Janet, A Success Story. November 13. #TSJ Goaal! #5

I know I said I wasn’t posting on Thursdays anymore but this one is special. Janet has officially achieved her laundry goal! Brian watched the video of Janet that was recorded Wednesday and enthusiastically credited her with goal number five. Janet is very happy and realizes she is one small step from being home full time. Here is the video, not the most exciting one I’ve ever posted but I hope you can appreciate the multiple tasks Janet had to string together to accomplish what most of us consider a pretty mundane chore. Happy!

We had our last team meeting at Connect this afternoon with the theme being move out planning. Janet is clear to go on the 28th or sooner and with the exception of a few minor details to cover off, its now a waiting game. The team is in agreement that Janet is not waiting very patiently and has been somewhat uncooperative a couple of days this week. With her out of the room I asked if there was a way that without rewarding bad behaviour Janet could come home sooner. It was always our intention that Janet finish strong at Connect by achieving goals before coming home. She’s done that except for the walking one which will have to be excused as her progress is too slow. In that light it was agreed that if Janet is willing to try hard at learning to pick up things from the floor and get to where she can do that consistently and without assistance, she can come home. Janet accepted the challenge and we will practice this weekend knowing she can do it and just needs to build the confidence to do it consistently. Brian will give her one more six minute walking test Tuesday so we have an up to date result for the next phase of physio. If all goes well, Janet could be home full time after SheLife on Wednesday!

Praying for Janet to sleep well tonight and enjoy a productive and fun Friday.

PS: Janet’s baptism is Saturday at 5:30 Trinity Church. She would love it if you could be there.

Janet, A Success Story. November 12. #TSJ

No trouble for Janet today! Her morning went well, she never complained about anything and even ate some leftover fish for lunch. It was “yucky” of course but she kept that to herself. Gym time was good as was a brief session with Mary Lou.

I half expected Janet to be ready and waiting for me when I went to pick her up. Waiting she was but laying in bed no where near ready. I assured her she could nap at home and helped her get up. We stopped to vote on the way and were pleased the polling station was busy. It didn’t take too long and Janet was glad she participated. We use the type of ballot where you fill in a box beside the candidates name instead of writing an X and I helped Janet with that so she didn’t spoil her ballot. She was happy to read the names of who she was voting for from the list we made so didn’t feel left out.

Before nap time Janet agreed to try and pass the laundry test. I think she made it but we’ll let Brian rule on it tomorrow. Her nap went a little long so she wasn’t able to help too much with dinner as we had to get out the door for SheLife. Once in the church I let Janet make her own way to her table. Standing back and watching her I was really impressed by how independent she’s becoming. Her walk through the room was confident and as people said hi to her along the way I could see her genuinely smile and greet them back. It wasn’t long ago I’d have to prompt her to acknowledge someone. Janet even excused herself from the table to take a bathroom break all on her own again tonight. Nice! I waited a short distance away at the end and watched Janet not be in any hurry to leave. She chatted with people and was quite smiley. I didn’t offer any assistance in getting out of the building and Janet walked slow but steady, even choosing steps instead of the ramp to get down one part. That’s a first!

Praying that Janet sleeps well tonight and is willing to fully participate in whatever she’s asked to do tomorrow.

Janet, A Success Story. October 23. #TSJ

Today was pretty quiet but productive for Janet. She completed her workout by just after eleven this morning then called me in hopes I was on my way to get her. Not quite, but soon after that I found her lying on her bed “not sleeping” waiting for me. She didn’t know what to pack to take home with her and I was a little upset that she hadn’t made an effort. Then I realized there was nothing but her meds to take since we have duplicates of most things at home now. She’s smarter than I think sometimes.

Brian stopped by to hitch a ride home with us and he watched some video of Janet doing some laundry. She was hopeful he would approve her for that goal but her familiarity with the controls isn’t quite there yet. Something to work on this weekend.

Janet was happy to have a nap when we got home then after doing some planning for her homecoming she did another stellar job helping make dinner. One goal this weekend is to not have late nights followed by late mornings so Janet will be lights out at her Connect bedtime so we can have a productive Friday.

Praying for restorative sleep, an increase in confidence and no fear about walking fast.

Janet, A Success Story. October 19. #TSJ

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.

Janet, A Success Story. May 20. #TSJ

Janet was busy doing laundry when I got to Connect this afternoon. She told me she had a little trouble getting to the bathroom on time this morning but she was OK now and remained so the rest of the day. She didn’t seem all that tired and agreed to a Shuttle session before dinner. Slowly but surely she’s getting stronger as evidenced in this picture modelling a pair of jeans Jess gave her. Notice she’s standing alone with no AFO or shoes on and looking pretty good. Thumbs up!

Standing strong

Standing strong

Jess had Janet walking everywhere again today including from the car into the lab this morning so Janet never argued about walking from here room to dinner. She didn’t even argue about walking freestyle and made it all the way! There were a couple of pauses and she grabbed my shirt a couple of times but that was it. A new record that she tied going back to her room after dinner. That was enough though and the only way I could get her up to Games Night was by letting her hold my hand. There had been no mention of a sore right foot until the end of the trip upstairs and Janet said it seemed to be getting better.

Games night was quite challenging tonight but Janet managed to contribute and I’ll keep taking her in hopes she gets better at some of the games which should make it more fun. Janet did not think it was fun freestyle walking down to get her meds and it was late in the day especially not having had a nap so the effort she made was commendable even if her performance wasn’t her best. There is obvious improvement every day.

Tonight we started to read One Hundred Years of Solitude and wow what a difference from the last book we read. I know I’m going to enjoy it and so far Janet is keeping pace. Praying for rest and healing tonight and another day of progress tomorrow.

What she does when I'm not around.

What she does when I’m not around.

Angry Janet. The fighting spirit returns. #TSJ

Janet was laying in bed listening to music and starting to nod off when I arrived this afternoon. Jess and Lorne excitedly reported that she produced a “massive” bowel movement earlier in the day and she found it both relieving and humorous. I share this only in light of how good for Janet it is that she finally is getting things moving out of there. She smiled large when I asked her about it.

After her nap we picked out what to wear to the pool tomorrow. She wanted no part of her actual bathing suits as they’re all bikini style and Janet has retained her modesty throughout this journey. I found my favorite pair of shorts she used to wear and we settled on those with a t shirt overtop of a bathing suit top. Not the most styling but easy for me to put on her and she seems fine with it. I checked with Leanne and Jen who were upstairs at the time just to make sure.

Chris made a yummy pasta dish for dinner tonight that was served quite early and judging by the speed with which Janet ate I’d say it was good he served it then. I had picked up some macaron from Sandrine in honor of Macaron Day and shared them with everyone for dessert. They were a huge hit. As expected. Janet had laundry duty after dinner then Garrett would take her to the gym and while she was wheeling to the laundry room she started to tell me how angry she was about all this. This apparently is how she has to do all these different things and everyone telling her to do them. She seemed to understand that she is actually given choices whenever she’s asked to do anything and all the things she’s asked to do are geared towards making her better. This is the first time in a while I’ve seen that fight and anger in her. It’s good I think and this was a much brighter Janet than I’ve seen in a few weeks.

She did a good job putting her laundry away only needing a few gentle reminders to read the labels on the drawers. Her workout with Garrett went well. He had Janet and Fred in there at the same time and doesn’t know why but they both broke out into laughter at him at the same time at one point. As they were all coming back down the hall I could hear Janet very loudly saying “Larry Dieno is my husband”. Garrett was getting her to talk about her family but not sure why she was so loud all of a sudden. Hopefully that continues.

Our before bed activity tonight was to work on the script for our little video to be shown during the Easter service at Trinity. It is a very brief snap shot of our story and for the first time I didn’t hesitate at all in talking to Janet about the details of what she’s been through. I’ve previously been cautious about it but this time just went right into it and she was fine. As we went deeper into each item she did get some tears going but overall I am pleased with how she is relating to her situation. She still has no memory of any of it but knows there was a big change in her life and that she is getting better. That part we need to keep reinforcing but its there.

I finally said goodnight to a Janet anticipating a busy and exciting day tomorrow. Praying for a restful night so she has lots of energy to enjoy and learn.