Janet, A Success Story. November 11. #TSJ

Janet admitted to being grumpy at Connect again this morning. Apparently Jess had her doing something in the gym that Janet didn’t like so she wasn’t making much of an effort. Jess ended the session and Janet went to her room. She took advantage of the free time though to call her dad. They haven’t talked for quite a while so it was nice Janet took the initiative to do that. She said the conversation went well and she’ll try and call more often.

“Napping” when I got to her room, Janet gave me the run down of her day in a somewhat muddled manner. At the end of it one thing was clear, she hadn’t ridden the bike, so off we went. It was fun to watch Janet ride again and with the music playing she set a personal best for distance at a harder level than she normally rides at. She even said, “I’m getting better aren’t I”. Yes Janet you are. Her walking was good this evening as well, I did a little pulling with her and found her able to go at a good pace with very little pulling from me. More proof of improvement and Janet acknowledged that too. Another positive on the physical side came to light later on when Janet informed me that she was successful in picking something up off the floor with Jess this morning. She wasn’t sure what she picked up or how she did it when she couldn’t yesterday but was happy with the win.

Rude Janet made a brief appearance at dinner today and may have shown whats getting her into trouble during the day. Karl and Curtis worked hard making some pretty good fish and chips from scratch and Janet, before even trying it, loudly complained that it was “terrible” and “yucky”. I could see the disappointment on Curtis’s face and was a little embarrassed myself. Janet showed no remorse until long after when we were able to talk on our own. She eventually tried a couple bites then ate my dinner and I ate hers. Later on she promised to try really hard not to get into trouble tomorrow including being careful when and how she says things to people. There is a silver lining to this in that Janet used to just sit passively and take whatever came her way. Now she’s asserting herself more which is great, she just needs to watch the timing and the wording.

Games night was alright tonight but Janet is glad she only has a couple more to go to. We spent some time figuring out who to vote for in the municipal election and Janet agreed with me all the way, as she should. Kidding.

Praying for Janet to have a good night of rest and a positive, confident and cooperative Wednesday.

Janet, A Success Story. September 1. #TSJ

This was a pretty quiet Monday as Janet did her gym routine in the morning with Jess and Garrett. It didn’t sound like it was anything out of the ordinary and Janet even said the walking part was fine. I convinced her to walk up and down the stairs tonight and she did great, her best with me yet. Very quick going up and more confident coming down.

Janet very efficiently set the dinner table tonight and we enjoyed some sunshine during happy hour. Tennis was a big part of Janet’s day again as she called me early in the afternoon to say she was watching Genie Bouchard’s match. After dinner and the stair walking all she wanted to do was watch the Milos Raonic match. That made for a quiet evening but Janet enjoyed what she could stay up for but will be disappointed when she hears the result in the morning. I tried testing Janet a few times to see how much tennis knowledge she’s gaining and there is more of an understanding of the game and the players for sure. Sometimes though, its like she wasn’t even watching so I’m not ready to call her an expert yet.

After reading it was lights out time with Janet being quite giggly as I said goodnight. She is excited to be coming home tomorrow and really excited about the football game on Thursday. Since we are home then travelling, blog posts this week will be random so don’t freak if there isn’t one there when you wake up.

Praying that Janet sleeps well and has a productive Tuesday.

Janet, A Success Story. August 25. #TSJ

Today was a pretty reasonable Monday for Janet. Curtis coached her through the gym routine and challenged her to read The Hallo-Wiener to the Games Night group tomorrow. A challenge that Janet readily accepted surprisingly enough.

She had just made her way down to the living room as I arrived at Connect this afternoon and was quite chatty. We hung out there visiting with Wes and his wife Roz and got a surprise visit from former resident, Fred. He’s hear for a week away from Connect Langley and it was fun to have him around tonight. Janet liked how he livened up the place.

Chelsea and Karl, both from England, decided to make the house an English breakfast for dinner tonight. Sausages, baked beans, potatoes etc. You may have already guessed that didn’t go over well with Janet so she ate my shrimp linguini and I ate her sausages and beans. She sometimes is referred to as queen of the house and lived up to that tonight.

Janet may not be queen for long as we were told that a new resident moves in across the hall from Janet tomorrow and happily she’s a girl. Janet is looking forward to meeting her.

One exercise Janet did not get to this morning was the Shuttle so tonight I gave her the option of doing that or climbing the stairs instead. She chose stairs and went up and down all nineteen in good fashion, with a little sweat and a minimum of complaining. When given the choice of what to do the rest of the night Janet very nicely remembered there was tennis on TV so we watched some first round action of the US Open broken up by some speed walking to the bathroom and freestyle walking to get meds. A strong day.

Praying for an excellent night of sleep for Janet and the desire and ability to fully participate in her Tuesday.

Janet, A Success Story. June 12. #TSJ Home for a holiday.

And so it begins. Janet is home for the next ten nights, five here then five in Ottawa, and she is very excited. It was a good day of transition for her as she did an express version of her gym routine this morning then went with the rest of the house to a park in Vernon for a picnic lunch. She has a little trouble in figuring out what to wear for outings like that and ended up over dressed for what was a warm day even though it looked cool.

The "ducky" weather is coming.

The “ducky” weather is coming.

Getting a head start on nap time.

Getting a head start on nap time.

We packed Janet up after a brief nap and drove to her doctor’s for one last round of power washing her ears. Our car went through a power wash on the way as we hit a massive thunderstorm with some of the heaviest rain I’ve ever seen. Janet was actually a little nervous about it but by the time we hit Kelowna proper it was like it hadn’t rained at all. That’s why we live here folks.

Janet was very brave at the doctor’s and her ears are now squeaky clean. My plan for her at home and on the trip to Ottawa is to do as much walking as possible and use the wheelchair only when necessary. That began nicely as soon as we got home. Janet walked in from the car to the bathroom then out to the kitchen where she chopped veggies on her own for dinner. She seems to be at a perfect height sitting in a real chair at the island for chopping and stirring. Janet did an awesome job tonight and rewarded herself with a glass of wine with dinner.

I thought if we went for an after dinner walk we might see some of the neighbours but our after dinner is closer to a lot of folk’s bedtime around here so no one was out. It was nice to get some air before watching So You Think You Can Dance. Janet made some really intelligent remarks during the show and overall is showing more improvement in the memory and awareness department. Her walking tonight was solid and she did all of her nighttime stuff in the bathroom unassisted, with no wheelchair.

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

Janet, A Success Story. May 26. #TSJ

I considered having Janet attempt a wheelchair free night tonight and she was off to a great start until I suggested we go for a walk in the sun to watch some soccer. She’s not ready to actually walk long distances like that and is a little uncomfortable with uneven surfaces still. It was nice to sit in the sun with her for a bit after she put in a hard days work. JanetSoccer

Walking was the theme of the day today and Jess had Janet walk to the gym and back this morning. Janet is less resistant to longer walks like that as long as somebody is helping her and her conditioning has improved to the point where a walk that far no longer exhausts her. For me this afternoon and evening, Janet walked everywhere except the soccer field and that included two trips to the gym as well as back and forth to dinner. All those were with assistance because of the frequency and the fact she was going to workout in the gym but her trip to get her meds at the end of the night was done freestyle and in record time.

Her cognitive work of the day came in the form of reading an email then counting out and rolling up two rolls of nickels. I am enjoying reading One Hundred Years of Solitude but Janet just isn’t getting it so we are switching books again. We are going to try the newly released memoir of Toni Braxton called Unbreak My Heart. Janet really likes Toni Braxton’s music and is excited to read her story.

Praying for a night of rejuvenating sleep and a productive Tuesday.

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

Wednesday started out fairly routine for Janet with a Speech session with Mary Lou after breakfast. They looked at the worksheets Janet had completed and Mary Lou decided it’s time for some harder ones. The rest of the session was spent talking and Janet described some of the things we went through as we moved houses. When she relayed that to me it was evident that she remembers a lot of it and can recall it too. Her visit to the gym included a bike ride and Standing Frame and maybe some walking but she couldn’t remember exactly.

In bed but wide awake when I arrived, Janet and I had a long chat before getting up to get ready for SheLife. During our chat I asked Janet if she had checked her emails today and she said no. I told her she has some so she should check more often. When she got up a half hour later she remembered to check them without prompting from me and only needed help unlocking the iPad screen on her way to her inbox. Progress.

Janet complained to me on the way to SheLife that someone has been helping her stand for the worship segment and she wants to do it herself. I suggested she practice when we get there. After dinner and a bathroom break we got to her table with only minutes to spare but Janet wanted to practice anyways. I did not intend for it to be a show but everyone seemed to be watching and they burst into applause as Janet stood all by herself. The former Janet would’ve been totally embarrassed at that point and there was a hint of that below a big smile and some nervous laughter. I believe that moment did a lot to encourage Janet and on the way back to Connect all she could talk about was how many people came up and hugged her and told her how happy they are to have her there and how they can’t wait to see her walk. Janet may not be learning much from the material being studied this session but tonight especially she received a whole lot of encouragement. Thank you ladies!!

By the time we returned to Connect it was bedtime with one of Janet’s last duties of the day being to straighten out her legs once she’s nice and flat on her back. Recently she’s been gaining enough control of her right leg to push it out after I give it a little kick start. Tonight I didn’t have to help at all. High five! After reading for twenty minutes or so Janet had drifted off having just enough energy to say she is enjoying the book more and more now. Thanking Jesus for all the kind people in our lives and praying for a confident and strong Janet.

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

No matter how we plan it, our day always seems to start later than intended and that was the case today. We were late enough in getting up that it actually worked in Janet’s favour. I had an appointment downtown that I thought would be our first stop while running a bunch of errands today. There was no need for Janet to be at this appointment and since we were running late I decided to go on my own and leave her to enjoy her toast and coffee in peace. I was gone for twenty seven minutes and I think Janet was disappointed it wasn’t longer. She enjoyed being on her own and was happily sipping coffee, watching The Marilyn Denis Show after finishing her toast and putting the plate in the dishwasher. High five I guess. I’m not really ready to make a habit of this but it’s nice to know she feels confident being on her own.

When we finally did get to running our errands it was well past lunch time and Janet kept saying “so what” about lunch and refused to bother with any. I was concerned about that when we got to Connect for a gym session but she insisted she didn’t need any lunch and rolled right to it with Curtis and I. Garrett and Curtis seemed genuinely pleased to see Janet and eagerly assisted in the gym putting Janet through a full workout. Janet showed signs of being away from the gym for over a week and was noticeably slower on the bike but that was after lots of stretching and a good session on the Shuttle. It will be good to get her back into the groove next week.

Janet vetoed my suggestion for dinner and requested her favourite, pizza and salad. I agreed knowing she could help make that. She was on the ball in gathering ingredients from the fridge and gadgets from the cupboards and drawers and did a good job helping. Needless to say there wasn’t a crumb left on her plate at the end of dinner and the lack of a nap was starting to show as well. The house hadn’t been vacuumed since before Christmas and there was a pile of dishes to do so there was no time for rest yet. Janet accepted the job of vacuuming and did a decent job. She’s getting better at spotting dirt on the floor and even thought to vacuum the top of the coffee table and the shelf the toaster over sits on. High five.

With the house a lot cleaner it was time to clean Janet. Even she was complaining that her hair needed washing and she hates showers. I gave her a bath last week and today got a handheld shower head rigged in our bathroom so we could try that in hopes it would be faster and easier to wash her hair. It worked well but Janet complained of being cold so next time I think we’ll combine the two methods and see what happens.

The work was finally done and Janet was happy to sit down with a bowl of ice cream and watch a little TV before bed. She lasted long enough to finish the ice cream and that was about it. Praying for a night of deep, healing and uninterrupted sleep that provides lots of energy, a positive attitude and a willingness to participate fully in everything we do tomorrow.

The Team Save Janet Report is Out! #TSJ #workout #moving

I snuck into Janet’s room this afternoon and managed to not wake her as she enjoyed a well deserved afternoon nap. Her morning had been busy with the usual Tuesday routine followed by singing with John. Not quite as tiring as swimming but enough to warrant a nap. We had a nice chat when she woke up around 3:30 and then sat in the sun on the patio and talked some more. Janet’s memory is really improving and a good example of that today was when she spontaneously told me that Garrett was changing shifts so he’d be working days starting next week. She had been told that earlier in the day and it stuck. She pretty much always gets the day of the week right with me now and usually knows roughly what she is doing that day as well. Her attitude towards the gym has shifted from hating and fighting against going to disliking but going anyways and given the choice of when to go today she chose before dinner.

The Shuttle is working well for Janet and she had another strong workout on it this afternoon, some of her best sets to date. Garrett came in after a while and gave Janet a good stretch, something we need to do more consistently. Standing on her own for over three minutes, Janet did a great job shifting her weight between her right and left leg. She’s still quite nervous about falling but gaining confidence for sure.

Our after dinner walk was nice and sunny but with the temperature in the low twenties and a breeze blowing, Janet had goose bumps when we were out of the sun and with the shorter days its getting harder to stay in the sun. Might have to switch to before dinner walks soon.

It was Andrew’s birthday today so we had a little Skype chat with him. Janet talked very well and nicely updated Andrew on our house sale situation. The Standing Frame rounded out the night with Janet correctly announcing when it was time to get down.

Today was a solid day for Janet with good workouts, good conversations and clear signs of improvement. Praying for deep and healing sleep tonight and lots of energy for tomorrow.

She’s a Real Stand Up Kind of Girl. A day of successes for Janet. #TSJ

Today was one of those days where everything seemed to go right for Janet. It started this morning in the gym with Tez, Joel and Lorne.

That’s Lorne with Janet as she stands in the standing frame for the first time at Connect. Tez was pleasantly surprised at how well Janet can stand and weight bear through her legs. She is really improving in that area thanks to her hard work in the gym and the Botox. Tez even had Janet standing on her own, balancing herself with her butt up against the edge of the table mat. I’m really impressed by that one and will credit the work in the pool with helping her to figure out how to do that. Lorne took Janet for a walk outside in the standing frame so she wouldn’t get bored as Tez wanted her in there for twenty minutes or so. I remember seeing Fred and Chris use this apparatus and hoping Janet would get a chance one day. I didn’t expect it to be this soon.

I had a good chat with Lorne, Jess, Tez, Brian and Joel when I arrived this afternoon and everyone seemed excited for Janet’s achievements with Tez wanting her to use the bike this evening as he believes she’s ready for that. He recommends keeping the pool sessions going and trying to get Janet into our hot tub as much as possible. They are two different types of therapy and Janet will benefit from both. To simplify our schedule I will see if we can change the Thursdays to Fridays so we can just go home from the pool. Jess said she put Janet to bed amidst much protest over an hour earlier so I quietly entered her room to see how she was and this is how I found her.

Not exactly Houdieno but if she starts believing she can walk, watch out!

Janet was in a very good mood as she gave me her account of the day. She still downplays her achievements but not to the degree she has in the past. Tez stopped by to show me how well she can stand using a slightly different technique than I was using. It gives more responsiblity to Janet and Tez suggests doing it as an exercise a few times a day.

We made it outside for happy hour and a Skype chat with Mary Gaga. Garrett then suggested Janet go to the gym to try the bike before dinner and Janet accepted with no argument at all. There is a Keek of her first pedals, @larrylatour, and as you can see in this pic she was quite comfortable on the bike and had a really good first go at it.

Ideally she’d be able to pedal without the arm assist but for this session and probably the next while she will need it. I reminded her it’s not that different from the elliptical machine she used to use but she says she doesn’t remember that. As well as she did on the bike Janet didn’t seem all that impressed with herself but hopefully her attitude will improve with some more successes.

After her bike ride Janet BBQ’d herself a couple pieces of steak for dinner and gobbled them up along with her first corn on the cob in over a year. She loved it of course. We then had a little Skype chat with Andrew before reading some Slow Dance while Janet lounged in her wheelchair. I turned the lights out on a very content Janet tonight and pray she has a good night’s sleep and is ready for an active day tomorrow.

Another hole in the head. Janet goes to the dentist. #TSJ

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.