Thursday, December 21, 2006
Shortest Day - Longest Night of the Year
On this Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere, I'm still thinking about sunlight and the lack thereof. The sunlamp came a few days ago, and it's felt good to sit with it, even though it's only for 3 minutes to start. I exposed my face for two days, and today I think I'll do my legs. Skin everywhere on our bodies can take in that sunlight to make the Vitamin D.
Suddenly, it seems that something on my mind is everywhere. Newsweek had an article about Vitamin D, the "Sunshine Vitamin," two weeks ago, but I just read it this week. Also, thinking about the comment made by Carol in Ohio about Vitamin D and osteoporosis - thanks, Carol! - I looked at my calcium supplement, and found that it actually includes Vitamin D as well as the calcium. And I heard an amazing story during the church coffee hour on Sunday from the aunt of a friend. Now retired, she participated in a study on osteoporosis a few years ago. She would go in for blood tests every two weeks, and during one two week span in the winter, she went to Florida. When she came back, her Vitamin D level had jumped so much that the techs asked her what she had been up to. So, there you have it. Vitamin D can be good for bones, good for cancer prevention, and good to slow the spread of cancers we already have. Of course, the ideal levels haven't been set, and like many things, there's probably potential to overdo it with supplements.
In any event, I'll continue to get a few UV-B rays each day with the new sunlamp, and hope that my body is making all of the Vitamin D it needs, and hopefullly, keeping the cancer cells at bay.
My last post, on sunlight, also generated some ideas about language for a medical disclaimer from Teresa - thanks, Teresa! - and I think I've pasted it into my sidebar, although it hasn't appeared yet. Although I do like "translating" material for others once I've understood it, I really don't want anyone to think I'm giving medical advice. Even if I had medical training, which I don't, it's so clear that everyone's experience with illness is unique, and that's why medical experts need years of training to be able to give us medical advice.
And, finally, all of this thinking about sunlight led me to really notice what the sunshine looks like these days in Massachusetts, so I took some photos two days ago, when the sun was actually shining. The angle of the sun was so oblique that it looked like the end of the day at 2:00 p.m. I've posted one photo that Patty took of me standing next to a New England stone wall, with a neighbor's small pond in the distance, and one of my water garden, with a fish or two visible along with the sharp reflection. I would have put the photos at the end, but this is my first photo attempt, and blogger chose the spot!
Happy Solstice to all! I celebrate that after today, the light will be returning, slowly at first, but returning.