I try to keep you guys up to date on my Alopecia Treatments. I know that most of my readers aren't affected by Alopecia, but I get a lot of people who find this blog when searching for information on Alopecia and it's various treatments. I have tried to be honest in my experiences with Anthralin and DCP treatments over the last year and a half of blogging about Alopecia. I really wish I could have written that one of the two treatments worked for me, so that someone can be inspired to try, but I can't.
Today I had my one year follow up appointment regarding my DCP treatment and the doctor and I jointly made the decision to end treatment. Actually, she was surprised they hadn't ended it at my 6 month follow up because she said if they don't see "significant growth" after 6 months they stop. Strange, because I would never deem myself has having significant growth at any point in this treatment. I got a few patches here and there, but they never really lasted long.
I have mixed emotions over today. On one hand, I am glad to be done because it was a huge time-commitment. I also am happy to move on and accept my appearance as it is. On the other hand, I am sad that my hope for a cure is currently done. I have tried every treatment. This is it. There is a chance that one day something new will come out, but for now my journey has ended. I need to move on and accept that I will spend the rest of my life with this disease.
It is hard to live with alopecia. I mean, I appreciate that I still have my health, but it is hard to be different and it can feel pretty lonely. I wish I had a friend with it too (though I would never wish it on my current full-haired friends!). There are support groups, but I can't stand them. I try so hard to participate on them but they make me questions every choice I have made thus far in my alopecia-journey. There are too many options and opinions presented for eyelashes, eyebrows, wigs, treatments, coping etc. It overwhelms me and I just stopped going on the website.
I have found that the support my family and friends give me means so much more than anything a stranger says on a website. I lost my hair at age 14 in grade 9. It should have been a terrible time but I have so few memories of feeling sorry for myself back then. My friends and family supported and loved me and NEVER treated me any differently before and after my hair loss. If they have no shame in being friends with a completely bald girl, then I sure as heck have no reason to have any shame in myself. And yes, even though I am currently single, I find that guys still find me attractive too! Alopecia only holds you back if you want to be held back. You can use it as an excuse, but really it is YOU making the excuse. I still go to my friends and family when I need to talk about how I feel dealing with my Alopecia and I don't think I will ever grow out of needing them. Thank you :)
I have been finding lately that I find I really struggle with the idea of being secure in my appearance, while at the same time dealing with the idea that I choose to wear a wig. I feel like those two shouldn't go hand in hand, so it can be hard to wrap my head around (this was also the reason I chose to leave the online support group- they didn't seem to support this idea of having both worlds). I am really not sure how I manage this, but after 13 years of alopecia I DO have self confidence and I STILL choose to wear a wig. I sometimes feel this is contradictory, but it is the truth. I shouldn't need to feel guilty about wearing a wig and being self-confident. I am all for those women who choose to let their bald flag fly, but right now it isn't the choice for me for my day to day life and that is OK.
I think I need a change in my alopecia routine to perk me up after all this. I am going to investigate new eyebrows (I recently found out there are fake hair ones! I might also look at real tattoos...eep). I am also looking into a Freedom Wig, which apparently you can pull into a pony tail?!?!!? They cost about $4000 though (I think?), so it is not a light decision. haha I can hear some of your jaws drop from across the internets.
I am also thinking of getting a new tattoo on my head (or just an improvement on one of the ones I already have). I am not sure how to start finding a reputable tattoo artist though. Any tips on that? See?? Too many choices!!