Unexpected News as a Mom- How do you handle it?

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Earlier this week, I noticed a bald spot on my almost 5 year old son’s head.  His friend had pulled his hair the day before…there wasn’t even mention of it to me, or his friends mom.  It was kind of matter of fact.  Right after I took this photo, my little guy looked up at me and asked me if I could glue his hair back in tomorrow.

Alopecia Areata

My mama instinct kicked into overdrive.  It made no sense to me that a 6 year old could pull that much hair out and leave no marks, none at all- or that there was no pain when it happened.  My oldest had actually come to me earlier in the day with her hand full of hair and it looked like cut hair.  I thought (wrongly) that someone had cut her hair- or that she’d cut her own.  No skin, no blood. It didn’t make sense. The spot on his head was smooth, not at all red or irritated…the skin is a slightly different color than the rest of his scalp…but it sure didn’t look to me like any trauma had occurred.

I sent this image to my sister and one friend.  They agreed with me that this just did not seem like hi friend pulled his hair out.  I couldn’t figure out how it was possible…something didn’t click. Within minutes my sister (who is a licensed cosmetologist by trade) introduced two new words into my vocabulary.

Alopecia Areata.

The images came up.  The description.  I kept seeing bald and hair loss and suddenly I really just wanted to call my mom.  Really would have loved to hear her thoughts on this.  Many, many tears were shed that night.  

First thing the next morning I called the pediatrician.  They got him in as soon as possible. It took the doctor a few seconds to use those same two words.  Alopecia Areata.  I’m going to do an exam, she said, but I think that’s what it is.  You’ll need to see  a pediatric dermatologist for some testing and treatment, and some counseling.  I have a list of names…

Do you know that getting an appointment with a dermatologist is really hard?  I wanted to go RIGHT then.

My baby boy – I just want to know he’s ok, that this isn’t something more…I read that it’s an autoimmune disorder, I just want to be sure it’s only this and not more.    Can’t someone just squeeze us in today, right now?  I’m floundering here, I may not look it but it’s taking every ounce of my strength to hold these tears in and not let my boy see his mama upset.  

I think I called 37 phone numbers.  Some offices had more than one, so I tried both options.  Not until the end of November, some said.  We’re not taking on new patients, was what many others said.  Finally I got someone who stopped to listen to what I was saying.  My son- they said he has this thing, and we don’t know much about it…we don’t want to wait 5 months to find out more…that’s a long time, he’s not even 5 yet.  Do you know where we can bring him, that has an opening?

She found a cancellation.  We’re going July 23 at 1:30.  (For those of you taking stalker notes, there will be an adult here with the other kids, so don’t be all Oh! They won’t be home.  This mama doesn’t mess with naptime).

Writing that appointment on the calendar felt great.  I shifted gears.  There’s not much I can do at this point.  I’m a mom, I have 3 kids, they are all kinds of awesome, each talented in their own way.  One of them has a bald spot. He may get more.  He may never have one again.   I can’t do anything about it, there’s no cure, no magical potion…so I’ll start educating myself.  Maybe I can help erase some of the stigma that comes hand in hand with hair loss and baldness.  I can also most definitely find some awesome and cool hats for my little dude to wear, with one bald spot or one spot of hair.

I have nervous energy about this whole situation and I have to channel it somehow, right?

 Are you here looking for some fun BABY prizes?  Head here next!!

 

To be continued…(continued here)

 

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About the author: I’m a 30-something mom to three, brand ambassador. content creator, social media maven, blogger extraordinaire, earth lover, butcher, baker, candlestick maker (or something along those lines) – love word games, crafting, cake decorating or shooting pictures.

55 comments… add one

  • Wow! This is something that can be scary when dealing with something that is happening to a child! It is so hard to try to stay calm, but I think that you did really great! I commend you on being such a good parent and loving your children!

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  • my cousin had this when we were younger and apparently it is common..pray hope all goes well

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  • Speaking from experience, you WILL get through it.

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  • My husband has Alopecia Areata. His hair fell out when he was 14 and it came and went a few times. When I met him 14 years ago he was putting on some topical stuff that was downright nasty so he could grow his hair. I asked him to stop and just shave it since he looked hot with a shaved head. Now (at 41) that his eyebrows are falling out he got in touch with a dermatologist for more topical ointment because he feels awkward. Just be there for your son and be supportive. There is another blogger that I follow whose little boy has alopecia and she does fundraisers for it http://www.purejoyeventsblog.com/2011/05/childrens-alopecia-project-hair-drive.html

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    • Donna, thank you for sharing – the link and about your husband. I think bald men are hot too ;o)

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  • You’re handling it all well! Glad you persisted to get an appt soon. Sending love and support.

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  • Sending positive thoughts your way.

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  • Brett- You are an amazing mom and such an advocate for your children…so glad you got an appointment sooner than later. Keep us posted.

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  • sending you love girl, i’m sooo glad you got an appointment earlier than november!!! keep me posted. xoxo

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    • Thanks, my dear Pip!

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  • Thank heavens your son has a Mom like you, that really pays attention to her children. So glad you have an appointment on the 23rd. You will be in my prayers. Such a hard thing for children to have to experience, sound like this is something that can come at any age. I will add this to our prayer list at Church. I’ve never heard of this before, but I do like to make others aware of medical issues. Let us know how your appointment goes.

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  • Hugs!
    My sister was diagnosed with Alopecia Areata when she was 10. She was completely bald for about 7 years (and what an awful time that is for a girl to struggle with that). And while she has hair now, she still struggles with bald spots and very thin spots/hair. She has very little body hair (arms, legs, eyebrows – of coarse now she can joke about not having to shave often). Like the others said, get in touch with the Alopecia Areata Foundation. Things really have come such a long way since my sister and family went through this (she in her late 30′s now)

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  • Really sorry to hear that. I was finding myself losing my hair due to medications of a neurological condition that I have, and it really hurt. Luckily with lots of TLC it has stopped, but I can only imagine it happening to a kid. I hope the dermatologist can help, and that he finds some awesome hats. :)

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    • Thanks Nicole! I’m sorry you have lost hair as well :o(

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  • Oh Brett – I can’t even imagine how freaked out you were/are. I am glad someone finally let you get in quickly, I hope you are able to get some answers. Poor baby, poor mama!

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  • I am so sorry to hear that your family is going through this. My younger son developed a large patch of discolored skin about five weeks after birth, and when I called the pediatrician, they acted like it wasn’t a big deal. When I finally convinced him to look at it, he was like, yeah you should definitely see a dermatologist about that. So I know how it is to have to wait for an appointment with one. Then we find out that this could actual be a sign of a much more serious genetic condition, and not “just a birthmark.” Now I am waiting what feels like forever before he can get in to see a geneticist for further testing. Even with the best-case scenario, my son will have this large patch of discoloration covering half of his trunk for the rest of his life, and I am very worried about bullying. Worst case he could have all kinds of growth and development problems. From a mother who knows what it’s like, I will be praying for your little boy.

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    • Lori, I will be praying for your little guy as well. <3

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  • Oh no… so sorry :-(….. Hugs to you guys ! We are here if you need us … xoxox
    mary

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    • I will call you soon Mary!

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  • I have been in your shoes!!! My daughter was on,y1 when it happened though. We were at my cousins and she came running out to us covered in hair! I thought she must have rolled around in a dogs bed to be that covered in hair. She would also just pull her hair out sometimes. My family dr was amazing! He got us right in,told us about alopecia, and had us treat it with steroids. After about a month it started to grow back in. My little girl is 4 now and has not had any more occurrences, but e Rey time I comb her hair, I am looking for bald spots.
    If you visit myj blog I have a page all about it.
    Have you visited the national alopecia areas foundation yet? Also there is the children’s alopecia project I would look to for some support. This is news I never wish anyone else to hear.

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    • Adelina, I’m absolutely reaching out. And going to visit your blog this weekend. <3

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      • And so sorry for all my weird typos! I was nursing and typing on the IPad that likes to “correct” my spelling, lol.

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  • I will definitely be thinking about you. So glad you got in to see a dr.! It definitely takes time to get in to see them and it’s so frustrating. We had to wait 2 months just to get in to see a neurologist for Liam and it was awful. I hope everything goes well and you have some answers.

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    • Thanks Roxanne!

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  • I can only imagine how your little man must be feeling. How does he feel about haircuts? I wonder if a cool new do might make it less noticeable.

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    • Headant- thank you!! He’s wanting his hair longer – for now, that’s a good thing- I can brush it and mousse his hair to keep it covering the spot. He can do whatever he wants with his hair though. I’d let him. <3

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  • Oh no poor guy :( keep us updated about his appointment!

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    • I will, Bekah! thanks!

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  • Thinking of you guys! I am so glad you found an appointment in just a few weeks!

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    • Thank you Sara!!

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  • Oh girl. I am sorry. You are so strong. Stay strong for him. I will be praying non stop about it. Everything will be ok. I don’t know your mom but I am sure she would say its going to be ok.
    From a mom who learned about a condition only after my baby was diagnosed i can say that knowledge is key. Research like a mad woman. Find out all u can before the appt so you know what could happen or what should happen.
    Big hug! God will see u through this!

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    • Thank you so much Heather !!

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  • HUGS! You are a strong mama and have a strong little boy who will get through this, whatever the outcome. I am SO sorry you have to be faced with this but I think you are handling it so well!! Prayers and all good thoughts are going your way!!!! Please let me know if there is ANYTHING I can do! :)

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    • Thank you Julie xoxo

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  • Brett you can do this ;) Your a great mom and super creative!!!

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    • Thanks Amee!!

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  • Please know I am Praying for you and your family and I know it seems like forever but it will be here soon. Plus he will Rock the hats you get for him and all the other kids will want one as well.

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    • Thank you Glenda <3

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  • I understand what you are going through. My son was born with a bald spot (long story short he came too fast at the end and there was trauma to his head causing scar tissue). While I currently know that every thing IMPORTANT is ok, even though he was rushed to the NICU when he was born, it’s still aggrevating. While I am so THANKFUL that my, now, 3 yr old boy is developing great and healthy,… the mama bear in me wants to fill his head with hair! He’s grown a little hair where there was none before but, because of the scar tissue, he will never have a full head of hair. At the moment he doesn’t really even know the difference but I fear for him when he gets older and kids start commenting. It breaks my heart to think he could get bullied for something like this! Especially since he is such a wonderfully out going child! We’ve joked that he’s just a trend setter and is starting the REVERSE mohawk trend! (It’ll be all the rage soon :D) I know that your situation is different and has different causes and I hope everything turns out well. Hugs and prayers your way!

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    • Kellene thank you for sharing <3

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  • My Daughter has it, and it just came out of the blue. She was 25 at the time, and she went to a dermatologist right away. It seems to me that the hair loss is at it’s worse during stressful times. For instance during her college days it seems to be worse when exam time came around, or when she moved back home and broke up with her boyfrind. Some say allergies. Hang in there, hopefully they will find an answer soon!

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    • Carol I have heard stress can make it worse. I wish they could have gotten us in right away. Big deals to us aren’t always deals to doctors I guess

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  • I have shared a very similar feeling when I noticed something was not right with my son and we had to wait weeks on end for a dr appointment with a specialist. Very lucky you found a cancellation. Thankfully the appointment we had made us realize it was better we found out early in his life to be able to prevent worse things from happening later in life. Although the first couple nights after I cried myself to sleep thinking my son would be made fun of in school and to be honest sometimes I still do. . All I can be thankful for is it is not a terminal disease and others have it much much worse.
    If you ever do want a really cool hat come and check out my website I crochet some really fun ones. My thoughts are with you, in the beginning when you find out something is wrong with your child your mind goes in a million directions at once. Hopefully your appointment can settle some of your thoughts. Make sure to write down all your questions so you don’t forget anything. Good Luck.

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    • Thank you Lexi! I will check the hats out too <3

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  • I am really sorry for what is going on in your life at this time. I have been there and done that for the last 3 years with my now 7 year old grand daughter that I am raising. She goes in spurts, currently she is completly bald, it may come back and it may not. She has half of her eyebrows, no hair on her arms or legs but she is the sweetest child in the world. Get in contact with the National Alopeica Areata Foundation, they can help you understand a lot more about this. They have been a god send to me, helping me deal with this along with her, I really think at this age it bothers parents more than the kids. “Don’t forget to use sunscreen on his head if he is not wearing a hat.”

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    • Patricia, thank you! I will reach out. Your granddaughter is luck to have you <3

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  • God love your hearts!!!!! I’ll be saying special prayers for him – thank goodness the 23rd is not too far off!

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    • Thank you Linda

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  • Oh B- I had no idea. Sending much hugs and love your way.

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    • Neither did we! Thank you

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  • I want to hug the receptionist who got you in early AND you. I am waiting on pins and needles too. xoxo

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    • Thanks, lady. <3

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  • I’m so sorry that this is happening to your son! My husband got it and they were able to fix it with steroid shots in the affected area. I hope there is a better treatment for your little one!

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    • Thanks Poekitten! I appreciate the thoughts. I’m sure my son would not be happy about shots!!

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      • They do have oral steroids as well it’s what my daughter took. The shots probably work faster though since it’s right in the affected area. Good luck Hun. I’m here to talk anytime you need.

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