Unfortunately it is official that I will not be participating in the clinical trial for an alopecia areata treatment. I reached out to a different medical office participating in the trial to see if they would have better success, but after two more unsuccessful blood drawing attempts, I decided that I was done. Over the course of four appointments at two different offices, I have been stuck ten times, and only one of those produced any blood at all (although even that was not enough). It was a difficult decision to make, but the study would have required continuous blood testing. I might hate my hair loss, but my life is about so much more than my hair, and I will continue to live it.
In the meantime, I had not been sitting idly by, I have stuck to my commitment to start living now instead of waiting for some moment that isn’t guaranteed. Some of my plans include making some changes in my wardrobe, getting out more, and finally mastering makeup, but that is not easy to do on my budget. Like many millennials, I have student loan debt. Additionally, I am a substitute teacher, which means my summer income is nonexistent. Essentially, I want to do this while not using any of my savings. This means utilizing gift cards and store credits that I have left unclaimed, and I am planning to go thrift store shopping for the first time. I am also searching no-cost and low-cost venues to explore including the local library and using restaurant gift cards that I have accumulated. My first goal is to work on dressing nicer, and going out at least once per week, even if it’s just to get coffee.
I put this plan into motion by meeting up with a friend that I consider fashionable. This was a perfect opportunity to try a new dress that I bought, and I threw on a simple black headwrap to conceal my hair loss. I also brought a red scarf in my bag just in case I decided to make a bolder choice, and with her encouragement, I did. Although I haven’t worn the red scarf again, I have made sure that my outfit choices for the past week have been more fashionable than usual, and no more saving good outfits for a possible special occasion. It has been a good start, but I know that I still have a lot of work to do if I want these changes to become permanent. Week #2 is when the real work begins.