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.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Friday Tidbits: The Saga of my Thinning Hair Continues...

OK, add a few decades, shorten the bangs area and put in some highlights and you'd have what I look like now...yeah!  In my dreams!

Anyone who knows me knows that I'd literally prefer a root canal rather than get my hair done.  (Oh, how I wish I were joking!)  Thin, fine hair makes for a very scary prospect as I walk into a salon for color, highlights, low lights and cut.  Yes, I know that hair can grow out, but that isn't the situation with me.  I've gotten to the point where I actually have "hair envy" when I look at any person on TV.  How in the world DID I get such lousy hair genes?  

My last visit to get my hair done was truly a shocker. First, it had been nine months since my last hair appointment.  Can you imagine?  I mean, I could have had a baby in that period if I weren't so old!  My stylist/colorist works wonders on volumizing my hair, but this last time was the most difficult time ever.  My five bald spots are growing in for the most part, but let's admit it: my receding hair line is the pits.  When my colorist started putting in those "foils," she exclaimed, "what in the world happened?"  A couple of years ago, I lost about 1/3 of my hair.  It was finally growing in nicely thanks to Rogaine and my Phyto vitamins for hair. My stylist wanted to know what in the world had happened to me now, horrified.  She was literally shocked by what I had - or in my case what I didn't have - on my head.  Instead of my six strands of pathetic hair on my head, I now had three!  (OK, slight exaggeration, though not by much!)

But this time, I had at least half my hair volume missing.  When I looked at the little, pathetic bits of cut hair on the floor, it literally floored me (pun, anyone?).  My stylist cut the hair little by little so that the bald spots would be covered but not having my hair too long because of the problems of maintaining hair for a chronically ill person.  The result is always some variation of the "pixie," easy, peasy.

According to the Mayo Clinic's web site:
 "Thyroid problems. The thyroid gland helps regulate hormone levels in your body.  If the gland isn't working properly, hair loss may result..." 
"Sudden loosening of hair. A physical or emotional shock can cause hair to loosen.  Handfuls of hair may come out when combing or washing or even after gentle tugging.  This type of hair loss usually causes overall hair thinning and not bald spots." 

Shedding?  Oh my heavens, yes.  Not only was my hair brush full of hair each day, but the bathtub full of hair after a bath was frightening.  It got to the point that the shedding was so bad that hair was even getting into my mouth.  Yum!   And yes, I have the characteristic of the last third of my brows not there any longer, not that they were ever too prominent to begin with.  PLUS, my bald spots were caused by bad falls, not hormone-related.

So, what are the reasons/factors which put me into this state?  If I were a betting woman, I'd say:

  • My hypothyroidism (see link for symptoms)
  • My lowered HGH level
  • My lowered DHEA level
  • The stress of my gall bladder surgery
  • The physical stress of undiagnosed pneumonia - for a few MONTHS!
  • The emotional stress about seemingly everything: worries about my kids being the biggest factor, perhaps. (I can always find something to worry about, but I'm working on refraining from worry.)
  • Flying halfway around the world to Malaysia (though I wouldn't change anything about the trip!)

I could come up with a few other factors if I really thought about it.  The compartment surgery of a year and a half ago when I almost died didn't help - obviously?

It's been three weeks since the hair appointment.  At least I now look like I can go out in public without scaring little children and unsuspecting men.

I'm back (as of yesterday) to using Rogaine on my barely-there eyebrows and the receding hairline.  I'm also using SmartLash on my eyelashes.  Yep.  Those, too, are rather skimpy.  And I actually had a discussion with hubs about "brown soap," Octagon.  But that's for another post!

BTW: Anyone have opinions on Octagon soap used as shampoo?  I'm off to do my research!

As always, hoping everyone's feeling their best, only better!  Ciao and paka!

(NOTE: I must emphasize that you check with your doctor before using Rogaine.  Menoxidil was originally used to lower blood pressure, for example. Since so many of us have low BP's, that needs to be factored in.)


  1. I'm so sorry to hear that you're dealing with hair loss. I do hope that you find a path that works for you.
    When I started developing bald spots and thinning, 3 years ago, I decided to have all of the remaining hair buzzed off.
    My hair stylist asked me if I wanted a weave or a wig. Since my skin is sensitive to fabrics and I have compressed cervical discs, I opted for wigs.

    1. Hi Berry! Sorry about your sad hair tales. I have a few options as to how I'll go, deepening on how much the Rogaine helps in the coming month or two. I might get a buzz cut so the Rogaine gets to where it needs to go more easily. I've talked about wigs w/ stylist too, BEFORE all this happened! Does the wig make you sweaty or itchy? Thanks so much for your input! xx

  2. Hilarious post....only because I can absolutely relate. What I've learned from watching my reality shows of the REAL HOUSEWIVES OF...., is that there is no such thing as natural beauty and everyone e has their issues with beauty. So, I've embraced or t least coveted my thinning, lack luster hair with bling hats and eyebrow pencils:)

    1. Hi "Books"! Great attitude and I'm trying to work towards that, believe me! Thanks so much for writing in: your words are the kind of thing that keep me laughing and help enormously to keep me fighting. And I'm absolutely thrilled that you found the post hilarious! xx