I used to think I didn’t care about my appearance that much. As long as I didn’t smell bad and my clothes were clean, whatever. I told people I failed girl school because I never learned to care about hair, shoes, or makeup. I had that privilege because I was pretty. I didn’t realize at the time what a privilege that was.
Now I care because my hair is falling out. In large clumps. I can’t pull my hair up in a ponytail anymore because you can see the bald spots. I put off washing it because I know the handfuls of it in the bathtub drain will upset me. There are people who have literally never seen me with my hair down until a few months ago. They comment on it, and I laugh it off by saying I woke up late and didn’t have time to put it up. Then I slip off to the bathroom to make sure I’ve arranged it so the bald spots aren’t too noticeable.
It’s the UC meds. Particularly the 6-MP. I started losing more hair than normal when I started it at 50 mg back in August, but it wasn’t too bad. Then in December, my gastroenterologist upped the dose to 75 mg when I flared up. Since then, it’s been pretty drastic. In fact, I’m pretty sure the sweater I’m currently knitting has as much of my hair as it does of the sheep’s. Currently, I can hide the hair loss a lot because it’s winter in Massachusetts, so hats are normal. But it won’t be winter forever.
If it were putting me into remission, it might be okay. Sure, I’m not as sick as I was when this first started in May…but I’m still sick all the time. I still turned down an invitation to apply for a job I’d love and be awesome at because I’m too sick to handle it. I’m still up 4, 5, 6 times a night to poop. I still had to turn down half the food I was offered at the food bank because almost everything contains foods that make me sicker.
I’m seriously considering asking my gastroenterologist if he will just take my colon out. I’m not quite sick enough that he’d suggest that, but I just can’t take much more. I act like it’s fine, like I’ve adjusted to it even though it sucks. Sometimes I think I have, and maybe I have in a lot of ways. But not really because right now I’m falling apart over it. I’m just so tired of everything about this. I know a colostomy causes all sorts of difficulties of its own, but at the moment, it seems preferable. And I can’t tell if that means I’m crazy or not.