Sunday, June 8, 2008

Got milk?

In May I underwent my favorite annual ritual—a physical exam. This year included an EKG, which I passed. My physician is disturbed mainly by the size of my uterus, which she thinks is in the area of a 20-week pregnancy. I'm sure the gynecologist will have an opinion about the size when I see her next week. Until now, I had not thought that Ignatius (the largest of the fibroids) and his muscular friends were causing trouble save for the frequent bathroom trips, but now I am not so sure. There's a possibility Ignatius and company may be contributing to the pain in my lower back and in my legs, and now I realize that I've become used to a feeling of fullness and pressure around the middle that is not normal. My doctor is not convinced my wait-and-see attitude is the best course of inaction, given that menopause may be a few years off.

I received my lab test results with a letter from the physician. For the most part, they were acceptable, except for one: my vitamin D level is "extremely low." The reference range is 32 ng/ml to 100 ng/ml, and my level is <7 ng/ml. She helpfully included a prescription for ergocalciferol—one a week for six weeks and one every other week for the following six weeks. Then she will retest me and recommend a supplement.

I wonder how long I've had this deficiency (perhaps over the winter only?) and if it might be responsible for some of the muscle and joint aches that I have become accustomed to. I'll see how I feel in 20 weeks. I would be happy if vitamin D makes a difference.

Someone mentioned that vitamin D has become the media's fad vitamin, replacing the somewhat discredited E. I hadn't noticed this, but the next time I looked at the news headlines online, I noticed an entire section on a study that showed a high percentage of children to be deficient in vitamin D. Children—and me!

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