Black Hairy Tongue, Earthquake Fun & Facing a Fear


My yucky brown tongue & Avi’s healthy pink tongue

Avast, me hearties…yuckier photo ahead!

Greetings, my friends!

It has been an interesting week.

I learned something new, and you’re about to learn it too! Did you know that after one takes antibiotics (in my case, for walking pneumonia) it’s possible to get a case of Black Hairy Tongue? The answer is a resounding yes!

What on earth is Black Hairy Tongue, exactly?

WebMD explains, “The name black hairy tongue may sound scary, but the condition is harmless. Black hairy tongue is caused by bacteria or fungi in the mouth, which make the tongue appear black and hairy. It’s easily remedied by good old-fashioned oral hygiene.” (For more info. visit this WebMD link)

Thank the stars, not all cases are black-colored tongues; I got lucky with a coffee-colored brown one. I could’ve sported this look:


I freely admit my case could’ve been much worse. The above shot is TAME compared to what else lurks out there. My advice: Don’t do a Google image search for “black hairy tongue”, ever. Yowza!

I’m grateful that my black hairy tongue isn’t black nor hairy! When my doctor looked at it she told me that I just need to wait it out for a month. It’s not contagious. There are no medications to take, but it’s a good idea to scrape my tongue after brushing my teeth daily. No problemo.

My yucky tongue experience brought me back to my childhood. I watched the following jingle a zillion times. It’s sung by the actor/singer Scatman Crothers who warns about a different kind of yuck mouth, but it’s so catchy and convincing that I wanted to share it.

Local Earthquake News:

We had a early morning jolt last weekend that freaked me out. At 3.6 on the Richter scale, it was nothing compared to the Loma Prieta quake I lived through back in 1989. (It registered a fearsome, deadly 6.9.) My entire family slept through the 3.6, except for Miss Lucy and yours truly.

There’s something about feeling this particular force of nature that cuts to the core. You’re out of control in a BIG way. It’s unnerving, to say the least. Hearing our house creak and shift wasn’t the way I preferred to spend the crack of dawn. But once again, this is another situation that could’ve been much worse. I was relieved a bigger quake didn’t follow the 3.6!


The epicenter was less than 20 miles away from Chez Harwood

Facing My Festival Fears:

My first “grown-up” job was producing annual large-scale festivals in Silicon Valley for four years. After I left that position, I took a looooooong break from attending any festival, even the Santa Cruz Chocolate Festival. I thought I went to enough festivals to last several lifetimes.

Last week I was unexpectedly gifted with tickets to the Redwood Mountain Faire, a local, family-friendly festival that attracts great musicians. It would’ve been rude not to go, so I forced myself. I planned to say hi to my generous friend on their staff, and dash away shortly after that.

Rilla said she’d join me, and I thought she’d also want to leave soon after our arrival. But as fate would have it, she ran into some of her friends, and she begged me to stay all day! (We compromised at four & 1/2 hours.)

The event was well-produced, it was in a beautiful setting, and I had to admit it was fun, especially since I didn’t need to work and deal with angry food vendors, etc. While taking a breather in the shade I chatted with some cool, friendly locals; it turned out they were the parents and grandparents of Rilla’s ballet classmate. The grandma, who used to live on our street decades ago, told me about some fascinating musical history that took place across from our house. (I was flabbergasted, but that’s for another post!) My social anxiety took a backseat for a change.


A festival isn’t a festival without a shaved ice booth!


Rilla caught me in a particularly relaxed moment

Ketogenic Update: I’m still very curious about ketosis because of its purported  beneficial effects upon bipolar symptoms. I sampled a few books about ketogenic nutrition on my Kindle, and Keto Clarity: Your Definitive Guide to the benefits of a Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet by Jimmy Moore and Dr. Eric C. Westman impressed me the most. I couldn’t resist splurging on it, and I’ll let you know what I think about it soon!

I hope you’re all hanging in there. I appreciate your reading this blog so much! I’ll touch base late next week, and in the meantime, please take good care of yourselves. Happy Summer!

Lots of love, Dyane


p.s. You can still join our Wondrous Writers Weight Loss Group on the website/app Lose It! Group member Bradley of Insights From A Bipolar Bear has helped me with his encouragement! I’ve lost 25 pounds of “Serouqel weight” since I began using Lose It!, and let me tell ya, it feels good to carry around less poundage.

If you join us, Bradley & I will encourage you. Why not try it out? I’ll send you an invite if you include your email in a comment. You can also sign up for free at and find us under Groups

Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder will be published by Post Hill Press in 2017.

27 thoughts on “Black Hairy Tongue, Earthquake Fun & Facing a Fear

  1. I love the cartoon. I don’t want to be a yuck mouth, that’s for sure. I look forward to your report on ketogenic

    • That’s *great* you watched “Yuck Mouth” – it’s one of the few jingles I can easily sing from memory. I’m terrible at memorizig lyrics, even my own – I’ve always been that way, so it’s not ECT’s fault. ANYWAY, my first hurdle is reading the rest of the ketogenic book. I was totally into the the first chapter and it’s not boring. But I have a bunch of other tempting books in my Kindle that I need to ignore. (“Lab Girl” by Hope Jahren, “Sweet Dreams Are Made of This” by Dave Stewart & many more…)

      One thing ketogenics is supposed to help with is boosting energy level, and that’s a huge incentive for me to (um, how shall I put this delicately?) get off the pot & read it! 😉 Not cannabis pot. The throne pot. Ha ha!

  2. That black hairy tongue is just frightening. I’m glad your case is mild. Looks like you and Avonlea were having fun in that photo. And Marilla looks so tiny with that huge shaved ice! Did she finish all of it?

    Oh and I’m going to have nightmares about the Yuck Mouth! I’ve never seen that before and now I’m scared😣.
    Take care my dear! XOXOXO

    • Hey sweet Jess! My tongue is getting better, although the crappy brown stuff won’t be gone for 3 weeks. !!! Oh well.

      And yes, Marilla finished every bit of that shaved ice – that was a size SMALL and of course she wanted large! 😉 (She would have gobbled a large up too!)

      Hope you’re doing okay – I know you usually don’t post on weekends, so I hope to see a post from you next week at your blog and maybe at BP Hope?
      Thanks for writing and for being a great support as always. 💖 U!

  3. Yuck mouth…eeewww! Scrape that tongue! Antibiotics do throw off our body’s balance, but better to live (survive serious bacterial infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia). Your tongue (and gut) will get back to normal now that you’ve stopped the antibiotics. MAOI diet requires that you limit yogurt intake which can help when taking antibiotics. Not sure if it helps with black hairy mouth, though. Yuck!

    My internist lectures me about keeping my fat and sugar intake down. I’m taking cholesterol medication because I wasn’t able to get my cholesterol down even when I had lost weight through diet and exercise. Gained weight back since my mom’s stroke. Now my triglycerides are high. She insists that research for cardiovascular health calls for low fat, low saturated fat, low sugar diet and regular exercise. That said, she is an internist and not a psychiatrist. I’m an heir to heart disease and stroke, so I have to be careful.

    Looks like you had a great time at the fair. Rilla took a wonderful photograph of you. She has talent.

    • I’ve had a tongue scraper for a long time (that’s a gross thought, but I do clean the thing, LOL!) My tongue is slowly getting better, and the bitter taste I’ve had is disappearing, thank God.
      A little thing, but you know how little annoyances can be, especially for sensitive friends of yours named Dyane!

      I didn’t know about limiting yogurt when on MAOI’s, so I’m glad you mentioned it. I haven’t been eating it lately, but I used to eat it often, so that’s good info. to know. (Who the hell made up THAT “clinical” name, I’d like to know! He/she was probably high on peyote!)

      As you know, I started reading the “Keto Clairty” book, which basically says the opposite of everything your internist said. The authors interviewed a bunch of doctors who backed up their claims and they quote many of them in one of the chapters. I’m still tempted to try it since it’s supposed to help with bipolar disorder stability, and I found more information writtten by a Dr. Georgia Ede on her website that suggests the keto diet helps bipolar, but I haven’t read the book’s section that says what I’lll need to eat, exactly. I don’t know if it will be feasible.

      You do need to be careful in light of your family history with heart disease and stroke. It’s good you’re taking the cholesterol medication – you don’t want to mess with that. When one is going through what I consider an extended crisis & exhaustion, it’s not the time to revamp things. I know your doctor is looking out for you & I’m glad your doctor is proactive. You can take small steps in getting the sugar & fat down and when you’re less depleted, you can always make bigger changes.

      My two cents – and I won’t bill you, my dear! 😉

      • Getting sugar down would be good. Now that we are sick we all want simple carbs – easier to digest, quicker energy. I still oddly crave Mexican, but I’m alone on that one…

  4. Aw, this was a fun read! First of all, my tongue is perpetually brown thanks to coffee and creamer. My daughter often comments how gross it looks. ANYway, that hairy tongue is…wow. Well, it makes my coffee tongue look pretty awesome! Glad your case isn’t nearly that…Muppet-esque.
    I’m glad you went. I also have that anxiety to deal with social occasions, and dread the day-long affairs like family reunions and the like. Yet look what happened! You ran into family friends, learned amazing stories…that’s what makes venturing into the world worthwhile.
    Of course, some faires can be total debacles, like this college-run Renaissance Faire I attended once, but then that just makes for good story fodder of a different kind.
    It’s great to see you smile so 🙂 xxx

    • Thanks for sharing about your “Coffee Tongue” ha ha ha!
      At first I thought my tongue 👅was “Coffee Tongue” and not “Black Hairy Tongue”, but alas, I was mistaken. A telltale sign was a yucky, bitter taste that I hadn’t had before. (I forgot to include that detail in the blog post – oops!) Anyway, it’s getting better, although it won’t be gone for another 3 weeks according to my doctor. 👀

      Over time my anxiety 😱 has gotten worse, and it’s so ridiculous – I loathe it. I have only been drinking one, sometimes 2 cups of coffee a day, which you and I know is nothing, eh? To relieve the anxiety when it’s at its most intense, I take a Rescue Remedy Plus lozenge, which I carry with me a la Linus and his blanket. However they are expensive at eight bucks a pop. Here’s the riveting 😜 website description:

      “The sugar-free RESCUE PLUS® Lozenge combines Pantothenic acid, better known as Vitamin B5 and Vitamin B12, with the RESCUE® essences in a soothing lozenge with a natural orange and elderflower liquid centre. This combination of B vitamins has been specifically selected to support your daily performance even on busy days. Pantothenic acid (B5) helps support normal mental performance & Vitamin B12 helps maintain normal psychological function. ”

      Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever! I just want that damn anxiety gone STAT! Or least tamped down to a dull roar!

      (They do taste good!)

      I think I need to add more exercise into my day for the anxiety and of course other reasons; butnothng major yet. I’m still not ready. Friday was beautiful, warm and sunny, so I decided to try something outside. I ran (very, very carefully) up and down our stairs for 5 whole minutes, which is something I used to do when I was in top shape, so that was totally stupid, but it felt good for some strange reason. Very difficult, but good all the same. To cool down I walked around the front area of our house. I also used my new jumprope a few times (I could only do about 20 seconds a try – I might go for the Olympics Jumprope team!) and well, yes, I almost died. But it felt good to get my circulation going.

      The next adventure will be going on a brisk 20 minute walk, hopefully with Lucy. That will be a challenge because she becomes Cujo when encountering most other dogs, but I”ll figure it out somehow. I shall report back here!

      Sorry to go on and on – guess who just had her first cup of extra-strong coffee? ☕️
      p.s. the 16th is coming soon!

      • (taps calendar with glasses) It sure be comin’, ’tis! 😛
        Well it’s good to know about that taste, because I would just assume coffee tongue for now and always. That hair shot still grosses me out….UGH….anyway. Those lozenges are eight bucks a pop?!?!?! Yowza. and yet, by their description, that does sound rather nice. And you say they *are* effective, yes? Well considering my inner pendulum these past few days, those lozenges could make for a good investment. I’ve always been a lousy sleeper, but this past week has been just ridiculous. 😦

        Yes, I think running up and down stairs is crazy, but only because I’d likely trip and fall down them in a cartoonish fashion. 😛 I’m not in horrifying shape, but it’s definitely bad–I couldn’t handle a hundred meter race with Blondie to the park’s bathroom. I jogged it, I didn’t lose my breath, but still, I better do something about that.
        I hope the walk with LuCujo went well! I would love to have a dog, but right now we still have leashes for Biff and Bash, soooo I don’t need to add to those handfuls just yet. 🙂 xxxx

  5. Yikes, black hairy tongue, absolutely no google searches on that for me! You seem very relaxed and happy, I’m so happy to see that and it has rubbed off on me as well 🙂 The Faire looks like so much fun. I miss all your comments on my posts but I totally support you in your book writing efforts! Love and hugs, my dear Dyane. Keep on writing, rocking and keepin’ on :-)))))

    • Thank you for being happy for me! 💗 I’ll return to comments when I can, of course & I appreciate your understanding!!! 💞 I —may– take a Facebook & Twitter break in July (which I’ve done when we went to Tahoe and there was no internet connection) but that’s SO SO SO HARD!!!! 😂

      Anyway, sending you lots of love, beautiful Samina! I’ll do as you say and keep on rocking & writing and keepin’ on! ✌🏽

      hope whatever you’re up to today, you’re having a good time,lovely Lady S!

      Lady Dy

      • Take all the breaks you need my lovely little sister! I’m back in Louisville and missing my son but not allowing myself to be anxious or depressed about it 😀 huge progress for me! Sending you love and hugs and inspirational writing! 💞💕❤️🌸🌷🌺🌹

  6. Glad that you warned me ahead of time about your tongue. Never seen anything quite that gross on the tongue blade in all my years as a Speech Pathologist. Just wonder if the combination of the MAO and anti/ biotics could have caused that reaction. Hope it returns to normal soon .
    The Faire looked like fun and happy that you both enjoyed it.

    • Love you Mom, and no, the MAOI had nothing to do with Black Hairy Tongue!
      Just the Zithromycin I took for walking pneumonia!

      💕 Dyne

  7. What a coincidence, I just got back from an anxiety-provoking kid’s church event where they served shaved ice!!! Beautiful Pictures (not the tongue ones, the ones of your daughter and you, lol). And I love the yuck mouth video!

    • Finally getting around to saying hi, Ms. SuperMommy!
      That’s funny you read this after returning from the event (sorry about the anxiety! 😱) where they served shaved ice! (I wish vendors would have access to non-artificial flavors, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon!

      Can you imagine a health-food-type of shaved ice booth? With flavors like green wheatgrass, ha ha ha? It could happen here, where I live – totaly hippie town USA!

      I’m chomping at the bit to read your two latest blog posts – don’t think I’ve forgotten!
      The girls got out of school on Thursday – need I say more? 😳
      You have great taste in videos, by the way, LOL! Yuck Mouth is a classic! 👅

      See you over at your awesome blog soon! 💖

  8. Whoop whoop whoop: Go lady go! Who’s losing it and looking so fabulous! Losing her black hairy tongue? Her fear of…? Her unwanted mass? Any writing block? Como on now Lady glad that 3.6 jolt did not go any further. Loads of love all the way from across several oceans. I love your writing xo xo xo – pray could you tell me what they mean so I write them with much confidence?

    • Here I am, Ms. Fairy Godmother Marie!

      You’re a true friend to be happy for me & for mentioning that you enjoy my writing – I love it all! I’m honored too.
      Thanks for the 3 whoops!!!!! And for your positive attitude/take on life – I have much to learn from you.
      XO XO is love, love….but I prefer using these for you: 💖💗💟

      I was able to write the past couple weeks but I’m behind on what I hoped to accomplish due to everyone getting walking pneumonia (except Miss Lucy, thank GOD dogs don’t get it!🐶 ), but I’ll get back on track.😛

      Sending all that love back to you across the oceans. I see that you commented elsewhere recently, so I’ll catch up so I can soak up more of my Fairy Godmother’s wisdom and encouragement. Much 💜 to you!

  9. I’m so so glad your tongue wasn’t that hairy or that black. Geez. Now I know for next time, thanks for the heads up.

    You looked absolutely beautiful in the relaxed photo Dy. glowing almost. Wait. You’re not pregnant are you???

    Sending you lots of love,


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  11. Man, that black hairy tongue photo is amazingly gross! That poor person . . . I’d never heard of that condition until now. I’m glad yours was not that bad, and that the weight loss is going well, and that you’re doing so well!!

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