Janet, A Success Story. October 2. #TSJ

When I got to Connect this morning Janet was walking around her room putting laundry away. She had a big smile on her face and couldn’t wait to tell me she had done her walking test with Tez. I surmised by her look that it went well but had to wait for Jess to find out the official result as Janet tried telling me she did 190 meters. That would be nice and I believe will happen one day but today’s official result of 92 meters is outstanding and Janet accepted the praise she was given by everyone we saw today. I think I’m just as happy about that as I am the numbers. Tez will ponder Janet’s performance for a bit then recommend a new Get Out Of Connect Goal which I anticipate will be 200 meters.

Nothing pleases Janet more than leaving Connect and she gave her signature fist pump as we drove away for the coast to visit Brittney, Ethan, Julian and Ashley. Janet was more than happy to spend four hours in the car and travelled really well today. Her wheelchair and cane were in the car but not used except for the wheelchair once when the walk was just a little too far. We left Connect at 11:45 and got home at 1am and Janet never slept a wink the whole time. The visit with everyone went well with Janet and I really noticing how much busier everywhere is in Vancouver compared to here. We had some great sushi for dinner but the restaurant was crazy busy and loud. We got to watch Ethan at his swimming lessons and the pool was crazy busy and loud. Our last stop was Menchie’s and it was very smily as usual, except for Ethan when we wanted to take this picture.

He was happy before this, honest.

He was happy before this, honest.

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

Janet, A Success Story. September 7. #TSJ LOUD

It feels like forever since I posted on this blog so this may be a little wordy. Janet and I had a great almost week together at home and on the road as this seems to be the summer that never ends. That’s a good thing.

Janet went for her Botox appointment last Wednesday morning and tolerated the needles well. Dr. McCann is happy with her progress and will keep her on a four month rotation. It was clear we need to keep treating Janet’s right hand finger flexors as well as her right hamstring. Dr. McCann also gave Janet a referral to an outpatient physio program that is run out of the local Rec centres as opposed to the hospital so we will see if that will work for her once she’s home full time.

The first stop on our road trip was Bellingham Washington. The idea was to break up the driving to the Seahawks game on Thursday to allow for a rest period for Janet before the game. Janet was a good passenger for the five hours it took to get to our hotel with a few bathroom breaks along the way and a very short wait at the border. Driving to Seattle Thursday was a breeze with no bathroom breaks during that two hour trip and we were pleasantly surprised to find our room ready for us even though it was only 12:30. Janet agreed to a rest before going out into the football madness.

Quite a few years ago Janet went to her first Seahawks game and she didn’t really like it much as it was loud and “mean”. A lot has changed since then and Janet is a true fan who joined right in on all the game day fun. Even as we arrived at our hotel the streets were full of fans heading to the pre game festivities so by the time we joined them it was hard to manoeuvre Janet in her wheelchair without running into someone. Janet was amazed by the number of people in the area and marvelled when she first saw the stadium. The weather could not have been better but to be safe Janet wore jeans and sat on a little jacket that she ended up wearing for the last ten minutes of the game. Janet chose to enter the stadium early and watch the teams warm up rather than stay in the crowds outside. Good call as we were able to familiarize ourselves with the washrooms and I gave Janet a good tour of everywhere she could go in the stadium. She declined to walk down to field level though. Maybe next time.

Ready for some football!

Ready for some football!

The game itself was so much fun with Janet getting right into it being as loud as she could. I think she was as entertained by the crowd as much as she was by the game which she spent most of the time watching on the giant video board as it was hard for her to sort out what was happening on the field. As opposed to her first game Janet enjoyed the action and still can’t get over how loud the crowd is. It was a great experience and we may have to start a tradition of going to the home opener every year.
Our view of the action.

Our view of the action.

It's LOUD!

It’s LOUD!

This video will give you a little sense of what it’s like at the game. There’s nothing like being there though.

We took the long way home on Friday, after spending some time on the Seattle waterfront and at a favourite beach of ours in Bellevue then taking I-90 over the mountains before heading north to home. Janet had a tough time after leaving the beach as she was tired and never really got control of her need for bathroom breaks so that made for a long trip that also wasn’t as scenic as I had hoped.

Everyone has a pic like this right?

Everyone has a pic like this right?

Meydenbauer Beach Park

Meydenbauer Beach Park

With just enough rest Friday night we welcomed some long time friends of Janet’s to the house Saturday afternoon. Diane and Blake were in the area and stopped by for a nice visit that meant a lot to Janet. I could see the wheels turning as the discussion centred around kids and friends. After church Janet insisted on watching the finale of So You Think You Can Dance as she wanted “to see my guy win”. He did! I owe Janet a Menchie’s treat and very proud of herself for picking the winner. High five! To cap off the weekend Courtney hung out with us this afternoon to watch some tennis and get us caught up on her life. Always nice to have her around.
A nice visit with friends Blake and Diane.

A nice visit with friends Blake and Diane.

Another summer vacation is over for Janet and there were no complaints about this one not being relaxing enough and there wasn’t much protesting about returning to Connect tonight. Janet did a four hundred meter walk this afternoon and on our way back from the beach I was able to demonstrate the speed she needs to go to get 400 meters in six minutes. She was rocked by that a little and I think will put in a solid week of work as she wants to be home full time soon.

Janet, A Success Story. August 6. #TSJ Victoria

The last two days have been very full ones for Janet. Tuesday was travel day, as we drove to Nanaimo fearing we were leaving the sun and warmth behind. Turned out if followed us and we’ve enjoyed beautiful weather the whole time. Janet handled the five hour drive to West Vancouver very well, staying awake the whole time and requesting pee stops without prompting. I got a little nervous on one occasion when Janet asked as we were just motoring past a rest stop and I knew there wasn’t another for at least twenty minutes. She made it though. Trooper.

We had planned on being at Annette’s house in West Van around 1:30 but after leaving late, stopping for bathroom breaks and getting stuck in a traffic backlog from an accident it was three by the time we arrived. Annette presented us with a beautiful lunch on her nice sunny deck and Janet and I enjoyed a good visit before enduring the ferry ride to Nanaimo.

Since Janet had been sitting for the bulk of the day I made sure she walked as much as possible on the ferry. Once we got to our seats the wheelchair was parked and Janet made a couple trips to the bathroom as well as one long excursion to find a warmer seating area. She did really well considering the number of people she had to maneuver around and the unfamiliar territory she was in. Janet said she was nervous about it but by the end of the ride felt much better about it. In fact she didn’t use her wheelchair at all going back to the car to disembark. Once at mom’s, Janet was happy to enjoy a drink on the patio watching the setting sun before calling it a night.

Wednesday morning came really fast as Janet didn’t sleep well and was up by seven. That was fine though as we were able to take our time getting dressed and having breakfast and figuring out what to do. We settled on driving to Victoria to visit The Butchart Gardens, something my mom hasn’t been to in like forty years, me in twenty eight years and Janet never. It was a beautiful day to be there and a very tired Janet managed to enjoy it and even walk a few times during our visit. Even though Janet was super tired she agreed to go to Victoria Inner Harbour for a quick walk about. It’s gorgeous there and we couldn’t have picked a nicer day to do that.

Showing great stamina and a healthy appetite Janet was all in for a fish taco dinner at Pennys Palapa, a funky little barge on the water right outside from my mom’s building.

I was shocked Janet cleaned her plate but not surprised she still had room for an ice cream cone after. The fact it was Tiger flavour helped a lot.

So ends a very busy day with a prayer that Janet has a long and restful night of sleep and that we have a safe trip home tomorrow with Brittney and Ethan.

PS. Janet and I ask that you keep our friends Barb and Gary in your prayers over the next few days. Gary is scheduled for open heart surgery at KGH the morning of Monday August 11th.







Janet, A Success Story. March 9. #TSJ

Sunday arrived early thanks to Daylight Savings Time and our need to be on the 10:30 ferry to Vancouver. Janet was up with lots of energy probably because of her good night of sleep using the entire queen sized bed except for a few inches she kindly left for me. More justification for the king size we have at home.

The ferry ride was made more enjoyable by a massive pod of dolphins that crossed ahead, underneath and astern of us. I’ve never seen so many in one pod before, ever, here’s a little video but it doesn’t do what we saw justice at all. Very cool.

We met Brittney, Ethan and Julian for lunch in New Westminster before the long drive home. It had been a long time since we’ve been able to visit and we enjoyed our brief time together today. No surprise that Janet and Ethan got along as if they’ve known each other all his life and Janet lit right up as soon as she saw him. Call it what you will, there’s something special about Janet and little kids.
Janet Ethan 2
The drive to Kelowna was sunny and easy with Janet staying awake all but a few minutes. We stopped for dinner before the final leg to Connect and Janet faded fast as dinner progressed. There was only some minor complaining about going back and after reading for a bit she was all settled in and ready for a good night of sleep.

Janet enjoyed her weekend away saying her highlight was “seeing everyone again”. She did amazingly well on all of the driving, her transfers and walking continue to improve and I never once had to be concerned about toileting. She was on top of that situation the whole time. It was a fun weekend.

Praying for Janet to have a productive day tomorrow and all week.

Janet, A Success Story. March 8. #TSJ

Today was a day of visiting for Janet and I and it started with a chat in the lobby of Mom’s building with my third grade teacher Mrs. Brett. Janet thought it was hilarious that a teacher from that long ago would still ask about me. I guess she feels she’s the only celebrity in the family.

We drove in the torrential rain to Port Alberni for lunch with the cousins. Janet did well with the drive and had every reason why we moved to Kelowna validated as we sloshed our way along. It was well worth the effort as we got to spend time with some quality people whom we don’t see often enough. Thanks for lunch Marina! And thanks for taking time to hang with us, Richard, Tina, Brent and Kai.

The drive back to Nanaimo wasn’t quite as wet and Janet enjoyed a little nap before we took Mom out for a birthday dinner. The place Mom wanted to go turned out to be an Irish party pub type place so we diverted to the Bayshore Restaurant and had a very nice meal.

My second cousin Katie came over for a visit after dinner and once Janet saw her she remembered her from being at our house in Kelowna a year ago. More signs of improvement. It was really nice to chat with Katie and a good ending to a busy day of visiting for Janet. She hung in there very well, did some good walking and transfers, into the car especially. I’m trying to have her walk as much as possible now as I can see improvement in her balance and stepping ability.

Praying for an uninterrupted night of sleep where daylight savings time has no negative impact on Janet and a safe drive back to Kelowna tomorrow.