Find The Difference

When Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy was a kid, he always looked forward to the Sunday newspaper for two reasons. The first thing was the comic section in full color. The second thing was the group of puzzles on the last page of the comics section – my most favorite being “Find the Difference”.

In “Find the Difference”, we were presented with two images which looked identical, but within which were located six differences which needed to be found. Some of the differences were pretty obvious, such as a different letter on the front of a t-shirt. Other differences were much more subtle, such as a left ear being slightly smaller.

So today, I present my first puzzles here on Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy. Can you spot the difference, without reading the answer?

Find The Difference

There you have it. I’m losing my hair. I knew this was a very real possibility, based on the medicines that I am currently taking…but knowing something might happen and actually having that something happen are two very different things.

During the past week I received a few comments here and there, such as “Your hair seems to be lighter” or “Are you losing hair?”. I didn’t really pay much attention and just brushed them off. But yesterday morning I went in for my monthly haircut, and the lady who has been cutting my hair for years was shocked with the sudden turnaround from a month ago.

At the moment, a quick glance at my head shows what seems to be a pretty full head of hair – but if you look a little more closely, you will notice that not only is my hair not as dark as it used to be, but that it has definitely thinned out quite a bit. I would currently put it at right around 20%. Noticeable, but not drastically so.

I started tugging on my hair as a test, and was surprised at how easily they came out. I don’t know how much further it will progress; only time will tell. I am going into my sixth month of taking 20mg of Arava on a daily basis.

On one hand I tell myself it’s no big deal. About once every year or two I shave my head completely, and keep it like that for a few months…so at least I’ve been bald before (and I actually like it…I love the feeling of the breeze passing over my scalp.) But in those cases going bald was done on my terms…this time around, I don’t seem to have much of a say in the matter.

As has been the case many times before, my mind has accepted something…but my emotions lag behind. This is where I am at the moment. When I look at the details, I am slightly shocked. When I look at the larger picture, I know everything is okay.

So, for the moment, Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy has lost one of his hairs. I’ll keep you all posted on my progress. Even if he loses some more, I think he’ll still look pretty darn good!

Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!

9 Comments
9 comments
  1. cateepoo says:

    Oh no! When I was taking Methotrexate, my hair really thinned out. I had a similiar experience of going to my hairdresser of many years and she commented on how thin my hair had become without me even bringing it up. It is a scary thing.

    But, you are right. RA GUY will continue to look good with or without a full head of hair. :)

  2. Jules says:

    There are very few things I am truly vain about- my hair is one of them. For many, many years I had a standing appointment to have it trimmed, highlighted, lowlighted, styled etc. When I started MTX it took a little time for the folic acid to kick in and I lost some of my hair. Seeing those long hairs on my pillow and in the drain was like a kick to the chest. I freaked out and cut it all off. I am talking in one fell swoop I went from the middle of my back to so short I had to use a spiker and do funky stuff with it or look like a boy. Then the folic acid kicked in- and I started kicking myself-lol. Though I am no longer losing it, it is taking forever to grow back- but on the plus side- so is everything else which means I shave 1/2 to 1/3 as often as before. There has to be a positive in there, right?

    So I say to you- if you aren’t already taking folic acid- talk to your Rheumy about adding it to your routine (and if you have access to a salon that carries Nioxin http://www.nioxin.com/en/home.aspx it helps too). Enjoy the semi-freedom from shaving, and DON’T do anything so drastic you will regret it! LOL. You can still go bald on your own terms- but you can fight this too if you so choose.

  3. Rachael says:

    I can sympathize. I recently had to have my long hair chopped off because it was falling out. On top of dealing with the limitations placed on me from RA, now I feel even less like myself. But every day is a new opportunity and I believe this will get better. Keep up the positive attitude!

  4. Lisa Emrich says:

    Ugh, I’ve been losing hair at an alarming rate this past summer. But I attribute that, not to the methotrexate, but to the 8000 milligrams of Solumedrol (steroids) which were infused in June and July.

    The amount of hair I’m seeing in my shower drain and hair brush is shocking indeed, but I expect that the rate it is falling out will slow down eventually. At least that’s what I’m telling myself right now. ;)

  5. Phil says:

    All I can say is hang in there. The Arava has really worked for me, so well in fact that hair would be a small price to pay, considering the amount of movement that I have regained.
    Great site. Rootin for you on this end.
    Phil

  6. Rebecca says:

    I’ve been there too. Whether it’s hair loss or weight gain or facial hair growth(not good on a woman!), the drugs we must take for our RA have some nasty side effects. It has been a real challenge for me to confront my own vanity and our society’s emphasis on appearance. And while I will always choose looking good over not looking good, it has made me stop and think about what’s really important. But you know what? Losing your hair or gaining weight from a drug you have to have to function just stinks and it’s okay to be upset by that (to a point, of course)!

  7. Sandra says:

    Ah yes, the side effect of our meds. Varied and many.

    Wanted to say RA Guy that I have too have always loved the ‘Find the Difference’ Always give them a try when ever I see them. Spotted the hair difference. You say this is your first of your puzzles. Hope you do more. I really like the content of your site.

    Sandra
    The Arthritis Kitchen Blog

  8. RA Guy says:

    Thanks everyone for your feedback and for your suggestions. This morning when I washed my hair I noticed my hands were covered with hair…it’s a shock that I think I am already getting over. Although I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, it’s nice to know that I am not alone in dealing with the aspect of living with RA.

  9. Lindy Leigh says:

    You know sir super hero, my dad was born completely bald and my hubby is balding. I love bald men. They’re dead sexy.

    My own hair has thinned out a lot and it was never ever thick or abundant…and it is harder for me I think because I am a woman. We’re supposed to have lots of long flowing hair so our mates can drag us into their caves.

    So shave your head and be sexy (o:

    Lindy

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