So, I kind of broke up an almost fight at Kroger today

Hey everyone! Long time no write. LIfe has been a crazy series up downs…and downs…lately and my time and mind have been elsewhere out of necessity. But today, something happened that I think is worth sharing so here goes.

I was in line at Kroger today and I slid in right behind this very frustrated guy who was about to have a verbal duke out with the poor blameless cashier, who appeared to already be having a very difficult day. I observed quietly for a second, and then I felt compelled to intervene. I realize that this is a risky move, especially nowadays but I went for it anyway. I was going to bring some peace to Kroger dang it. I said, ” You know, I think we have all forgotten how to be kind. We have all gotten so frustrated with other stuff and other people that we forget how to be nice to others. ” This stunned them into angry silence for a minute. I boldly went on. “When I had my cancer this year and then my husband had emergency heart surgery soon after I was done with chemo, I realized that there are some battles I just don’t need to fight anymore. I just feel lucky to be above ground. Everything after that is just gravy.” Both men got even quieter and just stared at me. I wasn’t really sure what was going to happen. Then, the fighting man asked if he could help me get the stuff from under my cart. I said, “Absolutely! Thanks!” He did. Then he turned to the cashier and said thanks and then went on his way. The cashier thanked me and I noted out of the corner of my eye that everyone was smiling and nodding. I have to admit. That felt really good. I had brought peace to Kroger that day.

You have to ask yourself, why are we all so frustrated? Actually, that is a fairly easy question to answer. Look at all the colossal shit that has happened in all of our worlds lately. We’ve got the ongoing pandemic (depending on which blend of fact and fiction you subscribe to. I am just going to leave that one alone.) We have unemployment issues. We all know someone that has gone through incredible health issues. We have all had ridiculous amounts of financial strain. The list keeps going. It requires no stretch of the imagination to suppose why we are all on edge. The real question to answer now is how are we going to stop it? Are we going to be able to act like logical, sensitive, compassionate humans again once things get better? Or are we so entrenched in the cycle of negativity that we have forgotten how to recognize when things are good? I can understand the negative reactions to negative environments and things that we cannot control. But, I am suggesting that we start trying to remember how to act like civilized rational beings again regardless. Take it slowly at first, deciding to be content with or grateful for some tiny little thing: a single decision that goes your way. Then, go from there. I am just afraid that if we don’t start at least trying now, we won’t be able to do it later. Then, we will have a much bigger problem.

Dr. Katz

Do Baldies Really Have More Fun?

Hey there everyone! Long time no blog. I know right? It has really been a month of visciousness but now I am ready to get back at it with humor, wit, vim and vinegar. Here we go.

As I embark on my soon to be fifth month of hairlessness after shaving my head on video on the 24th of March, I am realizing just how much has changed. I can remember thinking OMG how am I going to survive doing this? How much more vulnerable can I get? Now EVERYONE will know that I am sick without being told! ( as if my public announcements and all the videos had not clued everyone in already. Ridiculous right?) I am not sure I can handle this! I’m not sure I can pull it off! The list of original thoughts goes on and on, all with the same underlying theme of potential fear and lack of self-confidence.

Well, that said, it really hasn’t been that bad. Actually, there has been a strange element of ultimate freedom that arrived simultaneously as my hair departed. I can remember rubbing my head in the mirror, both surprised and soothed at the smoothness of it. I can remember my daughter exclaiming in surprise, ” Hey mom! It really doesn’t look as terrible as I thought it would! Your head actually isn’t gross to look at!” Gee thanks honey. Best compliment I ever got…lol Apparently she had visions of some wrinkled, misshapen, irregular mole-filled lunar landscape. Glad I was able to surprise her.

Seriously though, I meant what I said about the freedom. It’s as if being bald offered an explanation about my health that I didn’t always need to confirm verbally. No, it didn’t lay out the specifics for me, but it, pardon my pun, gave a “heads up” to people even before we entered a conversation together. It somehow took the pressure off by allowing them that extra few seconds to reconnect their mouths and their brains before they said something that they regretted. I may be stretching this a bit, but I dare say that sometimes I think it has made people a little nicer to me. Now whether or not that was genuine or just forced awkward sympathy, I will take it gladly. Somedays you just need a little extra kindness, no matter what the source.

Here’s another bald bonus. The shower time has literally been cut in a third! I am lightening fast at getting ready in the morning. I can literally shout out ” I’ll be ready in 5 minutes” and actually mean it! I am also able to claim the occasional sensation of being cold for the first time since menopause started teasing me five years ago. Ok that is pretty fantastic right there. I was pretty sure the word cold had disappeared from my vocabulary all together.

Don’t let me kid you or myself though. It hasn’t been all sunshine and roses. All positives I mentioned aside, being bald has it’s share of negatives as well. It metaphorically facilitates a visual and mental level of vulnerability like nothing you have ever experienced before. It is a daily visual reminder that you are, in fact, not yourself right now. You have something going on. You are sick. All the scarves, wigs, and sparkles in the world cannot erase that visual completely. Sometimes that is tough.

You sunburn more easily on your head and dang it, I never realized how much my hair shielded my eyeballs from sunscreen. Wow does that burn! I realized quickly that I had to decide between altering my application technique and wearing some kind of tacky headband to keep that from happening. By the way, the altered technique won. I was not going to walk around with a large sun stripe on my forehead.

All in all, being bald has not been as rough as I would have thought. Sometimes I think I am getting too used to it. I actually start worrying about how I am going to temperature regulate when my hair starts growing again. For a moment, I actually considered keeping it going. Then, just in time, Facebook will pop up a memory of a particularly fabulous picture of me from the past with a great hair do and I am jolted back to reality. Yeah, life with hair was good too.

Have a great day everybody!

Dr. Katz