To Beanie Or Not To Beanie?

I have been shopping for beanie hats – not buying, so far, just selecting. With any luck I won’t need them. By beanie hat I mean a reversible cotton sun hat with a smallish brim, but that’s because I’m English. I get the feeling – from Amazon, from Google, from Pexels – that a “beanie hat” in America is what we would refer to as a “woolly hat” or “bobble hat”. Just to get it out of the way, I should also mention that in Scotland – particularly the Highlands – a woolly hat is known as a “bonnet” whereas in England a “bonnet” is not a woolly hat but one of those elaborate flappy cotton items with frills and long strings that Quakers and possibly the Amish used to wear. Why is language so complicated?

It’s been a difficult week. After managing on no treatment for quite a few years, my specialist finally recommended that I started on the dreaded “tablets”. I was terrified, partly because I loathe and am deeply suspicious of any sort of tablets and historically have mostly failed to find the courage to take any prescribed medicine. Oh, I buy it, I take it home, look at it for a bit – and then don’t take it. It gets relegated to a cupboard somewhere. But these – well, it was a toss-up, really, between feeling increasing like death warmed up because of the illness, or facing my terrors.

Especially having read the six-page list of nuclear-sounding warnings and possible side-effects (with probabilities – 1 in 10, 1 in 100, 1 in 1000 etc) lovingly up-szed for me by my specialist’s secretary. It went from mild – headache, bit of a rash, slight nausea – to apocalyptic – spontaneous abortion, foetal abnormalities (not that that’s relevant to me) sudden suicidal depression, kidney and liver failure and – occasionally – instant death. And I had to take six of them, all together on the same day.

I don’t know – there have been some lonely mornings in my life, but forcing myself to get a mug of water and swallow those six little tablets, alone in my kitchen – and the only person who knew I was doing so being currently asleep on the other side of the world – was about the loneliest. It needed more courage than I felt I could summon up.

“You should have told [English Sister] said Canadian Sister, later. But how would that have helped? She lives half an hour’s drive away. She never normally rings or sees me. The one time she drove over in case I needed rescuing (Canadian Sister panicked) she thought it over for a good six hours first. And when she got here she wouldn’t cross the threshold on account of her cat-phobia. And if anybody knew in advance, I felt, or was worrying about me or (worse still) with me, a whole additional layer of horror would have come into being. I have the phone numbers of two kindly female neighbours stored in my phone. In an emergency, I decided, a text to either one of them would be more useful.

Anyway, I’m still here, several days later. I had one “queasy” day but apparently you can take vitamin B9 on six of the seven days to help with that. So far I am not dead, suicidal, bright yellow, swollen-ankled/wristed, covered in hives, migraine-ous etcetera. Also, so far, all my hair is firmly attached to my head – well, it’s only a 1 in 10. But I thought as it was 1 in 10 it might be an idea to be prepared and research head coverings. I decided I couldn’t hack a turban. Elegant though the are – I’m not. I’m scruffy. More of a beanie sort of person.

I also watched a YouTube video on how to shave your own head – and decided that if it had to be done it was going to be done by the chatty, maskless hairdresser in town, germs or no germs. Those clippers are so big! By the way, during the first lockdown I watched Domhnall Sweeney on “An Lot” (“The Croft” in Gaelic). “An Lot” is/was based on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. All the hairdressers being closed Sweeney decided to shave his own head, with the help of a rusty, malfunctioning electric sheep-shearer and a bit of mirror, sat on a wooden chair outside. It was painful to watch, and he got a fit of the giggles half way through. He decided to leave it as a Mohican to start with, to show his father.

I also watched a number of videos obviously aimed at balding men – when is it time to give up and shave your head? etc. They suggested growing a beard or handlebar moustache to counteract the egg-headedness, neither of which are options for me.

And of course I watched that clip from The Oscars when Will Smith rushed up on stage and smacked that comic chap for insulting his wife Jada, who suffers from Alopecia. I looked at her and realised that the key to rocking bald and female was to be young, with nice eyes and an excellent basic bone-structure. I can see that I would simply look like Mrs Potato-Head. Wrinkly Mrs Potato-Head, and that would be that. Best keep fingers crossed it doesn’t fall out, and if it does, order them thar beanies! On Prime.

5 thoughts on “To Beanie Or Not To Beanie?

  1. Pills! Medical treatments! Bane of one’s life!
    I remember meeting medical students when at university and thinking…’My life in your hands? No thanks!’
    So far my husband has managed to prolong his life by checking everything doctors prescribe or want to treat him with and then making up his mind for himself. Given some of the stuff they wanted to try out on him I doubt he would still be here…
    A friend is currently very ill in hospital thanks to the side effects of something prescribed for depression…he just trusted doctors!
    As to hair….and hiding it or the lack of it…. a hat is a godsend when having to go out when not having washed the hair that day and luckily here, given the climate, they have large brims which not only hide the hair but most of the face too!


    1. Yes. The only problem with wide brims here is the wind. Recently it’s been blowing a gale – not to mention rain, snow and sleet. The only thing that’ll stay on is a woolly hat or tightly-tied headscarf. But at the moment the hair is still with me. : )


  2. I don’t blame you for hesitating to take the pills….especially with all those warnings. Here in the States, all drug advertising must be accompanied by those warnings, which you would think would put people off but since the ads continue, I guess they don’t. Here’s hoping you continue to tolerate them well, and that they help.


    1. Hi Ann, so far it’s been ok, though I’d still rather not be taking them. They are supposed to be the “gold standard” for my illness, whatever that means. I guess it’s a balance between one set of symptoms and another. “Suck it and see” as they say over here. : )

      Liked by 1 person

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