Saturday, March 04, 2006

Jan on Wheels

I got a good surprise this morning. I found Jan awake with the sitter and the nurse. Routine hygiene and some feeding through that dreadful NG tube. Imagine having breakfast, lunch and dinner without even tasting what you are eating!

The wheelchair.
Jan and I went to the cafeteria in the M wing. That's right, she was allowed to go on a wheelchair with me to this public place. On the way we looked t pictures on the walls, to the snow in the green areas through the windows in the first floor and to people. Now and then, she would touch the glass of the doors. At the cafeteria, she sat with hear head to one side. I showed her pictures on my laptop. She smiled when looking at relatives from close and far, friends and herself. She became uncomfortable. I asked her if she wanted to go. She nodded. We went up and down the corridors, stopping everytime she signed. I stopped a the Second Cup and bought a coffee. She wanted to taste it, so I dipped a stick on my coffee and put it in her mouth. She grimaced like if to say: How can you drink this junk? When we passed a coke machine, she pointed out to it insistently. I asked if she was thirsty. She nodded. I bought a bottle of water for her. A soon as I gave it to her, she put it in her mouth trying to open it. Not sure if I should give her some water, I put some in the cap. She wasn't happy with it, but drank it anyway. she coughed a bit and then asked for more.

Swallowing. We went up the elevator to her room. We found two friends visiting. She sat in the wheelchair at the visitors' lounge for a few minutes with them. I told the sitter that Jan was thirsty, she brought a little stick with a sponge and a cup of water. With this, Jan took a few sips and coughing, she swallowed the water. Small amounts, but it has begun.

Writing. After lunch, she was talking to Louise and the sitter, they gave her a pen and the notebook, then asked her to write. She scribbled some characters: H, I J, N. What a delight! This is an enormous effort, and she was pleased.

Good news for a sunny Saturday. She is mobile, swallowing, and writing.

Please keep supporting her with all you got. This is the beginning of a long race.

-Fede

5 comments:

Martha said...

Yeah! That's exciting news! I'm happy to hear that she has made attempts to write... When I'm back at work on monday I am happy to get some picture symbols and create a picture communication board to help facilitate communication because she's starting to show us that she can point and indicate what she wants. This is an easy low-tech way to facilitate communication of her wants and needs. Communication boards can serve as a bridge (like a wheelchair) until she can speak again.
Praise God!

Katy said...

I am excited to hear news that Jan is making progress and getting about in the chair. What a milestone. It was great seeing Fede on Wednesday night. I am excited at what God is doing with Jan. Praise God... steps toward new songs to be sung.
Love and Blessings

Ret said...

WOW! That is exciting news! I wonder if the communication board Martha mentioned is anything like the kinds of things I sometimes make at work using the Boardmaker program.
Glad to know you're getting around! *hugs* 'Ret

Ret said...

HI Jan! You might get a kick out of this video. I kid you not, sometimes when George and Berelli thought nobody else was home there were a couple times I actually overheard them sounding like two people speaking to eachother in Chinese!!
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1803171555042557911&q=funny

Lyne from Lindsay said...

Fede: what a beautiful writer you are. Your observations, questions, comments, they touch my soul. Your love for Jan and other people shines through.

Jan: I am thrilled to hear how much progress you are making. You have a steel will and when you put your mind to something, even this, it's as good as done. I am cheering you on. You go, girl!

Fede, Jan, family, friends, and supporters: I am grateful to you all for giving Jan such good care and love. I have been kept away by illness and circumstances. Lindsay seems so very far away from Toronto right now! But I am with all of you in prayer, and supporting you over here in other ways (looking after Jan's house, etc.). I look forward to my family getting healthy again and being able to come and hug you all, especially Jan. I love you, sister. Keep fighting! When God is with you, who can be against you?