I had my dermatologist appointment today. He saw I lost all of my hair, or most of it. I have hair on the back of my head I just shaved down. Probably will ask my husband to shave it off later so I can be more secure without a cap. Well, my doctor noticed all of my eyebrows were gone, as well, and wanted to do steroid injections in each eyebrow.
Ugh, and I thought the scalp ones were bad. I teared up. He was fast, but it felt like forever.
Getting steroid injections in …one…eyebrow…two*pained*..eyebrows
Because the skin is so thin there, he had to pinch it. Well, that hurt, and I could feel the needle tug when he pulled out to do the next spot. GAH. Apparently you bleed a lot anywhere in your face, because of all the tiny veins running throughout it. So I had to sit with gauge pads on my eyebrows for a little while until they stopped bleeding.
I swear to god, the things we go through to try and get our hair back.
Immunosuppressants for Alopecia Areata
Next step for me is a biologic. Well, the plan is a biologic. First, we had to get the all-clear from my cardiologist, because I have congenital heart defects including an artificial valve. It’s a bovine valve. He was okay with it, because my heart is strong and in good shape. I do yearly check-ups so we keep an eye on my heart pretty closely.
My insurance requires I try two other formulary drugs that don’t work before they will approve the more expensive biologic, Xeljanz. I will be discussing those with my doctor.
I really wish you could insert an emoji or something to show what my face looked like, going through the list of common, major, minor, and just plain side effects. My eyes kept getting bigger and bigger. First of all, the first word in the first sentence on side effects of Leflunomide is alopecia. Really? No.
Also, you can’t take ANYTHING over the counter with these powerful immunosuppressants. No caffeine, either. For all of them. What!?
Wrapping up for today
Oh, by the way, my dermatologist is awesome, and the cutest doctor ever. He’s so passionate about what he does; he doesn’t just tell you what he’s going to do, he explains why and how it may or may not work. And he wears bow ties. Today, he wore a bright pink one. He’s very aware of my hearing impairment, so he makes sure I understand everything. It’s great.
I’m currently experiencing severe vertigo, so I am staring at the screen like inches away. And it’s still wonky. Thank god, elementary school (grades K-6 [ages 5-12 for international Alopecia comrades]) taught us how to type without looking at the keyboard.