Blog

Ooooh, Vitamin D

by lmaresz, http://pixabay.com/en/cloud-sky-yellow-radius-sunshine-143152/ CC0
by lmaresz, http://pixabay.com/en/cloud-sky-yellow-radius-sunshine-143152/ CC0

Now I don’t know if this song is a real thing, or just something my mother used to sing to me as a child in the 1980s. But it would go ‘ooooh, Vitamin D, Vitamin D’. I assume it was about how good Vitamin D was for you, maybe there was a line about going out into the sun? But it might well have been a song about sliced bread or falling in love that my mother changed the words to one day and they stayed changed. This happens a lot in my family. 

Anyway, this is a post about mens sana in corpore sano. That is, this is a blog about academic writing, which happens in the mind; but our minds function in our brains, which are organs, that are located in our bodies.

So, I’ve been sick for ever, it seems. (I wrote about it back in September, and then again in May).  I went to the doctor, and then another doctor, and then a specialist and then another specialist, and found out that I was in hospital because of food intolerances (yeah, pretty crazy intense intolerances), and I had cancer risk polyps but we could sort that out, and that I had nearly no Vitamin D at all. So I bounced all over town trying to find a compounding pharmacy so they could make up my super-high dose Vitamin D capsules, which I’ve been taking for 3 weeks; and I went to a dietician and I can now eat food without feeling like I’m being attacked by knife-weilding gnomes and their nausea waves.

So I can eat, and I haven’t got sick yet, even though it’s the beginning of semester, it’s freezing cold and wet and I’ve just started a new job.always get sick at the beginning of semester–every year since I started teaching, which is now 7 years ago.

Standing DeskNow I don’t want to suggest that everything in your life could be cured by a little pill, but no-one in the developed world is getting enough Vitamin D in the winter, so maybe think about getting your levels checked out?

Maybe you’ll find instead, as one of the candidates I was working with did, that you have insanely low iron levels, which is why you can’t stay awake to write. Maybe you’ll find that you are actually coeliac and cutting bread out of your diet will help you get out to do your research, instead of having to fight the lethargy.   (I’m glad to report, bread is safe for me to eat. So much toast is being consumed right now.) Maybe you’ll find that a standing desk means you can focus on your chapter and not be distracted by your back pain.  (That’s me again, by the way.)

There are people out there who have chronic pain, incurable diseases, terminal illnesses. They have to find ways to live and work with or around that. But if what’s wrong with you can be fixed by popping a pill, for goodness sake, take the tablet. 

Looking after your physical health, I have been reminded over and over again in the last year, directly impacts your productivity, intellectual capacity and therefore your research. Practice some self care, and be as well as you can, so you can write as well as you can. 

 

SHARE
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on facebook

Succeeding in a Research Higher Degree

Doing a Research Higher Degree (like a PhD) is hard, but lots of people have succeeded and you can too. It’s easier if you understand how it works, this blog gives you the insider view.

Contact

Related Posts

Proactive communication: newsletters and other stories

If you feel overwhelmed by your inbox and meeting demands, you are likely to be dealing with the challenge of reactive communication. That is, every day, you open your inbox and find tens or even hundreds of requests for information and tasks. Like many people, you may start the day with a sense of dread.

Read More

The “Writing Oxygen” and other tales from inside a writing house

Writing has technical aspects, sure. You need skills, and training. And you need to be organised and disciplined about keeping up with deadlines and juggling projects. And writing has physical challenges, you have to sit and use your back and wrists and neck and eyes. But, you also bring your weird, inner, non-rational self to the desk when you write. The inner self that has views about what music you can listen to, or that you need to enact your writing rituals before typing a word. There are good reasons why you might like what you like, but a lot of it just is personal preference, and that is totally a great reason to take it seriously.

Read More

Get the latest blog posts