I understand that my last blog submittal regarding post-natal hair loss, was my first attempt at blogging, but given what I have learned since my post, I felt it necessary to provide a follow up conversation. I mentioned that I had an appointment with my OB/GYN to run some blood work to verify that everything was in check (i.e. cholesterol, vitamin D, thyroid) along with my annual checkup. I mentioned to my nurse that I had been getting my period every two weeks, was experiencing bloating, breakouts and some serious hair loss.
Since the age of 16, I have been (pretty) faithful to my annual checkups, due to suffering from ovarian cysts in high school. This time, as always, I knew what to expect, doctor walked in, we went through the usual small talk about kids, work, etc., he reviewed my chart, symptoms and said, “well what do you want to do?” Ummmm, well, what are my choices, I asked. What he was about to say next shocked me; I never thought I’d hear those words again.
A little disclaimer for a better understanding as to why I was in shock with his recommendation and method of treatment. About two weeks before my third child was born in August 2013, my husband and I agreed that I would have a tubal ligation or my “tubes tied.” According to Wikipedia, a “tubal ligation or tubectomy (also known as having one’s “tubes tied” (ligation)) is a surgical procedure for sterilization in which a woman’s fallopian tubes are clamped and blocked, or severed and sealed, either method of which prevents eggs from reaching the uterus for fertilization. Tubal ligation is considered a permanent method of sterilization and birth control.” The last sentence was of great importance for us to make such a permanent decision. About five minutes after delivering my son naturally, my doctor and labor and delivery nurse asked me repeatedly, “are you sure,” before wheeling me in to the delivery room for the surgical procedure. Before I knew it, I was waking up and my doctor was telling me how everything went smoothly and the only evidence would be the two small scars by my belly button. Uh, excuse me, “what did you do to my belly button,” I asked. “Erica, that’s where we go in through to sever the fallopian tubes,” he said. TOTAL SHOCKER!!! Note to everyone, no matter how silly, obvious or minor the question may be, ASK MORE QUESTIONS!!! I assumed that since I was having a baby naturally, vaginally, yada yada, that the procedure would be through the same way the baby came out. SO WRONG! This procedure was performed via two small incisions below my belly button just after my tummy was inflated with air for better access and visibility of the fallopian tubes. Now I had never had a c-section, but the pain that I felt for weeks after this procedure was intense. It made nursing my newborn baby even more difficult than the act of breastfeeding already is to any mom, rookie or not. Immediately after coming out of the surgery, I threw up about six times, mostly liquid since I had been fasting prior to my scheduled induced delivery. This was a tough delivery – best for last they say, right.
Well, my body recovered from the pain, surgery and mentally I was adjusting to the fact that this was the LAST BABY! I definitely make a conscious effort to pay attention to details, create mental memories of looks he gives me, the way he smells in the morning after a long slumber, the look he gives me through the window of his preschool door, when he sees me after a long day, and the spontaneous hugs and kisses he gives when we sit on the couch watching Mickey Mouse.
Ok, so back to the treatment. “Let’s put you back on the pill for a couple of months and see how you do.” WHAT? The pill, again? You do remember I had my tubes tied right? “Yes, Erica, I was there too, remember,” he responded. “For almost 20 years you were on the pill [for the prevention/treatment of ovarian cysts & birth control] OR pregnant, now you are neither and your body doesn’t know what to do. Let’s try this for 3 months and let’s see if your energy levels are back and you stop losing hair,” Dr. advised. “Stress levels like yours and extreme weight loss could also trigger hair loss, but let’s see if this can control it, if not, after 3 months, you can get off of it,” he added.
I picked up my prescription that next day and started the pack immediately. It’s been a week today and I haven’t seen any changes, although I am hungrier all the time, let’s hope I don’t gain back any of that baby weight that I fought so hard to lose (that’s a whole other blog topic). In talking with friends, family and other ob/gyns, I’ve learned that many women continue to take birth control after tubals, hysterectomies, and menopause to control hormone levels – total shocker to me. Why don’t we know about these things, until it happens to us?
So I’ll keep you posted on the hair through this channel of “sharing” and let you know how it goes. Funny how the “chia pet” hair tag has made it around my circle of friends, and now we know that “using the cool setting on your hair dryer” is not always the solution. Note – I did get my blood work results back and everything is normal, so it wasn’t my thyroid, as I had guessed. With women, you never know what you’re gonna get, even when it’s ourselves.