ice cream

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. May 30. #TSJ

Friday is Janet’s favourite day of the week. She was excited about it Thursday night and after a brief greeting this afternoon at Connect, her first words to me were “can we go now?” Since all her therapies were done for the day it was only a matter of packing a few things and we were gone.

Tonight was another meeting of our wine club and Janet helped me start to get ready for that when we got home then went for a good long nap. She took a while to fully wake up afterwards and I left her home alone while I went to pick up sushi for dinner. When I got back fifteen minutes later she was sipping on her water and singing along to the music I left on for her. Janet enjoyed what I think was her cleanest sushi dinner ever. That can be a messy meal but not tonight. By the time our guests arrived Janet seemed ready for a fun night.

I don’t spend much time with Janet at these gatherings. It’s a nice chance for her to talk with other people. I did notice she got a little quiet after a hour or so as there was a large group tonight which can be a little overwhelming but in the end Janet really enjoyed the evening.

Knowing Janet would want ice cream before bed I asked, and she quickly agreed and also asked if we could watch So You Think You Can Dance. We did, and stayed up too late but isn’t that what Fridays are for? Because of the party atmosphere there wasn’t a lot of walking going on but what Janet did was good and I noticed her memory was very sharp tonight as was her overall awareness, she knew the day, date and year without hesitation twice tonight.

Praying Janet sleeps well tonight and is ready for some fun in the sun tomorrow.

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

Renovation Day 26. I thought today would be the start of clean up time but it turned out to be more mess making. I decided to remove the vanity in the main bathroom so Dave the painter can work easier and Randy continued sanding his drywall work. I’m very glad I never went into that business before. Messy. We also discovered another decision I need Janet’s help with. Backsplashes. I never thought about it until Randy mentioned it today so shopping we go again.

My arrival at Connect once again coincided with Janet’s nap time and she was awake when I snuck in. She had been on a big adventure the first past of the day as Jess drove Wes to his house in Armstrong and took Janet along with her. Janet said Wes and Roz have a beautiful home and they had lunch there including a big piece of pie. She thought the whole trip was fun and when I asked her at the end of the night what the best part of the day was, it was the trip to Wes and Roz’s house.

It was quickly back to reality and a bike ride at the Connect gym. Janet set another personal best today and seems to be taking to the bike really well. Since she was on a road trip earlier we’ll have to call this the day off as there was only time for the bike ride before going to church. Janet once again sat in a pew with me and stood a couple different times during this service. We decided to try a local Lake Country restaurant called Routes Grill for dinner tonight and it was pretty good.Janet ate a huge portion continuing her theme for the day as Jess said she ate lots of pancakes for breakfast then had a huge lunch at Wes’s house. She is a growing girl after all.

With an ice cream treat and her meds we sat down and watched a little TV as Janet quickly ran out of steam again. It makes it a lot easier to say good night to her when I know she’s really tired and should fall asleep right away and that’s certainly been the case lately.

Praying for a long night of deep sleep and an increase in strength and control of her right leg.

Just Hanging Out. A nice sunny Saturday. #TSJ

Janet and I awoke to the sun streaming into the bedroom and just after Nash barked needlessly at some dog a block away. It was still nice to see the sun and the smile on Janet’s face as she is not as bothered by the dog as I am. She ordered bacon and eggs for breakfast and started with a bowl of yogurt and fresh strawberries and even drank her water without fussing. Without definite plans for the morning the choice was hers as to what we would do. A walk was tempting but it was too cold outside despite it looking like summer. Janet somehow remembered me mentioning cleaning out the rest of her closet and that’s what she chose to do. To make it more fun I hauled things out to the family room where we could enjoy the sun and have the basketball games on in the background. Janet made some good decisions and laughed at a few of the clothes we found. Lots went into donation bags and the last step we have is to try on pants and such to see if they fit her still. Most women seem to have shoe collections, Janet is definitely a shirt person, we even found some with the tags still on them.

At lunch Janet ate the neatest and cleanest I’ve seen yet. I had to help her with he last bit of soup only and I don’t think she dropped more than one crumb of her sandwich. Impressive. All day she did very well in the toileting department, and just before finishing her session before nap time she totally broke down. It was the fastest crash I’ve seen from her and I had to console her like a baby once she was in bed. Within ten minutes she was asleep and woke up almost two hours later bright and ready to go.

My former boss, Gordon, from CedarCreek, popped by for a glass of wine and a little visit and although Janet didn’t really know him well she enjoyed the chat. It could’ve been the 2011 Platinum Viognier we opened but I think it was just nice to sit in the sun and talk to another adult.

Dinner was kept simple tonight so we could watch basketball. Janet did a good job chopping onion and tried really hard to grate cheese but doesn’t seem able or to want to push down hard on things. She’s got the strength to do it just not the technique. Something to work on. My favorite basketball team lost their game tonight so I was sad but a nice ice cream dessert with Janet fixed that and I tucked her into bed shortly before ten after a pretty good day of just hanging out at home.

Praying for rest and healing, especially for the spasticity in her legs to go away.

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.

So Long Sunday #TSJ

Another good nights sleep at home for Janet. I think she woke up once during the night, smiled at me and went right back to sleep. I slept better too knowing she was doing fine. The pillow field I laid out for her to land on seems a bit extreme now which is good and I only noticed her rolling onto her right side, which is towards me so not much fear of her falling out of bed now.

Our morning started with her usual breakfast of fruit and yogurt, coffee and a bagel with peanut butter. Everything was finished in plenty of time to go to church. We enjoyed the service and stayed after to have lunch with the Tech Team. It’s such a nice feeling to be able to have Janet out at functions like that and nice for me to re-connect with a special group of people I miss being around. For this occasion Kiko had made some pulled pork and Janet liked it so much she had seconds as well as dessert. We got home just in time to Skype with Leslie, then Andrew. Janet is conversing so much better now and her voice is getting stronger and stronger. She still will get stuck on a word or short phrase and repeat it but also manages to come up with well constructed sentences and questions and her short term memory is improving as well. She even admitted during the chat with Andrew that she was really tired and agreed to have a lay down afterwards.

I had to wake Janet up forty five minutes later so we could have dinner before returning to Connect. She ate well but didn’t seem as enthused with the dinner tonight. Too simple for her I guess. Chicken strips and fries with fresh veggies. She did love the chocolate ice cream for dessert though. Janet had a good day as far as fluid intake goes, drinking coffee, pop and water as well as a cup of tea. I have no concern about meeting that two week target for taking the peg tube out. In fact we may have to do it sooner as when we got back to Connect she complained quite tearfully that it hurt her. I had not cleaned it all weekend so it was a little dirty but it’s been worse in the past so I think I rubbed it or pushed it when I lifted her out of the car. I asked Bob to have the morning crew check it and if it’s still really bothering Janet I’ll have nurse Jen take a look. I don’t think there’s a problem, it’s more likely whatever happened getting out of the car combined with her being really tired and being a little rushed to get into bed and Laurel leaving that all that was too much for her to handle then. I called Bob after dropping Laurel at the airport and he checked on Janet for me and called back to say she was just fine. It was a busy but fun day with a steadier pace than Saturday and I think it set Janet up well for the busy week that lies ahead.

It was a big help having Laurel here this weekend and good for Janet to have quality time with her daughter. The smiles and laughter and sharing time is great therapy. We look forward to seeing Heather in a couple weeks. Praying for a well deserved night of rest and healing and a fun day of recovery and learning tomorrow.

Sleep? #TSJ

I spent the first part of today watching Janet sleep as I had done most of the night and despite the ticking clock I had no intention of waking her. I was surprised how well she slept last night. She only woke up briefly a few times, once trying to grab the bedrail but of course she was grabbing me. I was awake a ton of times as I was in “mother mode” concerned all night that she was OK. I helped her turn onto her side a couple of times and other than that she had a peaceful nights sleep.

I was all set to make her eggs for breakfast, it would be a first as Janet didn’t like eggs before so I was kind of looking forward to it, but she chose fruit and yogurt instead and very excitedly accepted an offer to have her first toast and peanut butter. She even drank a glass of orange juice, something she never liked before. We got the warm clothes on and raced off to church. A nice surprise in today’s service was a brief wedding ceremony. A young couple with a story of overcoming addictions and bouncing around foster homes were married during the service as they had no means of getting married themselves and no family support and no real friends to witness the marriage. All 1,200 congregants acted as witnesses as the church rallied to support them in their new lives. Janet loved seeing the bride walk right past her at the start and then walk by again with her husband at the end. She even had a little tear in her eye when Wayne announced them as husband and wife. It was a nice moment and a solid demonstration of our faith community coming alongside people needing love, guidance and support. No mention from Janet that things were too long today. I think she enjoyed the whole thing.

Lunch was a bit of a rush as we had a two o’clock appointment to view a condo in a very interesting building. Joel and Kiko joined us as they live nearby and have been curious to see inside the place too. We all really liked it and I will investigate further to see if we should put in an offer. Janet liked it so much that when we were chatting with the realtor in the suite, she nodded off. I asked her if she felt so much at home she could sleep and she said yes. The place is called Invue and if any of you know anyone that owns a place there I’d love to talk to them.

We had a nice Skype chat with Andrew before dinner with Janet talking fairly well but still getting her words mixed up a little. She was surprised it was dinner time already but still ate it all including ice cream and the last Christmas brownie in the house. I carried a very full Janet out to the car for the drive back to Connect and once there got her settled in to bed where I’m sure she will sleep well without me. I gave Bob the weekend food report and was able to see that Janet’s vitals have been tracking really well the last while. I miss seeing those taken everyday but her numbers are in a good range so there is no need for that anymore.

Praying for rest and healing and thanking Jesus for the community we get to be a part of.