Janet, A Success Story. October 19. #TSJ

Each weekend gets more and more comfortable at home for Janet and like she belongs here. She does and soon she will be.

Friday started off with a little haircut from Chelsea then some grocery shopping. Janet was quite chatty with Chelsea and walked from the front door of the salon to her chair all by herself. I stayed back the entire time and let Janet explain what she wanted then watched her talk more than at any previous appointment. Coincidently, Courtney was Chelsea’s next appointment so we got to say a quick hello to her as we left. Thankfully the stores weren’t too busy so Janet was able to help a fair bit with the shopping and doesn’t seem to mind it much as long as we don’t spent too much time in the cold sections. In the evening we hosted our Small Group meeting and welcomed a new person to the group so we are now six and Janet enjoyed the conversation a lot. She wasn’t as assertive as the first meeting but contributed nicely from time to time.

Saturday had Janet practicing her laundry skills. She’s getting pretty good at it and we shot some video of her today that we’ll try and show Brian this week. I can see ways he could pass her and ways not too. Hopefully Janet can check that goal off this week. We got word today that her reading to the pre-schoolers will happen on Wednesday instead of Friday. Janet is a little nervous about it now but I’m confident that when the time comes she’ll do great. I was planning on taking Janet with me to a little wine tasting event at a friends house Saturday night but access to the house was too challenging so we turned it into a Janet staying home alone experience. She was more than happy to hang out at home and I was only gone for an hour and a half while she watched a recorded episode of So You Think You Can Dance.

There was walking practice every day this weekend and Janet improved her time on the 200 meter walk each day, breaking the eight minute mark today. These walks are with me pulling her along so they don’t count towards anything Tez will grade her on. I don’t see any changes in her freestyle walking around the house though, in fact Janet might be clinging to furniture even more now.

Tonight saw the usual resistance to going back to Connect but it was eased by a small understanding that soon she’ll be done there. Praying for rest, confidence and strength.

Janet, A Success Story. August 28. #TSJ Frozen

Janet called me right at noon as she finished her workout and asked if she could come home sooner than planned. I obliged but she had to go grocery shopping with me on the way. Her morning was good according to her. Tez was away and sent a student to work with Janet and she liked him a lot. Not that he was that much easier on her but that he had a different approach to things. To help Janet take longer strides he placed markers on the floor and Janet had to hit each one as she stepped. A Tez idea but first tried today and Janet feels she did pretty well at it.

Grocery shopping was as fun as it can be and Janet enjoyed having a say in what we bought. She had another fun activity after that, a visit to the dentist. If they had automatic doors at the dentist office I could easily drop Janet off outside now and let her do the appointment completely on her own. Her cane walking is strong enough and she needs only the slightest bit of help lifting her right leg onto the dentist chair. Pretty cool. She was able to watch some tennis while in the chair and we watched more at home tonight treating this as Janet’s Friday especially since her mouth was frozen for hours. There are no specific plans tomorrow but I hope to have Janet practice some domestic activities as well as her distance walking. Praying for a restful night of sleep and continued improvement.

Janet, A Success Story. June 13. #TSJ

Friday the thirteenth turned out to be pretty “lucky” for us. Janet was awake fairly early so was able to have a shower. I tried having her get her breakfast while walking about the kitchen but that seemed a little too much yet. She was willing to try at least.

After running through our clothes for the trip we agreed there were a few things we both could use so we took advantage of the rain and went to the mall. Janet was very excited that we both found the things we went there for in relatively quick fashion. By the time we were home Janet had done a lot of walking and helping out so I made her a sandwich while we watched a little World Cup soccer.

Dinner tonight was a special evening out with our neighbours, Bonnie and Toly. We had hoped to walk the two blocks to The Fixx Cafe but the weather didn’t cooperate so we drove and Janet walked well through the parking lot and negotiated a three inch curb very nicely. She also gobbled up her dinner pretty quick saying it was “delicious”. That’s high praise from Janet.

Twice today I had Janet doing assisted walking in public places and each time she did so with lots of confidence. Not long ago you would get some resistance to the idea or at least a lot of looking around for who is watching. Not today, and that makes it more fun.

We are easing into running on Eastern Time so our clocks are on Alberta time tonight and we’ll switch to Central Time tomorrow and hopefully be on Eastern Time for Monday so that it’s not a big shock when we arrive in Ottawa Tuesday. I want Janet to be able to enjoy every minute she’s there.

Praying for a good night of sleep and a productive Saturday.

Janet, A Success Story. May 14. #TSJ

Whew! What a day. The warmest day of the year so far and a perfect day for Janet to try sailing. I met her and the others at the yacht club this morning expecting to watch her for an hour or so then take her with me to run some errands but I actually got to go on the boat with her! I really enjoyed it despite the calm conditions, Janet enjoyed sitting in the sun but that was about all. I may try and convince her to go again as it’s an awesome way to spend a sunny morning.

Wes and Janet sailing along.

Wes and Janet sailing along.

Cool Connect Crew and cool Matt.

Cool Connect Crew and cool Matt.

From there we went to have Janet’s dress for the wedding hemmed. It was quite the production as we had to get Janet into the dress and shoes, have the expert pin where the dress should hang to then get her regular clothes back on. I don’t know how you women put up with stuff like that. We did a little shopping since we were out and enjoyed lunch in the sun at Janet’s request. By the time we got home she was exhausted and went for an almost three hour nap!

I was getting worried she’d never wake up as the clock moved closer to departure time for Heidi’s house but Janet finally woke up just before 5. All I could think of the last hour of her sleep was her Dilantin levels being out of whack and what sort of impact that is having on her. Janet’s doctor was not in today so I had made the decision to hold back a third of her dosage again tonight then get her levels tested tomorrow. When Janet woke up she seemed refreshed but was really warm and her left eye seemed a little relaxed compared to the right one. By the time she was dressed and had a glass of water she seemed fine. Praying for resolution to this tomorrow.

Heidi had all of her SheLife ladies over to her house for dinner tonight and I dropped Janet off there then went to work at the church. This is the first time I’ve left Janet somewhere far away from me and for an extended period of time. I know all the ladies would take good care of her and they did. Janet said she enjoyed the evening but everyone helped her a little too much. This marks the end of SheLife until September. It’s been a true blessing for Janet.

Curtis surprised us with a reduced dosage of Dilantin when we got to Connect. Apparently Janet’s doctor ordered the change and the pharmacy delivered it tonight. That is a bit of a relief knowing the doctor is aware and took action so I will hold off on testing until I hear from her. On the car ride to Connect Janet was able to tell me about her evening quite accurately and with good but a little quiet speech. I feel better about the situation tonight and pray she has a good night of sleep and an energetic and bright day tomorrow.

Janet, A Success Story. April 12. #TSJ

Shopping day was finally here. Janet remained lukewarm this morning to the idea of shopping for a dress to wear to Heather and Allan’s wedding in June but promised to give it a good go. I wasn’t that confident, as Janet seemed low on energy and certainly not her brightest. I went to the first store with her and Heather and thought it was cool the owner came right over and offered to help. Janet was quiet about everything and a little disinterested and it seemed like this was going to be a long day. To take some pressure off, I dropped the ladies off at the mall and went to visit John for a bit. He’s in a temporary care home now and starting to settle in there a little. Please keep him in your prayers as he has to adjust to some big changes in his life. Upon my return to the mall Janet happily informed me they had found something. Turned out she wasn’t a hundred percent sure on it so the hunt continued. A little while later I got another report of success and the mission was being declared a success. Janet had steadily declined in energy level and to me didn’t seem to be having any fun at all. She was really neglecting her right side, frequently crashing into things. Thinking some food might help, we grabbed mall food and Janet only ate half of hers so we headed home for what I thought would be a good long nap.

An hour’s worth of rest helped Janet a little and happy hour on our patio helped more. This was the first time we’ve sat outside in the sun at our new house and it felt really good. Janet didn’t want it to end but a cloud covered the sun just as it was time to get ready for church so with her seeming more like herself, off we went. Tonight’s service “was a good one” says Janet and she was able to follow along with Tim’s message. By the time we were most of the way through our sushi dinner after church, Janet was fading again. She didn’t eat as much as she usually does and wasn’t really initiating any conversation. Back at home it was time to try on the dress and the other clothes Janet got today. She was pleased with her dress but Heather and I are so so with it. What do you think?

Potential mother of the bride dress.

Potential mother of the bride dress.

Heather and I like the top.

Heather and I like the top.

By this time Janet was quite out of it and should have gone to bed but she wanted ice cream so she quietly enjoyed that before getting ready. There was a return of her toileting challenges from last week this evening and put me in a foul mood. I don’t understand how she can be so bright and with it most of the time then have lapses like this. I pray that tomorrow, Janet is refreshed, rejuvenated, positive and energetic.

Janet, A Success Story. April 11. #TSJ

Friday was a pretty quiet day for Janet, only a stretching routine in the gym this morning, then home with me after lunch with a stop to pick up her new glasses along the way. The anticipation of Heather visiting had Janet pretty wound up the last couple of days and knowing today was the day seemed to overwhelm her a little. Janet had a couple hours of quiet time this afternoon and wasn’t ready to get up when it was time to go get Heather because I think very little of that time involved sleep. Janet was standing while we waited for Heather to deplane and was able to greet her with a nice hug. I was surprised at Janet not seeing Heather until she was twenty feet directly in front of us but I guess the angle she was standing at put Heather on her right more than I thought.

One of Heather’s goals for this visit is to find her mom a dress for the wedding. In a very un woman like way, Janet is almost complaining about going shopping. I’m hopeful that will change once she’s out in the field.

Janet managed a short walk from the dining table to the couch to watch The Voice after dinner. She complained that she was “out of it” on account of the three sips of wine she had. More like the lack of sleep which she is now catching up on.

Praying for a fun Saturday.

The Team Save Janet Report is Out! #TSJ #timeflies

Mostly because of the dog, our day got off to a rather early start which was kind of nice. We were finished breakfast before we often have started it and that left lots of time for other things. After making her own breakfast, coffee first of course, Janet had some emails to respond to and once completed asked if we could work on the old photos. She did a great job with the scanner again and we got a nice pile of paper transferred onto the computer.

I convinced Janet to try something other than grilled cheese for lunch and she enjoyed making a turkey breast sandwich for herself. Her kitchen skills are improving steadily and she needs very little coaching as long as she’s awake enough.

We tried to finish watching the Ladies Figure Skating today and got through the first half before Janet needed a nap. Knowing that the Olympics end tomorrow has Janet a little sad but The Voice starts Monday and that should fill the void nicely.

Yesterday’s pants shopping needed correcting today and as we drove to the mall before church we both wondered where the day had gone. We had that early start and it felt like we had so much time but it just flew by. We exchanged Janet’s pants and picked up a few other things Janet slowly lost her energy. The mall is bad for you. I wasn’t expecting much from Janet heading into church but she pulled off her best transfer into her seat yet. Very strong and deliberate and following my verbal cues exactly. While standing during one of the worship songs Janet let go of the pew in front of her for a few seconds and scratched her nose. I don’t even think she realized she was free standing but I sure did. Nice!

Janet helped put dinner together and chose to watch the rest of the figure skating after that which was a bad call as she fell asleep with six skaters to go. Guess we’ll try tomorrow. Praying for a solid night of sleep and a productive Sunday.

The Team Save Janet Report is Out! #TSJ #shopping

The Olympics has done something strange to Janet. Today was the second day in a row she watched hockey and as she told me about today’s game she had a big smile on her face. Hockey? Seriously? At least she was happy. Not as happy as she was from getting a phone call from Laurel this morning as she called to announce where her internship will be. Janet had been anticipating the call and I left her my old cell phone for that reason. She was able to answer the call herself and seems far more receptive to the idea of having a phone than an iPad.

In bed and sort of sleeping when I got to Connect I convinced her to go pants shopping on the way home. Because of the AFO, only one pair of Janet’s decent pants fit her now. In a very un woman like manner she didn’t want to go shopping and I probably should have held back as the expedition really did tire her out. So much so that when we got home at 6pm she decided all on her own to have a little nap. She wasn’t too tired to get out of the wheelchair and onto the bed all by herself though. High five!

The rest did Janet good and we ate dinner while watching our recorded version of the Women’s Figure Skating. No surprise, Janet really enjoyed it and looks forward to finishing it off tomorrow. She is soundly sleeping as I write this and I pray that continues through the night and that she has lots of energy for a productive Saturday. We continue to pray for John as well as Barb and Gary who are battling the flu. Get better kids!

The Team Save Janet Report is Out! #TSJ #workinghard

Renovation Day 72. Randy installed the glass doors on the remaining cabinets today and I think only has a small job in each bathroom before declaring the renovation complete. Yeah!

Janet did her regular morning routine which included a bike ride and some stretching after a shower and breakfast. She told me she handed out the last of her Christmas cards and did some comprehension work with Mary Lou.

As far as Janet is concerned the day didn’t really begin until Laurel arrived at Connect and the two of them went out for lunch and did a little Christmas shopping. Laurel said her mom did well at choosing and paying for the items she chose and Janet seemed pleased with herself and was all smiles about it when they got home. Janet was a little worn out though and agreed to try a nap for a bit. I think she did sleep for half an hour or so and gained more energy as she ate dinner and watched the final performance show of X Factor.

The deal was if we stayed home for dinner and watched X Factor then she’d have to go to the gym when we got back to Connect and that’s what she did. Since she rode the bike in the morning and did a little walking at home the Shuttle was the best option for tonight. Janet of course didn’t like that idea but cooperated and put in a very strong effort. Her extension is now a consistent twelve inches and occasionally nears thirteen. She managed some good pushes with just her right leg even with more tension on there than she’s used to. There were protests at first but once she realized she just had to try her best she bore down and worked hard. We tried a little balancing board after the Shuttle and got some decent pushes with her right leg then as well. Janet has trouble bending her knees which I think is what you have to do on that board but she tried hard and had a good rhythm going for a while.

I’m not sure if the staff have started Janet’s self medication program yet but for her evening ones I’ve only had to ask Janet questions around what time it is and she clues in that she needs her meds. She doesn’t hesitate at all to find a staff member and ask them for her drugs, medicine, meds, medical things, pills, special things or some other word close to that. We will work on the names of each one over the Christmas break and also see if she can remember to ask for them without prompting. I think she can in the morning for sure.

We all watched a little TV so Janet could wind down and she called bedtime a little earlier than normal after a pretty busy day. Praying for a good sleep tonight and lots of energy tomorrow as well as a safe and on time flight for Heather.

The Team Save Janet Report is Out! #TSJ #Santa

Renovation Day 66. Randy dropped off all the cabinet doors he’s been building and will install them tomorrow. I did no reno work at all today. Hmmm.

Before meeting Janet at the pool I spoke again with the folks at OKAPED re her AFO. She has an appointment tomorrow which is exciting and makes me wish I would have followed up on this sooner but I guess this was the right time. Janet is excited too as she really believes the AFO will give her more confidence and more ability to walk.

Jess was able to work with us in the pool today and tried her best to keep up to the torpedo in the deep tank. The water was a little cooler than normal but having Jess there made it easier to distract Janet from that fact and she swam very well doing some impressive rolls from tummy to back and vice versa. I’m getting more confident in Janet’s abilities as well and can now keep a little more distance between us so she feels more independent. Jess and I took her to the kiddie pool, which was bathtub warm, and had Janet do some balancing. With Jess coaching her she was able to do some good sit to stands and because she was waist deep in water we were able to let her fall a few times to try and break that fear a little. Janet was not scared at all to fall forwards or backwards and I think that helped in getting her to stand properly on her own.

Janet was able to hang out with me the rest of the day as we wanted to get some Christmas shopping done and so headed to the dreaded mall right after swimming. It was surprisingly quiet and because we had no time constraints I was not stressed at all. Janet did a great job of asking to stop and look at things she wanted to check out, something I’ve had a hard time getting her to do previously. I let her pick most things out that we bought but had to work at keeping her within budget. Janet is very money conscious but also loves Christmas and finds it easy to justify an exception. I just couldn’t let her do it. We stopped half way through for a drink that Janet said she didn’t need but she was fading and the break gave her that second wind and we had a very successful round two. On the way out Janet asked where Santa was thinking he was at a courtyard in the middle of the mall. I explained he was down near the end we would be leaving from and asked if she wanted to go see him. She said no but I sensed she really meant yes. When we got to his little village she couldn’t see him very well as we were kind of behind his chair so I wheeled her over for a better look. The Janet that repeatedly said no to going to see Santa started waving and smiling at him the second she saw him. She said no to going in and having her picture taken with Santa but when I said I’d get in the picture too she agreed. You can see by the smile on her face that it was a fun visit and like Santa says, he’s here for kids of all ages.

We had to go home to let the dog out and ended up staying for dinner and watching X Factor. Neither of us wanted to go back to Connect tonight but Janet had to have her meds so back we went. There were some tears as we got out of the car but they passed quickly when we got inside and had a little chat with Curtis and showed him the Santa photo. Janet even chose to go for a bike ride even though it was after nine by the time we got to the gym. I was so impressed by her choice I let her ride for half the usual time but asked her to pedal as hard as she could the whole fifteen minutes. She did, making 1.4 miles in that time. I think she’s ready for level 4!

There were lots of laughs and some shakes of the head as we read Open. Andre Agassi’s dad was or is a lunatic. That was a great way to wind down a very successful day for Janet and she loved hearing all the positives she accomplished as we said goodnight. There was still a little “I don’t want to be here” but the tears were non existent and the smile was bright. Praying for a night of uninterrupted sleep and lots of energy for a big day tomorrow.