tilt table

Janet, A Success Story. April 29. #TSJ

Another busy walking day for Janet with lots of time to warm up for it though. Jess took her and Angie to a nursery to buy some plants and herbs for the patio at Connect. Janet says it wasn’t fun but I’m sure it was better than being in the gym and it was sunny outside.

Tez had agreed to meet with Janet and I late this afternoon and Janet called me to confirm that appointment. I asked her to be rested up for that and when I got to her room she actually was asleep. Our meeting with Tez was quite helpful and insightful and hopefully gave Janet some confidence to keep working at this walking thing. She demonstrated walking with the cane, using me as the cane with me leading her and walking beside her. There was also a reluctant attempt at free walking so Tez could see first hand Janet’s entire repertoire. He was impressed and lamented that the sling at the parallel bars would be the best tool for Janet to use right now but she “hates” it and I don’t think we’ll get her in it but will try. In the meantime, Janet has agreed, quite readily, to meet Tez at the pool Thursday morning to do some walking in the warm water of the kiddie pool. A big part of Janet’s challenge is fear/confidence and Tez feels that a few falls with no risk of injury could help. Should be fun.

The few times Janet has used the Tilt Table she’s complained quite vociferously that it hurts and she’s not going on it again. I suggested she ask Tez if she needs to be doing it during today’s meeting and she did. Fortunately Tez had time to respond with “lets see you in it and we’ll go from there”. Janet walked to the Den with me leading and stepped onto the table reasonably well and Tez tried a few different positions to maximize the benefit for Janet. The end result is, yes, she needs to be doing it but now in a different manner than previous. Janet will be at ninety degrees with a safety strap at chest height and no support at her legs at all. In addition to no leg support she is to do some foot raises and side stepping while standing and stay in the thing for as long as possible. Tez wants to tire her right out with everything she does now, including walking. What was going to be a short let’s see what you look like session turned into a twenty minute workout for Janet and a good learning session for me and Jess. Janet rather smugly ended the session herself by undoing the velcro strap and stepping forward right to the edge of the table before grabbing me for her step down to the floor. She then impressed us all with a nice unassisted step to and turn to sit on the couch.

A tired Janet walked out to the lobby with me leading, got in her wheelchair and went to the gym for a Shuttle workout. I agreed to shorten the session based on all the walking and standing she’d just done and focussed on the right leg. Janet did well and never complained. After a toilet break we walked down to the dining area for dinner. Janet did complain a little along the way but persevered. With the sun still shining after dinner, Janet took a well deserved break in it’s warmth.



Games Night always produces a pouting session with tonight’s being much less than previous and Janet did very well with a lot of the questions given to her. She still came away saying “it’s stupid” but she’ll be back next week “just to watch”.

I meant to have Janet walk down to get her meds but she preempted me and arrived in her wheelchair struggling to find that word, meds, in her head. There has been an increase in her inability to find key words when speaking and it may have something to do with a high level of Dilantin in her system. Jess took her for a blood test this morning and Janet’s levels are very near the top of the therapeutic range for the second week in a row. I asked her doctor to seek the opinion of Janet’s neurologist, Dr. Adams and she agreed. No change in dosage until we hear from him.

While Curtis was getting Janet’s meds I had her get ready to walk back to her room and left her standing at the door to the med room while I parked her wheelchair. On her own, loosely hanging onto some shelving, Janet walked six feet into the room to get her meds from Curtis who was as surprised as me. Maybe she’s gaining confidence? Holding my hand to turn around to come back out of the room she forgot to step once and came very close to falling. A good lesson learned I hope. The walk to her room was very good considering how tired she was. Not tired enough to miss out on some Easter chocolate, some reading then ready for bed. It all caught up to her once she was tucked in and she was sleeping minutes later.

Praying for a night of healing sleep and lots of energy tomorrow.

Janet, A Success Story. Walking Video. April 28. #TSJ

My day with Janet was short but busy as I worked late at CedarCreek and showed up at Connect as she was in the gym with Chelsea for her after dinner workout. Janet was in a much better mood than she is with me in the gym and said her day had been pretty good. The one thing I was really counting on for today didn’t happen though. Last week I had arranged for the lady who built Janet’s AFO to stop by and talk to us about shoes Janet could wear in summer clothes and at Heather’s wedding. Janet was all prepared with a list of questions and waited “all afternoon” to no avail. Apparently she’s coming Thursday now. Not impressed.

After a good Shuttle session Janet wheeled back to her room to prepare for a walk to the living room to then use the Tilt Table. Chelsea suggested using the cane but Janet insisted on using me and I agreed as I think she walks better that way. That also gave me the opportunity to try walking side by side with Janet, something we haven’t done in almost two years. Here’s a brief look at it on video (thanks Karl) along with a little free walking that Janet doesn’t seem to want to do with an audience. I asked her last night with Karl watching and she refused and she initially did today as well. Hopefully as she walks more she won’t worry about who’s watching.

The Tilt Table is a real challenge for Janet as she is forced to use her right leg or else collapse. She managed thirty minutes and after a ten minute rest on the couch walked back to her room. Played out, she stretched out on her bed while we checked emails and played some Four Pics One Word, a game she doesn’t like playing too much but is getting better at and I think is good brain exercise. Tonight she was responsible for typing out the answers and she did a good job. Being the tyrant that I am I insisted Janet walk to the med room to get her meds, that of course required walking back as well, so Janet did four lengths of the hallway tonight! High five each time.

That was enough torture for one night and all Janet wanted to do was read the rest of the time. She put in a great effort tonight and I think if she can keep this pace going we’ll be walking side by side regularly soon.

Praying that Janet sleeps well tonight and is fully able and willing to participate in all of tomorrow’s activities.