Sunshine

sunshineI am a self-described sun-safety girl. I wear sunscreen, a hat and avoid the mid-day sun like a mole. If I do need to be outside, I seek shade.

Imagine my surprise when I recently (medically) tested TOXIC for Vitamin D. Oh yes! I can almost see your jaw dropping to the ground. After all, what North Dakotan is EVER toxic for Vitamin D? Well, me, evidently. Sun-Safety Girl.

I had orally taken 3000 i.u of a Vitamin D 3 supplement throughout the bleak North Dakota winters for several years. (I thought I was only taking 2000 but I didn’t account for the 1000 in my multi-vitamin.) I had always ended the additional supplementation during the summer months but this year was different. I was experiencing a lot of symptoms that led me to believe I was deficient in Vitamin D.  When I had previously (last year) visited with my doctor she said she had quit testing for Vitamin D deficiency as everyone seemed to be deficient.

By July, I had been experiencing overwhelming lethargy for several weeks. I’m not just talking about being tired, I’m talking I couldn’t function. By early to mid-afternoon on most days, I was a zombie. If I was able to nap, I fell asleep within minutes. If I wasn’t able to nap, I could barely get my eyes to focus. I’m not exaggerating, this was very real.

It was a blessing and a curse to be so busy with Reiki energy/clients. I would feel amazing while I was working with them, but once my workday was finished, or sometimes even in-between clients, I wanted to collapse. Several times I worried I would fall asleep in the car, while driving home. THAT is the crushing tiredness I felt.

My body seemed to be constantly hot, too. I’m not talking about hormonal flushing/flashing, either. I’m talking about a constant internal thermometer that was several degrees higher than the norm.  Sleeping was incredibly difficult as, I imagine, my body felt like it had continual internal sunburn.

The days where I would get some sunshine were worse. It seemed to intensify the negative effects. I would find myself mumbling to my husband at 6:30, “I have to go to bed. Now.”  This didn’t happen often as I felt like I had to power through my tiredness. Of COURSE I did, right moms?

My brain was having issues, too. Foggy thinking, memory problems and impatience were common. My body had lower abdominal pain, muscle weakness, ringing in my ears, bloating and joint pain.

I couldn’t know that my body was feeling as if it had just spent all day in the summer sun, at the lake, in the water and without sunscreen. I just thought it was more menopause fun and games. After all, the symptoms are very similar.

Finally, at the end of August, I couldn’t take it anymore. I knew something was seriously wrong when I was thinking thoughts that were very unlike me. I emailed my doctor and said, “I know I’m deficient in Vitamin D, I just don’t know how much. Can you test me, please?” So she did. She not only tested me for Vitamin D but for thyroid, parathyroid, iron, ferritin, B-12, etc.

As a side note, during this time Susie and I would work (Reiki) on each other and Sus kept seeing lots of red, orange, yellow and a smidgen of blue and white colors being absorbed into my body. She kept saying I was assimilating the sun; I was becoming sunshine.  I was also experiencing “solar flares” (yes, just like the physical sun) which caused my body to run hotter at times. She saw a sun-like orb being absorbed into my solar plexus area.

Once I received my test results, I immediately stopped all forms of Vitamin D. Well, sort of. I still took my fish oil and ate copious amounts of organic eggs. I didn’t know, until writing this blog, that eggs and some fish oils contain Vita D. (Head slap) Good Christ. How much Vitamin D was I REALLY getting?!

Within two days of being off most forms of Vita D, I remember thinking, “Oh my God. I have patience (with my daughter) and I’m actually smiling and enjoying playing with her again instead of wishing I could go to bed. How long has it been like this?!”

It’s been a month now since I’ve severely reduced my consumption of Vitamin D and I am significantly less fatigued.  I am sleeping better and my body seems to be several degrees cooler at night. My brain fog has lifted slightly and my joints no longer ache. I seem to be able to make it through my client load without crumpling.

I’m by no means feeling like a spring chicken. I AM dealing with hormones (egads, that’s almost more scary than being Vitamin D toxic!), but I am much, much better.  When a gal in my gym class recently said, “You’re just like sunshine!” I smiled but muttered inside my head, “If you only knew the half of it, sistah. If you only knew.”