Tez put Janet through the ringer again this morning and she responded very well. The cold has all but disappeared and Janet was highly motivated today in contrast to the last couple of days. Walking a lot without her cane Janet showed improvement in her stride to the point where Tez feels its time to adjust her AFO so that its not so rigid. Currently it supports Janet just like a ski boot and I think we all know how difficult it is to walk in those, so for Janet to have progressed to where she can where a more flexible AFO is huge. When the lady who built Janet’s AFO was chatting with us I got the impression she didn’t feel Janet would get there. Well, this coming Tuesday Janet will get to show her it wasn’t a matter of if but when.
Back on July 24th Janet did her first six minute walking test and managed to travel 27 meters. Today, less than a month later she more than doubled that distance to 55 meters! Her goal for leaving Connect is now set at 400 meters, a number Tez is confident she’ll reach provided she keeps putting in the work. We have a busy weekend planned but will find time for lots of walking.
Before going home today Janet got to stop at the dentist to have more cavities filled. The dentist feels these latest ones are still related to Janet’s very long time in the hospital where she wasn’t able to brush her teeth and he’s not worried about the future as Janet has good brushing and flossing habits.
It had been a long day by the time Janet got home so she went for a late nap so she could better enjoy her first night of the weekend. A glass of wine and the semi finals of So You Think You Can Dance made for a nice relaxing evening and a satisfying one as both of our contestants made it into the finals. As a bonus, our tickets to the SYTYCD Tour arrived today and even though its not until February, Janet is excited about going. Me too.
Tomorrow we make our radio debut and Janet says she’s a little scared about it. I know she’ll do well and it will be an exciting experience. Listen live at 5pm PDT here on CBC Radio.
Praying for a restful night of sleep, a fun Friday and for our story to inspire, encourage and bring faith to others.
PS. I’ve added a new page to this blog, Video. On it you will find each video that’s been posted of Janet since this adventure began. Enjoy.
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.
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.
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.
Renovation Day 9. Cabinets are taking shape, blinds are ordered and I spent a lot of time discussing bathroom options with two experts. Conclusion? Not yet.
Janet called me just before noon wondering if Nancy was meeting her for lunch. I reminded her Nancy wasn’t due until around three. Janet was quite disappointed as I think she was hoping to use the visit as an excuse not to do the Standing Frame. As it turned out, she was in it when John arrived early for his singing session with her and stayed in it the whole session. My guess is she sang well as she said it was fun and her voice has been notably louder lately.
Nancy arrived as scheduled and Janet gave her a tour of Connect during which Nancy got introduced to a lot of the other residents. The two of them had a nice visit, looking at photos and chatting. Nancy reports she’s very impressed with Janet’s ability to comment correctly on a number of topics and was able to identify a lot of people in the photos they looked at. What was especially impressive was Janet navigating on their drive to our house. She called a number of correct turns especially the last two before arriving here. Very well done considering she’s only been to the house a few times.
After we gave Nancy a quick tour of the construction site we went down the street for a fabulous dinner at The Fixx Cafe. Janet ate very well and enjoyed a glass of Pinot Noir. I continue to be impressed by her neatness now. She really doesn’t need a shirt saver for most meals and is also better at cutting her food. The meal and conversation were most enjoyable tonight and tuckered Janet right out. She was asleep minutes after I started reading to her in bed at Connect which she chose to do as soon as we got there rather than watch The Voice. Good call I think.
Praying for a solid night of sleep and thanking Nancy for her friendship and support.
It’s been a record breaking week for Janet, setting personal bests in the pool, on the bike and in her sit to stand capabilities as well as her endurance in the standing frame. Health wise she seems very stable with regular BM’s and no obvious side effects from any of her meds. The Restoran ended today, (the magic poo pill) so it will be interesting to see how she does without that. Janet will visit her GP on Monday and part of that visit will be to assess all her meds and see if any further adjustments can be made. Dr. McCann is ordering an increase to Janet’s Baclofen dosage and I’m really interested to see if it has any effect. Janet has been on a very low dose for a long time now with no recognizable effect and if there is no change after the increase I’ll ask that it be discontinued.
A week ago, Jess instituted a program for Janet where she writes the day’s activities on a whiteboard and Janet crosses them off as they are completed. Janet has caught on to this nicely, easily reading what each activity is and drawing a line through it when done. A couple days ago Jess supplied Janet with a digital watch to help her get a sense of the time of day as each activity occurs. Janet was puzzled by the watch, arguing that she has one at home but agreeing it was more a piece of jewelery than a useful piece of equipment. Janet can easily read her Connect watch but needs a lot of work relating to “today” as this morning she woke up thinking it was Christmas. She was still complaining to me when I got in this afternoon that “isn’t it time for grass?” Her code for Christmas.
Janet’s day is centered around her physical activities as the emphasis remains on taking advantage of the Botox. Twice a day she rides the bike in the gym and continues to make steady gains in leg strength as a result. A week ago her personal best was thirty minutes and .83 miles using the arm assist. Today she went for thirty minutes and .62 miles with no arm assist at all! When Janet first started the bike she couldn’t even come close to pedaling without the arm assist. Similar benefits are being seen in the standing frame as Janet can now tolerate close to an hour twice a day. She doesn’t like it much but she tolerates it. As noted the other day Janet is also getting much better with her sit to stand exercises, so much so that she is getting a stripper pole installed in her room. For now it will be used to help her independently get out of bed and into her wheelchair, no dancing yet. As you all know Janet also is excelling in the pool and I expect that to continue improving each time we go.
Our weekend at home was an enjoyable one with Saturday being a day off from physio therapy type stuff. I was reluctant to give Janet the whole day off but that’s the way it turned out and I think it worked out well as she slept in, pulled weeds in the sunshine with me, went for a walk around the neighborhood and made a really good sandwich for herself at lunchtime. We went to church Saturday night for a change and really enjoyed the music and Tim’s message. Janet was fully engaged and we had a good discussion about it all afterwards. Janet continued to be quite talkative well into the night and loved the sushi dinner we had as well as the movie The Guilt Trip. Sunday was a change from the usual as well. Tez was at Connect for a few hours and offered to work with Janet if I took her out there. They had a really good session of sit to stand work teaching Tiffany and Julie how to work with Janet should they need. Everyone learned a lot and Janet performed very well. I wanted Tez to see Janet on the bike to make sure all was well with her positioning etc. It was and liking what he saw he challenged Janet to pedal with no arm assist. She of course did it and is now going thirty minutes that way. After a nap at home while I cut the lawn we made dinner then went for a hot tub. By the time we got outside it was pouring rain but Janet laughed through it and had a good time soaking in the warm water as the rain passed through. She was exhausted after a long and busy day and was asleep before I finished our goodnight prayer. The weekend was capped off with a nice lunch with Kiko and Joel after swimming on Monday before the trek back to Connect.
Janet seems to be getting more comfortable and confident at Connect but is also more aware that it is not home. Her interactions with the other residents are improving as she gains confidence in herself and gets involved in more things around the house. Instead of an interview this week I decided to have Janet give you a brief tour of her home away from home. Crank up your volume and enjoy.