The Flipside of Healthy Living

So, was at my doctor’s earlier this week. Just the normal female check up and all’s good on that front! But my doctor, who I’ve had for over a decade, glanced through her notes and realized she’d never gotten a Vitamin D level on me.

Well, we can fix that! So, off I traipsed to the lab three flights below and had some blood drawn. Pretty painless, even if I did have a student do it. (She did really well!)

The next day I get the call from Leslie – my doctor. “Your vitamin D levels are very low. I want you to start taking a supplement.”

A supplement? Well, a mega dose supplement. And in three months we check again. Now, I understand the need for Vitamin D. It helps the body absorb calcium and since no one wants to have rickety bones as we approach life around and after menopause, it’s important!

This is where it gets pretty nuts though. When you think about it. Once upon a time, we all lived outdoor a great deal and sunlight? Well, it helps the body with Vitamin D. (I think we absorb it through some aspect of sunlight. It’s all scientific stuff.) Then we moved indoors, but we still enjoyed getting out into the sunlight.

Then came skin cancer. And we all started using sunscreen or wearing multiple layers of clothing. So, we lost our Vitamin D connection.

Other good sources of Vitamin D? Evidently dairy products. Now, I love cheese. Really love cheese, but I gave it up for the most part as the battle of the bulge became more important than my love of cheese. Same thing with ice cream. (I’ve never been a huge milk fan, but even when I did drink milk, it was fat free.)

Because diabetes and heart disease runs in my family.

Sometimes, you can’t win for losing (…though I’m not terribly certain how the phrase works…) I tend to my weight and give up most dairy, because so much fat is in dairy. I don’t suntan because who needs skin spots?

My reward? A vitamin D count of 17. Evidently, the norm is around 50. (I know it can’t all be blamed on what I eat or don’t eat, or how much sun I get. I mean, I’m horrible with sunscreen and I walk my dog twice a day…face bare to the sky.) (I guess it isn’t enough.)

It seems that when one does one thing that is good for you, you get wacked by another thing. Such is life! At least I can take pills to help me boost my Vitamin D and that is better than skin cancer, or dealing with more heart difficulties.

And yes, I’ve had heart difficulties but it was electrical, not…not the rest of the long list of things that plague the heart. I take my cholesterol meds, I don’t eat bacon…or cheese…sigh.

What is next? They’ll discover that not eating bacon causes a deficiency of something else? Oh, and I’m getting a bone density test next week…who knows what that will reveal!


  1. Milk’s nasty. Okay, I know. Most people love milk. I’ve hated it ever since I was a kid. Hated being forced to drink that chalky stuff. Ugh!

    Fortunately, I love cheese. And yogurt.

    Don’t some leafy veggies like spinach or something like that, have lots of calcium? My muse is kicking my ass, so I don’t want to get sidetracked, but you might want to do the Google thing and see what other foods, besides cheese, have calcium. I bet there may be some tasty, and low fat alternatives to dairy.

  2. I am good with eating yogurt. Not a fan of spinach… When I googled it came up with a whole bunch of fatty fish. Great. Not a fatty fish fan. Do like fish…so I will look to eat more tuna from now on. And maybe catfish. My husband does a wonderful blackened catfish… Yummy!

    I never found milk all that wonderful…save when I’d been backpacking. Something about a brand new bag of oreos and whole milk, ice cold…after 10 days of eating de-hydrated packaged foods just worked!

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