Dr. Miller

Janet, A Success Story. July 8. #TSJ Mobility equals Power

Dr. Miller was once again full of praise for Janet during their meeting this morning and she really seems to value his opinion. Janet did a great job filling him in on the wedding and travel adventures, speaking clearly with no struggle to find key words. Janet made the trip with no wheelchair and walked from the waiting area into Dr. Miller’s office unassisted. She left the same way after securing another speaking engagement. Dr. Miller invited Janet to speak to his Neuropsychology class at UBCO in March. She is all for it and is really starting to gain an appreciation for sharing her story.

Trips to KGH like that take up the entire morning so by the time Janet and Jess got back to Connect it was lunchtime. There was a little time for a bike ride before nap time which was very short partly because it was so nice outside and partly because I showed up soon after Janet laid down. She negotiated what she thought was a good deal for herself, going for a long walk instead of doing The Shuttle, until she realized she would actually be walking. For some reason she thought I’d be pushing her in the wheelchair, anyways, she put in a great effort walking freestyle roundtrip from her room upstairs to the pool room and back. That got her sweating and hungry for dinner. Then it was my turn to get sweaty as we walked, this time with the wheelchair, down to the lake. Summer is in full swing here and Janet loved sitting by the water watching the little kids play in it. I think I may have succeeded in getting her to try a swim tomorrow! Hopefully.
Games night was quiet tonight with only four of the usual group there. Janet started strong but faded notably the last twenty minutes on account of that super short nap this afternoon. It was still a good brain exercise to go through and a good physical one walking back to her room.

Janet’s increased mobility has given her new found power. It used to be that even if she didn’t want to walk somewhere I just had to grab her hand and start walking and she had no choice but to follow along. Tonight she flat out refused to walk down and get her meds and since she’s walking on her own, she turned and plunked herself down on her bed and refused to move for a good fifteen minutes. When I agreed to stay close to her she headed out and I stayed at the halfway point and watched her. She did great and I could hear her once again correctly name her meds and what they are for. She’s better than she thinks she is.

Praying for a long and restful sleep that provides lots of energy for a fun Wednesday.

Janet, A Success Story. May 13. #TSJ

Jess brought Janet in to KGH for her appointment with Dr. Miller this morning and I met them there. Janet is always pretty upbeat about seeing Dr. Miller as she knows its just for a chat and she always receives lots of positive feedback. This morning was no different and I could see Janet openly seeking Dr. Miller’s approval on things and truly valuing his opinion. I can’t think of anyone else she gives that much credibility to. Jess and I encouraged Janet to walk into the office at the start of the meeting and she did the last ten feet freestyle which won her praise from Dr. Miller, but he rightly pointed out that Janet’s cognitive gains are more impressive and carry more weight in the long term. I knew that but needed to hear it again. Janet participated well in the discussion and agreed to speak at a gathering of Rehab staff that Dr. Miller will organize as he believes strongly in staff being able to see the results of their work long term. This idea came about from Janet’s SheLife speech and my prompting that we feel its important Janet share her story. To put Dr. Miller’s theory to the test he encouraged Janet to seek out some staff that worked with her on her way out this morning. Thankfully there were a lot of them around and no seeking was necessary, in fact once Janet was spotted, they were doing the seeking. Each encounter was filled with surprise (Janet was walking through the ward) and excitement and Janet felt good about it all, she even demonstrated her freestyle walking to Moira who came out from her lunch break to see Janet. A very positive morning.

As soon as I got to Connect this afternoon I sought out Tez to have a look at Janet’s painful right foot. He didn’t notice any structural issues and suggests it could be from the increase in walking and using muscles that haven’t been used in a long time. To rule out the new shoes he told Janet to stop wearing them for a couple days. We will keep monitoring this.

Janet had her Dilantin levels checked again this morning and this time they are well above therapeutic range and I expected a phone call from her doctor but didn’t get one so I made an executive decision to reduce her dosage by one third tonight and hopefully talk to the doctor tomorrow. I asked Dr. Miller if he would nudge the neurologist to respond to our enquiry on this topic and he said he would.

The pain in her foot didn’t stop Janet from doing some good walking tonight along with a decent Shuttle workout and Standing Frame session. She really enjoyed the dinner Chelsea made and very reluctantly walked up to Games Night and put in a fine performance there. He “favourite” game is one where the group is asked what they’d pack for a vacation to a certain destination. Each person has to repeat what the person or persons ahead of them said then add what they’d bring without duplicating anything. Janet does best with the sunny destinations of course.

Sleep came seconds after I started reading to Janet tonight which is good because she needs to be up a little early to go sailing tomorrow. She of course is not at all excited but I think its worth a try. Praying for a good night of rest, for Janet’s Dilantin levels to stabilize and the pain in her right foot to stop. We are also praying tonight for Janet’s step dad who is in hospital in Collingwood and for Willie, a resident at Connect who is having some heart issues tonight, his 65th birthday.

Janet, A Success Story. March 18. #TSJ

Today marked another visit with Dr. Miller at KGH and I met Janet and Jess there this morning. As usual, it was a very positive meeting with lots of affirming words sent Janet’s way from someone whom she will accept those words from more than she will from others. In summary, Janet continues to make notable progress cognitively and surprises Dr. Miller each time he sees her. He assured me that he will remain in the picture even after Janet comes home and that is good to know.

We took advantage of being at the hospital to pay John a visit and this time he was awake! He had just returned from his first shower in six weeks and was feeling very good about that. Janet shared some stories and teased him a little and if the weather holds we will try and take John outside on our next visit. He hasn’t done that since arriving at KGH.

More visiting took place on the way home for lunch and Janet was pretty tired after that busy morning so didn’t argue at all about a nap. In fact because she was home she actually smiled about it.

Knowing she had to do some exercise back at Connect Janet chose to ride the bike and agreed to do the Standing Frame after that. Her ride was excellent, almost setting a new distance record and for the first time rode without strapping her feet to the pedals. I’m hoping she is soon strong enough to use a simpler pedal which may mean we could get a bike for home. When we looked for a bike before, Janet needed a snowboard type binding to hold her foot on the pedal. That need may be disappearing.

The Standing Frame was made much more tolerable tonight as Chelsea put on The Sound of Music for Janet. As the first song started Janet jumped right in in full voice and drove Wes back to his room to hide from the “girly movie”. Here’s a little of what the last hour and a half of the evening sounded like. Janet will watch the second half tomorrow but I’ll spare you the video.

There was a little time left for reading before lights out and The Artisan Soul was very interesting tonight. I wished we had read it earlier in the evening as Janet had a lot to say about it but was too tired to really get into a conversation. Praying for a positive attitude and lots of energy for Wednesday.

The Team Save Janet Report is Out! #TSJ #Pumpkin

Renovation Day 22. Closets framed in both bedrooms, countertops installed and preparation for painting is underway.

I arrived at Connect just after three to be told Janet had just gone down for a nap. Jess had taken her to KGH this morning where I met them for our regular meeting with Dr. Miller. Janet was bright and cheery and Dr. Miller continues to be “amazed” with her progress. She was praised for her ability to enunciate, stay on topic, recall from short term memory and for her sense of humour. The meeting was very positive and Janet finds Dr. Miller easy to talk to. Swimming with the group at the Y, attending SHElife and Singing With John were noted as very positive things to be doing and Janet actually admitted to liking the bike riding she’s been doing lately. Dr. Miller emphasized the usefulness of the iPad and encouraged Janet to become more proficient with it as a means to gaining more independence. He suggested taking notes on it to help her remember things and liked my suggestion of Janet learning to use the communication tools available, even the camera. I of course am all over Janet stepping up her iPad use but she is balking right now as she thinks she can’t do it. Baby steps.

After a good chat with Brian I went into Janet’s room and she was awake so we had our post nap chat in which she told me that singing with John was fun but she was unable to tell me any of the songs they sang. She knew of the plan to carve pumpkins after dinner and agreed to a bike ride beforehand. It was another record setting performance and this time Janet was actually a little winded afterwards. High Five!

We were late for dinner due to the late nap then bike ride so it was pretty much just us and Big Country at the start then Danielle got Wes carving his pumpkin which was quite entertaining. Here’s the resulting masterpiece. WesDaniellePumpkin

Janet cleaned hers out and I traced the image we decided to try and create. It turned out pretty good with some serious help from Danielle. SeahawksPumpkin


With SHElife coming up tomorrow I wanted to read some Not a Fan with Janet so she had it fresh in her head to discuss. The result was an awesome discussion on do we know about Jesus or do we know Jesus. Makes me kind of want to be at their table tomorrow night, Janet was really into it. I asked her to make notes on the iPad so she’d remember for tomorrow but she chose the old fashioned pen and paper routine. She wrote down four sentences then realized she couldn’t read her writing and stopped. Instead of switching to the iPad she insisted on watching The Voice so that was that. Half an hour into our TV time Janet was starting to fade and sat there for quite a while with a mouth full of water. She was out of it enough to have an almost scary choking episode. Since it was only water she was able to clear it but it took some effort and I cautioned her seriously to stop holding water so long in her mouth before swallowing. She didn’t seem phased by it at all and thinks I’m silly for being so concerned.

Paying for a great night of sleep and an active day of learning tomorrow.

The Team Save Janet Report is Out! #TSJ #improving #cauliflower

Jess brought Janet into KGH this morning for the monthly chat with Dr. Miller. I met them there and after a few of the Rehab nurses said their hellos to my rock star wife we sat down with the doc. Janet continues to impress with her improved speech, memory and overall brightness. She very happily told him about our house purchase and was able to answer a lot of questions pertaining to recent history that seemed to impress Dr. Miller the most. He seemed surprised at some of the responses he got. Dr. Miller isn’t focused on Janet’s physical rehab but when Jess got Janet standing by herself for a couple minutes his face lit up and he really laid out all the positive things Janet has accomplished, hopefully boosting her confidence. It was a pleasurable meeting that even Janet agreed was worth while.

Janet returned to Connect with Jess in time for a quick lunch then singing with John. She was later able to describe the lunch she had and tell me that singing was fun. I’m not sure how much of a nap she had as she was wide awake and eager to get up when I walked in. Cam arrived a few minutes later and Janet really enjoyed him hanging out with her for a couple hours. We went for a nice walk and Janet gave Cam a little tour of Connect. Janet at one point had a had time remembering Cam’s name and called him Richard, Ricardo, Rick, Mike, Andrew and then very laughingly, Cauliflower. Brilliant. Dinner was a disappointment tonight but Janet made up for it with some fresh vegetables and an apple and she still had lots of strength for the Shuttle. Despite her dislike of “the whole thing” she is getting stronger on a weekly basis. Curtis did some sit to stand exercises with her and was able to adjust Janet’s grip on the pole to where she is forced to use her legs almost exclusively to stand up. You could see the difference immediately as Janet favored her left leg but with some coaching got some weight through the right one as well. She stood nice and tall in the Standing Frame tonight giving a really good stretch to those hamstrings.

Another good day for Janet with obvious signs of improvement. She is starting to complain about her splint occasionally and I’m not sure if the Botox is wearing off or what but we’ll check it out with Julie soon. Praying for lots of energy for tomorrow’s activities.