Attitude is everything and Janet had a good one today. As I drove Brittney and Ethan back to New Westminster Janet called me to say she had just done her stair climbing with Curtis and that she went up and down TEN steps! She seemed genuinely pleased with herself and she should be, her goal was three steps set only a couple of weeks ago and already she’s at ten. High five! After the call, Brittney said Janet sounded good on the phone and she’s right. I didn’t really notice it at first but there was a much more confident tone and lots of volume to her voice and she carried the conversation well.
It wasn’t until six o’clock that I made it out to Connect and Janet was sitting out on the patio waiting for me with a big smile and a fist pump. Fortunately for me, her dinner hadn’t been served yet so we had time to visit before dining together. Janet’s confidence level stayed high all evening which enabled her to engage in good conversation with the other residents as well as the staff. She dictated some emails and discussed in depth our weekend as grandparents. It almost seems like she’s reached another level and it will be interesting to see if the trend continues.
Thank you to those of you that prayed for our friend Gary. He made it through the surgery and will be in ICU “a bit longer than usual” so keep praying please.
Praying that Janet gets a good night of sleep and is able to officially check off her stair climbing goal tomorrow.
I hope everyone enjoyed as blessed an Easter as we did. It was awesome to linger this morning having nothing scheduled until a Skype chat with Leslie at 11. Janet called time to get up when she was ready and because it was Easter, I served her breakfast. Of course she wouldn’t stray from her toast and coffee except she’s added a small bowl of fresh fruit the last couple of days and I hope that trend continues. The talk with Leslie seemed to go well until some technical issues arose. I stayed away trying to have Janet fully engaged and responsible for the conversation. She seemed pleased afterward.
A couple of days ago I mentioned I would try and have Janet take some steps unassisted. She has made a few attempts with success on three occasions. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to capture them on video as I need to be right there with her and can’t control when she’ll take a “free step” so the camera angles have not been good. Hopefully we can get some this week at Connect. Janet is still very scared of trying it and doesn’t believe in herself yet but I’m going to keep pushing the envelope as we’ve now seen that she can do it.
Heidi and Jack graciously invited us for Easter dinner today and we enjoyed a lovely afternoon on the deck with great food and conversation. We are blessed to know them both and call them friends. Great day!
Returning to Connect was a possibility after Heidi and Jack’s but it was too early so I brought Janet home for a while longer and we enjoyed a stroll around the neighbourhood. One of the nice things about living here is you are pretty much guaranteed to see some of your neighbours when you go out and we saw a bunch this time which is good for Janet as she hasn’t been able to connect as much as I have. Neither of us were hungry for dinner so we scanned a bunch more pictures into the computer which Janet really enjoyed and did a good job of dating for me. She was quite giggly after singing her way back to Connect later and eagerly shared her Easter chocolates with those that were around. We read and talked and by 10:30 she still wasn’t asleep despite the lack of a nap but there were lots of yawns so I’m sure she’ll rest well.
Praying for a week of strengthening and confidence building.
For the first time since Janet moved into Connect there is another lady in the house! We had heard this might be happening and Janet was getting excited about it and when I called her at lunchtime it was the first thing she told me. She said she’s kind of quiet but that’s to be expected first day in.
The female theme continued tonight as another session of SheLife began at Trinity. Janet had a good nap this afternoon and walked from her room to the Den on our way out for dinner. To warm up I had her walk from her bed to the bathroom and back when she woke up. Those trips were a little shaky but the later one down the hall was solid. I timed things wrong as far as Janet’s walking went and so dinner was a little rushed and we arrived at the church just in the knick of time. I had hoped Janet would try and walk to her table from the lobby but she wasn’t interested and we didn’t have time anyways. Janet was at a much higher state of awareness when I met her after the session and she clearly enjoyed being back with her ladies. She was talking with a couple of them as I came to get her and each time I thought there was an opportunity to say let’s go, Janet through out another nugget that kept the conversation going. She was very good and in the car she volunteered that she might try and walk in next week. Yay! I can’t say enough about how positive it is for Janet to participate in SheLife. Her table mates are so supportive and encouraging it really builds Janet up.
Without prompting Janet asked for her meds as soon as we got back to Connect. She’s getting pretty good about this now and probably doesn’t need the reminder on her phone anymore. Brian was working a night shift tonight and stopped by for a chat on his way out. Janet got his name right without assistance and told him she’d like more opportunities to walk so he will consult the staff on that. I’ve been encouraging Janet to ask for walking practice but her nervousness about walking has kept her from taking the initiative. I think the experience at SheLife tonight fired her up enough to ask Brian. Yay again!
Praying that Janet sleeps well tonight and that she maintains a positive attitude and is able to fully participate in tomorrow.
While reclining in her comfy chair in the living room watching Ellen, Janet gave me a pretty good report on her day so far when I arrived this afternoon. Once again she was very smiley and talkative saying she’d had a good day and that Mary Lou had come to see her and Brian did some awfully hard things with her and she was almost in tears. She mentioned she went to the gym and helped in the kitchen. The staff gave me a more accurate report saying Janet did go to the gym with Lorne then Tez showed up again and that’s where the awfully hard things and tears happened. From the sounds of it Janet had a very good workout again even getting onto her knees and balancing quite well. I notice Janet getting stronger in the legs despite the spasticity holding steady. Brian reported that he had a good session with Janet, taking her to the kitchen where she cut an apple for her afternoon snack.
Brian also mentioned how impressed he was with Janet’s speech volume and her overall alertness and ability to answer his questions. That was reinforced to me when we made a Skype call to Nancy to wish her happy birthday. Janet talked very loud and clear and made some good comments and observations. Probably her best conversation to date.
Continuing in her heightened state of alertness Janet asked if she could go and help with dinner. Garrett was very accommodating in trying to get everyone involved in the meal prep. Janet set the table with a minimum of assistance and seemed ready to do more but there wasn’t anything left to do but eat. She was happy I had some leftover skiing lunch with me and was eating with her. Usually part way through dinner she will ask me “where’s yours?” And I’ll have to explain I’m eating at home. But not today. She made quick work of her fish and chips and vegetables but was not too excited about drinking her water. Garrett has teamed Janet up with Fred and Humberto for dinner menus and prep. They will eat essentially the same meals at dinner and share in the making of them. He also put together a shopping list of groceries for Janet but she declined the invite to go to the store with him tonight.
Winding down to bedtime I read some of Slow Dance to her and she was able to recount the basics of what we read when I asked her right after I stopped. Good to know she’s paying attention and nice to see more improvement of her short term memory. I’m often tempted when reading this book to tell her that similar things happened to her but I don’t want to cause tears. I did ask if she thought any thing similar had happened to her and she said no. Probably a good thing.
Today was another really good day for Janet with a good workout in the gym, some good experience in daily kitchen type activities, good standing transfers and excellent conversational skills. Praying for more healing overnight and a good day of learning tomorrow.