sing along

Janet, A Success Story. November 3. #TSJ

Well, that was a marathon weekend for Janet. She got to stay home an extra night as my mom is visiting and she sat through the entire three days of Skate Canada International. Eight hours Friday, Nine hours Saturday and two hours Sunday. Janet made it through all that without a nap and kept a smile on her face the entire time minus a little bit during the Ladies Long Program Saturday, it was a long day.

Never having seen live figure skating before we didn’t know what to expect and Janet came away feeling happy she’d gone and with greater respect for those athletes. If you looked on a seating chart to where we sat, you’d think our seats weren’t very good. We think we had the best seats in the house. The venue was not designed for an event like this and the backstage area is too small to provide a warm up area for the skaters so they used the concourse right behind our seats. Meaning, we were up close and personal with everyone before they made their way down to the ice. It was as interesting to watch them prepare as it was perform and every time I brought some skaters to Janet’s attention she’d react with surprise at how they were right there in front of her. She chickened out on her chance at a picture with Scott Moir though, rightly saying “its kind of dumb having a picture with someone you don’t really know”. Janet gave me permission to have mine taken with Tessa Virtue but I declined for the same reason. All of the skaters were incredibly accommodating to the fans and anyone that asked for a photo or autograph got one. Janet and I were both impressed by that. Janet loved the Ice Dance competition the best, saying the music is better and the couples interact and depend on each other more. We became fans of Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier, chatting extensively with Piper’s mom and watching them go through their entire program right behind our seats, seeing how focused and connected they are, then watching them execute on the ice earning their best score of the season by far. Very cool.

Skating dominated the weekend but we did manage a nice Sunday dinner with Courtney and Mike. Thank goodness mom was here to cook it and we had a pretty chill day today. The little bit of time we were at home, Janet walked and helped out well. She walked a little with her cane at the arena as well and bravely called a bathroom break during church on Sunday. A first and a welcome change from the “I didn’t want to interrupt anything” phase. Lets hope that continues.

The unpleasantness of returning to Connect tonight was tempered by the realization that Janet only has to do it three more times and that tomorrow is her only full day there this week. Things just keep getting better. Some sing along music in the care helped too. Amazing how powerful that is still.

Praying for a restful night of sleep and a positive Tuesday.

First Better Than Second. A day at home. #TSJ

The energy Janet had at last night’s dinner party carried over into this morning as she woke up way earlier than I expected. 7:30! I was fine with that as I was sort of up anyways in case I was able to connect with a friend who’s traveling in China right now. That didn’t work out but Janet and I got off to a good and early start.

Over a long breakfast we sorted through her massive mess of recipes in advance of our possible move. A lot of her collection were pages ripped from magazines that had never been looked at since the first time so it was easy to throw a lot of stuff out. I let her call the shots on all the books so we are keeping way more than I would have but we also found some recipes I had been looking for recently and some we had totally forgotten about. We now have a collection that can be organized and used as opposed to just taking up space. Janet was surprisingly determined to get this job done passing on a couple opportunities to take a break or do something else.

Between cookbook purging and all the usual morning tasks, noon arrived quickly and with obvious signs of a weather change I convinced Janet we should go for a walk then or we may not get a chance. It was not as nice as it was yesterday but still felt good to get some fresh air. Janet did a great job of “driving” Nash, having to reign him in on his leash a few times. Our lunchtime entertainment was some NCAA basketball then Janet was clearly ready for a nap.

Once again nap time was interrupted by the barking dog but only once and I think Janet had a good rest but as the day wore on I could see she wasn’t going to have the stamina she did yesterday. She was up in time to watch a pretty impressive hail storm outside that quickly made the pool cover white. It was fun to watch the transition and interesting to watch Janet take it all in. She was kind of groggy the rest of the evening, needing help to eat dinner and not talking very well. There was a nice burst of energy when she chose to make a play list of songs to sing with John. I was surprised she wanted to do that and as we sat at the computer with a glass of pop she smiled and sang along to quite a few songs that I will put on her iPod for John to play with her. Of course she had enough energy to eat some ice cream before bed but just barely as she was asleep before I laid her down once we had her pj’s on.

I suspect it took a while for the late night yesterday to catch up with her and I hope that is what’s behind the fast fade over the second half of the day. Praying for a solid night’s sleep that provides lots of energy for an active day tomorrow.

Independence Day. Janet gaining responsibility #TSJ

I was not surprised to hear that Janet made it through last night without falling out of or escaping from her bed. She continues to chuckle at the thought so I think if she ever does wind up on the floor it truly would be an accident. I also sense a little pride coming from her for being able to sleep with no rails.

Lorne reported that Janet’s first half of the day was quite busy. They had a good session in the gym and he very happily told me Janet asked to go to the bathroom twice for him and was successful both times. That continued with me for the rest of the day as Janet continues to improve in that category. Mary Lou saw Janet for Speech this morning as well and with her nodding off while waiting for me in the living room when I arrived it was clear she had been busy.

We went down to her room to debrief and wait for our meeting with Brian when nurse Jen stopped by. She surprised me by announcing that Janet is going onto the self administered medication program. I would not have thought Janet was ready for something like this but as it was explained I can see where it is a good time to start training Janet to be independent with her meds. She was given a booklet that describes the program, her medications, has a schedule for when each is to be taken and a log that Janet can sign off on each time she takes them. I expect her to pick up on the timing pretty fast as most of her meds are associated with meal times with the last one being at bedtime. The challenge will be in learning the names of each and what they are for. The staff will continue to help her and score her each day on how well she’s doing and look for ways to help her with what she’s not doing well. Janet seemed receptive to the idea and remembered at dinner time that the booklet was for her meds but that was it. Baby steps. Jen had a look at Janet’s former peg site and agreed it is healing very well, suggesting that after Janet’s shower in the morning we leave the dressing off and see if all stays nice and dry. If so, no more poly and no more dressings. Yay!

Mary Lou tracked us down in the kitchen a few moments later to say she had spoken with John, a gentleman I talked to last week about coming in to sing with Janet. Turns out they know each other from church and Mary Lou is totally supportive of John working with Janet. He is not an accredited music therapist but is an accomplished singer and conductor and based on my initial conversation with him, quite a positive, high energy older guy that loves life. Mary Lou doesn’t see a need to meet with him before hand so I will arrange for him to visit Janet next week for some sing along fun.

While I was talking to Mary Lou, Janet wondered off for a few minutes and came back with Brian in tow. Better late than never. We had a good chat about shower/bathtub aids for the house and I will try and figure out which option will work best for us this weekend. I’m thinking a bench for the bathtub but we’ll see. We also talked strategy for getting Janet in for some outpatient hydro therapy at KGH Rehab. I think Janet and I will try and pay a visit there on our way home Friday.

With the meetings finally done Janet was in clear need of a nap and more than willingly lay down on her bed falling asleep within minutes. When she woke up I lovingly told her she was snoring for over an hour and she tried telling me that she wasn’t even sleeping. Cute.

The nap was probably not long enough as Janet’s energy level was not near what it was last night. She ate a good dinner, impressively peeling a mini mandarin orange all be herself as part of dessert but faded quickly after that. She went upstairs with me, Garrett and Humberto to listen to some live music that never happened but I’m not sure how much she would have been into it anyways. We did have a nice little chat before bed though and she was pretty much asleep before our prayer ended.

Praying for a healing and restful night and thanking Jesus for the progress made so far and all the good people looking after Janet.