October 19

Several weeks, maybe a month and a half ago, I noticed a very pink spot on my head. I started going gray when I was 16 so I just thought that the hair in that location was going whiter than it had been before. And Sand noticed it, too.

So, when I dyed my hair the next weekend, I made sure to put a good amount in that area so that it was covered well.

When my hair dried, that was when it became really clear that my hair in that spot wasn’t just white. It was missing. Mario asked if I had cancer!

I made an appointment with my doctor for a couple weeks later. In the meantime, I just made sure that the rest of my hair was covering the spot.

My family doctor looked at it and diagnosed telogen effluvium or just hair loss and attributed it to having had Cookie.

I wasn’t so sure and he gave me a referral to a dermatologist.

While I was waiting about a week and a half for the appointment, I found 3 more spots. Two are very small about the size of a pencil eraser & a dime. The third is about the size of a half dollar. And I watched the original spot grow. It’s now about half the size of my palm.

Last week, the dermatologist only needed one brief look to diagnose alopecia areata. I’ve been putting a topical steroid on the spots for the last few days.

I never thought of myself as especially vain, but I’ve already noticed myself (very soon after I found the first spot) trying to conceal the spots. Worrying about whether they are showing when the wind blows hard or if I need to put my hair up at work. Probably didn’t help that my dad told me I needed to fix my hair the other morning before I left for work but I can’t blame it entirely on him.

I’ve found myself scrutinizing the hairbrush whenever I brush my hair. I nearly cried this morning when I looked at the strands and realized that several appeared to have come out together from the same spot. I bought a hand mirror so I can check to see if I’m developing spots on the back of my head.

I’ve googled it and read through the National Alopecia Areata Foundation. It’s an autoimmune disorder. There is no cure. I suppose I’m still in the question phase of “why me?” but there is no answer. There’s no definitive cause.

I could lose all of my hair. I’d like to tell you I’m ok with that, but I’m really not. So, I’m trying not to think about it. I will rub the steroids on my head religiously. And I will pray that it reverses, goes into remission and stays there.

But at times, part of me wants to cry. And I’m not ok.