Weekly Photo Challenge: Culture 4

This week’s photo challenge had me exploring major emotions. Why?

First, my culture is not one culture. I live in a multicultural state and my family is bicultural. The culture where I grew up certainly influences me still. Sometimes the culture of my past clashes with where I am now. The biggest clash is related to religion. Religion is a big part of culture when you grow up in a rural community in the southern part of the United States.

I still have great faith in the Holy Trinity which is largely influenced by my childhood, but I also have come to admire religious leaders of other faiths. I believe there is more than one path to God.

Rabbi Albert L. Lewis said, “Why Tree’s….Why not one prefect tree for the whole earth?” He went on to explain there are oaks and elms, etc. Then he said, “Many trees, the branches all leading to God.” He explained that hate is wrongly engaged in the name of religion for all religions teach, “Honor thy neighbor!”

I love what HH the 14th Dalai Lama said about different religions, “I always believe that it is much better to have a variety of religions, a variety of philosophies, rather than one single religion or philosophy. This is necessary because of the different mental dispositions of each human being. Each religion has certain unique ideas or techniques, and learning about them can only enrich one’s own faith.”

I certainly do not think it is my place to tell you what your path should be. I know Jesus preached love and understanding. I believe that religion is a very personal thing. I think it is important to cultivate a spirit of aloha for all.

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.