relax

Janet, A Success Story. August 31. #TSJ Homestretch

Hard to believe August is over. The home stretch begins now for Janet as her goals for coming home full time get closer and closer. September promises to be challenging and busy but not without some fun too.

This past weekend Janet worked hard on her distance walking, each day doing a 400 meter circuit that her legs told her they felt. We weren’t focused on the timing so much as getting used to the distance and Janet did the first 200 meters using her cane then the last 200 holding my hand so she could pick up the pace a little. I had to coax her out the door to do these walks but Janet felt good about completing each one. Her stride continues to improve and will do so more once her AFO gets adjusted. For the first time ever, I was able to bring myself to not supervise Janet as she walked from the kitchen, down the steps to the garage and into the car by herself. I simply told her I’d meet her at the car and when I got there she was in it with a big smile on her face saying “I did it all by myself!” High five!

Relaxing was the desired outcome of the weekend for Janet again but I managed to get her to help out a lot in the kitchen and do as much for herself as possible. She practiced the laundry machines and the cooktop as well as getting the dog a treat. Janet is getting very good at rinsing and stacking dishes while I wash and can do most of the emptying the dishwasher except for some things she can’t reach to put away. We have some tweaking to do still on where kitchen stuff should go so Janet can access it and will consult Brian as soon as he’s able to come over and do an assessment for us.

Janet was able to relax and watch a lot of tennis this weekend and really gets caught up in the personal stories and struggles of the players as well as the drama of a good match. It’s a great sport for her to watch as she can follow the game well and really see the players as they aren’t covered by helmets and stuff.

Returning to Connect tonight went smoothly probably because Janet knows she’ll be back home Tuesday so I can take her to her Botox appointment Wednesday morning then we are going to Seattle for a few days to watch the Seahawks play some real football. So, a little pain and a lot of fun this week. Praying for Janet to sleep well tonight and have lots of energy for a productive Monday.

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..

Janet, A Success Story. August 13. #TSJ

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.

Janet, A Success Story. August 10. #TSJ No Relaxing Here

Return trips to Connect have often been difficult and unhappy for Janet and tonight’s was near the top of the list in unhappiness. There was no crying or pouting or complaining just a clear stating of the fact that Janet feels like her “vacation, was not very relaxing”. She’s right and that was never the intention. I think it all boils down to nine days going by too quickly and a little bit of Janet forgetting some of the things she did. We had a good talk about it all and I was able to leave her smiling and seemingly content. She has a chance to officially achieve one of her goals this week and I think she’s looking forward to doing that.

The final phase of Janet’s “vacation” started Thursday as we said so long to my mom and hello to Brittney and Ethan.

Not too sure is he?

Not too sure is he?


We had no idea what to expect from this adventure and were impressed at how well Ethan travelled from New Westminster to Kelowna. Janet did too but that is becoming old news. Overall, our weekend went well and by the end of the day today Janet found a way to connect with Ethan a little more. You could probably guess it was through reading and teaching but even Janet was surprised when she realized she was using an App with Ethan that I used with her during her first year at Connect. Its a word association game that Janet now knows and Ethan is improving on.
EthanJanetHallowiener
Teacher at work.

Teacher at work.


The rest of the weekend Janet was pretty much the innocent bystander, she didn’t want to swim when we went to the pool but enjoyed watching Ethan and noted his improvement after day two. We spent a fair bit of time at various beaches and Janet enjoyed watching the goings on there, I just wish she could participate more.

With a two year old and a dog in the house our at home routine became a little chaotic at times so Janet got waited on more than usual and there was no protesting from her on that one. She still did well getting her breakfasts, it was lunch and dinner that lacked involvement. Her walking was great and even Janet commented she’s getting better at coming up the steps from the garage.

All in all it was a positive weekend and a productive if not relaxing time away from Connect for Janet. Praying for a restful night of sleep and an energetic Monday for Janet.

PS. Tomorrow, (Monday), our friend Gary goes in for open heart surgery which is scheduled for 1:45pm. Please keep him, Barb and the medical team in your prayers.

Janet, A Success Story. July 20. #TSJ

You know its’ been hot when you think 28 degrees is cool. That’s what it was this afternoon as Janet and I strolled the beaches in our neighbourhood. We discovered this really cool ramp into the water, with hand rails, at Rotary Beach, so now I just have to convince Janet to “jump” in the lake. Wish me luck.

This past weekend was very relaxing and Janet and I had a lot of time together just hanging out. Friday evening was our Small Group meeting with Annie and Patrick, the only two that have persevered with us and we appreciate them for their openness and willingness to share. Saturday morning was a visit with John, who seems to be doing a little better, then church in the evening which got Janet’s brain wheels spinning and we had a good discussion well into the evening.

That was it for formal events, the rest of the time was spent walking around the neighbourhood, sitting in the sun, walking to do some errands, cooking and watching a little TV. Janet walked around the house a lot and is still doing great with it save for some overthinking when going down the steps into the garage. Going up seems to be much more automatic. She admits to being quite nervous walking still and that makes it more difficult and sweaty. Janet never was much of a sweater but she sure can get it going now when she’s walking on her own.

At home Janet does great in getting herself to the bathroom when she needs to, which is quite often lately. When we are out, she’s not doing so well and I think it’s time for a doctor visit to see what can be done. I don’t expect the GP to have much to offer but I hope we can get a referral to a urologist. In my opinion its definitely a neurological issue, not physical so it may be really tough to treat. It could also just be a temporary set back and that’s what I’m hoping for.

One of the highlights of the weekend was watching the movie Forrest Gump. I don’t know why, but neither of us remembers watching the whole movie before and we so enjoyed it. Janet said there wasn’t a dull moment in the entire film and she was in tears at the end. A strange reaction to liking a movie but touching just the same. Its a lot of fun and actually very special to be able to watch something like that and have Janet totally understand the storyline and get most of the jokes and even remember some of it the next day. Love her.

Praying for a solid night of sleep for Janet and a dry and productive Monday.

Janet, A Success Story. June 29. #TSJ Relaxing

For once I felt totally OK in not having anything planned for the day and allowing the goal to be relaxation and it worked well. After quite a busy Friday and Saturday Janet had a relaxing and enjoyable Sunday which of course made it really difficult to take her back to Connect tonight.

Janet had a great Skype chat with her mom this morning and as I listened in from a distance I noticed Janet needing a minimum of cueing in answering questions and she stayed on topic really well. She performed equally well as we chatted with Scott and Nora from Chicago this afternoon. Janet was thrilled to discuss the wedding and family with someone else and loved seeing and talking to two awesome people. She even thinks its cool there is technology that allows us to do such things. We are blessed.

Slowly I am gaining confidence in my ability to back off and let Janet walk around the house on her own. She did that a lot today with varying degrees of success but never a hint of falling. I’m trying to give her space in hopes she’ll feel more free and her confidence will increase. So far I’d say its working as each time she reached her target area there was a big smile on her face and I don’t even have to ask her to walk anymore, she knows to do it and even said tonight that she “makes herself” do it. Love it!

Our relaxing day ended at Connect with Janet accepting she needs to get back to “work”. The fact she will now be coming home for weekends on Thursdays helped just a little too. Praying for a fun, progressive and productive week.