6 years ago today, I remember standing in my shower in a fit of tears. I was about a year and half into motherhood. I was three years into IBD life post diagnosis. I was two months into life in Texas. I was flaring and I stood holding a fistful of my own hair in my hands. It had come out when I was shampooing. I was rapidly losing weight. Everything I ate, made me nauseous. My life was in a tailspin. My body was turning on me.
I never really cared about my hair. I had gorgeous thick, curly hair that grew faster than any of my mother’s clients. I constantly cut it off. I knew it would always grow back. I didn’t care. Suddenly, with a fistful of hair in my hands, I cared. I cared a lot. And I wanted my hair. I wanted all of it. It became clear that it was never postpartum that was taking my hair. It was IBD. My curls were straightening and my hair was leaving me. IBD was taking my hair. Like it took everything else. My mother decided a few months later that it might be easier physically & emotionally if she just cut it off. She cut it very short and helped hid all my little bald hot spots. I cried the whole time she cut it. I watched my mother painfully cut my hair off. Seeing her struggle watching me struggle. That was a horrible time. Horrible time.
Needless to say, my hair began to grow and grow and grow and grow, as soon as I started Remicade. And so today, 6 years later, I sit in my mother’s salon chair with a short, teal colored, pixie haircut. By choice. I decided I wanted to cut my hair. And I did it. IBD didn’t decide anything for me. This is one thing I took back from IBD. I took back my hair. I gained my weight back and I grew my hair. Inflammatory Bowel Disease be damned. It will never keep me down! How and why has this haircut made me feel powerful and fearless? Why am I celebrating a haircut? Small battles. I chipping away at the war. I’m quite sure that I will never be cured of IBD. In my lifetime, we will not see a cure. But that doesn’t mean that it wins. There are things that I can do, that you can do, to beat this disease. Arm yourselves ladies and gentlemen. It’s time to battle! Sound the war cry! Let’s get it!