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randomtuesday

  • Look!  Keely made a new Random Tuesday button!
  • We were thrilled to usher in the college football season this weekend.  (My apologies to several of you.  I know you care not one whit.)  A great win for Georgia Tech on Saturday, and an exciting game between Boise State and Virginia Tech last night.  I have a bit of an affinity for Boise State, since we’ve played a couple of bowl games on their blue turf in recent years.
  • I just got off the phone with the intake coordinator for a program I’m beginning…tomorrow, apparently!  Intense dietary counseling, personal training, counseling, etc. with the goal of complete lifestyle change and a turnaround of my health and fitness.  And hopefully 100(+?) pounds gone.  I am exhilarated, excited, and so nervous my stomach’s doing flip-flops just from talking/typing about it.  I think this is where my obsessive nature is going to be focused for a while.
  • I promise not to turn this into a health and fitness blog.  There’s nothing more irritating than the unasked-for preaching of a reformed whatever (smoker, fitness nut, evangelist, fountain pen user).  Besides, the idea of me becoming a health and fitness nut is so extreme I can’t begin to imagine it.
  • I’m so excited that The Preeclampsia Foundation‘s annual gala fundraiser is being held in Seattle this year!  I’ve always wanted to go, and this year we are.  If you can’t go, please consider donating.  It’s a cause that needs a lot of support.  Not everyone who has preeclampsia gets the happy ending we got.
  • Okay, I have about fifty errands to run today (give or take a few dozen), so get thee over to Keely’s and check out some more randomness, mmkay?
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The first time a stranger ever noticed I was pregnant, to my knowledge, was at The Disney Store at The Mall of Georgia.  I was in my second trimester of Kalen’s pregnancy.

I was wearing my go-to maternity top: a blue, patterned shirt with gathered elastic below the bust and the requisite string tied around the back.  Pregnant with my second child.  Jason, Nicolas and I were checking out, and the cashier asked me when I was due.

Believe it or not, my eyes filled.  When you’re plus-sized and well-endowed, you “show” later than other women.  For a long time, you just look fatter.  Clothing hangs from your chest, rather than your stomach, for months.  (Two-year-old Nicolas once told a woman at Michaels, “My mommy has a baby in her CHEST!” while pointing at my newly-enhanced cleavage.  Awkward!)

Thus, when you’re plus-sized and well-endowed and have your first baby at 28 weeks, chances are you can go your whole pregnancy with no one outside your friends and family asking your due date, asking to rub your tummy, or annoyingly rubbing it without asking.

So the poor Disney Store Girl asked and got more than she asked for.  A teary “August 3,” and I think, perhaps, a quick attempt at explaining my emotion.  I don’t remember.

I do remember savoring the feeling, the knowledge that I was pregnant enough that other people could tell.  It was one of many things I missed by not having a “complete” pregnancy the first time around.

While I always felt lucky and blessed that things turned out as well as they did with Nicolas’s birth, I also felt gypped.  Gypped of the happy, if painful, birthing experience.  Gypped of the glowing and planning and expectation that comes in the third trimester.  And, yes, even gypped of the annoying touches from intrusive strangers.  All the normal pregnancy things that every single one of my pregnant friends experienced.

Kalen was my second – and last – chance, and I went in knowing it was unlikely to be a typical pregnancy.  Of course, it wasn’t.  I was on partial bed rest by 30 weeks, and full bed rest shortly thereafter.  But, while I never did have to put up with a stranger reaching out for my belly, I did at least get pregnant enough that people – strangers – knew it.

And I basked in it, because by then I knew what a gift the knowing was.

small cycle

This week, I had my first full physical in several years.  Most adults, I think, don’t go in for physicals nearly as often as they should.  Jason and I are no exception.  We used to make a habit of going every two years, but it had been a while.  So, we found a primary care group recommended by a friend here, and we made appointments.

The good news?  According to the lab results, I’m doing pretty well.  Seriously, when you’re overweight (fine, make that obese), the concern for high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, etc. is at the front of every medical professional’s mind.  Luckily, when it comes to things like blood pressure and cholesterol, I ended up with a pretty nice draw from the gene pool.  Aside from needing to lose weight to prevent those things from creeping up in the future and to ease my knee and back pain, like I said, I’m doing pretty well.

Helen, my new provider and someone with whom I really want to be friends (I like her that much), had one concern from my blood draw, however.  I’m seriously deficient in Vitamin D.  My number is 17.4, while normal is considered 33 – 100.

I’m afraid I looked at her a bit blankly when she said that.  I’d heard that people in the Pacific Northwest often need to take Vitamin D supplements, and Helen herself had told me that the vast majority of North Americans (up to 90%, maybe? I don’t remember) are deficient.  Still, blank.  I had no idea what “Vitamin D Deficiency” really means overall.

Then she said it: Bone health, breast health, and mood.

Bone health – gulp.  Family history of osteoporosis.  Definitely want to take care of that.

Breast health – double gulp.  Don’t even want to think about that one.

Mood – well then.  That might explain a lot.  It’s no secret on this blog or to anyone who knows me well that this is something I struggle with.

So, one 50,000(!) IU tablet weekly, for 12 weeks, and then we reevaluate, but I’ll be taking Vitamin D for a long time.  Likely forever, as I understand it.

Anyway, bone health, breast health, and mood.  Apparently, that’s not the end of it.  I decided to do a little searching and found the following sentences scattered across the internet:

Last month vitamin D deficiency was linked to inability to lose weight.

…researchers in Pittsburgh reported that pregnant women with low vitamin D had greater risk of preeclampsia…

If you’re currently suffering from chronic fatigue, you may be experiencing a Vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin D deficiency could cause…PMS…

Shall we break this down?

Inability to lose weight. I suppose this one’s self-explanatory.  I have, in the past few days, refocused my efforts in this area.  Does this link mean the addition of Vitamin D will make the process go a little more smoothly?  Oh, I do hope so.

Preeclampsia. When I read that one out loud, Jason asked, “How long have you HAD this deficiency?”  Could it be related?  What a thought-provoking idea…

Chronic fatigue. Fatigue??  I’ve suffered from what we’ve referred to in my family as “low energy” my entire life.  I’ve always tired easily, even running a fever as a child when all I needed was rest.  I couldn’t hold a weekend job while I was in school, because I would become so fatigued from splitting my focus between the two that I could barely function.  Tonight, I found a definition for fatigue that reads, “a lack of energy and motivation.”  It never occurred to me that it might be anything other than just a part of “who I am.”  How long HAVE I had this deficiency?

PMS. Well, yeah.  At this point, I’m not surprised.

What, no “open-mouth-insert-foot disease” correlation?

Damn.

I don’t suppose I’ll ever know for sure how long I’ve been D-ficient, or what it might have caused, or at least contributed to.  I do know, however, that after looking into it, there will be little chance of me forgetting to take my Vitamin D supplements from this point on.

Have you been for a full physical recently?  If it’s been more than a year or so, please do yourself and your family a favor and make an appointment ASAP.

Images courtesy of Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische

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