Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Human Roomba

4AM I pace
and bounce off
the walls
trajectory
changed
caroming from one
room
to another
until I land
back in bed.

I wake
again
back to my
human roomba
routine.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

SLS and Hair Loss

I have had PCOS since my teens - most of that time undiagnosed and untreated. One of the ickier side effects (there are so many to choose from) is serious hair loss. When I went to the national PCOS meeting in Minneapolis in 2001, I was stunned by the number of women in their 50's and 60's who were balding or just bald. OMG! Was I staring into the hairline of my future? I resolved then and there to combat this follicle loss to my dying breath.

Seems it was exactly that. Over the last 10 years I have lost a lot of hair. Some days it fell out by the handful like a chemo patient, other days only a couple dozen strands. I resorted to asking a doctor for medication to make that cease and desist. The medication he prescribed is also used to treat blood pressure, so it made my already low blood pressure even lower. But hey this is my HAIR we're talking about!! I could give a rat's ass if I fainted daily, as long as my hair stayed in my head. I ate more nutritious food, de-stressed, worked out - anything to help me keep my hair. I even thought briefly about no longer dyeing my hair to support its staying put. We all know who won that argument. It's noticeably thinner in the front on top, but I am hanging on!

A couple months ago on a whim, I bought some sulfate free shampoo. I don't know what made me try it, I just felt drawn to it and thought why not. Within a week I noticed my hair was so much shinier. Healthier feeling. Needed to be washed less often. Felt thicker. And I swear there was more of it! What the FUCK!?! From a shampoo? So I started reading about sulfates, what their function is in shampoo and possible side effects. What I saw made me sick to my stomach. The major bubbly component in shampoo is sodium lauryl sulfate, a chemical I am all too familiar with in the lab. In its powdered form it is toxic as shit - ok not really, but it is a majorly irritating chemical if inhaled. And more than one inexperienced lab worker has cleared the lab by releasing a little fluffy cloud of it that made people run to the hall gagging and coughing. (research still sound all Tony Stark and sexy? Thought not). OK. so the toxic chemical is in my shampoo for what reason? To break up grease and make bubbles. Certainly there were better less toxic choices? Sure, but SLS is dirt cheap. So in it goes.

I kept reading and found that SLS is associated with hair loss. NOW you have my undivided attention!!!!! FUCK ME RUNNING! I looked at those damn ingredients in the shower every morning for my whole adult life. I KNEW that SLS was in there. KNEW it was a hazard from working with it in the lab. Why had I never thought about the damage it might do? I'll tell you why. Because I trusted that the shampoo industry would not add anything harmful to their product. I mean, isn't it in their best interest to help me keep my hair so that I continue to buy and use their shampoo? REALLY? Think Mary! Isn't this the same beauty industry who tells me I'm not beautiful because I'm curvy and big. DAMN LIARS!!!

It was a profound moment of change for me. Wonder what other toxic crapola is lurking in my cupboards?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Hummingbird Dreams

We decamp our lives in favor
of a leafy bower. Hidden
delight is the order of the day.

The hide-and-seek leaves
muffle the light
create a green womb safe
for hiding
for playing
and for dreaming.

Words jumble tumble free from our filters
Silence rests on the katydid’s back.
I loiter, your belly pillow gurgling
my ear deciphers its tribal rhythms.
My hands dance the invisible music
wrapped in the lavender chord of your laughter
then fall and sleep upon my chest.

Your taste skates thru me
igniting Delphic visions in its wake
whose amniotic dreams birth a radiance
both primeval and unexampled.

Our giggling draws them in
Shy at first
Then becoming bolder
Fearless enough at last to
perch upon my finger
These hummingbird dreams.

Mean Girls Are Never Pretty

Mom's sojourn in Memory Care ended when she could no longer stand and became what they term a 2-assist.  She transitioned to Skilled C...