Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Crohn's Chronicles :: The Hair Loss Edition

I feel like I am getting into a good rhythm with my Crohn's symptoms. I have good and bad days, but overall I feel really good. I am finally starting to feel the benefits of the B-12 injections, so I am getting a good amount of energy back. I still have to be mindful of getting a good and consistent amount of sleep, because inadequate sleep and stress can exacerbate my symptoms, but it's not the worst thing to force myself to get good rest :)

{Sidenote: I told my mom that I now live in this bizarre world of asking for a syringe when I pickup my B-12 prescription at the pharmacy. They cost 25 cents at Walmart, in case you're curious}.

I don't feel hungry a lot of times, so I am learning to intentionally schedule eating. That may sound strange, but my whole life I have only eaten when I am hungry. So to rarely feel hungry presents a problem. It has certainly been an adjustment, one that my sweet husband has been great about helping me with. I still have to be careful with what I eat; I got adventurous and had a hamburger from Sonic a couple of weeks ago...not the best idea. But I guess that's part of the learning process. Even when I say "bad" days, I am not experiencing the same kind of pain and discomfort I was before I was diagnosed, so that in itself is a HUGE blessing.

I have been taking Humira for almost 5 months now. I haven't really adjusted to the shots themselves; they hurt. Like, make-me-want-to-say-bad-words hurt. I definitely have to psych myself up every time. Take deep breaths, semi-close my eyes {it's self-injecting, so I do actually have to pay attention}, remind myself this makes me feel better...haha. So I am very thankful I only have to take them every other week. Many times, I have my "bad" days right before my next dose. So it's helpful to know I just need to make it another day or so before some relief comes. It's encouraging to know the medicine is working, but sometimes it can be hard facing the realization of my dependence on it.

As with all medications, there is always the risk of side effects. Thankfully so far I haven't experienced any terrible ones...except for hair loss. Ya'll, my hair is falling out by the handfuls! :( Not even kidding. I tend to shed a lot, especially when my hair is longer as it is now, but this is an unreal amount. When I first realized it, I panicked and called my doctor, who confirmed that it was a side effect of the medication. I never really considered myself to be a vain person, but the thought of losing my hair is kind of freaking me out. 

According to my doctor, I don't need to panic until it starts coming out in patches {what??}, so I am trying to remain calm and reasonable about the whole thing, trying really hard to keep things in perspective. But I'm really struggling with it. The hardest times are after I shower and when I brush my hair. Seeing the amount lost in the trash can is incredibly disheartening. I would be lying if I said I haven't cried about it on multiple occasions.

My mom joked about how it's a good thing that I have a lot of hair that I can lose haha. Which is true. And I am hoping that it's not a continual side effect. I will talk to my doctor at my next appointment about my options, and I have already started researching hair products to help combat the loss. In the grand scheme of things, it's not the worst that could happen. And it certainly outweighs the alternative at this point...

The bright side? I am not having to shave my legs as often...  :)


  1. I can relate on the hair loss. Mine is falling out currently due to prednisone (steroids). I also am thankful that I have a lot of hair to lose! Praying for minimal bad days and lots of good days for you friend!

  2. It's comforting to know someone can relate; and thank you for helping me keep things in perspective :) How long do you have to be on the prednisone?