Sparse

The blog has been neglected lately as we’ve been dealing with some health issues in the Bean family.

I have big plans for it still this summer, though, so stay tuned for lots of posts on what we eat and why (lots of people ask if we’re vegan? vegetarian? crazy?) as well as what supplements we take, if any, and if we feed our toddler the same foods. I’ll also be sharing several recipes we’re loving lately.

Health issues, because I know you’re curious now:

1) Mackenzie broke her foot. A buckle fracture or a stage II something-or-rather (which means it’s near the growth plate but not serious). She tripped at Grandma’s house in CA yesterday, a few hours before our flights back to Columbus. We just assumed it was fine and she and I hopped on the plane.

Fun flight.

Urgent care this morning after Student Doctor Bean had a look and decided it was likely broken. Medical school is already paying off, I tell ya. Though, for the record, I also received the same information from a friend on Facebook. ๐Ÿ˜‰

The treatment is ice (yeah, not likely for an 18 month old), motrin, and a crazy looking shoe that Mackenzie actually kinda likes. In 3-4 weeks, she should be as good as new. I’m amazed kids can heal so fast, but I was relieved to hear it. It’s hard to keep her sitting still enough to rest her foot.

2) I’ve been having nasty bouts of fatigue since early May. My new normal is about 80% of what it used to be, and when the fatigue gets bad, I’m pretty much a lump on the couch at 20%.

It’s been incredibly frustrating for me because I’m usually a high-energy high-productivity person. I ignored it the first two times, thinking I was “coming down with something” but by the third time I started to suspect there was something larger at play. I couldn’t get into a doctor’s office earlier than a month, because I’m a new patient, and fatigue isn’t actually “urgent”. But that particular bout lasted the better part of a week and brought me to tears several times a day, so it was quickly becoming something urgent to me.

I made a guess and started taking iron pills, hoping I was just anemic and that things would turn around in a few weeks. But how could I be anemic? My diet is really healthy, full of iron-rich veggies, beans and nuts… but I didn’t have any better ideas so I just popped a few pills a day and waited for my energy to come back.

In the meantime, I flew to California on a previously-planned trip to work like a dog and help my sister-in-law with her new twins. I had quite a bit of trepidation going into it, thinking I’d be no help at all if I had another run in with the Tired State of Doom.

I was recounting my sad tale to my dad, and he immediately said, “Where’s the data? We need data! Don’t you be taking potentially harmful (iron) pills without data.” So he ordered some bloodwork for me (didn’t know a non-doctor could do that, but apparently labs accept cash for tests. )

Results? I’m not iron-deficient at all. My dad’s intuition paid off in a big way, though, because he ordered a Vitamin D test among other things. Turns out, my Vitamin D levels are rock bottom. Not enough sunshine or poor absorption had put me in a bad way.

Time for the right kind of pills and patience until I’m back on track again. Vitamin D deficiency can cause bone problems in addition to fatigue, so I’m really glad we caught this.

Here’s hoping things have taken a turn for the better. Fortunately, I was about 70% up during my trip so I didn’t turn into a lump on anyone’s couch. ๐Ÿ˜‰

For the curious, Vitamin D is found naturally in some fatty fish but most of our Vitamin D comes from sunshine. Also, people who drink fortified milk or take a multivitamin or eat fortified breakfast cereal will get it that way.

And for the really curious, your vitamin D, 25-Hydroxy levels should be up at least 32 (and many people would advocate at least 50) ng/mL and mine were at 12.9. My plan is to take 2,000 IUD (50 micrograms) every day for a month, and spend some time every day in the bright sunshine (provided the weather cooperates) and then get retested. That’s 10 times as much as the current AI for my age and gender, but far below level shown to cause any kind of toxicity so no worries there. If my levels haven’t come up, or they do come up and I don’t feel better, I’m going to the doctor.

Incidentally, apparently many many adults have suboptimal levels of Vitamin D. Probably because we work too hard and don’t play nearly enough. Also, Columbus is at 40 degrees latitude, which means a full half of the year the sun is not strong enough to make me any Vitamin D. I had no idea I was deficient but I do find myself spending the most time outside after the sun goes down, on overcast cooler days, or sticking to the shade because it can get so stinkin’ hot.

Links about Vitamin D: Vitamin D testing, Vitamin D deficiency symptoms, and the less readable but more authoritative info from NIH.

… all that to say… I’ll get my blogging back on, but not just yet!

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About beanland

Scott is a family practice doctor and Anne is a full-time mother and teacher to three beautiful girls and one boy.
This entry was posted in Healthy Eating, Life as we know it, Tough Days. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Sparse

  1. lisa (lost pezhead) says:

    you’ll have to start going to the pool! i hope you start feeling better, that is not fun to be tired.

    Like

  2. Andrea says:

    Oh, I’m so sorry about you and Mackenzie! That must have been a horrible flight home. I wish I could have blamed Jonas’ plane behavior on a broken foot.
    Thanks for the info about the Vitamin D thing. I definitely need to spend more time outside too. Not only for my body, but for my sanity.

    I hope you both feel better soon!

    Like

  3. Liz says:

    Whew, what a week for you! You poor thing. I bet that flight back home was a trip from, well, you know where.

    I find that when I’m consistently taking my multivitamins (Fuhrman’s gentle care, veggie derived DHA and D w/ Calcium), I’m much better off. I’ve started writing myself reminder notes to be super consistent about the kid’s multivitamins too.

    We’re looking forward to the reunion trip. In the next week or so we should find out where we’re going! I hope her foot will be as good as new so we can do lots of outdoor exploration. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Like

  4. Angie says:

    Iโ€™m glad you discovered the problem. Motherhood is tiring enough, without an added factor! Itโ€™s interesting because last time I took my kids in for their well-check ups my doctor told me that the AAP now says that kids donโ€™t get enough Vit D and should now have supplements. I kind of brushed this off until I could do further research. Have you come across any information on this?

    Like

    • beanland says:

      Yeah I’ve been reading the same thing. Your kids are probably getting plenty of sun these days, but more and more kids and adults are deficient in D because we’re using sunscreen, sticking to the shade, and staying indoors more.

      The recommendation is to make sure they’re getting D as a supplement (it’s probably in a multivitamin or breakfast cereal you already give) unless they are getting 30 minutes of good sunshine most days without sunscreen, etc.

      I’m definitely being more careful with Mackenzie now. We’ll try to avoid sunburns this summer but definitely get a healthy “glow” going. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  5. Angie says:

    Sounds like you need to look into moving to North Carolina. It rained today for the first time since we moved here (other than a few sprinkles other days..). It is a good thing McKenzie has a shoe fetish. Hope she is 100% soon. And keep those blinds up during the day! (PS.. ‘snobby joes’ has become a regular here. I finally bought that cookbook and am loving the recipes.) Miss you guys!

    Like

  6. Angie says:

    PS part 2: I was making bread the other day and Olivia said, “Mom, are you making Annie Bean’s bread. I just want to eat Annie Bean’s bread. It was soooo good!” -thought you’d want to know a 4 year old in NC was thinking of you.

    Like

  7. Jessica says:

    Gonna try the bean soup, I have a bunch of spinach I need to use. Hope you are feeling better.

    Like

  8. Jacqueline says:

    I was googling vitamin d deficiency and your blog popped up — thanks for the info about the bloodwork. If it’s affordable where I live, I might just go ahead and order a full battery too to help figure out the source of my fatigue. Thanks too for the link… For the curious, the same site — Women to Women — has a few more articles about vitamin D that were very intriguing/informative, like this one:

    Is vitamin D deficiency casting a cloud over your health?

    Like

  9. Pingback: Children under 2 fly free « Adventures in Beanland

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