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Janet, A Success Story. September 17. #TSJ Strolling Along

Janet and the other residents from her house at Connect spent the morning in downtown Kelowna today, walking around to the various parks and of course a coffee shop. The purpose was partly to break up the routine of life at Connect and also to gain some experience walking around in the real world. Jess said Janet walked the most ever, probably a kilometre, and did really well at it. Janet said it was fun, especially the stop at the coffee shop and she was still buzzing from that when I got to Connect this afternoon. There was one interesting moment crossing a street where the light changed really fast catching Janet, Jess and Garrett half way across and Wes barely off the curb. Thankfully the drivers were patient but we may need to talk to the city about the short walk signal.

Since she did so much walking earlier in the day it would not be fair to have Janet do any of her gym exercises today so we kept the walking to purpose driven stuff. I did take away her cane for any time she moved about her room and for one walk with me to the kitchen during which she grabbed a wall whenever she could but also did a fair bit on her own. I think there’s been some progress and maybe we’ll time her 400 meters tomorrow.

Every once in a while Chelsea likes to plan a movie night with Janet and tonight they (we) watched The Fault In Our Stars. It was supposed to be a real tear jerker and Chelsea had lots of Kleenex ready but she was the only one that needed it. Janet enjoyed the story though as well as the chance to chill before facing Tez tomorrow morning.

Praying for a night of sound sleep and a productive Thursday.

The Team Save Janet Report is Out! #TSJ #fish #swimming

Today was getaway day for Cam and Gina so Janet started her get up routine a little sooner than she would’ve liked. Once up she was bright but reserved, anticipating the goodbyes about to happen. With promptness not being a Cam specialty Janet had plenty of time to finish breakfast before the tears started to flow. It was fun having Cam here and a real pleasure meeting Gina, we look forward to seeing them again soon.

It was back to the pool at KGH today after missing last week due to the stat holiday and Janet excelled in the first session. Her swimming was great with good turns in each direction and really fast at times. The emphasis today was on trying to get some action out of that right leg. We tried walking which was good from a balance perspective and although she was moving her right foot forward each step, the walk was still mostly a hop. Janet did lots of exercises that required her to move her right leg and the more she did them the more success she had. The second session was completely different as a result of Janet being the shortest one in the pool by far so the water was too deep to do walking or balancing so we focused on swimming. For the first time Janet executed a roll to her tummy followed by a roll onto her back all in one length of the pool. She actually seemed pleased with herself for once on that one. High five.

Lunch was in the sun on our patio followed by a short nap before Chelsea worked her magic with Janet’s hair. It’s amazing how fast Janet’s hair grows and now that its all the same length I think she’s cuter than ever. br />
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Just because she’s cute doesn’t excuse her from kitchen duty and Janet did a great job chopping onions and potatoes and setting the outside table for us as summer has returned thankfully. Janet had a brief Skype chat with Laurel then rode contentedly out to Connect. There was no arguing about doing the Shuttle but there was a lot if arguing about the amount of tension to be used. Janet ended up doing a decent workout followed by lots of good standing on her own which earned her a night off from the Standing Frame, that and the fact it was getting late.

So ends a good day and a good weekend for Janet. I continue to see cognitive improvements and am really praying for large scale physical improvements.

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Don’t Let Anything Stop You #TSJ

When I arrived at Connect this afternoon Janet was cruising around the kitchen area with a family picture in her hand. She had just finished a glass of water and had been working with Garrett on identifying the people in the picture. She did pretty good the first time around but then everyone turned into Andrew and we don’t want that do we? I helped her for a little while and eventually she got everyone back to who they really are and hopefully we can stay that way. Janet was in a good mood and Garrett reported she had a pretty good day although she balked at going to the gym with him this morning and when they finally got there she made a minimal effort and refused to work on the Shuttle. I think she may have been tired from the weekend so we’ll see how she does tomorrow.

I spent a lot of time talking with Janet trying to get her to recount her day so far and what she had done over the weekend. Laurel sent a nice email to read to her and Janet actually started crying as I read it. I also read her the post from Nick Vincent that I shared earlier today and she was moved by his story. When I asked her what she thought the similarities are between his story and hers she responded with “don’t let anything stop you”. I was blown away by that answer as it came totally from her. I didn’t summarize what I had read to her or anything. She took it all in and made a connection. Brilliant!

Taking advantage of that awareness I got Janet down to the gym with the promise of a little leg stretching then a routine on the Shuttle. She was fine until she started on the Shuttle. Four reps in, the tears started. I convinced her to keep going and she made it to thirty three. Then she totally lost it, having the most demonstrative hissy fit yet. After lots of talking she finished her routine with a respectable result but I am getting a little concerned about her attitude. Every chance I got the rest of the night I reinforced how well she is doing and how important it is she keeps working hard. There were moments where she seemed to truly buy in and there were moments where I got the shoulder shrug and a bit of an eye roll. After the second successful standing transfer to the toilet she seemed to gain a little confidence and off to dinner we went.

Spaghetti sounded really boring to her and she was a little upset that that was what she was getting but ended up eating two servings of it very happily. Fluid intake was a little lower than at home mostly because she wasn’t offered anything other than water all day. The dietician is coming in tomorrow and will see Janet and hopefully me first thing so we can discuss food, drink and peg tube. Nurse Jen confirmed that as long as Janet is hydrating well the peg tube can be removed in two weeks. The staff are logging Janet’s fluid intake daily and I’m to keep track when she is away from Connect. So far so good.

The rest of our night was spent talking and reading Slow Dance. In the book they were describing an MRI experience and Janet commented that “I didn’t have anything like that”. Right she is and she seems much more aware that something has happened to her and even a little accepting of it. When I was done reading and told her it was time to get ready for bed she listed off all the things she needed to do to get ready and told me she needed help with all of them. I expected tears to follow but she just stated them matter of factily and we got started. Janet has to get up a little early tomorrow so we can get to the eye doctor so we tried to turn out the lights a little early tonight but that didn’t really happen as she was quite chatty all the way through her bedtime routine.

Praying for a restful night an informative visit to the eye doctor tomorrow and a positive, hard working Janet tomorrow.