movie

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 17. #TSJ Strolling Along

Janet and the other residents from her house at Connect spent the morning in downtown Kelowna today, walking around to the various parks and of course a coffee shop. The purpose was partly to break up the routine of life at Connect and also to gain some experience walking around in the real world. Jess said Janet walked the most ever, probably a kilometre, and did really well at it. Janet said it was fun, especially the stop at the coffee shop and she was still buzzing from that when I got to Connect this afternoon. There was one interesting moment crossing a street where the light changed really fast catching Janet, Jess and Garrett half way across and Wes barely off the curb. Thankfully the drivers were patient but we may need to talk to the city about the short walk signal.

Since she did so much walking earlier in the day it would not be fair to have Janet do any of her gym exercises today so we kept the walking to purpose driven stuff. I did take away her cane for any time she moved about her room and for one walk with me to the kitchen during which she grabbed a wall whenever she could but also did a fair bit on her own. I think there’s been some progress and maybe we’ll time her 400 meters tomorrow.

Every once in a while Chelsea likes to plan a movie night with Janet and tonight they (we) watched The Fault In Our Stars. It was supposed to be a real tear jerker and Chelsea had lots of Kleenex ready but she was the only one that needed it. Janet enjoyed the story though as well as the chance to chill before facing Tez tomorrow morning.

Praying for a night of sound sleep and a productive Thursday.

Janet, A Success Story. August 13. #TSJ

After yesterday’s greatness, today was as expected and rather relaxing. Janet did her usual morning stuff including reading with Mary Lou which went well and Janet has now been charged with reading The Hallo-Wiener twice a day to keep improving. For the second day in a row Janet lost her balance enough to take a little fall. Both times she landed on her butt which thankfully now has more padding than the former Janet had. Both instances at least in part are the result of Janet having her feet too close together, something she struggles with during sit to stand procedures. She doesn’t seem overly concerned by these falls and maybe even has become more body aware. I saw her really focussing on keeping her feet apart tonight without prompting.

Not surprisingly Janet has picked up a little bit of a cold that Ethan shared with her this past weekend. No big deal but enough to justify a relaxing evening. Chelsea had previously planned to watch My Fair Lady with Janet tonight and the timing ended up perfect. Janet enjoyed the movie and getting her nails done while not having to do much of anything but sing along to most of the songs. The words weren’t too familiar to her but the tunes definitely were.

Praying for a deep and healing sleep tonight and a healthy Thursday.

Janet, A Success Story. July 20. #TSJ

You know its’ been hot when you think 28 degrees is cool. That’s what it was this afternoon as Janet and I strolled the beaches in our neighbourhood. We discovered this really cool ramp into the water, with hand rails, at Rotary Beach, so now I just have to convince Janet to “jump” in the lake. Wish me luck.

This past weekend was very relaxing and Janet and I had a lot of time together just hanging out. Friday evening was our Small Group meeting with Annie and Patrick, the only two that have persevered with us and we appreciate them for their openness and willingness to share. Saturday morning was a visit with John, who seems to be doing a little better, then church in the evening which got Janet’s brain wheels spinning and we had a good discussion well into the evening.

That was it for formal events, the rest of the time was spent walking around the neighbourhood, sitting in the sun, walking to do some errands, cooking and watching a little TV. Janet walked around the house a lot and is still doing great with it save for some overthinking when going down the steps into the garage. Going up seems to be much more automatic. She admits to being quite nervous walking still and that makes it more difficult and sweaty. Janet never was much of a sweater but she sure can get it going now when she’s walking on her own.

At home Janet does great in getting herself to the bathroom when she needs to, which is quite often lately. When we are out, she’s not doing so well and I think it’s time for a doctor visit to see what can be done. I don’t expect the GP to have much to offer but I hope we can get a referral to a urologist. In my opinion its definitely a neurological issue, not physical so it may be really tough to treat. It could also just be a temporary set back and that’s what I’m hoping for.

One of the highlights of the weekend was watching the movie Forrest Gump. I don’t know why, but neither of us remembers watching the whole movie before and we so enjoyed it. Janet said there wasn’t a dull moment in the entire film and she was in tears at the end. A strange reaction to liking a movie but touching just the same. Its a lot of fun and actually very special to be able to watch something like that and have Janet totally understand the storyline and get most of the jokes and even remember some of it the next day. Love her.

Praying for a solid night of sleep for Janet and a dry and productive Monday.

Janet, A Success Story. July 5. #TSJ Final Saturday

As expected, 5:45am came quickly and Janet, even in the fog of sleep knew it was time to get up and watch Genie Bouchard play for the Ladies Championship at Wimbledon. Sadly Genie lost, happily there’s lots more tennis to come this year. We never made it to the Futures event at all today as Janet’s wheelchair developed a problem that took the rest of the morning to temporarily resolve and that put us way behind schedule.

Janet did some good walking and stair climbing throughout the day and a lot in the morning because she didn’t have a wheelchair for most of it. That was a good lesson in how much Janet still needs the wheelchair as it’s fine to think she doesn’t when you have it but it’s a whole other ball game when you don’t. Janet’s best walking came at church as she walked down and then up the aisle unassisted and got a standing ovation from our friend Carol. She was standing and waiting to greet us when we got to our seats but that still counts in my book.

Tonight we watched the movie The Butler and really enjoyed it. Janet was impressed with how much history the lead character lived through and she remembered a lot of it, mostly from the mid seventies on. When asked to name the date and her meds tonight Janet got it all correct with no prompting at all! She even thought that was pretty good.

Praying for a rejuvenating sleep and a productive Sunday.

PS. This will be the last blog update from a Friday or Saturday as I’m finding it too time consuming to do this when Janet is home. My plan is to stop the daily updates as soon as Janet is home full time so this is a way of weaning y’all off. Of course any earth shattering developments will be posted promptly no matter the day.

Janet, A Success Story. June 25. #TSJ

The lunch time phone call today came from Janet who said she had everything done including sitting in the sun a lot. I was glad to hear that and could recognize the energy that had given her. She said she wasn’t going to nap today and asked if I could come out a little earlier than planned as Jess wanted to talk to me. I arrived just after three, talked to Jess as she was leaving, went to Janet’s room to find Curtis helping her get ready for a nap. Now she was tired. Sheesh. Jess was giving me the heads up that there is an opportunity to go hiking on July 26. The CRIS Program would be leading the day and Janet would be pushed in a wheelchair adapted for rough terrain. She of course isn’t wanting to go but so far the calendar is clear then and I think I can convince her to try, she used to love that sort of thing.

It wasn’t much of a nap and when Janet woke up she immediately asked to go to the bathroom. I like it when that happens. After a little sun soaking Janet set the table for dinner then went back outside to warm up. We are having a hard time with the air-conditioning always blasting at Connect and don’t understand why people think its necessary. It wasn’t too bad during dinner but a nice walk in the sun afterwards made Janet feel good. Up until that point she had been walking freestyle the whole time and continues to do better than when holding my hand. A perfect example was going through the door to the patio with me and moving side to side so much she bonked her head on the door jam. Janet still wants to hang onto me for security sake but I’m trying to convince her to fly on her own.

Angie has a 3D TV that we moved out into the living room so people could watch Avatar in 3D. That was a new experience for Janet and although she didn’t really get the movie she enjoyed watching it in 3D and was impressed that it looked so cool. Unlike her.

Janet's Ray Charles impersonation.

Janet’s Ray Charles impersonation.


Unfortunately when she was done watching she habitually tried closing the glasses not knowing they don’t close. There is some damage to one arm that I might be able to fix. I hope.

Praying for a night of uninterrupted sleep and a happy Thursday.

Janet, A Success Story. June 7. #TSJ

Another independent morning for Janet as she made breakfast, typed an email herself and waited in the sunshine for me while I showered. I still get anxious about her when I leave her in situations like that. She is unable to get back into the house on her own from the patio and I worry a little about her needing to when I’m not available. I finished my shower as quickly as I could and went to check on her, she was singing away to the music I’d left on for her. I need to have more faith.

Its a good thing we were up at a reasonable hour because we had an early lunch date with John. He hasn’t been out for a meal in months and was raring to go as soon as we arrived at his care home. We wheeled the few blocks over to Joey Kelowna and sat outside for a nice leisurely lunch. I didn’t arrange the seating very well so Janet had a hard time hearing John but we managed. I think he really enjoyed getting out and we enjoyed listening to his stories.

With lunch done early Janet agreed to brave the mall as long as we shopped for me not her. She was a big help in colour selection as I actually found clothes that fit me and I managed to sneak a few things in for her too.

After a nice little nap we headed off to church without the wheelchair. After getting out of the car and closing the door unassisted, Janet walked across the parking lot with my help then went by herself the one hundred plus feet to “our” door then demanded my help to walk down to our seats. Janet got lots of encouragement along the way from friends and even people we don’t know. I had to remind her that her story is out there and more people know about her and are cheering her on than she may realize. Walking out of church was similar and took longer as people stopped to chat and encourage and ask about the wedding. Even someone neither of us knows asked Janet if she was ready for the wedding. Kiko walked with us the last little ways to the car and for the first time got to see Janet walking freestyle and even opening the car door unassisted. She is always so encouraging and upbeat, it all made for a very positive evening.

Our time at home tonight was positive as well. We enjoyed some good sushi and the movie Son of God which spurred a good conversation afterwards with Janet feeling touched by the film and glad we saw it soon after church as it helped to see things acted out rather than just spoken about. I guess we were both so immersed in the movie we forgot Janet’s meds until she was tucked into bed. It crossed my mind once during the movie and I thought I’d prompt her during our ice cream break but forgot by then. Oh well.

Praying for a night of deep and healing sleep that helps to bring lots of energy and a sharp mind for tomorrow.