Today was rather routine for Janet. Speech with Mary Lou this morning involved practicing reading and Janet said Mary Lou was pleased at how Janet had read The Hallo-Wiener to the Games Night group. I convinced Janet to read it to me tonight and for the first time I noticed her realizing she’d missed a word or two then going back to read them. The improvement is not in her remembering to read all the way to the right but in recognizing that what she just read makes no sense without those other words. Janet has probably read this story enough now that she knows what its supposed to say so it’ll be interesting to see how she does with some new material.
Lots of walking was the substitute for the Shuttle during gym time today. Janet commented to me that she has a habit of reaching back at whomever is pushing her from behind when trying to get her to walk faster. She understands that its a trust thing and will try and learn to not react that way. Her cane walking to me is still rather slow but her gait is improving as she manages to get her left leg more forward each step. I hope we can work on the distance walking a lot this weekend.
Taking advantage of the hot weather we went for a nice walk after dinner and watched some soccer before treating ourselves to an ice cream cone from the little stand at the corner store. We stayed out on the patio until dark as it was so nice outside and so artificially cold inside.
Janet did a great job with her end of day report to me, getting everything right, even names of people, up until the late afternoon. Its odd to me how she can remember the morning so clearly but not a few hours ago unless I give her clues. Still getting better though.
Praying for a solid night of sleep and a productive Thursday.
Tuesdays are usually work with Tez days for Janet and she kind of dreads that. This morning she knew that AFO lady was coming to see her and that her session with Tez would be delayed. Well, AFO lady came rather late and Tez wasn’t feeling well so Janet had an easy morning. AFO lady was happy to see how much stronger Janet’s right leg has gotten and as a result has ordered some parts for Janet’s AFO so it can be modified to be more flexible. To further illustrate her increased strength Janet really impressed me with her bike ride tonight going farther and at a harder setting than ever before. She even climbed all nineteen steps very well on her way to Games Night.
Games Night was more of a story time with Janet night as she read The Hallo-Wiener to the group. Curtis couldn’t even finish introducing Janet and explaining what she was going to do before she started reading. There was no hint of nerves or anything as Janet jumped right into it. Like her previous public speeches, Janet tended to ad lib a lot instead of reading each word. That got her confused more than once and disrupted her rhythm. The good news is she knows she does it and agreed to work on stopping it. The group enjoyed the story and were very encouraging to Janet afterwards. Janet said it was OK but needs to keep practicing.
Storytime with Janet.
Praying for a good night of sleep that provides lots of energy for tomorrow.
Today was a pretty reasonable Monday for Janet. Curtis coached her through the gym routine and challenged her to read The Hallo-Wiener to the Games Night group tomorrow. A challenge that Janet readily accepted surprisingly enough.
She had just made her way down to the living room as I arrived at Connect this afternoon and was quite chatty. We hung out there visiting with Wes and his wife Roz and got a surprise visit from former resident, Fred. He’s hear for a week away from Connect Langley and it was fun to have him around tonight. Janet liked how he livened up the place.
Chelsea and Karl, both from England, decided to make the house an English breakfast for dinner tonight. Sausages, baked beans, potatoes etc. You may have already guessed that didn’t go over well with Janet so she ate my shrimp linguini and I ate her sausages and beans. She sometimes is referred to as queen of the house and lived up to that tonight.
Janet may not be queen for long as we were told that a new resident moves in across the hall from Janet tomorrow and happily she’s a girl. Janet is looking forward to meeting her.
One exercise Janet did not get to this morning was the Shuttle so tonight I gave her the option of doing that or climbing the stairs instead. She chose stairs and went up and down all nineteen in good fashion, with a little sweat and a minimum of complaining. When given the choice of what to do the rest of the night Janet very nicely remembered there was tennis on TV so we watched some first round action of the US Open broken up by some speed walking to the bathroom and freestyle walking to get meds. A strong day.
Praying for an excellent night of sleep for Janet and the desire and ability to fully participate in her Tuesday.
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.
Monday is often a challenging day for Janet as she transitions back to “work” or “school” and this Monday was made harder by a cold that just won’t leave her alone. She says she was feeling OK this morning and had a decent time in the gym and on the stairs with Curtis. He ran her through her entire program and Janet said it was “hard but fine”. That took most of the morning and after a little post lunch sunshine time Janet called me and I could hear that cold in her voice and it didn’t sound good. A short nap was all she could manage and she was back in the sunshine when I arrived to hang out with her. We stayed out on the patio right through dinner as it was freezing cold inside. Janet ate well and admitted she hadn’t had much water up to that point and obediently downed a bunch. The food and drink helped a little bit but there was no way this was going to be an active evening.
We treated the prospect of a chill night as an opportunity to do some research on a family Christmas vacation. Since Janet and I downsized our house and the kids are pretty much settled into their lives all over the country, we’ve agreed to try and meet on neutral ground each year and celebrate together there. Where ever there ends up being. Janet and I have been tasked with searching Arizona for deals and we were able to do some of that tonight. It was hard for Janet to maintain her focus though and she spent most of the evening snuggled under her blankets while I showed her pictures and read descriptions of possible get away places. That was enough for her tonight and she welcomed eight o’clock med time so she could climb into bed for real. She lasted right through ten o’clock with me reading to her though and the symptoms she was showing earlier had subsided by the time I said goodnight.
Praying for a night of healing sleep for Janet so she can fully participate in her Tuesday.
After yesterday’s greatness, today was as expected and rather relaxing. Janet did her usual morning stuff including reading with Mary Lou which went well and Janet has now been charged with reading The Hallo-Wiener twice a day to keep improving. For the second day in a row Janet lost her balance enough to take a little fall. Both times she landed on her butt which thankfully now has more padding than the former Janet had. Both instances at least in part are the result of Janet having her feet too close together, something she struggles with during sit to stand procedures. She doesn’t seem overly concerned by these falls and maybe even has become more body aware. I saw her really focussing on keeping her feet apart tonight without prompting.
Not surprisingly Janet has picked up a little bit of a cold that Ethan shared with her this past weekend. No big deal but enough to justify a relaxing evening. Chelsea had previously planned to watch My Fair Lady with Janet tonight and the timing ended up perfect. Janet enjoyed the movie and getting her nails done while not having to do much of anything but sing along to most of the songs. The words weren’t too familiar to her but the tunes definitely were.
Praying for a deep and healing sleep tonight and a healthy Thursday.
A very matter of fact Janet called me this afternoon to tell me she had “done the steps with Tez and he said it was fine.” Translation, Janet has officially achieved her first “get out of Connect” goal! I can’t explain her lack of enthusiasm and satisfaction, maybe she realizes its just the first of eight goals she set for herself. That would be her thinking only, as everyone around her has been praising the accomplishment.
Tez worked with Janet for quite a while this morning and will do so each Tuesday and Thursday for the foreseeable future. They will be working on improving Janet’s stride and walking speed. Janet admitted she was pretty tired from the Tez work and needed a rest so I was surprised to find her in the living room when I got to Connect. She really could have used more of a rest as she was a little grumpy most of the evening but agreed to demonstrate her stair climbing for you on her way to Games Night. This was her first attempt at all nineteen steps as she chose to go up them all instead of going up then down ten. Janet is a little scared of the down part still so I let her choose tonight.
Its difficult to say what the next goal to be achieved will be but some progress was made on the reading one tonight. Janet emailed the preschool she used to work at to see if she would be allowed to read to the kids near Halloween time. The response came within an hour and her former boss is all for it. We hope to meet to chat about it soon.
Praying for a long night of sleep that provided lots of energy for a fun Wednesday.