Learning to Look After Ourselves - A Mother's Relationship

Learning to Look After Ourselves - A Mother's Relationship

Nan Chen

The sun is one of those tricky things where you either learn to love it or hate it. I personally love it! As a child, I would spend days running around in the sun. I used to raise my face towards the sky just to feel the sun rays on my skin. However, as I grew older, the pressures of life got in the way and I found myself being exposed more and more to fluorescent light than the healing rays of the sun. Soon, being in the sun felt like a luxury I couldn't afford because it meant I wasn't working hard enough to pay the bills and working towards my dreams. Enjoying the sun could come later when I have reached my goals which where ever changing as each goal was achieved.

Then one day, the aches and pains in my bones started. I always felt fatigued and was constantly under the weather. I started to develop more allergies and found myself hypersensitive to almost everything and my moods became less positive, but I persisted with daily activities believing my stressful life of running a family company with my husband whilst raising a family were accountable. With these pressures, I ignored my body’s aches and pains and the chronic fatigue that I suffered and got through the day with my shear determination year after year. Now the fatigue and pains are refusing to be ignored as my children have grown and moved on.

I finally made the trip to the family doctor (for me this time and not just the kids). I am lucky enough to have a husband and children who value me to insist that I look after myself, and quite frankly, I am sick of telling people that I am “tired” when they ask how I am. After having my blood tested, I discovered that my vitamin D and calcium levels were extremely low. My family doctor advised me to take triple the recommended daily dose of vitamin D supplements for three months to correct the deficiency before I add in the calcium. Of course, I didn't listen to my doctor because I was not used to taking supplements and so, time passed quickly. To no surprise, the aches and pains got worse, up to the point where they would wake me up in the evenings.

It wasn't until one day when I decided to do a little research into vitamin D that I started to understand my aches and pains. I should have listened to my doctor! All of my symptoms could be attributed to being vitamin D deficient. Research shows that it is a reasonably easy condition to treat. One can increase their vitamin D just by sitting in the sun for 15 minutes a day. This is however, a bit of an issue when you live in Australia and you risk being burned if the sun even touches your skin. If you want to avoid damage and premature ageing of your skin, then simply apply sunscreen to your face, neck and the back of your hands before stepping out for a bit. We just have to be a little smarter about the ways we go about sitting in the sun. During the winter you may need find that you need to take a supplements but please consult your doctor first. Now that I am finally following my doctors advice, I have found that my aches and pains are diminishing, I am getting better rest at night and my sense of humour is back! (Yipee!!!)

The events in this article are my personal experiences only. I recommend that you conduct some of your own research and seek medical advice before undergoing any kind of treatment. The sole purpose of this article is to remind parents out there to take care of themselves too. You are no good to your family if you are in pain and constantly fatigued. It is always better to catch something early than to let it nag at you for a long period of time.


Photo credit Nan Chen

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