I’ve had my issues with depression creeping in, making me feel like all I want to do is sleep. Sitting here waiting, attached to my house via a 50-foot plastic leash blowing oxygen up my nose at two liters per minute, is not something I envisioned for myself at 41. I get frustrated easily, to the point of wanting to throw something or scream profanity, and have found my mental clarity diminished. It’s not at the point where I need or even want to take medication, because I still find enjoyment in my days.
Today I had lunch with another nurse friend who I hadn’t seen in over two months since I went on leave. She brought her little dog with her and we went to a local Vietnamese restaurant which has become our usual spot. Usually we go there to relax after crazy days at work, and this time we laughed about the fact that we were just there to enjoy, not to destress. We had fried calamari and shrimp paste spring rolls (they were as funky as they sound), and boba teas which were refreshing on a beautiful sunny and breezy day.
I had a million blood tests run last week, and it was found that my Vitamin D levels were about 15, when normal levels are 30-100. I rationalized that I have been inside for the majority of the past several months, with two straight weeks spent in a hospital room. Today was the first day that I’ve sat in the sun and wow, was it glorious. I almost immediately turned pink, thanks to that wonderful Irish-Great Britain genepool, but it was wonderful. I came home afterwards and went straight out onto the balcony to sit in the sun some more. Interestingly, I felt better within a few minutes of being in the sun today.
I’ve started taking Vitamin D supplements upon the advice of my physician, but just being outside is definitely more healing in more ways than one. I believe that this funk may be partially attributed to the inside lifestyle I’ve been leading. Staying inside is just going to make it worse. My plastic leash reaches out to the balcony with miles to spare, so I plan on making a date with myself to sit out in the afternoon sun and breeze and enjoy. I have one of those recliners that I bought on sale (and with a coupon!) at Bed, Bath, & Beyond, and I have a little table out on the balcony. My cat, Bandit, joined me for a while and sat contently in my lap watching the birds in the tree right outside. There was the normal noise of people coming home from work, but no loud noises at all. The hum from the street across the canyon was actually relaxing, like white noise. I brought my glass of water and some cantaloupe out with me, and simply was.
My dad and every cat I know enjoy a good sunbeam. I need to listen to them more.
Even though I’m by myself a lot, I have decided to make dates with myself on a more frequent basis. I’m blogging or writing or doing a bit of cleaning here and there, but I don’t just spend quality time with me. Watching bad daytime television doesn’t count. Today, while I was with my cat on the balcony, I was able to let my thoughts wander where they wanted to, and feel my skin warmed with sunlight. I haven’t reconnected with nature in a very long time, I realized. I don’t know how many oxygen tanks I would need for that, but I do know that, as soon as I possibly can, I’m going to get back into the trees away from electronics and life’s daily drivel.
With that, I appreciate all of you who have kept me chipper and listened to me rant and dragged me outside of my abode for meals and camaraderie. Thank you.
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