party

Janet, A Success Story. December 2. #TSJ #homecomingpics

That was quite a weekend of celebrating Janet’s homecoming! The house seemed to be buzzing non stop from Thursday night through Monday morning with Janet right in the thick of the action the whole time.

The out of towners arrived Thursday night in time for a visit with Janet at our house. Janet was excited to see Laurel, Heather and my mom, almost as much as she was for the Seahawks victory that night. Her priorities were clear though as she elected to stay home and watch the game while I went to the airport to pick everyone up. Go ‘Hawks!

Friday’s homecoming party was everything Janet had waited for and more. She said she “talked to way more people in one night than ever before”, and she was probably right. I had asked her to try and move around the house as much as possible during the party to prevent her sitting for hours on end. Janet made a great effort at doing so throughout the night but was hindered by always having a gaggle of people around her. It was funny to watch as Janet would sit in one area, a group would gather around her then she’d somehow break away to another area where a different group huddled around her. This went on all night and was exactly the treatment I wanted Janet to have as people showed their love for her. Everyone that came by is a valued member of the team and helped to reinforce how Janet’s hard work has paid off.

Here’s some photos of Janet with our guests. I know I didn’t get everyone but we do sincerely thank you all for being here.

Dr. Miller

Dr. Miller


Wendy and Tim

Wendy and Tim


Barb and Gary

Barb and Gary


Janet F.

Janet F.


Suzanne

Suzanne


Kalsie, Catherine

Kalsie, Catherine


Twyla

Twyla


Heidi

Heidi


Mary Lou

Mary Lou


Kiko

Kiko


Betty and Allan

Betty and Allan


Bonnie and Toly

Bonnie and Toly


Joel

Joel


Brian

Brian


Curtis and Katherine

Curtis and Katherine


Dave and Nicole

Dave and Nicole


Rod and Janice

Rod and Janice


Mom, aka Judy

Mom, aka Judy


Laurel, Heather

Laurel, Heather


Recovery time never really happened until Monday as “party mode” was in effect Saturday and Sunday. Janet bravely agreed to go for Indian food Saturday night, something that is typically way too spicy for her. She quite enjoyed her butter chicken which I’m thrilled about as now we can go for Indian more often. Since we didn’t get to visit much with Barb and Gary on Friday they joined us for dinner Sunday with special guest Heather. There was a booking problem with her flight home that afternoon so she got to stay for dinner which was really nice for us.

There were only a few moments all weekend where Janet was overwhelmed and she corrected her mood quickly and enjoyed everything immensely. There was a lot of walking including some laps around the house coached by Laurel and on Monday Janet never balked at going to H2O for a bike ride. She was tired after her ride and rightly so, it was a good one, especially after hiking up the long flight of stairs to the gym.

Home life has been anything but settled and routine yet and I suspect that won’t change until the new year. We are getting a little better at being in bed at a reasonable hour and getting up at a reasonable hour but there’s still room for improvement.

Praying for Janet to continue adjusting to living at home full time and thanking our Lord and Saviour for all the amazing people He’s placed in our lives.

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

Since today was going home for the weekend day I fully expected to find Janet packed up and ready to go this afternoon. Instead, she had just decided to have a nap before I got to Connect. She told me she was tired so I let her sleep for an hour which was all she needed. On the way home we stopped at Urban Fare to get a dessert for our dinner party tonight and Janet propelled herself around the store and back to the car very very well. Sometimes it’s hard for me to keep from helping her but I find the more I can let her go the better she gets and the more confident she gets too. At home we got right to work getting things ready and Janet was a big help in gathering ingredients and washing vegetables as well as setting the table.

Randy and Claudette and Barb and Gary joined us tonight for some good conversation and sharing of food. We hadn’t seen our former neighbours since our house dedication party so it was nice to catch up with them and especially nice of Barb to bring her yummy cinnamon buns and fresh baked bread. It was also nice to be able to sit and chat with Randy and Claudette without dust flying and compressors running. We are blessed to have a home we can share with friends. Janet really enjoyed the evening and even initiated the conversation a couple of times. She admitted as we went to bed that she felt a little drunk and I suppose three glasses of wine will do that to some people.

Praying for a solid night of sleep and a productive tomorrow.

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

This is an abbreviated New Years Eve version of our blog update. The day started with a very nice visit with Scott and Nora at our house. We are blessed to count them as friends. Randy stopped by after that to formally close the renovation project. We thank him immensely for a job very well done. Janet and I attended a New Years party at one of our neighbours homes this evening where we wisely celebrated the new year on Eastern time so we are home eating ice cream as I write this then saying goodnight.

We sincerely wish you all the very best for 2014 and thank you for your love and support. Praying for a year of complete recovery for Janet and for our story to help and inspire many others.

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

No sleep in today but getting ready for breakfast seemed to take longer than normal so it was a little on the late side by the time we got that started. The house is a little fuller now that Cam is here and Janet enjoyed the extra activity this morning. Heather gave her mom a nice manicure after breakfast which included a trendy accent nail that Janet for some reason rejected. I thought it was cool but she felt it wasn’t her. Another sign of her getting better as a couple of months ago we could have gotten away with that one easily.

The afternoon was spent visiting with a few friends we haven’t been able to see in quite a while. Janet was happy to have a house full of people and the energy that brings. I think she may have been a little overwhelmed at times and it seemed like if things were too much for her she turned her attention to the Seahawks game. All day long she refused my offers of a glass of wine and that was likely a good call on her part as she was able to power through the day without a nap. I thought for sure she would crash soon after dinner but she got that second wind and made it through A Christmas Story when neither Heather or Laurel did. I think one thing that helped Janet gain that extra energy was a little time spent on the Karaoke Channel singing a few Christmas Carols. I asked her which one she wanted to sing and she simply said “just play one and I’ll sing it”. And that she did.

We are truly blessed to have a home with which we can welcome friends and family into and it was fun having good friends over today. Gatherings like that are far more valuable than any sort of Christmas present and are also an important part of Janet’s rehabilitation. Thanks to those that shared their time with us today. Praying for a night of uninterrupted sleep for Janet and more confidence in using her right leg.

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

Renovation Day 67. A day of dramatic results today as Randy installed cabinet door and handles in the kitchen. Now we have to remember where we put things because we can no longer see them.
CabinetDoors

I got out to Connect and helped Janet get ready for the weekend and her appointment at OKAPED with Jeff. Janet seemed eager to go and reported a good day so far. Garrett mentioned he had her standing on her own for fifteen minutes this morning which is a major record. He was quite impressed and is excited to have Janet in an AFO so she can do even more.

Jeff is a very nice and smart guy who really took his time to assess Janet’s situation and to listen to her. I had hoped to walk out of the appointment with a product in hand or at least under construction but Janet will need something custom built and OKAPED doesn’t do the type of device Jeff feels Janet will need. He has referred her to Ortho Design, which is operated by a former colleague who is the best in the business around here. Hopefully we can get an appointment soon. Jeff did sell us an ankle brace that will be better than nothing over the Christmas break if it takes that long to get the AFO. Janet was pleased with the appointment and is happy we are making progress.

We stopped at home to get changed for the Connect Christmas party and we figured we’d give the new dress one more try and I promised not to get all stressed out about it. Janet had the brilliant idea of trying to put it on by stepping into it and wouldn’t you know it, victory!

We even got a nice red coat of hers onto her that she hasn’t worn in years so she was all decked out nice and fancy for the evening.

Because of the OKAPED appointment we were a little late arriving at the party and apparently missed the hot food. I was under the impression it was dinner but turns out it was just appetizers and all the hot things were gone by 7:15 when we arrived. Oh well, we had fun anyways. Karl, who has been off work injured for two months and hasn’t seen Janet in that long was there and couldn’t believe how well she is talking now and was shocked to see her stand. Janet stood with me for a number of pictures and was a bit of a celeb looking as fine as she did.
JanetLarryTiesTiaras
The best part of the night for me was when Janet agreed to try a little dancing. I am a terrible dancer but figured I could handle this as there would not be any footwork involved. Janet of course was a little timid but managed to lose herself to the beat a couple times and was swaying in time better than me. She doesn’t think she did that well but to have her even trying was huge fun.
FirstDance
All the partying really wore Janet out and after a little snack at home it was off to bed. Praying for a night of deep and healing sleep, lots of energy and a positive attitude tomorrow and quick improvement in her control of her right leg.

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

Renovation Day 60. The electrician was here first thing this morning and finally completed the electrical work! Randy was here too and put in a couple more drawers, re installed the bathroom mirrors and built a wheelchair ramp at the garage entrance. A few weeks ago I had mentioned to the Strata my concern about condensation on some of the windows in the mornings. Valley Glass came by this afternoon and measured for the replacement of two of our windows and maybe more depending on what the Strata thinks. A good day of progress.

Because of the busy morning we were up early and its a good thing too. Once breakfast was done Janet and I started getting the place ready for our house dedication party tonight. Janet was a good assistant all day doing a variety of tasks from sorting to decorating, helping to cook, arranging furniture and cleaning.

We made a run for a few last minute groceries and to pick up some macaron from Sandrine. Janet hadn’t seen Sandrine for quite a long time and they had a brief but warm reunion with Janet saying to me with a big smile afterwards, “she’s really nice”. And she makes awesome desserts!

Janet faded soon after our late lunch and called her own nap time wanting to be as awake as possible for tonight. That was a good call as she slept for two hours and I think would have gone more if I let her but it was time to get really busy. There was still food to prepare and wine glasses to put out and Janet had to get into her new party dress. Despite our best efforts we got way behind schedule and with thirty minutes to go and Janet’s dress half on, the gate phone rang. Thankfully it was Courtney who went to work right away and saved our butts big time.

Janet was super excited about people coming over tonight and when the first folks arrived she opened the door and greeted them with an enthusiasm I’ve not seen in a long time. Her eyes sparkled all night with only a few moments where I noticed things maybe overwhelming her a little. According to Janet she liked all the people that were here tonight and they are “very nice people and fun, and our new neighbours are all very nice too”. It was an enjoyable evening and is hopefully the first of many more.

Still pumped up from the party Janet took a little while to wind down after the last guests left. We opened the cards and gifts that some people brought then watched a little TV until yawning became the thing Janet was doing the most of.

I feel tonight did Janet a lot of good. She was shown how a lot of grown up intelligent people love her, how many of those have been beside her since she got sick and how blessed we are to have a home with which we can welcome our family, old friends, new friends, and soon to be friends. Praying for a night of deep and healing sleep.

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

Renovation Day 59. Randy continued his work from home routine getting cupboard doors ready for install. I hung a couple pictures this morning before meeting up with Janet.

Janet was already cold today before hitting the water for her swimming session so the initial shock wasn’t nearly as dramatic. Sticking to the deep pool again, Janet had her strongest swimming session ever today. There were a few lengths where I had to really work to keep up with her and her rolls from back to tummy to back were outstanding. She seemed somewhat accepting of my praise afterward and said she’d like to be a good swimmer again and wishes her right arm would work. Maybe it will but if not, she’s still a really good swimmer.

I think it was pretty obvious Janet needed a haircut today.
JanetB4Hair
Ya think?

After a quick lunch stop I took her to see Chelsea to see if she could do anything with Janet’s mop. I was hoping for something radical like Demi Lovato’s neon blue hair but conservative Janet held true to form and this is the result.
JanetChelseaAfterHair
Cute, clean and manageable. Thanks again Chelsea!

We did a little grocery shopping on the way home then started to plan our evening with which I’d hoped we would prepare for our House Dedication Party tomorrow. Janet was in clear need of a nap however and that cost us almost a couple of hours as there wasn’t much of anything quiet that I could do while she slept. When she woke at five thirty she had a hard time believing it was that late. Time flies when your snoozing.

After dinner we managed to check a few things off the list and knowing Janet really wanted to watch X Factor I called a stop to the work so we could do that then get to bed at a reasonable time knowing tomorrow is busy. Janet stretched out nice on the chaise lounge again and was very engaged in the show and thrilled we didn’t have to watch the commercials. Both of our contestants are out of the competition now but we will continue to watch.

Janet is figuring out her bathroom routine here but is having a little trouble using the bedside transfer pole to stand up. I think it’s because it’s on the opposite side from every pole she uses at Connect but part of it may be her reliance on her left arm. She tends to pull herself up a lot instead of pushing up with her legs. We may need some lessons in standing and sitting technique to get her back on track. Janet says the bed seems really comfy today so we’ll see how that goes over the next three nights. If she’s still saying that on Sunday I think we’ll keep it.

Praying for a night of uninterrupted sleep that provides lots of energy for a busy day tomorrow.

Farewell Fred. Cake, pizza then a much needed workout. #TSJ

As expected, Janet was partying the afternoon away as I arrived at Connect today. A large crowd turned out to wish Fred well on his move to Connect Langley. Janet had helped Jess make a cake for the event and it was being devoured when I walked in. I surprised Janet a little as she was quite focused on her cake but also enjoying the festivities. Her and Fred got along really well right from day one at Connect and we will miss him.

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After the party I gave Janet the choice of going to the gym or having a nap. She chose nap and actually had one for over an hour. It was pizza night at Connect which seemed like it would be a lot of fun. Unfortunately, someone tried making the pizza dough from scratch and that caused a little stress during prep time which prevented anyone from helping which to me is half the fun of at home pizza. By the time it was ready everyone thought it was delicious and Janet even asked for seconds. A first.

Having had a little time to digest Janet reluctantly agreed to go to the gym. It was more like she knew I wasn’t backing down this time. A new staff member, Tiffany, joined us to try and get to know Janet a little better. She got to see pretty much every mood Janet can have. I promised Janet this session would not be long or particularly difficult but I don’t think she was convinced. After an excellent sliding board transfer onto the table mat we started some leg stretches. I haven’t done this with Janet for a long time which made it good for Tiffany as we reviewed the instructional videos on the computer before starting anything. I was disappointed with how stiff Janet was but don’t think that’s her norm as no one has commented on her tightening up anymore recently. Janet had a little breakdown on the Shuttle but actually performed quite well on it. If we could get those hamstrings to relax she’d be on her way.

That was not the greatest workout ever but at least we got her in there before the weekend and I was able to use that experience to help her with standing transfers tonight. She managed one at home tonight where I really could feel her using her legs most of the time. They still are mostly lifts as opposed to transfers but its something for her to work on.

We got home just in time for dessert after saying goodby to Fred. Janet gave him two happy face lollypops as he played bingo with a bunch of people in the neighboring house. That happens every Friday night and combined with the pizza makes for a compelling reason to have Janet stay Fridays. We’ll see. Janet’s nighttime routine went really well and she settled into her own bed quite willingly. There was one funny moment of confusion just before dessert. Janet was playing ball with Nash and as I was about to feed him I asked her to tell him to sit. I spelled out the word sit so the command could come from her instead of me. She spoke loudly and firmly to him but said “come on Cameron, S I T now, come on, S I T”. She even laughed out loud when she realized what she’d said. I’d be worried about it but she often got Cam and Nash mixed up before getting sick. All is well.

Praying for lots of rest tonight and a productive day tomorrow.

Reluctant Progress. The bad gym attitude returns. #TSJ

I arrived at Connect this afternoon surprised to see Janet hanging with Jess in the living room. She had turned down an offer to rest for a little while and was waiting to go upstairs to a birthday party for one of the other residents. Janet was able to tell me she had helped Jess make cabbage rolls this morning, had a shower and went to the gym. Lorne said he gave her a good arm and shoulder stretch and Jess said she helped just fine with the cooking. John came in to sing with Janet this afternoon and she said that was fun. Janet willingly went off with the Jess to the party and returned an hour later saying it was so so and not really her thing. Good she went though.

Nap time started late and ended late with Janet getting almost a couple hours of sleep before a late and short happy hour. Her speech was very good this evening as far as awareness and intelligence goes but the volume level was low most of the time. I was impressed with a lot of her comments and responses and wish she would stay at this level for longer periods of time. There are still moments of confusion that creep in quickly and leave quickly too. I want to say the trend is towards a higher level of awareness but those confused times bother me.

Garrett and I had a very challenging time with Janet in the gym after dinner. He asked for my help so he could take Fred at the same time and Janet fought tooth and nail against going. We got her on the Shuttle and she did a so so workout there for me. From that performance I can safely say she hasn’t gained a bit of leg strength since the last time I went to the gym with her which was a month ago. Garrett assured me she’s done better recently and I’ve had her standing fairly well recently too. Hopefully the hydrotherapy will allow her hamstrings to relax while we wait for the Botox then she’ll be able to get the kind of leg extension that’ll enable her to build strength. I left her with Garrett for some leg stretching and he said that went very well. He sent Janet off from the gym on her own to see if she could find her way back. Unfortunately I went down to see how they were doing and found her half way to her room. I told her I’d go hide and she could try and find me. She found her room just fine but not me. I am a good hider. Just sayin.

In good spirits and talking really well Janet went down to poker night to share more Easter treats then proceeded to eat two oranges as her bedtime snack. We read more of Slow Dance and once again looked at each other numerous times and laughed a couple times at the similar events being described. Janet didn’t argue abut going to bed as I thought she might. She was not showing any real signs of fading even at nine o’clock but she happily did her nighttime routine and was pretty sleepy by the time I said goodnight.

Our video from the Easter services at Trinity continues to get an amazing response from those that have seen it. Thanks again for all the encouraging feedback. If you’d like to watch the entire Easter message and see how Wayne used our story and that of two other amazing people you can do so here.

Praying for rest and healing tonight, energy and brightness tomorrow with a good attitude towards getting stronger.

Free Falling. An oops from Janet, a solid response from Connect. #TSJ

I met Janet today in our usual meeting place, the living room. She laughed when I came in and said “I always seem to meet you here”. That is true pretty much everyday and I like seeing her smiling face as soon as I walk in the room. Jess was there too and reported Janet had a busy day with a trip to the gym, Speech with Mary Lou and best of all, making cupcakes with Jess. One of the residents from the house above Janet’s is moving out tomorrow and there was a party for her tonight so Jess and Janet made some chocolate cupcakes and Janet seemed quite excited about that. She was not excited about going to the party though.

It was a beautiful sunny afternoon so I took Janet outside to get some rays and fresh air. Unfortunately there was just enough of a cool breeze to be annoying and we couldn’t find a place to escape it but we had a nice walk around the complex anyways. There was a sunny spot in the living room so we hung out there for a while before taking a bathroom break. Janet was on the toilet for a few minutes with nothing happening so as usual I asked her if she wanted more time. She said yes, I walked toward her desk and heard a loud crash. I ran back to the bathroom and she was on the floor beside the toilet crying. I pressed her alarm button and tried to calm her while waiting for help. Jess came seconds later and called the troops. We didn’t want to move Janet without being sure she was OK so we waited for Tez who took charge and determined Janet was alright and he and I moved her back up to sitting on the toilet. By the looks of things she scared herself more than anything and has a couple little cuts on her right cheek bone and a small scrape on her right knee. She told us she was trying to reach for something when she fell but couldn’t remember what she was reaching for. The Connect team responded quickly and professionally and Janet was well cared for.

Tez took advantage of the opportunity to observe me using a standing transfer with Janet from the toilet to the wheelchair. I thought Janet did very well especially after her scare. She calmed down a lot after we got her out into the room and Tez checked her over again to make doubly sure she was OK and also took time to check the spasticity in her legs. I asked him about Botox and he thought it would be well worth a try and suggested I contact Dr. McCann to get that ball rolling as well as the hydrotherapy idea. Here’s hoping.

Janet didn’t argue at all about laying down for a rest after all that but did manage to express her fear of going to the farewell party tonight again. Not sure what she was so afraid of and figured she’d come around when it was time to go.

After a short nap Janet was happy to lay in bed and chat for a while. She was quite happy and not showing any ill effects from her toppling. We went down for dinner and noticed most of the guys were having a pot roast and veggies. That reminded Janet of beef stew so Garrett made her some chili with a little pasta and that worked out fine. I watched Janet go over her med booklet with Garrett just before eating and noticed some improvement since yesterday. Back in her room after dinner she wanted to “read something interesting on the iPad”‘ her new thing, so I asked her what’s interesting to her. She said “you”. So we Googled me with Janet typing my name with some help and we found a few things out there about me. One of the results was the Janet After 100 Days video and I realized she has never seem it. I was surprised at her reaction, she watched intently, laughing in spots and shaking her head in others. Overall she agreed she has come along way and asked “what was wrong with me then?” and “how did you have the stamina to do all that for so long?” I half expected her to get all emotional watching herself but she seemed quite intrigued by it all and has no recollection of any of it.

Just before seven, Jess came by to see if Janet would come up to the farewell party. She didn’t hesitate at all in agreeing and had a nice smile on her face the whole time she was there. She was warmly welcomed by a lot of people and the cupcakes her and Jess made were a huge hit. Connie was there and had a nice chat with Janet and I saying she’d be back next Wednesday to watch Janet at dinner time. It was really nice to see a lot of off duty staff there to say farewell to Ellie, even Brian showed up.

20130221-222944.jpg I’m really glad Janet made the effort to go to the party and I think we can now get her to the ladies night they have there on Thursdays. It would be really good for her.

Not quite ready for bed after the party Janet wanted to watch a little TV. We watched the last few minutes of the hockey game with Chris and that was actually kinda fun. All tucked in with her falls mats in place Janet is looking forward to coming home for the weekend and I’m looking forward to having her here. Praying for a restful night and a hard working morning before a fun weekend at home.