Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Stick a fork in me because I'm done. I need an ebaycation. I need to get a hold of myself. I need to stop feeding my id lest it outgrow this tank. Limit my indiscretions to the flea market. That only happens on weekends. During daylight. I mean, how wrong can you really go during daylight? Or at least until 10 or so when the stores close. The bars are open until 4, but at least I can't shop there.

Yes, I was outbid by a mere 50 cents on this nature skirt. Sour grapes, I tell you, sour grapes.

And I love--really love--the bunnies, raccoons and frogs. Such cute 70s illustration style. Very Hedgehog in the Fog. I had already planned our life together, this skirt and I. Picked out the sweater I was gonna wear with this skirt. And the boots. And oh the adventures we could have had. But now...

But of course the irony is that I wasn't home to outbid the outbidder because I was shopping for other things. Oh yes I was. I got myself a thrillingly constructed late 60s dress that looks like wood grain, and a 70s polyester dress printed with broken chains. Both will be on high rotation as fall transitions into winter. And the two of them together cost me a mere 6 bucks. Of course I traded in choice items like 50s silk dresses to get them, but there you have it. I was at Beacon's Closet, where I had a voucher. And I'm always afraid to die with a Beacon's Closet voucher in my purse, I mean, what a waste that would be.

My month-long ebay binge has made me $89 lighter. I got three dresses, one skirt and four necklaces out of it, which isn't so bad. And in all honesty, one of those dresses, a glorious Vested Gentress number was, a whopping $37. And Akhenaten bought that one for me. He saw the terrible tragedy of one of my beloved vegetable print dresses being destroyed in the wash and stepped in with some humanitarian aid.

But now I'm done. I'm not bidding or watching anything.

I began this blog almost two years ago to curb my compulsive shopping problem. And I have fallen down a couple of times before, though never like this. You and I both know I've got plenty of things to wear. So what's going on? What gives?

Well, what I don't have, at the moment, is hair.

I had an acute telogen effluvium about 4 months ago. That means my hair fell out in handfuls for about 2 months. A rain of hair. It would get all over my desk at work. Piles of it. Very distracting, to say the least. I lost between 30 and 40% of my hair. My general practitioner sent me to a dermatologist who did expensive, painful lab work and concluded that my hair was falling out (no kidding), but that she didn't know why (gee, thanks). She told me to take Biotin and use Rogaine. I'd like to say I kept a stiff upper lip, but instead I wept bitter tears from my heart.

Rogaine is a hypertension medication whose side effect is hair growth. In creme form, new hair will grow wherever it touches, pretty much. Brittle hairs about 2 inches long, but no usually more than that. If I am supposed to put it on before I go to bed, won't it get on my pillow case? Won't it get on my face? I mean, the instructions are adamant about washing your hands afterward. And even Big Pharma itself says that Rogaine is a life style choice. That means you gotta use it continuously for it to work. And it ain't cheap. I decided against this route. Supposedly a telogen effluvium is a temporary situation. Some even say that the old hair that is resting is being pushed out by new growth.

Hair is divided into 3 parts: growing, resting and falling out. Hair also grows in 3 month cycles. If something happens to interrupt the cycle (a high fever, extreme stress, starvation, postpartum, and new medication all can be culprits) the hair that is resting will begin to fall out, along with the hair that is already falling out. And then you have a major bummer.

The part in my hair began to look like the Grand Canyon. I wore scarves on my head (what Akhenaten and I jokingly called "Hair Loss Hijab") for about 2 months. I don't mind rocking the Little Edie look, but summer set in and it began to get too warm.

So Biotin. I've been taking it from the get-go, and my part finally seems to be filling in with wiry short hairs. Most of them gray. But nonetheless, the Grand Canyon seems less wide. Of course that didn't help what's hanging down my back. And so I began to cut. First 2 inches. Then 4 inches. Then 6. My waist length hair is now somewhere around my shoulders and still looking paltry. Head scarves are still in high rotation. I think I'm still about a year away from having hair that I can stand. Maybe a year and a half. And possibly it won't quite recover to it's pre-shedding fullness. And so it goes, as Kurt Vonnegut used to say. But I did not go bald, though the rain of hair was alarming, it slowed to a drizzle and stopped.

I did not use Shen Min, a Chinese herb reputed to keep hair from falling out and return grays to their original color. It hasn't been shown to work consistently.

I tell you all of this, goslings, because heaven forfend (pfui! pfui! pfui! kaynehora keep the evil eye away) it should happen to you or someone you know. But at least with this information you could be more reassuring to someone experiencing hair loss than the expensive dermatologist I saw.

So the question is: should I just cut it off and start all over again?

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Blogger Pratishtha Durga said...

That condition sounds scray enough. I am too closely bonded with my hair, and can imagine what a heartache it must have been to see them all go away in clumps. You, of course, are the only one who could have had humor about all this. Good luck with having your crowning glory back.

11:39 PM  
Blogger samsara said...

Ms. Prati! Thanks for the well wishes and kind words, you are awesome.

11:28 AM  
Blogger midafternoonsnack said...

Poor thing! I blame 2008 as everyone I know, myself included, has been having a calamitous time lately. Good for you that it sounds like the worst is past.

7:59 PM  
Blogger kitty said...

Ah the messes with tresses. I'm glad to hear you're on the mend. And rest assured, you still look lovely.

4:43 PM  

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