As part of the development of a homecoming plan for Janet, Interior Health is required to determine her eligibility for home care services. Part of that process is a series of minor tests that Janet was first given in hospital almost two years ago. Actually, she wasn’t really given them then as she was unable to respond in any coherent way the first time, which was July 2012, then in September 2012 she scored super low and wasn’t able to complete the test. Today was much different. Nurse Jill met us at Connect this morning and spent an hour chatting and conducting the tests. Janet did very well and I wasn’t at all surprised but for sure pleased. The next step will likely involve a lot of paperwork so I’ll wait for instructions from the ABI Coordinator before spending too much time on it.
Since I was spending the day at Connect I brought Janet her favourite wrap from Urban Fare and we enjoyed a lively lunch with a few other residents. Janet then walked from the kitchen to her bathroom, a little slower than previous but still pretty good and she made really good turns into her room and especially the bathroom as that one was better than ninety degrees but she nailed it. There was an attempt at a nap next but my best guess says Janet was out for maybe twenty minutes. I can’t fault her as it was quite noisy out in the hallway and the adjoining room for a large part of the time. When she got up she bravely walked to the bathroom and back to the bed. I’m trying to get her to walk every short distance opportunity now and also to try a few steps unassisted. Janet remains scared of that idea.
There are two groups that Connect works with to provide some outdoor adventure to residents and today Janet and I filled out registration forms for both. One will allow her to try sailing and the other does small hikes, bike rides and kayaking, all with special equipment that makes it possible for Janet to do. She of course is not excited about any of it but I’m hoping to convince her to try once the weather gets better.
Chelsea had everyone build their own pizzas for dinner tonight so Janet was right at home with that. She did say later that it wasn’t as good as we make at home but it was OK. The energy it gave her was certainly good as she set a personal best on the bike tonight. I think it’s now time to make the ride a little harder and I’ll have to do that without her knowing as she still says it’s hard. We decided to read a little early tonight so Janet could have her dessert in hopes she would sleep better. It may have worked as she was snoring at 9:20! Praying for a long night of healing sleep and a productive tomorrow.
Road trip day! Janet was up in time to have a bath this morning after what she said was a so, so sleep. I beg to differ after the day she put in. We got on the road early to avoid any stress about missing the ferry at Horseshoe Bay and left the Okanagan sunshine expecting to hit rain before too long. It never happened really. I fully expected Janet to fall asleep an hour into the drive but she was chatty and bright the entire four plus hours. Stopping twice for bathroom breaks and once for gas/lunch and we were in North Vancouver with a little time to spare. I suggested we drop by and see Nancy briefly and Janet was all over it. We parked in Nancy’s driveway and I helped Janet walk the twenty feet to the front door. There is only one step leading to the front door but it’s a little high and Janet didn’t want to try it so I knocked and stood waiting with Janet. Shannon answered, surprised, called her mom who came to the door with a huge smile of surprise. Janet was excited to see her and we had a nice little chat sitting on a bench before walking back to the car. As we drove to the ferry Janet said, “Nancy’s really nice, we are lucky to have her as a friend”. Indeed.
We found a comfy spot to sit on the ferry and settled in with Janet finally showing signs of needing sleep. She napped for maybe ten minutes only and spent the rest of the time chatting and watching the various kids seated around us. It was a pleasant trip and as we recapped the drive I just had to praise Janet on how impressed I was with her identifying Merritt as we drove by, Hope and Chilliwack as we drove through and recognizing a lot of other things along the way. This is a very different Janet from our last road trip.
Neither of us was hungry on the ferry but Janet was as we neared Nanaimo so we ordered a pizza to pick up and take to Mom’s. Janet must’ve been hungry as she out ate me three pieces to two! That pretty much did her in and she was in bed soundly sleeping by ten o’clock, fourteen hours after getting up and with only a ten minute nap. A so so sleep last night? No way.
Praying that Janet has a solid night of sleep and has just as much energy for Saturday as she had today. Praying for a safe and enjoyable trip to Port Alberni to see the cousins.
Mom and I arrived at Connect just after lunch and found Janet waiting in the living room for us. She was in good spirits and willingly gave Mom the tour which inevitably stopped by the gym. Janet reported that she had done some stretching in the morning and that was all, Garrett confirmed that, so with some mild protesting I got Janet onto the Shuttle. I haven’t had her on that machine for a long time and was pleased to see that where we usually start from is now too easy for her. The amount she can push with one leg remains about the same as before and she continues to get good extension despite the lack of Botox right now. Janet gave it a good effort and I felt better about her leaving for the weekend having done some strengthening exercise.
We took a long way home trying to give my Mom a look around Kelowna a bit. Probably took a little too long as Janet actually agreed to a nap when we got home. She was refreshed after her nap and we all had a brief Skype chat with Brittney. The connection wasn’t the greatest but it was nice to see her and Ethan.
Making pizzas was next and again Janet wasn’t following directions very well. I asked her to turn on the oven, something she’s done many times with no help, and she seemed to have no clue what she was doing. I got a little mad at her and intentionally didn’t ask her to do much more after that other than stir fry her chicken, which she did a good job of. She also built a good pizza for herself and ate really well but was quiet and a little distant.
With no real plan for the evening we decided to watch Mama Mia as Janet insisted she’d never seen it and I was intent on proving her wrong. As soon as she heard the opening music she remembered and was singing along. Her command of the lyrics to those songs is not great so her singing was a lot more reserved tonight but she enjoyed the movie and the quiet evening.
Praying for a night of deep and healing sleep that provided lots of energy for a productive day tomorrow. Go ‘hawks!
Renovation Day 46. Finally, the electricians showed up today! We now have laundry, dishwasher, cooktop and oven along with some countertop plugs and under cabinet lights. There is a problem with the plugs on the island and one set of counter top plugs so they likely will need to return to fix those unless Randy and I can figure it out tomorrow. Randy worked hard to get everything ready for the electricians and can now finish the last two closets before focusing on the kitchen drawers and cupboards.
Surprisingly, Janet was asleep when I got to Connect. I thought she’d be raring to go knowing she was going home for the weekend. She woke up when I went into her room but clearly needed more sleep so she did for about an hour. That paid off nicely as she had good energy for the trip home and was a big help in putting away more of her stuff and helping to arrange furniture in the living area. That is very much a work in progress but at least things are in the general area so we can see exactly how it all fits instead of imagining it.
We could have cooked something for dinner and that would have been nice but there really wasn’t time so we ordered out pizza. use
Kind of lame for the first sit down meal in a new house but thats the way it goes. Next weekend we’ll cook for sure.
Janet was comfortable sitting on the couch tonight watching X Factor. I could see the contentment in her eyes. There is still a lot of work to be done here but it was awesome to take an evening and spend it with Janet in our house, something we haven’t done in fifty five days.
Praying for complete healing and a finished home that we can soon for God’s intended purpose.
Renovation Day 38. The floors are done! Very happy with the look and the install. There’s one little patch of vinyl tile to be done over the trap door access to the crawl space and that’s it. I got all the old switches and plugs changed out and just have a few new ones to do when Randy gives the all clear. I actually had a couple hours of just me in the house this afternoon and I quite enjoyed that. Good thing, as tomorrow will be the complete opposite as the appliances arrive along with the blinds and the plumber and the electrician. Fun!
I met Janet as she was getting off the bus at the pool this morning and she was a little grumpy, saying, “I don’t like getting ready for all this stuff”. By the time we were getting changed she was happier but dreading the cold water. Thankfully the pool was the warmest it’s been for us and Janet was comfortable after just a few minutes. She swam really well today, faster than ever a couple of times. So fast she blew right by me like a torpedo and I just let her go this time as she is able to grab the edge of the pool and stand herself up. Her walking was decent today too. Her right leg wasn’t totally cooperating but as she walked half the width of the pool and up a couple stairs I thought her mechanics were quite good with minimal hopping. Every time we go there is improvement. Janet still isn’t totally buying into her accomplishments but had lots of smiles and laughs as people commented on her speed of swimming and her ability to roll from back to tummy and swim under the lane dividers. She went into the pool grumpy and came out relaxed and quite happy.
Janet was about to get into the Standing Frame and help make pizzas when I got to Connect later in the afternoon. She was not thrilled with the idea but did it and got a good workout in the process. Her positioning in the Standing Frame is different in this situation and she is forced to stand on her own more with the machine there to help keep balance. Fifteen minutes is about her maximum and the busier she is the better. Chopping peppers was not much fun but decorating everyone’s pizzas was. Eating them of course was better yet.
Just before dinner Janet called her brother Mike to wish him a happy birthday and had a pretty good conversation with him. There were lots of laughs, as usual, and some long term memory recall but thankfully no singing. Janet very willingly climbed onto the bike this evening and tied her personal best. That ride and the swim this morning along with the Standing Frame session took a toll on Janet and she faded quickly as we watched X Factor tonight. She was a almost asleep as I stretched her legs before lights out. Praying for a night of uninterrupted sleep that brings complete healing and lots of energy for tomorrow.
Renovation Day 12. I had so much fun breaking up the lovely pink tile in the bathrooms yesterday I decided to rip up the floor that the tiles we glued to today. More fun for me. Randy continues to make good progress in the kitchen and I think we are almost ready for a video tour update. Stay tuned.
The whole time I was with Janet yesterday I teased her about going to sledge hockey today in hopes that if I said it enough she might actually go. Lo and behold, she did go! Just to watch though, which is fine as she still got out with a group of people and that’s good. She created some excitement on the way out of the arena as she was propelling herself and got going too fast and tumbled out of her wheelchair. The only thing hurt was her pride and she actually told me the story almost word for word as Garrett did when I arrived at Connect. The staff were very attentive to her and I didn’t notice any ill effects at all.
That outing prevented Janet from getting to the gym this morning so she agreed to do The Shuttle before church. Her performance was satisfactory. To me, her right leg seems to not have gained any strength since I last worked with her over a week ago but she is getting significantly more extension from her pushes so that’s good. Janet had a decent Skype chat with Heather and a good phone conversation with Cam and Gina. I think it’s soon time for her to learn to initiate or answer phone and Skype calls herself as the prearranged ones or requests that come through me seem to annoy her most of the time. Spontaneous or self initiated would be better.
For as long as we’ve been attending Trinity Janet has nine times out of ten just wanted to leave right after the service. The last few weeks she has agreed to exit via the front row so we can say hi to people and tonight she was the one that asked if we could do that. She was able to talk to a number of people, some of whom she said she didn’t really know but it was nice talking to them anyways. I’m really glad Janet is starting to seek people out and hope it continues.
Back at Connect Janet went into the Standing Frame while our pizza cooked. In honour of Gina’s family we watched a little of the baseball game and cheered for Boston. Janet said she had a good lunch then proceeded to eat four slices of pizza for dinner! All she could do after that was watch a little more TV on the couch with me then fall asleep with her head on my shoulder. I let her sleep like that for a little while before attempting to get her back in her wheelchair and when I finally woke her up she came to pretty well and got herself ready for bed as usual.
Praying for a deep and healing sleep tonight and lots of energy for tomorrow.
Renovation Day 5 was a dusty one as Randy was mudding and sanding drywall repairs from the electrical work we had done and the two walls that were removed. The best part of my day was pulling staples and nails from the floor in preparation for installation of the new one. Janet and I brought home a sample of the new floor to see what it looks like in its natural environment. Pretty cool,I think.
Jen from Connect delivered Janet to her doctor’s appointment this afternoon and I met them there. This was a routine check up and I didn’t even have a list of questions this time as medically Janet is doing fine right now. I let her discuss things with her doctor, only stepping in if she gave inaccurate info and that only happened a couple times. Janet is concerned about her perceived lack of sleeping at night and the doctor suggested trying to stay in a routine of going to bed at the same time each day and getting up at the same time each day. Apparently that helps regulate your Circadian Clock and may explain the difficulties Janet was having on Tuesdays when she was home on weekends until Monday night. She was going to bed way later and getting up way later than at Connect so when she does finally get a chance to come home I’ll make sure she stays in a more regular routine. This was a great visit to the doctor as Janet did most of the talking for once and handled herself very well. Afterwards she told me she likes her doctor as “she’s very approachable”.
Janet was a big help in choosing the colour for our new blinds today and also in picking out a kitchen faucet. We were quite picky about what we wanted as it has to be something Janet can comfortably use so the guy at Splashes really had to work to find the right thing. Good job!
By the time our shopping was done it was time to get Nash and figure out dinner. Janet wanted pizza so we decided to try Papa Murphy’s and were pleased we did. Janet helped bake the pizzas at Connect for us and both kinds we tried were yummy. There was lots of chatter going on in the dining area tonight and Janet enjoyed the activity while we ate then she helped me clean up by wiping the table and putting stuff away. She was getting very tired but her drive to be productive kept her going until 8:40 when she called bedtime thinking I would read to her for half an hour. She lasted five minutes before snoring.
Praying for a good night’s sleep and lots of energy for tomorrow.
Summer continues here in the Okanagan so I was a little disappointed to find Janet in pants and a long sleeve shirt this afternoon. She insisted on keeping them on even as I tried to explain it was thirty two degrees outside. Before we got home she was asking me to roll up her sleeves because she was hot. Stubborn.
We weren’t in a rush to do anything today so on the way home we stopped at Kelowna Hyundai to do a little car shopping. Unlike other car lots we’ve been to, we got service pretty quick and the guy pointed us to a car that actually suits are needs very well. Janet can get in and out easily and even did her seatbelt up unassisted while I put the wheelchair in the back without folding seats down. The car drives well and seems to make a lot of sense, even the price is good. It just isn’t very sexy. It’s a 2012 Hyundai Elantra Touring. Not bad looking but not a wow car either. Quite plain Jane on the inside and no sunroof. Janet was quite comfortable during our test drive and any new car has to be mostly right for her and not me so we will consider this one or something similar. Anyone know a comparable car? I think Mazda makes one close to it?
The car shopping got us home right at dinner making time and Janet built what I believe is her best pizza yet. No coaching on opening the can of sauce. No coaching on anything other than making sure she got toppings in the middle as well as around the outside and she needed a little help with some slippery sun dried tomatoes. Out of the oven, hers looked better than mine. We managed to sneak in another dinner outside at sunset and are feeling pretty blessed that we can do that. Janet enjoyed her post dinner hot tub so much that while she was floating I let go of her completely and unlike me, she didn’t sink. She was so relaxed she kept on floating.
With Janet’s legs in the extenders we watched the finale of SYTYCD and enjoyed it very much. I thinks this was the best season ever and Janet would agree especially since her guy and girl that she picked right at the start, won! She was almost as excited as they were. Fun to see.
While Janet was brushing her teeth I heard Nash bark and get all excited so I knew someone was at the house. I asked Janet if she thought it was Laurel or a stranger. She chose stranger. Guess she can’t pick them right every time. We had a good and chatty little visit before bedtime and are looking forward to the sunny weekend with Laurel here.
Praying for lots of healing rest tonight and a productive day tomorrow.
Garett and Karl report that Janet’s morning was very busy as she did the full routine in the gym plus the Standing Frame along with some Speech and a shower. She was ready to go when I arrived and remembered we were stopping along the way but couldn’t remember what for. It was to check out flooring options for our new house and gave us our first test of the porter wheelchair. I try never to judge anything after only one attempt so let’s just say I’ve yet to be impressed. There will be more opportunities tomorrow. Our visit to Nufloors was a success with our salesman scheduled to meet us at the new house Tuesday morning to get accurate measurements. He will bring the sample of the flooring Janet chose so we can see it in real light. Janet surprised me with what she decided on and showed some real thoughtfulness in her decision making. Her descriptions of all the samples we saw were accurate and insightful. I was very impressed and like the new wheelchair you’ll have to wait to learn what she chose.
Once we got settled at home we decided to start packing while we waited for Cam and Gina to return from wine touring. I had the pleasure of finally meeting Gina this morning and Janet was eagerly awaiting her chance. Two boxes later they arrived and the sizing up began. Just kidding. We’d heard so much about Gina we felt like we knew her already and she’s quickly fit right in. Pizzas were on the menu and Janet did her best job yet at chopping peppers and tomatoes. She was a little quiet during dinner but when asked said, “they are being loud enough”. In other words she was enjoying listening.
After a good stretch in the hot tub the evening concluded with SYTYCD and ice cream. A long and active day with Janet and she handled it very well for not having had a nap. The cognitive gains continue, please pray for her right leg to join the party.
Another good first part of the day for Janet today. Garrett reports lots of smiles, laughs and a good attitude towards all she was asked to do. Janet is still laughing about the tan lines on her feet from her sandals. Not sure why its so funny now as she’s had them for a couple of months. It doesn’t matter though as laughs are always good. When I arrived Janet was “napping” with her eyes open and a smile on her face. I was surprised she was in bed as she’s usually waiting for me on going home day but Garrett said she asked for a nap around one so I’m sure she got a bit of a rest.
On our way home we drove through several neighborhoods looking for possible places to live and have arranged with our realtor to look at a little house in the morning. Of course after driving all over the place the one most appealing to us is quite close to where we live now. The rental game is proving quite difficult to play so we are looking to buy something that would suffice while Janet is at Connect and we can keep an eye on our preferred neighborhoods in the meantime. Then when she’s done and if we aren’t totally groovin on where we live we can move again. Sounds like fun right? Janet did well with all the driving around and seemed to enjoy looking at the different areas and houses. This is proving to be an important issue for her and she’s been able to give me some very insightful feedback on some places. “Feels like an old persons place”. “Not very fun looking”. “Too dark and dreary”, are just a few of her comments. The place we are going to see tomorrow got a “what’s wrong with this place?” As in “why not” look at it. Why not indeed.
I guess her nap at Connect wasn’t very long because as soon as we got home Janet asked for some nap time and was out minutes after hitting the pillow. She woke up an hour later and did a great job building pizzas for dinner and commented afterwards that “that was a good dinner”. I think last night’s meal at Connect is still haunting her. We did a little online house hunting then enjoyed a nice hot tub under a clear sky that was dark enough to do some star gazing. That’s one good thing about it getting dark so early now. Janet had trouble seeing some of the things I was pointing out to her so next time she can leave her glasses on and that should help. We watched a very enjoyable So You Think You Can Dance before bed and even with the late hour Janet was fully engaged the whole time. She even initiated comment on a few of the routines instead of waiting for me to ask her about it. Fun times.
Praying for a deep and healing sleep tonight, lots of energy for tomorrow and a clear message as to where we are supposed to live next.