It appears that we have found the culprit to my fuzzy head. All my blood tests came back within the normal range except for my vitamin D test which came in well below what it was supposed to be (for those familiar, it came in at 11). This actually surprised me quite a bit because I spend so much time outside, I really didn’t think it was going to be the issue. Apparently I’ve been doing a good job (too good) at covering up and putting on sunscreen.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a quick fix (although it won’t be long-term either). I have been prescribed high dosage vitamin D pills which I have to take for 12 weeks. At the end of that time I will get my blood tested again to see if my vitamin D levels have improved. The foggy feeling will hopefully begin to disappear as my vitamin D levels rise.
I’m hoping that this is what the issue is and from a financial standpoint, it’s one of the better diagnosis that could have been made. While I will likely need to buy vitamin D supplement pills to take from now on, I’m not going to have to take expensive prescription medication or get a battery of other tests done. I feel I dodged a bullet that could have wreaked havoc to the minimum wage challenge, and I’m definitely looking forward to having a clear head in the near future.
I spent the day at the beach “glassing.” There are avid groups that hunt for sea glass (glass that has been in the ocean and tumbled around in the sand for years so that it has been worn smooth). I have a few friends that are very into this hobby and one of them asked me to go to the beach and hunt. I view any day spent at the beach as a good day, so I wasn’t too difficult to twist my arm to go.
Now, what you’re thinking and the actual reality of what avid beach glass collectors do is probably not the same. You probably assume that looking for sea glass entails people walking along the beach looking for glass that has washed ashore. This is not the case. Avid collectors don wetsuits and go into the frigid ocean waves with specially made tools searching for the sea glass:
They also spend time on the beach with shovels digging deep holes in search of sea glass:
You probably didn’t realize that searching for sea glass could be quite that hardcore, but it is. While the avid collectors can spend hundreds of dollars on equipment (wet suits, gloves, special tools, special shovels, etc) to pursue their hobby, I don’t have any of it and couldn’t afford it on my current minimum wage budget. The good news is that I could get out there with a borrowed garden shovel, a lot of clothing layers on top (and a bathing suit on the bottom) and simply endure the cold water while searching.
While the whole concept may sound strange to the average person, it’s actually quite a good hobby for someone on a restricted budget to get involved with if they live near the beach. A lot can be spent on specialized equipment, but the hobby can be pursued without any of it making it virtually free. Not only can it be done for free, it can also earn the collector money (although the vast majority of collectors do it for their own private collections). Rare pieces of sea glass can sell for over $100 and there are some people who make their living by collecting sea glass. It’s a great example of how a hobby doesn’t need to cost a lot and can even make money.
After four hours of digging in the sand, these are the rarer pieces I found during the day:
While they may not seem like much to most people, they are pretty good finds for most collectors. The orange piece is especially rare, probably the rarest piece I have ever found and it would be worth quite a bit to a jewelry maker (yes, there are artists that make jewelry exclusively out of sea glass). I didn’t keep any of it giving it all to my friend, but in return I did get treated to a wonderfully yummy lunch. I do know that I used a lot of muscles that I don’t normally use, and I have a feeling that I will be quite sore in the morning. It was still worth it.
It would have been a no spend day except that I needed to pick up the vitamin D prescription which set me back $10.
(Top photo courtesy of bradley j and sea glass photo courtesy of Bev Jacquemet)