Janet, A Success Story. June 2. #TSJ

Janet was back to “work” in a hurry today. She had all of her physical therapies completed by lunchtime and seemed OK with it all. Usually when that happens I’ll hear some complaint about how “terrible” or “hard” it all was but when I called her today she was all giggly sitting out in the sunshine after lunch.

It was obvious to me when I got out to Connect that Janet had worked hard her first part of the day as she never woke when I went into her room and stayed sleeping for another twenty minutes. Still no complaining when she woke up and with a hint of eagerness she walked down to the dining area to set the table. The complaining started soon after. I’ve been having Janet do as much without her wheelchair as possible and there is a lot of walking involved in setting a table. As she got tired, the whining started, but she persevered and was rewarded with a bit of Happy Hour in the sun that included a Skype chat with Heather. The conversation went well considering all Janet wants to talk about is the wedding.

We hung out in Janet’s room most of the rest of the night with Janet practicing reading, writing an email and listening to some music. Heather had shared the song she will be walking down the aisle to and Janet asked if I remembered what songs we used at our wedding. I was confident I knew the walk in song, Have I Told You Lately That I Love You, but not the first dance one, Only Know I Do. Thankfully Laurel was on the ball and gave us that one. Janet still likes them both and sang along knowing a lot of the words.

The walking Janet did tonight was of mixed quality with the really good stuff happening at the end, which is a relief as some of her earlier stuff was not pretty. I think maybe she was a little tired from the morning and took a while to warm up. Wearing her sandals, I can see her toes and am a little concerned how the right ones curl up when she’s walking. Janet can’t move them herself much so we may need to find a way of keeping them stretched out if Tez thinks its a problem.

Janet’s speech and memory were outstanding tonight and she gave me probably her best summary of her day ever, nailing everything up to and including dinner. Interesting how the most recent stuff she couldn’t come up with. Praying for a night of deep and healing sleep and a bright Tuesday.

Janet, A Success Story. May 26. #TSJ

I considered having Janet attempt a wheelchair free night tonight and she was off to a great start until I suggested we go for a walk in the sun to watch some soccer. She’s not ready to actually walk long distances like that and is a little uncomfortable with uneven surfaces still. It was nice to sit in the sun with her for a bit after she put in a hard days work. JanetSoccer

Walking was the theme of the day today and Jess had Janet walk to the gym and back this morning. Janet is less resistant to longer walks like that as long as somebody is helping her and her conditioning has improved to the point where a walk that far no longer exhausts her. For me this afternoon and evening, Janet walked everywhere except the soccer field and that included two trips to the gym as well as back and forth to dinner. All those were with assistance because of the frequency and the fact she was going to workout in the gym but her trip to get her meds at the end of the night was done freestyle and in record time.

Her cognitive work of the day came in the form of reading an email then counting out and rolling up two rolls of nickels. I am enjoying reading One Hundred Years of Solitude but Janet just isn’t getting it so we are switching books again. We are going to try the newly released memoir of Toni Braxton called Unbreak My Heart. Janet really likes Toni Braxton’s music and is excited to read her story.

Praying for a night of rejuvenating sleep and a productive Tuesday.

Janet, A Success Story. May 3. #TSJ

Today we eliminated one stressful item off of my to do list. Janet found shoes for the wedding! AFO lady had suggested a store called Hollywood Shoes and that was our first task of the day. Half an hour later we left the store with wedding shoes and a pair of clogs for outings away from Connect. Happy happy.

Since we were in the area we stopped by to see John who is still at the care home he doesn’t want to be in. It is a pretty sad place and John has yet to recapture his positive personality although he tries hard to put on a brave face. He was pleased to see us and Janet felt good about visiting him.

I eased Janet back into some walking practice today and I didn’t notice any real set back after the day off. The big test came at church this evening where she propelled in wearing her new clogs then walked down the aisle to her seat. She did well saying the left show feels a little loose. It was better on the way up the aisle after church and Janet thinks it’ll be fine but I will test her more tomorrow. Janet took a few steps on her own without even thinking about it and did a nice turn to her spot at the table without assistance. If she would just believe in herself she could do so much more.

We got some great news about our friend Wendy in Nanaimo this evening, she is off the respirator, conscious and “out of the woods”. Still in ICU but things look positive. Thanks to those who prayed for her.

Janet and I closed our day catching up on American Idol with Janet offering some good critiques and correctly naming who’d be sent home. Her favourite, surprisingly is Caleb.

Praying that Janet sleeps well and is bright and energetic for tomorrow.

Janet, A Success Story. April 1. #TSJ

It was all serious business for Janet this morning, no April Fools jokes and a trip to the lab for some routine blood work. It was a good thing she went to the lab as it was learned that the levels for her anti seizure medication are on the low side. Her doctor agreed with my suggestion that we re test before changing the dosage again, so Janet gets to get stabbed again tomorrow.

One thing went in her favour this morning as Tez was not at Connect today so the usual Tuesday hard core workout never happened. Janet did go to the gym and got some stuff done so all was not lost. When I arrived this afternoon Janet was wide awake in bed and looking really tired. She couldn’t sleep and since we were going to a concert tonight I really wanted her to be rested so we just hung out and chatted in her room with me hoping she’d drift off but it never happened. A little happy hour time in the sun seemed to do as much good as a sleep would have and after a little walking session and dinner we took off for the concert.

Janet has never been much of a concert goer but she had a lot of fun at the Levite Summit a few weeks ago and said she’d like to go to a concert so I held her to it. We went to see The City Harmonic at Willow Park Church, a smaller version of Trinity. I had no idea what to expect or how Janet would react. The show was quite good and Janet enjoyed it although it was “really loud”. There were not a lot of sing along songs as this band is not too well known by us but they are excellent musicians and Janet was into it most of the time, especially when a three year old girl was dancing in the aisle beside her and looking at Janet like, “come dance with me”. Big smiles from Janet. Here’s a little clip to give you an idea of how cool Janet is.

We were back at Connect with minutes to spare before curfew and I said goodnight to a smily Janet, praying for a good night of sleep and lots of energy for tomorrow.

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

Janet was chatting in the living room with Willie when I got to Connect just before lunch today. Nice to see her doing that even though she couldn’t see that well as she didn’t have her glasses on. She told me she couldn’t find them but as soon as we got to her room we saw them right on her beside table where I put them last night. Her splint was right where I left it too, meaning that’s the second day in a row she hasn’t worn it and that’s not cool.

After a quick lunch we took off to her AFO appointment. Janet said the appointment went about the way she expected and the lady was nice. I got the impression the lady didn’t really think Janet was ready for an AFO or to be seriously considering walking but maybe that’s just me. I didn’t relay that to Janet at all as she needs to stay as positive as possible and she is looking forward to wearing this brace in hopes it will keep her right leg more stable. We go back Monday afternoon to have it installed and I know if nothing else it will give Janet the confidence she needs to work a little harder in learning to walk.

We made one stop along the way home to finally get our address changed on our Id’s and Janet had a one hour nap as soon as we got there. Upon waking she had just enough time to brush her teeth and get ready for her dentist appointment. Things have really improved in that area and Janet only had one small cavity that will get filled at the end of the month. She was a little disappointed but considering how long her teeth were neglected for I think she’s doing fine and she brushes quite well now.

Back home for dinner we went and Janet was showing signs of being tired again but perked right up when some songs came on that she really likes. She started to sing along and there is nothing I know of on this earth more joyous than Janet singing with that huge smile on her face. I’ve said it before and it continues to impress me how powerful music is and don’t tell anyone but Janet’s singing is contagious as I even sang a little to teach her one of my favourite songs right now,The Giving Tree by Plain White T’s. Janet thought it was great that I sang. There may be hope.

Sadly, we had to get back to Connect for meds and a little exercise. Janet did not want to go and didn’t cheer up until we were half way there. She put in a good effort on a difficult bike ride that I actually had to make easier part way through and was too tired and it was too late after to do any walking so it was off to bed to read. Janet is really enjoying Open and looks forward to our time doing that. Hopefully some nights she won’t be so tired and I can get her to read a little herself.

Praying for a solid night of healing sleep that provides lots of energy for tomorrow’s activities.

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

Janet faced disappointment as soon as she woke up this morning. The first words out of her mouth were “its Christmas today!” She must’ve been dreaming or something and as I broke the bad news to her she reluctantly accepted it.

The morning was spent hanging with Heather and Cam before dropping Cam at the airport. Once again, no tears, maybe she’s saving them all for Heather. Since Connect is so close to the airport it seemed natural to combine that trip with a visit to the gym. Janet seemed to understand the importance of doing so but was less than enthusiastic about it. The place was pretty quiet so with a little hello to Humberto it was right onto the bike. Janet did very well considering she hasn’t been on the thing for a week. I think we will make a few visits next week so she can get right back into it for real the week after.

Heather and I offered Janet lunch out but she wanted her grilled cheese at home so that’s what we did followed by a long nap that was clearly needed. Janet was nicely recharged after that and we all enjoyed a very yummy dinner at the Yellow House along with some nice live music from Julie Masi. Janet did not sing along to any of it but enjoyed the tunes, company and food. Thanks for the treat Heather!

We all chose dessert at home and watched a little TV as Janet faded after an enjoyable and successful day. Praying for a night of deep and healing sleep and for a fun day tomorrow.

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

Renovation Day 61. A day off, I hope, for Randy. A day of decorating and organizing for Janet and I.

Our house finally felt like a home Friday night when it was full of friends and it felt like a home this morning as Janet and I slept in big time. For once there was nothing scheduled until church in the evening so we took our time getting up and having breakfast with Janet admitting she didn’t wake up at all overnight. Quite the change from the “terrible” sleeps she used to have. In fact she was sleeping so quietly at one point I had to make sure she was still breathing. We both were very happy to see the sun streaming through our windows this morning and noticed how nice and bright the house is even with no lights on. Home.

Now that most things are unpacked and in an area where they belong it’s easier to see what we have and where it ought to go. Janet was eager to go through the entire house section by section and rearrange things as needed. She made some good decisions and let me make a couple as well. Not wanting to stop for lunch she chose spots for a few more pictures in the bedroom as she was starting to fade a little. That somehow re energized her though and after a late and light lunch we hung out for a bit before venturing out in the cold to go to church.

The music at Trinity this weekend is provided by Greg Sczebel, one of our favourites, and the first Christmas music of the season for us. Janet sang loud and stood for a long time. We had nice long chats with a lot of people after the service and didn’t leave the building until 7:20. It’s not often I can get away with that with Janet but today was going at such a nice pace that even she wasn’t in a hurry to move on.

Janet’s favorite all time movie is The Sound of Music and tonight we watched the live television version starring Carrie Underwood. Going in I was more interested to see how NBC would manage to pull it off live but as soon as the first song started and Janet joined in singing along it turned into a somewhat emotional experience bringing back a lot of memories involving Janet and music. Kiko would sing to Janet when she was super sick and get sometimes no reaction from her at all. Then one day she sang along to Do a Deer and her first expression of real emotion was crying when I played I Won’t Give Up by Jason Mratz. Music is a powerful thing and the joy I saw and heard in Janet tonight was heartwarming. She knew almost every word to every song except the new ones and had lots of intelligent comments afterwards about the story, the characters and the differences between this production and the movie. Loving it.

Praying for another night of deep and healing sleep.

On the Town. Bright day for Janet. #TSJ

After an afternoon of house hunting I arrived at Connect to find Janet in the gym with Garrett and Joel, an OT student. These are always good experiences for Janet as she gets a full workout so the student can learn all her exercises. Joel did a good job with her and Garrett noticed improvement in Janet’s legs and hips. Brian was there too, he says observing Joel but spent the whole time talking to me so I don’t know about that. It is really good to have Brian leading the team as he is always looking for ways to make things better for Janet and is very easy to talk to. We came up with a few more tweaks to the wheelchair and look forward to trying them. Both Brian and I want to make sure everything is right for Janet before we make the move to purchasing one.

When Janet’s workout was over we headed to her room for a Skype session with Leslie and Gavin. Nice to see them sitting on their deck as opposed to shoveling snow. Janet did a good job of conversing with her sister and made some rather intelligent statements and responses to Leslie’s questions and stories.

I decided since we were going to the Lake Country Coffee House for music night tonight we may as well go a little early and have dinner there too. We met Suzanne there and had a very enjoyable evening catching up with her, listening to some music and having a little food. There is a Keek introduced by Janet if your interested. @larrylatour

Janet and I got back to Connect around eight and she was showing signs of fading and even admitted to being tired. We slowly started the bedtime routine as there was lots to talk about that I hadn’t had a chance to talk about yet. During our conversation we ended up on Facebook and I asked Janet if she knew who this was.

As soon as she saw the picture she burst out into one of the loudest and longest laughs I’ve heard from her. For a little while I thought she was going to cry but she kept laughing and saying something like “uggily”. As soon as I gave her the first syllable she knew it was Gilligan and laughed some more. A fun way to end a good day for Janet. Garrett said her day was good. Her and Jess made chocolate chip cookies, she had a good session in the gym this morning and even agreed to have a nap. She must’ve been dreaming during that nap as when Garrett got her up around three she was very happy and saying it was her birthday. When she finally realized it wasn’t her birthday she started crying. As long as I’ve known Janet she’s never made a big deal out of her birthday, in fact she mostly wanted nothing to do with it at all. Looks like this year will be different.

Praying for lots of rest tonight that provides lots of strength and energy for tomorrow.

Easing Back In #TSJ

Monday, a day to get back into the “normal” routine. Janet apparently was too tired to jump back into her routine so took it pretty easy today with just a short workout in the gym and a little bit of reading for Speech. The rest of her time before I arrived was spent hanging out in the kitchen and living room mostly just watching what was going on. She was pleased to see me when I got there and seemed upset that she hadn’t done much but when she was reminded of what she was offered and attempted she agreed she was kinda tired. That led to a more than an hour long sleep with some of the loudest snoring I’ve ever heard from her.

I was prepared to let her sleep until 4:30 but she woke up just after four and wanted “to do something”. She managed to get herself up from laying down on the bed and elected to go and see if she could help prep dinner in the kitchen. She flat out refused my offer of playing games or reading. Just not into “school” today at all. It’s a good thing we went to the kitchen when we did as the guys had made another beef stew but there was plenty of time to prepare something else for Janet. Bob made her a nice chicken and pasta dish while we laughed at the movie Happy Gilmore. Janet wasn’t too thrilled by the pasta dish and was kind of jealous of the leftover enchilada I had brought for me. I continue to struggle with this dinner thing. I want her to participate in the Connect dinners and she really wants me to eat with her. If I bring my own dinner then she’s going to want that instead of what Connect has made, evidenced tonight. If I bring her dinner all the time then she’s somewhat disconnected from Connect. I think I’ll stick to eating when I get home for now.

After dinner we got a Skype call into Andrew and I was pleasantly surprised at how well Janet spoke to him. She had been pretty quiet and gurgley before that but turned it on nicely for Andrew. We listened to some music after that as I tried to find some she could sing along to. She was all over a couple of Brian McKnight songs and very readily agreed with me that she likes muscley black guys that can sing. I’m OK with that as I tan pretty good in the summer so I just need to work on the singing part and I’ll be fine.

Lights out at 8:30 for a tired but content Janet. The chat with Andrew and the singing before bed really seemed to brighten her spirits and I think set her up for a good nights rest. Praying for an active day of learning tomorrow.