Wednesday, May 28, 2008

So yesterday, among a lot of the other things, was the 6 month anniversary of the brain surgery.

I know, I really can't believe it either. 6 months was this magical mark that my physical therapists set in front of me, saying that thereafter, everything should be healed. And while I didn't feel any different yesterday, I'm just so freaking glad to have reached this milestone. I am going to Disneyland next week (and I will ride the rides for the first time in 3 years, I've been cleared!), I had my hair done today with no pain, put a veil on and it didn't hurt. I wanted to pinch myself.

Now being 6 months out of this surgery, I can say with complete confidence that it was the best decision I've made for myself. It was not easy, it may not be the path that most people would've taken, but it was the right one for me. It was elective surgery, but most surgeries are when you get right down to it. The difference was that in my case, the alternative wasn't death, at least not literally, but it would've meant the end of me, the end of who I was, because the pain had taken a greater toll than I realized. It's only with the hindsight of good health that I realize how bad things had gotten, and just how fortunate I am for having found a wonderful surgeon, having a remarkably supportive Fiance and very minimal complications. I am, without a doubt, incredibly blessed.

In the 6 months since the surgery, my coordination has vastly improved, my vision has gotten better (peripheral vision at least, I don't really wanna talk about the bifocals), and above all else, my head does not hurt all the time. In fact, it doesn't hurt most of the time. For the first time in as long as I can remember, I have many more days without any head pain, than days with it. I don't think you can appreciate what a miracle that is until you've experienced it, but I feel alive.

I know I've said this a lot lately, but I feel like me, like I've been given a chance to start over and be the person I was always meant to be. I feel like the person I was a long time ago before the chronic pain. I feel like the person I was before my eyes went haywire and my reflexes got out of sync. I am not rainbows and sunshine, but I never was. But I am happy, and I am not being held down by pain, my life is being dictated by me.

All that said, I realize I've also been promising you a post about how you were right and I was wrong, so I'm lumping that together with this anniversary post as they are essentially on the same topic. But let me say first that not all of you were right, in fact, many were wrong wrong wrong, but I won't point any specific fingers. Except maybe at me.

So back in December, I, for lack of a better word, freaked the fuck out about my hair. Or rather, the lack thereof. It was a combination of hormones (yea, I have some) and just generally being out of control in my life at that point. I wasn't aloud to take a shower alone, walk down the stairs without a spot, and my head had been shaved. In a moment of weakness, I took control and cut my hair off.

Unfortunately, due to the crashing of my computer earlier this year, and my total laziness in copying The Fiance's stock of pictures, I don't have any pictures of my hair pre-surgery. It was about down to the top of my bra clasp strap before the surgery, pretty long for me.

And this is what the surgeon did (sorry, slightly gory...)

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All the hair below the tops of my ears was gone. All of it. So this is what I did in retaliation...

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I cut the rest of it. And many of you told me not to. You told me to wait. You said that while that part would probably not be long enough to be in an up-do for the wedding, I wouldn't know until that point came and cutting off my hair was not the solution. And here it comes, get ready because I don't say this often...

You were right. Which I suppose, hypothetically speaking, makes me, um, wrong.

Oh what a mistake it was. Oh what a mistake. I mean, it worked. I regained some measure of control in my universe and it did grow. In fact, after about 2 months, it looked like this:

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Not bad. But not really growing all that quickly.

Today, at 6 months post-op, and 5 1/2 months post-stupid haircut, my hair looks like this:

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Yes, it is much longer, but it is not long enough to compensate for all that is missing still.

And here's where some of you were wrong.

My little hairs, they did not grow quickly. Someone suggested it would grow an inch a month. Lie. Big fat lie. It's been 6 months and my hair is no where near 6 inches long. In fact, it's probably barely 3. Don't believe me? here's what the underside looks like, taken minutes after the previous picture. I know, you're jealous, you wish you could rock this hairdo

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(note the bug bites on my back. What is the deal?) Yea. 6 inches my ass.

Here's another picture from today, just in case the light wasn't good enough in the last picture for you to see that I look like a freak-a-zoid.

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It's bad. Rather bad. Believe me. I can't wear a normal ponytail without turning a vast number of heads and eliciting more obnoxious comments.

Today was my practice wedding hair appointment and we discovered that there's just no way to do an up-do. I simply don't have enough hair to compensate for the fact that 1/3 of my hair is 3 inches long. She mentioned that if I had longer hair on top, we probably could've worked around it. Yea yea. And she suggested extensions, but frankly, I'm way too lazy for that.

Instead she did a very lovely half-up curly do that will work perfectly. It's not what I dreamed of, but I'm learning that weddings require you to set aside some of those things and come down to reality where you realize that can't have a billion butterflies burst out of the plants at the very moment you kiss, or that the perfect first dance song won't fall into your lap and subsequently please everyone.

What you should walk away from this experience with is the knowledge that I realize that you're right, and very wise. I was way totally irrational, and way totally wrong. Oopsies. But, because of this, beginning tomorrow, I'm going to use your wisdom for a contest. So bring your thinking caps, and come back because I need you.

Seriously, based upon my current haircut, I obviously need you something fierce.


Wonderful World of Weiners said...

I guess I just love you and your blog so much that I don't see the issue. Even from the back, you are gorgeous!!

Hallie :)

daisy said...

Since you know how your beautiful hair looked 6 months ago, I guess I understand why you are none too happy now. But I will tell you that you truly have gorgeous hair---thick, dark, shiny, and more than adequately covering a lovely, pain-free head. As you've already decided, enjoy your day and your new life-to-begin and don't sweat the small stuff. All the best to you and congratulations on your 6-month anniversary! Anne

CoastingThroughTheSouth said...

although it might not be much help to you now, with the wedding slow close, here is a word of advice froma guy who shaves his head every other week: Eat Protein. Hair is made up of protein, and one way the body rids itself of excess protein in one's diet is as hair and finger/toe nails. I would venture to say that my hair grows at a faster rate than an inch per month.

Flea said...

Girl, sometimes we need to do stupid, irrational things like that when we're hurting. It's okay. Sounds like y'all have found a reasonable solution. Your wedding will be a whirlwind and it will be the photos and videos that matter when all is said and done.

You are going to be a lovely bride regardless of the length of that thick, beautiful hair. TF will faint dead away when he sees you come down the aisle. Enjoy.

Anonymous said...

You will be glowing on your wedding day. Whether your hair were up down or missing entirely. Just relax and have fun! Your hair is looking really good and healthy!

Anonymous said...

By the way, I don't think too many people will be looking at the back of your head at the wedding.

Personally, I'll looking forward to seeing wedding photos. Speaking of which, make sure you have other people taking photos. When we were down in Kentucky for my friend's wedding, I got a few that no one else got - the bride running a 5K the morning of the wedding, the groom meeting up with his daughter to get ready, one of our friends tasting the biodegradable confetti, stuff like that. You want more than just what the photographer gets.