The Problem with Gray Hair


***READ THIS FIRST – I am ok.  I am mostly healthy with the exception of some extra weight and intermittent bad eating habits.  This is an important “no major health issues” disclaimer.  Minor aches and pains don’t count due to intermittent Crossfit workouts.***

Several weeks ago, I got my hair did.  I went all out too.  Chopped most of it off and mostly dyed it blonde.  Mostly because when you hair really isn’t blonde, it takes a few tries to get there.  Mostly because my hair had so much red in it from previous dye jobs and natural red shampoos that it was slightly pink in some spots.  Only slightly.

I chopped it off because I was consistently (and I do mean consistently – day in, day out, week after week) wearing it in braids and pulled back.  Even for special events I wore it this way.  Why bother?  It was too hot to wear it down and even if I did, there’s a sweet little baby that’s going to hang on to it for dear life any chance he gets.  I also chopped it off because my daughter and I had a deal that if I had short hair she would keep her short hair.  She totally backed out AFTER the haircut.  Turncoat.

The blonde….well it’s the easiest way to hide gray hairs.  Yes, wiry, crazy gray hairs that are so easy to spot on my naturally brown hair.  Or so easy for me to spot.  Some days I’m lucky to get on mascara.  I don’t need crazy gray hairs making me look as tired as I feel.  Coffee can only do so much for a person.

Days after my fabulous new do, I noticed my neck was hurting and there was a knot that I had never noticed before.  Weird.  I asked my husband to check it out.  He suggested I have it checked out if it didn’t go away in the next few days.  It didn’t go away or get smaller.  I made an appointment with my doctor to get it checked out.

It’s a funny thing when you consider mortality.  It’s scary.  It was scary when I noticed this knot on my neck just like it was when we finally wrote our will a few years ago.  I called my husband after we had finalized some details on the will and admitted that though I knew it was crazy talk, I suddenly felt mortal.  Never before, which is nuts but true.  Once I put the will on paper I had the crazy thought, “Oh no, this means I really will die one day”.  As if somehow I was going to avoid that.  I almost backed out as though not having a will would protect me from death.  Crazy, I know.

And regardless of my beliefs, the thought of leaving this earth, what I’m leaving behind is scary and sad.  So the night before my doctor’s appointment I started crying in the middle of the night.  My poor husband.  My crying was accompanied by blubbering things like I don’t want to die.  Then laughter at admitting to such fears.  Followed by more crying and things like, “What kind of legacy am I leaving?  Will my daughter remember me as angry mom or loving mom?”  Fresh wave of tears.  No one wants to be remembered as angry mom.  The thought of that is enough to make someone cry in the middle of the night, fear of death or not.

Turns out when you work really hard to bleach someone’s hair and then have to work even harder to get their hair to be less pink, your lymph nodes freak out and get big.  No big thing, just my lymph nodes protecting my brain.  Nice to know they are hard at work despite the freak out moment they caused me.

Moral of the story –  don’t go blonde after you’ve been messing around with red hair.  At least not right away.  Your hair might end up pink and your lymph nodes are liable to freak out which may cause you to freak out.  I would say don’t dye your hair, but no one with gray hair or roots wants to hear that.

2 thoughts on “The Problem with Gray Hair

  1. You are amazing (and I miss you dear friend!), thank you for the encouraging reminder that freak out, crying moments are allowed (and even needed sometimes).

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