Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Neither Hide Nor Hair

Photo Credit: kiplingflu via Compfight cc
Though the benefits of our surgeries have been awesome, there is no denying that bariatric surgery comes with a few, shall we call them, negative effects.  And, since we are all humans being, we tend to spend a LOT of time discussing those effects. Remaining positive does not seem to be built into the human consciousness for some reason.

Now, the #1 topic for freaking out about post-surgery, by a large margin, would have to be the infamous "OMG I'VE STOPPED LOSING WEIGHT WHAT DO I DO????" But, beyond that particular issue, there is a host of others we tend to bitch about. Dumping syndrome. Dehydration. Exercise. Lack of family support. Malnutrition. And...hair loss.

Really? Hair loss?

Though temporarily losing your hair may not seem significant to most, it is actually a serious topic, tying into things like nutritional health, self-esteem, and post-surgery relationships. The combination of surgical trauma, greatly reduced protein intake, and (in some cases) vitamin deficiency can lead to serious and heavy hair loss. Though your surgeons and nutritionists will try to reassure you that all will be set right within a year (or so) of surgery, the focus remains throughout the community on what can be done to reduce hair loss, how best to disguise what is happening, what headgear is currently in season...

Oh, excuse me. You thought I was talking about my hair loss, didn't you? Yeah, no - not so much. I have been losing my hair since 2004 or so, with the hairline receding and a thinning spot expanding on the crown of my head. Whenever the two areas meet, I will simply shave it all off. No big deal.

No, the real issue here is Lor's hair loss.

For a couple of weeks now, she has been mentioning it. She has always had long and beautiful hair, and now it is starting to leave her. She is diligently removing clumps of hair from the drain after every shower. Biotin got quietly added to our daily vitamin regimen. And now, even I am starting to find long, auburn strands of hair in random places around the house. We are quickly approaching a crisis. Despite my encouragement and visual evidence to the contrary, she is positive that she looks half-bald. And, of course, she is convinced that she will be the one bariatric patient whose hair never returns after the body gets used to its new protein intake.

So, Lor has come up with a plan: she is going to cut her hair. Like, waaayy short. In the 30-odd years I have known her, Lor has never had hair shorter than shoulder length - frequently even longer. To offset her current hair loss, she has selected an extremely short "pixie" cut. Knowing that she has always loved her hair length, I must admit to some misgivings about this operation, but the appointment is on the books for Friday, and we are going to proceed. I can only cross my fingers and hope for the best.

She keeps asking me if I will like her "better" with short hair, but the fact of the matter is that I would find her exceptionally attractive even if she shaved her head entirely and went with the "Britney Spears circa 2007" look. So, no, I won't like her better, per se. I will like her just as much as I always have. And I get the impression that this is NOT the answer she is hoping for from me. 

The pixie cut approaches - only time will tell if it will be a rousing success, or if she will ask why I didn't talk her out of it.

A post-bariatric patient's lot is not always a happy one.

A Pair Of Scissors This Way Comes,

- Hawkwind

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