Each weekend gets more and more comfortable at home for Janet and like she belongs here. She does and soon she will be.
Friday started off with a little haircut from Chelsea then some grocery shopping. Janet was quite chatty with Chelsea and walked from the front door of the salon to her chair all by herself. I stayed back the entire time and let Janet explain what she wanted then watched her talk more than at any previous appointment. Coincidently, Courtney was Chelsea’s next appointment so we got to say a quick hello to her as we left. Thankfully the stores weren’t too busy so Janet was able to help a fair bit with the shopping and doesn’t seem to mind it much as long as we don’t spent too much time in the cold sections. In the evening we hosted our Small Group meeting and welcomed a new person to the group so we are now six and Janet enjoyed the conversation a lot. She wasn’t as assertive as the first meeting but contributed nicely from time to time.
Saturday had Janet practicing her laundry skills. She’s getting pretty good at it and we shot some video of her today that we’ll try and show Brian this week. I can see ways he could pass her and ways not too. Hopefully Janet can check that goal off this week. We got word today that her reading to the pre-schoolers will happen on Wednesday instead of Friday. Janet is a little nervous about it now but I’m confident that when the time comes she’ll do great. I was planning on taking Janet with me to a little wine tasting event at a friends house Saturday night but access to the house was too challenging so we turned it into a Janet staying home alone experience. She was more than happy to hang out at home and I was only gone for an hour and a half while she watched a recorded episode of So You Think You Can Dance.
There was walking practice every day this weekend and Janet improved her time on the 200 meter walk each day, breaking the eight minute mark today. These walks are with me pulling her along so they don’t count towards anything Tez will grade her on. I don’t see any changes in her freestyle walking around the house though, in fact Janet might be clinging to furniture even more now.
Tonight saw the usual resistance to going back to Connect but it was eased by a small understanding that soon she’ll be done there. Praying for rest, confidence and strength.
Wedding day could not have gone any better from Janet’s perspective. She woke up too early but easily nodded off again for a good long sleep in. There was no way she would get a nap that day so I was glad she slept in.
After a shower and breakfast it was time to start getting ready. Courtney did a great job with Janet’s hair before I took her over to Heather’s where all the girls were getting beautified.
The plan was that Janet would hang out until Heather had her dress on so that the Mother of the Bride could get a sneak peak, but in true girl fashion, things were running behind schedule so that never happened. Laurel applied some make up on Janet, she totally doesn’t need it, and after watching the bridal party get primped it was time for us to gather some of the rest of the family and get out to the wedding venue.
The weather was perfect and the Britannia Yacht Club surprisingly beautiful. I had no idea there was such a beautiful spot in Ottawa.
The guys were on time and the girls fashionably late and no one seemed to mind as we took in the scenery. Janet had long set the goal to walk at Heather’s wedding and she achieved that in spades. I thought she might be able to walk part way down the aisle with Heather during the ceremony but there really wasn’t room to do that and Heather wasn’t feeling too stable in her shoes to support Janet if needed. The compromise was for Janet to meet Heather at the front and take a few steps with her to meet Allan. That part worked well and was all Janet really wanted as she got a nice hug from her new son in law and said “goodbye honey” to her daughter which brought peels of laughter from everyone gathered. A solid Janet moment.
I walked with Janet down the aisle after the ceremony so we could congratulate the newlyweds and Janet stayed on her feet for a good half hour after that as we took pictures and visited with family. The reception was held on the upper floor of the yacht club and since their elevator was not completed yet Janet had the use of a human elevator to get up the long flight of stairs. Four of us carried her in her wheelchair like she was Cleopatra and got her into the party where she wasted no time in getting a glass of wine going. The room was the perfect size and decorated nicely, the staff were very professional and friendly. Janet ate a good dinner and was pumped up to give her surprise speech. She wrote and had been trying to memorize a speech for Heather and Allan for about a month now. I was confident she could get it locked into her memory and practicing in a quiet room she was getting close. In a room buzzing with the excitement of a wedding there was no way. Even with the written speech in front of her Janet was too excited to stick to the script. She made her point well though and earned another standing ovation.
The highlight of this day for me in relation to Janet had to be when we got to dance together. The “official” first dance was just ending and no one had joined in as they had been invited to so I grabbed Janet and out onto the floor we went. Heather and Allan were thrilled someone was willing to get things started and Janet got more comfortable after the dance floor filled up. She was able to get a little hip action going as well as move her feet while holding my hand. It was very exciting and something I’ll never forget.
As the party got louder and the room hotter Janet called it a night around 10:30 or so. She did amazing all day and I know she will remember this day for a long long time as it meant so much to her.
Praying for a life filled with love and happiness for Heather and Allan and thanking Jesus for Janet and all she is able to do.
The transition back to “work” for Janet seemed to go real well as when I got to Connect late this afternoon Janet gave me one of her best daily run downs ever. She seemed very bright and her memory was working almost shockingly well. According to her, all her exercises were done and the report she gave me was so good I didn’t feel a need to verify it.
By the time we were done talking and Janet was up and dressed it was dinner time. We ate outside in the beautiful 28 degree sunshine while the rest of the house sat in the freezing cold air conditioning. They think we are crazy. I think Janet may come home sooner if Connect is going to be so ridiculously cold.
In keeping with her increased brightness, Janet, on a number of occasions started walking around her room unassisted and without being asked. Her confidence level has never been higher I don’t think and it translated into me sometimes not even watching as she moved about her room. Considering she barely freestyle walked at all in Ottawa I was really surprised she attempted and did it so much today. Near the end of the night she relied on me more, even to the point of refusing to go to the kitchen from the living room for a cookie. Because I wouldn’t hold her hand she turned around in the middle of the floor and walked back to the couch, turned and sat all by herself. She thought she was depriving me of something I wanted her to do when in fact she practiced turning and sitting without hanging onto anything. I could not have gotten her to do that voluntarily and may have discovered a new strategy.
We spent some time reading and catching up on emails. Janet did a good job on all fronts especially typing where once she got warmed up was even hitting the space bar without prompting. A new thing for her.
The wedding of course is top of everyone’s discussion list with Janet and she was thrilled to sit and share some pictures with Chelsea and Karl tonight. She gets a little excited when doing things like that and sometimes skips over some detail she ought to point out and forgets names but all in all she did a good job describing each pic. She very smoothly recounted the great job Courtney did with her hair and laughed along with the rest of us at the pig tails that were put in to hold some hair out of the way for a bit. It’s nice to hear Janet laugh at things like that instead of commenting on how “awful” she thinks she looks.
Renovation Day 59. Randy continued his work from home routine getting cupboard doors ready for install. I hung a couple pictures this morning before meeting up with Janet.
Janet was already cold today before hitting the water for her swimming session so the initial shock wasn’t nearly as dramatic. Sticking to the deep pool again, Janet had her strongest swimming session ever today. There were a few lengths where I had to really work to keep up with her and her rolls from back to tummy to back were outstanding. She seemed somewhat accepting of my praise afterward and said she’d like to be a good swimmer again and wishes her right arm would work. Maybe it will but if not, she’s still a really good swimmer.
I think it was pretty obvious Janet needed a haircut today.
After a quick lunch stop I took her to see Chelsea to see if she could do anything with Janet’s mop. I was hoping for something radical like Demi Lovato’s neon blue hair but conservative Janet held true to form and this is the result.
Cute, clean and manageable. Thanks again Chelsea!
We did a little grocery shopping on the way home then started to plan our evening with which I’d hoped we would prepare for our House Dedication Party tomorrow. Janet was in clear need of a nap however and that cost us almost a couple of hours as there wasn’t much of anything quiet that I could do while she slept. When she woke at five thirty she had a hard time believing it was that late. Time flies when your snoozing.
After dinner we managed to check a few things off the list and knowing Janet really wanted to watch X Factor I called a stop to the work so we could do that then get to bed at a reasonable time knowing tomorrow is busy. Janet stretched out nice on the chaise lounge again and was very engaged in the show and thrilled we didn’t have to watch the commercials. Both of our contestants are out of the competition now but we will continue to watch.
Janet is figuring out her bathroom routine here but is having a little trouble using the bedside transfer pole to stand up. I think it’s because it’s on the opposite side from every pole she uses at Connect but part of it may be her reliance on her left arm. She tends to pull herself up a lot instead of pushing up with her legs. We may need some lessons in standing and sitting technique to get her back on track. Janet says the bed seems really comfy today so we’ll see how that goes over the next three nights. If she’s still saying that on Sunday I think we’ll keep it.
Praying for a night of uninterrupted sleep that provides lots of energy for a busy day tomorrow.