It’s been a fun and active start to Janet’s mid summer break from Connect. Laurel and Raj were here Friday night till Monday morning and provided Janet with some meaningful and exciting family time. We all walked around the Farmer’s Market Saturday morning then stopped by to say hi to John. Janet is always quite proud to introduce her family to others and John was very pleased to have a larger audience to regale with his stories. It took a little convincing but we got Janet into the pool and you can see from this video, she hasn’t lost any strokes at all.
We arrived early to church on Saturday as I wanted Janet to walk all the way in on her own. Wouldn’t you figure, she walked so fast the whole way we had tons of time to spare. Ya just never know. Sunday was a day at the beach, literally. Janet was happy to sit in the sun and watch Laurel, Raj and I make our first attempts at Stand Up Paddle Boarding. We all did impressively well I must say. After a nap at home we walked back to the beach area for a nice dinner at Smack Dab followed by the now requisite stop at Menchies for dessert.
The good-byes this morning were not as teary as in the past and Janet and I had a productive day preparing for our trip to Nanaimo tomorrow. I even got Janet in the pool again and we are getting steadily better at entering and exiting.
These first few days have been quite vacation like for Janet with today being an exception as I put her to work with me around the house. Since she is using her wheelchair less and less we rearranged the kitchen so that the things she needs for breakfast are reachable for her when standing. She did some walk throughs of the new set up today with the first real attempt coming in the morning. I’m confidant she can do this.
Praying for a great night of sleep and a safe drive and ferry trip to Nanaimo.
Today marked the beginning of Janet’s ramped up effort to achieve her move out goals. Other than the first transfer out of bed in the morning and a long walk with me tonight, the wheelchair stayed parked. One long term resident, Chris, commented to us this afternoon how impressed he was that Janet was walking everywhere with her cane. Chris has long been a cheerleader for Janet and she still values his opinion so his comments did her some good today.
By the time I got to Connect this afternoon Janet was waiting for me in the living room. She said she couldn’t nap and wasn’t sure why she was inside in the cold so we immediately went out to the patio where she recounted her day for me. Janet’s recall continues to improve to the point now where I no longer feel a need to verify her stories. The time soon came for Janet to set the dinner table and she needed no physical help at all but seemed to have difficulty in figuring out how many places to set and what to put with each one. I’ll blame the lack of a nap.
Our evening was pretty mellow as we took advantage of the hot weather and went for a nice long walk around the neighbourhood. Janet is so much more observant and conversant than when we did that last summer it blows my mind. There is one house we pass on this walk that has dozens of cats roaming the yard. Last year I’d have to spend five minutes guiding Janet to a point of seeing one of the seven or eight that were clearly visible at anytime. Now, she can even spot the ones hiding in the shade of the carport, which they all seemed to be doing tonight.
Janet realizes her walking pace needs to increase and I noticed a slight improvement tonight but more importantly it was obvious Janet was trying. She wouldn’t try and read The Hallo-Wiener to me though so I read to her and she laughed like a little kid at the end. Love it when she gets excited about silly things. Emails are still a chore for Janet but when she puts her mind to it she can churn them out pretty fast now using the voice to text feature and thats what she did for a few tonight, feeling a sense of accomplishment when done. Janet deserved to feel accomplished tonight as she had a good day.
Praying for a good long sleep tonight and an energetic and progressive Tuesday.
Another summer weekend comes to a close and it was a good one. Not a lot of activity as far as going out or having people over, just quality time together in the sun. Janet said the highlight for her was the salmon dinner we had tonight. It was yummy but I think the highlight for me was taking Janet out to see John today and having her lead the conversation after we stopped at a store and Janet walked with her cane the whole time there. It felt like she was more independent to me and I hope she’s feeling the same way. Janet is at least very willing to use the cane now and realizes it will help her become a faster walker and her memory has improved to the point where one tiny prompt from me can set her story telling for a couple of minutes.
Speed wasn’t really present all weekend as Janet is still nervous about walking. Her stair climbing improved each day and this is the least she’s used her wheelchair by far. It is still very much needed for walks to Menchie’s and such but not around the house at all. Janet cane walked into church but I had to lead her the last bit as she was going so slow we risked not being seated before the service started. We had lots of time as we left the building and Janet made that trip completely on her own. Slowly but she made it.
I pretty much dragged Janet to the pool today for a swim and she whined and complained until she got used to the water then I could hardly convince her to leave. Getting in and out was a little better today as she went with no AFO or shoes. The in part still needs work but getting out has been mastered.
Janet practiced her reading a fair bit this weekend and says she’s getting better and from what I heard I’d agree. There was even a little practicing of her handwriting which was nice to see, its getting better too.
The weekend ended up having lots of ways of suggesting to Janet that the goals she set last week are very achievable and I pray she has the attitude and ability to work hard at them all this week.
Dr. Miller was once again full of praise for Janet during their meeting this morning and she really seems to value his opinion. Janet did a great job filling him in on the wedding and travel adventures, speaking clearly with no struggle to find key words. Janet made the trip with no wheelchair and walked from the waiting area into Dr. Miller’s office unassisted. She left the same way after securing another speaking engagement. Dr. Miller invited Janet to speak to his Neuropsychology class at UBCO in March. She is all for it and is really starting to gain an appreciation for sharing her story.
Trips to KGH like that take up the entire morning so by the time Janet and Jess got back to Connect it was lunchtime. There was a little time for a bike ride before nap time which was very short partly because it was so nice outside and partly because I showed up soon after Janet laid down. She negotiated what she thought was a good deal for herself, going for a long walk instead of doing The Shuttle, until she realized she would actually be walking. For some reason she thought I’d be pushing her in the wheelchair, anyways, she put in a great effort walking freestyle roundtrip from her room upstairs to the pool room and back. That got her sweating and hungry for dinner. Then it was my turn to get sweaty as we walked, this time with the wheelchair, down to the lake. Summer is in full swing here and Janet loved sitting by the water watching the little kids play in it. I think I may have succeeded in getting her to try a swim tomorrow! Hopefully.
Games night was quiet tonight with only four of the usual group there. Janet started strong but faded notably the last twenty minutes on account of that super short nap this afternoon. It was still a good brain exercise to go through and a good physical one walking back to her room.
Janet’s increased mobility has given her new found power. It used to be that even if she didn’t want to walk somewhere I just had to grab her hand and start walking and she had no choice but to follow along. Tonight she flat out refused to walk down and get her meds and since she’s walking on her own, she turned and plunked herself down on her bed and refused to move for a good fifteen minutes. When I agreed to stay close to her she headed out and I stayed at the halfway point and watched her. She did great and I could hear her once again correctly name her meds and what they are for. She’s better than she thinks she is.
Praying for a long and restful sleep that provides lots of energy for a fun Wednesday.
Jess reports Janet was quite sleepy most of the day today and that she asked to lay down after her singing with John session. Sure enough, Janet was sort of sleeping when I snuck into her room. She looked super cozy all wrapped up in her blankets and true to form as soon as I let go of the door handle she opened her eyes. We chatted for a while and it was clear she wasn’t going to sleep so up she got so we could sit in the sun and talk some more. I had lots of news to tell her, most important was that I finally made contact with the owner of a house we’ve had our eye on. She is going to sell but was waiting until Spring. I’m praying that the good conversation we had this morning will encourage her to sell sooner, like now. She kindly gave me a tour of her house and I liked what I saw, especially how wheelchair friendly it is. Her husband was in a chair for five years there so most of the house is easily accessible for Janet who was very excited to hear my report.
Understanding that she needs to make two trips to the gym each day Janet elected to do the Shuttle and Standing Frame before dinner. Again today, not her best ever performance but decent. I’m very happy with her Standing Frame tolerance though. Nice and straight for forty five minutes and no complaints until she let herself down and that’s just the pressure coming off of her knees. By the time she was done all that the other residents had finished dinner so we had the table mostly to ourselves. I’ll have to watch the timing a little better in the future as I like Janet to be a part of the community table.
We went for a nice long walk after dinner and noticed the cooler temperature and lack of daylight. Janet agreed that it will be difficult when it’s dark at five o’clock to find something interesting to do. We’ve enjoyed a lot of time outside this summer and are kind of dreading the end. It will be a big adjustment.
That was pretty much it for Janet as with not sleeping well last night then not really napping this afternoon she was ready to call it before nine o’clock. She’s doing a great job with her pole transfers even when tired and her bedtime routine is quickly becoming more independent as well. She told me tonight she “needs to walk” and knows she has to work hard to get there. Tonight was a good effort and hopefully that continues.
Praying for rest, healing, strength and a positive attitude. Thanking Jesus for all we are blessed with.