Janet, A Success Story. December 10. #TSJ #Independence

Its still too early to nail down any sort of routine for Janet living at home full time. Each week brings different appointments and responsibilities so in that regard Janet has been kept busy in various ways. Since the craziness of her homecoming weekend there hasn’t been a day without something significant going on.

I’ve backed off on taking Janet to H2O as often as I’d like as there is already some resistance developing and I want Janet to want to go. It’s not always fun working out but I hope to get her to the point where she sees the benefit and is willing to go without hesitation. The times we have been have taught us it takes a lot longer for her to go through every element than we thought. If Janet does everything on her list, it’s a good two and half hour outing, which is fine, we just have to figure out how to fit things into the rest of the day.

A friend of ours recently asked if we would meet with the mother of a young lady in KGH who is going through a similar situation that Janet did. Janet was all over the opportunity to share and encourage and has twice been to the young lady’s room to read to her or just hang out. It has been very cool to watch Janet in that hospital room knowing she was there two and a half years ago. She’s handling it very well and wants to go regularly, each time we are there also provides an encounter with someone who cared for Janet back then. She has received lots of “wow, look at you” and “you look great” and “I’m so happy to see you”. So much so that I think she’s actually starting to believe those compliments. Janet laughs each time we meet someone as it happens all over the hospital and she repeatedly comments that “we can’t go anywhere without being recognized”. Celeb.

Continuing in the spirit of sharing and encouraging, Janet went back to Connect today to sing with Debra. She dreaded the drive out there even though she was only visiting. Too many bad memories still. When she arrived though, it was all smiles. We spent a half hour with Debra singing Christmas songs and Debra would like to do it again next week and Janet is happy about that. Singing was an amazing tool for Janet and I can see the benefits to Debra already as she smiled and laughed a lot.

Christmas Sing Along with Janet

Christmas Sing Along with Janet

A major goal for Janet being at home is to be as independent as possible and she took a huge step in that direction today. I’ve left her home alone a few times so far for various lengths of time and with different projects to attempt. Tonight, at her request, she was to make chocolate haystacks while I worked at the church for a few hours. Never before have I even considered leaving Janet to cook anything unattended but she was really wanting to try this, so after dinner, a reading of the recipe and a walkthrough of the procedures, I left. To fill out the time I would be away Janet chose to watch a movie then do her baking. I fully expected a phone call anytime the whole time I was away and was tempted to call her myself but didn’t. When I got home three hours later Janet was standing at the sink with a huge grin on her face washing the pot she’d used for the haystacks. The house smelled like chocolate and a nice collection of tasty treats were cooling on the island.


She did it! She followed the recipe, except for the coconut, operated the cooktop and cleaned up after herself, all by herself! Amazing! So happy!


With all that said, things are going well at home so far. Our Christmas vacation to San Diego is approaching and that will become the focus next week I’m sure. Alyssa and I hope to get Janet in the pool Friday as well as find a way to make exercise more fun for her. Praying for Janet’s confidence to keep growing.

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

Renovation Day 37. Flooring guys are making huge progress and have only the Den/second bedroom left to do. I’m sleeping on the new floor in the master bedroom and have been able to ditch the tarp I had under me to protect the mats from being punctured. The plumber was here today as well and will return Friday to finish his part of the job. Randy was busy off site building vanities and shelves while I was able to do more electrical stuff.

Janet had an early appointment at KGH with Julie to adjust her splint so I went out to Connect to get her for that. Jess had her ready and Janet was bright and cheery and knew what we were doing. Julie was impressed by the effect the Botox has had on Janet’s right wrist and fingers. They are very relaxed and easily stretched so she was able to reshape the splint to a fairly flat profile which happens to fit in the sleeve of Janet’s new jacket. As planned.

We stopped by the house quickly so Janet could see the new floor. She’s very happy. I returned her to Connect so her and Jess could make Apple Danish for SHElife tonight. When I returned at four Janet was still in bed, she said she’d been there a long time but hadn’t slept. According to the staff notes, she went to lay down at one and Janet said she didn’t ring for help as she didn’t want to bother anyone. Gotta work on changing that. She very excitedly told me about a little test Mary Lou gave her today during Speech. It sounded a lot like the one Connie gave her way back when she first went to Rehab. Mary Lou had given the same test when Janet arrived at Connect almost eleven months ago and she failed it miserably. Janet was very proud to tell me she “got them all right today” and patted herself on the back. High five!

Before leaving for the evening Janet managed to squeeze in a short and outstanding bike ride, again patting herself on the back. The successes continued over dinner as Janet had excellent control of her chop sticks tonight. All reports are that SHElife was good and Janet felt she contributed fine and enjoyed the discussion. So ends another busy and successful day. Praying for a night of deep and healing sleep and for Janet to gain complete control of her right leg.