When I got to Connect this morning Janet was walking around her room putting laundry away. She had a big smile on her face and couldn’t wait to tell me she had done her walking test with Tez. I surmised by her look that it went well but had to wait for Jess to find out the official result as Janet tried telling me she did 190 meters. That would be nice and I believe will happen one day but today’s official result of 92 meters is outstanding and Janet accepted the praise she was given by everyone we saw today. I think I’m just as happy about that as I am the numbers. Tez will ponder Janet’s performance for a bit then recommend a new Get Out Of Connect Goal which I anticipate will be 200 meters.
Nothing pleases Janet more than leaving Connect and she gave her signature fist pump as we drove away for the coast to visit Brittney, Ethan, Julian and Ashley. Janet was more than happy to spend four hours in the car and travelled really well today. Her wheelchair and cane were in the car but not used except for the wheelchair once when the walk was just a little too far. We left Connect at 11:45 and got home at 1am and Janet never slept a wink the whole time. The visit with everyone went well with Janet and I really noticing how much busier everywhere is in Vancouver compared to here. We had some great sushi for dinner but the restaurant was crazy busy and loud. We got to watch Ethan at his swimming lessons and the pool was crazy busy and loud. Our last stop was Menchie’s and it was very smily as usual, except for Ethan when we wanted to take this picture.
He was happy before this, honest.
Praying for a good night of sleep and a productive Friday.
All on her own, Janet called me earlier than usual this morning to say she’d just worked a little with Tez. She thinks its very important to tell me things like that right away so I know she’s being productive. Somewhat true.
By the time I got to Connect this afternoon Janet was surprisingly still sleeping and continued to for almost an hour before waking refreshed and ready for action. Her day had been busy enough to not have had time for a bike ride so off we went to get that in before dinner. Janet complained a little once she got pedalling but by the end she was quite proud of how well she’d done. Her walking to the gym and back was excellent as it was all the rest of the night too.
Everyone else had finished dinner by the time we got to the kitchen which was OK because it allowed us to dine outside in the sun instead of inside in the air conditioning. Janet was not thrilled with the prospect of attending Games Night, I think mostly because she knew she had to walk there and back. Tez has decreed to the staff that they are to have Janet walk everywhere possible now, using the wheelchair as little as possible. That’s something I’ve been practicing for a while now so Janet shouldn’t notice much of a difference. Once Games Night got rolling Janet jumped right in and fully participated and ended the evening on a real high by being “it” for a game of Where What Who. The person who is it thinks of something to be in a certain location around the world and the rest of the group asks questions leading to their guessing what you are thinking. Usually people guess something or someone far away, Janet thought she could fool everyone by choosing herself and she did until Big Country somehow guessed correctly to everyones laughter. Janet was quite happy with herself and called that the highlight of her day. I thought the highlight should have been when I told her we got tickets to the Seahawks home opener but she put that third, behind her game playing and me coming to visit her. Awww.
Praying for a good night of sleep for Janet and continued healing.
The lunch time phone call today came from Janet who said she had everything done including sitting in the sun a lot. I was glad to hear that and could recognize the energy that had given her. She said she wasn’t going to nap today and asked if I could come out a little earlier than planned as Jess wanted to talk to me. I arrived just after three, talked to Jess as she was leaving, went to Janet’s room to find Curtis helping her get ready for a nap. Now she was tired. Sheesh. Jess was giving me the heads up that there is an opportunity to go hiking on July 26. The CRIS Program would be leading the day and Janet would be pushed in a wheelchair adapted for rough terrain. She of course isn’t wanting to go but so far the calendar is clear then and I think I can convince her to try, she used to love that sort of thing.
It wasn’t much of a nap and when Janet woke up she immediately asked to go to the bathroom. I like it when that happens. After a little sun soaking Janet set the table for dinner then went back outside to warm up. We are having a hard time with the air-conditioning always blasting at Connect and don’t understand why people think its necessary. It wasn’t too bad during dinner but a nice walk in the sun afterwards made Janet feel good. Up until that point she had been walking freestyle the whole time and continues to do better than when holding my hand. A perfect example was going through the door to the patio with me and moving side to side so much she bonked her head on the door jam. Janet still wants to hang onto me for security sake but I’m trying to convince her to fly on her own.
Angie has a 3D TV that we moved out into the living room so people could watch Avatar in 3D. That was a new experience for Janet and although she didn’t really get the movie she enjoyed watching it in 3D and was impressed that it looked so cool. Unlike her.
Janet’s Ray Charles impersonation.
Unfortunately when she was done watching she habitually tried closing the glasses not knowing they don’t close. There is some damage to one arm that I might be able to fix. I hope.
Praying for a night of uninterrupted sleep and a happy Thursday.
Another wheelchair free night for Janet even though she was pretty tired. I woke her up when I arrived then she went right back to sleep for twenty minutes before I had to wake her so we could get ready for a chat with Brian. She was sleeping really warm as for some strange reason, she was in bed with all her clothes on. Of course she was then cold once she got up. Silly.
Brian hasn’t been in the picture much lately and I wanted to touch base with him on a few things ahead of next week’s team meeting. The better Janet gets the less involved Brian is. That’s good but we miss having him around more. He covertly watched Janet walk from her room to the Den freestyle and was genuinely impressed. We had a good talk and I’ll fill you in on details after the team meeting.
In order to help plan out the rest of the evening Janet walked to the kitchen area to see what house chore she was to perform today. It was her turn to empty the sanitizer and put the dishes from it away. She bravely started doing so without even asking for her wheelchair and confidently used the counters to support herself as she manoeuvred around the kitchen. I stood by in case she misjudged a turn or a step but I was not needed. High five!
That task took a lot of energy out of Janet and she was happy to sit in the living room for a few minutes waiting for dinner to be ready. She got there completely on her own and I sense a real spike in her confidence and there seems to be an expectation on her part to do things like walk to a chair and sit down without help. Awesome.
Janet’s day of exercises was heavy on stretching and light on strength and conditioning but with her feeling tired tonight I let her pick one of the three things she should have done and she chose bike. When I suggested the Standing Frame would be easier she stuck with the bike as she at least likes it a little bit. Her ride was solid as was all of her walking tonight especially the trip to get her meds. She was stepping nice and straight and I noticed for the first time her right footed steps were sometimes heel first as opposed to the ball of her foot. I think that is a significant sign of improvement and I’ll watch for it more.
To complete her wheelchair free night Janet performed her night routine walking and standing on her own. It’s really cool to see her standing at the sink brushing her teeth after so many months of her sitting in her wheelchair like a little kid. Love it.
Praying for a long night of restful sleep and lots of energy tomorrow.
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.
A rare thing occurred today. I snuck into Janet’s room this afternoon and for once she was sound asleep and she never even woke up as I entered so I snuck back out to let her rest. She rang her pendant about twenty minutes later as she needed to go to the bathroom. Apparently she called for help a short while after I left last night for the same reason and that is an encouraging sign.
The day up to that point was once again busy for Janet as she completed all her therapy sessions with the exception of the Shuttle. After a freestyle walk to the patio for some sunshine and then setting the dinner table it was off to the gym to complete that task. I intentionally made it quite hard for Janet wanting to really workout her right leg. She did well but happily pedalled away when done.
Our evening together was quiet with Janet checking emails, reading in preparation for our Small Group session tomorrow night and standing on one leg for as long as she could. I’m looking for ways to get her to trust her right leg more and figured if she stands on it alone she’ll recognize more what it can do. Janet surprised herself in begin able to lift it high to stand on her left leg and also to stand on the right one for a few seconds. She was hanging onto the transfer pole for support while doing this so not all her weight is going through her legs but some confidence was definitely gained. More was built near the end of the night when she walked from the bed to the bathroom without me hovering over her. She also never once argued about walking today.
Praying for continued strengthening physically and mentally.
Is the tide of doubt changing? Janet actually said she did well walking in the sling this morning and she repeated that descriptor tonight. Her confidence in walking is for sure getting better and she is more willing to free walk now albeit for relatively short distances. The pain in her right foot apparently has shifted from above her arch to the area where the leg becomes the foot and is only present when she puts weight on it. I asked Chelsea to note it in Janet’s chart in hopes that Tez can be made aware and talk to Janet about it.
As I walked into Janet’s room this afternoon she only woke long enough to say she’d had a big sleep then went right back to sleep again for a good twenty minutes. Her day had been pretty busy so I let her call most of the shots tonight. After setting the table for dinner we spent a nice time in the sun on the patio and Janet was upset with herself for not being out in the sun earlier. There was no hesitation in going for a bike ride after dinner and Janet set another record riding for 3.6 miles. I snuck her into a higher level of resistance too and she didn’t even notice. High five!
Walking with me this evening was good but not her best. She complained regularly about being in pain while hanging onto me but when free walking she was quiet and did very well. I think that as long as that pain goes away Janet could free walk forty or fifty feet very soon.
Janet chose to just hang out in her room most of the evening doing some reading, coin rolling and chatting. Her reading seems to be improving and could be a lot better if she’d remember to turn her head all the way to the right in order to see everything on the page or screen. When I read to her in bed tonight she actually stayed awake for the whole hour and gave some good feedback on what we read.
Praying for immediate healing of the pain in Janet’s right foot and for a productive Tuesday.
Surprisingly, Janet was in bed when I got to Connect to take her to her eye doctor appointment just after lunch today. Her morning was busy but not overly so with a light workout in the gym that included stretching of her right leg. A good sign that the pain there may be subsiding. The rest of the time was routine except for a couple of toileting errors that Janet is upset about. She went pee a lot today which is unusual for her but isn’t to the abnormal range yet and there’s no indication of any other symptoms suggesting a problem anywhere. Hopefully tomorrow is drier. Despite falling asleep as soon as she hit the pillow last night, Janet feels like she woke up in the middle of the night and didn’t sleep well after that which is why she was trying to nap at 1pm today. There was no time for such nonsense then so up she got and off we went.
Our Optometrist gave Janet a very thorough exam and noted some improvement in Janet’s vision from a year ago. We agreed that most of the improvement is from Janet compensating for her right side impairment better and just being way more aware over all. Her eyes remain healthy with some physical improvement and the doctor noted Janet’s vastly improved reading skills. To help with that some more Janet is getting a pair of reading glasses so she hopefully won’t get frustrated as fast as she does now.
Janet was deserving of a nap when we got home and took advantage of the opportunity for two hours. We had planned on a date night tonight but I sensed that Janet wasn’t in top form and after some discussion we agreed to get some take out and stay home. She was worried about having to go to the bathroom a lot and her energy level could have been a lot higher. We both really enjoyed our meal from Hector’s Casa, our neighbourhood Mexican restaurant, and along with watching The Voice it made for an enjoyable evening. Janet got the place to herself for an hour as I had to run out to Connect to get her new meds that arrived late in the afternoon and she handled that just fine. At the end of the night Janet agreed to walk from the couch to the bathroom but got a few steps in then had to pee so that ended that. Tomorrow will be different.
Praying for Janet to regain control of her toileting, for the pain to leave her right leg and for her to be able to do lots of walking this weekend.
When I checked in with Janet around lunchtime she answered her phone on the second attempt and was very bright in talking to me. She reported that Humberto’s brother was visiting and everyone had enjoyed meeting and talking to him this morning. Janet said her bike ride was OK and that was all she had done and she knew that meant work when I arrived. She’s catching on.
Curtis did a little walking with Janet before nap time and when I got to Connect she was ready to get up and enjoy the sunshine before “going to work”. She chose the Shuttle first and did an admirable job with some slight improvement in keeping her right knee close to the left one. Janet of course hated every minute of it but persevered. That was the theme for walking today as well. She finished counting and rolling our jar of pennies before attempting a walk to the living room. That idea turned out to be too ambitious as fifteen feet into the walk Janet was complaining of being exhausted and wanted to quit. Perseverance prevailed however and she made it to the Den which is a little more than half way to the living room and about fifty feet from her bedside starting point. Her sit down onto the couch manoeuvre was one of the most controlled sit downs I’ve ever seen her do. High five!
After another big dinner and a little digestion time it was into the Standing Frame for Janet. I can sure tell when she’s done this exercise when I stretch her legs at the end of the night. They are so much more flexible after getting that good stretch that only the Standing Frame can provide. Another thing that is so good for Janet that she dislikes. She persevered.
When I left Janet last night she was sleeping and I thought headed for a good night. She said she woke up around four and was awake most of the time until Jess got her up. Nap time this afternoon didn’t include much sleep so Janet faded rapidly tonight and I’m actually impressed with what she accomplished considering that lack of rest. Praying for a solid night of sleep tonight and lots of strength and energy for tomorrow.
It was late when we went to bed last night but I was still shocked when I looked at the time when we woke this morning, 9:47! What a sleep in! Janet was quite happy about it, giving one her patented fist pumps saying “yay, I slept!” She obviously had and was bright and full of energy which enabled her to get her own breakfast with a minimum of coaching. Since it was practically lunch time as we were eating breakfast I decided we better answer some emails so we could say we got something done. Janet surprised me by remembering how to activate the speech to text feature of gmail and she quickly knew what she wanted to say for each email so it was a quick and painless task.
In discussing last night’s talk by Erwin McManus and checking the schedule for today at the Levite Summit, Kiko confirmed there was another session with Erwin this afternoon. I sort of had to drag Janet there as she was intent on chilling and watching The Voice. I knew the summit would be a better experience and I was right. Janet confidently took her seat then stood and sang for the entire worship set before Wayne came up to introduce communion. Normally people bring the elements to everyone at their seats but today we were asked to walk to the front of the stage and get them ourselves. To my surprise Janet agreed to walk up there with me. It was about fifteen feet one way and on a bit of a sloped floor and Janet handled it impressively. I was a little concerned while we headed back to our seats as I now had only one hand available to her as I held our elements in the other. Janet was strong and deliberate in each step and thanks to the patience of those around us, made it back safe and sound. Huge high five! Janet listened intently to Erwin’s talk and at the end, with a big smile said, “that was great, well worth coming to”. Indeed it was.
Janet went for a nap after a late lunch and slept through our regular church time. She didn’t really want to go as that would’ve been three times in two days so I let her sleep. We were content to have sushi and watch The Voice during dinner before starting to read The Artisan Soul. Janet tired before we could really get into the book but I think she will find it a good reinforcer of what we experienced this weekend.
Praying for full and complete healing and an always positive attitude.