Sing Along #TSJ

A rare morning start for me today as I wanted to be sure we were able to Skype Cam for his birthday. Janet was finishing her after breakfast bio break and was quite cheery about it all when I arrived. This is the first time in a while I have seen her early in the morning and was impressed with how bright she was and how well she was talking. Garrett said that was typical. I was also impressed with how straight she stood up in the Arjo type machine that Garrett was transferring her with. All she needed was skis and poles and away she’d go. We ended up Skypeing Cam from a slightly noisy gym but Janet managed to sing happy birthday to him. Even after about four perfect practice runs she still called him Andrew when it came time for the real thing but she is no longer singing Karaoke style. It’s all her.

Janet’s workout was actually pretty good including a real strong effort on the Shuttle. Janet set a personal best doing seventeen reps with one band with her right leg only. She got good extension most of the time and was visibly working hard. First time I’ve seen the effort in the face. A very welcomed sign. By the time we were done in the gym it was lunchtime and Janet ate well as expected after a good workout. I took her to the laundry room after lunch to transfer her clothes from the washer to the drier. She very confidently did that chore then we got ready for our appointments downtown.

The meeting went well but ended sooner than I thought it might so we had time to use up before our next appointment. We spent that time talking about Invue and looking at it from a block away. I used that time to check Janet’s vision a little. She for sure could see vehicles approaching us and crossing in front of us. She could see Invue and commented that there was a lot of big windows but couldn’t zero in on details like the large concrete pole running through all the west side balconies nor could she see the light pole kitty corner to us. I think this is all associated with her processing challenges and not an inability to actually see something. When we finally got into the building Janet had no recollection of having been there before but still said it’s pretty nice and she would like to live there. With the help of Courtney’s boyfriend, Mike, we are putting forward two proposed changes to the balcony door to the Strata Council. If they say no then we forget about Invue as it would not be fair to Janet to not be able to access her own balcony by herself.

Because Janet did so well in the gym this morning I allowed her to come home for dinner when usually she would be back in the gym for another workout. We had a little snack as we had been out for a while and we really had no clue what to get for a snack while out. Laurel got in on a Skype call and I had to keep coaching Janet through it as she was getting pretty tired. So much so that by the time I served dinner I thought she was going to fall asleep in it. After a few mouthfuls she seemed to gain enough energy to make it through the rest of the evening. As I was getting her ready for her after dinner bio break I could tell she was really full and when I got her onto the bed she commented, “are you OK with girls that eat too much?” The only proper answer was to laugh. I made sure we headed back to Connect in good time as I want Janet well rested for the weekend coming up. The drive back was the most fun one yet as Janet asked to listen to the XM channel that plays all these old sappy love songs. I placated her but asked her if she thought there was a channel that played songs you could sing along to easily. She immediately started singing to the song that was playing and continued for four or five more. They were all familiar songs of course but she still surprised me with her knowledge of the words and melody. I always hated the thought of family sing songs on car rides but this one made me smile.

Praying for a night of rest and healing, and an active day of recovery tomorrow.

Jumping the Gun #TSJ

I had an early start to the day today as I met with Janet’s GP this morning. She wanted to follow up on Janet’s seizures and increase the medication for that slightly. In my opinion Janet has rebounded very well from that day and is gaining cognitively quite well. Her doctor is confident in using Dilatin for Janet and has not experienced any real difficulties with that drug. She confirmed that she will remove the peg tube on Valentine’s Day and will talk to Janet’s GI before doing so just to make sure she does it right as this will be her first. Since Janet is eating real food now and trying to swallow her pills whole I asked if we could dump the horse pill sized multi vitamin she gets and the doc agreed. So once I check with Connie and she approves there will be no more crushing of meds for Janet. Yay! I enjoyed the chat with her doctor this morning and appreciated her calling me in to follow up on things. We will continue doing so rather than dragging Janet in when not necessary.

After doing some investigating on the condo we are looking into buying I made my way out to Connect. Janet was sitting on the couch in the living room with a big smile on her face watching TV. She seemed quite proud of herself for doing so and was in a great mood. She described her day so far as good and tried really hard to tell me she had pushed her pendant alarm for help in going to the bathroom. Garrett confirmed that she had done just that both for needing to go and when she was finished. High five! They had a reasonable workout in the gym and Garrett said he was pleased with the way her legs stretched out.

Janet and I made our way downtown for a meeting with a lawyer regarding Power of Attorney and when we informed the receptionist we were there I could see someone elses’ name in our time slot. Sure enough two minutes later that person came in. I quickly checked my calendar then the email I got from the lawyers office. Turns out my calendar app had synced a reminder from a calendar I no longer use and it appeared as an event for today when the actual meeting is tomorrow. Silly me. We used the extra time to do a little drive around downtown since we were there thinking we might see a building that looked interesting to live in. Knowing that there are few condos the size we want and most are in the complex we already looked at and didn’t like, the drive around confirmed that Invue has a lot going for it. I will take Janet there one more time before making a decision to try and buy there or not.

At home and after she played with Nash, Janet and I enjoyed a cup of tea together. Can’t remember the last time we did that. We read a letter from some family friends of Janet’s in Ontario and prepared some cards for our World Vision kids. I also showed Janet some pictures of her new found old friend Karen. Janet definitely remembers her but doesn’t recognize her yet. She gobbled down a bowl of fruit and yogurt after complaining she was hungry then I could see her getting pretty tired. It was late in the day and she had not had anything close to a rest time so I got her into bed as she complained “why are you putting me here?” Fifteen minutes later she was snoring.

I got Janet up just before Kiko and Joel arrived with a boat load of sushi for dinner. Janet had regained some energy and an appetite eating probably more sushi than she would have before getting sick. I poured some wine for Kiko and I and Janet almost immediately asked for some. I was very tempted to let her but have been told alcohol is a big no no for ABI patients. I promised her I would talk to her doctor next time we see her and also Dr. Miller. I’m sure they will say no but maybe its a soft no and a little sip here and there won’t hurt her any. I hope so as it would be really nice to enjoy some wine with Janet again. Much more fun than tea.

Janet was tucked into bed at Connect pretty late tonight, full of sushi and ice cream. Before we left the house she asked me why we were spending all that money keeping her “there” and why couldn’t she stay “here”. She got quite upset about it all but resigned herself to the situation after agreeing that working with Brian, Tez, Mary Lou and all the others was best for her right now. She asked why she only did that “in little bits”. I reminded her how tired she gets if she works out too long or plays a game too long and she totally agreed and was fine after that. Janet continues to move into a higher state of awareness and has a greater ability to express her feelings than ever before.

Today was a busy and good day for Janet. Thanks again Joel and Kiko for your friendship and food. You made our evening very enjoyable. Praying for a night of rest and healing and a productive day tomorrow.

Shopping Saturday #TSJ

Day two at home felt pretty hectic to me but I think it was a good one for Janet. I know she liked breakfast especially being able to enjoy a bagel and peanut butter along with an unlimited supply of coffee. Laurel kindly instructed me on how to make coffee for Janet so she doesn’t get all grumpy when we are home alone next weekend.

In preparation for John and Lisa’s wedding next weekend Laurel helped Janet find an appropriate outfit from her vast wardrobe and I was finally able to present her with the anniversary gift I got her last year which happens to accessorize her outfit quite nicely. We eventually got ready enough and headed out for a shopping expedition trying to find shirts, pants and PJs for Janet to have at home so I don’t have to pack a bag each Friday. We managed to find everything she needed including two pairs of slippers so she doesn’t have to wear her sneakers all the time and only paid retail for one item. Lunch was food court Chinese at the mall and even though it was the mall it was really nice having Janet out. We even saw Lorne from Connect there with Fred and Clint. I guess it’s the place to be.

We did a drive by of Invue on the way home so Laurel could get a glimpse and we could check the walkability of the neighborhood. From her three minute scan from outside Laurel thought it looked pretty good and Janet still remembers it being “very nice”.

Janet had a good long afternoon nap after saying she didn’t need one then enjoyed some time with Laurel while I made dinner. They got in a nice Skype chat with Heather who we are looking forward to seeing in person in two weeks. Janet impressed us by noticing that I spiced up the vegetables more than she would. They had more of a kick than she would have tolerated before but she was ok with them tonight. Dinner took way longer to prepare than I thought so we didn’t have much time afterwards but enough to watch some recorded American Idol while eating ice cream. My goal was to have Janet in bed long before 10:30 like she was last night and we barely made it by ten tonight. The good thing about that is she is asleep within minutes of being tucked in as opposed to restlessly squirming around and perhaps going into Houdieno mode and it gives me time to realize she is soundly sleeping.

Today was day one of going virtually tubeless. Connect is working with me to reach my goal of getting rid of Janet’s peg tube in two weeks. She is to drink all her fluids now with her tube being flushed with thirty ml twice a day only. Janet seems to have accepted the challenge and has really improved her water drinking. She still says she doesn’t like it but is taking bigger sips and drinking much faster overall. Yay. I also challenged her to swallow her lunchtime pill instead of me crushing it for her. She complains of the taste of the crushed meds so Laurel and I reminded her that if she swallows them whole she wouldn’t really taste them. She tried and got it down with the second sip of water. Janet has historically found it a challenge to swallow pills but was quite motivated to get this one. As soon as she is comfortable with the one little one at lunch we’ll try the three dinner ones. The horse pill at breakfast will have to wait till she reaches expert status.

Praying for a restful night of healing and an enjoyable day 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.