So my hair is falling out. With my fine, sparse hair, I need this to happen like I need a new hole in my head.
In today’s world of taking photos all the time, I could go back and see when it started. My hair (for me) looked full and healthy in June at our grandson’s high school graduation. It looked fine when I had cataract surgery in July. It looked okay in August when my daughter and granddaughter visited. By September, the truth was becoming obvious.
I went to see the dermatologist about it.
“Oh yes, “ she said with relish. “Your hair is definitely falling out.”
You want your physician to have a positive take on things but I thought this was taking positivity a bit too far.
“I started using some products in August that were supposed to give my hair more volume and body. Maybe they were too harsh,” I suggested.
The doc shook her head. “No, it’s not caused by damage. Your hair is shedding at the roots. “
Oh great, I thought. I just threw away sixty bucks of product for nothing.
“It’s called Telogen Effluvium.,” she continued as if she didn’t see the distress on my face.
“What causes it? Does it last forever? Am I going to be completely bald?”
I actually only asked the first two these questions, even if the third was uppermost on my scalp.
“Stress is the major cause,” she said. “Are you under any stress?”
“I’ve been under terrible stress since November 8, 2016 and it hasn’t gotten better as time goes by,” I said. “When they started taking babies away from their parents who were trying to get asylum, even my always low blood pressure went up.”
She looked at me as if I were speaking a different language. “Pardon me?” she said.
“Never mind,” I said. “Yes, I’ve had several stressful months. My husband has been sick.”
“Have you changed any medications?”
I nodded. “Several.”
“How’s your thyroid?”
The conversation continued this way for a while. I left the office with something called “Women’s Alopecia Solution” and an information pamphlet.
When I told my husband the diagnosis, he said, “What stress?”
I’m telling you, my main stress producer said this with a straight face.
“Let me count the ways,” I said.
There’s nothing like hair loss to make me want to create change. I’m actually doing things to reduce my stress. Number one, I don’t watch television or read the news. I’m meditating a bit and slowing down. And I try not to think about the thinning that’s reduced my bangs to a teensy bang.
“Worrying about losing your hair is only going to stress you out,” my husband had advised. That seemed true.
As I clean the hair droppings out of the sink, I try not to freak. The good news is that at least I know I’m not just paranoid and delusional.
But oh for the good ol’ days when I was only a hypochondriac.