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.

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.