Friday, May 31, 2013

Baking In The Sun...

...beats getting broiled by radiation treatment. Since I had extensive and very strong radiation treatments for cancer, I am not supposed to get a lot of sun. Yet, there I was out there, in my yard, for about the last hour with no shirt on and soaking in the rays. Why would I do that after the chemo and radiation docs told me to limit my exposure to the sun. It started with very achy joints quite reminiscent of Lyme Disease symptoms but was later diagnosed as probably due to low levels of vitamin D. For the past year or so, I have been repeatedly diagnosed with low vitamin D even though I take vitamin D supplements. The only thing I can figure is that happened because I have been staying out of the sun. While I don't look like a vampire right now, had you seen me over the winter you my have thought I was one of the paler undead. Usually, even over winter, my face and arms had some color. Well, that was just not so during the past two winters. 

Anyway, I took care of that by taking vitamin D supplements. First I took 1,000 units a day, then 2,000, then 3,000 up to 4,000. After a couple of months or so my vitamin D level was just under normal and finally after some additional weeks it hit normal. I don't know if it usually takes that long to get back to normal and I am the first to admit I did not always take the vitamin D supplement every day but did take them at least 4 days per week. Once back to normal, I started taking only a multi-vitamin with vitamin D and a calcium supplement also with vitamin D and again, I don't do it religiously either but do take them most days. I figured all that would be enough to maintain the levels. I was wrong since a doc just told me again, a couple of days ago, that my vitamin D levels are low. She recommended 3,000 units per day. 
 
I will take what she told me to take once I get to the pharmacy sometime this weekend but I want to also try something else to boost the level of D in my system. So, today, while doing some watering and weeding in the garden, I decided to strip off the shirt and take in some rays. I have to admit, it felt like I was baking on my shoulders and upper back. Usually, throughout my adult years, I never got all that much sun other than on my head, face and arms. I am not and never was much of a sun worshipper, at least ever since I had sun poisoning (I had second degree burns with a lot of blistering) and poison ivy (or oak or sumac) at the same time back in summer camp. I learned my lesson - more or less. I got badly burned on a trip to the beach or three after that and also a few times while out fishing but those burns were almost all before they came out with good sunscreen years ago. As for my legs, they usually look like milk. So, as I said, what I got today made me feel like I was baking or maybe even almost sizzling like bacon. It felt good considering I have gotten very little sun over just about all of the past two years, so good that maybe I will even start wearing shorts for an hour or two a day. I am hopeful that the exposure is going to help boost my vitamin D levels without putting me at risk for any foul shit. Time will tell.
 
I guess there was another reason the sun's rays felt so hot today. We have a temp in the 80s already at 11AM. Pretty unusual around here this early in the year.  I cannot say with any certainty what was the exact temperature when I was out doing yard work but I am guessing in the low to mid eighties. When I checked online weather services, I saw they evidently were also guessing. Bing.com weather said it was 87 degrees, Weather.com said it was 95 degrees, Wundergroud.com said 90.3 (for the next village over), Accuweather.com said 82 (which I immediately dismissed once I saw that the National Weather Service said the same thing), The weathernetwork.com said it was 28 degrees C which is 82.4 degrees Fahrenheit in the USA (could be they are darned commies since they used Celsius and also were touting president Obama's recent "emotional" visit to OK), WeatherBug.com said it was 90, MSN weather said it was 86. Twittering thermometers Batman, is it Global Warming!

I decided to take an average of all of the above, including the National Weather Service's 82 and I came up with an average temperature of about 86.84 degrees. That is pretty frigging hot for May in NY and thus why I felt nicely baked. Maybe I'll get a bit more of a good baking tomorrow, one can hope.

All the best,
Glenn B
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