Today marks a health milestone for me. On Jan. 5, I was hospitalized to have my gall bladder removed, because It was a problematic organ that earlier sent me to the Queen’s Medical Center for two weeks last August.

So: I’m on the road to recovery, but not without challenges. In August, I left the hospital with a walker, a device that has given me support in walking. Post-surgery after the bladder removal, I still rely on the walker to navigate treks to the doctor, the post office, Longs, and a few nighttime plays.

But I’ve been very fortunate the past few weeks.

I signed up for interim physical therapy to strengthen my legs. Learned some worthy exercises that are doable at home.

I’ve not experienced what my from friends who had their gall bladders removed warned me about: the runs and/or constipation.

I’ve lost weight during hospitalization, to 186 lbs; weighed myself this morning, and I was 179. At my heaviest, I was 225.

My diet was rigid, initially — beef and/or chicken broth with soda crackers for a few days after surgery. I’ve been slowly adjusting and graduating to real food in the past month:

— Breakfast now includes oatmeal, toast, frozen waffles, croissants, naan bread, with margarine, jelly, jams or syrups.

— Lunch includes canned veggie or chicken soups, turkey or tuna sandwiches, and sushi. Occasionally, saimin.

— Dinner includes rice, chazuke, grilled salmon, pasta, salads, corn, beets, udon, and cheated once with tempura.

— Dessert includes Jell-O, pineapple slices, mandarin oranges, and – a recent treat – Haulolo (a combo of haupia with kulolo).

–Snacks include apple sauce (included seasoned versions with other fruit), bananas, apples, oranges, pears, wheat thins.

I still can’t have beef, milk products like ice cream, yogurt, fried foods like fried chicken, processed food like hot dogs and Vienna sausages, fatty food like bacon and Spam. And bakery desserts.

Yes, I miss Zippy’s fried chicken, and apple fritters, and Spam musubi,

Perhaps someday, but not yet. Have an appointment with my primary physician this week, and with my surgeon in two weeks, so I have lots to discuss.

To those who sent wellness thoughts and prayers my way, mahalo plenty.

So the journey continues. Sharing my experience to perhaps help others in the same boat. Recovery is a day-by-day process, so thanks for making my days worth living for.


Three months after I was hospitalized in Queen’s — admitted Aug. 10, released Aug. 19 — I celebrated my belated birthday (’twas on Aug. 13, while I was in treatment for health issues) last night at Roy’s Restaurant in Hawaii Kai.

The birthday dude, left, with Vi, John, Jack and Cha, at Roy’s.

Our Soldier Boy nephew John Rhoades is visiting from his Army chores at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, so timing was perfect and he joined Vi and me and our longtime pals, Jack and Cha Thompson, for a festive dinner with Roy’s providing sushi and braised ribs pupu, and each of us selected our own entrees.

The Roy’s outing was the first “fine dining” endeavor, as I continue my recovery process. and it was joyous treat.


In my life, I cannot have enough notecards to suit various needs of expression.

Lately, due to an unexpected illness, I value thank you cards (handmade by moi, whenever there’s time) to send to a colleague or even a stranger, to say thanks.

This latest creation is a variation of something I made several years ago, and for lack of a bright idea now, decided to “recycle” with a limited new version. This always gets a warm giggle from recipients.

Tells me that there’s always a need for a jar of thank-yous.


You might recall that when I was in Queen’s Medical Center two weeks ago, I surmised that a hospital was like a hotel for those with broken souls.

Now at home in recovery mode, this broken soul has an updated observation: Recovery life is like a movie, or perhaps a documentary. It’s not quite a lights-camera-action motif, but there are moments that could be mildly cinematic.

First, I must share that I finally had a haircut yesterday after being tardy for more than two sweeks. You know you need a trim when there’s far too much growth above the fenders, and the body wave appointments that my hair resembled a weed patch like the overgrown grass at any city intersection.

So Lucil obliged with a trim, since my regular ‘dresser Tootsie was not available. Oh, such bliss. It was a photo op that I neglected, so did a selfie upon returning home.

This would have been ample “news” for the day, but overnight, I had another “moment.” At around 2 a.m., I was getting off the bed to go to pee (man, I go three times or so a night, with a walker to boot), when I rolled off the bed (we don’t have hospital guard rails) and landed flat on my face and shoulder, luckily not squishing a network of tubes and bags collecting drips from the abscess from my liver and my gall bladder, the reason I was hospitalized.

Ouch! In retrospect, I thought of the TV commercial where the lady fell at the foot of the stairs and could not adequately yell for help.

Luckily, my wife Vi heard the noise when I slid onto the floor in the darkness, and it did take a minute or so for me to catch my bearings and attempt to lift myself up. But I couldn’t; I had no strength to stand up, so Vi had to help lift me onto the side of the bed, so I could breathe and recover to properly head to the bathroom.

When I was done, Vi brought me an ice pack to place on my face to minimize bruising, if any.

Now, this nocturnal “action” clearly was a bigger issue than a haircut, and part of this life-as-movie anecdote. Could’ve made this a “camera” moment, but the iPhone was elsewhere recharging. It is what it is.

Recovery requires patience, since everything is in go-slow mode. Take your time on the walker, to avoid falls. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, since there’s a handful of meds to take morning, noon and night.  Boring, but again, it is what it is. Oh, there are twice-a-day draining of those unfashionable drip collectors to measure and document the oozes from my liver and gladder. Somewhat disgusting, but I’ll have these procedures till the well runs dry. Meaning pau drip, pau wearing these bags and cords.

My daily routine is, alas, routine. After I awaken, I have a cup of coffee, read the morning paper and USA Today, and watch “Today” and switch to CNN for an overview of the world. The Maui wildfires are still on the agenda, and Idalia’s wind and water fury in Florida and the East Coast grab the headlines.

Breakfast Is unexciting: English muffin, croissant, or oatmeal, with sliced bananas or cubed watermelon (a favorite, when I was in Queen’s).

Of course, news is routine, too … there’s the daily update on Trump’s litany of court cases and his customary “I am innocent” laments, between the real news, like another attack in Ukraine.

This leisurely sked enables me to resort to one of my hobbies, making hand-made notecards, to write thank-you’s for courtesies and kindnesses from friends. Plus, I try to create new versions of my aloha shirt cards.

Retirement enables time to reflect on good gestures and kind people. I spent some time yesterday writing gift donations to my favorite theater groups to mail today, since the fall season and special shows are in the offing in the days, weeks and months ahead. While Maui’s victims are needy and need kokua, global donors have responded, so we can’t forget the arts groups here that need support, too.

And have hand-written messages on self-made cards to a batch of wonderful friends who’ve offered comfort and warm support over the past weeks.

Admittedly, none of the aforementioned would be worthy of  the stuff of movies, but in my imagined reel world, this is the nature of the momentum and mundane doings during  my recovery.

I should add that I’ve had some Zoom doctor visits, with a few more forthcoming, and a few in-office doc  visits, too, along with clinic visits and in-hospital testing. The beat goes on.

And I trust I won’t fall of the bed again. That would be a nightmare…

Further, did you get the last preventive shot at CVS Longs? If and when you do, you’ll receive a $5 coupon for future use when you spend $20.  A good deal. …

So this rambling movie in my mind still is not over. Hey, films are not done in a day or two…

And that’s Show Biz. …


Nature always has a way of calming the soul.

So I had these tiny clip-art images of trees, rivers, and the countryside.

Nope, not local stuff, but nonetheless green and keen, though somewhat deliberately muted.

Enough here for me to put together a bunch of cards.

The mood fit my current status, of recovering from an illness.

Serene comes to mind.