Saturday, December 6, 2014

an alopecia update, because (some of) you asked for it.

hi friends!

remember almost 8 months ago when i stopped wearing my wig? welp, i'm happy to announce that i'm still wig-free, although not bald spot free. i've got a few spots on the side of my head and one that's starting on the top of my head (that's probably noticeable to anyone taller than me, which is a lot of people).

i saw my TCM doctor about a month ago because i was getting nervous about my new spots. he reminded me that alopecia areata has no set path and unfortunately, there's noway to anticipate what its next, sneaky move will be. he told me to keep using that awesome 7 star hammer (LOVE that thing!) and keep taking the herbs he prescribed for me. i told him i'd been thinking about getting a cortisone injection in the spot on the top of my head, and he fully supported it.

so now, for the second time in my life with alopecia areata (15 years now) i've gotten a cortisone injection. the first experience (years ago) was not great. this experience, was much better. i went to my specialist (who's a dermatologist, i just call him a specialist because it sounds so special)... he also reminded me that alopecia areata is unpredictable, but that i'd never lose all my hair. he used the tiniest needles and basically circled the entire spot on the top of my head that's losing hair. it barely hurt (compared to the first time which hurt a lot). i'll go back in a few weeks for a follow up.

here are some things that had changed in my life, that might be responsible for the new bald spots:
i bought a house (a house that needed a lot of work, money and paint) so i might have been a tiny bit stressed. i started slacking on the treatment shampoo that a lovely woman in L.A. sent me (i have to sit with it on my head under a shower cap for 30 minutes and sometimes 30 minutes feels like a long time). i was also slacking with my vitamins (iron, biotin, magnesium bisglycinate). and was just generally busy, and didn't feel like i had a whole lot of time for myself (because any free time i did have, went into painting my house). i hate the idea of blaming alopecia areata on stress, but maybe it is a cause of it.

so i'm back to using my treatment shampoo, taking my vitamins and have stopped painting my house (thanks to a pinched nerve).

i've decided to not document this hair loss with photos, because i'm trying to ignore my bald spots as much as possible (which is a very tough thing to do). in general, i'm actually in pretty good spirits about it and am really just appreciating being able to get up and not have to put on a wig.

thanks to everyone who have sent emails sharing their stories, offering support and asking questions. i've never met anyone in real life with alopecia areata, but i sure have met a lot of amazing people with alopecia areata on the internet.

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