Fall Back and SAD: Under the Weather

My husband and I are expecting our third grandchild soon and we decided to get the Tdap (Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) vaccine to protect the newborn. And as it’s flu season we decided to get that one, too. So, that’s two vaccines.

But, we weren’t done yet. We have also been talking about getting the Shingles vaccine. My grandmother had shingles twice and told me it was the worst pain she had ever experienced in her life. Since she gave birth three times, during the Depression, I figure that’s got to be pretty intense. Another consideration was that my husband had a very bad time with measles as a kid, so we decided we should get that one, too.

Perhaps three vaccines at a time was pushing it. By the next day we both had a low grade fever and chills. We’re just feeling back to normal today. So, a word to the wise – if you’re going to bunch up those vaccines, then do it on your days off from work or spread them out.

A Word about SAD and Light Therapy

This week is the first week where darkness has returned in a big way to our evenings. I would rather we stay on Daylight Savings Time permanently, but I am not in charge and so must soldier on.

When I lived in New York I used to suffer terribly from SAD (Seasonal affective disorder). The sun starts to set at 4:30 in the afternoon. By 5 pm I was on my couch under a blanket unable to move.

Light therapy was first being recommended in those days, so I bought a 4-foot fluorescent strip lamp and the full spectrum fluorescent lamps that were recommended. I leaned strip lamp against a wall facing the couch. This is because the light doesn’t work unless it affects the retina. It lit up the room like Luna Park and was as ugly as hell, but it did the job for me. I felt it helped me a great deal with my depression. I could sit up for another hour or two after sunset, and I could get up and finish chores and get ready for work the next day. I also felt I was sleeping better.

For more information about current research on SAD light therapy go here: Ocular mechanism key to light therapy for seasonal affective disorder

My husband found it had no effect on his mood, but he went to bed later than usual. He never needed more than 5 hours sleep at night, so the only real benefit for him was that I was happier and better company.

Now that I live in Texas, I don’t need the light therapy all winter long. We’re closer to the equator, so the light balance is not as great as in New York. Still, because of the heat, houses in Texas tend to be built like caves to shut out the evil sun unlike the North where we want to bring as much light into our homes as possible.

November is often a wet (when we aren’t in a drought) and overcast. I find my spirit slipping on days when I spend a lot of time at my desk, so I decided to take another look at light therapy.

Much to my delight, I’ve found that there are many more choices for light therapy. There are plenty of desk models and portable options. I ordered the one below and it should be arriving today.

Light Therapy Lamp, Miroco LED Bright White Therapy Light – UV Free 10000 Lux Brightness, Timer Function, Touch Control, Standing Bracket, for Home/Office Use

Light therapy is not be better than the real thing (which is why I love living in Texas), but while the gloomy days are here I plan to stave off the worst of SAD with my Happy Light.

Until next time. 😊

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