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Janet, A Success Story. October 22. #TSJ

Today was the big reading day for Janet and she got herself pretty wound up about it. She called me before lunch sounding really anxious and wondering when I was coming to get her. I calmed her down and explained how the day would unfold and she agreed to try and rest a little before I got there. That’s where I found her an hour later and I helped her get ready to go. She was excited but nervous.

When we got to the preschool Janet met her first challenge, a flight of twenty stairs. Pretty steep too but Janet gathered her energy and using my hand as a railing because the real one was too low, she made it all the way up just fine. Inside, it was all very familiar territory for Janet. So much so that she didn’t really even want to look around saying, “its the same old stuff”. It wasn’t, but it was familiar. About twenty, three and four year olds were gathered at Janet’s feet, and with a teacher holding the book, Janet dove right in. She started off great! Nice and loud, engaging with the kids, then something happened that threw Janet off and she never really recovered. It wasn’t a case of going to fast or making it up as she went along, she just seemed to loose focus enough to take her out of her rhythm. She made it through the book and the kids were very well behaved the whole time so based on that I think she passed. We’ll let Mary Lou watch the video and decide officially.

Janet was very relieved when it was over and not too happy with the way she read but agreed that she did it and the kids didn’t tune out so that was good. The experience did take a lot out of her though and once we got home she called nap time and slept for a good hour.

Once up I put her to work in the kitchen where she did a great job chopping and stir frying stuff for chicken fajitas. I never thought it would feel as cool as it does to stand at the kitchen sink with Janet and wash dishes but it does and I told her so tonight. That got the predictable self doubt response but hopefully inside it told her how well she’s doing. Janet got to relax and watch The Voice with some ice cream before driving back to Connect tonight and didn’t even complain about that. A successful day for Janet and one she can build on for the future. She worked hard to get ready for that reading gig and can be happy with her accomplishment.

Praying for a restful night and a confident and energetic Thursday.

Janet, A Success Story. October 7. #TSJ

Seemingly a bit grumpy, I took Janet out for a nice long walk in the sunshine this afternoon. She didn’t believe me it was warm outside so she refused one last chance at wearing shorts. The sun did her a lot of good though and set her up well for the rest of the evening.

The morning consisted of an intense workout with Curtis that lasted into the usual lunch hour so by the time Janet called me it was after two and she was just heading for a nap. That may have been part of the reason for the grumpiness. Full of sunshine nearing dinner time Janet actually suggested she do her laundry and willingly walked to the laundry room where I coached her through most of the steps. Chelsea was working on her own tonight so while she was busy after dinner I asked Janet to help me clean up the kitchen. After some initial resistance she jumped in and did a good job. There was no Games Night tonight as no one was there to run it. Janet, of course didn’t mind. That time was filled nicely with the kitchen clean up and putting away laundry, things that Janet will do and not realize she’s doing therapy. Her walking tonight was less confident than usual but having to carry things to put them away and turn in tight spaces was really good practice for her and she did well.

Tired after all those chores Janet and I sat with Wes and Chelsea and watched a little of a baseball playoff game. That just made Janet more tired so she got herself ready for bed early. She used to complain when asked to undress and put her pjs on and it is difficult for her but she hasn’t argued with me for a while and is getting better and better at it. Its fun to watch her figure out ways to put things on. The wheels are turning and she’s getting good results.

Praying for a restful sleep and a fun Wednesday.

Janet, A Success Story. August 31. #TSJ Homestretch

Hard to believe August is over. The home stretch begins now for Janet as her goals for coming home full time get closer and closer. September promises to be challenging and busy but not without some fun too.

This past weekend Janet worked hard on her distance walking, each day doing a 400 meter circuit that her legs told her they felt. We weren’t focused on the timing so much as getting used to the distance and Janet did the first 200 meters using her cane then the last 200 holding my hand so she could pick up the pace a little. I had to coax her out the door to do these walks but Janet felt good about completing each one. Her stride continues to improve and will do so more once her AFO gets adjusted. For the first time ever, I was able to bring myself to not supervise Janet as she walked from the kitchen, down the steps to the garage and into the car by herself. I simply told her I’d meet her at the car and when I got there she was in it with a big smile on her face saying “I did it all by myself!” High five!

Relaxing was the desired outcome of the weekend for Janet again but I managed to get her to help out a lot in the kitchen and do as much for herself as possible. She practiced the laundry machines and the cooktop as well as getting the dog a treat. Janet is getting very good at rinsing and stacking dishes while I wash and can do most of the emptying the dishwasher except for some things she can’t reach to put away. We have some tweaking to do still on where kitchen stuff should go so Janet can access it and will consult Brian as soon as he’s able to come over and do an assessment for us.

Janet was able to relax and watch a lot of tennis this weekend and really gets caught up in the personal stories and struggles of the players as well as the drama of a good match. It’s a great sport for her to watch as she can follow the game well and really see the players as they aren’t covered by helmets and stuff.

Returning to Connect tonight went smoothly probably because Janet knows she’ll be back home Tuesday so I can take her to her Botox appointment Wednesday morning then we are going to Seattle for a few days to watch the Seahawks play some real football. So, a little pain and a lot of fun this week. Praying for Janet to sleep well tonight and have lots of energy for a productive Monday.

Janet, A Success Story. May 2. #TSJ

This was a bonus day for Janet in many ways. Home a day earlier than usual, no gym to go to and a beautiful summer type day outside. It was my intention to make sure Janet got time in the sun today and she did. Breakfast and lunch were outside as was most of the afternoon. I did have her working this morning though more mentally than physically. She made her own breakfast, made the bed, put away laundry and dusted in the living room, all while I went grocery shopping. High five!

Janet did her chores from her wheelchair with her iPhone playing music for her and she was singing along when I got home. She was pleased at being able to be helpful and combined with her hard work at Connect yesterday she deserved a day off. We sat outside for a long lunch before Janet had a nap so she’d have energy for our Wine Club gathering tonight.

We had been in summer mode most of the day so were a little behind when people started arriving for the evening but since Janet is able to help all was well. It was our largest crowd yet and Janet enjoyed the conversations and wine but cautioned that five wines was a bit too much for her. She did stay more focussed than the previous two times and responded well when I invited her comments on the wines we were tasting.

To wind down the evening Janet enjoyed some ice cream and a little TV and is looking forward to maybe some shoe shopping and visiting John tomorrow, things she needed no prompting to remember were on our schedule.

Praying for a productive Saturday.

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

A bright sunny morning helped Janet and I get up and at em today albeit with no set agenda. After breakfast while watching Canada win gold and silver in Women’s Moguls we cleaned up from our wine club gathering last night with Janet able to empty the dishwasher full of wine glasses and also help me shrink the dining table back to every day size. We scanned a whole bunch more old photos into the computer with Janet manning the scanner again and doing what I believe has been a good job of identifying people and approximate dates of photos. We had some laughs and got a lot done before nap time that was spent more in reading than napping.

Janet executed a very nice transfer from her wheelchair to her seat in church tonight especially the side stepping part. She was very confident and well balanced, in fact all of her transfers were like that today with her only challenge remaining control of her right leg. I sense a little more muscle activity there but that doesn’t seem to be equating to an increase in control yet.

It has been a while since we brought home sushi for dinner and watched a movie and Janet was happy to do so tonight. We watched Captain Phillips and although it is not a Janet movie she enjoyed it and didn’t find it to be too scary or violent. A little wound up afterwards it was good the Olympics were on and we stayed up too late watching the Men’s Downhill partly so Janet could “forget” the movie.

Praying for a night of deep and healing sleep and for a productive day tomorrow.

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

Garrett took Janet, Wes and Umberto to Vernon this morning in hopes of seeing the hot air balloon launch for the Winter Carnival. We haven’t had much winter here this year except for today of course so the balloon launch was cancelled. Janet said she really enjoyed the outing “with the guys” and they stopped at a local coffee shop to make the trip worth while.

The down side of an outing like that means no gym for Janet today but she was in such a good mood I wasn’t about to risk ruining it. Once we got home she agreed to a nap in order to be rested for the inaugural meeting of our wine club tonight. Janet was very excited about this gathering and therefore only slept for twenty minutes or so as she kept thinking people were coming over any minute. She was a big help in making dinner and getting ready for the wine club. By the time people arrived I think Janet started to feel a little overwhelmed as she was kind of quiet most of the time. She did speak up a few times though and told me afterward that she really enjoyed the evening and thought it went well.

Praying for a night of uninterrupted sleep and lots of energy for tomorrow.

Helpful #TSJ

I took my time before going out to pick up Janet today knowing she’d be home all weekend. After doing some minor chores around the house I went for my first bike ride of the year. It was a beautiful sunny day and warm enough for shorts. Barely.

Janet was waiting patiently in the living room for me and after a final check of the wound care protocol we took off for home. We got there a little too late for a walk as the sun still sets a little too early so Janet played with Nash for a bit while I got things set for dinner. My plan for this weekend is to have Janet help out around the house as much as possible and tonight was a good start. She set the table for us and with no coaching got it all right except for missing forks and putting the knives and spoons on the wrong side. She pulled salad ingredients out of the fridge for us and I taught her how to tear the lettuce with one hand. She caught on really fast and after I chopped the peppers and tomatoes she added the croutons and tossed it all up. High five! Putting things back where they came from was a little challenging for her and she needed quite a bit of coaching on that. She also needed some help when it came to eating as well tonight. We had penne with meatballs thinking that would be easier to eat than spaghetti. But she struggled with the concept of stabbing with her fork, she always wants to scoop.

Friday night is turning into movie night for us and while scrolling through titles we came across The Kids Are Alright. I asked Janet if she remembered seeing it before and she said no but as I contained scrolling she said “there it is”. That was the one title she could read on the screen so we watched it “again”. Janet did not remember any of it but enjoyed it “again” and was able to give me a reasonable summary afterwards. Of course we paused about half way through for dessert. Vanilla frozen yogurt with butterscotch sauce is Janet’s new favorite.

The bedtime routine is a little longer now with having to change the dressing on her former peg site. It looks like its healing well to me. Janet fell asleep quickly and is looking forward to a fun day tomorrow. Praying for rest and healing tonight and recovery and learning tomorrow.