For the first time in thirty five years Kelowna schools were closed for a Snow Day on Monday. According to Janet it was a great day as she didn’t have to go to H2O as it was too nasty out there. She did go today though and agreed to file this video report for you.
I’m happy to finally be able to share the video of Janet’s baptism with you. She just watched it today for the first time and got all excited in doing so. It was a very special moment that we’ll never forget and we hope you enjoy it.
The audio is a little out of sync, I apologize.
Only two more Sundays of taking Janet back to Connect, thank goodness. She handled tonight’s return well as her weekend was relaxing and entertaining and there was no time for a nap today so she was too tired to complain. A couple from our Small Group joined us today to watch the Seahawks game and that made for an enjoyable Sunday. Janet enjoyed the mixture of football talk and family talk and contributed well with both.
Neither day at home this weekend was too structured. Saturday night was different from the usual in that Courtney was home for dinner after church and we watched a movie together too. We are enjoying having her around and Janet is benefiting from having someone else to talk to. Friday we stopped by the church to do a walk through of the baptism tank. Janet did a great job walking up the steps, down into the tank then back out again. I’m confident she can handle it for real on Saturday and we thank Dave for taking the time to let Janet try that in advance. She was pretty pleased with herself for being able to do it. Our Small Group met Friday night and Janet participated well and even asked the group a question on her own for the first time. She wanted to hear everyone’s take on the Brittany Maynard and Lauren Hill stories and was rewarded with some good conversation. That was a good demonstration of Janet’s memory improving along with her confidence to initiate conversation.
Thursday night Janet recorded her baptism testimonial video. It was understood that she’d be able to use a teleprompter but it wasn’t ready when her time to shoot arrived so we tried feeding her two or three sentences at a time. That was a struggle for Janet but she made it through for the most part. By the time the teleprompter was ready Janet was tired of the whole thing so struggled reading from it too. Jody, the videographer, will work his magic and Janet’s story will come out loud and clear. There’s no magic needed to make Janet look good though.
Janet was a big help around the house this weekend as is becoming the norm. We didn’t take any formal time for exercise so all of Janet’s walking came associated with practical tasks. Talking with her tonight, she was happy about that but admitted she wasn’t moving around as easily. She disagreed that it was a result of a more relaxing weekend but resigned herself to the idea of using the indoor track at CNC sooner rather than later. Winter is supposed to arrive this week so the days of walking outside seem to be done and Janet needs to keep moving. I think she’ll be OK with it as long as we don’t overdo it.
Praying for a week of progress.
Finally, there was a chance for Mary Lou to watch the video of Janet reading The Hallo-Wiener to the kids at Stepping Stones Preschool. She approved of Janet’s effort and officially credited her with achieving that goal!
Here is a video clip of Janet reading. I wasn’t able to upload the entire eleven minute story but this will give you an idea of how Janet did. The beginning was very strong then she struggled for the last two thirds of the book, keeping a smile on her face most of the way through and managing to keep the kids attention. Well done!
That was the biggest excitement of the day. Janet enjoyed SheLife tonight and was happy to be home this afternoon where she did a great job operating the cooktop and stirring our stir fry for dinner. Janet did have a little scare first thing this morning as she fell coming out of the bathroom. According to her, “I just lost it”, and there are no marks or real pain resulting from it. She is complaining of a sore back when she steps up or down a step though so we will monitor that. Janet told me she didn’t call for help or try and get up, she just lay there waiting. Garrett suggested that for the rest of Janet’s time at Connect they teach her how to recover from a fall and or call for help. Great idea.
The staff have been working on Janet picking things up from the floor and that paid off tonight. Janet tosses her PJs from the armoire to her bed each night and tonight she missed. That meant doing a serious squat to pick them up and she did! Janet was nervous of course and unsure of the technique so it took a little prompting from me for her to get down low enough. She was quite happy afterwards and should be.
Praying for the soreness in Janet’s back to stop after a good night of sleep and for a successful video shoot of her baptism testimonial tomorrow.
It’s a rare occasion when Janet recounts her morning activities without a complaint so I really enjoyed her phone call early this afternoon where she told me all about the stuff she had done with the only negative being her review of her step exercises as being “terrible”. She seemed pleased with everyone else and sounded quite upbeat. When I got out to Connect a little later Janet was awake in bed after napping briefly, something she hasn’t really been doing much of lately.
Janet’s attitude shift enabled her to take the initiative and walk down to the kitchen to find out what her duties for the evening were. As Chelsea had her help with making stuffed baked potatoes I showed Brian the video from Janet’s attempt at boiling water on the cooktop at home. He approved and when Janet arrived on the scene congratulated her on achieving another goal! Janet seemed genuinely pleased with that news and wasn’t too upset about not passing the laundry test yet. She needs a little more practice in familiarizing herself with the controls on both washer and drier. She’s close.
For her post dinner stroll tonight I pulled Janet around the insides of Connect including up the stairs. Janet handled those well but was feigning exhaustion part way up in such a way that I think she’s mentally giving up at the first sign of exertion. In the end she completed the routine well and maybe realizes a little better just how long of a stride she is able to take.
Praying for a night of restful sleep and a productive meeting with Dr. Miller tomorrow.
Feeling confident after having Janet’s doctor adjust her Dilantin dosage I chose to hold off on getting her blood tested today and instead went to Connect this morning to observe Tez working with her. Janet is still complaining of a sore right foot but indicated it might be a little better after not having walked at all yesterday. There were a group of students with Tez who invited Janet to be a bit of a guinea pig in demonstrating the walking sling and sharing her story and the challenges she’s faced along the way. Janet did so with great enthusiasm and humour and I think made the session a good learning experience.
Given the choice between lunch and a bike ride, Janet chose bike ride so she could get it over with. We had to wait a few minutes for another resident to finish which gave me time to ask Curtis about Janet’s positioning on the bike. She had typically been seated fairly close forward to give her the easiest pedalling position but I wondered since she is so much stronger now if it would be more beneficial to sit farther back and extend her legs more. Curtis agreed and we set Janet up that way with the bike on the same difficult settings as yesterday and she rode really well, only sacrificing less than half a mile while gaining a much better stretch and more activation from her right leg.
We enjoyed lunch in the sun then got Jess and Chelsea to help with a little video shoot in the parking lot. Janet nailed her scene in one take! As a reward for her hard work and to “celebrate” her second anniversary I brought Janet home for the weekend a day early. She was thrilled and even tried powering through without a nap until almost five o’clock when things finally caught up to her. It had been a much improved day compared to the last couple and we finally got news from the neurologist re the Dilantin levels. He said fluctuations are common and Janet’s don’t present any reason to change course other than trying a lower dosage. One contributing factor is hydration level and with Janet walking more and the warm weather she’s sweating out a lot of fluid without replacing it all. This time I believe she fully understands and drank well tonight. We will continue to watch her levels closely.
A lot of you have been with us since day one of this journey and on this two year anniversary day Janet and I want to honestly thank you all for your prayers, encouragement, support and friendship. Each day, Janet seems more and more aware of the impact you have had on her recovery and realizing that, motivates her to share her story with others and give support where she can to those facing their own challenges. Today could have been a sad reminder of a horrible day but neither Janet or I had even the briefest thought of that. Today has been a quiet celebration of the amazing recovery that Janet has made through the grace, love and mercy of our Lord and Saviour, and a look ahead to the changes yet to come. This video is a reminder of Janet’s amazing success story and the beginning of a new chapter in a life full of love.
Many thanks to Joel and Kiko for hanging with us at the KGH Rehab pool today to cheer Janet on in her swimming sessions.
Here are a few videos expertly shot by Joel so you all can see just how well Janet is swimming on her back. At the end of today’s sessions we tried a little face in the water while lying on her tummy action and she conquered that challenge easily. I was even scared a couple times at how long she was keeping her face in the water. The confidence continues to build.