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Presurgery weight: 282 pounds
Current weight: 217 (4 months after surgery)
Being an overweight girl all your life, you realize there are few things you tend to like about yourself. For me, I only liked the fact that my shoe size would never change even though my pant size would, and the other was my hair.
I've always loved my hair — to the point where I would wake up from a nightmare because I’d have, in some tragic way, become bald or succumbed to a pair of demented scissors. Knowing this, I think you can only imagine my horror as I proceeded to pull out gobs of hair from my head in the shower.
At first I thought nothing of it. People shed, right? And I had a ton of hair, I mean tons of thick hair. And I knew from attending the pre-op weight-loss surgery class that losing some hair was expected. Needless to say, I didn’t freak out… yet.
My hair loss started at about three and a half months post-op. I figured “some” meant maybe I’d lose hair for a month and that would be that. So the first month came and went. Every time I washed my hair, loads of it came out in my hands.
Then another six weeks went by. OK, now I’m freaking out. I start to analyze my diet: Protein? Check! Vitamins? Check! Ugh, I can't figure why all of my hair is falling out.
Another two months go by and it’s not letting up at all. I start talking to my friends who have had the surgery and they all tell me not to worry and that it will stop, but I wonder, "When?" I was at the point where I was afraid to wash my hair, and I wore it down in loose braids because I was scared to brush it.
So much for my really cool hairstyle. The top section of my hair was blonde and the bottom a reddish brown. Umm, let’s just say I had hardly any of the blonde left. When I put my hair up in a ponytail you could see my scalp in areas. Some hair loss? Some? I began thinking, "Great, I’m going to be skinny and healthy, but bald!"
My nightmares were coming true.
To help remedy the situation, I started taking Biotin (a supplement used to counteract the problem of hair loss) and I bought all the fancy hair growth products and shampoos. I seriously started looking into the different types of wigs out there. I was freaking out. This was my hair, after all — one of the few things I liked about myself.
I had lost more than half of my hair and I was really depressed. Then I started to realize how many things I was starting to like about myself. There were so many positive things that my hair tragedy became trivial.
Then it happened.
One morning I got up to go to the gym and put my hair in its pathetic loose braids. My husband started to laugh at me and told me to go gel my hair. I had no idea what he was talking about so I went into the bathroom. All over my head were tons and tons of baby hairs sticking up everywhere. My hair was coming back!
It’s now growing with a vengeance, and so ends my hair drama.
In retrospect, my hair loss made me realize I am more to myself than just pretty hair and a consistent shoe size. Speaking of shoe sizes — I can no longer claim my never-changing size 9 shoe. It seems somewhere along my journey, I’ve misplaced half a shoe size. I’m now an 8 ½. Imagine that! Follow more of Jodie's ongoing weight-loss journey.
For More Information
If you would like to start your own weight-loss journey at Sharp Memorial Hospital, learn more by attending a free informational seminar. To register, call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277) or register online at Sharp weight-loss surgery seminar.