Today's Activity is Slightly Different

17 December

Today's activity is actually one I hadn't planned on writing a post about, it is a subject I was not going to talk about on my blog but I've decided to do this one post as it is something worth writing about. For over 20 years I have had a condition called Alopecia Areata. For those that don't know, it is an auto-immune disease where the immune system attacks hair follicles thinking they are a foreign body which causes the hair to fall out. There are varying degrees of hair loss, for me I have always had patches come and go but more recently it has gotten more widespread and is continuing to fall out.

It is because of this that I have been doing some research into my options (something I don't often do because all you are told when you go to the doctors is there is no cure). It is the research I've been doing that has led me to wanting to do a blog post. It can be so well hidden that even if you do meet somebody with Alopecia, the likely hood is that you won't even notice. From the point of view of somebody that has the condition it is a good thing that there are options to hide it but it also means it is something that is not talked about and therefore it makes it harder to find out what help and support is available which is why I am now talking about it. 

Having had Alopecia for so long and being a fairly confident person, it is something I have been able to manage quite well. However, last week I had an appointment with the doctor and whilst I have been referred to the correct place the appointment itself was awful. I won't go into details as I have put my complaint into the practice and they are dealing with it appropriately but I will say that I went in managing okay but came out an emotional wreck. 

Fortunately because of the research I have been doing I found out about Alopecia UK just before going for my appointment so I was straight away able to talk to somebody who was able to give me more information and guidance than the doctor. A volunteer gave her time to sit with me, let me talk and it was so helpful to meet somebody that could understand what it is like. 

This leads me onto todays activity. Through the charity I found out about Trendco, a company that supplies wigs, hair pieces and other items to help people with hair loss. I booked an appointment at the Birmingham shop for a consultation, not because I am ready for a wig yet but because I wanted to understand what is available and what is involved. They were amazing, they went through so much useful information with me, let me try different wig types on and were able to answer questions for me. There was no pressure to buy anything as well so I could just feel comfortable and take everything in. If you have any kind of hair loss it is completly worth a visit, I wish I had known about them long ago because they can help even with hiding small patches.

Both Alopecia UK and Trendco (along with the amazing support from my family and friends) have really helped me get my confidence back and whilst I am not completely ready to show my Alopecia in public yet, I know that is okay and that I can take things at my own pace. The service they provided is invaluable to me so I wanted to spread the word about them because even if this post only helps one person, it will be worth it.

Dawn x

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