singing

Janet, A Success Story. October 28. #TSJ

The positive momentum continues for Janet. As soon as I got to Connect this afternoon Jess informed me that Janet had a good morning and they had worked her hard. Janet was sitting in the living room having just had her nails painted and she actually agreed or at least didn’t respond with the all too common, “it was terrible”. She knew I was there to take her away for the rest of the day and that contributed to the good mood for sure.

With her baptism fast approaching it was time to meet with Susan from the church to go over Janet’s testimonial and chat about it all. Janet likes Susan and their scheduled twenty minute meeting went at least double that and if Janet didn’t need to go to the bathroom they might still be talking. I sat in for the last ten minutes and Susan said a lot of positive things about Janet that I could tell made an impression. It’s been so good for Janet to meet people like Susan along the way as she buys into their comments more than she does people who’ve known her a long time. Kiko joined us for the walk to the car and also got to witness Janet’s first solo public washroom break. She had been in that washroom at Trinity before so I was confident she could get to where she needed to go and the grab bar is on the left of the toilet which is where Janet needs it. Kiko and I waited outside in case there was any yelling for help but a few short minutes later a smiling Janet reappeared to a couple of high fives. It may not seem like much to some of you but being able to do that completely solo is huge for Janet and a big plus for me too.

We got home in time for Janet to have a much deserved nap before dinner then she did a great job sautéing some veggies for us. The confidence around the cooktop is growing and her cooking skills are improving. I can see her cooking complete meals on her own one day.

Our evening was relaxed after dinner as Janet sang herself through an episode of The Voice before a reasonably positive drive back to Connect. She’s still not happy about being there but with lots to look forward to this week I think she’ll be fine and can put in a couple of good mornings Wednesday and Thursday.

Praying for continued growth in Janet’s confidence and understanding of how she’s recovered so well.

Janet, A Success Story. September 25. #TSJ

With a fist pump and a “yay, we’re outa here!” I brought Janet home early this afternoon. She had done her usual Thursday morning stuff with Jess and ate her lunch as soon as she could, in anticipation of my arrival and her exit.

Tez stopped me in the hall as Janet was getting ready, to express his concern over Janet’s attitude. He was pleased to hear of the upcoming appointment with Dr. Miller and Brian’s heads up to him. Tez knows Janet can do much more than she’s letting herself do and its frustrating him a little.

We had no big plans today other than watching The Voice. There was a stop at the grocery store where I tried to involve Janet as much as possible. She is a willing participant if she’s sees the relevance to doing something. The same goes for helping out at home. She did great in the kitchen tonight and deserved the few hours off to watch and sing along to The Voice. Janet correctly guessed which coach most of the artists would pick tonight. It was crazy how many she got right.

Praying for a good night of sleep and a fun day of learning tomorrow.

Janet, A Success Story. September 16. #TSJ

Rumour has it that Janet cooperated with Tez and Jess this morning and when she actually did what they asked she did it well. The exercise Tez is working Janet on is a step routine up and down on a four inch block. That’s less than any steps at home and Janet is easily capable of doing it, she still lacks the confidence to really attack it. I did manage to get her to walk down both flights of stairs this afternoon and she did really well with them even saying at the end that it felt good to have done it.

There was lots of walking the balance of the day for Janet and she probably put on more than a kilometre by the time she was done. All the trips were purposeful as opposed to exercise oriented and she walked beside me holding my hand most of the time. I can’t tell if she’s improved her pace much yet but she certainly hasn’t slowed down.

Janet went into Games Night convinced she wasn’t going to say much then ended up participating nicely. Same old story. Each week the group is charged with remembering “the word of the week”. Last week’s word was supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Of course that was easy to remember and the whole group sang the song repeatedly to prove it. This week the word is a favourite of Janet’s, sunshine. Naturally everyone started singing You Are My Sunshine. Yikes.

Once again Janet didn’t really nap and paid for that as the evening wore on and come reading time she was asleep. Praying for a solid night of sleep and a happy Janet on Wednesday.

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. July 23. #TSJ

You all know about Janet and little kids, well apparently she has the same effect on little animals. Everyone in the house went to Kangaroo Creek Farm this morning and Janet quickly made a friend.

Cute. The baby 'roo is too.

Cute. The baby ‘roo is too.


They all seemed to really enjoy the outing with Janet being just as excited about stopping for coffee afterwards as seeing the kangaroos. The biggest laugh apparently came when they were told this Emu’s name is Larry.
I can see the resemblance. Can you?

I can see the resemblance. Can you?


I got two phone calls from Janet today, one to tell me about the kangaroos and the other later on when she had completed her exercises. She used that opportunity to tell me I could come out to see her anytime. Janet has really been focused on my visits and her time at home lately which is one reason we are having a mini team meeting tomorrow. I want Janet to set some goals to be reached before coming home so she has clear targets instead of an arbitrary date to shoot for.

Curtis asked Janet to set the table for dinner tonight but she declined based on it was her turn to do the clean up after dinner. Fair enough, Curtis and I made sure she followed through with that and to her credit Janet did great. Her ability to stand and work at something has vastly improved in the last couple of months.

Right where she belongs.

Right where she belongs.


Her freestyle walking tonight was solid but I notice a little difference when I helped her to walk fast. I think she’s so used to reaching for a wall or something that her upper body is now angled towards that support instead of where she’s headed. Minor but worth correcting.

Today was a bright day for Janet, she was talkative and “on” the whole time I was with her and she even did some singing as her and Angie attempted the Oscar Mayer Wiener Song. They got some laughs at least.

Praying for a dry night of sleep for Janet and a productive Thursday.

Janet, A Success Story. June 2. #TSJ

Janet was back to “work” in a hurry today. She had all of her physical therapies completed by lunchtime and seemed OK with it all. Usually when that happens I’ll hear some complaint about how “terrible” or “hard” it all was but when I called her today she was all giggly sitting out in the sunshine after lunch.

It was obvious to me when I got out to Connect that Janet had worked hard her first part of the day as she never woke when I went into her room and stayed sleeping for another twenty minutes. Still no complaining when she woke up and with a hint of eagerness she walked down to the dining area to set the table. The complaining started soon after. I’ve been having Janet do as much without her wheelchair as possible and there is a lot of walking involved in setting a table. As she got tired, the whining started, but she persevered and was rewarded with a bit of Happy Hour in the sun that included a Skype chat with Heather. The conversation went well considering all Janet wants to talk about is the wedding.

We hung out in Janet’s room most of the rest of the night with Janet practicing reading, writing an email and listening to some music. Heather had shared the song she will be walking down the aisle to and Janet asked if I remembered what songs we used at our wedding. I was confident I knew the walk in song, Have I Told You Lately That I Love You, but not the first dance one, Only Know I Do. Thankfully Laurel was on the ball and gave us that one. Janet still likes them both and sang along knowing a lot of the words.

The walking Janet did tonight was of mixed quality with the really good stuff happening at the end, which is a relief as some of her earlier stuff was not pretty. I think maybe she was a little tired from the morning and took a while to warm up. Wearing her sandals, I can see her toes and am a little concerned how the right ones curl up when she’s walking. Janet can’t move them herself much so we may need to find a way of keeping them stretched out if Tez thinks its a problem.

Janet’s speech and memory were outstanding tonight and she gave me probably her best summary of her day ever, nailing everything up to and including dinner. Interesting how the most recent stuff she couldn’t come up with. Praying for a night of deep and healing sleep and a bright Tuesday.

Janet, A Success Story. May 23. #TSJ

Garrett knew Janet wanted to leave for home as soon as possible today so he had her working hard in the gym all morning long and even into the afternoon. Janet was really happy to get everything done and was in a great mood while finishing off the Standing Frame as I got to Connect. Its great to have the kind of help Garrett provides as he always seems to keep Janet talking while exercising which distracts her from the drudgery of some of the things she needs to do.

We made our escape and got home so Janet could nap before our Small Group meeting tonight. After helping make dinner she had a quick chat with Heather about some wedding thats coming up soon. The excitement is building.

Our Small Group was very small tonight with only one other couple showing up but we had a good conversation and Janet likes how honest and real they are. We had both been waiting all week to watch the finale of The Voice and Janet insisted we stay up and do so tonight, hence the lateness of this post. Janet really enjoyed and sang along to a lot of the last performance show but was too tired to really enjoy any of the results show so we pretty much skipped right to the results and were in agreement on the winner. No Blizzards owed by anyone this time but So You Think You Can Dance starts soon and the bet will be on.

There was a lot of sitting going on tonight but Janet did get in a few freestyle walking trips and did very well. She even transferred herself from wheelchair to sitting on the bed twice all by herself which I think is pretty big as that involves a lot of turning and backing up. Her confidence continues to grow and I can see her walking around the house soon without me hovering near, maybe Sunday?

Praying for a night of deep and healing sleep and a positive attitude for tomorrow.

Janet, A Success Story. April 15. #TSJ

A nice bounce back by Janet today. No accidents, good workouts, good reading practice on her SheLife speech and even a little participation in Games Night.

Janet seemed in a good mood when I called her at lunch time. Jess had taken her to the lab for another blood test in preparation for her doctor appointment tomorrow and she had gone for a bike ride and some stretching. When I arrived at Connect I was surprised to find Janet in the living room “supervising” Brian and a wheelchair tech working on Big Country’s new wheelchair. She had napped a little bit and was eager to practice her SheLife speech so that’s what we did first. The more she read it the better she got and as long as she doesn’t over rehearse and has a good nap tomorrow afternoon she should do well.

Chelsea joined us in the gym to learn Janet’s Shuttle routine. I hadn’t seen Janet on the Shuttle for a while and was impressed with her effort. I’d say there is some improvement since last time. After dinner Janet managed a decent walk from her room to the lobby, which is about fifty feet away. I hope to talk to Tez about helping Janet to walk straight ahead instead of angling to the right as she mostly does. She doesn’t quite understand that she’s doing it even after I tried to show her how much shorter she’d have to go if she went straight. Anyways, it took a lot of convincing to get her to practice walking tonight but when she did she did well. I had her take a few steps holding onto me so I could gage how much she’s using the cane and there was hardly any pushing down on my arm leading me to think she could take a step completely free but she’s scared to try. The idea of practicing that in the pool crossed my mind but I didn’t mention it to Janet yet.

It was a struggle again to get Janet to go to Games Night and this time she didn’t participate much except for singing the Barney theme song during a guessing game. There was one more reading of her speech, which was too much that late in the day, then some email replying to do before bed. Praying that Janet is well rested, confident and focussed for all that she’s asked to do tomorrow.

Janet, A Success Story. March 18. #TSJ

Today marked another visit with Dr. Miller at KGH and I met Janet and Jess there this morning. As usual, it was a very positive meeting with lots of affirming words sent Janet’s way from someone whom she will accept those words from more than she will from others. In summary, Janet continues to make notable progress cognitively and surprises Dr. Miller each time he sees her. He assured me that he will remain in the picture even after Janet comes home and that is good to know.

We took advantage of being at the hospital to pay John a visit and this time he was awake! He had just returned from his first shower in six weeks and was feeling very good about that. Janet shared some stories and teased him a little and if the weather holds we will try and take John outside on our next visit. He hasn’t done that since arriving at KGH.

More visiting took place on the way home for lunch and Janet was pretty tired after that busy morning so didn’t argue at all about a nap. In fact because she was home she actually smiled about it.

Knowing she had to do some exercise back at Connect Janet chose to ride the bike and agreed to do the Standing Frame after that. Her ride was excellent, almost setting a new distance record and for the first time rode without strapping her feet to the pedals. I’m hoping she is soon strong enough to use a simpler pedal which may mean we could get a bike for home. When we looked for a bike before, Janet needed a snowboard type binding to hold her foot on the pedal. That need may be disappearing.

The Standing Frame was made much more tolerable tonight as Chelsea put on The Sound of Music for Janet. As the first song started Janet jumped right in in full voice and drove Wes back to his room to hide from the “girly movie”. Here’s a little of what the last hour and a half of the evening sounded like. Janet will watch the second half tomorrow but I’ll spare you the video.

There was a little time left for reading before lights out and The Artisan Soul was very interesting tonight. I wished we had read it earlier in the evening as Janet had a lot to say about it but was too tired to really get into a conversation. Praying for a positive attitude and lots of energy for Wednesday.

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

My day with Janet started with a nap. She had just gone to bed fifteen minutes before I arrived so I snuck into her room, but not very well as she woke up briefly to greet me then had a half hour snooze. Before getting up I tried to get the run down on her day so far but Janet has been having a little trouble with her short term memory lately and she wasn’t able to tell me much without a lot of prompting. I’m not sure what’s going on there and she is definitely worse when tired. It also seems like she gives up a little fast too. I’ll try and talk to Wendy about it this week.

Janet did report that she did everything in the gym this morning. Upon further examination I discovered she only did the Shuttle and mat exercises so after counting some pennies and eating a big dinner Janet reluctantly agreed to a little work on the bike. We tried a few different seat positions this time in an effort to give Janet the best chance at success. She’s a little down on the fact that her right leg doesn’t work that well and that is affecting her efforts on the bike. We found a position where Janet is able to get a few inches of pull up on each revolution and I think she can gain strength enough to complete a revolution soon if she keeps working at it. I’m also hoping for some help from tomorrow’s Botox.

Now that the Aussie Open is over there is nothing on TV and that turned out to be good as Janet spent over half an hour singing with Big Country. They took turns choosing songs from his iPad with Janet doing most of the singing on her choices and Big Country singing most of his. Janet was very supportive of his efforts and really encouraged him along in kind of a mother like way. Following that, Janet asked for her nails to be done and chose Seahawks blue as her colour. Honestly, she chose it with no influence from me at all. After getting ready for bed I read some of what is a very interesting chapter in Open to her but she was sleeping fifteen minutes in and I had to stop at a critical point. Janet denied falling asleep but I know snoring when I hear it.

Tomorrow is Botox day and I have high expectations for this round. If Dr. McCann is onboard we will focus on the right leg and arm, leaving the left leg alone. Janet doesn’t know it yet but as usual her exercise routine will ramp up after the injections too. Fun times.

Praying for a night of deep and healing sleep that brings a positive attitude and a willingness to fully participate in tomorrow’s activities.