Janet, A Success Story. March 20. #TSJ

First day of Spring? Tell that to the folks in Calgary, namely Laurel and Raj, who were supposed to drive to Kelowna today to visit us for the weekend. Blowing snow wisely kept them in Calgary much to our disappointment. I had promised Janet that as long as she worked hard during the day I would bring her home after dinner to maximize her visiting time. She held up her end of the bargain including a record setting bike ride followed by a Standing Frame session before dinner.

Eager to get home, Janet powered through dinner, got her meds and we were gone. Once settled she was happy to sit on the couch with a big bowl of popcorn and get all caught up on our singing competition shows. I did have her walk everywhere in the house when she needed to go somewhere so it wasn’t a totally work free night. Janet’s gait is unchanged but her stamina seems to be growing and she never once complained about having to walk anywhere, even to the bathroom at the end of the night. Her sit to stands from her wheelchair were very good today. Often I have to help keep her right leg close to her left one or she doesn’t seem able to activate it, not today. Hopefully that becomes a trend. While free standing Janet is commenting more that she feels like she’s falling even though she’s quite steady. I’m hoping that is from an increased body awareness and that soon she’ll be able to recognize when she’s standing straight and strong and when she’s not.

Janet is happy to be home and looking forward to the weekend and I’m praying that she maintains a positive attitude and continues to gain strength and confidence.

The Team Save Janet Report is Out! #TSJ #TV

Following our tradition of not participating in “Hallmark Holidays”, Janet declined to go to the Connect Valentines Party this morning and instead went to the gym. That’s my girl! She was in bed but awake when I went to pick her up this afternoon and we headed home right away.

Janet knew what the basic plan for this weekend is and listed off the main items for me. Her memory keeps on improving. When I gave her options for after dinner tonight she chose to watch the Olympics. My suggestion of a night without TV was met with laughter and a “yeah right”. The former Janet would have been all over that.

After choosing what to have, Janet helped me make dinner before settling in on the couch to watch the Men’s Figure Skating which we had recorded. We were both disappointed with the performances overall but Janet still enjoyed watching it all and had some poignant comments about some of the skaters. It’s fun to watch things with her that she is actual paying attention to.

Today was a bright day for Janet with excellent memory skills, good transfers and lots of smiles. We’ve discontinued her watch alarm reminder for meds time and she asked for her pills with just a little prompting from me tonight. Praying for a good night’s sleep and a fun day tomorrow.

The Team Save Janet Report is Out! #TSJ #bath

Sleep in Sunday! And did we ever sleep in. By the time Janet was eating her toast and drinking her coffee it was time to Skype Mary/Gaga which routinely happens around 11am. Janet handled that conversation fairly well and was polite enough to not eat and talk at the same time. Heather was up right after that and I think Janet had trouble thinking of things to say to Heather because she had just said a lot to her mom.

Janet volunteered to keep going on digitizing her photo collection and we made good progress again before getting sidetracked by the Olympics. We agreed before the games started that there were only a few events we really wanted to watch and none of them were scheduled today but Janet asked to see if there was figuring skating on and sure enough there was and that pretty much put an end to any productivity. I did manage to give Janet a bath as she didn’t want to have one at Connect tomorrow and we are getting better at that for sure. She stayed pretty warm the whole time and was energized for the rest of the day which didn’t require much energy but it was fun relaxing and hanging out with her. Every chance I got I had Janet stand and take a few steps and once she even got up from the couch without me looking as I went for her wheelchair. She couldn’t maintain a standing position without me but I was impressed she made it up so fast.

It was another sombre trip back to Connect tonight and I really have to keep reminding myself she’s doing good things there that she can’t do living at home. Janet really wanted me to read to her in bed and I could see how tired she was so I made a bet with her. She said she could last through an hours worth of reading, I said no way and won easily. Her first snores were heard twenty minutes in then she woke up and denied she was sleeping. Three minutes after I started reading again she was snoring louder than ever and I called it a night up another Blizzard.

Praying for a night of deep and healing sleep, lots of energy and a positive attitude and a willingness to work hard at getting stronger.

The Team Save Janet Report is Out! #TSJ #Seahawks

Renovation Day 27. A day off for Randy and a few hours of vacuuming drywall dust for me. Painting starts tomorrow! Here’s a few pictures of what things look like today. There will be big changes this week.



When I got to Connect I just had time to help Janet out of the bathroom then into her jersey to watch the Seahawks game. I made a comment while helping her sit on the couch that this shouldn’t be much of a game but we’ll watch a little anyways. My thoughts were Seattle would win easily, boy was I wrong. Janet continues to improve her football knowledge and despite the shaky performance of our team it was fun watching with her and we were both relieved with the win.

After sitting for most of the game Janet agreed to a bike ride and enjoyed it as much as possible by singing along to a few of the songs on the radio. She admitted to Heather during a Skype chat that she likes the bike and it get her “hair going”. As long as she enjoys it.

The majority of the evening was spent reading Not a Fan which generated some interesting observations from Janet. It was hard to read to her tonight as she sat with her eyes closed most of the time and I had to ask her what I just said often to make sure she was still with me. She was and retained a lot more of the story than I expected. I think that id we can read the chapters to be discussed at SHElife the day before she should be in a good position to contribute.

The Botox is already kicking in on Janet’s right hand and wrist as I was able to stretch her fingers out with virtually no pain and same with the wrist. The effects on the right leg should become apparent in the next couple of days especially if she keeps working hard.

Praying for a night of deep and healing sleep that provides lots of energy and a positive attitude for tomorrow.

The Team Save Janet Report is Out! #TSJ #mad #stubborn

Our time together today started out really well. Janet was doing her usual lay awake in bed routine when I arrived and after a little chat time she agreed to humor me by going car shopping. We certainly don’t need another project but can’t take two vehicles to the new house so it would be nice to find the right next car and get on with it. I’ve decided against a second wheelchair for Janet so that means our car has to accommodate her rigid one without folding rear seats or anything like that. The choices are very limited. Or so I thought. We stopped first at Kelowna Ford to ask about the Ford C-Max, which seemed very promising except no one in the Okanagan plans on selling them and there are only a handful in all of Canada. On a previous visit the salesperson figured the Escape was the car for us but deferred to my concern about height preventing Janet from getting in and out on her own. Today he stuck by his theory so we tried one. Shockingly Janet can get in and out no problem and of course there’s lots of room for the wheelchair. Since the Escape fits I think we now have to look at some other small SUVs before deciding. More shopping!

Dinner was ready as soon as we got back to Connect and following that we made the trek to the gym. Even though Janet agreed to go she put up a real fight against going on the Shuttle. Her stubborn side really came out and I wasn’t sure I was going to win the battle but did eventually. I really have a difficult time with her saying things like, “I’m going to quit” and “nothing is working” or “it doesn’t matter”. Fortunately I was able to talk her into doing it this time but later on I failed big time.

After the Shuttle always comes the standing frame and Janet’s attitude towards that was way better. Watching TV is about the only thing she can or wants to do while in the Standing Frame and tonight’s session ran into the first half hour of X Factor, a show Janet loves. Looking back I shouldn’t have let her watch as much of it as I did. It would’ve been way better to read or play some games. Earlier in the day it was agreed that Janet would go swimming with the other residents tomorrow morning and when I reminded her of that at bedtime we got into a very childish argument about it. Janet of course took the “no I’m not” role, and I the “yes you are” one. Unfortunately there weren’t too many more intelligent words spoken and for the first time I can remember, I left the room angry. I’m disappointed in how I handled the evening and need to remind myself what I tell Janet often, that she is there to work hard at getting better. Watching two hours of TV is not working at getting better and I need to keep her doing something productive.

Praying for a positive day tomorrow.