definitely not a word/feeling I understood until they started injecting steroids a couple centimeters deep into my head.
Danielle, the PA at Dr. Dee’s Dematologic Center for Excellence told me I would probably feel quite “ROPEY” after the 20 shots of steroid injections.
I graduated SUNY Geneseo with a major in English [Literature] and a minor in History. I was a teacher’s assistant... My first job after college was at a publishing company. I had never heard this word before.
But I don’t need to research the Webster, Oxford or Urban dictionary definition for this word- I know exactly what it means & how it feels now.
this was my first time receiving steroid injections in hopes of hair regrowth in my two alopecia spots... this procedure is essentially playing [a VERY less dramatic version of] Russian Roulette. basically, this procedure could go two ways: my two large spots could experience regrowth OR i could develop more spots.
actually, this procedure could go more than just two ways: i could experience hair regrowth and months later the hair could fall out in those exact spots again. or, spots upon spots could spread like wildfire around my head in an attempt to combat the steroids. or my head could cave in in little divots. or my hair could grow back. or my hair could fall out. or nothing could happen. or i could be bald tomorrow.
a lot to wrap my head around [pun intended].
so, i mean, yeah, i constantly wrestle with the WHAT IF.
the great and powerful WHAT IF.
this is where most of my anxiety stems from- the WHAT IF(s) in my life [that sometimes consume me]- it affects my work, my passion, my relationships. it affects my self-worth. the gift i've recieved from this disease is coming to terms with the fear of the great and powerful WHAT IF.
alopecia. there is no pattern. there is no cure.
i have NO CONTROL over the WHAT IF.
i struggle to accept that i am not in full control [i never was]. i am learning to treat myself like an experiment, taking risks, embracing and relishing in the incredible experiences, the people, the STORIES- letting go of the WHAT IF and cherishing the NOW.
FEAR is nothing more than an obstacle that stands in the way of progress, of transformation & growth. in overcoming our fears, we can move forward, stronger & wiser within ourselves. FEAR is necessary in our lives: go to it, sit with it, stare at it- FEAR shows you parts of yourself that you can cultivate in order to obtain that ever-elusive happiness in life. the more you face the FEAR, the more life opens up.
accepting this procedure and going through with it is just another step at embracing the unknown, facing that FEAR of the WHAT IF in my life.
so, i made some new buddies, learned more about the 2% of the Western New York population who have a lifetime risk of alopecia, and had twenty-some bee string steroid injections into my brain...
what an adventure!
special thanks to Aaron & Danielle [from the Dermatological Center for Excellence]. thank you for educating me and providing the deepest care. thanks for accepting my funny sounds and outbursts during this procedure. i understand the term, ROPEY now [too difficult to explain to others, but I TOTALLY GET IT NOW].
Aaron, thank you again & again for your compassion and genuine interest in my story, you remind me to stay courageous.
there is always hope.
embrace your journey, face your fear. grow. transform.
stay tuned for updates on my progress
[current feeling: ROPEY].
[P.S. some big news coming your way...]