About Me

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I'm a mom, a wife, a best friend. Sick with CFIDS/ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia since 1975 as a result of a nasty flu while still in grad school, it wasn't until the late '80's that I received a diagnosis. Until that flu I'd never really been ill before. With each year I get progressively worse and add to the bucket load of symptoms I'm living with. I've been blessed with an incredible family and best friend who've stayed with me through my struggles as we continue to find a way out of this monstrous illness and its complications. We've tried seemingly every approach to find my way back to health. Often I think our best weapon in this undesirable and unasked-for adventure has been laughter.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Rogaine: My Beauty Hero

My hair usually on the thin side, so its default setting was usually short.
For the last few weeks I've been experiencing the weirdest facial skin problems, ones I've never seen before.  Given that I'm constantly coming up with new strange symptoms (emphasis on "strange") it was difficult not to simply attribute the new problems to my CFIDS/ME and/or my fibromyalgia.  However, as I became more frustrated, it didn't sit well with me that something else was being blamed on the DD.

My face was becoming a bit rough, with a bit of bumps going on, not pimples, just bumpy.  Now I do have problems with pores and hyperpigmentation, but really, considering everything, my skin is not too badly off, especially in light of how little care it gets.  I thought it might be stress or any number of things, but nothing sat right.  Then a couple of days ago, my hand involuntarily came across a dry patch on an eyebrow.  What was going on?

Today I decided that despite how awful I've been feeling (oh my, I am sooo the master of the understatement) I needed to give myself a home DIY facial treatment, and a very serious one at that.  I decided to go through my *ahem* rather extensive collection of cleansers, exfoliants and treatment masks and line up my plan of attack in order to cut down on fibro-brain not being able to carry me through the process.  I'm talking serious business!  At any rate, Step One was taking a bath and that's when I suddenly realized the problem - finally!

Not too long ago, after getting my hair, lashes and brows done before my madcap adventure to Malaysia, the people at my "beauty palace" recommended a new shampoo/conditioner/serum system that was made for thinning hair. ("Thinning"?  I had five bald spots - yes, 5! - as described here).  I was told that women who lose their hair from chemotherapy love this particular product line because the success rate was even better than that of Rogaine's. This sounded tempting, despite my great success with Rogaine, because I would be eliminating a step, simply changing to a different shampoo and conditioner. They were out of the shampoo I needed, but had the conditioner and serum and to give the "beauty palace" wonderful credit, they didn't want to sell me a substitute for the missing shampoo, preferring that I buy the shampoo elsewhere, but get the right kind - for color-treated hair in addition to thinning - than get the wrong thing.

Well, I finally got around to ordering the shampoo a few weeks ago and loved it as well as the conditioner. Given how exhausted I was after taking a bath, I never had the energy to try the serum. I didn't even have the energy to use a couple of standard hair products either, ones I use religiously. I was delighted that my hair felt lovely - soft, no frizz problems, just the texture I really normally WISH for - despite the lack of added hair products and I was quite happy with the new shampoo and conditioner. I did feel that I needed to spend a bit more time and product washing my face because I really did not like the idea of all those hair-growth chemicals touching my face, but ignored that little voice nagging me. WHEN will I learn to actually listen to that voice: gut instincts are built into us for a reason, after all, no?

The new shampoo system was Nioxin #4, the kind for "noticeably thinning" hair. I'm not exactly blaming the shampoo as a lousy product, but it does give me pause: why would I want to expose my face to those chemicals, especially given that those with CFIDS/ME and fibromyalgia so often also have chemical sensitivities. If someone were to shampoo my hair the way one does in a salon where you sit back with your head against the sink, the shampoo never touching the face, it might be one thing, but in a bath - I'm not sure that's a good idea. A careful shower might be more successful, but I can't stand in a shower without collapsing, so that's pretty much out of the question.

But having said that, I must hasten to add that to make things worse, I've also had a terrible itching of my scalp problem, going nuts some nights. I had assumed (dangerous thing to do, I know!) that it had to do with my occasional bouts with head swelling, where the water builds up, and just yesterday upped my medication for this problem (as mentioned very briefly here). AND what's really gross is that after just two days of not washing my hair, my scalp was getting some sort of crud that would pop up under my nails as I madly went through scratching sessions. Misery? Oh my, yes, but "we" all know how many cruddy things we put up with and I just thought I was simply going through yet another yucky and gross CFIDS/ME/fibro symptom and annoying problem.

So, I think I'll be returning to the Rogaine treatment I was using before, as described in an earlier post. And I will also go back to the SmartLash for my brows (described here). The brows are starting to thin because I've just had no energy to keep up with them since my adventures - and after all that work! (Bangs head against the desk.) I think I'll wait for a while before I do anything with my lashes since I'm going through a bit of a problem with dry eyes, which started with itchy eyelashes: again, due to the new shampoo system? I have no idea if the eye problems are also connected with the Nioxin, but I'll be watching to see what happens in the next week or so.

So, there you have it: hopefully I now have the answer to this most annoying problem. One down and 8,997,999 to go, give or take a couple thousands.

And before *I* forget, a reminder that the clock is ticking for the Followers Giveaway and a chance to win the lovely Skyn Iceland kit. It's an incredibly great product line, almost a "cult" product line, and if UPS or the postal service can get to you, I'll gladly send it to the winner wherever she (or he) may be. Don't be shy...the odds are greatly in your favor and it's an incredibly easy and quick thing to do. Just go here for the easy-peasy rules and the place to leave your very quick comment. And if you subscribe to my blog and don't have CFIDS/ME nor fibromyalgia, please don't feel shy about entering the Giveaway: you actually almost deserve extra credit as you learn more about this illness and thus become our "goodwill ambassadors"!

At any rate, thanks for stopping by and until next time: I hope everyone is feeling the best they can be, only better!

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