tennis

Janet, A Success Story. September 8. #TSJ

This turned out to be a rather mellow Monday for Janet. She told me that with everyone at the breakfast table this morning it was fun and kind of silly. That made for a good start and her gym routine was focused on stretching which can be uncomfortable but doesn’t require much effort from Janet. She was happy.

When I got to Connect this afternoon Janet was watching the final of the U.S. Open tennis so we hung out until that was over. Connect is celebrating it’s birthday soon and is putting together a memories book that the residents are being asked to contribute to. This proved to be a good memory test for Janet, and me, in trying to come up with an event that she’ll always remember. She was pretty stuck on how she feels grateful for the very helpful staff so she wrote a nice couple of sentences around that instead of going for the funny story like some folks. Janet did well to sort that out with only a little coaching from me.

After dinner I literally dragged Janet around the hallways of Connect in order to get her 400 meter walk in. Since I wasn’t sure how many lengths we’d have to do I got her to climb the stairs as well so by the end Janet was pretty tired. She did well and I’m not concerned about her stamina at all,just have to work on the speed.

The rest of the evening was hers and she chose to watch a little football before realizing she was too tired after missing her afternoon nap so she called an early bedtime and only lasted for fifteen minutes of reading before she was snoring.

Praying for an uninterrupted night of sleep and lots of energy for a productive Tuesday.

Janet, A Success Story. September 1. #TSJ

This was a pretty quiet Monday as Janet did her gym routine in the morning with Jess and Garrett. It didn’t sound like it was anything out of the ordinary and Janet even said the walking part was fine. I convinced her to walk up and down the stairs tonight and she did great, her best with me yet. Very quick going up and more confident coming down.

Janet very efficiently set the dinner table tonight and we enjoyed some sunshine during happy hour. Tennis was a big part of Janet’s day again as she called me early in the afternoon to say she was watching Genie Bouchard’s match. After dinner and the stair walking all she wanted to do was watch the Milos Raonic match. That made for a quiet evening but Janet enjoyed what she could stay up for but will be disappointed when she hears the result in the morning. I tried testing Janet a few times to see how much tennis knowledge she’s gaining and there is more of an understanding of the game and the players for sure. Sometimes though, its like she wasn’t even watching so I’m not ready to call her an expert yet.

After reading it was lights out time with Janet being quite giggly as I said goodnight. She is excited to be coming home tomorrow and really excited about the football game on Thursday. Since we are home then travelling, blog posts this week will be random so don’t freak if there isn’t one there when you wake up.

Praying that Janet sleeps well and has a productive Tuesday.

Janet, A Success Story. August 31. #TSJ Homestretch

Hard to believe August is over. The home stretch begins now for Janet as her goals for coming home full time get closer and closer. September promises to be challenging and busy but not without some fun too.

This past weekend Janet worked hard on her distance walking, each day doing a 400 meter circuit that her legs told her they felt. We weren’t focused on the timing so much as getting used to the distance and Janet did the first 200 meters using her cane then the last 200 holding my hand so she could pick up the pace a little. I had to coax her out the door to do these walks but Janet felt good about completing each one. Her stride continues to improve and will do so more once her AFO gets adjusted. For the first time ever, I was able to bring myself to not supervise Janet as she walked from the kitchen, down the steps to the garage and into the car by herself. I simply told her I’d meet her at the car and when I got there she was in it with a big smile on her face saying “I did it all by myself!” High five!

Relaxing was the desired outcome of the weekend for Janet again but I managed to get her to help out a lot in the kitchen and do as much for herself as possible. She practiced the laundry machines and the cooktop as well as getting the dog a treat. Janet is getting very good at rinsing and stacking dishes while I wash and can do most of the emptying the dishwasher except for some things she can’t reach to put away. We have some tweaking to do still on where kitchen stuff should go so Janet can access it and will consult Brian as soon as he’s able to come over and do an assessment for us.

Janet was able to relax and watch a lot of tennis this weekend and really gets caught up in the personal stories and struggles of the players as well as the drama of a good match. It’s a great sport for her to watch as she can follow the game well and really see the players as they aren’t covered by helmets and stuff.

Returning to Connect tonight went smoothly probably because Janet knows she’ll be back home Tuesday so I can take her to her Botox appointment Wednesday morning then we are going to Seattle for a few days to watch the Seahawks play some real football. So, a little pain and a lot of fun this week. Praying for Janet to sleep well tonight and have lots of energy for a productive Monday.

Janet, A Success Story. August 28. #TSJ Frozen

Janet called me right at noon as she finished her workout and asked if she could come home sooner than planned. I obliged but she had to go grocery shopping with me on the way. Her morning was good according to her. Tez was away and sent a student to work with Janet and she liked him a lot. Not that he was that much easier on her but that he had a different approach to things. To help Janet take longer strides he placed markers on the floor and Janet had to hit each one as she stepped. A Tez idea but first tried today and Janet feels she did pretty well at it.

Grocery shopping was as fun as it can be and Janet enjoyed having a say in what we bought. She had another fun activity after that, a visit to the dentist. If they had automatic doors at the dentist office I could easily drop Janet off outside now and let her do the appointment completely on her own. Her cane walking is strong enough and she needs only the slightest bit of help lifting her right leg onto the dentist chair. Pretty cool. She was able to watch some tennis while in the chair and we watched more at home tonight treating this as Janet’s Friday especially since her mouth was frozen for hours. There are no specific plans tomorrow but I hope to have Janet practice some domestic activities as well as her distance walking. Praying for a restful night of sleep and continued improvement.

Janet, A Success Story. August 25. #TSJ

Today was a pretty reasonable Monday for Janet. Curtis coached her through the gym routine and challenged her to read The Hallo-Wiener to the Games Night group tomorrow. A challenge that Janet readily accepted surprisingly enough.

She had just made her way down to the living room as I arrived at Connect this afternoon and was quite chatty. We hung out there visiting with Wes and his wife Roz and got a surprise visit from former resident, Fred. He’s hear for a week away from Connect Langley and it was fun to have him around tonight. Janet liked how he livened up the place.

Chelsea and Karl, both from England, decided to make the house an English breakfast for dinner tonight. Sausages, baked beans, potatoes etc. You may have already guessed that didn’t go over well with Janet so she ate my shrimp linguini and I ate her sausages and beans. She sometimes is referred to as queen of the house and lived up to that tonight.

Janet may not be queen for long as we were told that a new resident moves in across the hall from Janet tomorrow and happily she’s a girl. Janet is looking forward to meeting her.

One exercise Janet did not get to this morning was the Shuttle so tonight I gave her the option of doing that or climbing the stairs instead. She chose stairs and went up and down all nineteen in good fashion, with a little sweat and a minimum of complaining. When given the choice of what to do the rest of the night Janet very nicely remembered there was tennis on TV so we watched some first round action of the US Open broken up by some speed walking to the bathroom and freestyle walking to get meds. A strong day.

Praying for an excellent night of sleep for Janet and the desire and ability to fully participate in her Tuesday.

Janet, A Success Story. July 6. #TSJ Good Friend

This morning was the opposite of Saturday as we both slept in rather than getting up early to watch tennis. Janet had a shower and is manoeuvring around the bathroom much better than when we first attempted showers here. I can remember practically carrying her in some cases, now I’m just a bit of a support.

It was just after ten by the time we were out making breakfast and we put our recorded version of the Gentlemen’s Championship of Wimbledon on. We let it play while we made and ate breakfast then Janet had her weekly Skype session with Mary/Gaga then we focused on the tennis. Janet impressed me over and over with her increasing knowledge of the game as well as her understanding of what was happening moment to moment. Her best comment came in the third set when she observed that Roger Federer was making most of his first serves and Novak Djokovic wasn’t. Brilliant.

I wasn’t planning on sitting through the entire match but Janet was really enjoying it and it was an amazing battle so we only sped through a small portion of it with Championship Point coming just as Kiko arrived for a visit. Janet initiated this get together as she had some questions coming out of Tim’s message at Trinity last week and thought Kiko would be a good person to talk to. She’s right, they enjoyed a nice afternoon together chatting away and sipping wine with Janet feeling really happy about it all afterwards and Kiko saying to me how impressed she was with Janet’s memory and social skills. There has been a very steady improvement in those areas the last little while and Janet is always at her best when she’s with people she cares about.

Sunday afternoon with a good friend.

Sunday afternoon with a good friend.


After a very brief nap to recoup a little we enjoyed a Chinese food dinner then made the sad trip back to Connect. The wheelchair was not used at all after breakfast today except for when I went to pick up dinner. Janet walked well, mostly with assistance today as I wanted her moving at a quicker pace and she did a great job on the steps multiple times.

Praying for a long night of healing sleep and an energetic Monday. Thanking Jesus for blessing us with amazing people in our lives.

Janet, A Success Story. July 5. #TSJ Final Saturday

As expected, 5:45am came quickly and Janet, even in the fog of sleep knew it was time to get up and watch Genie Bouchard play for the Ladies Championship at Wimbledon. Sadly Genie lost, happily there’s lots more tennis to come this year. We never made it to the Futures event at all today as Janet’s wheelchair developed a problem that took the rest of the morning to temporarily resolve and that put us way behind schedule.

Janet did some good walking and stair climbing throughout the day and a lot in the morning because she didn’t have a wheelchair for most of it. That was a good lesson in how much Janet still needs the wheelchair as it’s fine to think she doesn’t when you have it but it’s a whole other ball game when you don’t. Janet’s best walking came at church as she walked down and then up the aisle unassisted and got a standing ovation from our friend Carol. She was standing and waiting to greet us when we got to our seats but that still counts in my book.

Tonight we watched the movie The Butler and really enjoyed it. Janet was impressed with how much history the lead character lived through and she remembered a lot of it, mostly from the mid seventies on. When asked to name the date and her meds tonight Janet got it all correct with no prompting at all! She even thought that was pretty good.

Praying for a rejuvenating sleep and a productive Sunday.

PS. This will be the last blog update from a Friday or Saturday as I’m finding it too time consuming to do this when Janet is home. My plan is to stop the daily updates as soon as Janet is home full time so this is a way of weaning y’all off. Of course any earth shattering developments will be posted promptly no matter the day.

Janet, A Success Story. July 4. #TSJ Tennis Babe

Early this morning Janet “woke up” repeatedly asking me for my “ticket”. She was very much in a dream yet appeared to be awake. It was a little unnerving and when she did snap out of it all she could explain was we were all heading “home” from somewhere. Not as fun as the cruise dream but certainly Janet was deeper into this one.

After breakfast we went to visit John for a bit as we hadn’t seen him for a few weeks. Janet was able to tell him some wedding and travel stories and we all talked soccer and tennis. Janet was pleased we went as she believes John is always happy to see us. Who isn’t?

Since Janet has been enjoying tennis on TV so much I decided to take her to see some live. There is a Futures tournament on here now and never having seen live professional tennis before we decided to check it out.

Intently watching the action.

Intently watching the action.


It was a lot of fun and we both were impressed by the intensity of the players. You see it on TV but feel it when you’re there. The semi finals are tomorrow and we may go back as we will be on a tennis high after Genie Bouchard wins Wimbledon.

I allowed Janet to walk around the house as she pleased today in line with what Tez said yesterday and she did well. There was no leaning on anything and she tackled the open areas with reasonable confidence. She did an awesome job on the steps to and from the garage, hardly using me at all. Overall, a good day.

Praying for a restful night of sleep and a fun Saturday.

Janet, A Success Story. July 3. #TSJ

I got my phone call from Janet much earlier than typical today as she very excitedly called me right after Genie Bouchard won her semi final match at Wimbledon. Janet watched the last half of the match during her breakfast and was super excited Genie won, so much so that we are getting up early Saturday to watch the Championship live. Janet is liking both the game of tennis (“it’s played in a nice warm, clean place”) and the person that Genie seems to be (“a nice and intelligent good looking person”).

Another thing that got Janet all excited today was getting to come home for the weekend. Garrett commented that Janet really took the initiative in regards to her exercise routine this morning by walking up to him on a couple of occasions and asking if she could do something. According to Janet she was motivated by not only wanting to get them done but by the prospect of coming home. Whatever works.

Tez was in the building today and offered a few tips on walking. I’ve been nagging Janet to stop hanging onto walls and furniture while walking freestyle and Tez says not to worry about that as long as Janet isn’t leaning onto things for support. If it’s for security purposes its fine. I asked him about Janet walking barefoot for a few steps and he thought that wasn’t the greatest idea but if Janet wants to do so using her cane and carefully stepping out with her right foot so it lands flat on the floor, fine. We brought the cane home in case she wants to try. The motivation for this is to refrain from using the wheelchair as much as possible including first thing in the morning and when going to the bathroom after having gotten into bed at night or after a nap. Sounds like it may be a little too soon to really go after.

Janet was a big help at dinner time tonight, preparing a veggie stir fry by herself except for getting the very heavy frying pan out and turning on the cooktop. I could have sat back and drank wine while she cooked. Maybe tomorrow.

Praying for a long night of reenergizing sleep and a productive Friday.

Janet, A Success Story. June 28. #TSJ Wine Tour

Not much rest for the ever active Janet. After a late night, Janet was up at a normal time this morning and we were off to do some wine touring with our Wine Club. The only thing I had to help Janet with during breakfast was opening the peanut butter jar and I give her top marks for remembering its now kept in the fridge.

The Wine Club met at Tantalus Vineyards for a very informative tasting given by their Operations Manager, Jane. Janet went in thinking she wouldn’t know anything or learn anything but she drank all four tastings and agreed it was a fun experience and a beautiful facility.

Our next stop was CedarCreek Estate Winery where Candice led us through a good tour during which I tried to help with the few fun facts that I remembered from my days of working there. Thirteen of us sat down for lunch after the tour and enjoyed the great food, beautiful scenery and fun fellowship.
WineClubatCC
A great way to end the season for our club and although Janet felt overwhelmed at the gatherings sometimes, she is looking forward to reconvening in September for the social aspect of it all.

Wine Shots!

Wine Shots!

Arriving back home, it was supposed to be nap time but Janet really wanted to finish watching Genie Bouchard’s match at Wimbledon. She won and Janet happily agreed to attempt a nap. There certainly was no snoring to be heard but maybe a few minutes of sleep before leaving for church. Janet was seeming a little tired as we arrived so I held her hand as we walked all the way in. I’m trying to get Janet to focus on placing each heel down first when she steps and as long as I remind she can do it.

Janet really liked Tim’s message tonight and told him so after the service. Its really special when Janet “gets” what a speaker is talking about and I’m impressed by how she can communicate her feelings and thoughts about things sometimes. Its reminiscent of the former Janet.

All the wine tasting, touring and socializing combined with the very short nap made for a tired Janet tonight. It’s the good tired of completing an active day where there may not have been a lot of physical exercise but there sure was a cognitive workout. Praying for a rejuvenating sleep and a positive tomorrow.