Friday, May 14, 2010

D-lightful Sunshine

I moved here from the other side of the mountains, where it is sunny most of the time, and usually 5-10 degrees warmer in the spring and summer. I moved here because I have very fair skin. It burns easily and I sometimes get a rash and blisters when I’m out too long. I always loved it when it rained there because it cleaned the cars and roads, and made the air fragrant with the smell of dirt and grass. So, 17 years ago, I packed up and moved towards the clouds and rain. And I’ve been here ever since.

I’ve come to appreciate the sunshine a lot more since then. One problem with living here, though, is that I, and almost everyone else I know, have become vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D is absorbed through the skin when we spend at least 15 minutes a day exposed to the sunlight. About 6 years ago, in the middle of winter, I was feeling very tired and sleepy all the time. My doctor tested my vitamin D level, and it came back a 6. The “normal” range is somewhere between the 30’s and the 80’s. So, I’ve had to take daily supplements every since, as have most of my friends who’s vitamin D is low.

Recently, we’ve been treated to sunnier, warmer weather these past several days, in Seattle. When the sun comes out, the sun-deprived suddenly perk up like sunflowers! Sometimes it makes me long to move back over the mountains to the high desert, where I grew up, because I appreciate the sun more now that I don’t have it as much. But I’m sure if I moved back I would quickly regret it as my fair skin sizzled to a burnt crust.

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