Janet, A Success Story. April 4. #TSJ

Surprisingly, Janet was in bed when I got to Connect to take her to her eye doctor appointment just after lunch today. Her morning was busy but not overly so with a light workout in the gym that included stretching of her right leg. A good sign that the pain there may be subsiding. The rest of the time was routine except for a couple of toileting errors that Janet is upset about. She went pee a lot today which is unusual for her but isn’t to the abnormal range yet and there’s no indication of any other symptoms suggesting a problem anywhere. Hopefully tomorrow is drier. Despite falling asleep as soon as she hit the pillow last night, Janet feels like she woke up in the middle of the night and didn’t sleep well after that which is why she was trying to nap at 1pm today. There was no time for such nonsense then so up she got and off we went.

Our Optometrist gave Janet a very thorough exam and noted some improvement in Janet’s vision from a year ago. We agreed that most of the improvement is from Janet compensating for her right side impairment better and just being way more aware over all. Her eyes remain healthy with some physical improvement and the doctor noted Janet’s vastly improved reading skills. To help with that some more Janet is getting a pair of reading glasses so she hopefully won’t get frustrated as fast as she does now.

Janet was deserving of a nap when we got home and took advantage of the opportunity for two hours. We had planned on a date night tonight but I sensed that Janet wasn’t in top form and after some discussion we agreed to get some take out and stay home. She was worried about having to go to the bathroom a lot and her energy level could have been a lot higher. We both really enjoyed our meal from Hector’s Casa, our neighbourhood Mexican restaurant, and along with watching The Voice it made for an enjoyable evening. Janet got the place to herself for an hour as I had to run out to Connect to get her new meds that arrived late in the afternoon and she handled that just fine. At the end of the night Janet agreed to walk from the couch to the bathroom but got a few steps in then had to pee so that ended that. Tomorrow will be different.

Praying for Janet to regain control of her toileting, for the pain to leave her right leg and for her to be able to do lots of walking this weekend.

Terrific Tuesday #TSJ

Janet had had another shower, finished her breakfast and was wheeling down the hall looking for help going to the bathroom when I arrived this morning. I reminded her she needs to use the pendant alarm to call for help instead of wheeling around looking for someone. She said ok. She laughed about having a shower this morning after having one last night too. I guess you can’t be too clean. After her bio break we took off for the eye doctor to see what she can see.

The test Janet did is a standard vision field test and was quite difficult for her. I can now see why Dr. McCann was reluctant to send her for one while she was in the hospital. If you’ve never had one, you stare at a little pin point of light in the centre of a vertical bowl while other pin points of light randomly flash around the bowl. You are to click a button every time you see one of those random flashes. Those flashes are fast but the test is not nor is Janet’s response time. Each eye took about nine minutes to test including a short break mid way through each eye so Janet could rest. Dr. Percival came in after to review the results and as expected Janet’s vision is noticeably stronger on the left side of each eye and in the lower half of the field of vision. He showed us an example of someone that suffered a stroke and how their entire right side of both eyes was blacked out initially then after six to eight months some vision was starting to return to those quadrants. I think Janet has been through a similar pattern and may still be changing so we’ll likely run the test again in three months. There is nothing medically that can be done to improve Janet’s vision but at last now we know what’s going on and can monitor any changes.

We spent the rest of the day at home having lunch, playing with Nash, doing a really good job of asking and going to the bathroom, having a long nap, Skypeing Mary/Gaga and Keith who are heading to Africa in a couple days, watching Pick a Puppy, rearranging furniture in the family room, having dinner and watching American Idol. My contribution to Janet’s rehab lately has been more involved with common things she would do around the house. One reason for moving the furniture around is to try and position a comfy chair for her to use instead of being in her wheelchair all the time. She can now get a treat for Nash out of the fridge by herself but her voice isn’t quite loud enough to get him to sit and wait while she puts it in his dish. The singing is helping with her volume and with her state of mind too. She always sings with a big smile on her face. She’s getting better at setting the table but her vision is hampering her a little there so I’m going to try and set things up in the drawers differently so she can see them better.

The drive back to Connect was fun with Janet singing a lot especially to The Carpenters, Close to You. Great moment. Praying for a good night of rest and an active day of learning tomorrow.

Good to See You #TSJ

Janet was very bright and cheery this morning when I arrived before taking her to the eye doctor. The dietician had already been and gone and Garrett reported that she had a little conversation with Janet and reviewed her chart and said all looked good, carry on. I was hoping to speak with her but maybe next time. Janet said she slept well and had a good breakfast. She knew we were going somewhere this morning but couldn’t remember where. I was encouraged by her responsiveness.

We had a good appointment with the eye doctor, spending an hour examining and chatting about Janet’s condition and he will prepare a detailed report for Connect over the next couple of days. From what I saw and from what he told me, Janet’s eyes are healthy, they are aligned almost perfectly with the left one maybe very slightly deviated but not nearly what it was a few months ago. There is a large floater in the right eye. This likely occurred at the time of the rupture or soon after and there is no treatment needed for it. Janet’s vision may or may not be affected by it and she may not even know it’s there. Janet is displaying some right side neglect and just how much will be determined when we do a vision field test next week. There was not enough time to do one today and the doctor wants Janet at her best and brightest to give the highest probability of success. Janet’s prescription is fine for now and her glasses are still good for distance as prescribed and she should not wear them for reading. With her glasses on Janet tested at 20/20 or close to it and she was able to read impressively well. As we have known for some time, she often gets stuck and repeats a word or number, she did that today a number of times during the exams and it was interesting to see the visual cues the doctor gave her to erase what she was stuck on and start fresh. Covering an eye briefly, looking up at the ceiling briefly or closing both eyes then re focusing. He would like us all to start teaching Janet some of these cues and feels she can regain a strong ability to read one day. She currently can go four to five words before stalling and that is impressive considering.

Home for a wintertime lunch of grilled cheese and tomato soup was next on the agenda followed by an afternoon nap. Yes, Janet slept for over thirty minutes this afternoon and quite deeply too. I had to wake her up so we could get back to Connect in time for a workout before dinner. We managed to Skype with Mary/Gaga before leaving and enjoyed a good conversation with her. Janet was pretty loud and was able to answer some questions about what she had been doing. I’ve noticed a real improvement in that area lately. Earlier in the day I had read an email to Janet sent to me from an elementary school friend of hers who found this blog and wanted to get in touch. Her name didn’t register with Janet when I first read it to her then when I told Mary/Gaga who very clearly remembered her, Janet’s memory kicked in as well. Her and Karen were close friends in grades five through eight and we look forward to at least virtually reinstating that friendship.

In the gym today we had only a small battle about working on the Shuttle. Janet gave in a worked hard with some good results. It helped to have Phil getting his first workout at the same time as the therapists encouraging him could be heard easily by Janet. Phil was with us at KGH Rehab and is doing really well. Glad to have him at Connect. Janet’s legs are quite tight, maybe tighter than the last time I worked with her but I still managed some pretty good range and she was able to do lots of movement in both herself. She gave two strong attempts at the stripper pole but was pretty tired so was not that successful. All of the transfers I did with her today were standing, except for the car, and she did very well with most of them.

Dinner was another beautiful Rikki creation followed by a nice warm shower, some reading of Slow Dance and a Janet initiated prayer. She was very tired and only managed “thank God for Andrew and his…” The rest was Klingon but I’m sure God understood. We prayed as always for rest, healing, restoration of the ability to walk, use of her right arm and hand, complete restoration of her vision and ability to talk loud all the time. Looking forward to a fun day of recovery tomorrow and a nice sushi dinner at home with Joel and Kiko. Thanking God for them and all the other cool people in our life.