Each time I come to writing this blog update I think I’m going to shorten it or use a lot of video to simplify the process but Janet keeps amazing me and others with new things she can do almost on a daily basis. Therefore, I think I’m going to publish future updates randomly as events warrant and certainly more than once a week. Twitter is still your best channel for being the first to know and you can follow me at @larrylatour .
The week got off to a challenging start for Janet as Tez had her on the parallel bars Thursday afternoon for what was supposed to be a short test of her capabilities. Twenty minutes later a very tired Janet was allowed to sit in her wheelchair after balancing and walking up and down the bars while hooked up to a sling. She did better than expected and if she can get her right leg stronger will be on her way. Her strength definitely has improved as that night she was able to do a set on The Shuttle with five bands of tension. A first. To round out the day Janet responded to some emails by spelling out the words she wanted to use while I guided her finger to the appropriate letter. I’m impressed by her ability to spell.
When I arrived Friday to pick her up a little before our agreed upon time she greeted me with “I’ve been dying for you to get here”. Karl had put her through her morning gym routine nicely but she was focused on going home for the weekend. We made a few stops along the way for some new pajamas and then some groceries. I figured with the air temperature being thirty eight there was no way she’d think the pool water would be cold but this is Janet we’re talking about. She got used to it after a few minutes and had a good swim. Then helped make a grilled chicken Caesar salad, something she never would’ve eaten before but really enjoyed this time, possibly because she helped make it. As we sat down at the end of the night to watch AGT and enjoy our Blizzards saved from last week, Janet was extremely disappointed that hers was so small. Not sure how that happened but I ended up having to give her some of her regular ice cream to make up the difference. Janet loves her ice cream.
I’m sure it wasn’t the ice cream that kept Janet awake most of the night and it wasn’t being all hyped up about a daughter getting married the next day either, I was just glad I didn’t have to take her for a walk at 3am. I let her sleep until she said she was ready to get up around 9:30 and a good Saturday began then. Janet phoned her mom to see if she wanted to Skype with her and of course she did then it was out into the yard to pull weeds, cut some things back and transplant the wedding plants into a permanent location. We had a great time working together on things Janet could easily reach. I think Janet really enjoyed the different tasks and she seemed genuinely interested in re learning names of plants and trees. After a nice swim where Janet got some push from her right leg we experienced an awesome service at Trinity. Janet was singing and clapping along to the songs and loved Wayne’s message entitled There Is Always Hope. Watch it There is Always Hope if you like. By the end of the night Janet was nice and relaxed and set up for a good nights sleep compared to Friday night. Part of our regular bedtime routine is to have Janet stand for a while prior to getting into bed. Usually she’s tired and a little weak and she will tolerate ten seconds with me holding her up. Saturday night however felt strangely different to me and I decided to let her go briefly to see what would happen. She actually didn’t fall over right away and I was confident she could actually stand. Sure enough after a couple of tries she stood all by herself for a few seconds. I was so excited I had to try and get some on video. This is the result as posted that night,
and this is a little better footage shot today in the gym.
Janet is standing on her own now for close to thirty seconds at a time and correcting her balance more and more. She still needs to gain confidence and trust in her self but its coming. Very cool!
Sunday arrived and I was a little nervous about it as Janet was scheduled for a colonoscopy Monday which meant Sunday was prep day. In case you’ve never been through this, as we hadn’t, prep means not eating anything, drinking four liters of a fluid designed to “flush” your body out and drinking clear fluids as much as possible. The part that made me nervous was Janet’s history of not wanting to drink much of anything and certainly nothing fast. She took five hours to drink the first two liters instead of the prescribed two hours but at least she got it in her. Before the flushing started we got in a nice long walk a short swim and a leisurely hot tub. The evening was very quiet with a “few” trips to the bathroom.
Janet was very cooperative throughout the colonoscopy adventure and I’m very proud of her for hanging in there as well as she did. The actual procedure went very well and Dr. Agnew reports a normal scope with no blockages or polyps found and no evidence of any mechanical reason for Janet’s constipation. He recommends Janet continue on a high fibre diet along with the Resotran and Peg 3350 if needed. He said normal bowel movements are considered to be anywhere between one to three times a day and two times a week so if we can keep Janet closer to the high end of that scale she’s doing fine. As a reward for getting through a difficult couple of days I treated Janet to a really nice dinner at Joey Kelowna,
a place we’ve been to a few times and always enjoyed but for some reason don’t think about that often. It’s high on our list now. Yummy.
It didn’t take long for Janet to bounce back after that tough weekend and she even surpassed her previous status. Proof came when Jess found her in the bathroom, standing up ready to sit on the toilet Tuesday morning. The Team’s goal for Janet is to be doing supervised transfers by early October. Here she was trying to do an independent transfer and almost making it. The pace with which she is gaining balance is very impressive to me. I hardly have to touch her during pole transfers now and today she was starting some transfers without the pole, only grabbing it once she was up. On her last transfer from the toilet tonight I saw a move with her left foot that was a lot like a step forward and it made me very excited about the possibility of Janet walking again. Last night she also demonstrated her smartness again by typing an email pretty much completely on her own. No help with content or spelling from me, just a little guiding to a few letters, otherwise, all her.
The trend continued today with the aforementioned awesome standing capped off by her wanting to go to outdoor movie night where she laughed and smiled all the way through Dodgeball. Janet couldn’t tell me what she found so funny about the movie but at the same time she could hardly stop laughing even as I turned out her lights at 11:05. Great day. Great week.