Saturday, 28 February 2015

Hair today, gone tomorrow

9th of July, a day before I flew on a long summer holiday, I went to a salon. Now Im not normally a salon person. I have basic, fuss free hair that I keep clean and that's about it. On this fateful day I was in possession of a voucher that gave me a "relaxing" shampoo-blow dry for free at my local salon.

Why not I thought. I was packed and ready to fly the next day and a bit of pampering sounded like a good idea. I had no idea what to expect as I hadn't been to a salon in years..After the appointment was done I came home, sorted out the rest of the work, and went to sleep.

The next morning when I woke up, I noticed some black powdery substance on my pillow and full length strands of hair, (from the roots) strewn about. I had to get to the airport so distractedly got on with things. The next day when I reached my destination and settled into a warm oil scalp massage, I was told I had a bald patch on my scalp. I couldn't believe it. The next few minutes were like a bad horror film. Long bunches of hair fell about me, from the roots, as if they were not attached to my head. I could do nothing but watch this phenomenon continue for the next few weeks, till half the hair on my head fell off and I was left with a bald patch at the top of my head and scalp that could be seen through my remaining hair.

It continued to fall even after I returned back home.

I had been to a doctor abroad and a few sympathetic older ladies gave me some ideas as to what could be done. Neither actually knew what was wrong. Opinions ranged from Stress, alopecia, and a possible first degree scalp burn. The last one seemed most likely as I had been to the salon just before flying.

Now the full extent of my feelings on my scalp were not fully expressed as I had other issues erupt simultaneously. Maybe these helped me cope with the hair fall better than I would have. Hidden blessing in disguise?

A few days after the bald spot appeared I had a massive accident that saw me almost break my elbow and fingers, along with deep injuries to my knee, shoulder and arms, accompanied by extremely large black and blue bruises. The pain was excruciating and I went to a hospital for injections and cleaning. The pain of these injuries lasted for the next few months.

Soon after Tara contracted a bug so wouldn't stop her vomiting and had diarrhoea for days. She wouldn't eat anything or hold down water for long. I took her to the doctor and had to look after her day and night with my horrific injuries.

In between all this I had a visit to the dentist for a mysterious pain I had in my  jaw/tooth area. I had this pain even while I was at home for almost a year. My dentist here took X-rays and found nothing. So I had an appointment with a top dental specialist abroad for a second opinion. His X-rays found nothing either. He sent to me a general practitioner who suspected something more sinister and recommended I go inside an MRI machine! A possible nerve disorder? My bruised body shuddered..Some of my open wounds unfortunately got infected. Back to the hospital. A few more injections.

My brain was in the strangest state. I couldn't find one part of my body that didn't feel pain at the moment. Even my scalp had joined the part and I was getting extreme headaches and unbelievable itching now, as hair fell and fell and fell...I was astonished that I still had some hair to how after masses had fallen. How was that possible??

The bald patch was soon forgotten...for now. It had to wait its turn in my long list of worry inducing situations.

Oddly I didn't cry. I think what I was dealing with was beyond crying and my body was in survival mode. I had to look after Tara first and the luxury of crying over myself was not an option. She had lost all the little weight she had and looked terrifying. Luckily she was rid of the bug. I couldn't wait to fly back home. I did and zombie like tried to pull myself together.

The next few days I focused every ounce of my body getting Tara back on track. She did and went to school when it opened.

I got in the shower, hands trembling as I tried to gently wash my hair. I heard a loud wail in the cubicle. It emerged eerily as hair fell away..just like that. Stop! Stop! I shouted alone and crumpled into a heap in the shower as the healing skin stretched and tore on my arms and knees. I cried as water ran over me. I felt broken in every way.

As I stood up wobbling with the pain. I barely dabbed myself with a towel and dressed myself up.

September was drawing to a close..Now what?

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