My Friend

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After six months of disappearance my friend came back. She was not missed. I did not even think about her in the least because she was a pain in the asthma attack. Whenever I knew she was coming around I would cringe and brace myself, and I would get warnings two weeks before she showed up. Like clockwork I always knew when her triflin’ butt would appear, wrecking havoc on my life. It was like Basketball Wives, RHOA , Hip Hop Wives, Star Jones and BET’s old girl “Cita” from “Cita’s World“, rolled into one. Add a dash of a thug missus from “Bad Girls’ Club“, a shot of a contestant from “Maury” and a jilted jump off from “For the Love of Ray J” and you get the picture. This child was conniving and a backstabber, so I prepared for her with a bag of salt and vinegar chips and copious amounts of Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate anything, the more chocolate the better. When my friend was around I craved protein just to deal with her so a nice medium rib eye did the trick.

After leaving from around me I felt much better. My moods were better and I could think clearer. But I knew that heifer would be back. She didn’t care how old I was she wanted to mess with me. I told her I was too old to for her to be hanging around, and she just laughed and said that she’ll be back because she enjoyed messing with my head. I replied, “You narcissistic, blatant, b, u were gone for half a year and now you wanna come back?!”

What I just described was my menstrual cycle. Happy Monday!!

Missy Elliot and Graves Disease

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I briefly read from The Root headline that rapper/hip hop/r&b producer and label owner Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliot has had Graves Disease for a couple of years. Graves disease is when your thyroid levels go through the roof and your heart races and you get the “shakes”. You become irritable and forgetful and you have a tendency to lose weight. If you are not careful your eyes bulge out of their sockets which is a telltale sign that lead to former FLOTUS Barbara Bush to be diagnosed by doctors. Your eyes do recede if you catch the disease in time but when I had it I was left with chronic dry eyes because my eyes do not close completely at bedtime. Surgery could remedy this where stitches would alleviate the open eyes but my eyes did decrease in size. One eye is larger than the other but it is hardly noticeable.

If you felt my thyroid gland when I was in the midst of the disease you could feel how and observe how enlarged it was. Can you say Adam’s Apple? I tried the medication to get my thyroid back in balance along with the anti-anxiety medication but after months it was not working. I was once again bed ridden and prior to my diagnosis I just assumed it was depression until  my assertive friend Betty insisted it was something else.

I read tons of books on thyroid disorders and I decided to go with the radioactive iodine treatment. You drink the iodine which essentially “kills” your thyroid, and you are left taking synthyroid, a synthetic hormone for the rest of your life. Every three months or so you must take a test to determine your thyroid levels. If it is off, your medication must be adjusted. It has been said that you can avoid medication by alternative methods such as working out or taking a thyroid hormone from an animal. I see the best endocrinologist in the state and he takes his time as he is so thorough. I give thanks to the father above because I was a hot mess and did not know what to do with myself. It turns out my sister had thyroid issues around my age and ended up having surgery. It is best to see a specialist to make well-informed decisions. Otherwise you can find yourself in a morgue, or nicknamed “Frog” because of your bulging eyes.  You need exercise and the benefit of sunlight and support. Do not underestimate this small, butterfly shaped gland that acts as a thermostat in your body.

Post Script: I stumbled on an old photo of Barbara Bush in 1940. For the majority of my adult life I have seen her in pearls and the gray do. I am totally shocked that Mrs. Bush looked like a pin up girl back in the day. Carry on and be strong, readers.

I am Not A Doctor, I Just Like Watching Grey’s Anatomy

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Well, the author of the so-called study on Black Women being the most unattractive might lose his teaching position at his London University. All fear the wrath of African-American women. Or as Tyler Perry’s book by Madea succinctly described it, “Don’t Make A Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings!

During my early days of depression I recall taking St John’s Wort, it did nothing for me. Chinese ginseng Tea, bitter taste, time-consuming. Kava  Kava for anxiety, and Valerian tea for anxiety. They did nothing for me. Please note that I did not take them at once! Please also note that I am not a physician nor play one on T.V. These statements in no way are endorsements for any herbal supplements, so keep this in your depressed or non depressed mind. If you can remember.

Ginseng tablets did work for energy but it gave me a jittery feeling after. Also, acupuncture for my menstrual cramps did work for me the one time I went under the tiny needles placed in strategic locations. I remember saying to my self, this is what it is like to be normal, cramp, and symptom free. I see now why they call menstrual cycles the “curse” and my favorite, “your friend”. That heifer is no friend of mine, she ain’t even a frenemy. But seriously, the one hundred dollars a pop non insurance covering injections were to costly for my budget, so I went on the pill to control my symptoms with extra hormones.

Long, long ago, back in the 90’s, In Style magazine was in its infancy stage and some celeb or flavor of the month diva mentioned that she drank Yerba Mate for energy. I thought, this is a revelation because it was South American. I also thought  it was a revelation because it wasn’t the “I use the astronomical La Mer face cream all over my body and go to the spa weekly” bit that makes me want to hurl a platform shoe at the wall. I tried the yerba tea in mint flavor and loved it. I learned that you shouldn’t drink the tea after five pm because you will NOT sleep that evening.

Those botanical herbs from the rain forest. Gotta love them. Yerba Mate tea can be found in Whole Foods or any health food store. But remember, I am not a doctor, nurse, intern, etc. I just like watching” Grey’s Anatomy”.

Hair ’em, Scare ’em

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Was the hair loss cause by genetics, thyroid, or hormonal? Or wearing wigs as my father bitterly stated?  Improper relaxer techniques? My friend simply stated, “Stress”. I called a place that had a specialist for hair loss and she quoted a hundred dollars for a consultation. Upon reviewing her web site I saw that I would have to purchase special vitamins and creams, all out-of-pocket. Thank you but no thanks. More internet research which people do before seeing the doctor. I couldn’t call it. I told my brother and he said, “shave your hair off” and put Sulfur Eight to make your hair grow.

I am sorry but a bald head is not for me. Some woman look good with a baldie, i.e. Amber Rose, but I don’t think I could pull it off. That would mean placing a wig on my head, and hoping it does not slide off.

After testing and seeing a dermatologist , it was determined that I had hair loss due to stress. He could tell because of the formation and pattern. He gave me a script for some cream, which I did not fill out. I went to the aforementioned Hair Supply Store and asked a kindly Korean lady to recommend  a product for hair growth. It was call Gro-gaine and it had ingredients from the rain forest. Gro-gaine retailed for ten bucks, and it was contained in a small bottle with a medicine dropper. It had a nice fragrance as well. Love the play on the other hair loss treatment for men and women.

Within days, instead of shiny bald patches, I now had fuzzy, coarse, beautiful, nappy hair growing back. More importantly, I was removed from stress in my life.

*Note: the medical term for hair loss is alopecia

P.S.: The title of  this post is in reference to an old Bugs Bunny Cartoon. I used to watch cartoons with an ex and I remembered the episode title so I decided to put a twist on it. I saw this cartoon twenty years ago.

Hair Apparent

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Okay, it is Sunday evening. Still on the subject of hair. When I was being pushed out of my last job, I lost a lot of weight and slept my life away. I was in so much physical and emotional pain and some people got it, and others did not. I took to wearing wigs bought at the local hair store owned by Koreans who have a monopoly on this and work long hours; brilliant foresight for them, a missed opportunity for Blacks. Sidebar: Many Black Hair Companies were bought out by Non-Black companies, so you really have to look closely at the label if you want to know who you are buying from.

For example, African Pride is not Black Owned Company despite the name. There is the ” Proud Lady Symbol” on some products to let people know if the product they are spending money on is in fact a Black Owned Company. In previous decades there were protests and boycotts over this issue. I recall Revlon was targeted because of their Black hair-line and folks complained over mergers with White companies. So the hair that sisters fuss over so much is  big money-maker and stakes are high!! Perhaps this is why you don’t see a lot of sisters in swim meets, all those chemicals wreak havoc on hair.

I recall a Venezuelan student of mine had blonde hair that turned green due to chlorine in swimming pools. I wrote the name down of a product by Paul Mitchell called” Aloe Rid”, and you would have thought I discovered slice bread. This parent that probably cursed me out in Spanish because I kept the noisy class after for two minutes was later ecstatic that her pretty mami no longer had verde pelo. This girl is probably a stunner as an adult, I know. I would not be surprised if she was in a beauty pageant, because in Venezuela, they take pageants on a whole different LEVEL, maybe above Texas and California.

But back to me: two of my hairdressers found a bald spot in my hair several years ago. I thought nothing of it, and had no alarm. Well for three years I did not get my hair styled, I wore wigs! I also did not relax my hair, but did color my hair to cover the gray. Then I decided to use a no chemical relaxer by Janelle, Diva, something, there is the short-term memory loss. It did not work because of my lack of skill and or patience. Next came the straightening comb. Ahh, the smell of crispy fried hair and a stove fan. Colossal fail.

Okay, I will get a real relaxer from Sallie’s, and do my research from buyer reviews. Hair still horrendous, because I was afraid to leave the perm on, visions of  Malcolm Little getting busted by the popo and having to rinse the chemical out in the TOILET flashed through my mind; so the process was short-changed. (This was an early scene from the Spike Lee movie ” Malcolm X”)

I decided to go for the 3/4 wig or fall and placed my hand on my head. What was supposed to be thick, coarse hair was…….bare scalp! As Sarah Palin would say, WTF!!!! Tune in next time to find out what happened next!!!

I Am Not My Hair

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Last week I got my hair washed, colored, conditioned, and roller set at a spot that a wireless phone carrier rep told me about in town. My hair actually moved and it had a bounce to it. I received lots of compliments which helped my mood. The salon was owned by Dominicans, who are known for their fierce roller sets and round brush/blow dry techniques. You go in and then you are  out. My stylist did not speak a word of English, but a woman who looked like the owner translated. The whole Dominican Style Hair Salon has been a phenomenon that made the front page of the Wall Street Journal.

Earlier that day I decided to put on eye make up so as not to look so tired. I wore a purple scarf and cardigan, which coordinated with the smoky violet look. I slathered on a lip treatment and felt polished, instead of the crack head look I was sporting earlier. I figured the crusty eyes, head scarf could be retired because I felt it was my time. It was just that before I was too tired to even lift my hand to my face, and the thought of going to a hair dresser seemed like a major task.

I read in one of my depression books that women paying attention to their looks improved their mood greatly. It is not a superficial, hey look at me I want to be a covergirl, but more like grooming and enhancements. Perhaps I will be in the mindset to beat face, which is a make up artist term I just learned where one creates a dramatic fashion forward look. Lord knows, I have the tools and products. I just realized that this post was supposed to be about hair, which is what I wanted to discuss. My thesis was on Black Hair– Is It Political?

Darn, that topic will have to wait next time. I will conclude that since my appearance improved, I FELT BETTER!!! Now if I can focus on laundry, rotating my clothes and showering consistently that will show significant  progress…

“You Better Change Right Now”

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When “All In The Family” was a top ten television show, viewers tuned in to see topics that were sensitive discussed. It was the seventies, and show creator Norman Lear had America buzzing. One such topic was menopause. Edith Bunker was the dim-witted wife of  Archie Bunker, a narrow-minded, bigot. Edith was “going through her change of life” and her controlling husband shouts out, “You better go through this change of life thing right now!” Or something to that effect, because I can’t remember things! He might have said five minutes, but before I would have remembered and kept it moving but now…..I worry, and have to worry about accuracy and where to research and is it a reliable site and does it really matter, or will I be viewed as a non credible source….You get the picture. I am slipping. I am like a once powerful ballplayer in their youth, relying on a banned substance in their later years to compete.

Even as I type I am making silly spelling errors. I should know better, but at least I am discovering them. Time to solve this problem.

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