Having confidence in yourself is something that comes easily for some and not so easily for others. Growing up I would say that I fell into the second category, not so easily. I have struggled to believe in myself, struggled to find myself beautiful, but over the years it has become easier and easier and I say I was moving into the first category until May of this year. This is hard to talk about, but I know I am not the only one…
I had just gotten out of the shower and I was brushing my hair and something felt funny, so I grabbed the mirror and did a little looking and there it was a bald patch the size of a dime. I was a little shocked, but as someone that colors my hair and had done so not 24 hours prior I thought it was totally my fault. Over the next two months, this patch got larger and larger. I went to my Doctor and he told me it was stress related and I needed to ride it out. For the next six weeks I cried, my hair falling out in clumps and there was nothing I could do to fix it. When you do research online they tell you that stress is the worst thing for it. Now as a woman, we tie a lot of confidence and womanhood into our hair. I know I did. Being a plus size girl, my hair and my make-up were two coats of armor that I could control and now I couldn’t control one. I cried myself to sleep many nights, my mom received many tearful phone calls from me. I marched back to the doctors and when he saw the size of the patch was sent for a battery of tests and to another doctor, then I was told to see a dermatologist.
After weeks of waiting I saw Dr. Ross, she is an amazing dermatologist in Vancouver, who specializes in hair. I was diagnosed with Alopecia.
This is when your immune systems starts attacking your hair follicles for no known reason. There is no known cause and no cure, only treatments to help slow the process. There are also different kinds, I have Alopecia Areata. It is medically harmless, but detrimental emotionally and psychologically, especially in woman, and the tears started flowing. My prognosis is good in that the likely hood of me losing all my hair is not that high. In addition I have one large patch and a lot of thinning and she has one patient with 23 small bald patches. My patch is relatively hidden, but I feel totally exposed when my hair is down. My treatment, I am receiving multiple steroid injections into my scalp and there are signs of regrowth in the bald spot and I am feeling a small sense of relief. Dr. Ross listened and gave me some good advice and direction, she held my hand, handed me a tissue and made me feel a little less ugly.
The last couple months of been emotionally packed full. I keep reminding myself that there are people in far worse situations than me and I have nothing to complain about. Should the worst case scenario happen and I do lose all of my hair, well then I am going to get to have a lot of fun with wigs, hats, scarves and big earrings. For now I am going to have some fun with clip in extensions and love the hair that I do have. I will take the pain of the injections and pray that the regrowth continues. It is easy to curl up into a ball when it feels like the world is pummeling you with nothing but bad news, which I have done a few times over the last few weeks. I also know that when you surround yourself with the friends and family like I have, they don’t let you stay down for long, before they start reminding you of the fighting spirit you have inside.