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.

Janet, A Success Story. October 30. #TSJ

I mentioned a while ago that I would stop posting blog updates on days when Janet was home and even though she’s been starting her weekends on Thursdays for quite a bit, I kept on blogging. Well, this is the last one of those and once Janet is home full time the daily updates will cease. Every once in a while there is something cool worth sharing but it certainly isn’t every day any longer.

Janet had a good stretching session in the gym with Curtis this morning then I picked her up for the weekend and we hung out at home with my mom who baked up a storm and made the place smell real nice. After Janet’s nap she helped make dinner again and amongst other things is showing an increased ability to stand for long periods. She moved around the house well without her cane and enjoyed just chilling in her comfy home.

We have a busy weekend full of figure skating ahead of us as we attend the Skate Canada International competition. Janet will not have a chance for a nap all weekend so a sleep in is planned for tomorrow. Since my mom is here I’ve told Janet she can stay home until Monday evening and she is very excited about that.

Praying that Janet sleeps well each night this weekend and has the energy to keep up with all we have planned.

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

Janet had a good start to today, waking with lots of energy after a good long sleep. She managed her own breakfast this morning and was quite chatty and excited about the day ahead. Our neighbour, Bonnie, came over to watch the Olympic figure skating with Janet as she had been in Mexico during the games. Janet enjoyed watching a speeded up version of what she’d already seen and was able to remember some of the performances. It was an awful lot of skating to filter through in a couple of hours but nice to visit and watch with Bonnie.

I got Janet up and walking a little before and after lunch. She complained of soreness in her left leg which I can only attribute to her over using it. We had a good long talk about that and I also had Janet stand in front of a large mirror so she could see how crooked she stands even though she thinks she’s straight. Her steps were good today but her confidence level remains the same, lowish. If Janet believed she could use her right leg more she would. Anyone know a good sports psychology book? Janet relates to sports and might be inspired by something along those lines.

After scanning a few pictures and a quick nap it was time to bake our cannelloni and watch the Oscars. Both were a little disappointing on my end and Janet agreed with me on the cannelloni but enjoyed the Oscars. That was a lot of TV watching today, something I hope we don’t repeat too often. We had the most wintery drive of the season back to Connect tonight and had time to do a little reading. We are through eleven chapters of Long Walk to Freedom and I think that’s it for Janet. It is too dry a read for her so I am looking for suggestions. Something personal, quick paced and funny.

Praying that Janet has lots of energy tomorrow and a willingness to work hard at whatever she’s asked to do.

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 #welcoming

As I arrived at Connect this afternoon Curtis told me Janet had been lying down for almost an hour. I tried sneaking into her room but she was wide awake and spent the next forty five minutes chatting up a storm. We laughed about the pets we used to own and she couldn’t understand why my childhood dog lived outside all the time. That’s what real dogs do I told her but she wasn’t buying it. We both fail to understand why anyone would own a cat.

With all of her exercises done in the first part of the day I was at a bit of a loss as to what to do all evening. There were no emails to reply to, hint hint, and Janet, as chatty as she was wasn’t into doing any speech exercises so we just talked until dinner time. Janet had seen some of the Ice Dancing competition this morning but really wanted to watch it tonight so we fired up the iPad and started watching in her room. I gave Janet the option of watching on one of the actual tv’s at Connect but she was happy to hang in her room. Just so she didn’t get too complacent I asked Janet to stand for a while which she did using her dresser for balance and putting weight through her right leg until she said it was sore. Brian stopped by for a nice chat and invited us to an Acquired Brain Injury stakeholder meeting at Connect that Interior Health is hosting in a week or so. I’m looking forward to reporting on our experience in the health care system. Soon after Brian’s visit one of the residents asked to talk to us as he was wanting some spiritual help. Janet was very welcoming to him and disconnected herself from the skating immediately and focused on her neighbour. We spent a nice half hour listening, praying and sharing with this man and I believe it not only helped him tonight but also Janet. She offered some insight into her world that I haven’t heard her share with anyone before. I was questioning the decision to just watch tv tonight but if we weren’t doing that in Janet’s room we wouldn’t have had the chance to help someone a little. God at work.

After watching and judging the Ice Dancing competition it was time for bed so we could read Long Walk to Freedom. The book is getting more interesting but we are both having trouble with the African names and words. Janet stayed awake for almost half an hours worth tonight. Her longest run so far.

Praying for a night of deep and healing sleep and for Janet’s neighbour to find peace and strength and Love.

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

Janet woke me up this morning and before breakfast agreed to have a bath. We are getting that activity running better and keeping Janet warmer each time. Breakfast again was Janet’s choice and she went to her default toast and coffee. She then had a nice Skype chat with her mom before settling in for some football watching. We were not that into today’s games but did watch some and used halftime of the first game to walk around the couch again. Janet did even better today, moving in a more consistent rhythm and pushing her right foot a little farther forward.

We noticed that the US Figure Skating Championships were on and I know how much Janet likes skating so we watched the last hoot of it and she really enjoyed that. She commented on each skater with some genuine expertise and I hate to admit but showed as much enthusiasm for the skating as she does football. It was fun to watch with her and we look forward to the Olympics.There was an attempt at having a nap this afternoon which only resulted in maybe twenty minutes of sleep. Janet was tired but not tired enough I guess. I had her start to help me with dinner but she got distracted by the Golden Globes and ended up watching that while I cooked.

Complaing she was tired I encouraged her to ride the bike back at Connect and she did so valiantly and after a little dessert she hopped into bed so I could read to her. Expecting her to fall asleep rapidly I was instead presented with a very chatty and giggly Janet the entire hour that I read to her. She had lots to say about the story and I was concerned she’d have trouble falling asleep tonight but leaving her in a good mood at Connect is just as good as leaving her super tired so I said goodnight looking forward to tomorrow.

Praying for a deep and healing sleep and lots of energy for a busy tomorrow.