standing frame

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

Curtis put Janet through an intense workout this morning in which he says Janet did well. Her version of the story is a little different of course but overall I think she feels better about it than usual. Wendy helped Janet with using her iPhone and found Janet to be a little nervous about doing things fast enough. I called Janet a few times today and she said she saw and heard the phone ringing but couldn’t answer in time and didn’t totally remember how. We practiced tonight and I think with a lot more repetition she’ll get there.

Having done all her exercises except the Standing Frame it was a pretty relaxing evening for Janet and that worked out well as one of the staff members tonight was a nurse who cared for Janet back in the 4B days. Amanda remembered us right away. Not unexpectedly, Janet has no recollection of her. I vaguely remember Amanda but it took me a while and I’m a little disappointed in myself for that as from what Amanda said she was right there from the beginning in 4B and fairly often even though she’s a Casual. We had a very long and interesting chat with her after dinner that Janet really enjoyed and contributed to. Still no recall of those days for her though.

Janet did her Standing Frame routine while we visited with Willie’s wife Val. It is their 44th wedding anniversary today! Impressive! After responding to a few emails and listening to me read for over half an hour Janet agreed it was sleep time. Praying for a fast recovery for John and a solid night of sleep for Janet that allows her a productive Friday.

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

Janet had just let herself down from the Standing Frame as I walked into the living room at Connect this afternoon. She was in good spirits and knew it was time to get down. Jess said Janet had refused all offers to go to the gym today as well as the group chatting session that happens every Tuesday morning. Janet was pretty cranky about it all as we talked and could have used a nap but I vetoed that idea as she slyly used it as an excuse not to go to the gym. I spent the entire evening trying to convince Janet to keep working hard to reach her goal. I think I had some success as she agreed to a Shuttle and bike session before dinner. She did really well on the Shuttle despite being quite cranky but had the weakest one legged pedal on the bike she’s had. There was no hint of an ability to pull her leg back up after pushing down. On the flip side, her attempts to stand from her wheelchair were brilliant again today.

There certainly is no shortage of an appetite with Janet and even long time resident and professional eater, Chris, agreed she was giving him a run for his money. Janet finished dinner and an apple long before most folks were finished their dinner and she gets a real kick out of the attention given to her eating prowess.

Hanging out in her room for a bit Janet got caught up on some email correspondence and is getting good at using the voice to text function in Gmail. I had brought a jar of pennies to her room long ago with the intention of practicing counting and finally decided to do that tonight. Janet thought it was a silly idea at first but when paired with rolling them up to deposit in the bank she was all for it. I asked her to count out groups of fifty pennies and she did so very methodically, placing stacks of two side by side and counting the stacks periodically until she had twenty five of them. I was impressed with her mathematical ability and her only real challenge was in counting the stacks and that was mostly a vision thing. Once she learned to touch them as she counted she was fine.

The gym was too busy when we went down to try and do some of the new exercises for Janet’s right leg and that made her a little happy. She got to have me read a little before we went to watch some tennis. Janet sat very still and focused on the TV, not saying much or reacting much but when she did she came up with observations that were accurate and well timed. She laughed as we left to get ready for bed saying “I really like watching that for someone who doesn’t play”. When I told her they have wheelchair tennis and we should try it in the Spring, she retorted with “I won’t be in a wheelchair then”. Now that’s the attitude I want to see all the time.

Praying for a night of uninterrupted, deep and healing sleep that brings lots of energy and a positive attitude for tomorrow.

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

The Singing With John “concert” was at full volume when I got to Connect this afternoon with Janet smiling and singing one of the new songs we provided to John. He doesn’t know many of them and seemed a little overwhelmed but when you see and hear Janet singing them you just want to work with her. One song in particular, John even congratulated Janet on being in tune! Big Country joined in for a little bit and his voice is gaining strength along with Janet’s.

Jess reported that the day had been very busy so far with Janet getting in a good bike ride, a good stretching session and some laps walking around the parallel bars. On top of that, Tez spent some time with her doing some new exercises designed to strengthen her right leg and help Janet gain control of moving it forwards and backwards and to the side. Walking moves. We are skipping swimming this week in favour of a coaching session with Tez and the new AFO. Should be fun.

After putting away her laundry and helping to make her bed Janet agreed to an attempt at napping. She slept for about an hour and then was able to complete a good session on the Shuttle before dinner. Her overall leg strength is improving and more notably her right leg is gaining strength slowly. She worked hard to push the heavy weight I gave her and she did well. The increased strength is helping her transfers as well which was proved by the excellent one she did at the dinner table, earning her a round of applause from Big Country. As she was starting to get ready for bed she popped out of her wheelchair almost effortlessly to a standing position and looked at me with a big smile. I asked her what that was for and she said “I didn’t think I could do it”. Silly kid.

Janet read a little of Open to me tonight for a change. Just one paragraph but she nailed all twenty eight words, needing prompting on just one. That’s the best stretch of reading she’s done with me and she repeated it hours later. Nice. Reluctantly she agreed to a Standing Frame session before bed and tolerated it for forty five minutes. I can see where not being able to straighten her right leg is hindering her walking so anything we can do to stretch those hamstrings will help. Janet is not happy about being put back in the Standing Frame and wants to ask Tez on Thursday if its necessary. We both know what he’ll say but I think its good for her to ask.

It really was a busy day for Janet and even with the nap she was tired enough to call bedtime at 8:30 and by 9:30 with me reading to her she was asleep. Praying for a night of rejuvenating rest and a day full of energy tomorrow.

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

Renovation Day 63. Another work at home day for Randy while I put up some towel bars and a decorative shelf and cleaned the kitchen area. The last bit of vinyl planking arrived today and will be installed over the trap door to the crawl space tomorrow.

Janet was hanging with Jess in the living room when I got to Connect this afternoon. She was bright and cheery and excited to tell me she had worked with Wendy this morning testing her reading comprehension. Janet said she didn’t do very well but knowing Janet, I’ll wait till I hear from Wendy before coming to any conclusions. One part of the test is still in effect as Janet has to remember all on her own to deliver an envelope to Wendy in the morning. Janet seems determined to pull this off and has the envelope ready on her bedside table. I think Janet’s comprehension has improved substantially over the last couple of months and expect her to do respectably with Wendy. Unrelated, I asked Janet to type a reply to an email from her mom and she did so without hesitation. I never once had to help her with spelling and only had to help her locate some letters on the keyboard. She never once complained that she can’t do it and found maybe thirty percent of the letters completely on her own. High five.

The first order of business after the daily recap was a bike ride. Jess had Janet in the gym this morning for a lot of stretching work and range of motion stuff on her legs. The bike ride tied a personal best and I think Janet is ready for level three if I can sneak that on her.

We had a nice Skype chat with Heather just before dinner and Janet excitedly told her of our party Friday night without prompting and of singing along to The Sound of Music. She needed a little reminder of that one but laughed a lot about knowing all the songs.JanetSuzanneDedicationParty

Tiffany helped us at the parallel bars after dinner with Big Country cheering Janet on. Considering the lack of walking over the last four days and no nap today Janet did quite well. I noticed a tendency to get out of rhythm from time to time and she was a little fast to give up on herself. I think to really make headway on this walking thing Janet needs to practice daily and with the AFO which hopefully will come soon.

I warned Janet tonight would be hard and I didn’t think she’d go for the Standing Frame when I mentioned it but she did and got a good stretch for forty five minutes while we watched The Voice. She seemed to have a natural let down as soon as the show was over and asked to get ready for bed so I could read a little to her before lights out. I don’t think she made it three pages before she was out and didn’t even stir until I was all packed up with my coat on ready to go. To me that’s a sign of a productive day. Janet had good physical and mental workouts today and I pray for similar success tomorrow.

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

Renovation Day 57. Randy worked from home today while I hung a few more pictures and cleaned some areas up. I was also able to retrieve our wine and spirits from Barb and Gary’s house now that we have a place to put it. Thanks for looking after it you guys!

Janet was all snuggly in bed still when I got to Connect around four. Her day had not been as physically demanding as I had hoped but she was tired from some mental exercise. She attended a group meeting this morning which seems to be helping her come to terms with what has happened to her as I asked her what she talked about there and she said, “why I’m here, because of my aneurysm, X Ray, last year”. Made me laugh but also proud that she could say that. Unfortunately because of other things going on in the house that meeting took Janet’s gym time away which meant she had a very busy evening with me.

Allowed to choose the order of her exercises it was off to the bike first where Janet put in a solid performance while enjoying singing along to some familiar songs on the radio. Dinner provided a break and a chance to build some energy but the best item on her plate for that she’s decided she doesn’t like anymore. Janet used to gobble up any Quinoa dish but is now adamantly saying no to it. Too bad, because its really good for her.

Next up was sling walking and when Janet figured out what she’d gotten herself into she was none too happy. Big Country and Willie were in the room with her, Curtis and I and they cheered her on to the point where she worked really hard and showed good improvement from the last time I saw her doing this. Her right leg requires assistance still and Janet needs to trust the sling more but she’s getting there. To help her gain some trust we let her hang in the sling and try to get back to her wheelchair from about ten feet away. She made it but we don’t want to encourage doing that, we just want her to know she can’t fall.

The last exercise of the day was in the form of the Standing Frame and Janet stood very straight and strong for forty five minutes earning a dessert of mandarin oranges and Tootsie Rolls as we watched The Voice. That was pretty much the only time she stopped in the six and a half hours I was with her today and a lot of her work was hard. I had left a note for Garrett and Jess that Janet was not using her wheelchair footrest around the house and she didn’t all day. I thought all she could handle was the short trips from her room to the kitchen or living room but she went once all the way to the gym then again even farther to the parallel bars for sling walking. Of course there was lots of complaining and saying “I can’t” but she did it and is getting better at it already. Janet is not propelling with her right leg at all but is managing to move it in concert with the left one. A big improvement.

All of Connect was talking about Janet’s singing session with John today as Big Country and Kieran joined them for some Christmas Carolling. Janet said it was a lot of fun and those that I talked to that heard them said they were pretty good. Hopefully they will perform at the Christmas party coming up in a couple of weeks.

Praying for a night of uninterrupted and healing sleep that provides Janet with lots of energy for more exercises tomorrow.

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

Renovation Day 49. Randy worked from home again today building drawers etc. He was kind enough to come to the house late in the afternoon to let the electricians in so they could fix what was left not working from last week. We now have a working wall oven and counter plugs, the only thing I see remaining is the island plugs and maybe there’s a plan to remedy those tomorrow. Joel came over this morning to solder some speaker wire for us and he also came up with a brilliant plan for hiding the TV wires in the Den. Love him.

I’m pretty sure I woke Janet up when I went into her room this afternoon. She was in a good mood, although a little groggy but she snapped out of it pretty fast and we went to the gym for a Shuttle workout. Janet told me she’d ridden the bike and did some stretching in the morning so she was OK to do the Shuttle. I’ve been questioning just how much stronger Janet has been getting the last few months and I really need to stop it because every time I get her on the Shuttle I can clearly see she is getting stronger. Her performance today was great, she even managed a personal high of six bands of tension using both legs for her final set and pushed really well with her right leg during those sets as well. She is making slow and steady progress in the strengthening category. Her balance is improving as well and that allowed her to shift her weight nicely on the balance board today getting into a really nice rhythm for a good minute or so. It seemed as though her struggle today wasn’t the fear of falling as much as it was being able to do the mechanics properly. She had that one moment where everything was working well then she seemed to get confused and quickly crashed. Repetition seems a good solution.

Dinner was hilarious tonight after I said it was going to be quiet without Kieran there. Big Country is determined to increase his speaking volume and has really taken to using singing as a tool to get there. He started doing some vocal aerobics at the table and before you knew it there was a competition going on between him, Janet and Willie as to who could be the loudest. They went at it for a good half hour, doing scales, animal noises and the few words they all knew to Jingle Bell Rock. It was a great time and I’d have to say Big Country was the loudest at times with Janet being the most consistently loud.

All that fun gave Janet good motivation to get into the Standing Frame after dinner and she stood nice and straight and strong for forty five minutes while we watched some football. I always stand with Janet during these sessions and each time I’m reminded of how difficult it is to stand for that long. Realizing that doesn’t mean I’ll take it easy on her though, just saying.

Janet chose to watch The Voice tonight rather than wait and watch our recorded version at home and I’m glad she did as it was a very good show. Janet offered some really good critiques of the performances and I’m more convinced than ever that her guy is going to win.

Today was loads of fun with Janet and it was difficult to leave but I know she’s in a good place that continues to provide healing and recovery in so many different aspects of her life. Thanking Jesus for everyone that is working for and caring for Janet and praying for complete healing and recovery soon.

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

Renovation Day 42. Move in day! Sort of.

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Our stuff was delivered this morning with the unloading beginning just before nine thirty with the last box going into the house at eleven. Pretty impressive. That gave me plenty of time to make sure things were in the right general area and also to put things in the crawl space that aren’t going to be used for a long time. Thankfully there isn’t much of that sort of thing anymore. I was shocked at how many bins of Christmas stuff we have and can’t wait to see how much of it we use.

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Frank the plumber was here for quite a while and is almost finished his work. Randy worked from home today knowing there would be a lot of clutter here for most of it and as soon as the closets and kitchen drawers are installed the move in can continue.
I did manage a little bit of decorating though.

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#gohawks !

Janet was watching Ellen with Wes when I got to Connect this afternoon and right away asked, “how’d it go with all our stuff?” I thought that was very good of her to remember that’s what was happening today and a sign of just how excited she is about getting the new house livable. She very demonstrably told me about her day, using a lot of hand gestures as she was having a little trouble naming some of things she wanted to tell me about. We then headed off for a bike ride and under protest she allowed me to check her out on some more difficult pedaling settings. We settled on level 1.5 for twenty five minutes and Janet almost made two miles keeping a steady pace right around thirty rpm. I think she can handle level two and will try that tomorrow. Wanting to get her “work” done, Janet agreed to the Standing Frame knowing she’d be late for dinner. To me, this was a really good session with a fair bit of weight going through her right leg and a really good stretch on both.

The rest of the evening was quiet and relaxed as we read, visited with some of the other residents and staff, watched the last quarter of an exciting football game and closed the night with a little of The Voice. Praying for a night of deep and healing sleep that provides lots of energy for tomorrow’s activities, especially Singing With John.