Cumberland Island I

Between the four of us (Nate, Shea, Tim & me) we took well over a thousand pictures with the new camera over our five-day visit to Georgia.  We kept taking turns getting shots and spent several evenings dazzled in front of the TV screen watching the digital slideshow of the day’s pictures.  It’s been difficult to choose which ones to share here on the blog!  If you would like, click on the pictures a larger view will come up.

Starting off here with our day at Cumberland Island National Seashore, a 45-minute ferry ride from St. Marys, Georgia.  Nate had the camera for most of this day so the majority of the shots are probably his.  It’s hard to remember who had the camera when, but, he most definitely took the one of the tiny lizard puffing out his throat (above) and we are all blown away over how well it came out!

We had hoped to see the wild horses but all we got to see of them was their droppings and hoof-prints.  However, the island was teeming with wildlife everywhere we looked, so there wasn’t much room for disappointment.

Atlantic Ocean

I will be posting more photos as time allows…

Osteomalacia & Hypertension

Has anyone ever heard of osteomalacia before?  Turns out I have it, although before discovering this term, all I was aware of was the severe Vitamin D deficiency my doctor said my blood-work revealed last year.  This whole experience reminds me of when I learned that I had menorrhagia for most of my adult life without knowing the medical term for it.

For the past year or so my doctor has been trying to get my Vitamin D deficiency and high blood pressure under control.  Thursday evening I happened to hear Dr. Michael F. Holick on the radio discussing his book, The Vitamin D Solution.  When he mentioned musculoskeletal pain and muscle weakness, and even hypertension and a few other problems, being due to a lack of Vitamin D, I picked up my new best friend, my Kindle, and had the book in my hands electronically within moments.  I spent the better part of yesterday reading the eye-opening information and finished it up this morning.

I think I now know how this happened!

In 2004 I had a basal cell carcinoma surgically removed from my forehead and on the advice of my dermatologist became totally paranoid about receiving any exposure to the sun from then on.  Turns out this was ill-advised as I am now depleted of Vitamin D, in spite of supplements.

Just as we need a little fat and salt in our diet, we also need a little sun.
~ Michael F. Holick
(The Vitamin D Solution)

Did you know that Vitamin D is not really a vitamin?  It’s a hormone!!!  And every cell in our bodies has a Vitamin D receptor?  Hormones are “regulatory substances produced in an organism and transported in tissue fluids such as blood or sap to stimulate specific cells or tissues into action.”  The skin is the organ that uses sunlight to produce the Vitamin D hormone that performs wonders throughout our bodies.  Cats and lizards don’t need scientists to tell them they need the sun!

For my skin type, fifteen minutes of direct sunlight a day on half my body around noon from May to October should be sufficient to turn things around for me, and also to store enough Vitamin D to carry me through most of the winter.  Will be taking additional supplements, year-round, too, and eating wild-caught salmon (farm-raised salmon have almost no Vitamin D because they are fed pellets of grain instead of their natural diet from the ocean food chain) and plenty of sardines, too, which I happen to love, thank goodness.  And mushrooms, the only source of natural Vitamin D in the produce aisles of the grocery store.

Fifteen minutes!  Sunlight!  A wonder “drug” for free!  Of course today it is pouring rain, so I’m chafing at the bit, but I’m getting out there first chance I get…

“Sunflowers in a Blue Vase” by Christian Rohlfs