There’s certainly been no lack of activity for Janet lately. The weather broke a little late last week and we were able to drive Courtney down to the coast where she left for Honduras yesterday after spending a few days with Ashley. We had dinner with them and Mike, Brittney and Ethan Thursday night then met my mom at Park Royal Friday along with Courtney and Ashley for a really nice visit and lunch.
Courtney, Mom, Janet, Ashley, Me
The ladies after a fun lunch.
This was the first legitimate road trip without the wheelchair for Janet! She did very very well walking everywhere we went, climbing two large flights of stairs at Stefanos and walking for about three blocks twice at Park Royal. The hotel we stayed at was easy for Janet to get around and I never once felt like we missed the wheelchair. She traveled well again and I look forward to our next adventure.
Around the house Janet has been helping out a lot and getting more confident in her abilities. We set some goals for ourselves and that has helped Janet overcome her resistance to a few things. Her big goal for 2015 is to walk without holding onto anything and since setting the goal I only have to gently remind her to let go now. She seems very willing to try for short distances and I hope she can get there but her strength and mechanics have to improve a lot to give her a chance. Janet would also like to be able to vacuum the house, “so you don’t have to”, her words, honest. We’ve yet to try this one but I think it’s achievable as are two others, walk out the front door to the street on her own and get herself ready for bed completely unassisted. The front door one will have to wait for the snow to be gone but the ready for bed one should be reached in a couple weeks. Janet shocked me the other night by managing to undo her bra by herself. That’s always been what I considered impossible but I should know better I guess.
The pool exercises are going well but I miss the workout Janet got on the bike before. I think the cardio aspect of that was a real benefit to her so we are keeping our eye out for a bike to have at home. There just isn’t time for another or an extended trip to H2O. Janet is often reluctant to go but pleased with herself after each visit and can see that she’s improving.
The calendar keeps filling and Janet seems happy with how things are going with the exception of the weather. Hawaii anyone?
IN JANET’S WORDS:
The drive down was fine and there was lots of fog on the road near where we were driving to. It was a bit scary. I managed to climb two flights of stairs at the restaurant we went for dinner at. It was hard work. The next day we met Judy at Park Royal and walked a lot there too which was not fun but the lunch with everybody was. I’m doing better with my exercises at the place I go to. The water was moving really fast this week and that is hard to walk in. Today we went to the place I used to go to and did a little sing along with Deb. I think she had fun and that is what matters. I was glad I wasn’t staying there and it was nice to visit people.
Today was a long but successful one as Janet tolerated the plane rides to Ottawa very well. We arrived two and a half hours late after a weather delay in Toronto. Because of the weather the ride from Toronto to Ottawa was a little bumpy but Janet didn’t mind at all. On both flights the Westjet crew were very friendly and helpful. That part of the trip could not have gone better. One attendant on the first leg has a son with a brain injury and we had a nice encouraging chat with her. The biggest. Challenge of course was the bathroom. Janet made two trips during the flight to Toronto and after using the first one to practice we were able to squeeze in there easier the second time. It was nice to have Courtney on the flight with us and she was a big help along the way. All was good.
Heather, Laurel and Allan met us at our hotel for a late visit and Janet was of course thrilled to see them, me too.
The only negative of the day was our rental wheelchair that was supposed to be waiting for us at the hotel, wasn’t. So resolving that will be tomorrow’s first task. Praying for a restful night.
Janet and I spent most of today wondering why we decided to leave for Ottawa tomorrow and not today. She figures it must have been a money thing and she’s probably right, all I know is there must have been a good reason.
There wasn’t much to do today other than the last check of our packing job and cleaning the house a little. Janet skipped her nap today, wanting to be really tired so she could sleep tonight. So far there’s no indication that plan worked but she is in bed now and her eyes are closed.
We watched bits of the World Cup soccer games today and Janet saw the second half of the USAGhana game by herself while I dropped the dog off and ran another errand. I got back just after the USA scored the winning goal and Janet was all excited telling me how “the play was all in that end then the other team scored”. It’s awesome to see her improving ability to understand what she’s watching.
For exercise today I had Janet do quite a few laps around the house and one stint of helping me wash dishes that required her to stand at the sink with me. What a great feeling to have her standing beside me, and she thought it was cool to be able to look out the window instead of at the backsplash. Hopefully that translates into more willingness to stand and walk at every opportunity.
The snores have started. Praying for a good night of rest and God’s guidance through our travel day tomorrow.
Just finishing her morning routine as I arrived Janet was all smiles but her eyes showed a little apprehension as well. There was no time to spare as we headed for her doctor’s office and the much anticipated peg tube removal. Janet held it together quite nicely right up until her name was called. She calmed down as soon as we got into the room and was totally fine when her doctor came in. I wasn’t though as despite a conversation with Janet’s GI I could tell her doctor had no idea of what she was about to do. Before leaving Connect, Jess had applied a topical anisthetic around the peg site and the doctor was pleased with that work. I asked if she’d spoken to the GI and she said yes and that he repeated, “just pull it out”. And so it began. What should have taken thirty seconds took more than thirty minutes including a call to the GI for further instructions which came back as “pull harder”. Janet was very calm and patient during all of this but when the tube finally came out she burst into tears. Can’t blame her as the suddenness with which the thing loudly popped out surprised us all. In the end it was a good learning experience for us all and even if the doctor had done it a hundred times before there was no other way to do it than pull harder. Now the healing process begins with the hole apparently sealing over within a matter of hours and the wound needing care for a little over a week maybe.
This is me flushing her tube for the last time.
Before the doctor left I made sure to ask two questions. One was about Janet traveling. Can she? If not, what has to happen before she can? The doctor’s answer was as long as Janet is strong enough to last the time it takes to go somewhere, do it. She recommended some short drives before attempting a flight anywhere and said there is nothing stopping Janet from going anywhere other than her stamina. I think I feel a sushi run to the coast coming on. My other question was about alcohol. I received a shocking yes to this one as well. No harm in having a glass of wine with dinner once in a while. Janet was smiling big as her doctor said this. Never thought I’d get that response ever. Yay!
Janet was absolutely fine within minutes of the extrication and we were on our way home for lunch. She had a well deserved relaxing time before we went house hunting this afternoon. We were visiting a new condo building that I was quite hopeful for but the floor plans are just too tight for someone in a wheelchair. Since we were in the area and needed a nice white wine for dinner we stopped at Discover Wines and thanks to Kris, a former CedarCreeker, we went home with a nice Desert Hills Viognier.
It was kind of late but I tricked Janet into a rest time anyways and as she was laying down she said “I’m pooped” and slept for well over an hour. She would have slept more if she hadn’t been woken up by the dog barking because some other dog was barking. She still loves him though.
Dinner was made even nicer by being able to enjoy the Viognier. It was a nice pairing with our Basa Thermidor.
Desert was a scrumptious heart shaped macaron for two from Sandrine French Pastry and Chocolate. Thanks Sandrine! The only down side to the day was it was too short. Back at Connect Bob changed the dressing on Janet’s former peg site and coached me on how to look after it this weekend. Janet was happy the day was over and is looking forward to a more relaxing weekend.
Praying for a restful night and a strong day of rehab tomorrow. Thanking Jesus for the progress Janet has made and for all the people that have helped get her here.