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Janet, A Success Story. November 18. #TSJ

Homeward Bound!

This morning, Janet successfully picked up Garrett’s phone from the floor thereby earning herself an early exit from Connect. Tomorrow Janet is moving home!

Needless to say she is very excited, as am I, and most of our time together today was spent getting ready for her departure. Brian stopped by right after nap time and Janet attempted to show him her picking up technique but wasn’t quite able to get it so she will make another attempt in the morning at making it official. The result won’t affect her coming home as that’s already been awarded to her so there’s no pressure.

While we were packing we had a surprise visit from our friend John. He finally got into the care facility he was hoping for just down the road from Connect and seems really happy about it. His move plays into Janet’s plan to help Debra with her Speech quite well as now we can come out and visit John at the same time. Janet asked Debra this morning if she’d like to do a little singing with her and she though that was a great idea. I don’t think Janet will want to start going back to Connect for that too soon but she is quite excited about helping Debra out.

Earlier in the day Tez had Janet do two six minute walking tests. The first one was using her cane and Janet went 95 meters. The second was freestyle and Janet made it 101 meters that time. She is very pleased to have made it over a hundred and that is a nice result to take to H2O for the next phase of her physio therapy.

Packing her stuff and removing decorations from Janet’s room was a bigger project than anticipated but she was very happy to help and excitedly told Heather on the phone that everything was off the walls. She did a great job separating things and even managed to donate a couple of items instead of throwing them out.

We studied a little of Janet’s SheLife materiel before Games Night where Janet engaged more than usual knowing this was her last one. When I mentioned that it will be hard for me to say goodbye to the staff Janet instructed me to “just go, bye bye” waving your hand as you say it. I know she appreciates them all and will say proper thank you’s soon but all Janet can see right now is getting out of there. As I said goodnight tonight she was like a little kid on Christmas Eve, super excited that it was her last sleep there, so much so, I’m not sure if she’ll actually sleep.

Tomorrow is the day we’ve long been working for and Janet deserves it to be happening now. I pray that she rests well tonight and enjoys her last visit to the Connect gym in the morning and that her homecoming is as special as she believes it will be.

Janet, A Success Story. September 11. #TSJ

An anxious Janet called me this morning to say she was all done her exercises and could I please come and get her soon. How could I resist? She had had a good morning, working with a much better attitude than the previous day and she was thrilled to be heading home before lunch. We made a few stops along the way looking for new patio furniture to go with our new deck and that gave Janet a chance to walk around stores and parking lots using her cane. She was quite slow during each excursion as she is quite nervous in strange territory. Practice practice.

Once we got home Janet had a good nap after a late lunch before going for her 400 meter walk. We went a slightly different route today so she could stay in the sunshine and again I thought she was rather slow. I led her all the way but she really pulled back on my arm and didn’t seem too confident. At least she did it and if she can keep doing it she should find it gets easier.

Janet managed enough energy to help build pizzas for dinner and we enjoyed a quiet evening and an early bedtime ahead of a busy weekend.

Praying for an uninterrupted night of sleep and lots of energy tomorrow.

Janet, A Success Story. September 10. #TSJ Uncle Monkey

There’s nothing like a little morning confusion is there? Janet called me as I was on the road heading for her Team Meeting and she said “they don’t think there is a meeting”. Turns out a few of the key people didn’t have this meeting in their calendars but Janet was going around telling them all there was one. When “they” realized Janet was right all was well and Janet received some well earned praise for being on top of things and she felt pretty good about being correct.

The meeting itself was productive and Janet was a full participant. Mary Lou said Janet is progressing nicely on her reading skills and sees no problem for Janet reading a story to pre school kids for Halloween. Janet is not excited about practicing writing but thinks she can give it a good go especially after she correctly said our address when asked. That’s the first time she’s gotten it all right that I’ve heard and she felt pretty good about that too. Brian is scheduled to visit the house on Saturday to assess Janet’s competence with certain activities there and I wouldn’t be surprised if we can check off another goal or two very soon after that. As far as the walking 400 meters in six minutes goes, that obviously is the biggest challenge Janet faces and hopefully she adjusts her attitude and works hard for Tez tomorrow and from now on. He was unable to attend this morning so I will follow up with him next week.

With the meeting done, Janet was free for the rest of the day so she could hang with her brother Mike who treated us to a wonderful lunch at The Fixx Cafe. It was a nice enough day that we could walk to the restaurant and Janet actually walked the first 100 meters so she got some exercise today. It was fun sitting in the sun enjoying good food and Uncle Monkey’s banter. Thanks bro’.

Big Brother

Big Brother


Janet had time for a quick nap before dinner then we watched AGT before heading back to Connect. There was no complaining about going back tonight and I think the meeting may have inspired Janet to buckle down and get after those goals. Besides she’s only there for the morning then it’s home for a busy weekend.

Praying for a sound night of sleep and lots of energy tomorrow.

Janet, A Success Story. September 9. #TSJ Grumpy

I got an early call from Janet today as she told me she had made Tez mad at her enough to kick her out of “his class”. She said she was complaining and not doing what he wanted her to do and as she explained it all to me I could tell she had drawn a line in the sand that she was not going to cross this morning. I saved the pep talk for this afternoon. Good thing, as that’s when Janet opened up a little and admitted she was scared to walk all on her own as Tez asked her to and she doesn’t believe she can do some of the other things like go up and down steps. She was a much different person this afternoon, first for admitting all that, then for walking 400 meters at a quick pace, then dusting in the living room area, then volunteering to take the stairs on the way to Games Night. I couldn’t believe that one and she even said she wanted to “because it’s good practice”. Where was that attitude this morning?

Janet did great at Games Night, her best ever and she even smile as we talked about it during the walk back. Her reasoning was simple, “I was more into it tonight”. Its so hard to know what you’re going to get with her but the overall trend is still heavily on the improving side of things. We’ve lots to discuss at the team meeting tomorrow and look forward to hearing what everyone else thinks.

Praying that Janet rests well tonight and has a positive attitude tomorrow.

Janet, A Success Story. August 28. #TSJ Frozen

Janet called me right at noon as she finished her workout and asked if she could come home sooner than planned. I obliged but she had to go grocery shopping with me on the way. Her morning was good according to her. Tez was away and sent a student to work with Janet and she liked him a lot. Not that he was that much easier on her but that he had a different approach to things. To help Janet take longer strides he placed markers on the floor and Janet had to hit each one as she stepped. A Tez idea but first tried today and Janet feels she did pretty well at it.

Grocery shopping was as fun as it can be and Janet enjoyed having a say in what we bought. She had another fun activity after that, a visit to the dentist. If they had automatic doors at the dentist office I could easily drop Janet off outside now and let her do the appointment completely on her own. Her cane walking is strong enough and she needs only the slightest bit of help lifting her right leg onto the dentist chair. Pretty cool. She was able to watch some tennis while in the chair and we watched more at home tonight treating this as Janet’s Friday especially since her mouth was frozen for hours. There are no specific plans tomorrow but I hope to have Janet practice some domestic activities as well as her distance walking. Praying for a restful night of sleep and continued improvement.

Janet, A Success Story. July 22. #TSJ

All on her own, Janet called me earlier than usual this morning to say she’d just worked a little with Tez. She thinks its very important to tell me things like that right away so I know she’s being productive. Somewhat true.

By the time I got to Connect this afternoon Janet was surprisingly still sleeping and continued to for almost an hour before waking refreshed and ready for action. Her day had been busy enough to not have had time for a bike ride so off we went to get that in before dinner. Janet complained a little once she got pedalling but by the end she was quite proud of how well she’d done. Her walking to the gym and back was excellent as it was all the rest of the night too.

Everyone else had finished dinner by the time we got to the kitchen which was OK because it allowed us to dine outside in the sun instead of inside in the air conditioning. Janet was not thrilled with the prospect of attending Games Night, I think mostly because she knew she had to walk there and back. Tez has decreed to the staff that they are to have Janet walk everywhere possible now, using the wheelchair as little as possible. That’s something I’ve been practicing for a while now so Janet shouldn’t notice much of a difference. Once Games Night got rolling Janet jumped right in and fully participated and ended the evening on a real high by being “it” for a game of Where What Who. The person who is it thinks of something to be in a certain location around the world and the rest of the group asks questions leading to their guessing what you are thinking. Usually people guess something or someone far away, Janet thought she could fool everyone by choosing herself and she did until Big Country somehow guessed correctly to everyones laughter. Janet was quite happy with herself and called that the highlight of her day. I thought the highlight should have been when I told her we got tickets to the Seahawks home opener but she put that third, behind her game playing and me coming to visit her. Awww.

Praying for a good night of sleep for Janet and continued healing.

Janet, A Success Story. July 16. #TSJ Dining Out

Another surprise phone call from Janet this morning, this one at 9:45 as she waited for Mary Lou’s Speech class. Janet had just practiced reading The Hallo Wiener and seems to be gaining confidence in her ability to read it. There were lots of laughs during our conversation and I’m happy Janet thinks to call on her own now.

The Connect bus ride to The Asian Pear was uncomfortably hot, even for Janet, as the A/C was not working on the bus. When I went onboard to help her off, sweat droplets poured off her right arm from under her splint and her back was pretty wet. 40 degrees and no A/C will do that. The heat didn’t affect anyone’s appetite though as the group took advantage of the “all you can eat” format. Even Janet had seconds, of vegetables of course.

A very "full" house.

A very “full” house.


It was a good outing for everyone and the return trip was much nicer for some as Janet and I took Wes and Angie (those without wheelchairs) in our air conditioned car which they greatly appreciated.
Who says 4 o'clock is the hottest time of day.

Who says 4 o’clock is the hottest time of day.


Our evening was spent creating our weekend grocery list and reading in addition to practicing for the Connect Fun Day tomorrow. Janet is all against it of course so in order to get her to sign up for some games I had to prove to her how well she can throw things. We still have the little basketball we used to play catch with in Rehab so I had her throw that at me a few times and as expected she has a cannon. She is signed up for the bean bag toss, ladder ball and bocci. I expect medals.

Praying Janet sleeps well tonight and has a positive attitude for a fun Thursday.

Janet, A Success Story. July 15. #TSJ

To further prove the progress Janet is making I witnessed her make a phone call without any help at all using her iPhone. She methodically performed each step and successfully called me as I sat a few meters away from her. I haven’t been coaching her on the use of her phone much and she’s not getting many calls either so I’m not sure how she figured this out but even she was quite happy about it.

Happy was the word of the week for Games Night and the mood Janet was in all day I think. The exercises went well according to her and were completed before lunch. Jess took her for some routine blood work and Janet didn’t even complain about that, probably because it got her out of the air conditioning for awhile. Even her toileting went well today.

After her nap and setting the dinner table we sat outside and chatted for forty five minutes. Twenty minutes into that we were both sweating but Janet was determined not to go back in until she had to. She did go in for dinner then went right back out again after to warm up.

Games Night was the closest thing to unhappy for Janet today as everyone seemed a little off their game tonight. It was still good she went and the trip upstairs was a good walking workout. She asked me to help her walk to get her meds after that, I said no but I’d walk with her, and instead of refusing to go at all, Janet told me not to bother and off she went on her own. Love it!

Praying that Janet sleeps well tonight and has lots of energy for a productive Wednesday. She’s already excited about the house trip to The Asian Pear for dinner.

Janet, A Success Story. March 28. #TSJ

My phone rang at 10:30 this morning while I was at the grocery store, Janet Dieno, it said on the call display. I’m grateful Janet has her own phone now as the few times she called me from Connect before, it would just say, Connect, and I would be nervous not knowing if it was a fun call or someone calling with bad news. She was laughing as soon as I answered, which made it even better, happy with herself for calling me. Curtis helped her make the call but it was her idea, rooted around her desire to come home for the weekend as soon as possible. Janet said she was all done in the gym and was ready. By the time I got there lunch was done and she had actually packed a shirt and was thinking of what else to bring in case she needed it. She doesn’t need to bring clothes from Connect but I let her continue packing thinking it was good therapy.

Walking was the only thing missed from her exercises today so I had her doing some pretty much as soon as we got home. Janet stood in front of a large mirror to see if she is standing straight and of course this time she was for the most part. She could really see her right leg was bent and skewed to the right though. Hope we can correct that soon. The walking tired her out pretty fast as she continues to be very nervous about it so she accepted a nap suggestion and slept for almost two hours.

We had no plans for tonight so took time to make a nice dinner and Janet did a great job helping. It had been a while since I really put her to work in the kitchen but she remembered where a lot of things were and followed direction nicely. Dinner turned out really well but Janet is still not a hundred percent and was lacking energy the rest of the night. We tried some more walking but Janet made it only about fifteen feet before konking out and it was onto the couch for a couple hours of TV after that.

Praying for a long night of uninterrupted sleep that provides lots of energy and strength for a fun day tomorrow.

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

Around lunchtime today I called Janet and on the second ring she answered all by herself! She was about to have lunch so didn’t want to talk much but she sounded great and it was really cool to be able to call her like that. I did it again just as I was leaving to pick her up and this time she answered right away saying she was going to sleep. Good thing I called. I held back for an hour then went to Connect, loaded her up for the weekend and headed to KGH to see John.

John was awake this time and we were able to have a nice visit. He is looking and feeling a little better and enjoyed teasing Janet who was very compassionate and all on her own wished him a speedy recovery and a hope that he returns to sing with her soon. There is a real connection between the two of them and we are blessed to have John in our lives. As we made our way out of the hospital we ran into nurse Arlene headed off on a break. Janet didn’t remember her but Arlene took the time to really speak some love to Janet and assure her what an inspiration she is. I love it when others tell Janet truths like that.

Janet helped make dinner and we settled in to watch the first two episodes of The Voice. It is amazing to me how much Janet takes in and correctly processes things now. It wasn’t long ago that TV watching took place with no interaction at all, now Janet sings along, comments on performers, laughs and genuinely understands what’s going on. She is truly disappointed she has to wait a week to watch more.

Looking forward to a great weekend and praying for lots of energy and a positive attitude.