Janet, A Success Story. June 12. #TSJ Home for a holiday.

And so it begins. Janet is home for the next ten nights, five here then five in Ottawa, and she is very excited. It was a good day of transition for her as she did an express version of her gym routine this morning then went with the rest of the house to a park in Vernon for a picnic lunch. She has a little trouble in figuring out what to wear for outings like that and ended up over dressed for what was a warm day even though it looked cool.

The "ducky" weather is coming.

The “ducky” weather is coming.

Getting a head start on nap time.

Getting a head start on nap time.

We packed Janet up after a brief nap and drove to her doctor’s for one last round of power washing her ears. Our car went through a power wash on the way as we hit a massive thunderstorm with some of the heaviest rain I’ve ever seen. Janet was actually a little nervous about it but by the time we hit Kelowna proper it was like it hadn’t rained at all. That’s why we live here folks.

Janet was very brave at the doctor’s and her ears are now squeaky clean. My plan for her at home and on the trip to Ottawa is to do as much walking as possible and use the wheelchair only when necessary. That began nicely as soon as we got home. Janet walked in from the car to the bathroom then out to the kitchen where she chopped veggies on her own for dinner. She seems to be at a perfect height sitting in a real chair at the island for chopping and stirring. Janet did an awesome job tonight and rewarded herself with a glass of wine with dinner.

I thought if we went for an after dinner walk we might see some of the neighbours but our after dinner is closer to a lot of folk’s bedtime around here so no one was out. It was nice to get some air before watching So You Think You Can Dance. Janet made some really intelligent remarks during the show and overall is showing more improvement in the memory and awareness department. Her walking tonight was solid and she did all of her nighttime stuff in the bathroom unassisted, with no wheelchair.

Praying for a great night of sleep and a productive Friday.

Janet, A Success Story. April 18. #TSJ

A Good Friday it was! Janet was up early and I’m glad now that she was as we had an unhurried breakfast and a smooth trip to church for a 10am service which could have been a real scramble. Had we been five minutes later we would not have gotten our usual seat, which is important to me as we’ve chosen one that allows Janet the best view. Janet really enjoyed the service as it was done in a narrative form with four different readers and interspersed with songs. Janet said she could follow it the whole time.

Since we were in the area we stopped by to see John, Janet’s first visit to his room. She commented on the way up that “this place is really run down” and on the way out “I hope I never have to be in a place like that”. I reminded her that she was in the queue for just such a place even as she transferred to the Rehab ward and because of her hard work she progressed past that. John put on a good show for us but I get a sense he’s not too happy and maybe concerned about something he’s not sharing with us. It was also evident that no one is pushing him to do anything, if he wants to sleep until 9:30 and not have breakfast, they let him. Not cool. Please keep him in your prayers.

Janet helped make lunch before we both had a nap this afternoon which for some reason I seemed to need as much as her. The sun was shining when we got up and Janet went for a nice walk around the kitchen area. It was her first time on this particular course and it included lots of turns, even a 180 degree one that she executed very well. High five! Tomorrow I’m going to try and have her take a step without hanging on to anything. She sort of did it at bedtime tonight and I think she can, I just have to convince her she can.

Our evening was quiet save for a nice conversation with Cam who is in snowy Saskatoon and we got a picture from Laurel in snowy Calgary.

Good Friday?

Good Friday?

Glad we live here!
Our sun bathed tulips

Our sun bathed tulips

Praying for a night of deep and healing sleep and a day of celebration tomorrow.

Janet, A Success Story. March 16. #TSJ

For a brief moment I thought today was going to be spectacular. Janet woke up at a reasonable time after a solid night of sleep and seemed quite happy. Before breakfast was done a real negative attitude started to take over her and I found myself considering taking her back to Connect early. I contributed somewhat to her attitude by getting quite mad at her for misjudging the need to go to the bathroom. Her lapses in this area have really frustrated me lately because she was doing so well for so long. To help rectify the situation I told (not asked) Janet we were walking to KGH to visit John. I knew if I asked the answer would be no and figured the fresh air would do us both good as would doing something for someone else.

The walk was pleasant with Janet mildly complaining it was cold, I think more out of habit than really feeling cold. Thirty minutes after leaving our house Janet was wheeling down the long hallway at KGH that served as her wheelchair training ground during her 4B and Rehab days. What used to take her more than fifteen minutes took her maybe one and the large threshold at the end that always used to beat her was conquered today with a strong effort. Janet didn’t remember any of it of course but I sure do. As would happen, John was sound asleep when we peaked into his room so we left him a note and a happy face lollypop. Janet called her own successful bathroom break before we left the building and I felt things were getting better.

Our walk home took us a more pleasant way, close to the lake and Janet says some of it was familiar to her. She remembered the house she went to for some singing lessons last summer and knew where we were in relation to our house most of the time. Overall it was a very pleasant outing and Janet’s attitude improved a hundred percent. Mine too.

I read some of The Artisan Soul to her during lunch then insisted on a nap so she could be alert for the St. Patrick’s Day potluck dinner in our clubhouse this evening. We enjoyed the conversation and food and were happy to have the chance to get to know some neighbours better. There are some good cooks in our neighbourhood!

Janet declined the chance to wear green finger nails for St. Patrick’s Day and just wanted to read before sleep time. She lasted a good forty five minutes and answered my questions well as we read. Nice to be reading something she is tuned into again. Praying for lots of energy and a positive attitude for tomorrow.

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

Even Janet commented she slept well last night and she was up in decent time this morning and did a good job making her toast and coffee. I still have to verbally coach her through the toaster oven controls but she listened and followed my instructions well this morning. Once we had roughly mapped out our day it was time for the Skype chat with Mary/Gaga. Once again I left Janet on her own and only had to feed her a few questions, otherwise she conversed well. There certainly aren’t anymore issues with the volume of her voice during these chats. Our neighbour, Bonnie, came by for a visit this morning. Janet recognized her but couldn’t quite figure out who she was at first. Bonnie and her husband will be away during the Olympics and asked if we would record the figure skating so she and Janet could watch it together when they get back. Janet is excited to do so and it will be interesting to see how much of it she remembers when watching with Bonnie. Heather and Laurel were up next for a Skype chat and Janet managed that call with very little input from me as well.

The sun came out today and so did we, enjoying a nice walk to part of our new neighbourhood we hadn’t been to yet. We really do live in a great walking area and as soon as it warms up I see no reason why Janet can’t propel herself around a lot of it. Janet refuses to get off the grilled cheese for lunch train so I had her make the dang thing herself today and she did a reasonable job only needing help cutting the tomato and flipping the sandwich.

As we were purging our old house we agreed that after we got settled in the new one we’d make an effort at organizing our photos and memorabilia and today we made a start at that. Janet had a bin full of such treasures and we sorted them all out and made decisions as to how to make them useful. There are lots of things from Janet’s school years and her memory is very sharp in that area. She was naming names and telling stories about all sorts of things with no hesitation, even showing me past boyfriends, something she was shy to do before. We had fun and tomorrow will put some things into a book so they can be enjoyed instead of buried in a bin.

I’m getting more and more confident in Janet’s ability to propel herself around public places and she seems to be as well. She didn’t need help in the church parking lot at all tonight nor did she inside. Getting to a standing position from sitting was a challenge all day for some reason though. You could see the wheels turning but the body not responding and it would take her three or four tries to get up. By bedtime though she was doing it brilliantly. Go figure. I let Janet wheel around a little on her own after church and she visited with a few people without me and I hope she enjoyed those moments of independence. Kiko and Joel had blessed us with a gift card to Bluetail Sushi, a place we hadn’t been to before and tonight was the night to check it out. We approve and were especially entertained by the flaming plate that the Double Salmon came on.

Janet was so full of sushi she declined ice cream tonight and went to bed after watching a little Aussie Open. Praying for a night of deep and healing sleep and a productive and joyful tomorrow. Go ‘hawks!

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

Before bringing Janet home for the weekend I spoke to nurse Jen about a medication Janet has been on for a long time that may not be necessary any longer. It is given with breakfast and usually mixed in with Janet’s fruit and yogurt. We agreed to not use it this weekend then alternate days at Connect with it for a couple of weeks to see how it goes. Janet has been complaining of having to have fruit and yogurt every morning so with the lack of medicine this morning she was finally allowed to go without. She thoroughly enjoyed her toast and coffee and that was all, except for a glass of water of course.

It was such a nice Spring like day here we couldn’t resist the chance at a walk before the Seahawks game started. It was windy in spots along our route but even then still warm enough for Janet to tolerate it. Mom enjoyed seeing the neighbourhood and meeting a few of our neighbours who were out in the sun too. We got back in time for pancakes and kickoff and enjoyed a good first half. I gave Janet the opportunity to get some exercise during halftime thinking she’d do a little standing and take a few steps. She ended up using the entire fifteen minutes to circumnavigate the couch including side stepping along the back one and a half times. It was an excellent performance and certainly her longest walking session to date. I’m now even more anxious to get that AFO on her on Monday.

New Orleans made a game out of it in the second half and Janet and I were on the edge of our seats right till the end. I actually thought she may have jinxed things when she said out loud that Seattle might lose this game. Yikes. It wasn’t the case thank goodness and Janet gave one of her patented fist pumps when the deal was done.

We won!

We won!

Right after the game we headed off to church with Courtney meeting us there. Janet propelled across the parking lot again but went a little too far left and started going downhill faster than she’d like. I was right there of course but she is still nervous about that kind of thing. She conquered that fear a little by guiding herself down to our seats on her own. Her transfers were solid tonight and she stood for a decent amount of time.

After chatting with a bunch of people and a bathroom break we all went to dinner at The Minstrel Cafe and enjoyed some good food, wine and music. It was too loud to talk much however but still fun and a pleasant way for my mom to end her visit here.
We are glad she was able to be here and see our new house and how much Janet has progressed and it’s always good for Janet to hangout with someone other than me and to hear their positive comments about her.

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

The Team Save Janet Report is Out! #TSJ

Renovation Day 47. Randy worked from home today and Janet and I emptied a few boxes and arranged a few things in our room and the Den/Second Bedroom. There’s not really that much more we can do until the kitchen is finished. There is lots more I can do of course but that’ll have to wait for Monday when Janet is back at Connect.

The first night in the new house was a good one with Janet waking up refreshed and in bed still. The sun was shining brightly into the house as we had breakfast then called Mary/Gaga for a Skype chat. Janet was pleased with the way the conversation went and thought she did well. She did.

Our day consisted of puttering around the house, unpacking what we could and setting a few things up. We can’t for the life of us find our bedside table lamps so if anyone has them or knows where they are I’d love to hear from you.

It was nice enough for us to take the dog for a spin around the complex after lunch and we used that time to knock on the doors of a couple of our new neighbours so Janet could meet them. Since she’s hardly been here she’s missed out on people dropping in to say hi. We are blessed to have a lot of good neighbours here and Janet noticed that, saying, “we are lucky, because there could be a lot worse people living here”.

Janet thought the service at Trinity tonight was “really good and fun”. It was and she did a great job standing a couple of times during it. Moxies was our dinner choice tonight and Janet found it to be too noisy. Those environments are really bothering her lately so I’ll have to be mindful of that when deciding where to take her.

Today was a total day off from exercise and its hard for me to allow that as I want Janet to keep working her right leg especially. I notice she’s cold a lot these days and that really impedes the use of that right leg never mind the tone and neglect. Hawaii would be a great solution.

The benefits of the new neighbourhood are starting to be realized as I made a less than ten minute round trip run to Save On for ice cream tonight while Janet got ready to watch the X Factor results show. That trip was ten minutes one way from the old house and I was never comfortable leaving her alone and being that far away. This seems much safer although we should figure a way for her to call for help if needed. Ideas?

Praying for a night of healing sleep.

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

Renovation Day 13 was a quiet one. I ripped up a little more of the former pink tile floor leaving the last of it until just before the new floor goes in. Tomorrow I get to sand the last of the texture off the second bedroom ceiling. I can hardly wait.

Janet had just finished lunch and was waiting for me when I got to Connect. It was a beautiful sunny day here so I suggested a walk and Janet agreed saying that others were going for a walk too. We ended up going for a nice long walk with Willie and his wife Val. Towards the end, Janet was complaining of being cold even though it was fourteen degrees and she had her winter coat on. I guess we need to shop for a warmer coat.

We got back inside for a Skype chat with Mary/Gaga that went well then Janet had a brief nap. I know it was brief because I laid down with her just to remind myself what a bed feels like. Once up, we sat in the kitchen and chatted with Jess and Sydney. Janet was a little quiet but enjoyed the time and drank her Fresca surprisingly quickly.

The rest of the evening was very quiet as I gave Janet the day off from the gym. We watched football while visiting with various people that came in and out of the living room and I had Janet read a little on the iPad. She is getting so much better at that its very exciting. When Janet started to fade around 8:30 we headed off to get ready for bed. Each night for a while now I’ve been trying to get Janet to lift her left leg while standing so I can slip off her socks and or pants. She has tried unsuccessfully saying “it won’t work”. Tonight, seconds after saying those exact words, she did it! She was hanging onto the stripper pole for dear life and only held her leg up for one second but that is the first time with me she’s been able to do that. True to form she played it all down but I could see in her eyes she was pleased with herself.

Praying for restoration of the use of her right arm and hand and continued building of strength.

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

This is going to be short as its crunch time for moving and every minute counts.

Janet went swimming at the Rutland Y today with Jess, Garrett and some other residents. She told me it was alright and kind of boring. When asked to elaborate she gave her stock answer of “its the same thing”. I think she enjoyed it more than she’s letting on and Garrett says there was some good stretching done along with walking against the flow in the River Run area.

I got to Connect much later than my usual time and Janet was getting up from her nap. Dinner was served right away then we tried going for a walk in the last of the Fall sun. The weather has really changed in a hurry here, I saw frost on the rooftops yesterday morning and Janet had to wear her winter coat for tonight’s walk. I still had my shorts and polo shirt on but was cold by the end of the walk. In Janet’s words, “we’ve lost our summer”. We are happy to see that Joel and Kiko are having a good time in sunny Mexico and even happier that Team Save Janet is represented there. That warmed us up.

Have you got a picture wearing yours in some far away locale? We’d love to see it.

After a little discussion Janet agreed to a workout on the Shuttle and then the Standing Frame with decent results from both. I’m hoping the team meeting next week allows for Janet to express her feelings about going to the gym so much and we can alleviate her fears. A lot of it still boils down to confidence and she’s saying more and more how her right leg doesn’t want to work.

Bedtime reading is becoming a nice trend and we did that again tonight. Praying for lots of sleep tonight and a productive Friday for Janet and also for me.

The Team Save Janet Report is Out! #TSJ #friend #sunny

I gave Janet a call around lunch time today to see how she was doing and she explained she had done all the usual things already including going to the gym. The way she said it implied she was a very good girl and shouldn’t have to go to the gym again. Nice try. It was fun to talk to her on the phone and I think she was happy to get the call. When I arrived in her room a few hours later she was anxious for the arrival of her friend Annette so didn’t nap at all. I got her up and we went outside to wait. I gave Janet a few options for how the evening could play out, all of course included a trip to the gym. She was not impressed but settled on a walk then dinner with Annette and a session on the Shuttle at eight or so.

Annette was running late so we went for a walk to check out a resort in the area that I thought might be ok to stay at while I’m homeless but it turned out to be pretty sketchy so I’ll keep looking. Janet was very excited when Annette arrived and we enjoyed a good conversation over a mediocre dinner at the local Greek restaurant. Janet and Annette have known each other for over thirty years now and have lots to talk about. Janet was bright and talkative the whole evening and is looking forward to visiting more tomorrow and hopefully having a better dinner.

There was no real protest from Janet when gym time rolled around and her Shuttle performance was solid. As it was getting a little late, I shortened her Standing Fame session and she was in bed and very sleepy by 10:15. That was a busy day for Janet with no real rest and she was pretty amped up to see Annette so the fast crash tonight was no surprise. Praying for a night of deep sleep and a productive day tomorrow.

The Team Save Janet Report is Out! #TSJ #improving #cauliflower

Jess brought Janet into KGH this morning for the monthly chat with Dr. Miller. I met them there and after a few of the Rehab nurses said their hellos to my rock star wife we sat down with the doc. Janet continues to impress with her improved speech, memory and overall brightness. She very happily told him about our house purchase and was able to answer a lot of questions pertaining to recent history that seemed to impress Dr. Miller the most. He seemed surprised at some of the responses he got. Dr. Miller isn’t focused on Janet’s physical rehab but when Jess got Janet standing by herself for a couple minutes his face lit up and he really laid out all the positive things Janet has accomplished, hopefully boosting her confidence. It was a pleasurable meeting that even Janet agreed was worth while.

Janet returned to Connect with Jess in time for a quick lunch then singing with John. She was later able to describe the lunch she had and tell me that singing was fun. I’m not sure how much of a nap she had as she was wide awake and eager to get up when I walked in. Cam arrived a few minutes later and Janet really enjoyed him hanging out with her for a couple hours. We went for a nice walk and Janet gave Cam a little tour of Connect. Janet at one point had a had time remembering Cam’s name and called him Richard, Ricardo, Rick, Mike, Andrew and then very laughingly, Cauliflower. Brilliant. Dinner was a disappointment tonight but Janet made up for it with some fresh vegetables and an apple and she still had lots of strength for the Shuttle. Despite her dislike of “the whole thing” she is getting stronger on a weekly basis. Curtis did some sit to stand exercises with her and was able to adjust Janet’s grip on the pole to where she is forced to use her legs almost exclusively to stand up. You could see the difference immediately as Janet favored her left leg but with some coaching got some weight through the right one as well. She stood nice and tall in the Standing Frame tonight giving a really good stretch to those hamstrings.

Another good day for Janet with obvious signs of improvement. She is starting to complain about her splint occasionally and I’m not sure if the Botox is wearing off or what but we’ll check it out with Julie soon. Praying for lots of energy for tomorrow’s activities.