I took my time going out to Connect today as I had an appointment to look at a Condo then get my haircut so I figured on arriving near the end of Janet’s nap time. She was waiting for me in the living room with a cup of juice in one hand and a big grin on her face. Former resident, Clint, was there to meet with his “worker” so it was nice to see him. Janet was not showing any signs of needing a nap so we hung out for a while chatting to Clint and Jess reported she had had a good day so far. Lorne had her in the gym “for a long time” and Mary Lou did some speech with her. She ate a large breakfast and lunch and hadn’t argued about drinking yet. She did argue about nap time though. After all the updates and chit chat we headed to Janet’s room for a bio break and were talking there afterwards when Garrett stopped by to ask Janet if she was going to have a nap or help prep dinner. In one of the quickest and surest responses ever, Janet loudly said “help with dinner” and was wheeling out the door immediately.
Dinner tonight was the roast chicken that Janet helped to spice up yesterday and she was given the task of chopping some asparagus and some potatoes to go with it. Using a rocker knife she needed no help with the asparagus and a little downward pressure from me on the potatoes. She then set the table and was visibly pleased to be doing these things, repeatedly asking in a loud voice if there was anything else she could do. Not sure where all this energy was coming from but I’ll take it.
We had to wait a while for the chicken to cook so I read some Slow Dance to Janet and once again there were a lot of similarities to note and this time they centered around rehab and the importance of Physio Therapy. Towards the end of dinner Janet was given the choice of going to the gym or the coffee house down the road to listen to some music. Normally she would reject a social activity like the coffee house but when it was placed against going to the gym the decision was easy. As we headed to the car I mentioned to her that this is the second night in a row where she hasn’t had to go to the gym. Janet said “ya, it’s great!” So much for what we read earlier, or maybe she remembered the part about rest being just as important? Garrett took Derick and Humberto and new staff member Keri (new to Janet’s house) and Janet and I followed in our car. Unfortunately when we got to the coffee house it was closed as they only do the live music thing on the first Wednesday of each month. The others went for a drive to Kelowna and Janet and I drove around Lake Country a bit since we are still rather unfamiliar with it. We managed to get up high on the hill to the east of town where there was a nice view looking down to where even Janet could see Connect. We also explored the area near Wood Lake and were disappointed at how inaccessible the waterfront is there. Most of the beach is privately owned and the one public area is not wheelchair friendly at all. Made me appreciate all those walks to the beach last summer at KGH even more.
I thought Janet would crash early tonight since she had no nap and she did fade a little during our drive but once back at Connect she wanted to play a game on the iPad. She chose the math game and did amazingly well for the first fifteen minutes or so, actually the best she’s done with me. Maybe it was the lollypop she was enjoying while we played or maybe she’s just getting smarter in her old age. I was impressed. That brain exercise did use up the last of her energy for the day and she very willingly got ready for bed but not until she was able to bite that lollypop into oblivion. It was quite difficult for her but when she finally did it she smiled with satisfaction.
Thankful for an enjoyable time with Janet today and the spark she had. Praying for rest and healing tonight and a successful session in the pool tomorrow with lots of energy for the rest of her day.
Janet surprised me this morning by greeting me with a huge smile as she sat in the living room at Connect watching CNN. She said she had a good breakfast and was having a good morning so far. In anticipation of the appearance of Tez the Physio Therapist, we headed down to her room and had a little chat and played a math game on the iPad. Janet impressed me with her recognition of patterns and grouping from smallest to largest. I realized we forgot to weigh Janet yesterday so I asked Garrett if we could do that. Janet has gained again so I think it’s safe to say we are done with tube feeds. Next step is to get her drinking water well enough to get rid of the peg tube altogether.
Mary Lou dropped by to see if Janet had any time for a little Speech session. I left them at Janet’s newly installed desk and chair and when I returned a half hour later they both had big smiles on their faces and gave an encore performance of a vocal exercise they had just done. Janet was nice and loud and clear and was very much enjoying the singing aspect of this session. I will try and get music therapy man in soon as Mary Lou thinks that would be really good for Janet.
It was clear by this time that Tez was not going to appear before lunch so we headed to the kitchen and I blended and heated some vegetable soup for Janet. It was actually pretty good and she ate all but a few spoons full. We got word that Tez would appear between 1:30 and 2:00 so we hung out in Janet’s room for a while reading and talking. To speed the arrival of Tez I put Janet on the toilet and like magic he appeared. All I had heard about Tez before was he was an Aussie. Usually I know what that means and I was looking forward to ribbing him about being the last therapist to see Janet and being late today etc. He’s not your stereotypical Aussie and although I think I will eventually be able to give him the gears today was not the day as he was all business.
As the lone PT at Connect it is Tez’s job to create programs for all the residents there. This afternoon was his chance to see what Janet can do and can’t do and figure out what to work on to help her recover the most physically. He came in with pretty much a blank slate, not relying on Janet’s chart and only using a few key things that Moira had passed on to him. Since Janet had just gotten out of the bathroom and was sitting on the edge of the bed it was the perfect opportunity to watch her transfer using the sliding board. We then went down to the gym with Garret and Lorne in tow and Janet transferred onto the table mat. Tez talked to her for quite awhile about what she felt she could do, what she liked to do prior, what she wanted to be able to do and about a wide range of other things. I was very impressed with Janet’s responses to his questions and her engagement in the conversation. I only had to correct her a couple times and elaborate on a few things otherwise she handled it all remarkable well. It was then time for the let’s see what you can do test and after a thorough workout, sometimes painful, Tez said “your going to be fun to work with” and “I usually put together a program pretty quick for people but I’m going to give yours some long thought”. He seems truly intrigued by Janet’s case and I think sees quite a bit of potential for her. His short term goals are to protect the functionality she has now and start building strength in her legs and arms. Long term will be discussed at the coaches meeting next Thursday but likely will be similar to Brian’s. Independent transfers and walking short distances, maybe some use of that right arm. It was a very interesting session and a tough workout for Janet at times but she realizes the importance of it and I think will respond well to whatever program Tez comes up with.
We finished in the gym just after three and I decided to bring Janet home for the rest of the day. She enjoyed playing with Nash again and is getting really good at telling him what she wants him to do. He is learning to put the ball on the floor where she can reach it so they actually can have some decent play time. We sat by the fire and watch the start of the Fiesta Bowl and Janet remembered she was cheering for the Oregon Ducks as soon as I reminded her of their nickname. Dinner was a bowl of pasta and meat sauce which Janet ate with gusto. Ice cream followed and then after helping me fold laundry she had another dessert, one of Laurel’s Turtle Squares.
Bob and Chris were watching the game in the living room when we got back to Connect and Janet wanted to stay and watch with them for a bit. We stayed until the end of the third quarter then got ready for bed. Another busy day for Janet and I asked her to recap it for me before I said goodnight. She was able to tell me most of what she did in chronological order with a few names different than reality. Breakfast was lunch, our home was Ontario and her room was Bolivia. That’s still the best recap I’ve had from her and she is no longer giving the automatic “terrible”, or “nothing” answer to my questions. Nice.
Praying for a restful night and a productive day tomorrow.