Let there be…..frogs?

posted in: Age | 0

So, since I’ve been getting ‘older’, my hair has started to fall out. It blocks the tub, the vacuum cleaner, sticks to the bottom of everyone’s socks, and is attached to everything. This has become a huge issue for me.

But, whenever I talk to a doc about it, I get fobbed off…mainly because I still have a lot of hair and they don’t believe me, especially if I have more than them.

So, I got the bright idea to collect what fell out after I washed it the other day, stuff it into a ziploc, and then take it with me to my next appointment, which was earlier this week. I tucked the bag in my pocket and off I went.

While I waited to see the doctor after the nurse called me back, I started wondering…. should I actually show the hair to her? I mean, was it being a bit weird if I pulled out a plastic bag with old hair in it? Was it too gross?

But while I sat there reading all the yucky diagrams they have on the wall, with body-parts you’d rather not know you had, I remembered how stressed out I feel whenever I wash my hair and see handfuls of hair come out in my hand.

“Bugger it,” I thought. I’m sick of worrying about it -so I put my hand in my pocket….oh my god it was gone!

There followed moments of blind panic. Where could I have dropped the damned bag? Okay, so it’s only hair right? But it looked more like a tired brillo pad, or one of those fuzzy Tribbles off Star Trek, at certain angles it could be mistaken for a mouse! For some reason, losing my bag of shed-locks seemed as personal as losing my underwear.

The doc came in. I told her the reason I had made the appointment (something other than the hair) and once we had discussed that, I thought I’d go for the two for one doctor visit, and told her all about my hair loss. To be fair, she did listen. And then she looked at me knowingly and said “Dear, you have lots of hair” – I held back the groan and assured her I had lost about half of it. She was unconvinced.

“Look” I said, “I’m so worried about it, I put the last lot that fell out into a bag to show you, but somehow I’ve managed to lose it.”

“Oh.” She said, and it sounded more like ‘Eew’ while giving me a strange look. “One of the staff found a bag of hair in the waiting room, but they threw it away.”

I know I blushed. All I could think of was that nasty looking bag of grey hair…they probably thought I was a weird hoarder.

“It was a lot of hair to fall out.” She continued. “But it’s probably normal. At least you have plenty more.” And that was the end of my diagnosis.

Yes, I hate going to the doctors. It never used to bother me, but now I absolutely dread it, no matter which doctor or the reason why I’m going. This has been a week of appointments for me.

Today was another one of those days. I had to have a CT Scan. But they wanted me there 2 hours before the appointment so they could do blood-work. This was to ensure my kidneys were up to being blasted with the radioactive chemical they use for contrast on the scan.

This is how it went:

I got there on time and had fasted from food and drink.

They couldn’t find my orders in the system….panic

They found my orders (after much complaining)

They took blood and sent me to the Radiology Dept

I waited for 40 mins until my actual appointment

They needed to do an I.V. and discovered the site from blood-work was bleeding all down my arm and a big mess….oops

Other arm then…..ouch….had trouble getting it going

Lay down with arms over my head while icky stuff put in the I.V.

Then the rest of the dose of icky stuff…for those of you who have had this, you know how it goes/feels

The machine started, it told me to hold my breath- I did

It said breathe – I did

It told me to hold my breath

And then it broke down


The damn machine quit working

They sent me home

They rescheduled another scan at another location

Which also means another I.V.

So having blown almost three hours this morning (and a vein), and gone without food/drink/results – I have spent much of today being grumpy and have administered chocolate. Hey in the big picture it’s really no biggie….I just needed a good moan.

To catch you up to date, Gump and I recently returned from a week babysitting our grand-kids, one 2 year old, the other 4 months old. This was our first time to watch these two munchkins, and we were both a little nervous about it. We don’t see the kids often as they live a long way away from us, plus they are still very young. We were unsure how it would go as they would not be used to us, and us not used to them.

It’s been a long time since I have shared a room with a little baby and given him a bottle in the early hours. It’s been a long time since my maternal instincts have kicked in to wake me at the slightest little sound from a child. But they were there and ready to go!

The first night was interesting. Both kids woke up, and Gump and I met face to face on the upstairs landing at 2 a.m., bleary eyed and confused. This activity roused both the 2 dogs and 2 cats immediately, who thought it was time to either pee or eat, and within moments we had a three-ringed circus scurrying around the house with background vocals of a baby and a toddler crying.

Gump, in his infinite wisdom, went downstairs and let the noisy dogs out so they could also wake up the neighbours, and while doing so, inadvertently let out the declawed cat who isn’t allowed outside, especially at 2 a.m. in subfreezing condition.

But somehow, we made it through the rest of the night (well on and off) and everyone was up for breakfast in various stages of deprived sleep and dress.

As doting grandparents, Gump and I had promised their parents that we would keep the kids’ normal schedule (important) and take them to their daycare while mum and dad were away. That said, prior to the trip, Gump and I had discussed taking them as requested, but maybe not making them spend all day there, but instead bringing them home to hang out with us. That was until the first night…..

Day two, we had those kids washed/fed/dressed and in their classrooms at their normal time, while we returned home and stared at one another like zombies.

It was a fun week though. We both bonded with the kids and got to know them so much better than if their parents had been there. By the fifth day we had it down. Everyone was happy, sleeping better, and even Gump had managed to change diapers without throwing up.

We knew early on that we would have an extra day in Minnesota after the parents came home, when the babysitting gig would be over. This also coincided with it being the day before my sixtieth birthday, and Gump and I had poured over a map while still at our house to see where else we might explore before driving back to Oklahoma. There was Canada, only seven hours to the north…..there were the Dakotas, a few hours away too. I found the notion of waking up on my birthday in a state I had never visited an exciting prospect.

Fast-forward to the ed of our babysitting week…..we changed all plans…and instead drove 25 miles to the state line of MN-Wisconsin. We found a Starbucks, and Gump bought me a mug for my collection. Then we drove right back to the grand-kids house and hung out.

Upon our return to Debtwood, Gump discovered a frog in his toilet. Now, for those of you who have read my blog for years, you will perhaps remember all the various critters we used to find here at our home Debtwood.

Years ago, we found several of them swimming in the loo (the frog family vacation), and we ended up spending our retirement savings on having a main sewer line replaced in the house. This required a trench being dug into our foundation, and plumbers in the house for six weeks.

Fast forward a few years…..and now there was a damn frog in the john which had never seen the light of day until Gump lifted up the toilet seat.

He rushed out to the kitchen where I was unpacking snacks from our drive back from Minnesota.

“Do you have a jam jar with a lid?”


“There’s a frog in my toilet!” This was said with much excitement.

I groaned. “Oh no! Not sewer issues again! Just flush it.”

“No!” Said Gump with bright eyes. “I want to keep it. I’ll put it in a jar, I don’t want to drown the thing.”

“Then put it outside.” I was starting to get irritated. I had, after all, driven most of the 10.5 hours journey back.

“If I put it outside it will freeze to death.”

“Then flush it.”

“I want to keep it.” He said again.

I frowned. “Hang on a minute…..” (this is when Gump should realize his peril) “You want to keep a frog that was born and raised in our septic tank, in a jar so it won’t die?”


“Won’t it starve?”

“I’ll feed it.” He had hope in his eyes.

I immediately stole that hope and smashed it into pieces. “What will you feed a frog raised in a sewer?” I said with teeth gritted. “Will you have to feed it shit?”

“Of course not.” He said, as he saw my face contort.

“Let me get this straight. You found a crap covered frog which you want to keep in a jar in my house and try to raise it until it’s not cold outside anymore?”


“No. No way in hell. No way even if you paid me money. No and no again. I will not have a waste raised amphibian anywhere inside this house. If you choose to allow it to remain, I shall be moving out. You pick.”

I’m still here, so you know what choice he made.

Jude the radioactive frog killer