Finally, I can say with confidence that my hairloss due to pregnancy (or lupus, or both) has subsided. I'm no longer losing strands by the dozens, nor is my bathroom floor covered with hair after I blow dry it. And yes, the 2" spikes are in full force (although the spiky hairs on the top of my head have actually grown out and are blending in.) Now, it's the 2" sideburns that are holding me back. At this point, I'm at the stage where my hair looks better down than up...imagine that! Here, I've been putting it up for months, trying to mask the loss...and now that it's growing back in, it's better that I keep it down. Blend in, little hairs, blend in!
Of course, now that I have my hair squared away, it's on to the next blip on the lupus radar. It seems that my protein levels are quite high, indicating that my kidneys aren't performing up to snuff. My doctor noticed it a couple of months back...and ordered a 24 hour urine test. The results weren't good - showing about three times the amount of protein as normal. Talks of Cellcept, cytoxin, and a kidney biopsy were discussed, but only if the results of a repeat test showed the same.
Moderate to good news was that the repeat test showed normal protein levels for a lupus patient (which I will gladly accept)...but the volume wasn't what it should be. (Guess I wasn't throwing 'em back that day.) So on to test #3. The collection has been made, the specimen has been submitted...now, we wait.
The positives in my favor are that I'm feeling great and I'm not overdoing it - indications that point in the right direction. But...we'll just have to see what's in store. I can tell you though - my mind was racing the moment my rheumatologist mentioned the possible treatments/exams that I listed above. I mean, wow. I wasn't expecting any of that. And while I sat stunned for about 2 minutes while he talked and explained, I realized the good news is this: years ago, I would have spent way too much time and energy deliberating over those options. I would hashed and rehashed the choice of medication, the timing and necessity of the procedure, and the impact of both on my life's plan. I would have been desperate to make sure that whatever I chose didn't upset my plans for the future. Pregnancy, travel, lifestyle...it would have all come into play and weighed heavily on my decision.
But today - oh, today - it's simple. I do what I need to do to stay healthy. And if that means I rewrite my plans...those arbitrary, self-imposed benchmarks that I've learned don't mean as much as I think they do...then I rewrite them.
Don't get me wrong - Does going on cellcept mean I'd have to wait a year or more to have a 3rd baby, if I wanted to? You bet. Could it postpone that plan forever? Yup. Does extra protein in my urine upset my plans for flare-free living? Without a doubt.
But the great thing, is that I have options. And today, I'm living well enough to know when to take advantage of those options, and when to let life with lupus take its course. The more I try to steer, the harder it is to take the wheel.
Of course, all that said, the sample could always come back free and clear. I'll keep you posted!