The other day I was talking about Vitamin-D. I knew as I wrote the piece it wouldn’t be popular. It wasn’t. I am able to keep track of how many visits an article gets. The Vitamin-D article was a flop. My fault, I should have known.
The article flopped because people tend to not take vitamins very seriously. I think a big part of that is because vitamins are so cheap. Plus you don’t need a prescription, which makes many people think they can’t be any good.
Vitamin-D is important because massive numbers of persons have a deficiency that can easily be remedied.
I’m going to tell you a two quick anecdotal stories. One is about my most favorite women on the planet, and the other about why I need Vitamin-D because of a disease that almost killed me.
Three weeks in the hospital and many months on kidney dialysis
I rarely say anything about this because it makes me feel like I’m bragging that I managed to outsmart the disease and live through kidney failure.
I am officially diagnosed as having end stage renal disease, which is exactly what it sounds like — ESRD means kidney dialysis forever, or a transplant, or … lights out.
I should tell you that I was prescribed an analog Vitamin-D that cost $30 per pill. That’s an FYI for people who sniff at vitamins because they are so cheap and can’t possibly help sick people.
Part of my disease included kidney dialysis during 2009 and the first few months of 2010. I can not tell you how it feels like a miracle to have gotten off dialysis.
During my sick period I also had a permanent catheter. Except for the wonders a catheter does for a person who can’t pee on their own, I can’t think of one enjoyable thing about my catheter adventure.
A catheter is a plastic tube goes into your bladder if you are unable to pee on your own. You wear a plastic bag and your bladder drains into the bag through the catheter. You have no control over this, your pee just goes into the bag whenever you make any. I don’t know how much it holds, a few cups, and if it’s got much in it the sloshes around when you run.
The catheter stayed with me from the very start of my sick period until about two months after I got off dialysis when a green laser evaporation process was performed on my prostate that — thank Heavens — worked and enabled me to pee normally. Every time I the surgeon I always tell him how thankful I am that he knew what to do. Nobody was sure the process was going to work, but it did.
For those who are wondering, I came out of this ordeal with everything working sexually and hormonally. Again, I know how fortunate I am. I would really be sad if I could not be intimate with my wife.
Thank you for small favors
As weird as this might seem, when I pee these days I actually try to remind myself how relieved I felt the first time I peed on my own again. It was just so great to know that I was going to be without the catheter, which I could have been stuck with the rest of my life. I remember which toilet I used that first time and how thankful I was to see and feel the stream come out of me just so nice and natural..
But get this: On that day I’d had the catheter removed early in the morning, and then I went to the Natatorium to workout just as I had virtually every day since I was released from the hospital. I never stopped lifting, doing cardio, and playing racquetball nearly every day same as always.
At a dialysis center they ask each time you come in if you have had any blood in your urine. This was almost a joke for me, because being active with a catheter makes it move inside you. Of course there was blood in my urine, but I didn’t mention it, because I was not going to stop working out.
Working out hard enough to sweat heavily is, in my opinion, like having a third kidney. Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems to have worked for me and going to the gym beats the crap out dialysis three days a week — four-point-five hours per session.
The plot thickens
It was like a miracle when I got off of dialysis, but an after effect of the kidney disease is my body chemistry has some really out-of-whack circuits. One is a condition know as Secondary Hyperparathyroidism, which means I make too much Parathyroid Hormone (PTH). The body normally produces active Vitamin-D which is the hormone that stops or balances production of PTH. My kidneys can no longer produce active Vitamin-D’ which means I wind up with too much free PTH.
To complete this puzzle in as few words as possible, Vitamin-D is made in the kidneys and many renal failure patients can no longer produce Vitamin-D. That eventually causes the body to rob calcium from the bones, which makes them weak and fragile.
To slow or prevent the eventual bone damage, renal patients such as myself require Vitamin-D from a supplement because we no longer can make it because it requires correctly working kidneys.
Everybody wants to go to Heaven, but they don’t want to die to get there
Okay, so I needed Vitamin-D, but didn’t like the warnings and after effects of the $30 bucks-per-hit analog. So I take over-the-counter Vitamin-D known as Cholecalciferol, which costs $14 for 250 capsules. One capsule is 1,250 percent of the daily requirement. I take one-plus caps per day.
The Vitamin-D that I take comes from Bio Tech Pharmacal, but you can take any Vitamin-D3 that contains Cholecalciferol. If you find that you want to buy something from the I-herb site you can enter HAY816 at checkout and get $5 off your first order for any product on the site. Three day express shipping is free when you spend $20.
Along with supplements I also use an at-home tanning bed that has Vitamin-D lamps. This is a life-saver if I am in Ohio during the no-Sun months. When there is enough sunlight to give me a tan, I spend 20 to 40 minutes outside wearing only shorts.
Vitamin-D supplements and sunlight are working for me so far. You can also look for Vitamin-D laden foods
I workout five days a week, I lift heavy and do intense cardio. Best of all, I’m still alive so I must be doing something right.
Living the paradise life
I once wrote about my two favorite women in the Universe. One is my mother-in-law who I call Momma and the other is Kimmie.
Momma is a few years younger than me and lived a very hard life the first 20 years. Momma lived in a third World country, in a hooch with an indoor cooking pit, no electricity, no running water, and no toilet. And she was in the middle of a war zone deep in the thick of it.
Momma ended up in Ohio. That’s a big switch for a person born in the tropics; especially when Winter comes. Momma came to the US in 1969 pregnant with Kimmie. How we all got together is a good story, but too much for here. So let me fast forward to 2005.
Momma had been slowly changing into a listless and depressed person, which was simply not her.. Kimmie was worried so much that she took a break from the traveling part of her job so she could be home with Momma.
Hell to Paradise in six hours
When Momma left Southeast Asia in 1969 her first stop was the Army Hospital in Honolulu. This was the first time Momma had ever been out of her country or on an airliner; she was blown away by things like carpeting, a galley serving free food, and most of all by three bathrooms on an airplane. Try to imagine coming out of the jungle and into real civilization for the first time.
Momma spent ten days in Hawaii and fell in love with the place. That was easy to do given her former lifestyle, this being her first stop in civilization. When Kimmie was growing up Momma always talked about Hawaii and how much she loved it. Later Kimmie was able to take Momma on trips to Hawaii. Each time Momma was in Heaven.
A turn for the worse followed by a good ending
Somewhere shortly after 2000 Momma started to slowly lose her zest. I don’t know what else to call it. By 2005 Momma was feeling so badly that she stopped or cut back on her most of her social activities. There was nothing wrong with Momma physically; but she felt awful and was getting depressed. Kimmie and I were afraid Momma was getting old and headed for some awful aging thing.
What happened next just sorta fell into place and we bought a house in Hawaii so Momma could live full-time in the paradise.
Wow! Momma’s sense of well-being and wanting to be alive started to turn for the good almost instantaneously. The house had a pool and some property so Momma could grow things and fiddle with flowers and stuff like she used to do. Before too long Momma began raving about how wonderful he felt.
Long story short
The three of us decided that maybe it was the sunlight that Momma needed. We found a primary care doctor for Momma and she did some blood tests and found that Momma was still low in Vitamin-D. So along with the sunlight Momma started popping a Vitamin-D capsule, and also a B-Complex liquid vitamin every day. Now she takes a few others and is a believer.
I don’t want to brag about one of my favorite women in the entire World, but Momma has outrageous energy and stamina. She is like she was when I first met her 25 years ago. Her turnaround, we believe, is due to being able to get sunlight every day of the year, and the vitamins. Momma grew up in a climate almost identical to Hawaii. She is dark-skinned to begin with, and the darker your skin the more time you need in the sunlight to produce Vitamin-D
Moral of the story
Don’t just blow off the idea of taking vitamins. As far as Vitamin-D goes you can get your levels checked, or just try a supplement and see if makes a difference in how you feel.
If you ever think you might need a particular vitamin you can check it in-depth online and see what the deficiency symptoms are, and also whether it’s a water or oil soluble vitamin. The latter can be overdosed and the site will tell you about that.
Remember to have an annual physical. Thomas Amshay articles are not meant to take the place of your doctor or health care team. Talk to them before starting any exercise program, diet, or supplement.