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January 4th, 2011

vitamin D and me

Both my rheumatologist and my internist's office called me today because my vitamin D level was low on last week's bloodwork. The rheumatologist's nurse said, "Your level is a bit low, so you should take a supplement." I finally dragged the info out of her after three tries of, "How low?" The fact that I had to work so hard to get factual information irritated me to no end. I didn't ask how much I should take. I didn't expect I would get any useful recommendations after that kind of interaction. I normally take 2,000 IU but have been off supplements for a few weeks. During that time I happened to experience a marked change in mood (depression, anxiety/panic/anger), and fatigue. That is a self-feeding cycle; and this week I filled the vitamin box to see what happens. I am doing somewhat better, at least getting things done and having less obsessive thought patterns.

The internist's office was a lot more forthcoming with info. The internist actually called in a prescription for vitamin D: 50,000 IU/day for one month. Wow! That is a lot of vitamin D! I thought the receptionist was reading it incorrectly and perhaps meant 5,000 IU. When I checked with the pharmacist, he said that it really is 50,000. Perhaps I do not really know what it is like to feel well... I did tell someone the other day that depression has pretty much been a norm in my life for a long time. That is a very sad thing to have said. Much of it is situational; but there are also studies linking vitamin D deficiency and mental health problems as well as asthma, autoimmune disorders, chronic fatigue, and diabetes. I could comment on this at some length, but I don't quite have the energy or presence of mind right now. At some point I will come back to it. For now I will just say that I am somewhat torn between skepticism and intrigue. I will be interested to see how I feel in a few weeks.

improvements in sleep apnea machines

I got a present of sorts today. In 2001 I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, and I started using a machine at night that helps keep my airways open when I sleep by blowing air into my nose all night. This is called continuous positive air pressure (CPAP). I have had the same machine since that time and it was serviced once in 2004. While kl1964 was here, his machine bit the dust and he got a new one. He was telling me the new machines are smaller, and I got jealous. He made a joke that if I just broke my machine I could have a new one.

A few weeks ago, my respiratory therapy company called and said that I was eligible for a new machine since it had been five years since I had gotten it. So today I got my new machine. It is quite different from the old one. I can't say that it is lighter, but it is more space-efficient and I can adjust the heat on the humidifier to my liking. I'll have my first nap with it tonight.


Sarah Blake LaRose
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