Surgery canceled

August 14, 2018

David’s shoulder replacement surgery was scheduled for tomorrow, August 15, at Straub Clinic.  He attended three pre-op sessions with the nurse, anesthesiologist, and surgeon last Thursday.  But, on Saturday, he received a letter from MDX-Hawaii, stating that our insurance company, Humana HMO, would not cover the surgery, because Medicare guidelines and protocol had not been followed.  Straub Clinic was supposed to show proof that physical therapy, rehab, and medication had failed to cure David’s condition.  In fact, he never had any of that stuff done, except for physical therapy more than ten years ago.

David called Straub Clinic on Monday and told them that he has decided not to file an appeal with Humana.  He will accept their decision to not cover the surgery.  Surgery on his shoulder has been canceled.

David has had good results from his two knee replacement surgeries, both performed at Straub Clinic in 2015 and 2016.  He hesitates to have shoulder replacement surgery at this time.

David did some yard work on Saturday and Sunday, taking brief breaks to rest his back.  He did a pretty good job, considering he has crippling arthritis.  He likes being physically active, which is why he goes to the gym every night to exercise.

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Retrospective of captured animals

August 12, 2018

Today, I would like to do a retrospective of the captured animals David and I have seen over the years.  People sometimes say it is cruel to capture animals, but I have heard that these animals live a lot longer than animals in the wild.  So, here is a compilation of photos I have taken.

Ueno Zoo, Tokyo, Japan (2008):

Polar Bears:

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Ocean Park, Hong Kong (2010):

Giant Panda:

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Sea horses:

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Hilton Waikoloa Resort, the Big Island of Hawaii (2011):

David kissing a dolphin:

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Flamingos:

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India (2012):

David and I riding an elephant (near Jaipur, India):

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David riding a camel (on the way to Agra, India):

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Gator Park, Florida (2013):

Me holding a baby alligator:

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David kissing a baby alligator:

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Waikiki Aquarium, Hawaii:

Hawaiian Monk Seals (2008):

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Fish at the Waikiki Aquarium, with me in the background, taking this photo (2016):

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We enjoyed seeing these animals around the world.  My cousins went on an African safari in Tanzania a few years ago, and they had a good time seeing wild life.  I don’t think David and I will ever go to Africa.   But, there is always the ability to google for information and look at photos on the internet.

Pre-op appointments

August 10, 2018

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Ganglion cyst, torn rotator cuff, and no cartilage between his bones.  Crippling arthritis.  David needs total shoulder replacement surgery.

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David went to three pre-op appointments at Straub Clinic yesterday.  The first session was with a nurse, the second with the anesthesiologist, and the third with his surgeon.  His shoulder replacement surgery is scheduled for next Wednesday, August 15.  He is expected to remain in the hospital for one night.  So, I probably will bring him home on Thursday.  Then, the fun will begin with a long period of therapy and rehab.  It’s not going to be fun.

Anyway, this will be his seventh surgery.  Been there, done that.  We all know what to expect.  Straub emailed him a video of the surgery.  I saw some of it on TV and, boy, it grossed me out.  Ugh.  Pretty darn gruesome.  Thank God, I am not a surgeon.  I can’t think of a worse way to make a living.  Ugh.

I would rather push paper in a law office than work in a hospital.  And, yet, like everything else, somebody has to do it.

This is an Incentive Spiro Meter that David received from his pre-op nurse yesterday.  He has to suck the tube 10 times 3 times a day.  This will increase his lung power prior to surgery and 14 days after surgery.

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Broken bones

August 8, 2018

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Photo of me, Maria, Julia and Rylan on Mother’s Day 2018 at my home.

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My 10 year old granddaughter, Julia, fell on her ankle at soccer practice last week and broke it.  She now wears a walking boot and uses crutches to get around.  Unfortunately, she started the new school year this week.  No fun being a cripple.

During the 1970s, David broke his wrist when he tripped over a speed bump. He had to wear a cast, stretching from his wrist up to his shoulder.  After a few weeks, the doctor cut the cast off at his elbow.  Finally, his wrist healed, and the rest of the cast was removed.

I have tripped and fallen several times, but have never broken anything.  The last time I fell, I was walking towards a restaurant in 2016.  My toes hit the curb, and I fell forward, breaking the fall with my hands.  There I lay with the side of my face on the ground.  David saw me lying there and yelled, “What happened?  Did you faint from lack of food?”  (I had not eaten breakfast.)  Fortunately, I didn’t break any bones and only had a few bloody spots on my knees and legs.  David and another man pulled me up, and we walked into the restaurant for lunch.

I guess it helps to have normal bone density and a layer of fat to cushion your body when you fall.  I am really lucky to have both.

Ballet Hawaii: “Sleeping Beauty”

August 6, 2018

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David and I saw the Ballet Hawaii production of “Sleeping Beauty” at the Blaisdell Concert Hall yesterday.  Though we were familiar with Tchaikovsky’s music, this was the first time we saw the actual ballet.  It was an outstanding performance.

The dancers consisted of students from Ballet Hawaii and professional dancers from the mainland.  There was no orchestra.  The music was on a CD.

The plot begins at Princess Aurora’s christening, when an evil fairy casts a spell and predicts that the princess will prick her finger at age 16 and die.  A good fairy intervenes and says that the princess will not die, she will fall asleep.  She will only awaken when she is kissed by a prince.  And that’s exactly what happens.  The ballet ends with their wedding.

We had such a good time.  David and I would love to attend more classical ballets in the future.

These are photos I took of the Blaisdell Concert Hall and the palm trees yesterday:

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And this is what the lobby looked like during intermission:

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We sat in the balcony.  The view was great, but going up and down the stairs killed us.  David almost landed on his butt when he stumbled going downstairs after the performance.  This is the stage:

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Hiking in the Canadian Rockies

August 4, 2018

Emerald Lake, Yoho National Park, British Columbia:

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Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta:

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Peyto Lake, Banff National Park.  That’s Lisa in the photo:

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Johnston Canyon Ink Potts, Banff:

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Whistlers Summit, Jasper National Park:

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Lisa sent me some photos of her week long trip to the Canadian Rockies last month.  Her photos were taken with her iPhone8, and they are bright, colorful and clear.  So incredibly beautiful.

She travels alone and is fearless like me.  Remember, I traveled around the world by myself.  I always felt that if you wait for somebody to accompany you, you will wait forever and never travel at all.  Hey, just get up and fly like a bird.  Who needs a partner?

She flew into Calgary, rented a car, hiked a bit, and then she flew out of Calgary to return home.  During her trip, she did not pitch a tent.  She rented Air B and B along the trail for $23 per night.  Really cheap.

We told her about the danger of hiking alone especially with bears mauling hikers.  She said that she saw a bear in Canada, but she was driving her car at the time.  There were always people milling about, so she was not absolutely alone.  In fact, a stranger photographed her for one of the photos above.

This month, she is traveling to Lake Tahoe.  Next month, she will be in Alaska.

Okinawan art and the museum cafe

August 2, 2018

David and I drove to the Honolulu Museum of Art to take advantage of their free admission on the first Wednesday of the month.  We wanted to view their Okinawan Art Exhibit, which will end on September 23.  We also wanted to have our lunch at the Museum Café.

The Honolulu Museum has an extensive collection of Okinawan art, dating back to the Ryukyu Kingdom (1429-1879).  This kingdom united numerous islands between Japan and China.  Okinawa is now part of Japan.  The United States has a military base in Okinawa.

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This particular exhibit is titled “Lacquer and Clay.”  Some textiles are also included.  Some of these ceramic pieces were recreated by artist Kobashigawa Eisho (1909-1978).

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David and I had lunch at the Museum Café:

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David ordered the pasta with chicken:

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I ordered the grilled shrimp salad:

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We had a wonderful time at the Honolulu Museum of Art and Café.

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If it’s not fun, then quit

July 31, 2018

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People often ask me why I blog.  I tell them I blog, because it’s fun.  And for no other reason but that.  Once it becomes a chore, I will stop blogging and delete the whole darn thing.

It’s the same with playing the violin.  It used to be fun, but I stopped playing, because it was such a drag.  I sold my two violins to other students in 1992.

As for golfing, David and I tried it out, but we ended up donating our clubs to Goodwill in 2014.

I guess it also applies to life in general.  If I get tired of living, I’ll just die.  Right now, I am 72 years old and have been married for 38 years.  I must be doing something right, because I am not dead, and I am not divorced or widowed.

Have fun, everybody.  Enjoy your life.

Hawaiian Memorial Park

July 29, 2018

David’s mother died in 2001, and his father died in 2003.  They were interred in Hawaiian Memorial Park, overlooking Kaneohe Bay.  Their burial ceremonies were held in a gazebo.  It’s a lovely area with a brook nearby:

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David’s sister, Wanda, died in 2007, and her boyfriend, Robert, died in 2017.  Before he died, Robert said, “Please bury me next to my honey.  Please do this for me.”  How could I deny his request?  So, we buried Robert next to his honey, Wanda, in June of this year.  They are forever joined together:

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In 1960, my father bought plots at Hawaiian Memorial Park for me and some of my siblings.  It was very nice of my father to do this for us.  I was given two plots.  Wanda and Robert are buried in one, and David and I will be buried in the plot next to theirs.  Some of my siblings will be buried in the same vicinity unless they decide to sell their plots to other people.  My parents and the rest of the family are interred in Diamond Head Memorial Park on the other side of the island.

It was a pleasant drive through Hawaiian Memorial Park last Friday.  The cemetery is well maintained, peaceful, and tranquil.

Violin lessons then and now

July 27, 2018

My friend, Diane, told me that she is now taking violin lessons here in Hawaii.  She pays her teacher $30.00 for 30 minutes of lesson time, and she takes lessons every two weeks.  That amounts to $60.00 per month.  She hopes to join an orchestra, comprised of amateurs.

I last took violin lessons in 1979 and paid my teacher $9.00 for 30 minutes.  I thought that was high back then.

This is a photo of me at age 31 in 1977, when I used to play Balkan folk music with a band that accompanied folk dancers at private parties and shopping centers.  My mother sewed my costume.  I met my husband, David, during music rehearsal.  He played the clarinet.

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I sold my two violins in 1992 and have no intention of ever resuming my musical life.  Been there, done that.  I never was any good, and I prefer to listen rather than perform.