It is time for a more thorough update on Lea. I have received several emails in the last two weeks asking about how she is doing ( does the full moon have anything to do with when the inquiries arrive, or is that happenstance?)

Lea seems to be doing better, recovering from her fall at Thanksgiving in which she broke her right hip. At her first visit to the hip surgeon, on Jan 8, the x-ray showed that her femur had collapsed slightly into the hip socket, and the heads of the screws, which were originally up tight against the femur bone, are now extended out slightly, leaving a gap that could trap muscle tissue and cause problems later on.

Her most recent visit, Jan 29, showed another 1/16th inch compression, which makes her right leg shorter than the left. We go back Feb 22 to see if the compression has ended, or if the fracture has stabilized. If it doesn’t stop compressing, it may require a total hip replacement. We would not be happy, if that is the result, but have put it in the Lord’s hand, because we know that we are very involved in working His plan.

In any case, her pain level from the fracture has greatly reduced recently, and she is taking less pain medication, which is letting her come back out of the drug induced stupor it causes. She was taking four doses a day of the narcotic Delaudid, but she has reduced that to two doses a day, most days. She keeps herself right at the maximum pain level she can tolerate. The pain med, of course, also clouds her mental processes, so any time she can reduce it, the better she can think.

It is delightful to be able to see her bubbly personality coming back! I actually got choked up at bible study two or three weeks ago because she was, for the first time in a long time, lucid enough to give some very moving testimony of her experiences. On the days she has to have more pain killer, I do the best I can to care for her, knowing that a better day is coming.

Even though she is still using a walker to get around, I work very hard at trying to keep her mind active, by taking her shopping, going out to eat (where she has to read menus and make choices), and any activity that makes her use her mind. I haven’t been able to get her back into the sudoku puzzles she was working before she broke her hip, but that will come with time.

She really enjoys church, and has started transcribing notes of the bible-based sermons delivered by our pastor, Bill Barley ( www.livingstones.us). We are becoming quite attached to our church family, which makes it even harder to think about returning to the mainland. She enjoys the weekly bible study at Link’s house, as well, and has formed a real attachment to several of the couples that are active in the church.

She has always loved to cook, and is now starting to feel well enough that she can cook one meal a day . . . usually dinner, since that is about the only time of day the majority of Link’s busy family gets together during the week, and she takes about all day to plan and prepare that one meal. When she feels well enough to back off her pain killers, she is able to think more clearly, she can plan two or three meals/days ahead. That makes shopping really fun for her, and it’s great great therapy, as well.

She can’t go up the stairs to the kitcfhen at Link’s house, so I gave her an electric skillet for Christmas, and she cooks meals under the pai-pai (grass roofed hut with no sides, used as an outdoor eatin’ place), next to the pool. I just run up and down the stairs, I just run up and down the stairs to get food, cutting boards, knives, spices, I just run up and down the stairs, napkins, bowls, plates, I just run up and down the stairs, this spice, that spoon, that serving bowl, as she prepares the meal for the family. I just run up and down the stairs making side dishes, and when she needs something else I just run up and down the stairs.   🙂

I try to take her on sightseeing trips, but she really gets quite uncomfortable in a fairly short time. I took her up the coast about 10 days ago. We watched whales jumping up out of the water as the cows taught their calves various skills. Then we went on up the coast a bit to the shipping harbor for this side of the island to see the boats and whale activity in that area. It was great fun, but by the time we got back she was exhausted and in great pain.

It took two days of almost total rest (sleep) for her to catch up. She gets a deep, dull, ache in her hip and upper leg that just won’t go away quickly. She has a difficult time even sitting up to watch TV, so we don’t do much of that, either. Sleep seems to be her escape from pain, which is better than having her taking so much narcotic to relieve it. Although I wish she could spend more time out of bed, I am grateful that she can manage her pain though sleep, and back off on the drugs. She is SO strong! Glory to God for continuing to work in her recovery!

Our youngest granddaughter, age 15 (16 in March), has spent a lot of time with Lea, getting her involved in working puzzles, playing cards, watching an occasional movie, and just talking and laughing together. It has been great therapy for Lea, and a wonderful blessing, too. Lea really enjoys re-bonding with our granddaughters and it has been tremendously uplifting for her.

I don’t even like to think about what it will be like when we leave here and return to the mainland. She is going to miss them tremendously. The older granddaughter, however, spends very little time with us. Now seventeen, she is at the beginning of her adult life, and has much higher priorities. (Remember those days when you would find ANY excuse not to be with your parents?) When she is with grandmom, however, she is just as sweet as you could hope for. She comes to grandmom for advice, and then flitters away to do those things you do at seventeen, like consulting with another teen female about “all the things that are important” in life.   🙂  Life goes on, right? Have a blessed day.

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