Skype

Janet, A Success Story. October 6. #TSJ

All day long Janet’s focus was on getting things done so she could watch the Seahawks play on Monday Night Football. Tez has a new student working with him whose worked with Janet on her stretching a couple of times now. She says he’s nice but isn’t totally sure of what he’s doing. Janet is more than willing to tolerate that as long as she doesn’t have to work too hard. Things seem to be getting done though, including some walking. After her nap I took Janet for a walk up the stairs and on the six minute course. There was a lot of complaining that ended with some acceptance of a good result. With me pulling her along, Janet did 200 meters in just under seven minutes. That’s the fastest yet but was with help and on an inside course. Still, it may boost her confidence a little.

After setting the table and grating a bunch of cheese Janet sat down for an enjoyable Skype chat with Andrew. Janet had a fair bit to say once she warmed up and really enjoyed getting caught up on Andrew news. Dinner was in the living room so we could watch the game and that of course made up the rest of the evening. Love having a football fan for a wife.

Praying for a restful night of sleep and lots of confidence for tomorrow’s activities.

Janet, A Success Story. July 13. #TSJ Heat

Janet and I had a good weekend, mostly very positive with one lingering negative that I hope we can resolve soon.

We are in the midst of a heat wave here, 40C today, and not even Janet is complaining about the A/C being on. I still can’t convince her to go swimming though, she’s hung up on not being able to walk “like a regular person” and looking “weird”. Next weekend, if we have time, I’m just going to tell her we’re going and see what happens.

Friday, we spent most of our time getting ready for our dinner guests. Janet insisted on making a carrot cake for dessert and I agreed as long as she helped. Her confidence and abilities in the kitchen continue to increase and this cake turned out better than the first one. Heidi and Jack joined us for a very nice evening of conversation and food. Janet was engaged the whole time and was a huge help in getting everything ready. That seemed to make the evening even more special for her but begin able to host two people that have been a huge support from day one was cool. Thanks for being you, Heidi and Jack.

Saturday had us visiting John just before his lunchtime. Janet remembered he wanted us to bring him a “double double” from Tim Horton’s so we did and boy was he happy about that! I’m glad we could cheer him up. Church was the one negative of the weekend, not the service at all, but the “accident” Janet had with three minutes left. I was mad because she gave me the old “I didn’t want to leave in the middle of the sermon” excuse and I don’t know how to get her to stop thinking that something else is more important than going to the bathroom. A work in progress. We turned things back to the positive side after we got home by walking down to Gyro Beach for a picnic dinner then a walk along the lakefront before getting home for ice cream. Being out at the beach at 9 o’clock at night in 30C weather is why we moved here. Love it.

Today was a little extreme, I’ll have to admit. 40C, even Janet was sweating a little, but still loving it. After Skype chats with Brittney and Leslie I dropped Janet off at Wendy and Tim’s house where a bridal shower was being held for a family friend, Amy. Janet was excited to attend as I guess she likes hanging out with other women and I’m glad she got the chance.

Nora, Janet, Amy

Nora, Janet, Amy


She told me after that she spoke a little to the group and “everyone was really nice to me”. The relationships that Janet is building within our community are helping her rehab a lot. We are blessed.

With the heat and lack of time for a nap, Janet was pretty tired heading into dinner time but still managed to help and did a good chunk of her help standing at the Island. After the prep work was done Janet mustered enough energy to Skype with Andrew and they seemed to enjoy talking tennis.

I sometimes get a little discouraged and frustrated with the pace of Janet’s recovery but I can look back on this weekend and see notable improvements like her being able to stand and work at the Island. Her walking around the house was slower but she did way more of it and never complained or asked for help once. Her stair work is greatly improved and we went on our first outside walk together. Janet walked holding my hand for five houses away from ours before we turned around and walked back. I can remember back in the KGH days saying to her I wanted to go for walks with her again. It’s starting!

Praying for a cool night of sleep for us all and that Janet has lots of energy and a positive attitude for the week ahead.

Janet, A Success Story. June 29. #TSJ Relaxing

For once I felt totally OK in not having anything planned for the day and allowing the goal to be relaxation and it worked well. After quite a busy Friday and Saturday Janet had a relaxing and enjoyable Sunday which of course made it really difficult to take her back to Connect tonight.

Janet had a great Skype chat with her mom this morning and as I listened in from a distance I noticed Janet needing a minimum of cueing in answering questions and she stayed on topic really well. She performed equally well as we chatted with Scott and Nora from Chicago this afternoon. Janet was thrilled to discuss the wedding and family with someone else and loved seeing and talking to two awesome people. She even thinks its cool there is technology that allows us to do such things. We are blessed.

Slowly I am gaining confidence in my ability to back off and let Janet walk around the house on her own. She did that a lot today with varying degrees of success but never a hint of falling. I’m trying to give her space in hopes she’ll feel more free and her confidence will increase. So far I’d say its working as each time she reached her target area there was a big smile on her face and I don’t even have to ask her to walk anymore, she knows to do it and even said tonight that she “makes herself” do it. Love it!

Our relaxing day ended at Connect with Janet accepting she needs to get back to “work”. The fact she will now be coming home for weekends on Thursdays helped just a little too. Praying for a fun, progressive and productive week.

Janet, A Success Story. June 1. #TSJ

This morning was more mellow than Saturday morning and Janet was able to get through breakfast well before the weekly Skype chat with her mom. In fact, we were able to watch Genie Bouchard win her fourth round match at the French Open before the mom call and Janet was pleased to be able to do so. She’s a fan.

From what I heard of the conversation with Mary/Gaga it went well and Janet even ended the call properly on her iPad, something I’ve been trying to teach her for a long time. After some suntanning time we drove out to see John and go for a walk with him. Janet noted he seemed a little down compared to last time so we left him with a promise to take him for lunch next Saturday in hopes that gives him something to look forward to. We were then able to eat our lunch outside before Janet’s nap time. Have to get her tanned up for the wedding you know.

After her nap we walked up to check out the pool. I wasn’t able to convince Janet to swim but she was all over going for a hot tub. As you can see in the picture the first step in is a doozy with the four others not much better. Janet made it in OK but getting out was no fun at all. I was over confident in what Janet is able to do and attempted to assist her in walking out. She just doesn’t have the strength to tackle large steps like that and if one of our neighbours wasn’t there to help me get Janet out, we might still be there. I’ll be carrying her out from now on. The pool steps are not as large so hopefully Janet can manage those ones better.
Janet Hot Tub

Janet’s conversation skills are certainly improving as evidenced by her striking up a chat with the lady in the hot tub (the one that ended up helping us) and then by having an excellent Skype chat with Andrew. Her speech and recall were outstanding today. There weren’t too many walking opportunities but she did make it up and down our ramp a few times.

Our arrival back at Connect tonight was later than usual as we lingered over dinner, America’s Got Talent, and ice cream before making the trek. Janet says she doesn’t mind it when she gets there its more the thought of having to go back that bugs her. This is a short week for her though as she gets to come home Thursday and stay for the weekend on account of a few appointments Thursday and Friday. She’s happy about that.

Praying for a restful night of sleep, lots of energy all week and a willingness to work hard.

LarryJanet Hot Tub

Janet, A Success Story. May 18. #TSJ

Janet’s day started with a couple of Skype chats back to back. First up was Leslie followed by Mary/Gaga. Both conversations went well with Janet needing minimal help along the way. Because we got up so late, shower time had to be after the Skype sessions so by 12:30 we were ready to start our day. On a whim I had Janet try walking freestyle from the bed to the dining table and she did it with only one pause to hold onto me briefly. That’s thirty feet all on her own folks! She repeated that a couple times during the day then bested it by ten feet going all the way to the bathroom. There was no mention of a sore foot until after dinner tonight and Janet walked a lot today so I think the couple days of minimal walking did her some good and the problem could be just new things being used a little too much. Janet complained a little tonight at Connect but not as much as before.

That was the highlight of the day except for Janet doing a nice job helping to make dinner. She was bright and cheery and talkative all day, showing no signs of having too much Dilantin in her now. I hope she has enough.

The ride back to Connect happened too soon again but it didn’t take long for Janet to settle in. Jess was working tonight and talked with Janet for a fair bit as soon as we arrived and that really helped. Praying that Janet has a restful night of sleep and wakes up with a positive attitude and lots of energy and no soreness tomorrow.

Janet, A Success Story. May 11. #TSJ

I hope all you mothers had a great day today. Janet said hers was “boring” and I got really mad at her for saying that which made for a mediocre evening after what I thought was a rather pleasant day.

Janet was up earlier than yesterday as she had a Skype chat booked with her mom but she still got a sleep in compared to a Connect day. She did a great job getting her breakfast on her own with one little reminder from me for the toaster oven. The mom chat was pretty good and we then walked in the sunshine to the store for some dinner supplies. Upon our return Janet was back on Skype, this time with Heather, and curiously, she didn’t seem to have much to say except for when the topic was Heather’s wedding. Janet is truly excited about that and knew on her own it is just over a month away.

Wanting to enjoy the sun more, we took the dog for a walk around the neighbourhood which ended with a nice chat with our neighbours Bonnie and Toly. I’m really grateful for such good neighbours and for Janet to be able to “bump into” them so often. It will be great when Janet is here full time.

Since we had been in the sun so much we figured John would be wanting some so we drove out to see him and after a slight bit of arm twisting we got him out of bed and out into the world. This was his first adventure off the property and you could see the life returning to his face. I’m somewhat concerned that now that he knows the code that unlocks the doors he might make a run for it one day. Only partly kidding.

Janet slept for an hour when we got back home then chatted with Andrew, Laurel and Cam. Those conversations were poor I thought and Janet agreed that she should’ve taken some time to wake up more before making those calls. Now we know.

Janet had two excellent free walking sessions today going from our bathroom to the dining table, once needing a little help along the way and the other completely on her own. Still being Janet, she refused to acknowledge how well she’d done. The good part about that is she really wants to do better. She will.

Praying for a night of uninterrupted sleep for Janet and that she wakes, refreshed, energized and with a positive attitude for the day ahead of her.

Janet, A Success Story. May 4. #TSJ

Sleep in Sunday felt pretty good and because of the late start Janet was able to power through the day without a nap.

The weekly Skype chat with Mary/Gaga happened during breakfast and I thought Janet participated well. It was soon after that we decided to go for a little walk around the neighbourhood and good thing we did it then as the weather deteriorated rapidly after that. It’s not really summer yet.

During our walk I had Janet test drive her new clogs and quickly realized the left one was just a little too loose so we jumped in the car and went back to Hollywood Shoes in search of a solution. The owner came up with a good one and I will be taking Janet’s shoe to a guy that will install a velcro strap on the back to hold her foot in better. Should work. Since we had the owner’s attention we broached the desire for an “everyday at Connect” shoe for Janet and moments later walked out with another pair of shoes for Imelda, I mean Janet. Except for some sandals she’s all set.

Lunch was taken during the time Janet would normally be napping and was followed by some really good walking practice. I even got a few free steps out of her. The reward for the workout was to sit on the couch for a bit and watch TV. We thankfully stumbled across a TED talk given by Gabby Giffords and her husband in Vancouver this March. Very inspiring and Janet noted the similarities between her and Gabby. Check it here if you like.

The topic of Janet’s dad came up and she surprised me in agreeing to call him. He sounded good and the conversation was reasonable and I think it brighten the day for them both. Keeping with the family theme and in need of a laugh Janet placed a FaceTime call to her brother Mike which was full of smiles and included cameos from members of the family that happened to be home. Janet felt good about reaching out in that way and actually mentioned she was happy we have the technology to do so. We used that technology to track down a college friend of Janet’s whom she hasn’t seen in thirty plus years. Janet is excited to reconnect with Helen, and it’ll be interesting to see how the “reunion” plays out. I was impressed to read that Helen was aware of Janet’s situation and can’t wait to find out how she knew.

Janet was a good help in making dinner with me tonight and thanks in part to good music in the background the preparation for and drive back to Connect were pleasant despite my unwillingness to have her leave. Janet excitedly showed off her new shoes and talked about the wine club to Chelsea upon our arrival, while walking to her room. She then stood at her dresser and put some laundry away. This required her to free stand and bend to reach the lower drawers and she did it well.

Bedtime reading produced some giggles and insightful comments from Janet and I was able to say goodnight satisfied she was settled in and ready for a productive week ahead. I’m thankful for the long weekend we had together and praying for lots of rest tonight and lots of energy tomorrow.

Janet, A Success Story. April 26. #TSJ

Thanks for complying with the new settings to the emails you receive for this blog, there was a nice spike in the numbers today and that is encouraging to me.

Our morning was leisurely today and Janet started off with a decent Skype chat with her mom. She seemed a little quiet to me in spite of a sleep in but she did toss and turn quite a bit last night so maybe the sleep in just kind of evened things out. Janet came outside with me as we met with the Gardening Committee from our Strata to discuss what shrubs we would like removed and who’s responsibility each one is. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that costs would be shared and most of what Janet and I want to do is likely to be approved.

It was just warm enough outside for Janet and the gardening ladies but not enough to stay out any longer than that so we scanned old photos into the computer until we were hungry for lunch. I made sure Janet helped as much as she could in the kitchen today and she did a solid job. I did give her a break from chopping duty though as she does that a lot at Connect so today was largely assembly practice and Janet is improving nicely.

After a decent nap we went to church this evening where Janet got her first real walking done today. She bravely walked the entire length of the aisle to her seat with me in front acting as her cane. Her steps were large and fast and wobbly at times but got praise from Tim who saw her without the wheelchair and came over to encourage her as did Randi and Wayne a little later. We had a nice long chat with Randi after the service that Janet chose as one of her highlights of the day tonight. He is a kind man going through some tough times and we are grateful we get to cheer him on a little. Janet then walked back up the aisle to her wheelchair more confidently than she did down. Soon I won’t have to be her cane. Walking around the house didn’t happen as much as I wanted to today but when Janet did, she did well. I’ll try again tomorrow to get some video.

Janet and I hadn’t watched a movie for a while so when I pitched the idea, Janet actually got excited. We chose Philomena, making sure the only options were Janet appropriate films. I only had to explain a couple things as the movie went along and Janet remembers seeing the great Judi Dench in other films but couldn’t name them. Unlike Noah, there was not a lot of discussion afterwards but Janet and I both enjoyed.

Praying for a night of uninterrupted sleep and a productive Sunday.

Janet, A Success Story. April 21. #TSJ

Back to “work/school” for Janet today. She calls Connect by both names depending on her mood. Negative is work, positive is school. When I called at lunchtime today she was very positive and sounded confident. Her gym session was “OK” as opposed to the more frequent “terrible” and her voice just had a real nice tone to it that wasn’t diminished when I got to Connect later in the day. Janet excitedly told me she did some walking and it was “fine” but the nap thing didn’t work at all. She was pretty alert so we got on with the most important activity of the day. Her new Mother of the Bride dress arrived and she couldn’t wait to try it on. It took me a while to figure out how to get all the material over her head but we managed without much stress and here is the result.

Saying Yes to the Dress.

Saying Yes to the Dress.

To make sure all was well with the dress I asked Chelsea for her opinion and she raved about it. Later we showed Tiffany who also thought Janet looked great in it. Janet agrees but still needs reassurance from her peers (other women) before completely accepting any compliments.

Janet’s mood shifted a little downward after dinner as she realized she had some work to do. There was a bright moment before that though as she was able to have a nice Skype chat with Andrew. Janet excitedly reported on her SheLife speech and carried a good conversation. I think that chat improved her mood enough to where she actually enjoyed her bike ride. She sang a lot during it and didn’t complain once about the hard parts. Janet wasn’t up for any walking tonight so we did some Speech type work by filling out some customer feedback forms that Connect has going around. It was an opportunity for Janet to think about a few staff members and how they differ in their job strengths and to create comments on each of them as to how she feels they work for her. Good brain exercise.

To close out the night we got Janet onto the Tilt Table again and she was not pleased about it. Chelsea and I didn’t have her set up exactly like she was the first time and I think it was too late for Janet to get comfortable after we corrected her position. It was still a good stretch and weight bearing time.

As Janet got into bed tonight she ended up laying on her back with her right arm stretched out at her side. I’ve never seen that before and am not sure how she got it there but it is cool that she can do that with no pain.
JanetRightArmStraight
Praying for a productive Tuesday.

Janet, A Success Story. March 30. #TSJ

This morning Janet got the going to the bathroom thing done in the correct order and waited until a reasonable hour to do so. She was in full command of making her breakfast too and is much improved in the peanut butter spreading area.

Today was largely a talk to family day as Janet had Skype sessions with her mom and Leslie and a phone chat with Laurel. That wrapped up a week where she chatted with each of her kids and a few other family types. She seemed pleased in noting that. Her conversations today were outstanding I thought. I hung back and let her go with it each time and only helped her if she was way wrong on an answer or not able to come up with the right word and today that was rare. Both Skype chats were a good half hour long with Janet engaged in conversation the whole time. I’ve set up a Skype account of her own for her and started teaching her to answer her phone for a Skype call, its not as simple as a voice call but I think she can get it with some practice. She’s jedieno if you want to connect with her.

Once again, I had Janet walking around the house as much as possible today and after a bit of a slow start on the first session she really got it going good and improved notably each time. I was most pleased by her willingness to push through the desire to quit a couple of times and I’m seeing signs of a small increase in confidence. Her biggest trips were about forty feet from the dining table to the bathroom with some good strong steps coming from her right leg. Practice practice practice.

We got out into the sun again this afternoon with Janet finally getting to wear a Spring time jacket instead of her winter one. Janet enjoyed going for a walk and not having to walk. I told her not to get used to it as she will be walking outside soon. After another long nap Janet woke up hungry and ate a big dinner before the dreaded trip back to Connect. This time she was in fairly good spirits though, singing a little and talking the rest of the time. She enjoyed me reading The Artisan Soul before falling asleep after a darn good day.

Must be Spring!

Must be Spring!


Praying that Janet wakes in the morning with a positive attitude and the willingness and ability to work hard at all she asked to do. Thanking Jesus for the progress she is making.