You’re invited to our Pity Party! Lea went to the hip surgeon yesterday (her birthday) for a status check, and it turns out that her hip has degenerated slightly again this month, collasping approximately another 1/16th of an inch. This is not a major amount, if it will just stop where it is. If it continues, however, it may require another surgery, and possibly a total hip replacement. The doctor doesn’t seem alarmed (but then why would he?), and wants us to come back February 22 for another x-ray checkup. 
 
He told us that she could travel back home right now, if she had to, but that she would be very uncomfortable in an airplane seat, and would probably suffer quite a bit of pain following the trip. He would prefer that she stay here, under his care, so he can complete her treatment. If healing catches up with the norm, she may be pronounced “healed” in a couple of months,. We are anticipating that our return to the mainland will be sometime early to mid-April.

I haven’t contacted the airline with this update as of yet, but will do so tomorrow to find out when Spring Break is, and when they will allow us to fly back. I also need to contact our doctor back in Noblesville to coordinate getting some lab tests done on Lea to make sure everything is still in balance. The surgeon here has agreed to order the tests once our doctor lets him know what is needed.

We continue fighting for insurance coverage. Her former employer discontinued their group insurance when they sold the company, moving current employees to another provider, leaving us with no coverage. We have made countless telephone calls, sent emails, etc., and have occasionally been told everything is now in order, just to find, when we go to pick up a prescription, that the insurance will not go through. It has been terribly frustrating for us, (and, quite expensive), and we have no one to turn to for assistance. We are orphans. We just continue to have faith that things are going to work out, and try to keep our chins up. You know, things could be a whole lot worse, and I try to keep that in mind when I am tempted to lose my patience.
 
Meanwhile, we try to enjoy ourselves as much as possible. This morning we awoke to broken clouds over the coast. It had rained for about 45 minutes at day break, and the clouds were dissipating. The islands had a rogue windstorm yesterday, with the wind blowing strongly from the south (very unusual). The seas where very choppy, with whitecaps everywhere you looked. We hadn’t seen anything like it since we’ve been here. Charter fishing and boat tours have largely been cancelled.  And, the forecast was for high seas again today.

We could hear the surf pounding unusually hard this morning, so Lea and I decided to drive south along the coast for breakfast, and to watch the amazing waves that pounded the shoreline. As we explored, we found a couple of new favorite spots for watching high surf. We took lots of pictures, and I am attaching a couple so you can see the fantastic colors in the ocean and the amazing surf (for this island).

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We’ve been out watching the humpback whales a couple of times. There are a couple of really good spots to see them at play. This corridor between where we are and Maui is the main channel where the cows birth their calves. Sometimes we see a cow-calf-“male escort” family, which is quite a thrill. Last Saturday night we had a luau for mom, on the church lawn. She is returning home as scheduled on February 1. I have attached a photo of Lea at the luau. Doesn’t she look great?

We had another earthquake today. This one was a 3.6, located about 35 miles south of here, out in the ocean about 15 miles. We didn’t feel it . . . probably because we aren’t as sensitized to them as the locals are.
 
Hope this finds everyone well. May God bless and keep you.

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