Janet called me right at noon as she finished her workout and asked if she could come home sooner than planned. I obliged but she had to go grocery shopping with me on the way. Her morning was good according to her. Tez was away and sent a student to work with Janet and she liked him a lot. Not that he was that much easier on her but that he had a different approach to things. To help Janet take longer strides he placed markers on the floor and Janet had to hit each one as she stepped. A Tez idea but first tried today and Janet feels she did pretty well at it.
Grocery shopping was as fun as it can be and Janet enjoyed having a say in what we bought. She had another fun activity after that, a visit to the dentist. If they had automatic doors at the dentist office I could easily drop Janet off outside now and let her do the appointment completely on her own. Her cane walking is strong enough and she needs only the slightest bit of help lifting her right leg onto the dentist chair. Pretty cool. She was able to watch some tennis while in the chair and we watched more at home tonight treating this as Janet’s Friday especially since her mouth was frozen for hours. There are no specific plans tomorrow but I hope to have Janet practice some domestic activities as well as her distance walking. Praying for a restful night of sleep and continued improvement.
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.
Today was get away day for Janet and when I got to Connect to pick her up I could tell she had been focused on that all day. She was deliberate in telling me she had just finished the Standing Frame and was ready to go. Since she was headed for the dentist I insisted she brush her teeth before we leave and that also gave her a chance to walk down the hall, something she hadn’t done much of today. She knew to stop by the med room to get her meds for the weekend and from what I could tell she performed that task well.
Janet has been doing a great job of brushing her teeth and I floss for her every night so we were both surprised when the dentist showed us three cavities in Janet’s mouth. He says they are likely leftovers from her hospital days and just took this long to show up. Hopefully that’s the end of them. All else is good in that department and Janet blew their minds by walking into the office freestyle all the way to the exam chair. The folks there have been very supportive since day one so it was nice for them to see Janet’s amazing physical progress up close.
Exchanging nap time for sun time Janet enjoyed some warmth before helping me make dinner. I could get real use to cooking like this. She’s more of a help each time and as planned we walked down to Menchie’s for a frozen yogurt later on.
First Menchie’s #selfie
It’s a fun and smiley place for sure and we’ll be back as a treat from there goes to the winner of our So You Think You Can Dance bet. We watched this week’s episode tonight and Janet’s contestant out performed everyone we thought with mine doing OK. They both survived the first cut.
Praying for a restful night of sleep that provides lots of energy for a fun Friday.
Remember, there will be no posts now until late Sunday night unless events warrant. Peace.
A cold but smiling Janet was waiting for me at the pool this morning just wanting to get “this swimming thing over with”. She was in a good mood in spite of not wanting to be there and as usual broke into a big smile and actual laughter as she started to swim her first length. She said she was laughing because it was cold and it was a little on the chill side today for sure. I kept her moving as much as possible and Janet swam strong today with nice rolls from tummy to back and a few fun attempts at treading water. Instead of being all frustrated, she laughed about spinning around in a circle because of her one arm. The kiddie pool was a welcome relief from the cold and Janet did some good knee bends and balancing before getting a really good stretch in the hot tub, the place she would like to start and finish and probably stay at forever.
Janet had another fun appointment to look forward to this afternoon, the dentist. She needed one small cavity filled and afterwards said it was an interesting visit. The folks there are very friendly and fun and Janet felt at ease and welcome and said it didn’t hurt at all. She couldn’t wait to get into bed for a nap as soon as we got home though and had a good little rest before the next event.
We met Suzanne for dinner tonight at Routes Grill which is near Connect. Janet and I had been once before and Suzanne never before so it was a good place to catch up with her. Janet says “its always fun with her” and it was. The menu is a little limited so Janet ended up with a seafood linguine that I try and have her avoid when we are out as its a messy eat. She did OK though and conversed well with Suzanne.
Today was a very full day for Janet and she held up very well. I found her memory to be slightly improved and her transfers excellent. I had her try and answer some emails before bed but she only managed a couple as I think she had just had enough for the day by then. Andre Agassi managed to get a few belly laughs from her as we read Open before saying goodnight. Praying for a solid night of sleep and a great Friday.
Janet was chatting in the living room with Willie when I got to Connect just before lunch today. Nice to see her doing that even though she couldn’t see that well as she didn’t have her glasses on. She told me she couldn’t find them but as soon as we got to her room we saw them right on her beside table where I put them last night. Her splint was right where I left it too, meaning that’s the second day in a row she hasn’t worn it and that’s not cool.
After a quick lunch we took off to her AFO appointment. Janet said the appointment went about the way she expected and the lady was nice. I got the impression the lady didn’t really think Janet was ready for an AFO or to be seriously considering walking but maybe that’s just me. I didn’t relay that to Janet at all as she needs to stay as positive as possible and she is looking forward to wearing this brace in hopes it will keep her right leg more stable. We go back Monday afternoon to have it installed and I know if nothing else it will give Janet the confidence she needs to work a little harder in learning to walk.
We made one stop along the way home to finally get our address changed on our Id’s and Janet had a one hour nap as soon as we got there. Upon waking she had just enough time to brush her teeth and get ready for her dentist appointment. Things have really improved in that area and Janet only had one small cavity that will get filled at the end of the month. She was a little disappointed but considering how long her teeth were neglected for I think she’s doing fine and she brushes quite well now.
Back home for dinner we went and Janet was showing signs of being tired again but perked right up when some songs came on that she really likes. She started to sing along and there is nothing I know of on this earth more joyous than Janet singing with that huge smile on her face. I’ve said it before and it continues to impress me how powerful music is and don’t tell anyone but Janet’s singing is contagious as I even sang a little to teach her one of my favourite songs right now,The Giving Tree by Plain White T’s. Janet thought it was great that I sang. There may be hope.
Sadly, we had to get back to Connect for meds and a little exercise. Janet did not want to go and didn’t cheer up until we were half way there. She put in a good effort on a difficult bike ride that I actually had to make easier part way through and was too tired and it was too late after to do any walking so it was off to bed to read. Janet is really enjoying Open and looks forward to our time doing that. Hopefully some nights she won’t be so tired and I can get her to read a little herself.
Praying for a solid night of healing sleep that provides lots of energy for tomorrow’s activities.
I let Janet sleep in today knowing she wouldn’t likely have time for a nap this afternoon. She was quite happy to snooze a little longer in the sun from when she woke up just after eight. Breakfast was nice and relaxed but we somehow ended up being a little rushed to get to KGH for swimming. The pool sessions were good today with Janet having more control of her right leg than on Thursday. That allowed her to do some decent “walking”, making it about one and a half lengths of the pool with assistance. Her floating wasn’t quite as good today but she allowed me to get her face underwater briefly a couple times and she didn’t panic at all. The confidence is growing. I noticed a big difference in her flexibility compared to the hot tub even though there’s only two degrees difference in temperature. Janet felt pretty good about her pool sessions today but says she liked the hot tub better because it’s warmer.
Before we left the house this morning we made sandwiches for lunch as we only had a half hour between swimming and the dentist. We sat in the car near the beach and enjoyed those then made our way to Creekside Dental. Janet was a little apprehensive about this appointment and was starting to fade a little but Collette, Tannis and Colin treated her like royalty and she stayed awake and cooperated very well the whole hour she was in the chair. The cavities she had before getting sick are still there unfortunately so she has to go back a couple more times over the next month or so to have those filled in. Colin assured me he didn’t see anything going on in Janet’s mouth that would indicate side effects from Dilantin and I was happy to hear that. With her new toothbrush and floss in hand we drove off to Connect.
By the time we arrived at Connect it was happy hour so we sat out in the sun while Janet ate an apple and drank some water. I think I was pretty good about not nagging her to drink today and pointed out the benefit of having the fluoride treatment at the dentist where you aren’t allowed to drink for half an hour afterwards. She was please I couldn’t nag her then. Janet ate her apple quickly giving us time to walk down the street to a little beach on Wood Lake. That walk and beach are not nearly as nice as around KGH but it’s what we have this summer and I am glad we have something. All those trips to the beach last summer were nice but I was never sure how much Janet was getting out of them. Today her face lit right up when we got to the beach and she constantly was looking around at all there was to see. She even followed and smiled at a couple of noisy Canada geese that flew by maybe twenty meters away from us. We watched a couple of boats that were playing on the lake and she agreed it looked like fun. Time to see if I can get her in and out of one so we can give it a try!
With dinner done the next event was the usual argument about going to the gym. Janet capitulated eventually on the condition that I go too. Bob joined us and worked Janet’s legs while I did her right shoulder and arm. We both noticed nice improvements and Janet didn’t mind the workout at all. She wanted me to read some Slow Dance with her before bed and we had a good discussion about what we’d read afterwards with Janet remembering one of the topics we had read about. Considering the lack of a nap and the busyness of the day Janet did very well to stay up until nine but was happy to say goodnight. Praying for lots of rest and healing and a good day with a more regular routine tomorrow.
Jess had Janet all set to go this morning and Janet seemed quite enthusiastic about the day ahead. We arrived at the KGH pool in plenty of time, in fact while we were waiting after getting changed Janet complained that we were “doing nothing”. She agreed it was better to be early than scrambling around at the last minute and I reminded her the pool won’t wait for us. Right on time, Jim arrived and into the water we went.
The sensation of floating still brings a smile to Janet’s face and a calm feeling to her in general. She’s happy to try all the exercises I’ve been given for her although I think she’d be OK with just floating around in the warm water for as long as she wanted. We started on her back trying to get the legs kicking with me supporting her instead of the inner tube. Janet started slow but got it going alright after a few minutes. With the inner tube she really got her left leg going crazy. The most range and fastest movement I’ve seen from it ever. Unfortunately the right leg was nowhere close to keeping up but I could see and feel her trying. We tried a couple variations of standing exercises and Janet did well intermittently with both. I need more coaching on those for sure. For something new, I had Janet try floating on her tummy. She didn’t mind being in that position but I found it hard to keep her face out of the water while keeping her legs in a place where she could try kicking or straightening them. Again, more coaching needed or at least a pool noodle. Overall today’s session was better than last week but the thirty minutes seemed like five. Very glad we are going twice a week starting Monday.
On our way out of KGH we did our now usual lap through rehab saying hi to a couple of familiar nurses and having a nice chat with Connie. Janet is trying really hard to have meaningful conversations with people but still echoes and has trouble remembering short term things. The effort to converse is way better though and that played well into being ready for Music Therapy with Stephani. Conveniently she lives only a few blocks from the hospital so we arrived there in plenty of time as well and Janet and her got started right away. I sat out of the room they were working in but I could hear everything and could tell Janet was enjoying it. There is a little more purpose to Stephani’s session than with John and I think today was a good first go at it. I was concerned Janet would be tired or hungry but she was just fine and sounded pretty good at times.
First day music therapy
Next up was a much needed haircut with Chelsea after a quick stop at the dentist to make an appointment for Janet. She had not been to that office since the day of her aneurysm and thankfully does not remember the place at all. She was warmly welcomed by Collette and Colin, both of whom make it as much fun as possible to go to the dentist. By the time we arrived at the salon Chelsea was ready for Janet who gave her a nice big smile after I carried her into the shop. Apparently Janet has a history of falling asleep during haircuts and today was no exception. About ten minutes in with Chelsea working on the back of Janet’s head, I noticed her eyes closed, only for a minute or so until the blow drier came out, but she was nodding off. Janet powered through and allowed Chelsea to set her up for a pretty nice look in the future as her hair grows in just a little more. Janet was pleased with the results and we headed home for a late lunch.
It was well past nap time and we were just eating lunch but Janet was doing fine. She even had a reasonable Skype chat with her mom afterwards, talking fairly loud at times. Before we knew it it was time to get back to Connect and when we arrived Janet elected to put away laundry and make her bed instead of eat like everyone else was. She did a good job helping make the bed but needed a fair amount of cuing to find the right drawers for her clothes. I’ll put that down to the long day without a nap. She managed a good dinner and a little chat with Bob and Dwight then at 7:30 said she was ready for bed. Her nighttime routine went better than this morning as she knew not to brush her hair with the toothbrush and got the toothpaste open herself and did a really good job rinsing her mouth and taking her meds.
Lights out came early after a busy but fun day. Janet seemed pleased with her day, questioning how well she did but acknowledging she did a lot. Praying for a good rest tonight and a strong workout in the gym tomorrow and fun at Fred’s going away party.