For the third year in a row, my annual physical revealed a vitamin D deficiency, with this year's number lower than ever. This is somewhat ironic, given that the other predictable pronouncement by the nurse practitioner is that I am dangerously fair-skinned (fairer skin being linked to relative ease at vitamin D absorption from the sun). I blame this unlikely dual misfortune on my scrupulous sunscreen habit, which the N.P. assures me I should continue in order to protect myself from the likelihood of skin cancer. In the meantime, however, she has finally prescribed me a ridiculously high vitamin D dosage in hopes that I'll finally stop blowing off her advice to take a supplement. So far the added seriousness of having a prescription has worked, and whereas I used to diligently take my OTC-level dosage of vitamin D for only a couple of days before succumbing to the suspicion that it didn't really matter that much, I've now been going strong for five weeks.
Beyond the prescription, my dedication was in large part fueled by my internet reading on vitamin D, which lists the symptoms and complications of a deficiency as including everything from increased risk of cancer (this time NOT skin cancer--you can't win) and osteoporosis to difficulty sleeping, depression, and even weight gain. I relish the thought of the effortlessness of popping a pill resulting, potentially, in being thinner, more cheerful, and more energized. Articulating this fantasy to myself evoked the Radiohead song "Fitter, Happier" Yep, that joyless song probably accurately captures the likelihood of finding such an easy fix. Oh, well. Here's hoping for the placebo effect. That's a thing, right?