Wednesday, April 22, 2015

And the doctor says...

Thank you to so many of you for reaching out after my last blog. It was wonderful to know I had so much support, and I am grateful to everyone for sharing your similar stories. There is so much comfort in knowing we're not alone, and I am extremely grateful for this unexpected blessing!

As we last left my hair falling saga, I was to visit the dermatologist next. Hormones and thyroid issues were ruled out as causing the excessive hair loss. It took almost 3 months to get in to her office, but it was worth the wait (except for the piles of hair on the floor).

It is so wonderful to meet a new doctor and feel immediately at ease. She carefully listened to my issue, medical history and examined my hair. She asked if I had been under stress, just like my primary care physician had first asked. She was surprised that I was losing hair on my entire body. She said that the hair on my head was thinning, but it wasn't falling out in patches. She looked at my legs and said the hair that was growing, wasn't normal hair. Actually it's the same way my arms look now. I look like a turkey (my description, not hers). Do you know what I mean? When you prep your turkey you can see these thin hair sprouts popping out? That's me right now. I have turkey legs (and arms).

After worrying, and worrying about why my hair was falling out, I found out that the cause was...worry. Oh the irony! Yes, stress had most likely caused this. 

She felt that my hair loss wasn't permanent. And giant exhale...phew. Next she told me what I needed to do. And she kept repeating the mantra "And you will do this, right?" It was very sweet, as it was the voice of concern and caring. I was grateful for it.

So here are my instructions. And of course, keep in mind I'm letting you know my specific treatment. I'm not on any other medication or have any other health issues. So if you are experiencing hair loss, of course see your doctor first and get to the "root" of it. There are many health issues that can cause it. Here we go:

  • Use Nioxin cleanser and leave-in scalp treatment. (I'm using the rinse-out conditioner too without her instruction). They come in different numbers based on untreated, treated hair and other types. I'm using #4 for chemically treated/thinning hair. Only wash my hair twice a week (Omg, I usually wash my hair every day or else an oil well sprouts atop my head. This is not going to be pretty.).
  • No hair dye, hair dryer or heat products on my head. I have to treat it like baby hair.
  • Take Viviscal Extra Strength Nutrient Tablets twice a day.
  • Take Biotin 5,000 mcq once a day. There's many brands out there.
  • Take a multivitamin once a day. Here's my choice.
  • Eat a palm-sized serving of meat protein 3 times a day. "You'll do this, right?
     I nodded yes. And I'm not allowed to diet (Permission not to diet, things are looking up!).
  • Take 1 hour to myself every day. And a very serious "You'll do this, right?" I told her yes, absolutely. No phone, no distractions, and a"do not disturb" sign on the door if I need it. I am supposed to do things that will relax me: meditate, yoga, bath, etc.
I am scheduled to go back to see my dermatologist in 3 months. She said my hair won't be the same, but it should grow back. This is an amazing lesson for me on the mind/body connection and how important it is to take care of every aspect of ourselves. I feel grateful that this only affected my hair, and I didn't have a stroke or something worse. So I am on the road to calmness, with instructions in hand and a new appreciation for caring for the house that holds my soul.

My next blog will be about the ways I'm learning to relax! Thank you for coming along this journey with me.

In Gratitude,

Kerri Mulhern

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