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Day of Surgery - the path to this point.



I started losing my hair about 15 years ago. I do believe it was related to stress... I have a high-stress career and neither of my parents or brother ever had this problem. Not only is my career stressful but also in the public eye where everyone is judged on how they look. I knew I had to fight.

I began using minoxidil but more than a year in, I realized it wasn't stopping the hair loss. Looking in the mirror chipped away at my self esteem every day. I did more to research all I could and finally found a place online where I could order finasteride without anyone knowing. Didn't tell my wife about that since she's a nurse and would have freaked out, knowing I was getting a prescription from a random web site claiming to be run by a doctor. Three weeks later a padded envelope of bubble-wrapped pills arrived from India and I squirreled them away in the bathroom for me to use in secret. Not the smartest thing to do.

Well I suffered no ill effects and finally came clean to my wife what I'd done. I was right; she freaked out.. but understood. I've been getting finasteride legally ever since. My doc prescribes 5mg pills; I cut them in half and take a half every morning. Add to that minoxidil foam and that's been my routine the last 10+ years. Hair loss slowed but never stopped. A year ago I added Nioxin shampoo and while I like the feel, I don't think it has made a difference.

I have looked on and off at hair restoration. I have checked out and come VERY close to ordering one of those caps with the laser lights. In December 2016 I finally admitted to myself that my hair loss would never go away and would always bother me. I did a bunch more research and made an appointment at a hair restoration center. Luckily, a nationally-known and trusted doctor has his office less than a half-mile from my house.

At the appointment, Dr. Scott Alexander asked all the requisite questions, examined my head and pronounced me a fine candidate for restoration surgery. 2800-3000 grafts, he said, would do the trick. And because I had plenty of hair on the back and sides, that would be no problem to get. My wife and I walked out of the office with a lot to think about.

I knew that if I didn't take the plunge immediately, I would put it off again. It's so easy to justify saying "No." Maybe it's too expensive. Maybe it's too much time off work. Maybe it's the sheer self-imposed shame of hair loss and having to publicly address it after surgery. Whatever. I threw all my doubts out the window, took a deep breath and called the office that afternoon to schedule my surgery.

That was one month ago and yesterday was my surgery. My scalp looks rather ugly although my wife says it's a lot better than she thought it would be. She also said Dr. Alexander did a great job with the sutures.

I took photos the morning before surgery and I'll be taking pictures regularly now for the next year. Hair loss affected me deeply. It hurt to talk about. I avoided the subject. Maybe now.. after the procedure and with this blog.. maybe now I will be able to talk about it and perhaps be the voice for another sitting at home suffering in silence like I once was.

...to be continued...


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