Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Self Portrait Tuesday



This is my first SPT image. The "theme" for the month of February is 'All of Me' and we're supposed to find images of ourselves that we normally wouldn't show.

I've never liked myself in photographs, which is ironic because I'm a professional photog and I love taking photographs of other people. There's nothing like the feeling I get when a client says "Wow, I can't believe how good I look in these pictures."

I'll admit that I'm much more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it. The first thing I think of when I see myself in a picture is "boy this is going to be a lot of Photoshop work" *snort*

Anyways, here's my self portrait for today. It's a shot of one of my bald spots. I have alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease which causes hair loss. My fist AA attack ocurred in law school. One day I woke up and there was a huge hunk of hair laying on my pillow. I lost a pretty good amount of hair before finally being diagnosed with alopecia areata.

There's no cure for AA. It's caused by stress so medicos usually tell patients to lower their stress levels. The only other treatment is to inject cortisone into the bald spots, which supresses the immune reaction long enough for the hair to grow back.

Lucky me, I got the injections since I couldn't exactly quit law school to reduce my stress. At one point I was going to the doctor every two weeks and receiving up to 75 injections in my scalp. The worst part (besides the pain) was the doctor, who would always say "sorry, sorry, sorry" with every shot. And the assistant who would wince every time I got an injection.

Eventually I realized that being a lawyer was not what I wanted to do....and my AA got better when I quit my job and started doing something else. I stopped going to the doctor for those oh so fun injections and my hair started to grow back in.

It's been about six years since my last bad AA attack. But every once in a while I get another bald patch like this one to remind me to take it easy.

4 comments:

Christie said...

I like the self portrait. I hope that the knitting shizknits keeps the stress levels down...then again, it might increase them. Thanks for sharing!

heyspinner said...

Don't despair over the alopecia. It'll go away One male friend (also at the end of law school and first into practice)had his beard stop growing in quite a few places (smooth as a baby's butt) but after his stress subsided the beard came back. My girlfriend got a bald spot on the top of her head -- also alopecia, but she's fine now. Is it the jaywalker that's got you stressed?

amanda said...

I admire your courage. I really dislike looking at myself in photos so I think you're brave to be so open.

Hope the knitting keeps the stress at bay!

mamma said...

Your honesty takes my breath away. I'm always in awe of your pictures and this one is no exception. It's beautiful and so are you. Thank you for sharing that.