Janet, A Success Story. August 24. #TSJ

There may have been some intention of having Janet really work on her walking this weekend but reality was there was too much fun to be had. She was on a high from the radio interview on Friday, (still is), as Saturday got underway with the Mary/Gaga Skype chat which took place during breakfast in the sunshine. After a little tidying up before the arrival of our friends Nancy and Jim from North Vancouver, there was one chance to get some walking in. To warm Janet up we took the dog for a lap around the neighbourhood then filed him away so Janet could focus on walking. We parked her wheelchair outside the garage and I gave her the target of walking to the pedestrian gate and back. A distance of 100 meters each way. Janet started out without her cane and I reassured her she could use it if needed. She didn’t need it until the first leg of the trip was almost done. She then made it all the way back using her cane and walking on pace to do about fifty meters every six minutes, which is very good for her being outside where she is not as confident. I’m confident she can reach her goal of 400 meters in six minutes by sometime in November.

With the work out of the way and a good rest completed our guests arrived and the fun could begin. The rest of Saturday consisted of a glass of wine in the sun, a great church service, a very yummy dinner and good company throughout. Janet did well the whole time mostly listening to the conversation. She was more animated and vocal today especially during a leisurely breakfast that she got waited on for, and she was darn happy about it. We then headed out to a wine tasting at Sandhill Winery and were pleasantly surprised by the experience. Janet and I agreed on our favourite wine and brought a bottle home. Before Jim and Nancy took off on the next leg of their adventure we enjoyed a nice outside lunch with them. Janet and I came away from this visit with friends smiling, laughing and genuinely grateful to have such good people in our lives.

There was one last piece of work for Janet today and she willingly accepted helping prep dinner. The sun seems to be setting much sooner these days so dinner was inside after a lively discussion about Christmas vacation with the bulk of the family. Looks like we’ve settled on San Diego, now its a matter of locking down a place to stay. Janet is excited but mostly to hang with the family so where we do it doesn’t really matter to her. She was not excited about going back to Connect tonight but was greeted as a celebrity when she walked in and that brought a huge smile to her face. She really believes in and is excited about sharing her story.

Praying for a solid night of sleep and an energetic Monday.

Janet, A Success Story. August 22. #TSJ @cbcradiowest

This is a special edition blog post in case you missed the live broadcast of Janet’s and my radio debut. We were on CBC Radio Kelowna’s afternoon show called Radio West and it was a lot of fun. Janet was nervous heading in and put in a stellar performance when she got on the air. I was OK going in then got quite nervous for both of us but enjoyed it in the end. The host, Rebecca Zandbergen is very welcoming and professional and enabled Janet to be herself.

Here’s a link to the interview, we hope you enjoy.

Janet making her point.

Janet making her point.

Janet and Rebecca

Janet and Rebecca

Janet, A Success Story. August 21. #TSJ Walking Best

Tez put Janet through the ringer again this morning and she responded very well. The cold has all but disappeared and Janet was highly motivated today in contrast to the last couple of days. Walking a lot without her cane Janet showed improvement in her stride to the point where Tez feels its time to adjust her AFO so that its not so rigid. Currently it supports Janet just like a ski boot and I think we all know how difficult it is to walk in those, so for Janet to have progressed to where she can where a more flexible AFO is huge. When the lady who built Janet’s AFO was chatting with us I got the impression she didn’t feel Janet would get there. Well, this coming Tuesday Janet will get to show her it wasn’t a matter of if but when.

Back on July 24th Janet did her first six minute walking test and managed to travel 27 meters. Today, less than a month later she more than doubled that distance to 55 meters! Her goal for leaving Connect is now set at 400 meters, a number Tez is confident she’ll reach provided she keeps putting in the work. We have a busy weekend planned but will find time for lots of walking.

Before going home today Janet got to stop at the dentist to have more cavities filled. The dentist feels these latest ones are still related to Janet’s very long time in the hospital where she wasn’t able to brush her teeth and he’s not worried about the future as Janet has good brushing and flossing habits.

It had been a long day by the time Janet got home so she went for a late nap so she could better enjoy her first night of the weekend. A glass of wine and the semi finals of So You Think You Can Dance made for a nice relaxing evening and a satisfying one as both of our contestants made it into the finals. As a bonus, our tickets to the SYTYCD Tour arrived today and even though its not until February, Janet is excited about going. Me too.

Tomorrow we make our radio debut and Janet says she’s a little scared about it. I know she’ll do well and it will be an exciting experience. Listen live at 5pm PDT here on CBC Radio.

Praying for a restful night of sleep, a fun Friday and for our story to inspire, encourage and bring faith to others.

PS. I’ve added a new page to this blog, Video. On it you will find each video that’s been posted of Janet since this adventure began. Enjoy.

Janet, A Success Story. August 20. #TSJ Stubborn

Happily Janet’s cold seems to be going away. She sounded much better today and had lots more energy. Enough energy to put up a ton of resistance towards helping Chelsea make a cake and for doing any form of exercise tonight even though all she had done during the day was the bike.

When Janet called me this afternoon she excitedly told me how she had just read The Hallo-Wiener to Garrett and Curtis. She was quite happy she was able to do it and admitted she was nervous about reading to an audience. Mary Lou had encouraged her to try as it would be good practice for reading at a pre school. That was the good Janet. Things had shifted dramatically by the time I got to Connect and the majority of our evening was spent “discussing” the many reasons why Janet is at Connect and what her responsibilities are while she’s there. I was disappointed with her seeming lack of desire to help out around there and the false expectation that she should be waited on all the time. Those are very un Janet like characteristics and this was the second day in a row I’ve noticed them. It’s good that Janet is able to assert her feelings and wants but I don’t think its acceptable combined with a complete disconnect for other’s feelings and wants. We reached a resolution when Janet admitted she didn’t want to help with the cake because she feels she won’t be able to help or do enough based on having use of only one arm. When reminded of the good help she’s provided while baking at home she felt better about her situation but in the end only watched Chelsea and cheered her on a little. As far as the exercise goes, Janet finally agreed to do the stairs after realizing that going home on weekends is a privilege that is earned by doing the required work during her days at Connect.

Through it all there was still time for sitting in the sun and going for a nice stroll to watch some soccer before the bedtime reading session which lasted a short twenty minutes tonight as I don’t like reading out loud to myself and a snoring Janet.

Praying for another good night of healing sleep and for Janet to have a positive Thursday.

PS. Janet and I will be on CBC Radio this Friday afternoon just after 5pm PDT. The programme is called Radio West and is broadcast throughout the BC Interior. Thanks to technology, those of you not in our area can stream it live here , if you miss it, I hope to post a recording on this blog over the weekend.

Janet, A Success Story. August 17. #TSJ PB&L?

Since Janet complained that her “vacation” last week wasn’t relaxing enough for her I made sure that relaxing was the focus this weekend. It was good timing as Janet is still battling the little cold that Ethan left behind. Friday was probably the busiest day we had as we went out and ran a few errands after breakfast. First stop was shopping for a case for Janet’s iPhone so she can clip it to her pants. Since she rarely uses her wheelchair now she has no where to keep her phone. The first stop was successful and Janet had a good walk from the car into the store and an even longer one to a bathroom as we left. Its really nice to be able to take her out and not be in a huge hurry so she can walk everywhere that’s reasonable. Our next stop required the wheelchair as the store is just too big for Janet to do the whole thing. After that it was back to walking, this time on an uneven gravel surface which made for a good challenge that Janet didn’t enjoy but conquered none the less.

The rest of Friday, and the weekend for that matter, were very relaxed with lots of walking in the house, helping with meal prep and walks outside including a good one today about two hundred meters round trip. Janet finds it more difficult walking outside but is slowly gaining confidence and stamina. The sunny warm weather sure helps. I notice that with everything about Janet, especially her right arm now that the Botox has completely worn off. When she’s nice and warm her arm is very relaxed and flexible but if she’s the slightest bit cold the whole thing stiffens right up. Still hoping for that prescription to live in Hawaii or similar.

We got a very pleasant surprise on Friday when the host of CBC Radio’s afternoon show contacted us to see if we’d be willing to share our story on the air. She found the blog a few days ago and thinks our story will “touch” her audience. Janet and I agreed to go on the show and will be on live just after 5pm this Friday for about ten minutes. I’ll give you more details on how you can listen closer to the day.

With one goal out of the way I’ve been trying to get Janet to zero in on another. The reading is coming along and she showed little resistance to practicing this weekend and the improvement by today was noticeable as far as the speed with which she got through the book. Loading and unloading the dishwasher is going well but we haven’t started to learn how to start the thing yet. Same with the laundry, Janet can load and unload but hasn’t had enough practice pushing the buttons. Helping with meals is something Janet is more and more willing to do and I think operating the cooktop can be ticked off fairly quickly, we just need some cooler weather to inspire us to use it more. Today Janet shocked me with her lunch choice of a peanut butter and lettuce sandwich. She loved it, must be an Ontario thing.

PB & L? As long as she's happy.

PB & L? As long as she’s happy.

Praying for a good night of sleep for Janet that heals her cold and gives her lots of energy for a productive Monday..