dance

Janet, A Success Story. October 19. #TSJ

Each weekend gets more and more comfortable at home for Janet and like she belongs here. She does and soon she will be.

Friday started off with a little haircut from Chelsea then some grocery shopping. Janet was quite chatty with Chelsea and walked from the front door of the salon to her chair all by herself. I stayed back the entire time and let Janet explain what she wanted then watched her talk more than at any previous appointment. Coincidently, Courtney was Chelsea’s next appointment so we got to say a quick hello to her as we left. Thankfully the stores weren’t too busy so Janet was able to help a fair bit with the shopping and doesn’t seem to mind it much as long as we don’t spent too much time in the cold sections. In the evening we hosted our Small Group meeting and welcomed a new person to the group so we are now six and Janet enjoyed the conversation a lot. She wasn’t as assertive as the first meeting but contributed nicely from time to time.

Saturday had Janet practicing her laundry skills. She’s getting pretty good at it and we shot some video of her today that we’ll try and show Brian this week. I can see ways he could pass her and ways not too. Hopefully Janet can check that goal off this week. We got word today that her reading to the pre-schoolers will happen on Wednesday instead of Friday. Janet is a little nervous about it now but I’m confident that when the time comes she’ll do great. I was planning on taking Janet with me to a little wine tasting event at a friends house Saturday night but access to the house was too challenging so we turned it into a Janet staying home alone experience. She was more than happy to hang out at home and I was only gone for an hour and a half while she watched a recorded episode of So You Think You Can Dance.

There was walking practice every day this weekend and Janet improved her time on the 200 meter walk each day, breaking the eight minute mark today. These walks are with me pulling her along so they don’t count towards anything Tez will grade her on. I don’t see any changes in her freestyle walking around the house though, in fact Janet might be clinging to furniture even more now.

Tonight saw the usual resistance to going back to Connect but it was eased by a small understanding that soon she’ll be done there. Praying for rest, confidence and strength.

Janet, A Success Story. August 21. #TSJ Walking Best

Tez put Janet through the ringer again this morning and she responded very well. The cold has all but disappeared and Janet was highly motivated today in contrast to the last couple of days. Walking a lot without her cane Janet showed improvement in her stride to the point where Tez feels its time to adjust her AFO so that its not so rigid. Currently it supports Janet just like a ski boot and I think we all know how difficult it is to walk in those, so for Janet to have progressed to where she can where a more flexible AFO is huge. When the lady who built Janet’s AFO was chatting with us I got the impression she didn’t feel Janet would get there. Well, this coming Tuesday Janet will get to show her it wasn’t a matter of if but when.

Back on July 24th Janet did her first six minute walking test and managed to travel 27 meters. Today, less than a month later she more than doubled that distance to 55 meters! Her goal for leaving Connect is now set at 400 meters, a number Tez is confident she’ll reach provided she keeps putting in the work. We have a busy weekend planned but will find time for lots of walking.

Before going home today Janet got to stop at the dentist to have more cavities filled. The dentist feels these latest ones are still related to Janet’s very long time in the hospital where she wasn’t able to brush her teeth and he’s not worried about the future as Janet has good brushing and flossing habits.

It had been a long day by the time Janet got home so she went for a late nap so she could better enjoy her first night of the weekend. A glass of wine and the semi finals of So You Think You Can Dance made for a nice relaxing evening and a satisfying one as both of our contestants made it into the finals. As a bonus, our tickets to the SYTYCD Tour arrived today and even though its not until February, Janet is excited about going. Me too.

Tomorrow we make our radio debut and Janet says she’s a little scared about it. I know she’ll do well and it will be an exciting experience. Listen live at 5pm PDT here on CBC Radio.

Praying for a restful night of sleep, a fun Friday and for our story to inspire, encourage and bring faith to others.

PS. I’ve added a new page to this blog, Video. On it you will find each video that’s been posted of Janet since this adventure began. Enjoy.

Janet, A Success Story. June 26. #TSJ Early Weekend

When Janet called me after lunch today I could sense right away where she was steering the conversation to. Yesterday she repeatedly asked if she could come home early for the weekend since its going to be such a busy one. I made her the usual deal of getting all her therapies done by lunchtime then we’d talk. She couldn’t tell me fast enough that she’d done just that then asked again if she could come home. How could I say no and why would I?

Janet agreed to a nap before I picked her up though and she was just getting up when I arrived. We are having some of the Connect staff over for a BBQ tomorrow so there was work to be done as soon as we got home and getting dinner was first up. Pizzas are a good project for Janet to help with and she loves eating them so that was dinner tonight. We are developing a good routine around pizza making. Janet, in her wheelchair, is able to get a lot of the ingredients and turn the oven on and she’s awesome and putting the sauces on before building the actual pizzas. It used to be that half of her toppings would end up anywhere but on her pizza. Not so now, she is creating masterpieces.

For the BBQ Janet was pretty insistent on having a dessert and wanted to make a carrot cake, her favourite. My baking past is not pretty so I was a reluctant participant in our effort tonight but I must say the end result looks pretty good and the icing is awesome. Janet broke eggs and mixed things together for the cake really well then decided to chat with Laurel for a bit while I figured out the icing. After catching up a little on our So You Think You Can Dance watching, Janet iced the carrot cake before going to bed.

Because of all the kitchen work, Janet was in her wheelchair more than I would’ve liked tonight but that is the best way for her to be able to help. She did stand to ice the cake and had to walk up the two steps from the garage when we got home today as I’ve taken away the wheelchair ramp. There is a grab bar on her left side and using that she effortlessly got up both steps. High five! I may not put the ramp back if going down the steps is just as good.

Praying for a night of reenergizing sleep and a fun Friday.

Janet, A Success Story. June 12. #TSJ Home for a holiday.

And so it begins. Janet is home for the next ten nights, five here then five in Ottawa, and she is very excited. It was a good day of transition for her as she did an express version of her gym routine this morning then went with the rest of the house to a park in Vernon for a picnic lunch. She has a little trouble in figuring out what to wear for outings like that and ended up over dressed for what was a warm day even though it looked cool.

The "ducky" weather is coming.

The “ducky” weather is coming.

Getting a head start on nap time.

Getting a head start on nap time.

We packed Janet up after a brief nap and drove to her doctor’s for one last round of power washing her ears. Our car went through a power wash on the way as we hit a massive thunderstorm with some of the heaviest rain I’ve ever seen. Janet was actually a little nervous about it but by the time we hit Kelowna proper it was like it hadn’t rained at all. That’s why we live here folks.

Janet was very brave at the doctor’s and her ears are now squeaky clean. My plan for her at home and on the trip to Ottawa is to do as much walking as possible and use the wheelchair only when necessary. That began nicely as soon as we got home. Janet walked in from the car to the bathroom then out to the kitchen where she chopped veggies on her own for dinner. She seems to be at a perfect height sitting in a real chair at the island for chopping and stirring. Janet did an awesome job tonight and rewarded herself with a glass of wine with dinner.

I thought if we went for an after dinner walk we might see some of the neighbours but our after dinner is closer to a lot of folk’s bedtime around here so no one was out. It was nice to get some air before watching So You Think You Can Dance. Janet made some really intelligent remarks during the show and overall is showing more improvement in the memory and awareness department. Her walking tonight was solid and she did all of her nighttime stuff in the bathroom unassisted, with no wheelchair.

Praying for a great night of sleep and a productive Friday.

Janet, A Success Story. May 30. #TSJ

Friday is Janet’s favourite day of the week. She was excited about it Thursday night and after a brief greeting this afternoon at Connect, her first words to me were “can we go now?” Since all her therapies were done for the day it was only a matter of packing a few things and we were gone.

Tonight was another meeting of our wine club and Janet helped me start to get ready for that when we got home then went for a good long nap. She took a while to fully wake up afterwards and I left her home alone while I went to pick up sushi for dinner. When I got back fifteen minutes later she was sipping on her water and singing along to the music I left on for her. Janet enjoyed what I think was her cleanest sushi dinner ever. That can be a messy meal but not tonight. By the time our guests arrived Janet seemed ready for a fun night.

I don’t spend much time with Janet at these gatherings. It’s a nice chance for her to talk with other people. I did notice she got a little quiet after a hour or so as there was a large group tonight which can be a little overwhelming but in the end Janet really enjoyed the evening.

Knowing Janet would want ice cream before bed I asked, and she quickly agreed and also asked if we could watch So You Think You Can Dance. We did, and stayed up too late but isn’t that what Fridays are for? Because of the party atmosphere there wasn’t a lot of walking going on but what Janet did was good and I noticed her memory was very sharp tonight as was her overall awareness, she knew the day, date and year without hesitation twice tonight.

Praying Janet sleeps well tonight and is ready for some fun in the sun tomorrow.