Project Gratitude and Joining the Oxygen Mask Project 11

I joined project gratitude last January and I am still grateful for many things including the fact that I can visit this beautiful place as often as I want.

This year I have been posting less and my posts have gotten further apart. I have not been commenting on other blogs as much either, as I am sure my blogging friends have noticed.

I have a confession. I have known about the oxygen mask project for a while, but I have been too busy participating in putting my oxygen mask on to write the blog post. Then I saw Spectrummy Mummy’s post, Breathing Freely after she mentioned it on Twitter and I realized that I need to write the post.

Many of you know that I fell last May and had a lumbar compression fracture as a result and later learned that my osteopenia has developed into osteoporosis. My daughter had setbacks related to prior bullying this past year too. I began to lose my positive outlook as a result.

I have always exercised and spent time in nature although in recent years I have not exercised as regularly as I should. My injury prevented me from doing this when I needed an outlet the most. Therefore, I am grateful that I am able to take long walks with my dogs again even if I now also take one of my walking poles for added balance to prevent falling when my dogs pull.

I also found myself yearning to visit the Buddhist temple, Byodo-In Temple. It is one of my favorite places on the island, but I did not feel up to going until recently.


It is a beautiful place to visit and one that I have visited many times. Yet, I have been away for four years. The temple, like me is older and needs some work, but it appears that they are doing the needed work and the beauty is still present.

The koi in the pond have aged and it appears some have died, but the pond has young koi now so I assume they recently restocked. Some of older koi have sores, but even they are still pretty. I hope the owners will keep the population of the koi smaller to keep them healthy.

The wild peacocks were missing, but black swans seem to have taken their place.

I am honoring my spirit and love of nature by taking pictures and by reconnecting with places on Oahu that I fell in love with years ago, but that I have not visited recently because like too many moms I have been focusing on my children when I was not working.

I am even noticing views I might not have paid much attention to in years past like the back side of the temple.

Yes, I am joining the oxygen mask project and trying to remember to take care of myself first to have more energy and a healthier spirit to take care of others. I hope you will join too if you have not already.

Injury Update 14

I fell in May after, my eighty pound Golden charged at me causing me to lose my balance and go into a spinning fall off a concrete walkway in our backyard onto the mango tree roots. This caused me to have a L-1 compression fracture of my lumbar spine and have to wear a brace.   

It has been over twelve weeks and in theory active rehabilitation is next. However, little things keep complicating my recovery like small puddles of water on the floor that caused me to slip yesterday.  

I am grateful that I only slipped and did not fall, but that is only because I slide into the bathroom counter where I was able to get my balance. I am grateful for that counter! I am also grateful that I have things to gradually help me with my recovery like walking poles and my exercise ball.    

Unfortunately, a recent bone density study revealed I also have osteoporosis and this is also complicating my recovery. I will see the endocrinologist in October to discuss my options for this and in the meanwhile I am trying to avoid my one vice, Diet Pepsi and continue taking my calcium with vitamin D.  

My doctor wants me to talk to the neurosurgeon about possible surgery, but I am not inclined to do this for several reasons. First I am a big chicken when it comes to my back. No epidural for me with either delivery! Second, my brother had an unexpected complication from his surgery in May and given that one of the complications of any spinal surgery is paralysis, I am not inclined to risk it. I do not have nerve damage, another thing for which I am grateful. I would rather take my chances with a slower recovery time than with a surgery that might make me permanently worse.

The only real downside is that back spasms have prevented me from actively promoting my novel, from visiting my brother who lives far away and from participating in other activities. My novel sold well after my book signing, but I have not been able to do another signing or schedule any events because I cannot handle sitting for long unless I have a high-backed chair with armrests.  

I have also curtailed some Internet activities to make time for my exercises and to be available to transport my children to and from various activities, so now you know why I am commenting less.

The articles below are just more information about compression fractures and osteoporosis. You do not need to read them to understand this post. I do advise my friends with children on the autism spectrum to find a way to get your children to consume calcium and vitamin D if they cannot drink milk. Bone density is complete by age thirty. I found out I had osteopenia, lower than normal bone density, when I was in my thirties. I have taken calcium and vitamin D ever since then, yet I still developed osteoporosis despite trying to remain active.

Lumbar Compression Fracture.

Maryland Spine Center – Thoracic Compression Fractures.

Fractures of the Thoracic and Lumbar Spine – Your Orthopaedic Connection – AAOS.

Osteoporosis Slideshow – What Is Osteoporosis and How Do You Treat It? – page 1.

Diseases of Bone – Bone Health and Osteoporosis – NCBI Bookshelf.