This year has been a hell of a slog so far. I am now damn determined that it is going to go nowhere but UP.
On Monday, May 9, 2016, I finally, FINALLY had long-awaited surgery on my scalp to remove two Red Delicious apple-sized tissue expanders, excise the scars & bald spots, and move the scalp tissue around so there would be hair on my whole head. I had those damn things in my head for four full months. FOUR. MONTHS. Four months of ugly, four months of discomfort, four months of hats. But it is OVER.
And by all accounts, everyone rocked the surgery. It went well, I wasn't in much pain, it's now healing perfectly. I got the staples out yesterday, and I have a new staple PR of FORTY ONE! 41! Beating my old PR of 40 by one mere staple.
My kickass surgeon and his 5th year surgical resident made every effort not to shave any hair from my head. You guys. This is crazy. They painstakingly worked around and through all my hair, cutting and stapling, so that I wouldn't have to endure the months and months of my hair growing back in. I can't believe they did it, and I can't even imagine what a pain in the ass it was. I was fully prepared to put up with the chick fuzz growing back in, and more damn headbands, and getting a supershort haircut as soon as I could. BUT I DON'T HAVE TO.
Instead, I have a HAIRCUT AND COLOR scheduled for June 1. JUNE FIRST. For the first time in a YEAR AND A HALF I have HAIR ON MY WHOLE HEAD and I can just GO GET A HAIRCUT AND COLOR like a normal person. I could just cry. It is so amazing. My incredible hairdresser has been trimming my hair up for the last year and a half, coming in early to meet me before anyone else was in the salon. He never flinched, even when my head was at its ugliest. He is the best, and I will be bringing him a fancy bottle of German eiswein to thank him.
And then I will take new selfies and put new avatars everywhere, because PRIORITIES.
The relief of all this is enormous.
This sounds odd, but I can wear all my clothes again! Let me explain. When you have to start every day burdened with a big fat headband as one of your major accessories, it limits the rest of your wardrobe. Everything has to rotate around the headband. Plain black headbands made me look like a nun. White ones looked weird not in warm weather. Printed/colored ones required finding something that didn't clash. I basically haven't worn a bright color or a print in a year and a half because the damn headbands looked awful with them. I wore a lot of black and gray. Depressing. Now, nothing is off limits.
I'm still wearing some baseball caps right now, because I have to put antibiotic cream on the healing incisions, and my hair is goopy and greasy and alarmingly gray and about 17 different scraggly lengths. But I could technically go without one. (HAIRCUT SOON!)
I just feel like I can finally come back to MYSELF again.
I ran as much as I reasonably could through the last four months. I can resume some exercise already, and I am ready to go, to run further and further past all of this every day, to run towards my two big race goals for the year - the Navy Half Marathon in September, and the Marine Corps Marathon in October.
My spine has been killing me, because I had nearly two extra pounds on my head, and not symmetrically located. I could really only sleep on my right side. I couldn't lie down flat. I couldn't lean my head back on the headrest in the car, or the high back of a chair. My whole core is really out of whack. I am dying to get to the chiropractor and the massage therapist. I am ready to tune up my whole body so that I feel GOOD.
I am ready to go, without limits.
"...I need no introduction/When you knock me down/I get the fuck back up again."
-Hercules Mulligan, "Hamilton"