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Janet, A Success Story. July 6. #TSJ Good Friend

This morning was the opposite of Saturday as we both slept in rather than getting up early to watch tennis. Janet had a shower and is manoeuvring around the bathroom much better than when we first attempted showers here. I can remember practically carrying her in some cases, now I’m just a bit of a support.

It was just after ten by the time we were out making breakfast and we put our recorded version of the Gentlemen’s Championship of Wimbledon on. We let it play while we made and ate breakfast then Janet had her weekly Skype session with Mary/Gaga then we focused on the tennis. Janet impressed me over and over with her increasing knowledge of the game as well as her understanding of what was happening moment to moment. Her best comment came in the third set when she observed that Roger Federer was making most of his first serves and Novak Djokovic wasn’t. Brilliant.

I wasn’t planning on sitting through the entire match but Janet was really enjoying it and it was an amazing battle so we only sped through a small portion of it with Championship Point coming just as Kiko arrived for a visit. Janet initiated this get together as she had some questions coming out of Tim’s message at Trinity last week and thought Kiko would be a good person to talk to. She’s right, they enjoyed a nice afternoon together chatting away and sipping wine with Janet feeling really happy about it all afterwards and Kiko saying to me how impressed she was with Janet’s memory and social skills. There has been a very steady improvement in those areas the last little while and Janet is always at her best when she’s with people she cares about.

Sunday afternoon with a good friend.

Sunday afternoon with a good friend.


After a very brief nap to recoup a little we enjoyed a Chinese food dinner then made the sad trip back to Connect. The wheelchair was not used at all after breakfast today except for when I went to pick up dinner. Janet walked well, mostly with assistance today as I wanted her moving at a quicker pace and she did a great job on the steps multiple times.

Praying for a long night of healing sleep and an energetic Monday. Thanking Jesus for blessing us with amazing people in our lives.

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 16. #TSJ

I was so pumped to write yesterday that today seems a little anticlimactic but here goes.

My intention for the day was to let it unfold at a Janet pace with therapy taking place covertly and I think that’s how it ended up going down. We were up at a decent hour and Janet elected to have a shower to start off with. That made breakfast to be more like brunch which also set back the planned trip to the grocery store. Janet wasn’t too into that idea so she was thrilled when I offered to go alone and have her vacuum while I was gone. That is a challenging task for her and she was still working at it when I got back although more accurately she was trying to free herself from the hose so she could go to the bathroom. High five for effort.

The sun was shining again so we went for a nice long walk then sat out and had a late lunch while trying to get some colour on Janet’s legs. She’s been somewhat shy about showing her AFO and I’ve had to really insist she wear shorts or a skirt so far. She’s getting more confident about it though and was pleased to see some tanning happening on her legs today.

We simplified our dinner plans to take in a movie tonight, something Janet was very excited to do. When asked what it was that was so exciting about going to a movie, she was like a little kid saying, “just the whole thing about going out”. There aren’t too many Janet movies out right now and we agreed on Heaven Is For Real. Janet said she was “into it right from the beginning, I couldn’t even eat the popcorn”. I wasn’t sure if she was into it or zoning out so was glad to hear at the end that she really enjoyed it. Janet also mentioned its not a movie for everyone but really was for her. A big part of her connecting to it was the fact its centred around a four year old and we all know about Janet’s connection to them.

I mentioned there was to be some covert therapy today and it came in the form of purposeful walks, like to and from the bathroom. Janet really complained about her sore foot and I’m starting to think she’s psyching herself out about it more than anything now. There is nothing to indicate any soreness anywhere except when she puts weight through it. She said tonight that she felt like she hadn’t been walking enough and things felt stiff. We’ll change that tomorrow. The rest of the therapy was focused on independence with Janet doing a lot of “everyday” tasks on her own. I tried to get her to tell me what she thought she’d be doing with herself once she’s home full time and neither of us has an answer for that right now. That’s a little scary I must admit.

Praying for a solid sleep and a Saturday full of progress.

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

No matter how we plan it, our day always seems to start later than intended and that was the case today. We were late enough in getting up that it actually worked in Janet’s favour. I had an appointment downtown that I thought would be our first stop while running a bunch of errands today. There was no need for Janet to be at this appointment and since we were running late I decided to go on my own and leave her to enjoy her toast and coffee in peace. I was gone for twenty seven minutes and I think Janet was disappointed it wasn’t longer. She enjoyed being on her own and was happily sipping coffee, watching The Marilyn Denis Show after finishing her toast and putting the plate in the dishwasher. High five I guess. I’m not really ready to make a habit of this but it’s nice to know she feels confident being on her own.

When we finally did get to running our errands it was well past lunch time and Janet kept saying “so what” about lunch and refused to bother with any. I was concerned about that when we got to Connect for a gym session but she insisted she didn’t need any lunch and rolled right to it with Curtis and I. Garrett and Curtis seemed genuinely pleased to see Janet and eagerly assisted in the gym putting Janet through a full workout. Janet showed signs of being away from the gym for over a week and was noticeably slower on the bike but that was after lots of stretching and a good session on the Shuttle. It will be good to get her back into the groove next week.

Janet vetoed my suggestion for dinner and requested her favourite, pizza and salad. I agreed knowing she could help make that. She was on the ball in gathering ingredients from the fridge and gadgets from the cupboards and drawers and did a good job helping. Needless to say there wasn’t a crumb left on her plate at the end of dinner and the lack of a nap was starting to show as well. The house hadn’t been vacuumed since before Christmas and there was a pile of dishes to do so there was no time for rest yet. Janet accepted the job of vacuuming and did a decent job. She’s getting better at spotting dirt on the floor and even thought to vacuum the top of the coffee table and the shelf the toaster over sits on. High five.

With the house a lot cleaner it was time to clean Janet. Even she was complaining that her hair needed washing and she hates showers. I gave her a bath last week and today got a handheld shower head rigged in our bathroom so we could try that in hopes it would be faster and easier to wash her hair. It worked well but Janet complained of being cold so next time I think we’ll combine the two methods and see what happens.

The work was finally done and Janet was happy to sit down with a bowl of ice cream and watch a little TV before bed. She lasted long enough to finish the ice cream and that was about it. Praying for a night of deep, healing and uninterrupted sleep that provides lots of energy, a positive attitude and a willingness to participate fully in everything we do tomorrow.

Lights, Camera,… Janet’s first video shoot. #TSJ

A showered and smiling Janet greeted me as I walked into Connect this morning. She knew we were going out to do something and guessed it was watch basketball. A good guess as that was in the plan for later but first up was a video shoot for the Easter service at Trinity. Lorne said she was off to a good start, drinking her water before and after breakfast but had a little cry during her shower. She said she forgot to ask about the bath so I reminded her to try that next time.

We arrived at Trinity and Jody, Kiko and Rebecca were just finishing setting up for the shoot. The idea behind this is for Janet and I to give about a ninety second glimpse at our story so far as Wayne teaches on three “walls” or “barriers” we can all hit in life. There are two other video stories in the sermon, one on Finances, one on Grief and then ours on Health. The underlying theme in each is the fact that there is still hope.

The first part of the shoot was for some cut away shots so no talking needed and that was a nice way to ease into things. All Janet had to do was sit under the lights and look cute.

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After a quick location change it was time for the talking bits. Thankfully for me Kiko set up a TelePrompTer which made my part much easier. Janet had trouble reading it though so I fed her the lines one at a time until she could say each one on her own. She wasn’t as loud as I had hoped but Jody said he could work with it and may add subtitles for the sake of clarity. The whole shoot was done in an hour and a half and Jody will now work his magic to make it all look and sound good.

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Janet had fun doing the video today and held her energy very well. As with all stars the groupies are always hovering nearby. Twyla and Wendy came out to see Janet in between shots and with a little prompting Janet remembered their names. She was genuinely pleased to see them and that added to the positive experience this was. I’m a little surprised at how well Janet is talking about what happened to her and I don’t think it’s because she doesn’t get it. I’m hoping by talking about it she’ll gain confidence to keep working hard at getting better.

Stars also hang out in restaurants so rather than go home for lunch we headed back to Original Joe’s, this time with Kiko and Rebecca. Janet enjoyed that as well and was very ready for a nap when we got home. Because nap time was later than normal, dinner was a little late. I had wanted her to help make pizzas but to save time I did most of it while she drank her water and watched basketball. Janet did build her own pizza after I had all the toppings ready and this was probably her best one yet. Looked better than mine!

Janet kept insisting she didn’t want to get ready for bed as the clock ticked past nine so I let her stay up to watch the end of the basketball game. That made it after ten before the lights went out so hopefully she doesn’t sleep too long tomorrow and we can get a few things done in the morning. Praying for rest and healing and for lots of energy tomorrow.

Terrific Tuesday #TSJ

Janet had had another shower, finished her breakfast and was wheeling down the hall looking for help going to the bathroom when I arrived this morning. I reminded her she needs to use the pendant alarm to call for help instead of wheeling around looking for someone. She said ok. She laughed about having a shower this morning after having one last night too. I guess you can’t be too clean. After her bio break we took off for the eye doctor to see what she can see.

The test Janet did is a standard vision field test and was quite difficult for her. I can now see why Dr. McCann was reluctant to send her for one while she was in the hospital. If you’ve never had one, you stare at a little pin point of light in the centre of a vertical bowl while other pin points of light randomly flash around the bowl. You are to click a button every time you see one of those random flashes. Those flashes are fast but the test is not nor is Janet’s response time. Each eye took about nine minutes to test including a short break mid way through each eye so Janet could rest. Dr. Percival came in after to review the results and as expected Janet’s vision is noticeably stronger on the left side of each eye and in the lower half of the field of vision. He showed us an example of someone that suffered a stroke and how their entire right side of both eyes was blacked out initially then after six to eight months some vision was starting to return to those quadrants. I think Janet has been through a similar pattern and may still be changing so we’ll likely run the test again in three months. There is nothing medically that can be done to improve Janet’s vision but at last now we know what’s going on and can monitor any changes.

We spent the rest of the day at home having lunch, playing with Nash, doing a really good job of asking and going to the bathroom, having a long nap, Skypeing Mary/Gaga and Keith who are heading to Africa in a couple days, watching Pick a Puppy, rearranging furniture in the family room, having dinner and watching American Idol. My contribution to Janet’s rehab lately has been more involved with common things she would do around the house. One reason for moving the furniture around is to try and position a comfy chair for her to use instead of being in her wheelchair all the time. She can now get a treat for Nash out of the fridge by herself but her voice isn’t quite loud enough to get him to sit and wait while she puts it in his dish. The singing is helping with her volume and with her state of mind too. She always sings with a big smile on her face. She’s getting better at setting the table but her vision is hampering her a little there so I’m going to try and set things up in the drawers differently so she can see them better.

The drive back to Connect was fun with Janet singing a lot especially to The Carpenters, Close to You. Great moment. Praying for a good night of rest and an active day of learning tomorrow.