuring out what is happening. Fortunately not a lot is happening yet as we are still reading the set up parts. Janet is enjoying the language and has answered all my questions correctly as we read along so at least she’s paying attention.

Praying that Janet sleeps well tonight and continues to get stronger and smarter.

Janet, A Success Story. May 19. #TSJ

Since this was a holiday Monday a lot of residents were still away for the weekend so Jess and Curtis were able to spend a lot of time with Janet. Almost all of her physical therapy stuff was done by the time I arrived in the afternoon and she had also done some reading practice and gotten her nails painted. Janet felt good about it all saying her right foot was not as sore as before even after Jess had her walking everywhere she went today.

The walking continued with me this evening and one interesting thing came out of that. I constantly need to remind Janet to walk straight ahead as she tends to skew her body to the right easily. Today she said she does that so her foot doesn’t hurt as much. Good information I told her to mention to Tez tomorrow. Twice I had Janet freestyle walk tonight and both times she was going so fast it was difficult for me to keep up in a way that I felt I was ready to help her if needed. One of those fast walks was from the Den to her room, a Connect distance record.

We had a lot of time to work on cognitive skills tonight since the physical stuff had been done. Janet reluctantly played Four Pics One Word with me and I found she was more willing if we alternated guesses. She is quiet good at figuring out the word if she really tries. Janet’s reading skills are slowly improving as evidenced by her reading to me a half a page without missing a word. She didn’t think it was that great but it was a definite improvement from going six or seven words then skipping down to the next line. Janet is unhappy she can’t remember or clearly understand what she’s read but that will come once she gets to a level where she’s not trying so hard to see each word. Reading provided the most excitement of the night as we read a chapter from Lets Pretend This Never Happened about a lady getting bitten by a couple of dogs. Seconds after reading that story I felt something touching the back of my shirt. I turned to see a large black dog staring at me! She was wondering around looking for attention and was not nearly as startled as I was. We found out it belonged to a staff member working in one of the other houses and Janet and I had a good visit with her and a laugh.

Janet seemed very bright today with good memory recall and she was physically strong too. Praying that doesn’t mean her Dilantin levels are too low now.