Monday, October 13, 2014

The "Breakdown"

Blogging Friends.... Remember when I wrote that I had experienced a minor mood swing-infused pity party and I'll write about it later, because I'm still processing everything? Well. It is later!! And I am definitely finished processing complex thoughts/feelings/emotions now.... This is me being real. Love you later.

Look for my October fictional children's book on Minuscule is good! as it strangely has yet to have any comments or pageview counts!!

Gasoline. Exhaust. Oil. I grew up as a girl frequently inhaling all of these smells and then some because my Dad was an amateur mechanic. As odd as this may sound? Today, I love these "car smells"!! See. My Dad would purchase various rusty old cars. Pop open their hoods. Take tools to engines and such. And then he would fix these rusty old cars' mechanical issues!! I recall my Dad pulling out entire engines and setting them on our backyard patio. Then? He would put them back in completely repaired!! And I have some fond childhood memories of my Dad's cars!! Many, I'm afraid, I do not recall!! But there was a baby blue Ford pickup truck. If memory serves me? My Dad used to take me for drives in that old baby blue-painted Ford pickup truck!! Just him and I!! There was a green Datsun 510 wagon with an orange door. If memory serves me? That Datsun 510 wagon broke down on my Mom in a Safeway parking lot once!! Whoops. Then, like an apologetic knight in shining armor, my Dad rescued us, alongside a tow truck driver!! He later repaired its issues at home!! My Dad was also a mechanic by necessity. See. Our family vehicle was an old yellow and white Chevrolet suburban. Talk about years of memories we have with that car!! Its breaks went out on our way home from a park. That was an incredibly terrifying experience!! Yikes!! Our nerves were the only things that became wrecked, as Mom somehow managed to safely park it a few short blocks from home and we all walked back!! No injuries or collisions!! Thanks be to God!! Speaking of injuries. I slammed my right hand thumb in this Chevy suburban's middle seat door. Ouch!! Because I'm insane or stupid or both, I yanked my thumb out of that door, which was not closed tight. Blood freely gushed through its nail. So I sucked on my thumb like a sleepy toddler!! Yum? I actually like the taste of my own blood!! I never fractured the thumb, though!! However. My thumb nail did turn various hues of blue, purple and yellow before about 1/3 of it fell off. Which greatly fascinated me, because I am an oddball!! I also fell out of this old Chevy suburban while on roller skates. Ouch!! See, its spare seat folded down which caused a smooth surface. As resulted, I hit the back of my freakishly hard skull and sustained a head injury, while blood freely gushed out!! Is that why I am so crazy?! This yellow and white Chevy suburban also broke down on our way to camping one August day. We slept in a hotel overnight so that my Dad could fix its mechanical issues. Yes, old cars are prone to breakdown. Even if they have a good mechanic who performs routine maintenance work on them, and an incredibly reliable engine underneath the hood. Breakdown happens. Metaphorically speaking? Throughout my journey with folliculitis decalvans, I am an old car. Can I be a baby blue-painted Ford pickup truck?! Wait. Then I am not a car after all.... But this old truck can carry around "loads" such as her nieces, "Amethyst" and "Opal"!! I'm alright with that!! So metaphorically speaking, I am an old truck!! I'm "rusty" in some areas--I do have occasionally visible bald spots--but "underneath the hood"? My "engine"--sanity, mind, heart and soul--have been running strong!! For the most part. With seemingly a lot of routine maintenance work done--sorting through negative thoughts/feelings/emotions regarding having folliculitis decalvans--there were no "breakdowns"!! Not yet. But rusty old trucks are still prone to "breakdown". Right? And precisely one month ago yesterday, on September 12th, 2014? This rusty old baby blue-painted Ford pickup truck--me!!--"broke down". Hello, minor mood swing-infused pity party!! On September 12th, 2014? I was scheduled for a follow-up appointment with my dermatologist, Dr. E.   Which had been changed twice!! Ugh. For reasons beyond my comprehension? I was nervous during our appointment. Despite the fact that Dr. E. feels more like an amazing friend than a dermatologist!! Was it perhaps because I had been awake since 5AM? Yes, I felt tired. Yet, I had been running on adrenaline during this entire appointment!! Was it perhaps because I'd already felt uncharacteristically tearful for twain days? I do not know. But I was nervous. Dr. E. and I talked while I showed off Baldy's next door neighbor. I asked her some prepared questions about folliculitis decalvans, as I had Google-searched it. She answered them to the best of her knowledge, since there truly is very little information available on this rare disease. Dr. Erin examined my scalp, then administered several steroid injections. Which do not even hurt!! Because I possess a freakishly hard head.... Remember?! I expressed my thoughts/feelings/emotions about swallowing ineffective medication to Dr. E., as "Plan C" {Our third prescribed antibiotic that I cannot remember the name of!!} was obviously ineffective. "It wreaks havoc on my emotions," I told her, "To take something that's supposed to be working.... But still lose my hair." I drove this point home. Yes, I repeated myself, because I'm obsessive compulsive like that!! But ultimately? Dr. E. gave me several sample bottles of "Plan B", which, we had barely tried before quitting it's prescription for non-side effects reasons!! Well. Technically, since Plan B is a contraception, I should not call it that!! So how about this? It is "Experiment B"!! Dr. Erin also gave me several sample bottles of a topical steroid spray.... Because my form of folliculitis decalvans is now considered "severe". Wait. What?! This was not how I planned my appointment with Dr. E. would go!! Uh-uh. I was planning to let it go!! Is the song from "Frozen" in your heads yet?! Good!! I was planning to finally accept folliculitis decalvans' fate and lose my beautiful, straight, brunette hair. That's right. I was planning on saying goodbye to Dr. E. .... Forever. Yes, I was planning for this to be my last follow-up appointment with Dr. E.   Which may have been why I felt so freakin' nervous that day!! Hmmm.... I was even planning to voluntarily go hat shopping!! Yes, I was planning.... Perhaps I should have been more assertive with Dr. E., as I'm now beginning to feel like a human medical experiment. I mean, come on. This drug is proving itself ineffective? Alright. Try this one, instead. I even wrote a fictional children's book in August expressing how I was planning this appointment with Dr. Erin. Guess what? My character, Victorya, was not nervous. Quite the contrary!! Victorya was definitely assertive!! And she even donated her hair to Locks of Love!! Remember?! Writing this story was both emotionally difficult and therapeutic for me at once!! I even wrote Dr. E. a goodbye letter. Which I was never planning on giving her!! Doing so simply proved itself touching, emotional and therapeutic. As my nurse {Not Dr. E.'s usual "sidekick". I'm afraid I do not recall this nurse's name!!} looked through my thick medical file, and discussed "Experiment B"? I could sense that something was "mechanically" wrong "under the hood". And sure enough. This rusty old baby blue-painted Ford pickup truck--me!!--"broke down". Enter my first--and most likely not the last!!--folliculitis decalvans-related minor mood swing-infused pity party!! I wept uncontrollably all day. Afternoon. Evening. And night. I could not even hold back my tears in a darkened, deserted movie theater while watching "Dolphin Tale 2"!! Which, I felt terrible about!! This rusty old baby blue-painted Ford pickup truck--me!!--was seemingly not showing any signs none whatsoever of starting its "engine"--sanity, mind, heart and soul--again. As per usual? I did not expect this "breakdown". No, I never saw it coming. Because my "engine" had truly been running strong throughout this entire folliculitis decalvans journey {With humor, gratitude and perspective gained along the way!!} I have never even allowed myself to cry over having folliculitis decalvans or hair loss issues. However. I do invite negative thoughts/feelings/emotions in. Because they are perfectly "normal" and always fleeting. I have been putting on a continual "brave act". This rusty old baby blue-painted Ford pickup truck--me!!--was bound to "break down" at some point!! I then journeyed through a period of confusion. I was bombarded with queries. What on earth has God been teaching me all this time?! I thought.... That He had been teaching me lessons against vanity. I thought.... That He had been teaching me the truth in--to quote our dear, dear, dear friend and breast cancer survivor--"Hair is highly overrated". I thought.... That He had been finally teaching me a profound sense of gratitude for my twain Frankenstein-like surgically-created craniosynostosis scars. I thought.... that He had been teaching me self-acceptance. I thought.... That He had been teaching me how bald is beautiful and physical differences are indeed alright. I thought.... That He had been teaching me the strong, unmistakable, impossible-to-ignore message of letting go. What on earth has God been teaching me all this time?! Honestly? I did not have any answers during my "breakdown". Is God teaching me.... To trust His Plans--whether or not I lose my beautiful hair while swallowing "Experiment B"--throughout this entire folliculitis decalvans journey? Is God teaching me.... Gratitude for how Dr. E. has so very graciously leapt through hoops to help save my hair from the progression of folliculitis decalvans? I suppose I should have been thrilled, excited, relieved and jumping for joy after my appointment on September 12th. But I was not. Instead, I felt so very lost, like a hiker in unfamiliar woods sans her compass. Do I want to lose my beautiful hair and go bald? Of course not!! Who would?! But the difference in my thoughts/feelings/emotions now as opposed to one year ago? I am no longer Drama Queen desperate about embarrassing hair loss issues!! Because I don't give a damn!! But truth be told? I would never wish folliculitis decalvans on an enemy. Ever. Perhaps my plans did not unfold quite like I had imagined they would that September day. But God's did!! Because, perhaps this rusty old baby blue-painted Ford pickup truck--me!!--"broke down". But God? He is my "Mechanic", if you will, Who took His "tools" then fixed this "engine"--sanity, mind, heart and soul--so that I can run strong once more!! Because, ever since I "broke down" last month? God has reminded me that we are all students during our Lifetimes. What on earth did I think....? That He was finished teaching me folliculitis decalvans-related lessons?! Quite the contrary!! Because aside from God teaching me lessons against vanity? Aside from Him whispering that hair is highly overrated? Aside from God instilling in me a profound sense of gratitude for my twain Frankenstein-like surgically-created craniosynostosis scars? {Because, after all. Without them, I would be dead!!} Aside from God gradually working in me self-acceptance issues? Aside from Him whispering that bald is beautiful? Aside from God broadening my perspective about visible physical differences being absolutely alright? Aside from God encouraging me to trust His Plans {Whether or not I lose my hair and go bald despite swallowing "Experiment B"} throughout this entire folliculitis decalvans journey? Aside from Him teaching me humble gratitude toward Dr. E. for so very graciously leaping through hoops to save my hair? Aside from God's strong, unmistakable, message of letting go? God is also teaching me.... That Hollywood actor Vin Diesel can turn me on with his boyish smile and charm alone--despite being bald-headed!!--so I do not even need to notice guys with long, flowing hair anymore!! God is also teaching me.... To never, ever, ever lose hope.... And that I must place it in Him, not medications or treatment. God is also teaching me.... That this folliculitis decalvans journey is an adventure.... Not a trial and tribulation. God continues to teach me.... So metaphorically speaking, I am an old baby blue-painted Ford pickup truck. And now? Whenever I see my "rusty" areas--bald spots--in a mirror? I smile. Because they are reminders of all the ways that my "Mechanic"--God--is working on me. They are reminders of all the ways that He is growing, evolving, and maturing me!! But sometimes? Rusty old baby blue-painted Ford pickup trucks "break down".                     

4 comments:

Molly The Wally said...

You are nothing short of an inspiration to all of us. Through all your difficulties you always see the good in the end. We salute you. Have a marvellous Monday.
Best wishes Molly

Raelyn said...

Molly....
Thank-you for the comment, Friend!!
"You are nothing short of an inspiration to all of us. Through all your difficulties you always see the good in the end. We salute you." Aw, thanks, Friend!! It is ALL God!! ;op

Ruby said...

Great post! I loved your analogy, especially about God being your mechanic. By the way, you are much more beautiful than an old truck.

Raelyn said...

Ruby....
Thank-you for the comment, Friend!!
"Great post! I loved your analogy, especially about God being your mechanic." Thanks!! ;)
"By the way, you are much more beautiful than an old truck." You're sweet, Friend!! Dad's old baby blue Ford pickup truck was--I thought!!--beautiful.... ;op