No Hair in the Drain!

I was beginning to wonder if I’d ever see the day … the day when no hair would be caught by the shower drain.

TODAY WAS THE DAY!!!!

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I CANNOT EVEN BEGIN TO TELL YOU HOW I FEEL!!!!

Okay, well maybe I can.  I am ecstatic!!!

When I chose Aubagio for my MS treatment, I knew that thinning hair was a possibility.  However, I honestly didn’t think it would happen to me.  I didn’t have any of the “normal” side effects.  I was certain I was in the clear.

I started having an unusual amount of hair loss about six to eight weeks after starting Aubagio.  That is, beyond the natural shedding process.  Washing my hair and combing my hair afterward resulted in more than a fist full of hair!!!  I wanted to cry.  I thought ‘it’s temporary, I can get through it’.  After all, my neurologist reassured me it was temporary and would stop within a month or two.

It didn’t!!!  [Today marks 9 months since starting the medication.  The hair loss should have stopped 2 to 3 months ago.]

With each hair wash and subsequent styling the hair loss increased.  I was beginning to wonder if I was going to have any hair.  [I was so afraid of losing more and more hair I got to the point in which I only washed my hair once a week.  Sadly, it didn’t help.]

My entire life, I’ve been fortunate enough to have very thick, healthy hair.  With the exception of a few bad cuts  I’ve always felt good about my hair.  Up until 7 months ago,  I loved my hair – the length, the condition, the style.

At times when my hair was long with little or no layers, I kept it up most times to avoid getting a headache.  It was that thick!  A ponytail holder wrapped around my hair only twice resulting in a 1½” or more ponytail.  Now I have to wrap the ponytail holder 4 or more times. Quite a significant difference!

Interestingly enough, the hair loss was the trigger for me to write about my diagnosis.  I guess I never realized how much my personal identity was tied to my hair.

For the first time in my life, I hate my hair!  It’s thin, it doesn’t feel soft & silky … it looks awful!  [Even with the considerable thinning, my stylist indicated my hair was in good shape and I still had A LOT of hair.]

Dealing with the loss certainly hasn’t been easy.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not being vain.  But, for me, if my hair doesn’t look good or I don’t feel good about it, my confidence and self-esteem plummets.

According to the Medical News Today (April 17, 2007), “The loss of hair in men is difficult to accept as it indicates aging, loss of physical strength and the fear of not looking attractive to women anymore. And since baldness occurs in mid life, the emotional effects are stronger. Though men undergo substantial emotional effects with aging, it is the women who tend to find it much more difficult to handle hair loss. 

“In fact, it has been scientifically proven through studies that women tend to suffer more emotionally and psychologically than men on losing hair. In fact, the psychological effects were much more severe than effects men went through when losing hair. Men and women were made to answer questionnaires designed by psychologists and physicians to find out the emotional effects on women.

“The results of these tests showed that women were much more worried about the way they looked than men. This led to a deeper psychological investment in the way they looked to the public. This was because women were, and are not exactly vain; they are more particular about the way other people perceived them. This is why women go through more emotional stress with the loss of hair.

It is a known fact that to a woman, her hair is her crowning glory; and this is what all women generally feel about their hair. So with the loss of their hair, women tend to find a loss in self worth and self esteem. They tend to feel insecure about their appearance and how the world and the people around them will accept them.” [1]

Yep, that accurately described me!  It is more comforting to know that I’m not in the emotional boat alone.

I know it’s going to take some time for the lost hair to grow back.  It will … and until then … I look forward to the day when a “bad hair day” is just a bad hair day.

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[1] Medical News Today, http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/68080.php

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