Janet is getting too smart for me. As we returned from an evening walk outside she remembered it was time for her meds and as we passed the med room, Chelsea was in it, and got her meds for her, so Janet got out of her last freestyle walking trip of the day. I’m happy she remembered the meds without prompting and am OK without the walk as she had done a lot today as it was.
Earlier in the day Janet had worked with a student, Sara, whom she obviously liked because she introduced me as we walked down the hall to go do dinner prep. Janet rarely remembers to introduce me to anyone and almost always forgets their name, not this time. Lasagne was on the menu tonight and Janet did a great job helping Chelsea with it. By far her best cheese grating and veggie chopping she’s done yet. Getting stronger.
In the spirit of getting stronger Janet agreed to a Shuttle session before dinner to complete her daily physio work. I wasn’t expecting much after walking her all the way to the gym but to finish off her session she pushed a set with the most weight ever for her. High five!
Since the physical part of her day was done we spent the evening on cognitive stuff again. Counting and rolling quarters first, which showed me that Janet’s math skills and her dexterity are not lacking in any way. I wanted her to practice some writing and we looked at the daily schedule she had written out this morning. It was definitely not her best effort and she couldn’t even read most of it tonight. Her explanation was that she was eating breakfast and was called away to go and write it out so she didn’t want to do it. Looked like it too.
The book we are reading, Unbreak My Heart, is much more Janet’s style and she is enjoying it so far, even giving me a good summary before reading tonight. Its nice to hear her laugh and comment as I read instead of snore. Praying for a solid night of sleep for Janet that prepares her well for a fun weekend.
I called Janet while she was having lunch today and she was a little bothered by the intrusion. Seems Wendy had been calling her numerous times throughout the day as a means to practicing answering the phone and Janet was a little fed up. On the bright side she is increasingly competent at answering and is down to about two swipe attempts before successfully unlocking the phone each time. There seems to be some resistance to memorizing her phone number although she did blurt out her old North Vancouver number for me today.
Janet was napping as I snuck into her room and stayed that way for an additional forty five minutes. Instead of lying around chatting, she woke up and immediately asked to go to the bathroom and that is a very good thing. She was quite pleased she had completed all her exercises earlier in the day so we had lots of time to talk and find a new book to read. Thanks to a suggestion from the audience we are reading Come On People, by Bill Cosby. So far it is much more in Janet’s wheelhouse and has generated a couple of chuckles and some parenting memories already.
To work off her dinner but not repeat exercises already done I had Janet do some walking. We started near her bedside and made it about twenty five feet out and down the hall before she asked to turn around. The return trip was tough at times but she fought through and made it back. Janet’s steps were OK for the most part, I pray she tries to trust that right leg more. It’s really impeding her progress.
Still faced with a part filled jar of pennies on her desk Janet agreed to count some so we could roll them up. Her math skills are strong as are her reading comprehension. She had worked by herself on a number of Mary Lou’s worksheets and let me mark them. This batch is noticeably harder than the previous one and Janet’s scores reflected that. Most of her struggles seemed to be her vision as anything to her right was begin completely ignored. I think Janet has improved dramatically since her last eye exam so I’ll get her in for another more accurate one soon.
Connect will be a lot quieter starting tomorrow as Kieran in transferring temporarily to a facility in Kamloops. We all had chocolate cake tonight to wish him well and Janet encouraged him and gave him a big hug as we said goodnight. As much as we tease Kieran, he will be missed.
Praying for a restful night of sleep for Janet that provided ample energy for a productive Tuesday.
As I drove to Connect this afternoon I was trying to analyze Janet’s progress lately. I was having trouble remembering any recent milestones or notable changes and was a little concerned. Janet proved me wrong within minutes of my arrival. She had been “sleeping” for almost an hour so I went in and of course she was wide awake and wanting to get up. In the spirit of promoting independence I stood back and let her go. Not only did she get to a sitting position quickly she motioned as if to get up and walk over to get her sandals. Confirming thats what she wanted to do I told her to go ahead. With a push from her left arm on the bed and a lean forward over her knees, she stood up without using the stripper pole! I had heard of this happening but never witnessed it until today. Janet was very happy with herself for doing that but upset she couldn’t walk to get her sandals. One thing at a time. The independence continued in the bathroom with Janet soloing in brake application, foot rest removal, standing and sitting etc. The only help she needed was in pulling down and then up her pants. Its kind of fun to observe and coach as opposed to aiding all the time and I can tell Janet is gaining confidence in doing these things.
Jess and I talked a little about Janet’s independence and she mentioned how she had caught Janet wheeled up to her desk looking at her Speech workbook all on her own. Janet had done the same today with the book we are reading saying she tried reading by herself but couldn’t make sense of it. Her “just get it done” attitude towards the gym continues and she did a great job on the Shuttle and had a good stretch with Curtis. With a few minutes to wait for dinner we read some Not a Fan and Janet continues to be intrigued by it and we had a good discussion about what we’ve read.
The dinner table was lively thanks to Kieran and Janet was cooperative in getting into the Standing Frame afterwards. I’ve noticed the last couple of days being able to get Janet really straight and her tolerance has increased. Usually as Botox wears off her tolerance diminishes too but not now it seems. Maybe we’re making some progress on those hamstrings?
We hadn’t played any iPad games for a while and since it was thunder storming outside I decided to see what she could do. Was I surprised! Janet has improved so much in naming pictures of things and in her math skills I could hardly believe it and I could see the confidence in her face as she answered question after question. She still needs a verbal clue for a lot of the pictures but she used to need every clue possible. With the math games she was almost perfect and was great at tapping and dragging on the iPad as well. Fun!
The evening ended with some YouTube laughs and Janet doing a very independent bedtime routine. I feel blessed to have hung out with her today and pray for continued progress.
When I called Connect this morning Lorne was in the process of getting Janet up. Jess told me they decided to let Janet sleep in till nine and that she seemed fine, having slept through the night. When I arrived to take her to the lab she was having a late lunch and seemed pretty chipper. She wasn’t doing too well with feeding herself but she managed and after a pee break we went to the lab. No crying this time as I guess she’s finally getting used to being stabbed.
Upon our return to Connect Janet seemed relatively bright still and agreed to play a game on the iPad. She chose math and did surprisingly well lasting about fifteen minutes with that game then I switched her to a naming game that she succeeded at as well. I took a chance at asking her if she wanted to lay down for a rest after half an hour and she quickly agreed. Two hours later and a little past her dinner time she was recharged and ready to go. It was her night to help with dinner but rest is far more important right now so Humberto took her spot and everything was dished out and ready when Janet got to the table. She was clearly doing much better than yesterday, smiling at the conversation and eating well.
Curtis took Janet to the gym for a late night stretch which I thought would be short considering the time but Janet came back grinning and feeling proud of herself after eight o’clock and had enough energy to watch some of the hockey game with Chris and Humberto before going to bed.
I’m very impressed by the improvement in Janet today and especially with her interactions with others. For the last while she’s not shown any interest in the other residents but that flipped around completely today. She’s still not conversing with them but she really enjoyed listening to the chatter and reacted with smiles when appropriate. Janet’s talking to me was much clearer today with no major occurrences of Klingon but her volume level was really low. Her toileting routine was very good and I’m feeling a little like nurse Jen may be right about Janet adjusting to the Dilantin. Anxiously awaiting the test results and answers to my many questions.
Praying for another good night of rest and healing and a day of learning and progress tomorrow.
Jess was just putting Janet to bed when I arrived this afternoon. They had been in the gym with Tez and Janet was nodding off so they called the session short and Janet wasn’t complaining at all. The day had been a full one to that point. That was her third trip to the gym already, having gone with Jess after breakfast for the usual stretching then with Garrett just before lunch for some good Shuttle work then with Tez so he could get her on her tummy to stretch those hamstrings. They also tried the transfer belt but that’s when Janet started nodding off. More work on that next week. Mary Lou spent time with Janet this morning as well, working out of the new Speech workbook. Apparently Janet was a little tired during that session as well but overall had a good first part of the day.
Since she was headed for bed just after two I anticipated a nice long nap in hopes she would recover for a good evening session. I got my wish this time as she slept for a good two hours and was noticeably refreshed afterwards. I really think she’s not sleeping well at night for some reason and hopefully she’ll snap out of it soon as she normally does.
It took Janet the better part of an hour to come fully awake after her nap and she made a good effort at getting up from bed and “stood” really well for me transferring to the toilet. While she waited for dinner I gave her the med book and asked her to get Bob to get her meds for her. She thought about it way too much and by the time Bob came asking if she was ready for her meds she was a little confused and needed quite a bit of coaching to get through the process. Janet really enjoyed the dinner prepared by Chris especially the asparagus in cheese sauce but as expected was more excited about the Tootsie Roll for dessert. Unfortunately there was no Ladies Night tonight as this would have been a good time for Janet to try it out as she was pretty bright still. She was denying she wanted to go but I think would have a good time once there. Maybe next week. Surprisingly she agreed to play the math game on the iPad and she did remarkably well, the best she’s ever done with me at both answering the questions and tapping and swiping her way through the various levels of the game. She still neglects the right side of the screen a little but not as much it seems. It was fun watching her and only having to help occasionally and it was especially nice to see a little confidence showing in her.
Praying for a solid nights sleep that brings healing and lots of positive energy for tomorrow.