As expected, Janet was partying the afternoon away as I arrived at Connect today. A large crowd turned out to wish Fred well on his move to Connect Langley. Janet had helped Jess make a cake for the event and it was being devoured when I walked in. I surprised Janet a little as she was quite focused on her cake but also enjoying the festivities. Her and Fred got along really well right from day one at Connect and we will miss him.
After the party I gave Janet the choice of going to the gym or having a nap. She chose nap and actually had one for over an hour. It was pizza night at Connect which seemed like it would be a lot of fun. Unfortunately, someone tried making the pizza dough from scratch and that caused a little stress during prep time which prevented anyone from helping which to me is half the fun of at home pizza. By the time it was ready everyone thought it was delicious and Janet even asked for seconds. A first.
Having had a little time to digest Janet reluctantly agreed to go to the gym. It was more like she knew I wasn’t backing down this time. A new staff member, Tiffany, joined us to try and get to know Janet a little better. She got to see pretty much every mood Janet can have. I promised Janet this session would not be long or particularly difficult but I don’t think she was convinced. After an excellent sliding board transfer onto the table mat we started some leg stretches. I haven’t done this with Janet for a long time which made it good for Tiffany as we reviewed the instructional videos on the computer before starting anything. I was disappointed with how stiff Janet was but don’t think that’s her norm as no one has commented on her tightening up anymore recently. Janet had a little breakdown on the Shuttle but actually performed quite well on it. If we could get those hamstrings to relax she’d be on her way.
That was not the greatest workout ever but at least we got her in there before the weekend and I was able to use that experience to help her with standing transfers tonight. She managed one at home tonight where I really could feel her using her legs most of the time. They still are mostly lifts as opposed to transfers but its something for her to work on.
We got home just in time for dessert after saying goodby to Fred. Janet gave him two happy face lollypops as he played bingo with a bunch of people in the neighboring house. That happens every Friday night and combined with the pizza makes for a compelling reason to have Janet stay Fridays. We’ll see. Janet’s nighttime routine went really well and she settled into her own bed quite willingly. There was one funny moment of confusion just before dessert. Janet was playing ball with Nash and as I was about to feed him I asked her to tell him to sit. I spelled out the word sit so the command could come from her instead of me. She spoke loudly and firmly to him but said “come on Cameron, S I T now, come on, S I T”. She even laughed out loud when she realized what she’d said. I’d be worried about it but she often got Cam and Nash mixed up before getting sick. All is well.
Praying for lots of rest tonight and a productive day tomorrow.
Once again Janet was in the living room at Connect when I arrived this afternoon. She had not had a nap and said she was waiting for me before having one. I told her I delayed my arrival today in hopes she would be well into her nap and I would join her for the last little bit. She laughed and I accepted her excuse as I wasn’t feeling that great this morning and welcomed the opportunity to lay down for a bit. Janet was quiet for maybe fifteen minutes but I sensed nowhere near sleeping, then wouldn’t stop talking. She demonstrated an arm exercise she had done in the gym earlier and talked a lot about swimming tomorrow and music therapy. I don’t think she’s getting worked up about either one, she just knows tomorrow is a busy day.
I let Janet get up from the right side of the bed for a change and after I helped get her right foot over the edge she used her abs to sit herself up. High five! It actually seemed easier for her than pushing with her arm on the left side but I really had to help get the leg over where as on the other side she can do it herself sometimes. Our first task was to have a Skype chat with Leslie. While we were waiting I went to get waters for us and Janet asked if she should say hi first or Leslie. I explained we weren’t calling until I got back but thought that was really good awareness to ask that. The conversation went well for the first fifteen minutes then Janet started to lose focus. We are excited that Leslie and Gavin are coming out to visit at the end of June as in person chats are always better than Skype.
Janet helped set the table for dinner tonight then ate a big bowl of pasta that Chris made. Pretty cool to see him standing at the stove making dinner. Could be Janet one day? Garrett and I convinced Janet to go to the gym for some leg stretches. She only had a minor breakdown regarding the gym tonight as I was able to commend her on the good workout Lorne gave her in the morning and how much better she’s doing her “standing” transfers today. It seems like giving her tangible evidence of why to do something weighs big for her. We also made it fun with Garrett challenging her to make her own way to the gym. She had a little break in her room then I sent her off. She immediately turned right out of her room as that’s the way she goes 99% of the time so after I corrected her on that she took off. I stayed back and spied on her as she slowly but surely made her way all the way to the gym. She never crashed into one wall and kept propelling herself with her foot and by using her hand on the wheelchair wheel. Something I constantly have to remind her about when I’m with her. She overshot the gym door as it’s on her right side so that was expected and then went in for a good stretch with Garrett.
After her workout, Brian, Garrett and I had a good chat about Janet’s Mondays. She is definitely not at her best on Mondays and I am concerned that the weekends at home are too much for her as Monday has turned into a catch up day. Now that she has swimming Monday mornings the routine has changed and if I can get her to bed in decent time Sunday night that may help. We agreed to have me take her home later on Fridays so she can get another gym session in before the weekend and I will try and do a little stretching at home with her. Janet continues to improve her conversation abilities and her overall awareness although her volume level was low for me today. Jess said she was talking well this morning.
We read some more Slow Dance before bed and Janet picked up right away on the description of the ladies dog getting all depressed when he saw a suitcase getting packed. Our dog has always behaved that way and Janet recognized that without help. We got some bittersweet news today. We knew it was coming but had hoped it wouldn’t be this soon, at least that’s how I feel. Fred will be moving to a Connect facility in Langley this Sunday. He has been a reliable source of laughter from day one at Connect and it has been a privilege to watch him progress. This is a good move for him but he will be missed. Praying for lots of rest tonight in preparation for a busy day tomorrow.