UBCO

Retirement #TSJ

After a sound sleep overnight Janet awoke with a big smile on her face, you know, the kind babies get when they’ve done something you now have to deal with. It had been a while for Janet so although not the nicest way to start the day it was a good thing, and we still managed to be ready in time for a visit from Hayley. She is a first year nursing student at UBCO and a family friend who needed a subject family for a school project. We had a nice chat about this whole experience and the impact it has had. Brought back some interesting memories, most importantly, realizing again just how many terrific people have been caring for and supporting Janet, and me, from day one. We are blessed. Hayley’s mom blessed us again with some amazing cookies. Janet wasn’t able to have any of the previous batches from Anne Marie so she really enjoyed the treat this afternoon.

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Before we knew it the morning was gone and it was time to prepare a late lunch. I ended up doing most of it as Janet was fading a little. That led to a short nap time before getting our dinner made early so we could go to the basketball game this evening. Pizzas were the plan as all we’d have to do when we got home was throw them in the oven. Janet did a great job of setting out ingredients, building hers and cleaning up afterwards. The whole process took way less time than I thought so we went for a walk in the sunshine before going to the game. Janet “drove” Nash while I drove her and she controlled him really well. It was nice to get some fresh air and sunshine.

When we got to UBCO for the game Janet admitted she wasn’t really feeling that into it. That changed quickly as the Heat were playing well and leading for most of the contest. I noticed her spending a lot of time watching the mascot as well. At least she was being entertained. She complained about the noise level towards the end of the game but it was a very exciting finish with the Heat winning in the final seconds and it was nice to witness some school spirit in that gym. It was especially nice having it happen at the last game for three senior players. We enjoyed watching them play over the last five years and although we don’t know them their retirement tonight brought back a lot of good basketball memories for us with Janet very confidently stating she remembers being at Laurel’s final game.

I’m really glad we made our pizzas ahead of time as it was still after eight when we started eating and that’s too late for Janet. She ate everything including ice cream for dessert and we watched the NBA All Star Saturday Night show while eating. Janet was nodding off in her chair right after the ice cream so I fast forwarded to see who won the Slam Dunk Contest and put her to bed.

Today seemed to fly by pretty quick. I guess that’s good. Praying for a good night of rest and healing and a joyful day tomorrow.

Dinner and a Game #TSJ

My day with Janet started a little later than normal and she asked me “what took you so long” when I arrived. She was smiling and when I asked her to try and remember what I’d said about today she responded with “you said you wouldn’t be here till four”. I actually said three but that is still a major improvement in her memory recall and for the record it was 2:45 when I got there so I was actually early. Janet was quite cheery but after twenty minutes or so her words started scrambling beyond recognition so I suggested a rest. Of course her response was no way but when I said ok, let’s go use the Shuttle then, she opted for the rest. I warned her the Shuttle would be done before we left for dinner.

She was in the midst of a very deep snoring sleep when some loud voices in the hallway woke her up so she didn’t get the full benefit of the rest time she had but it was better than nothing. I took her to the gym and she was all for it until I parked her beside the Shuttle. She got really upset and took quite a bit of convincing to get her to give it a go. She did well, matching her personal bests for reps but not getting the best extension ever. I decided to try the machine myself, partly so I could justify me saying positive things about it but also to try and see what may be causing Janet’s hatred of it. I can see how effective a leg workout it is but I got quite a weird sensation when I started some reps. I felt a little like I was floating and was not in total control of my balance. That is a feeling that would totally freak Janet out and I wonder if she is experiencing that. She hasn’t said so but I’ll talk to Tez next week about it.

We met Suzanne for a pre game dinner at a little Italian bistro in Lake Country. Janet ate her first real salad and a massive portion of lasagne. She didn’t talk much but she sure did eat. We got to the UBCO basketball game and enjoyed it very much.

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A long time family friend, Simon, came over to talk to us at halftime. Janet had a big smile for him and will be seeing more of him over the next while as he’s started doing some practicum work with Tez at Connect. Cool.

Janet sang her way home as I tried to find a way to turn up her volume. She was quiet most of the night and seemed a little tired but does her face ever light up when she starts singing. After a snack and some more singing it was way past bedtime so I got her all tucked in. In our prayer I asked that she continue to work hard in the gym and understand how good the Shuttle is for her and she started crying because I said that. She was fine after we talked about it for a bit but my goodness this is getting a little much. We may have to find an alternative soon.

Praying for a good nights rest and an energetic day of fun tomorrow.

No Doubt #TSJ

Janet’s day started after a really good night’s sleep. Lorne said the night staff checked Janet every hour and she was snoring each time. She ate a good breakfast then went to the gym for a stretch on her right arm and shoulder. Some Speech work was next and Christi reported Janet did really well. She refused lunch however and I arrived to find her scrolling through channels on the TV in the living room. She told me she had just had an interview and was listening to the ref. She was watching sports highlights so there could have been an interview with a ref I guess.

I took Janet to the gym for some leg stretching and found her to be quite tensed up compared to yesterday so I took it reasonably easy on her. Wanting to get a good hamstring stretch though, I asked her to try and lay on her tummy. She gave it a really good effort but said it hurt too much. I then asked her if she wanted to try standing. She shook her head and got all emotional saying she couldn’t stand. I reminded her how well she did yesterday kneeling and that she had stood before. She eventually agreed to try, so over to the stripper pole we went. The first attempt she even admitted was sloppy and I took the blame for not positioning her or myself correctly. The next two times were bang on as Janet stood carrying her own weight for about ten seconds each time and getting her butt clear of the table mat by a good eight to ten inches with me lightly resting my hand on her back to keep her from falling backwards. Very impressive, best I’ve seen, and she was really happy too. I told her not to doubt herself and that I believe she will walk again one day and that she just has to keep trying. She smiled and nodded her head.

We had an hour before dinner and I wanted Janet to rest a little as we planned on going to the UBCO women’s basketball game tonight. I got her to lay down on her bed with me so I could read to her for a bit and that led to about twenty minutes of eyes closed time. She ate a large bowl of soup for dinner then off we went to the game.

When we arrived at the gym I initially parked her in her wheelchair at one end of the court and I sat in the first row of seats right beside her. She looked at me very puzzled and asked where her seat was. I never thought of putting her into a seat but with some help from a guy sitting close by I gave it a try. Janet was much happier, then I realized we were at the wrong end of the court. Janet’s field of vision is weak on the right side and most of the court was on the right from where we were. Suzanne joined us and at the first quarter break we wheeled down to the other end and got settled there with a really good view. Janet’s first question from the new seats was, “where’s Laurel?” I had to explain that Laurel doesn’t play anymore and she is old and married now. She smiled and nodded her head. At the half I offered Janet some pizza but she said no. I got a slice anyways teasing her that this was her chance to cheat and after a couple of bites she laughed and agreed to have her own piece.

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UBCO lost a close and entertaining game to Calgary and we really enjoyed watching Angela White play. She is from North Vancouver ( I won’t mention she’s from Handsworth) and her mom taught some of our girls at Argyle and her dad coached with me in the Steve Nash League there. I had a nice chat with him and her mom came down to say hi and as soon as I said her name to Janet she held out her hand for a shake. I think she really does remember Shawn.

Back at Connect it was past bedtime but Janet had hung in there really well and agreed she had a good day. Praying for a restful and healing night and a fun day of Learning tomorrow.