Saturday, June 28, 2008

Hairy situation

My Beebs is the unique one in our family. We knew it since the second we saw her all gooey and pink, fresh from the birth canal. Me, my husband and the three older kids have dark brown (almost black)hair and brown eyes. Beebs had (very little) light brown hair and bright blue eyes since the day she was born. I can't count how many times I've heard the "mailman" scenario- ha ha- not funny or original anymore, folks!

The others were born ape-like hairy... I totally believe the old wive's tale that heartburn during pregnancy means your baby will have hair- Beebs is the only one that I didn't have heartburn with and she hardly had any hair.

Even though follicularly challenged, last year around this time, we started noticing enough length that curls were forming at the nape of her neck. Yeah, no more taping bows to her head to show that she was a girl on outings.

The forth of July came and went. We live in an area where fireworks are legal. YUK! Personally, I've always hated them. The big striped tents in every parking lot looks trashy. I am always finding remnants of fireworks in our lawn. There are constant crash and booms at all hours and I'm a startely type. I jump and get easily startled and shaken by loud noises- a screw's loose, I know. I prefer watch them on TV with the sound muted.

I'm not a fan of the kind of people that like to set off fireworks, either. Country bumpkins, they like the boom of guns, they blew up stuff as children- 'round these parts, we call them "Hoosier's"- it's not in a good context like the proud people from Indiana. It's meant in a critical way describing non-filtered Marlboro smoking, Busch beer drinking, poor white trash kind of way.

Don't get me wrong, I have 12 Aunts and Uncles on my dad's side that fall into this category. But, as with anything, you've got the decent hard-working people and the kind that have no respect for themselves or others. Unfortunately, we have a few neighbors that are the latter.

We have many neighbors that set off fireworks on a consistent basis this time of year. At first it was just an annoyance. Then last year, towards the middle of July, we started noticing Beeb's sweet curls were gone and her hair was much thinner and so short it was spikey. We even pulled out old pictures to compare. It was an obvious change. We called the doctor and he suggested we go to a dermatologist. The dermatologist sent us to a pediatric specialist in hair loss (mostly dealing with Alopecia- the inability to produce ANY hair). Her symptoms and age did not point to Alopecia, but there were many nights spent worrying about how difficult that would be for a child to grow up without ANY hair.

For about two months, I got these looks at stores, I know them, I give them. It's the aaaawwww, I hope your sweet baby gets well because clearly she's going through chemo look. It's accompanied by a smile and a wink to the child. It's a well- meaning one, but I was sad that the assumption was she was sick, it was, after all, superficial, she was seemingly completely healthy otherwise!

After extensive testing, they diagnosed Telogen Effluveum. Hair loss due to stress- naturally falling out- not pulling. The Dr. said that it is usually seen in children that lose a parent or have to deal with a similar trauma.

Throughout our visits, we racked our brains trying to figure out what had been so stressful in a 2 year old's life that could have caused this? Then it dawned on us, the boom of a firework sent her into a tizzy. Screaming at the top of her lungs, shaking, cold sweats, after about a week of it, she wouldn't even play outside anymore. It lasted for about 3 weeks and the time frames all matched up. We asked the dr., somewhat reluctantly, if that could be the cause. She agreed that that was probably the source and that the hair would grow back in its own time.

So, here we are a year later and a year older. The hair on her head is very similar to the way it was before the loss last year, full, kind of poofy, and curls. She was just outside playing when the first firework (that she has noticed) went off right above our yard! Unfortunately, the year did not seem to mature her beyond the fear of the crashing boom. The same reaction: sweat, screaming, and shaking. I ran out to scoop her up and bring her in. I do hope we don't experience the same outcome.

We feel very blessed that all we have had to deal with was a superficial issue. We realize how lucky we are to be blessed with four healthy kids. However, no one wants there kids to be in pain, emotional or physical. I don't like the fear that the fireworks stir up in her, I wish I could take that away- clearly she takes it pretty hard!

I would like to stir up some pain and shove a firework up one of my neighbor's ass, in particular, when I explained the situation to him and asked if he would be sympathetic and not shoot them off at certain times- he was, well, not receptive. There have been words exchanged and it's evident he's not a fan of me either (I believe he called me a "rich snobby bitch"- see how clueless he is!!!) I'm SO NOT rich!

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Tiffany said...

Aww poor thing. I'll come kick your neighbor's ass. And I am a REAL country bumpkin. LOL I hope she does better this year. Maybe play a radio in her room at night so she won't notice the fireworks as much. Good luck!!

LunaNik said...

Oh honey, I'm sorry. Maybe in this situation it's best to fight fire with fire. Go buy yourself some M80's and set them off in front of the offenders home at 3am...then, puncture a hole in his truck tire. Does he leave his car windows open at night?? Throw some sour milk in there if he does. That'll learn 'im.

Amy Amy Bo Bamey said...

Man that bites! Poor Baby Girl!

Maybe get a noise maker for her room to try and cover up the sounds of the fireworks.

Manic Mom said...

I can't believe he said that to you! Heres what you should do to Fix him. Go & buy a small plany or potted flowers. Go find some of your Crazy Japenese bugs you have in your yard & put them in the pot. Knock on the door & give them to him as a peace offering. Or just knock & leave. HAHA HE HEEEEEE As soon as the Crazy Bugs start tearing up the furniture you will have the last laugh.

Deb said...

Gees. I think your neighbor is a d@#*!

I had Telogen Efflufium a few years ago after sustaining a serious orthopedic injury (torn ACL). Apparently the stress of it was enough to make me lose gobs of hair. It sucked, to say the least.

I sure hope you have a different outcome this year! Could you try earplugs with her, or is she too little?

Mrs4444 said...

Wow. That is really weird. I've never heard of that condition. Poor little sweetheart. This calls for a vacation to California, I think. (where fireworks must be banned, I'm thinking)

Sue said...

Oh my GOD!!!!! Your poor baby!!!!!! Can you get her some itty bitty earplugs (the soft kind)? That blows.

C said...

That has got to be frustrating--for you and your daughter...and those neighbors? Aye aye aye, what the hell is wrong with them? Well I too hope that she doesn't have a repeat of last year. Even though she's healthy and all else if great, I know what you mean--you don't want your kids to have to deal with anything difficult.

Anonymous said...

The idiots in my neck of the woods start early with the firecrackers and cherry bombs, and they're still at it in August. Our dog stops pooping this time every year.

The white noise machines are great. I use one to sleep but they wouldn't block out the firecrackers, and you never know WHEN one is coming.

And there's not a thing you can legally do about it.

Jill said...

As a mom whose hair is continually falling out from stress (meds don't help, nature has to take it's f'ing course), I feel your daughter's pain. It sucks - it really does.

And what a shitty neighbor you have to be such an arse about the fireworks! Brotherly love at its finest.

Ann said...

That is so intense.
You're poor little girl.
It sounds like it's time for some 'mama bear action'.
So... what's this neighbors address...? Not that I'm going to do anything ;->