“Alopecia Areata (al-oh-PEE-shah air-ee-AH-tah) is a highly unpredictable, autoimmune skin disease resulting in the loss of hair on the scalp and elsewhere on the body.” - The National Alopecia Areata Foundation
When I look in the mirror, I notice a mature woman who is showing her age. I am not thrilled by what I see, but have accepted the tradeoff -- the beauty of my youth for wisdom gained through experience and life lessons.
As a woman approaching 44, health issues have multiplied along with the typical body changes. Nevertheless, the silver lining of the journey was the birth of my precious promise. She was a fervent prayer delivered days before the big 40. Her arrival turned my world upside down and inside out. She took hold of my heart that early morning on Labor Day in 2004, and has never let go.
Pregnancy can be beneficial for a woman besides the obvious. With vitamins, nutrition, and the bodies own means to provide for carrying a child hair can became full and thick.
I remember being impressed at its growth and healthy condition. No one would ever expect what was to come though. Not even me. My hair started to fall out as predicted because of post pregnancy. However, with the bothersome combination of Alopecia and breastfeeding, my hair follicles would continue to be attacked by my own immune system.
Matthew 10:30 “…the very hairs of your head [no matter how many or few] are all numbered.”
Blessed with thick brown wavy locks since childhood Alopecia was never noticeable. It was not unusual for me to part my hair or drop my neck to expose smooth bare skin on multiple bald spots. Dare I say, to the point of boasting. Years of on-going treatment with a dermatologist for cortisone injections on the scalp proved to be successful, though only for months at a time.
I noticed the first bald spot after puberty at approximately age twelve, and the disease has progressed to Alopecia Areata Multilocularis (hair loss occurring on many parts of the epidermis).
Read more here for Believer’s posts on life with Alopecia.
On Mother’s Day 2005, I did more than treat myself to a manicure and pedicure. In a private room at a high-end spa, I was sporting a blond filament wig worth hundreds of dollars and excited about facing the world again. The possibilities of gaining some likeness to my former self seemed within reach.
I choose hair whether it grows naturally or if I put on. Hair on the head frames my face, it compliments my blue eyes, and color choice with wispy strands accentuates my full lips. Nevertheless, Alopecians opt for other alternatives to include hair wraps, caps with hair, or perhaps the ultimate liberation -- going bald. It is a personal preference, and each requires a level of acceptance of the disease and current stage. Yes, Alopecia is not the same for everyone and changes its habits without warning. This mystery disease has no known cause, but some contribute it to genetics or stress. Treatments vary and differ drastically.
Three years later, I am wearing a sixth wig. My choices were of different lengths and color, but all made me feel like the total woman. The reality of going natural was once a consideration, but short sparse hair reveals hard facial lines and the signs of droopy eyelids. Yet, when I show off in a wig, old age seems to diminish, and the evidence of fabricated youth brings a moment of victory when strangers compliment my hairstyle.
Once upon a time, I would only say thank you, but now I feel an obligation to share my secret. This is my moment of liberation and declaration of acceptance.
Every minus can be turned into a plus if we take the time to look closer and note the obvious blessings.
Believer 1964 is working it “all” out with Jesus, and has been living with Alopecia for over thirty years. She is a faithful wife and mother who shares her views on Miscellaneous Matters.
Thanks to Believer 1964 for sharing her life, story and testimony on my blog. I am honored as always! Thank you guys for hanging out and reading this post, please sound in, leave a comment!
Peace & Love