Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Colour that Grey!

The New Year long weekend was a grey, dismal three days of drizzle, downpours and driving wind. While the temperatures were mild for the time of year, the dampness penetrated deeply making it uncomfortable to be outdoors. Today was the start of a shortened work week for many, and dawn broke with brilliant beauty.It is common to hear complaints about sunny weather on work days, especially when the weekends have been rainy. If I had been at home today, I probably would have missed this sunrise. The colour faded in less than fifteen minutes, and by the time I arrived at the hospital, the red bricks of the building, as well as the patient's windows, were being warmed by the rising sun.
Our treatment room is a cheerful, sunny place on a day like this making indoor lighting unnecessary. I often park a wheelchair right in the sun and tell the occupant to soak up some warmth before their therapy session.
Our dog instinctively seeks out even the smallest patch of sunlit carpet to curl up in during the day. Our bodies need the warmth of the sun as well.
Today we had several new rehab admissions from the acute care hospitals. I assessed six new patients, all with fractured hips. In our northern climate, Vitamin D deficiency is not unusual and calcium absorption is decreased without enough if this vitamin. Many of the elderly population do not take supplements and their diets are inadequate in providing enough nutrients for bone health. I had a good 45 minute walk at noon, but my winter coat and gloves, as well as the low intensity of the winter sun, would have kept me from getting enough Vitamin D from the sun. The fear of skin cancer keeps people in the shade as well, even for the short periods of time that they would benefit from the sun's rays.
I don't mind being at work on a bright day. But then, I am not in a cubicle or a windowless office either. I am fortunate to work in a building that was originally built high on a hill for patients with TB. Their only hope for a cure in the pre-antibiotic era was fresh air, sunshine and healthy food.
This old Irish blessing, full of wisdom says,

“These things I warmly wish for you
Someone to love, some work to do,
A bit o' sun, a bit o' cheer,
And a guardian angel always near”

6 comments:

  1. Thank you for a beautiful and inspiring post today!

    It's so easy to go through life and not notice the beauty in a sunrise, and not to take the time to bask in the warmth of the sunshine, or the warmth of friendship and caring. Your blog lifted my spirits. :~)

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  2. Yep - it lifted mine too. Thank you.

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  3. I read that 15 minutes on your face and hands can give you enough vitamin D for the day. True?

    I like sunrises like that. I don't see them too much, because my wonderful hubby is the one who gets up with the kids for breakfast. I have it very, very good.

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  4. Stunning sunrise! This is truly an uplifting post... the warmth of the sun does wonders for moods and health. We need it and I personally crave it during the dark months of the year.

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  5. There is just nothing like the sun hitting you through a wide window. One of the main reasons we bought this house was because of all the natural light that flow into it. Warmth of the light...like needing air.

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  6. Evelyn- Thanks for stopping by and for your comments

    Laura- You often lift my spirits too

    Susan- I have read that the sun is too low here between November and March to give any effect. I know that 15 minutes the rest of the year should be sufficient, if one is not slathered with sunscreen. This sunrise was at 7:50 AM. I will catch a few more before the days get longer.

    Mary- Sunshine is definitely a mood-lifter, even for upbeat people like you.

    Jayne- We have no windows on the east and west sides of our house. Our south windows let in a little too much summer sun. Natural light would be a consideration for me if I ever moved.

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