vision

The Team Save Janet Report is Out! #TSJ #standup #realestate #nash #vision

Another day of real estate games saw me having to bring Nash to Connect with me so people could look at the house in safety. He actually was a very good boy the whole evening and made a good friend in Humberto, one of the residents in Janet’s house.

Nash and I went into Janet’s room at the end of her nap time and she was surprised to see him and relieved to see me. Nash made himself at home on her bed while Janet and I chatted about the day so far. She of course had done the usual gym routine but wasn’t able to tell me about anything else. We decided to go for a walk with Nash and that was fun for all and not quite as hot as it has been so Nash handled it better. Janet did a good job of controlling him crossing streets and meeting other dogs. Nash even had a chance to meet a cat but could not have cared less. Good boy. We stopped at the beach for a bit and Janet impressed me by pointing out a duck swimming in the water about fifty meters away. She saw three others further to her right and I can’t remember her ever initiating a sighting of anything like that before. It was always someone asking her if she could see this or that. I have noticed an improvement in her vision and this confirms she is processing things better.

Given the choice, Janet elected to do the Shuttle before dinner and had another solid session. Her right leg to me is definitely stronger these last few days. That could be part of why she’s standing on her own so well. Three minutes thirty five seconds tonight without grabbing onto me once. She wanted to quit at two minutes but I convinced her she was still looking strong and she carried on. I’m loving this.

Knowing she had to do the Standing Frame Janet begrudgingly did so after dinner and to help her get through it Nash paid her a visit.

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She liked it for a few minutes then asked me to get him down even though he was quite comfortable.

The rest of the night was pretty quiet as Janet was tired after not sleeping well the night before and not much during nap time this afternoon. We looked for somewhere to rent close to Connect but are finding that as challenging as somewhere to buy for the long term. Patience.

Praying for a good nights rest for Janet and continued strength building.

Water Baby. If only Janet would drink like she swims. #TSJ

This has been a relatively quiet week with Janet holding her own in most areas with some more signs of increasing assertiveness. Swimming and hot tubing remain her favorite activities with the Standing Frame taking over from the Shuttle as her least favorite thing to do.

Thursday was an interesting day for me as I found Janet curled up on her bed, awake and upset, saying she’d been “yelling for help to get out of here”. Her pendant alarm was right beside her and when I asked why she didn’t push it for help she all of a sudden seemed to feel silly that she hadn’t thought of that. There was no reason to want out other than she couldn’t sleep so from that point on it was a fun day. We went for a long walk to the eastern shore of Wood Lake and saw a large deer feeding on the side of the road. Or at least I did. Despite the thing being only twenty meters in front of us then moving towards us on the road before hopping into the bushes only ten meters away, Janet never saw it. We had lots of time and it was on her left side so I thought for sure she’d pick it out but even with me pointing and turning her head, she saw nothing. As we continued our walk Janet was able to see and tell me about things like boats on the lake, large trees and other landmarks and enjoyed watching a train roll by. I had commented on how close to the tracks a number of homes in that area are and how annoying it must be when a train goes by. We agreed it probably doesn’t happen often. Of course, less than five minutes later we heard the whistle of an approaching train. It was fun watching it and Janet saw it no problem. To wind down the day I assisted Janet in typing an email to her mom. I had to guide her to most of the letters but she did a great job in thinking of what to say and spelling the words as we typed. If y’all wish to correspond with Janet via email her address is jedieno@gmail.com , just remember I’ll be reading them to her and helping with any response.

Janet was ready to go home for the weekend when I arrived at Connect Friday afternoon. It had been a quiet morning and even though we had no big plans she was anxious to go. We stopped at Save On along the way and used Janet’s VIP parking pass for the first time. I must admit its pretty sweet to be able to park pretty much at the front door in a nice wide spot and not have to worry about someone parking too close to us. Janet was a big help shopping and enjoyed choosing things on her own. Her help continued as we made a Quinoa salad for dinner with Janet doing lots of chopping and tossing. We had dinner outside with Janet reestablishing her authority as the corn on the cob expert saying “this is the best corn of the year”.

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After a good stretch in the hot tub we watched So You Think You Can Dance with Janet’s legs in the extenders. She loved the show and at one point asked for a paper and pen as she waned to “tell someone I want Amy and Fik-Shun to win”. Not sure who she was going to tell or why but I love the spontaneity of that thought. As bright a moment as that was a short time later she didn’t know my name or that I’m her husband. I’ll let it go as being really tired and that seems to be the pattern with Janet knowing me. She’s good in the morning then by dinner time I can be any name under the sun including ones she makes up herself.

Saturday was a sleep in day with breakfast happening outside closer to lunchtime than breakfast. We had a good Skype chat with Mary/Gaga then got Janet’s nails cut and cleaned in readiness for the arrival of family next week for Laurel and Raj’s wedding 2.0. After a nice walk and a good lunch we took off to do some shopping before church as Janet needed shirts and I needed some shorts. It was fun shopping with Janet and she was a big help to me in choosing colors. As we were settling in for church Janet asked to have her right arm up on the armrest of her wheelchair. That’s a first and a really encouraging sign as it wasn’t long ago that it hurt her to have her arm in that position. After church, Janet asked for a burger for dinner and was excited to sit outside at Red Robin and devour a Mediterranean Chicken Burger. I had promised her we’d watch a movie that night and she didn’t let me forget even thou it was nine o’clock by the time we started it. We watched Safe Haven which is actually pretty bad but we enjoyed it. Janet was quite restless going to bed and five minutes after lights out I found her on her tummy laughing. She wanted to lay on her left side but turned the wrong way and couldn’t get back. With a little help she got there and fell asleep quickly.

The Sunday breakfast tradition seems to be watching Pick a Puppy, a show that follows a family as they choose their pet. It’s very cheesy but Janet loves it and in the true spirit of our TV viewing habits, we’ve made it into a competition. Janet is now three for three in choosing which puppy the family ends up picking. In trying on her new shirts we’ve determined she is no longer a size XS and has graduated to size S. That means more shopping come Fall. Yea. There are enough weeds and plants that need pruning in the front yard that we were able to spend over an hour out there with Janet doing a lot of pulling and clipping. Hard for her to squeeze the clippers sometimes but she enjoyed the challenge and being in the sun. Her reward was a nice swim in a ridiculously warm pool where she did some great lower leg kicking. This is the first time in a while I’ve worked on this with her and once she thought about it she did well with her left and managed a little movement a couple times with the right. She closed her water session with a relaxing hot tub where she got so relaxed that I actually let go of her as she floated on her back. As soon as she realized I’d let go she started to sink but it was pretty cool she could float like that. I tucked her in at 9:45 and twenty minutes later heard a little bang from the bedroom. I was startled to see Janet sitting on the edge of the bed where she had been rummaging through her bedside table. In her hand was an old pair of glasses and she said to me “I’m trying to find the ones that work”. She only cried a little bit then asked to sleep on her left side and as soon as I helped her there she was heading off to la la land. Or maybe that’s where she was when she was sitting up, I don’t know, but it was cool she could get herself up and sitting. A little flash of houdieno.

Monday we were back in the Rehab Pool at KGH. It had been over a week and I was anxious to see how Janet would do. Kiko graciously came along to be a cheerleader but I put her to work as videographer and her is the result.

We enjoyed a yummy lunch at Marmalade Cafe with Kiko afterwards. Nice way to spend a sunny afternoon. Thanks Kiko!

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On the way home we stopped at Save On so Janet could pick out the fruit she wanted to take to Connect for the coming week. The team agrees that Janet needs to eat lots of fruit as she doesn’t drink enough water and since she loves it that’s a pretty easy thing to do. From now on, like home, her breakfast will be a large bowl of fruit and yogurt, a piece of toast and peanut butter and a little coffee if she wants. Coupling this with as much fluids as possible should get Janet more regular on the toilet. I can report today that it seems to be working.

Tuesday morning was busy for Janet as she got back into the Connect routine. I took her out of that for the afternoon so she could get her haircut.

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Chelsea always does a good job with Janet and the whole experience was fun with Janet being much more talkative than last time. For her evening workout, Janet was good about going on the Shuttle but put a big pout on during her Standing Frame session. So much so that I thought she was quite rude to one of the other residents who tried giving her some encouraging advice. Janet was having nine of it and gave that person the silent treatment until they complimented her on her hair. That brought a big smile and a thank you.

In the Standing Frame tonight, Janet was in a much better mood and surprised me by accurately predicting when the session was over. I had set nine o’clock as the end time and using her watch she guessed at 8:43 that she had twenty minutes left and at 8:55 she knew there were only five minutes left. The funniest bit was when she stared at her watch for the last thirty seconds and when it reached 9:00 she proudly held it up to me and said “I’m done”. Indeed.

Cognitive gains like that continue and are very encouraging. Even her negative outbursts are good I guess as she is expressing her opinion and feelings much better. She still lacks confidence in a lot of things, using a stock answer of “I don’t believe it”, when someone tells her something good about herself or tries to explain the benefits of doing something she doesn’t like doing. The only way I see of battling this is to identify every moment she does something well and explain why it’s good and where it can lead her. Pill swallowing is getting much better for Janet as well with most doses going down on the first attempt now with hardly any coughing. I notice she coughs a lot less drinking apple juice and drinks it a lot faster too. Not sure why. Janet still has a hard time with my name and knows it better earlier in the day as opposed to late at night. The family names usually come to her pretty quick but she needs prompting for the staff members names usually. We’ve stared reading at night again and Janet seems to be understanding what I read a little better now too.

This coming Tuesday we meet with Dr. McCann for another round of Botox. I think the timing is perfect as although there is still good flexibility in both of Janet’s legs the left one is tightening up and the right one is pulling into the left a lot. That hasn’t stopped Janet from doing well on the Shuttle and her pole transfers a very good with a noticeable improvement in balance. This past weekend was the first one driving the Vibe and the first one that hasn’t left me with a very sore shoulder as I no longer have to lift Janet into the car. Nice.

Looking forward to more progress this week and the arrival of family ahead of Raj and Laurel 2.0.

Yes and No #TSJ

So now my name is Roger according to Janet. Not sure how I got that one but the only Roger I know I like so that’s cool. Christa mentioned to me that Janet refused lunch so after our little what’s my name chat I asked her if she wanted something to eat. She proceeded to eat a whole can of beans! I’m sure she’ll be able to eat more exciting things this time next week as her swallow X-ray has been booked for Thursday. Thanks again Connie! I met with Janet’s eye doctor this morning and he agreed to do an exam with Janet on the 29th. The value of the exam will be to give her therapists an accurate account of Janet’s field of vision. It is unlikely that whatever deficiencies she has can be corrected or healed but she may gain functionality through rehab once her exact condition is known.

After her late lunch I took Janet up to get weighed. She lost a little bit this week and we had a good talk with the staff and agreed to up her meal portions a little and offer her snacks in between meals as well. One contributing factor to her loss could be the increased activity in the gym and in general. Standing takes a lot of energy and her workouts have been rather intense so I think she’s likely burning more calories now than before.

Janet struggled a little with putting away her laundry today but did a great job of helping me make the bed. Before heading to the gym Janet took a pee break and for the first time did a standing transfer from the wheelchair to the toilet. She had to stand for quite a while as I haven’t perfected my technique for a one handed pant removal or replacement. She was very strong and worked hard to stay up long enough for me. We took Christa and Suzanne to the gym with us as they had not been trained on Janet’s routine yet. Janet was very patient and cooperative as the three of us stretched her out. Janet did very well at the stripper pole today, needing only a slight boost to get started then getting up pretty good herself after that. She still gets very emotional doing this but today she did not pee, hopefully because she went before going to the gym. Janet managed one set of thirty on the Shuttle with one band of tension and when I suggested thirty more with two bands like she did yesterday she very sternly told me no way. She had been through a lot by that then with no nap time so I relented and said we’d do more in the morning.

Dinner was more of Suzanne’s stew and we only shared the table with Chris tonight. I don’t ask the other residents what their deal is and some have offered little bits of their story but this was the first time Chris said anything other than he was in an accident. Turns out it was a motocross accident almost nine years ago. He was in a coma for seven months and has not walked until just a couple of weeks ago. The smile on his face as he told us that was really something to see and I’m glad Janet heard it first hand as that is a true story of hope. It made an impact on Janet as I included Chris in our goodnight prayer she asked me about his story again. I gave her a recap and she seemed genuinely touched and impressed.

When I asked Janet if this was a good day she said “yes and no”. She couldn’t defend her no response at all and agreed to all my yes suggestions so the final answer was a big smiley yes. Praying for rest and healing tonight and recovery and learning tomorrow.