This is a commentary about the slow lane, about the slowing of time since I suffered a severe brain injury while skateboarding with my dog. This is a blog about recovery; about our '82 VW Westfalia. It's about writing, surfing, camping, married life, bleeding ulcers that make you feel old at 32; about family, friends, and my dog Artie; it's about cruising in fourth gear, getting passed by every car and learning to appreciate every second of it.
For years Aimee and my mom have joked about the round, slice-of-bologna-looking spot on the top of my head. I shrugged it off. No way was I balding, I said. My brothers, 7 and 6 years my elder, have full thickets of brown hair. Hell, my grandfather died when he was in his eighties with a full head of hair.
It wasn't until I had my skull put back on-- damn that phrase can never get old-- and had my head shaved did I finally accept that my hair was thinning. But it was nothing that a little strategic combing wouldn't solve.
The thinning didn't seem to get any worse. I grew my hair back.
Then, a few weeks ago I began to notice Aimee playing with the back of my hair before leaving the house. Armed with a bottle of hair spray she would spend a few minutes making sure the whiteness from my head didn't show through.
A week ago I decided to get a second mirror. I held it behind my head. The bologna slice had fused and there was no way of getting around it. A few days later, Aimee shaved my head.
And whether I link my accelerated hair loss to a side-effect from Wellbutrin, or blame it on post-traumatic stress from the fall, or say it is a result of stress, it doesn't really matter.
But the bologna-patch got me to thinking, what do other men do when as they learn to accept baldness. I went online and found a website, thebaldtruth.com for men who are coping with hair loss. I wish I had discovered it before because it is pretty damn comical. For example, read the introduction to the site:
If you’re a young guy reading this article, it’s important that you know you are not alone.
Losing your hair can drastically change the way you perceive yourself and it can change the way others react to you in all aspects of life. I’m not going to sugarcoat it.
Because of this fact, it’s reasonable to have feelings of confusion and despair. This is nothing to be ashamed of. There will be women who reject you because of your hair loss. There will be situations in which people will openly make less than polite comments and observations about your receding hairline. These are just the facts.
At first it will be difficult to deal with, but I am here, as someone who was once a severely depressed hair loss sufferer, to tell you that there is life after hair loss.
I wonder if they have a forum for guys who are losing their hair with huge scars on one side of their head as a result of a skateboarding accident. I'll keep searching. In the meantime, with head shaved, scar showing, bulge bulging, I have no other choice than to embrace the bologna slice.