Sunday, June 17, 2007

No hair yesterday, hair today

One of the many symptoms of lupus is hair loss. This can be caused by active lupus itself, or by many of the drugs used to treat lupus. Considering that my hair loss began with the increased dosage of Imuran, I would guess that my reason for hair loss is the Imuran I'm on, but I'm not a doctor, and I'm not even permitted to diagnose myself. I wish I could. I'm one of those people who believes that I'm the best expert on everything. It's amazing that I have all this medical confidence without a single day of medical school, but here we go. I'm diagnosing myself as suffering from hair loss due to medication. My doctor would likely disagree and tell me my lupus is active, but I'd like to live in denial a little bit longer before I have to deal with yet more pills I truly don't want to take but will take in the end.

I've never really considered myself a vain person. I've never spent much money on make-up or hair care. I usually just hop out of bed, shower, and go on with my day with a tube of SPF Blistex in my pocket. That's pretty much my beauty regimen for the day. Since I noticed that my hair was falling out, I've become very vain. I feel guilty about it because as my lupus symptoms go, I'm feeling pretty decent. I'm achy, but not unbearably so. In the past, I've been in so much pain, it would hurt to walk. I've spent time in a wheelchair because I couldn't handle the weight of my own body on my feet. At this point, I get around pretty decently, and if the price for that is my hair, so be it. So this is the voice from the rational and grateful to be alive Katerina.

The vain and shallow Katerina, however, quietly pouts that her hair is going away, and searches her mind on what to do to save what's left of her quickly departing hair. When lost for what to do, I read and I research. In doing this, I find out from the fine web site put up by the University of Maryland that half the people with lupus suffer from hair loss and that the hair usually grows back. That's nice to know. That my hair will come back... eventually... some day... but when? Apparently when I'm over my so-called flare. (Remember, I'm still in denial about being in a flare. Good thing I have a doctor who deals really well with denial.)

In searching for options, I've found that I can get a hair transplant. I don't think I'm that bad off yet. I also hate to try anything semi-invasive because such a thing can risk a flare. There seems to be organic shampoos I can try. I think I'll look into that. Sometimes I just feel so ugly, and I hate it.

Yesterday, I decided to go to the Cutting Edge Salon in Marina del Rey for a manicure and pedicure. It had been better than two years since I had something like this done, so I thought I'd treat myself. I figured, at least my nails could look pretty. While I was there, I thought it might be nice to get my hair done, but figured the odds of this salon servicing African American hair to be highly unlikely, but I figured in the least, I could get a shampoo and figure out the rest later, so I asked, one of the beauticians, Heidi, in all her blond glory if she could do something with my hair, and she replied, "Uh huh, I'm an ebony hair specialist." I never figured I find one of those in a little shop in Marina del Rey, but I did. Heidi did an amazing job with my hair. She braided it all over, and then sewed in hair pieces so that my hair didn't look so thin. She made my day. She is now my favorite person in the world.

So, right now, I'm not feeling so ugly, and I'm feeling very relieved. Heidi suggested I should try wigs. She says they're very much in fashion these days. I think I may consider it, or may say whatever with it all and just shave my head, but for now, I can obsess about something else, like my weight. Life's back to normal.

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