In Which My Tongue is Blue

Another day of twenty five minutes on Medium. Anything goes.

3 min readSep 30, 2021
Photo by Chris Slupski on Unsplash

A curious observation:

Today I woke up and my tongue was blue.

Not bright-in-your-face blue-popsicle blue. But a definite blue tinge, green also, and yellow. I tried to remember what I had read about tongue appearance and more words came to mind to describe it: ‘thick coating,’ ‘pale’ — connected maybe to deficient Qi in the spleen (from what I have read on Chinese medicine, which is not very much, the thing that stuck with me the strongest as a self-diagnosis was deficient Qi in the spleen). Heat. Stagnant. Bloat. Symptoms and sensations I am well familiar with.

And now my tongue was blue.

The last time it was dramatically colored was when I was visiting family two years ago, right after I finished my MSc. degree. I was stressed, depleted, in-between homes and more than somewhat unhappy, and my tongue was black.

I was in the states, in Boston close to where I grew up, and close too to the epicenter of biomedical medicine. In that world, the favored method of analysis was through tests and diagnoses. In that world, the pain in my jaw and gi upset and constant fatigue was either a sign of a ‘flare,’ meaning active inflammation related to the diseases affecting my gi or nervous system, or the diseases were stable and any symptoms were due to a) a yet undiagnosed medical problem, b) baseline level of symptoms I should get used to, c) all in my head.

a side note: I enjoyed looking up ‘tongue’ on Unsplash to find an image.

another side note: there is a HUGE cockroach on my porch right now, and I am mostly unfazed. Oh, there is definitely more than one cockroach. Oof.

Why was my tongue blue?

I’m not going to Google it yet. I will, later, and you my dear reader are invited to as well. But only if you really want to. It is so easy to get caught up in the internet tabs and searches and taking in more information than we can process, ever.

I’ve been taking in more food than I can process. Too much caffeine, also. More action items written down each morning, more movements made toward tangible goals. I updated my resume (at last!). I make more plans. I feel my mind waking up, my cognition shaking itself free of the fatigue it has known so well for so long.

The body speaking

The mind is waking, is wanting and doing, and the body is responding, with hunger and impulsive consuming and heavy bloat and a blue tongue.

But you know what? That was twenty five minutes. TO be continued. TO be edited, also. There is a point here, somewhere. For now, the point is PROCESS and PRACTICE, now let me go check out my tongue in the mirror.