Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Big ?: How much hair will they take?

I know when my sister faced a very serious brain surgery (Non-Chiari), involving a good chance of possible death, or further stroking, or rupturing of her anuerysm. She had only one question:
How much hair are you going to shave?

Sadly, this is a concern for many of us. I know it was one of my first questions when I faced my first surgery (decompression). And this concern came from someone who actually shaved her head in college to make a few more bucks for rent.

Surgery is important.

But hair loss is personal.

And especially since it is out of your control. You aren't going to the hair dresser, and saying go ahead and shave it. You are going under, knowing you will wake up with less hair.

It is a legitimate concern.

Experience has taught me, that surgeons aren't into shaving more than they have to.

I am sure the amount of hair is based on the surgeon, and the person......and possiblly based on what kind of mood the surgery prep guy is in at the time of hair removal.

For me it has been as followed:
PF Decompression: on the back of my head from the indent down was shaved.
Shunt: A small patch on the front right side, directly in line with my right eye on the very top of the scalp (it was completely not noticable on me)

Ironically, as I face sugery, I am thinking again: How much hair?

I am scheduled to have the ICT, which means two bolts in the sides of my head.
Then I have the PFR, which is the decompression in the back;
Plus they are using a skin graph, which is going further up the back.
And then they are putting in a drain (which mostly likely will go in the upper right side where my old shunt was, and there is already a hole in the scull)
And possiblly a shunt added to the mix.

It sorta sounds likemy head will be more shaved than not.

Anyhow, I sort freaked out the other day when I realized this could be the case......(when I was already in tears from pain, and pain anticipation, if you read my post on my other blog)

But now I am thinking I might turn this uncertainy around around.

I am asking the docs at TCI how much, and if more hair is being shaved than not, I might have it shaved the day before I go up so the hair could be donated.

It is a meek way to gain some control in the situation I am sure.........but it feels better to do it that way, then to wake up with crop circles.

If the hair removal will be minimal, I will just let my hair dresser deal with it post-op.

There is nothing quite as refreshing as post-op hair cut :) Specially since my hair is usually dry and dull the months after surgery.


Anonymous said...

I am really get depressed while I was reading your blog. What can I say more, any word of support will not help, but still I had faced with the problem of hair loss of course it is not the same you had. There is need to say that sometimes the best solution could be hair replacement, as it was my escape from tears and regrets about my old hair.

Queli said...

Thanks! I think that is an awesome suggestion.
With the skin graph and all, I ended up having everything from the crown down being shaved. The most cost effective solution I have found it a ponytail attachment. I pull the front hair into a bun and attach the partial wig. It covers all of the shaved, and the incision.
The only problem with it is that it feels heavy over time, which causes pain. So I can only use it for short stints.
For people that have the money I think the hair replacement might be a better option.