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

No matter how we plan it, our day always seems to start later than intended and that was the case today. We were late enough in getting up that it actually worked in Janet’s favour. I had an appointment downtown that I thought would be our first stop while running a bunch of errands today. There was no need for Janet to be at this appointment and since we were running late I decided to go on my own and leave her to enjoy her toast and coffee in peace. I was gone for twenty seven minutes and I think Janet was disappointed it wasn’t longer. She enjoyed being on her own and was happily sipping coffee, watching The Marilyn Denis Show after finishing her toast and putting the plate in the dishwasher. High five I guess. I’m not really ready to make a habit of this but it’s nice to know she feels confident being on her own.

When we finally did get to running our errands it was well past lunch time and Janet kept saying “so what” about lunch and refused to bother with any. I was concerned about that when we got to Connect for a gym session but she insisted she didn’t need any lunch and rolled right to it with Curtis and I. Garrett and Curtis seemed genuinely pleased to see Janet and eagerly assisted in the gym putting Janet through a full workout. Janet showed signs of being away from the gym for over a week and was noticeably slower on the bike but that was after lots of stretching and a good session on the Shuttle. It will be good to get her back into the groove next week.

Janet vetoed my suggestion for dinner and requested her favourite, pizza and salad. I agreed knowing she could help make that. She was on the ball in gathering ingredients from the fridge and gadgets from the cupboards and drawers and did a good job helping. Needless to say there wasn’t a crumb left on her plate at the end of dinner and the lack of a nap was starting to show as well. The house hadn’t been vacuumed since before Christmas and there was a pile of dishes to do so there was no time for rest yet. Janet accepted the job of vacuuming and did a decent job. She’s getting better at spotting dirt on the floor and even thought to vacuum the top of the coffee table and the shelf the toaster over sits on. High five.

With the house a lot cleaner it was time to clean Janet. Even she was complaining that her hair needed washing and she hates showers. I gave her a bath last week and today got a handheld shower head rigged in our bathroom so we could try that in hopes it would be faster and easier to wash her hair. It worked well but Janet complained of being cold so next time I think we’ll combine the two methods and see what happens.

The work was finally done and Janet was happy to sit down with a bowl of ice cream and watch a little TV before bed. She lasted long enough to finish the ice cream and that was about it. Praying for a night of deep, healing and uninterrupted sleep that provides lots of energy, a positive attitude and a willingness to participate fully in everything we do tomorrow.

The Team Save Janet Report is Out! #TSJ #homeless #moving #yard

After what I believe was a great night of sleep for Janet I expected our morning and the day to be stellar. The day probably was but I think Janet might have overslept as she took a while to kick it into gear. She didn’t have much to say to Heather during a Skype chat with her which was a huge contrast to yesterday with her mom. Janet spent a lot of time on the toilet this morning which may explain some of the lack of energy. Yesterday was the day off so today was back to work and the first task was vacuuming. The last experience at this was very good and Janet improved on it today although she still said its really hard. That little workout seemed to wake her up a bit and she accepted an invite to work outside. Janet was a big help in pruning some rose bushes and pulling dead stuff out of some of the garden areas. Saved my back a lot by having her gather and put stuff in the bin plus it was great to be out in the sun which is where we had lunch while Janet got even more tanned.

After a good nap Janet and I played real estate dealers again. Our counter counter offer was countered so we countered again and are still waiting for a response. Turns out the lady who owns and lives in the home we are after has an out of town daughter that is controlling the real estate transaction and she, in the words of her realtor, is being “a hard nose”. That’s being polite. I’m trying not to let my anger rule the situation but may walk away if her response is negative. God is trying to teach me something through this and I thought maybe it was to love my enemies so our last offer showed a lot of love. We’ll see if that was the intended lesson.

Even though the sun is setting too early these days it made for a beautiful dinner tonight before we drove out to pick up Cam at the airport. He’s here for the week before heading back to school in Calgary and Janet and I are excited to have him home. The house will not be lacking in energy this week. I had intended on taking Janet to Connect for a workout prior to picking up Cam but there would not have been room in the car for her wheelchair and Cam’s bags. Janet escaped that one much to her pleasure.

To close out the night we did some star gazing from the hot tub, this time with glasses on. “It makes a huge difference”, said a smiling Janet. I gave her the prerequisite stretch then it was into the leg extenders for ice cream while watching a podcast from Elevation Church. This morning Janet’s right leg was doing its own thing a lot and she was having trouble keeping her foot on the footrest. After standing on her own for a few minutes her foot stayed there easily and for a long time. We had a good long talk about the benefits of exercise and I hope she’s starting to get it. At bedtime her standing was great and she was able to more confidently put a little weight on that right leg. I think the hot tub and leg extenders help a lot.

Praying that janet gets a deep and healing sleep that provides lots of energy for a productive day tomorrow. Also praying for resolution to our real estate situation.

The Team Save Janet Report is Out. #phonecalls #cleaninghouse #chicago

Well here we are again, one week after the last update, so much for my plan to be more prolific with this.

In a lot of ways this was a fairly quiet week for Janet. No weddings, no road trips, no huge signs of progress that warranted an immediate blog update. When I look back at my notes though, its clear it was a good week.

Janet continues to show massive improvement in her cognitive abilities, especially with short term memory. She more frequently knows my name now although this week I’ve been Dennis, Bert, Julie, Ralph and Ted but mostly Larry. When asked now, I see Janet thinking before speaking rather than blurting out the first thing that pops into her head. A few times she’s even said “I forget” instead of calling me something she knows is wrong. We can now talk about events that took place in the morning with Janet able to describe a little bit about them and if the event was big enough she can even talk about something a day or two before hand. Her memory is not yet filing things in chronological order as evidenced by an emotional outburst one day when she thought for sure Laurel and or Heather were to be visiting her. She was so sure of it she called Laurel and me wondering why no one was there with her. She wasn’t able to reach Laurel but the call to me consisted of lots of tears of confusion and frustration. On the flip side, when asked what she wanted to do one morning, she remembered without prompting that she wanted to reply to an email sent from her friend Annette a couple days earlier. For some reason, probably old memory, Janet insisted on hand writing a letter so I gave her a blank greeting card and a pen and left her to it. Twenty minutes later she’d managed a decent note. I could read about a third of the words she wrote which is really good considering I couldn’t read much more of Janet’s writing even before she got sick. Janet has always had a strong sense of commitment and loyalty and so the obligation to reply stuck with her. She’s not great at filling a page yet but always has a good idea of what she wants to say and is improving her typing skills each time. I’ve noticed her vision is better the more awake she is and have noticed that applies to me too. The glasses are on now.

Janet was a big help in getting our house and yard cleaned up for a showing this past Saturday. For the first time she was able to vacuum on carpet and did a great job dusting some areas down for us. A sense of purpose is huge for Janet and I love seeing her eagerness to help with projects like that. Lorne had her vacuuming the living room at Connect this morning and said Janet had a smile on her face the whole time. I wish there was more I could get her to do. Yard work is great as long as Janet can reach what she’s to be working on and unfortunately most of our weeds don’t grow that tall. During the showing we went for a long walk along a route we hadn’t taken since Janet got sick. She remembered a lot of it and loved looking at all the nice homes. Nash was having trouble with the heat and distance and Janet was quite concerned about him. Thankfully he drank water from the lid of her water bottle and that comforted Janet. The thought of selling our house is dominating our time together and Janet both enjoys thinking of what the next house will be like and is somewhat reluctant to see the current one go. She’s very astute at recognizing how it doesn’t make sense to stay here much longer. My body thanks her for that.

Janet’s reading skills are improving as well. Laurel and Raj sent a thank you note following their wedding and Janet read most of it to me unassisted. I could especially understand the parts she read without crying. She’s had some real emotional moments lately, I think from a greater awareness of her situation. I sense a little bit of her feeling she needs to contribute more or be able to do more for her family and doesn’t fully understand the kids are all grown up and out doing their own thing. A few times when driving home and I ask her what she wants to do she’ll respond with “whatever everyone else is doing”. She doesn’t get upset when I tell her its just her and me but for a moment I think she was back in time and there were kids living with us. Janet is living more and more in the present though and confirmed that today when I allowed her to answer a stupid call from her bank. They asked why she hadn’t reviewed her banking needs with them for over a year and if something had happened to cause that. She told them flat out, ” something big happened with my health”. The guy on the other end heard that and repeated it but couldn’t deduce that maybe that was why he had been having trouble hearing Janet for the duration of the call. She was conversing very well with him just not very loudly. Hopefully it was enough to prevent another call.

The gym remains Janet’s nemesis and best tool at the same time. Her strength is gaining noticeably, especially on the Shuttle. Garret suggested a slightly different position for Janet’s legs on the Shuttle and it allows for a much longer extension, now up to thirteen inches, and Janet is able to push more weight too. She absolutely hates the Standing Frame but I think has resigned to knowing she’s got two sessions a day in it and as long as she feels she’s in control of how long she in it for she’s ok. There hasn’t been a lot of swimming lately but what Janet’s done has been good. The hot tub continues to be a happy place for her and the time when I get the best stretch of her legs and right arm. Noticing some nice improvement in her right shoulder and the Botox is working well with her finger flexors. We went to see Julie at the hand clinic for a follow up visit and she was surprised at how nicely Janet’s hand is doing. Julie did not expect to be able to adjust the splint yet but with Janet tolerating it well and her hand being nice and open, she was able to mold the splint to allow an even more relaxed position for Janet’s hand and said we don’t need to come back to see her unless something is wrong. Good news.

Team Save Janet has expanded into the Windy City!

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Thanks Brenda for carrying the colors there and if anyone else has a picture wearing your gear in a far away place I’d love to see them.

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Praying for Janet to keep getting stronger, especially her right leg. Praying for restoration of the use of her right arm and hand and complete restoration of her vision. Thanking our Lord and Savior for the healing he has brought and for all of you who continue to pray and support Janet and I.