As expected, Janet got up fairly early this morning knowing she could visit Laurel and Raj. Her night was somewhat restless with a good start and a not so good middle. The morning with Laurel and Raj was good though and Janet seemed quite bright and happy the whole time. Laurel went through some of the memorabilia we had found and shared a lot of it with Janet and that produced a lot of laughs. Laurel and Raj treated us to a nice lunch at Joey’s before they started their drive to the coast. Janet got quiet at the restaurant as the lack of sleep caught up with her. It was still a nice time and Janet ate well saying “that’s way better than what I get at school”. Connect has been referred to as school a lot lately and I guess that’s ok.
Once back at Connect a very tired Janet hung in there for our meeting with wheelchair guy. I think we’ve finally started the final bit of test driving and should have something to buy in the next few weeks after one more modification. Sounds like Janet has selected the color of the chair already, pink. She very willingly headed to bed for a nap right after the meeting and slept for a short while then was awake more than sleeping for the next hour. That gave her enough energy to say “let’s get done what I have to get done”. Meaning, lets go to the gym. With a much better attitude and me not distracted by my phone, Janet had a great Shuttle workout, followed by a good little standing session and some good stretching with Garrett. After dinner she said she wanted to do the Standing Frame so she could be done and she handled almost an hour in it nicely. That left us a little time for a walk and some YouTube before the tiredness crept back up on Janet.
Another solid day with signs of improvement. Praying for an active and productive tomorrow.
Jess reports Janet had a very busy first part of her day, doing lots of work in the gym, Speech with Mary Lou and helping Jess make biscuits for tonight’s dinner. Tez mentioned he wants Janet’s work on the Shuttle to focus on her right leg as she really needs to build strength in it. She did the full workout as well as lots of sit to stand exercises. Janet said she didn’t help much with the biscuits but it sounds like Speech was incorporated into the process as she did say she read the recipe out loud. There hasn’t been much change in Janet’s volume level but the memory keeps improving even if she struggles to find the right words. Tonight she retold the story of the lunatics at the London Drugs parking lot on Monday correctly stating “we were only in there ten minutes…” then carrying on with a somewhat jumbled but accurate description of the encounter. Pretty impressive I think.
I snuck up on Janet as she wheeled from the living room and followed her to the kitchen sink and almost out the door to the patio after I got to Connect. She couldn’t quite get the door open herself but gave it a good try. We had a nice talk in the sun for a bit and since she had just gotten out of the Standing Frame decided to do a Shuttle session then hit the road for home as Laurel and Raj were coming in tonight for a brief visit. I didn’t get the sense that Janet was particularly tired prior to getting to the gym, that sure changed in a hurry though. My original thought was for her to have a rest, dinner, gym then go home. Should’ve stuck to that as Janet had enough of a meltdown in the gym to warrant a time out for an hour after Garrett managed a little stretching with her. She definitely was tired as she slept for almost an hour but I’ll take some blame for the meltdown for not being focused on her when she was on the Shuttle. I need to ignore my phone when working with her like that.
Janet made a nice recovery after her nap. She of course said she wouldn’t sleep and when I checked her after thirty minutes she was right out. We stopped at Save On and got a bunch of groceries on the way home then built our own sandwiches for dinner. I’m having to help Janet less and less with this sort of thing as long as we can take the time needed for her to figure things out. I’ve never had her try the squeeze bottle of mayo before but she quickly figured out how to open it, she just isn’t strong enough to do it completely. Before Laurel and Raj arrived we had time to sort through a few more boxes from under the stairs and these made Janet a little sad. Most were filled with stuff she was saving for the possibility of her opening her own pre school one day. She repeatedly said “I guess I’ll never be a pre school teacher again”. No tears but close and I really felt for her but I also know its really good she acknowledges things like that and it reminds me of the need to keep her contributing to our life and hers at Connect. She needs to feel useful.
Laurel and Raj arrived just after nine and we enjoyed a nice visit before bed. They are on their way to the coast for a wedding so we’ll see them for half the day tomorrow before its back to work for Janet. There were lots of positives today even with the little meltdown and Janet of course was very excited to see Laurel and Raj. Praying for lots of rest tonight and a fun day tomorrow.
This morning was what Easter Sunday ought to be, in my mind anyways. Bright, sunny, full of excitement with an air of celebration. I had to wake Janet up so we could start our day on time and with a big smile she told me she was ready. With Laurel’s help we had breakfast done and were all dressed ready for church ahead of schedule. I was anxious to get there knowing it would be packed and there is really only the one seat that’s best for Janet. We were first in line at the door leading to that seat and a short while later were all settled in. I had to ask Janet one more time if she was excited to be a part of the service and seeing herself on the side screens. She played it down and I wonder if we were asking her too often about that. I wanted her to be happy about it and understand the potential for touching a lot of people and I think she gets that and just wanted to not think about it. The team at Trinity did an outstanding job with this weekend’s services and Janet showed no signs of nodding off today at all. The music kept her clapping or singing throughout and when it came time for Wayne’s message she was as tuned in as I’ve ever noticed her. Our video was the last of the three to be shared during the message and as soon as it started Janet broke down. She cried throughout which made me cry and I’m still not sure why she was crying. My best guess is the release of a lot of pent up emotion over the whole thing and perhaps some worry as to how it would be received. Those were things I was certainly feeling so I can only hope she was feeling the same as that would be cool if she was able to think ahead like that. I showed her the video again at home and she watched it through without tears then when I asked her what she thought she said “it makes me want to cry”, so she did. One comment she managed this time was she felt she “did bad”. Totally not so. See for yourself here. Her feeling like that makes no sense for the first time she saw the video as she was crying before she was even on the screen. It was easy to calm her as I could remind her of the dozens of people that stopped and thanked us for sharing our story today. Most of them people we don’t know at all. One gentleman who had been at the service prior to the one we went to had tears in his eyes as he told me how our story had touched him. Janet agreed that we hope people are inspired by the video to understand how quickly life can change and to honor the commitments they have made to others.
Before Laurel and Raj set off on their drive back to Calgary we enjoyed a quick lunch in the sun with them at Red Robin.
Raj, Laurel, Janet, Larry
That was a great way to decompress from the day so far and enjoy a last chat until the next time we see them. Laurel will be back at the beginning of May with Heather to do some wedding dress shopping and Janet is excited about that. Knowing they would see each other soon there were no tears at the parking lot goodbye. A first I believe!
A little bit in denial about the need for a nap, Janet was sleeping by 2:30 and I had to wake her at five so we could enjoy dinner together before heading back to Connect. Once the cobwebs cleared she was able to help me make a salad but I’m going to have to get her doing some bicep curls in the gym again as I sense she’s a little weaker than she ought to be. We watched and really enjoyed The Voice during dinner. Janet couldn’t pick a clear favorite contestant but Blake Shelton remains her obvious favorite coach as she laughed out loud to a few of his antics. The ride back to Connect was pleasant as I got Janet singing a little bit but I was kind of dreading leaving her there tonight. This weekend at home was a good one and I sense a little more awareness from Janet and even though her speech is still too quiet there were a number of times she came up with comments and answers that really impressed me. The only breakdowns she had were when she was simply too tired to do anything else, the video reaction exempted. She didn’t protest but I don’t think she was all that excited to go back tonight either. I reassured us both by reminding her she’s there to get better and she agreed.
Praying for rest and healing tonight and thanking the risen Christ for all we have been blessed with.