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Janet, A Success Story. April 8. #TSJ

I arrived at Connect this afternoon to a very tired looking Janet hanging out in the living room. She said she slept but it sure didn’t look like it. That didn’t stop her from making a nice salad and setting the dinner table at Chelsea’s request. You think she knew I was lining up some exercise for her?

At my suggestion earlier in the day Janet did some walking in addition to her regular gym stuff and after dinner tonight I was able to get her to walk farther than I anticipated. She made it from her room to the Den very nicely and didn’t complain once the whole way. Despite a lot of resistance we went to Games Night following the walk. Janet feared not knowing any of the answers to the “stupid” games played and said she would only go to watch. On the very first question, Janet piped up quickly with the correct answer and did so a number of times during the evening. According to her, even with that success, “it was not fun”.

The last few days have been great for Janet both physically and cognitively. Her walking, in my opinion is improving, her short term memory is getting better too and she almost always can tell me the day, date, month and year, a skill Dr. Miller was encouraging a few months ago and I think we can now say has been achieved. Janet had another blood test today checking her Dilantin levels and they came back fine. All these positives are helping to grow Janet’s confidence to the point where she says she’s going to try and walk the last part of the way to her table at SheLife tomorrow. Can’t wait.

Praying for a solid night of sleep and a positive Wednesday.

Kicking In. A relaxing day as the Botox takes effect. #TSJ

A sleep in Saturday for sure as Janet opened her eyes at 7:30 then happily went back to sleep until 9:30. That set the pace for a relaxing day hanging out at home. She chose her traditional breakfast which we enjoyed together with no idea what we would do next. Fortunately Janet asked to watch TV while I went to shower and while searching for something to watch I noticed an NBA playoff game about to start. I thought they started Sunday so we scrambled to the computer to fill out our brackets in Raju’s annual Pool. We got our picks in just in time and Janet enjoyed the process making some good choices in winners but I think she has too many series going the full seven games. Anyways it’s something she enjoys doing and we had basketball on in the background all day.

The only scheduled event of the day was a Skype chat with Leslie that went well despite some technical challenges. Heather checked in with us later on and it was good for Janet to catch up with both of them. I’ve had to resurrect my role as physio therapist while Janet is at home so we can maximize the potential of the Botox and when I stretched her legs this afternoon I noticed an improvement right away. It was even more noticeable tonight as I was able to get her left leg down to almost where we used to be able to get it in the 4B days. Janet is not too happy that we are doing this stretching stuff at home but she was OK with lounging with her legs up in her wheelchair. Her standing for transfers was quite good today as well and I sense a little confidence coming back there. That increase in confidence saved her from a total meltdown after seeing some pictures of herself from her KGH days. I had just shown her photos from Raju and Laurel’s wedding and at the end of those there were a few unflattering pictures of Janet and she got a little upset but kind of accepted that she’s come a long way. She asked me to turn them off which I did and she was on the verge of really crying about it but held it off. A nice improvement.

Since the day started late, nap time was late too but Janet did have a brief one that allowed her to do a good job making a salad to go with dinner tonight and she really enjoyed watching The Voice together especially since I made popcorn for us. All in all it was a very relaxing day at home just making things up as we went along. One highlight for me came as we were doing the nightly rundown of the day and as I mentioned the first couple of things we did Janet chimed in with “and we picked our teams”. Love my sports junkie and nice to see a little short term memory action.

Praying for a restful night that brings lots of energy and awareness for tomorrow.

Memory Lane. Janet visits the old job site. #TSJ

Today was a more typical Janet day than the last few. I mean that in mostly a good way. She was waiting for me in the living room at Connect with a big smile and a laugh. Her first words through all that were “I haven’t really done much today”. I wonder if she was rehearsing that knowing I always ask her what she’s been doing. Hope so.

Wanting her awake for later in the day I decided it was nap time before we did anything else. Janet didn’t argue about it but didn’t really sleep much either. Lorne got her meds ready for me and we were off for the weekend. First stop was Sandrine’s. It had been too long since the two of them had seen each other and Janet felt good in the store saying she remembered some things about it. Sandrine let us try her new vanilla macaron and it is incredible.

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Seeing the smile on Janet’s face and the obvious familiarity of the place I will make a point of stopping by more often for her.

At home Janet had a long play time with Nash while I got most of dinner ready. She then helped make the salad and set the table. Well done considering the lack of a nap and the fact she is still coming down from the Dilantin OD. After dinner it was time to change finger nail color to St. Patrick’s Day green. That color was not cooperating with me tonight and the process took way longer than it should have, right past bedtime. Janet fell asleep in a hurry even while I was packing for our road trip to the coast tomorrow. We are really hoping we reach our destination this time and are looking forward to a good sushi dinner with Jim and Nancy tomorrow and a yummy birthday lunch with my mom Sunday. All in North Vancouver so it will be interesting to see if any memories are triggered there.

Praying that the peaceful sleep Janet is in now continues all night and we have a safe and enjoyable trip to North Van. tomorrow.

Helpful #TSJ

I took my time before going out to pick up Janet today knowing she’d be home all weekend. After doing some minor chores around the house I went for my first bike ride of the year. It was a beautiful sunny day and warm enough for shorts. Barely.

Janet was waiting patiently in the living room for me and after a final check of the wound care protocol we took off for home. We got there a little too late for a walk as the sun still sets a little too early so Janet played with Nash for a bit while I got things set for dinner. My plan for this weekend is to have Janet help out around the house as much as possible and tonight was a good start. She set the table for us and with no coaching got it all right except for missing forks and putting the knives and spoons on the wrong side. She pulled salad ingredients out of the fridge for us and I taught her how to tear the lettuce with one hand. She caught on really fast and after I chopped the peppers and tomatoes she added the croutons and tossed it all up. High five! Putting things back where they came from was a little challenging for her and she needed quite a bit of coaching on that. She also needed some help when it came to eating as well tonight. We had penne with meatballs thinking that would be easier to eat than spaghetti. But she struggled with the concept of stabbing with her fork, she always wants to scoop.

Friday night is turning into movie night for us and while scrolling through titles we came across The Kids Are Alright. I asked Janet if she remembered seeing it before and she said no but as I contained scrolling she said “there it is”. That was the one title she could read on the screen so we watched it “again”. Janet did not remember any of it but enjoyed it “again” and was able to give me a reasonable summary afterwards. Of course we paused about half way through for dessert. Vanilla frozen yogurt with butterscotch sauce is Janet’s new favorite.

The bedtime routine is a little longer now with having to change the dressing on her former peg site. It looks like its healing well to me. Janet fell asleep quickly and is looking forward to a fun day tomorrow. Praying for rest and healing tonight and recovery and learning tomorrow.