Janet, A Success Story. November 10. #TSJ

After what I believe was a good morning in the gym, grumpy Janet showed up at lunchtime today. On the menu was a pasta salad that Janet wouldn’t stop complaining about, its made with mayo you know, so much so that she got sent to her room. That’s where I found her later in the afternoon ready to get up from a restless nap. She was sticking to her story that it was the staff that was grumpy, not her, but with new staff on for the evening Janet was happy to go help with dinner prep especially since she could eat an apple while doing so.

Whatever had happened during the day was not evidenced this evening at all. We did some moving home planning, happily of course, Janet was a lively conversant at dinner and she agreed to go for a freestyle walk with me. That one surprised me, she even went up and down the stairs. There were minimal attempts at grabbing onto walls and furniture and the stretch down the hall to the living room was some of her fastest walking yet. Another surprise came when Janet accepted Chelsea’s invitation to practice picking something up from the floor. Janet can do this but is quite scared still so needs a lot of coaching. She wasn’t successful this time but Chelsea and others will keep working with her. Part of the plan is to watch Legally Blonde where there is apparently a scene that demonstrates how a lady is supposed to pick something up. Whatever works.

Praying for Janet to have a good night of sleep and to enjoy a positive Tuesday.

Janet, A Success Story. September 22. #TSJ

This Monday went quite well for Janet. Chelsea kept her very busy during the morning, exercising in the gym, walking all over Connect including up the stairs, and even making lunch. When Janet called me she didn’t complain about stuff like she often does, she did acknowledge a mistake with making lunch that she laughed about. Instead of pouring soup into a saucepan to warm it up she dumped it into a steamer pot, the part with the holes, you know what happened next. Thankfully Janet was laughing and she even seemed pleased with her physical therapies, at least pleased they were over with.

Chelsea had just finished painting Janet’s nails when I arrived on the scene. I could tell it would be an early night as Janet hadn’t napped and was not considering it then either. Knowing she’d done a lot already I let her set the pace for the run up to dinner. She checked her email, I read a newspaper column to her, she read The Hallo- Wiener to me then she walked cane free to the kitchen to set the table and grate some cheese. Her reading today was pretty good especially the first and last thirds of the book. There was a lot of ad libbing in the middle for some reason. Janet resisted the idea of walking cane free but was happy to help in the kitchen which was a nice change. Her reward was some time in the sun before dinner.

After a good after dinner walk up the stairs and through the hallways all Janet wanted to do was watch the football game. Thankfully Jess and Karl hung out with us for a while so there was good conversation to be had. As much as I love Janet’s interest in football, this game meant nothing to either of us and I don’t want her relying on TV to get her through her free time. We talked about things to do in the evening when Janet comes home and she agreed with Jess’s suggestion of a cooking or baking class once a week and Karl suggested getting involved as a Big Brother and Big Sister to spend some time out in the community with a kid. Good ideas and if any of you have other suggestions we are all ears, and eyes.

Janet enjoyed an extended phone call from Cam tonight that made her laugh and gave her a nice boost of energy and a lift of confidence before walking off to get her meds. She’s gaining more and more independence with her nighttime routine but doesn’t seem too motivated by it. We talked about Janet trying the Handydart to go from Connect to SheLife or to her Dr. Miller appointment at KGH. I know she could do it but she was very resistant to the idea tonight and didn’t buy into the argument for doing things on her own. We’ll keep working on it.

Praying that Janet rests well tonight and dismisses her fear of working with Tez so she can try her best at whatever she’s asked to do.

Janet, A Success Story. September 10. #TSJ Uncle Monkey

There’s nothing like a little morning confusion is there? Janet called me as I was on the road heading for her Team Meeting and she said “they don’t think there is a meeting”. Turns out a few of the key people didn’t have this meeting in their calendars but Janet was going around telling them all there was one. When “they” realized Janet was right all was well and Janet received some well earned praise for being on top of things and she felt pretty good about being correct.

The meeting itself was productive and Janet was a full participant. Mary Lou said Janet is progressing nicely on her reading skills and sees no problem for Janet reading a story to pre school kids for Halloween. Janet is not excited about practicing writing but thinks she can give it a good go especially after she correctly said our address when asked. That’s the first time she’s gotten it all right that I’ve heard and she felt pretty good about that too. Brian is scheduled to visit the house on Saturday to assess Janet’s competence with certain activities there and I wouldn’t be surprised if we can check off another goal or two very soon after that. As far as the walking 400 meters in six minutes goes, that obviously is the biggest challenge Janet faces and hopefully she adjusts her attitude and works hard for Tez tomorrow and from now on. He was unable to attend this morning so I will follow up with him next week.

With the meeting done, Janet was free for the rest of the day so she could hang with her brother Mike who treated us to a wonderful lunch at The Fixx Cafe. It was a nice enough day that we could walk to the restaurant and Janet actually walked the first 100 meters so she got some exercise today. It was fun sitting in the sun enjoying good food and Uncle Monkey’s banter. Thanks bro’.

Big Brother

Big Brother

Janet had time for a quick nap before dinner then we watched AGT before heading back to Connect. There was no complaining about going back tonight and I think the meeting may have inspired Janet to buckle down and get after those goals. Besides she’s only there for the morning then it’s home for a busy weekend.

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

Janet, A Success Story. August 24. #TSJ

There may have been some intention of having Janet really work on her walking this weekend but reality was there was too much fun to be had. She was on a high from the radio interview on Friday, (still is), as Saturday got underway with the Mary/Gaga Skype chat which took place during breakfast in the sunshine. After a little tidying up before the arrival of our friends Nancy and Jim from North Vancouver, there was one chance to get some walking in. To warm Janet up we took the dog for a lap around the neighbourhood then filed him away so Janet could focus on walking. We parked her wheelchair outside the garage and I gave her the target of walking to the pedestrian gate and back. A distance of 100 meters each way. Janet started out without her cane and I reassured her she could use it if needed. She didn’t need it until the first leg of the trip was almost done. She then made it all the way back using her cane and walking on pace to do about fifty meters every six minutes, which is very good for her being outside where she is not as confident. I’m confident she can reach her goal of 400 meters in six minutes by sometime in November.

With the work out of the way and a good rest completed our guests arrived and the fun could begin. The rest of Saturday consisted of a glass of wine in the sun, a great church service, a very yummy dinner and good company throughout. Janet did well the whole time mostly listening to the conversation. She was more animated and vocal today especially during a leisurely breakfast that she got waited on for, and she was darn happy about it. We then headed out to a wine tasting at Sandhill Winery and were pleasantly surprised by the experience. Janet and I agreed on our favourite wine and brought a bottle home. Before Jim and Nancy took off on the next leg of their adventure we enjoyed a nice outside lunch with them. Janet and I came away from this visit with friends smiling, laughing and genuinely grateful to have such good people in our lives.

There was one last piece of work for Janet today and she willingly accepted helping prep dinner. The sun seems to be setting much sooner these days so dinner was inside after a lively discussion about Christmas vacation with the bulk of the family. Looks like we’ve settled on San Diego, now its a matter of locking down a place to stay. Janet is excited but mostly to hang with the family so where we do it doesn’t really matter to her. She was not excited about going back to Connect tonight but was greeted as a celebrity when she walked in and that brought a huge smile to her face. She really believes in and is excited about sharing her story.

Praying for a solid night of sleep and an energetic Monday.

Janet, A Success Story. June 28. #TSJ Wine Tour

Not much rest for the ever active Janet. After a late night, Janet was up at a normal time this morning and we were off to do some wine touring with our Wine Club. The only thing I had to help Janet with during breakfast was opening the peanut butter jar and I give her top marks for remembering its now kept in the fridge.

The Wine Club met at Tantalus Vineyards for a very informative tasting given by their Operations Manager, Jane. Janet went in thinking she wouldn’t know anything or learn anything but she drank all four tastings and agreed it was a fun experience and a beautiful facility.

Our next stop was CedarCreek Estate Winery where Candice led us through a good tour during which I tried to help with the few fun facts that I remembered from my days of working there. Thirteen of us sat down for lunch after the tour and enjoyed the great food, beautiful scenery and fun fellowship.
A great way to end the season for our club and although Janet felt overwhelmed at the gatherings sometimes, she is looking forward to reconvening in September for the social aspect of it all.

Wine Shots!

Wine Shots!

Arriving back home, it was supposed to be nap time but Janet really wanted to finish watching Genie Bouchard’s match at Wimbledon. She won and Janet happily agreed to attempt a nap. There certainly was no snoring to be heard but maybe a few minutes of sleep before leaving for church. Janet was seeming a little tired as we arrived so I held her hand as we walked all the way in. I’m trying to get Janet to focus on placing each heel down first when she steps and as long as I remind she can do it.

Janet really liked Tim’s message tonight and told him so after the service. Its really special when Janet “gets” what a speaker is talking about and I’m impressed by how she can communicate her feelings and thoughts about things sometimes. Its reminiscent of the former Janet.

All the wine tasting, touring and socializing combined with the very short nap made for a tired Janet tonight. It’s the good tired of completing an active day where there may not have been a lot of physical exercise but there sure was a cognitive workout. Praying for a rejuvenating sleep and a positive tomorrow.

Janet, A Success Story. June 19. #TSJ Girls Day

Spending time doing things like going to a Spa or having her nails done has never been a Janet thing but she willingly went this morning with Heather, Laurel and Courtney for a pedi and a mani. It was not easy for me to let her nails grow as long as they got but it seemed best to give the pro something to work with when the time came. All reports were that Janet did well while out with girls and her nails do look nice. Janet says the lunch they all went for was fun but the nail thing was so so. Had to be done and I’m glad the girls got to spend time on their own.

Girls day went pretty much until nap time for Janet but I did get her out for a walking trip down a nice long hallway in the hotel. She’d been sitting a lot and needed that stretch. Her walking was quite good once she warmed up.

After her nap it was off to the birthday BBQ at Heather and Allan’s. This was our first visit to their new home and a nice one it is. There are a few steps for Janet to negotiate and using her nice strong legs she managed very well. Janet was excited to see so many of the family gathered together, especially Andrew, whom she greeted with a cheery “hi honey”. Something Janet never would have said pre injury. Cute.

Heather and Allan did a great job cooking for and hosting everyone and tonight was a nice warm up for the wedding festivities which start tomorrow. Praying for a night of re energizing sleep and a fun Friday.

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

Janet had no thoughts of Christmas this morning and rose with anticipation in hopes of spending as much time with Heather as possible before she started her long journey home. The morning was relaxed and centred around the breakfast table. Janet is getting pretty good at making her own coffee and has almost mastered the toaster oven but I need to buy smaller jars of peanut butter as she’s having trouble getting to the bottom of the gigantic one we have now.

By the time most people were having lunch we decided to go for a drive up to Big White. Heather had never seen it and Janet didn’t remember seeing it and I would love to find a way for her to enjoy the snow up there with me someday.
We planned on having lunch at Santé, which is in the White Crystal Inn and I’m glad we did. The Big White concierge told me we could take Janet up the Gondola to the village but I was very skeptical of that so we drove up to the hotel in case there was some parking there. The front desk staff were very helpful and let us into the private parking garage, gave us a key to a washroom for Janet and made us feel very welcome. Lunch was good and served to us by a girl that recognized us from, Gengie, the sushi place we go to a lot. Celebrity Janet. We were able to get Janet out for a quick look around the village. Of course she got a little cold and I think a lot of that is in her head. She enjoyed seeing it all and I had fun pushing her around in the snow. We didn’t get to check out the tubing area but Janet agreed she would go back so we can do that next time.
There was only time for a little more visiting at home before filling Heather up with sushi at Gengie before taking her to the airport. Janet did very well with her chopsticks tonight and hardly spilled anything. Janet really wanted to go inside the airport to say goodbye to Heather knowing she cries the most of all the kids. She did and to my surprise Janet held herself together remarkably well. I can’t explain the lack of outward emotion as Janet definitely feels it on the inside. Oh well, it saves on Kleenex.

Janet was very tired by the time we got home but was determined to watch a movie. On Heather’s recommendation we watched Love Actually with me thinking we’d seen it a long time ago. Not so, and Janet found her second wind and enjoyed the movie even though there were so many different stories going on it was hard for her to follow. I’m learning to narrate a little during the film and ask her questions from time to time and that seems to help her.

I’m confident Janet will sleep well tonight and am praying she does so and has lots of energy for tomorrow. We are grateful for the time we got to spend with family over the Christmas break, it truly was fun. Heather, you were a huge help, especially in the kitchen, and we pray for a safe trip home for you knowing we will see you soon.

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

Renovation Day 10. Construction continues in the kitchen and we made a decision regarding the bathroom. No major changes. I feel we can make it work for Janet and the changes that could be made just aren’t worth it.

Nancy met Janet at Connect and took her out for lunch. They ventured to a little cafe just down the road called The Wooden Nickel.JanetNancyWoodenNickel
Turned out to be pretty good with Janet impressing Nancy with her conversational abilities. Janet said she really enjoyed the visit and knows “what a special friend Nancy is”.

Janet is having quite the social life these days and it continued this evening as we went for a sushi dinner before her SHElife meeting. This was by far the cleanest sushi meal Janet has ever eaten and her chop stick skills are improving too. I didn’t have her as prepared for SHElife as last week and at the end of the evening Janet was a little disappointed she didn’t really talk much tonight. She agreed that we should read the corresponding chapters of the book no sooner than the night before so it is fresher in her mind.

Upon our return to Connect Janet asked to watch a little TV to wind down then it was off to bed where she was falling asleep as we prayed. She did manage a goodnight and when I explained I’d see her before the football game started tomorrow she said “yay them”, meaning Seahawks of course. I pray Janet has a night of uninterrupted and healing sleep that provides lots of energy for tomorrow.

Keeping Score. Late night for Janet. #TSJ

Janet was surprised to see me this morning as she had forgotten about swimming. Jess reported that they tried to go to the gym but it was busy so the only activity Janet got this morning was Speech with Mary Lou. Apparently that went well with Janet talking nice and loud and clear as she practiced asking questions instead of answering them like she mostly does.

Our drive to KGH was chattier than usual but in the pool Janet seemed a little tired and had zero command over her right leg. I wish I knew why this happens and how to prevent or correct it as it was tough for Janet to do her standing and walking exercises in our first session. The second half hour was better though and I was able to let go of her as she floated on her back for a couple of seconds. Same thing with standing on her own. It took a long time to get there but she was able to stand for a good five seconds a couple of times. Walking continued to be a challenge as her right leg was largely unresponsive.

While walking back to the car we were stopped by Monica, the transition nurse from 4B. She was very excited to see Janet and amazed by her progress as she had not seen Janet for probably seven months now. Janet had no clue who she was but enjoyed the compliments. Monica mentioned to me how she and her husband had gotten their Power of Attorney done and updated their wills after watching what Janet and I have gone through without a POA in place. She even told the story to a colleague the other day and they are going to get theirs done now too. If any of you married folks reading this don’t have an Enduring Power of Attorney in place and up to date wills, get on it. You never know what’s going to happen and things can get really messy without that paperwork.

We deviated from our intended lunch destination choosing to support a local business that I spotted along the way, Deli City Cafe. Good thing too as while we were ordering we saw our friend Roger who was just finishing his lunch there. It was nice to see his big smile and to know things are going well for Carrie and he. I wanted to get Janet back to Connect in case we could see the wheelchair guy so we ate our lunch once we got back there but no wheelchair guy. That did allow for a late nap for a tired Janet and I got her laying down a little before four. What was planned as a quick siesta turned into a two hour nap as we both fell asleep until six o’clock. Not sure what that was all about for me but I must’ve needed it.

Bob took Janet to the gym after dinner and she actually went without arguing. Bob mentioned Janet’s lack of command of the right leg but said all else was good. Janet seemed pleased and was ready to watch some playoff basketball. It was a good thing she had that nap as the game was really good and she was actually able to stay up to watch it all as it ended around 10:15. For the first time Janet was able to repeatedly tell me the score of the game and she is starting to understand some of the rules again too. I had her lounging in her wheelchair the whole game and was able to get both legs quite straight and she was comfortable the whole time. I noticed when I put her to bed that her right leg was toasty warm just like her left one, often it is quite cold, even icy sometimes. She was able to move it on command quite well to put her PJ’s on too. Maybe the lounging helped?

As I said goodnight I reminded Janet that Laurel will pick her up around lunch time tomorrow and bring her home to see Heather and me. She said, “I hope I remember”. I’m sure she will. Praying for rest and healing and lots of energy for tomorrow and the weekend.

Lack of Sun Day. Restless night gets the better of Janet. #TSJ

After a great day yesterday today was a downer right from the start. Janet went to sleep last night just before ten, happy with the day’s events and accomplishments. When I went to bed right around midnight, she was awake and couldn’t get back to sleep until after 2am and we have no idea why. She was giggly but in a way that suggested frustration, she was tired but unable to settle down for more than a few minutes at a time. Once, she was so determined to get up that she actually got herself about eighty percent sitting up in the middle of the bed. She was quite proud of herself but I convinced her to lay back down. She finally did fall asleep after I racked my brain to see if we had done anything out of the ordinary to trigger this restlessness. I can’t think of a thing.

Wanting to let her sleep but also wanting to go to church today I got up and started getting ready as best I could without waking Janet. She woke up around 9:30 and seemed ready for the day. Breakfast went well and out the door we went. Janet was dialed in during the service and I thought we’d have a pretty good day. Then we got home and the slide began. It was an ugly day here, cool, cloudy, rainy. These days never had a good affect on either of us and with both of us being tired the effect is greater. Lunch was delayed as I helped a gentleman get our bike rack that his sister bought from us into his car then even after choosing to have bacon and eggs Janet decided she doesn’t like eggs. She helped make herself a half a quesadilla and ate most of that but was losing energy fast. It was three o’clock by this time so down she went for a nap that I had to wake her from at 5:45 or things would just be going too late tonight. They did anyways.

Janet never had much energy today and her speech was poor for most of it. She did help with dinner and ate all she was given. There just wasn’t a lot coming back from her as I tried to talk to her or get her to do things. She did play ball with the dog so that was a good diversion for fifteen minutes. I struggled all day to get water into her and that may have played a role in all this. Her transfers were fine for the most part but not as strong as yesterday. We watched The Voice together this evening and she enjoyed that and reacted well to some of the contestants and laughed at the coaches when appropriate. Janet did share with me a frustration at not being able to remember things from earlier in the day. I asked her what we were doing after she finished her glass of water and she said “going to church”. When I told her we went this morning she got upset that she couldn’t remember that. I recapped the last two days with her and it seemed like she remembered some events from Saturday but nothing much from Sunday at all.

By the time I kissed her goodnight tonight it was after eleven, mostly because she was enjoying The Voice so we watch both episodes I had recorded then after all the routine nighttime stuff Janet complained and got quite upset that her throat was sore. She couldn’t tell me exactly what was going on but my feeling is she’s getting a cold. I tried water, no improvement, then a little honey, no improvement but enough of a reaction to calm down and go to sleep. She is snoring loudly now as I write this and hopefully stays that way till we have to get up to get ready for swimming.

Praying for healing and rest tonight and lots of energy to fully participate in tomorrow’s activities.