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Lupus hair loss - what mine looked liked, literally!

Posted Mar 11 2013 8:00am
For those of you wondering just how short I've had to cut my hair because of lupus hair loss - I found a couple of visual aids.

In the process of transferring all of my data from my old computer to my new one , I ran across these nostalgic photos and thought I'd share, as I don't think I ever have before.  Of all of the emails, comments, and questions I get about lupus, I think the subject that I hear about the most is hair loss. How long does it last? How bad is it? What can be done in spite of it?

I've written quite a few posts on it , because I've dealt with significant hair loss several times in the 12 years (and two pregnancies) I've had since being diagnosed with lupus. And none of them were fun. But these pictures symbolize what was likely the most significant turning point in my life with lupus:
Cutting off all of my hair to minimize the emotional and physical damage that my latest case of hair loss had caused. This was by far my worst bout - leaving me with literal strands of hair left on my head. So, instead of holding onto those strands (and my life before lupus) for dear life, I decided to start over. And this super short haircut was the first step.

You can read about the whole ordeal here - but here's what you should know: the reason I have these pictures is because the moment I walked into the house with my new haircut, Johnny took one look at me, told me how gorgeous I looked, and insisted we do a photo shoot. Here's the excerpt from my book
After my hair appointment, I went home to show Johnny my new ‘do. He absolutely loved it! He thought I looked like a sophisticated model from a magazine, and immediately insisted that we have an impromptu photo shoot in the back yard. The loving, enthralled look he had on his face as he shot those pictures made me feel like I was the most beautiful woman in the whole world. He was always telling me I was, but I will forever cherish the captivated way in which he embraced me and my new haircut that day. After shooting a few pictures, he proudly sent them off via email to some family members, who all responded with complimentary remarks.

(If you think I might have shed a few tears while writing this post, you're right!)

I can't tell you how wonderfully loving and supportive Johnny was that day, and every day since. Not a day goes by when I'm forced to face this nasty little disease on my own. Surrounded by friends and family, including a husband who loves me, lupus and all, I have no excuse not to do my best to live well, despite it. I owe it to the people who believe in me, who trust me to do the right thing, and who are counting on me to do what I can to be happy and healthy for a very, very, very long time in the future. I promise to do my part...fingers crossed.
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