Hair loss in young women

Four months, my 7 yr old Porsche started losing her hair. It resembled a widows peak on a man, but lower. It was on her right side, and kept extending across her hairline.

At first, I dismissed it. My older friends talked about hair loss with their daughters as a natural occurrence around age 7.

“Hormones kicking in,” said one, a dermatologists assistant for many years. I didn’t worry- I watched. And watched. Over the next four months, her hair continued receeding, and started on the other side of her head. Then right above her ear. During this time, rog kept telling me it was because she pulls her hair tight or twists it with her fingers. Friends continued to tell me it would grow back.

Well, last Tuesday I was washing her hair in the bathtub and while lifting it up, saw two huge gaping holes of skin where hair should have been. Imagine a Miley Cyrus Mohawk, and that’s what her hair looked like underneath. Her hair is long up top but absent underneath. Worse, there are no visible follicles- it’s flat skin like facial skin.

Calls to the dermatologist followed – after consulting the pediatrician. Alopecia, or hair loss. After making several appointments, a friend who is a research scientist dug up a whole lotta data not available to the common man (or woman).

Hair loss in children accounts for 3% of all pediatric appts.

Hair loss can be reverse in many cases by cortisone shots (ouch)

The shots or cream or treatment must occur before the follicle has time to close- permanently.

At this point, several other causes are possible, as well as treatments.

Last week, I did the mother thing and envisioned a daughter losing her hair, going through adolescence and adulthood wearing wigs. The businesswoman in me got to problem solving.

Here are the pictures of what we are dealing with:

Anatomy of an Acheiver

“You did that?” Asked my 7-year old daughter as I placed the final pages of my manuscript on the 4 inch stack. Indeed, I respond, I did.

4 years, give or take, writing this novel in between writing two other books and a screenplay, but who cares really? No one, until it comes out and proves interesting, and thus, the point of this blog isn’t about one more tree that’s succumbed to a writers bad habit, but how, in fact, one achieves.

Ever notice that ‘achieve’ seems to connote success, while completion is merely finishing something? I realized that I rarely use the word ‘complete’ to describe finishing a task, rather, I always say ‘I achieved my goal.’

Where do oddities like this come from? Was it inbred in my DNA, a Swedish thing that makes me look at this life and approach it like my personal version of celebrity apprentice? No idea, but I think it has served me well. I have yet to ‘achieve’ literary success, in the true meaning of the word, but it doesn’t bother me in the least. I just keep going, acheiving the little milestones along the way.

And this gets me to the answer I gave to my husbands question, which is the same one he asks everytime I finish a manuscript.

“How do you do that?” (Clearly, we have a lot of ‘how’ questions in our home).

1. I focus in the sunshine. In other words, I write when I’d rather be doing something else. It’s easy to write when it’s gray and rainy. Not so much when it’s beautiful and sunny and my jet ski is calling me to ride it on the lake.

2. I prioritize the dream. Yes, traveling, spa-ing, sleeping- all nice activities, but they get de-prioritized. Something has to, and I catch up on all the good stuff during editing cycles.

Two photos from my phone, since readers seem curious- one is that a big-A manuscript of 456 pages look like. The second is the most boring part of writing- the editing. Ugh. Red-lining never ends.

Seattle spring

For those planning a trip to this great town of Seattle (for by the standards of anyone who has lived in a real city, knows that this is a town, not a city, for the restaurants shut early (9/10), as do the clubs and concerts) beware. Spring has arrived on the calendar, the weather has yet to catch up.

To wit: last night, drizzle becomes hail. Hail begets snow. This morning I have a finger length of snow. (As an aside, have you ever noticed ill describe the length or distance in a visual rather than inches? I do that because I remember being overseas and how I could never get the calculations correct. I do this in my books as well. Nothing more distracting than having a break from reality to do math).

After the snow comes ice. Branches fall. Internet craters. I’m stuck using my cell for blogging and my thick thumbs are not meant for phone typing.

It is in this dismal state of frigidity than I draw a hot bath (who ‘draws’ a bath, really? But it sounded very Jane Austen and took only one word instead of three- an authors plight of trying to reduce word count), from which I’m typing this blog.

So travelers attempting to come west, pick your time wisely. I’d suggest after the Fourth of July (it has rained on the fourth for 13 out of the 15 yrs I’ve lived here). And if you do come, bring your bath salts so you too, can draw a bath and be cozy.

Pitbull Writer

If anyone doubts the ability for pitbull a to be long- suffering, attention-adoring companions, search no further. Daisy, our blue-haired puppy, now 7 months, likes my fiction.

(Here is the head on my lap)

Little reminders

When I go dark, know this: things are rough. Neighbors making threats over a road (because in America we have no bigger problems), a pot of boiling water slipped from my hotpads, shooting water in front of me, but the tops of my bare feet were scalded.

On the bright side, casting has started for Run Like Hell, a movie I’ve been working on, and production is on track for May (may I just interject its wrong that I get paid for doing what I love, and working with awesome people can happen- and the 20 yr wait was worth it)–editor gave me back my latest manuscript tonight at 7:30, with a modicum of edits. Must write the last 30 pages then its gone-

In the midst of this- I took some time to tap into my inner, non-creative self and do a homey- wood-kitschy thing that I love. Actually, I made 4 diff ones after I got a taste of what a little paint can do to a flat slab of wood.

Heels. Spurs. Vegas. Don’t go out. Go ‘Glamping’

It used to be that only the word Vegas popped up in my issue of Cowboy’s & Indians when referring to the great wholesale events for all things dead and stretched (think furniture with brass tacks and ostrich trim). Not so anymore. Those marketing experts who created the global catchphrase “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” must have come up with another, and it’s a dandy. It’s called Glamping, short for Glamorous Camping.

Silverton Casino Hotel, Las Vegas Nevada Lodging
Go western in Vegas or stay home

Here’s how I figure. Vegas conjures images of half-naked bodies in pools, half-naked bodies on the stage and in clubs, and in general, half-naked bodies. For those of us who only travel to Vegas for trade shows (think Comdex, where one stands on ones feet for 12 hours, schlocking products), the indoors of a convention center is about as exciting as it gets. On the other hand, lots of people go to Vegas to

actually compete in a sport (drinking does not count as a sport, despite what you may have heard). My husband, for example, makes an annual trek to play in a national hockey tournament that’s about as sacred to the stinky-hockey-players-society as the journey to Mecca is to those of the faith.

To each his own, I say. And that goes for Cowboys as well. Or, better said, for those that want to be a cowboy. Now you, (should you fall in this category) can go to Vegas, don your high heels and spurs, and go Glamping. The Cowboys and Indians Suite Package is offered at the Silverton, and I know this, because I got a brochure. This was followed up by my turning the page in the latest issue, and seeing yet another advertisement.

What does this buy you? A western-themed bed, replete with pine log bed posts (ties not included). Western decor to book. For an entire weekend (3 days/2 nights), 2 buffets, and $100 Bass Pro Shop Gift Card. Love that. Transportation to and from the airport and $25 to play slots. Of course, one must leave the room to take advantage of the buffet, gift shop or gift card. Details, details. If you do get out, don’t forget to see if a western-type convention is in progress. Great couches, shoes and all things leather, or not.

Next time you try to get your friend, spouse, mother, on to camping, glam it up. Go Vegas. Go Glamping. Those Vegas marketing folks. I think they’re onto something.

Doing it like Apple-do: firing myself

Fall on my sword time. I got bored. Of this blog. Went on vaca, lost my mojo, stopped writing, called Aunt Jane. 

Nothing like firing myself
“You have to keep writing, I read it.” Okay A. Jane. But here’s deal.
“I want to write about family and friends and work and drama,” I moaned. “All these people check out the blog.”
“Do another blog then.” Right. Another blog. That’s all I need.
So I did the equivalent of getting bangs when I want to die my hair Gwen Stephani white. I changed my blog.
Then the haters came on board. People crawled out from under their rock to give me opinions.
“Hate the font,” wrote one of the kinder readers. “What are you trying to be? NBC?” Ouch. I hate NBC. “Too much white space. Boring!” Well, that one I agree with. Last but not least, from Kelly, my fellow pitbull-loving, nurse-giving-big-breasted-flowing-haired-single friend whom all the waiters at Italian restaurants fawn over. Said she: “Can you just go back to the inviting, non-stressful blog you had before. I really hate this new one and I don’t even want to read it.”
When I complained to the illustrious She, no sympathy was to be had.
“I wasn’t going to say anything, but I will tell you, after about three days, people will stop coming back.”
It was day three.
So here I am, like Scott Forstall, wanting to keep my job after releasing the biggest technology bomb of 2012 (released Apple maps in case you missed that). My boredom did me wrong. I’ll now have to tinker with this site in the hopes I’ll keep my mojo (and friends, and relatives, and co-workers), since I can’t write all the really juicy stuff I want to !!…yet…..

Crack-addict boyfriend be-gone

This evening I’m talking to my girlfriend Kelly on the phone, (you remember her, the one who got hit on by the cuter waiter at the Italian joint, followed by the serenade from the mafia don), when lo, I see her car at the Tiger Mt Country Store. I pull in to see her lounging in the front of this cute, western-style convenient store that is appropriate for our neck of the world, covered in pink from head to toe, looking like a candy-striper from Santa’s elf shop out on a smoking break. Since my car is in the shop, I pull up in my husband’s hee-haw pick-em up truck, missing the small animals that rumble up from the nether regions of the woods to see if, in fact, an earthquake is occurring, and go sit by Kel on the park bench.

After we get done talking about her slippers, her fingernails and how she’s gone “all girl” on me, the lights start to dim and the cashier comes out to yip at Kelly the store is closing, and if she “wants her soda now, she better get it.” The words were said with humor, and it’s clear the cashier is on familiar terms with my friend in her PJs.

Picture me & my friend Kel (in pink PJs) sitting
at the park-bench thing, kickin it. You should join. It’s a good time.

I find this interesting, for I myself, have oft frequented this little shack in the woods, and nary a smile do I usually get from this young woman, though I did mention to Kelly she’s become markedly nicer to me, and for lack of a better phrase, more “present.”

“It’s like she’s been undergoing a transformation,” I told Kelly. Gone is the nose-ring, lip ring, orange and yellow hair. Her skin has cleared up. Her eyes aren’t glassy anymore, and quite frankly, she smiles and looks like she’s gotten a good night’s rest. “When I talked to her before, it was like she was seeing through me.”

Kelly nodded like she understood, and in her quippish, “I’m-a-counselor-mode” (which she is by professional actually), she says, “well her crack-addict boyfriend got arrested and is in jail, so of course she’s better.”

Well. That says it all I guess. I had no idea. It was her crack-addict boyfriend, who also used to work at the store, who helped me get my car keys from a crack in the wood slats on a Friday night after they fell out of my purse. He always smiled and was very social. Of course, he was missing a few critical teeth here and there, his face was sallow and sort-of yellow, and his hair was colors not found in nature, but whatever. I’d never have guessed.

“Your so naive,” she tells me. I suppose. It’s not like I have crack-radar or something. He wasn’t holding me up, nor being rude. All is well now in our little part of the woods. I, like hundreds of others, continue to stop by, fill up, grab some food and be on our merry way. Tonight, I’m a bit merrier however, knowing that with one-less crack addict boyfriend, another woman is finding her way and letting her bright light shine through.

What’s coming-remodeling, writing and manners

I’m excited, for today I realized I can ‘back-post’ topics. This means that blogs can start appearing randomly (like April 1, 2010) and go straight in to a category of topics, rather than post sequentially. I’m thrilled. This is handy for subjects that aren’t top of mind or for the general reader because of the specific nature of the subject. Here are a few of the things that are on my mind…

  1. remodeling a kitchen. I’ve been wanting to do one on this topic for eons, because I’ve done several, and with my existing kitchen, I created it the way I wanted to–for a cook! I had the entire thing layed out, then contracted with the cabinet maker to general the details on a computer. It was awesome. Each time a visitor comes (who is also a cook) we gab about the little things. Important for those of you who are, or may, build or remodel your kitchen.
  2. upgrading your room by painting your walls. You must understand, each one of my aunt’s on my mother’s side could write a book about upgrading anything, cooking anything and sewing anything, so this will bore them. however, in 3 steps, a person can change the inside of their home from looking dull, worn and cheap to elegant and expensive. once again, my motto in life? If I can do it, so can you (I’ve been doing a lot of painting as I’ve been sick, though I have to wait until Rog leaves the house. He always meddles in my work).
  3. more blogs on writing. I scanned the page of notes from the movie producer and have put it in to Paint. I think that every aspiring writer (or just general gossip enthusiast) wants to see what a real-life producer of actual movies that make money (none of those are ‘real,’ are they??). Now that things are moving along, and I’m on book 2, and I go back and forth w/the studio frequently, I am comfortable sharing this. it’s cool. But that’s just one. Another blog is on the latest in ebook and overall publishing.
  4. cooking blogs. I’ve got nearly 2 dozen folders of photos for different food blogs, all started from back in November. What’s my problem you say? It takes so bloody long to write a blog on food. Seriously. Cropping those photos, typing the instructions…i can jam out something on a relationship faster and have it be more interesting. Not to worry. I haven’t stopped cooking.
  5. manners and etiquette. I’m always fascinated by the actions and reactions of people, for good and ill. It never ceases to amaze me how the littlest actions hurt, mutilate, tear up and otherwise destroy friendships, all in the  name of ignorance. So if you think I’m a little old-fashioned in calling out social faux-paus, that’s ok. I don’t like my own feelings trashed, so I’ll try and give out hints now and then.
Oh, and as She has been telling me “keep it to 5 paragraphs!” Yeah. I know. I’m like a drunk that keeps thinking I can walk past the liquor store and not walk in. I try. I really do. As we all know, that golden brick road doesn’t always lead to Oz.

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