Day 20: Progress of a Sort

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When I walk into my third appointment Doc, as always, asks how I’m doing. I tell him great, and I mean it. Two weekends before, my cousins were in town from Chicago — we had a terrific time together and I still managed to stick with the plan.

The week prior to this appointment, I’d settled into the elimination diet and it was becoming easy, mostly. I barely left the house except to buy grass-fed proteins and veggies so I had no social life, but I was feeling physically good, better than I had in a long time, and I knew that I’d see my friends again at some point. He asks what other people think and I tell him that some are curious, my mom’s hopeful and my guy, Scott, is 100 percent skeptical and 200 percent supportive.

I tell Doc about the weird sensation when I left the office the last time and the crying. He just listens. Doc says it’s time to retest for sensitivities, like he did during the first visit. Apparently, I test much better this time, so he tells me it’s good progress on the gut and gland front. He keeps me on the digestive enzymes but subs out the melia and morinda for zinc, which has been shown to help with some hair-loss issues, inflammation and gut healing, and glysen, which he says will help my digestion and adrenals (which I didn’t know were problematic but with everything else getting better, something had to give, yes?) He also tells me to start reintroducing foods, starting with eggs, starting tomorrow.

Then we do some more talking but this time, it’s not as bad. He tells me that I have grief around the accident. A bit of background: It was Valentine’s Day, 1997. I was driving from Buffalo to Boston, moving back there to retry a relationship. At the moment of the accident, I was having a conversation with myself, the universe, whatever, about something that made me feel anxious, embarrassed. I hit black ice (I was in the Berkshire Mountains in western Massachusetts) and knew instantly that I’d lost control of the car, so I sat back, let go of the steering wheel and figured that the rest was out of my hands. When I woke, Kool and the Gang’s song, Celebrate, was blasting from the car radio. It took me a minute to get it, that I was in an accident. I felt for blood (none), turned off the car and tried to get out. The car had gone down an embankment and spun into some small trees, just enough to wedge the door shut so that I couldn’t open it. I saw some people running through the snow to the car, they jumped on the saplings and opened the door. I got out and just started to walk away, through the snow, until they brought me back. The car was a rental and a flatbed came and took it away. I was generally fine or so it seemed which is why, I suppose, the state trooper just got me a taxi instead of an ambulance.

The next morning, I decided I needed to freshen my style if I was going to have brushes with death and went to get a new haircut. That’s when the stylist told me about the bald spot on the back of my head. About the size of a silver dollar, right in the middle. I’d had some whiplash the day after the accident, so I’d assumed that possibly my long hair had just gotten yanked out sometime between hitting the icy spot and getting stuck in the trees (I don’t remember that part of the accident). At least, that’s what I thought until I developed more spots like that over the days and weeks that followed.

What I realized at this appointment with Doc is that, whenever I looked in the mirror, I always thought that the alopecia was somehow a manifestation of the conversation I was having in my head at that moment, and I’ve felt ‘stuck’ there for 20 years. But what was much more pervasive at the time was the feeling in my gut, which was sadness, for all sorts of reasons that I won’t go into but that I know, now, I can work on. It may not mean much, but it does feel like a little breakthrough.

Feeling encouraged, I suppose, Doc tells me that I’ll need to pick a spot to watch for potential hair regrowth. He taps my forearm, which is bare, and I tell him that yes, I’ll keep an eye on it. I tell him that I’m looking at this as a long-term healing process — I really don’t expect results, if any, for at least nine months or a year. He appreciates my patience (I appreciate my realistic perspective, as the chances of turning this around after 20 years are very, very, very slim at best). We agree, however, that if the only thing that comes of this is that I feel better, that’s not a bad thing. Not a bad thing at all.

{Note: These are my own experiences with applied kinesiology, which clearly aren’t meant as medical advice for anyone else. But I know a lot of friends and family members are grappling with a huge variety of autoimmune issues and other ailments, so I’m happy to share my experiences. And if this is your first visit and you’d like to follow chronologically, click here. Otherwise, enjoy!}


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