Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Lot Of Numbers For Joy

My first sighting of a beautiful Pipevine Swallowtail 4/26/13

In 14 days I'm going to 61 years old. I don't feel 61, but maybe I just don't know what 61 feels like, and this is it. My bones are 61 years old, and they feel it. Mostly in my stupid arthritic neck which drives me a little bit crazy 24/7. I guess there's no getting away from the ravages of degeneration. So maybe this is what 61 feels like.

Here's a cool story about the power of the sun on these old bones. In 2007 when Roger and I were still living up in cloudy Port Townsend, WA at latitude 48 degrees north, and missing the sun like 39 degree latitude junkies, I had my vitamin D levels tested. The normal range for Vitamin D is between 30-100. Mine was 13. THIRTEEN!! Yikes. And, of course, I had a bone density done and was diagnosed with osteoporosis. Holy shit, said I.

We left Port Townsend and moved back home to the sunnier climes of California. I started taking 400 mg of D3 everyday and spending more time in the sun. In 2009 we moved to Grass Valley where the sun is strong and relentless. I began a morning routine showering, and then drying off for 20 minutes on the deck in sunshine every sunny day. When I had my D level checked again in 2011, it had doubled to 26. Yes, that is still slightly below normal, but almost in range. The doctor asked me what I was doing in addition to my 400 mg of D, and I told her morning sunshine. She thought that was pretty impressive considering that it was winter and the angle of the sun is low. I also had a repeat bone density which showed me in the osteopenia range instead of osteoporosis. Yes, it was happy dance time.

Fast forward to March 2013 and I had my Vitamin D levels checked again. The results were 32.8. That's in the normal range. I'm still only taking 400 mg of D3 and still getting about 20 minutes of sunlight every morning. Imagine what that number would be if the level had been tested in the high angle sun of summer time.

I'm pretty delighted with these results. I'm shooting for 40 next time, but 32.8 at 61 in 14 days is a lot of numbers for joy!

15 comments:

  1. Seems to be the weekend for good numbers.

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  2. Heal thyself! That's what I'm talking about! It's a great story, and that is a spectacular butterfly.

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  3. Wonderful job of changing your numbers yourself. The price was right also. With all the emphasis the past few years on sun screen, D levels have decreased nation wide.
    Great job.

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  4. I love that your bones are getting stronger! Yay for the power of the sun.

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  5. Good for your numbers and bones. I visualize standing on your deck and drying with the sun and think what a gorgeous image. Also makes me envious because even though I live in the country, we live on a block of land with roads on three sides. There is no door I could go out and do that without one road or another able to see me... Maybe big tall fence is in order as it sounds like a healthy thing to do physically and emotionally ;)

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  6. Wow! So glad the problem was identified and that you are "normal" once again. Our Milwaukee daughter was advised to take Vitamin D supplements because of the dreary winters there.

    And an early HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Remember...even if you feel your age you never have to act your age.

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  7. Okay, I'm grading this post a "D", but that's a good thing!
    Congrats to you solar skin soaker.

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  8. Hey, fellow Taurean! I'll be 61 in 6 (count'em) days! One arthritic knee (probably from running marathons), but most of the rest is holding up pretty well so far. (Don't we sound like "old" people?)

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  9. Reaching into the sixties is a major life event. It is different, because mortality replaces future. For me the genetic plan unraveled. Only two years ago, I walked the Sonoma County Trail every day at dawn for 4 to 6 miles. Then one night I got a fever of 104 that lasted for three days. Everything unraveled---heart, this and that, the repeats of this and that and now a cancer scare. But, for all that, I use the extreme weakness of my energy to sit in the garden swing and look out at the pond, see koi swimming about, leaves unfold, flowers bud and bloom and feel the morning breeze bring the fragrances of warm Rosemary, lemon blossoms, honeysuckle, and sweet roses. Here I am in a still spot with all the trail unfolding before me, at peace, in the garden, accepting the change of seasons, thinking of you.

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  10. Yay! Sunshine is the best!

    When I was inexplicably tired a few years ago, my nurse practitioner recommended having my D level checked. It was 17. After taking supplemental D3 and being retested, my D level quickly shot up to 86, and the nurse practitioner recommended cutting down on the D supplement. I'm currently taking 2000 IU of D3 daily. That seems to be the standard supplemental D dosage this far north.

    This October I will turn 64 years old. In some ways, I feel better than I have ever felt. In other ways, I am definitely aware of the aging process. One of my most joyful and lively friends is 92 years old. She will be 93 in August!

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  11. It's been hard for me to accept not being young, but that's what the calendar says, and the mirror, too. Oh, yeah, and the knees. I'm sure there are benefits, other than the senior discounts, but I'm still looking.

    On the other hand, what a great thing it is that you can do a healthful thing by sitting in the sun!

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  12. I like those numbers!

    alan

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  13. I'm going for 60 in October. Arthritis is a constant companion; my hands and feet and elbows, mostly. Good on you for getting those numbers up in normal range! I love the idea of a shower and drying on the deck! I'd like to shower outdoors and dry myself outdoors, as well, but my neighbors would almost certainly have me charged with attempting to blind them.

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  14. yay!

    i'm only 5 years behind you, so my story is that birthdays don't matter much.

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  15. Virtual congratulatory HUG!

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