I haven’t shaved my head since before we moved in late October. Partly because I have been busy. Partly because the new place doesn’t have a working outlet in the bathroom. Partly because it’s cold in Michigan. Partly because leaning over to shave my head hurts my neck and aggravates things. So I just hadn’t bothered for a month and a half.
Then, on November 21, I got the diagnosis of chiari with surgery as the course of treatment. The doctor’s assistant said something about not shaving my head before surgery, the whole world was already spinning, so it took me a minute to grasp. This was clearly something they tell everyone and they weren’t expecting to be talking to a woman who has predominantly shaved her own head for the past 20 years (a few winters I have grown it out a bit). It is so someone doesn’t knick their head before surgery and risk infection. It is so the doctor can shave only the necessary section.
I decided I would let my hair grow out so that I can get it to a reasonable length before surgery. I know I won’t be shaving my own head for a long time and dealing with that with a 4-6in incission/scar on the back of my head would not be pleasant. When I talked to the doctor’s nurse last week, I asked about this. She clearly wasn’t ready for me to have thought this was funny, buy we came to the understanding that it’s okay for me to get a haircut about a week before surgery. I will got to my local hipster barber, where I get a nod when I come in, so they can trim it up nicely. So, three more weeks of growth here I come!
For some history, I first shaved my head when I was 14 in order to donate my hair to an organization for kids with cancer. I got a lot of flack for that from peers and family and experimented with short styles the rest of high school. I also started studying Buddhism, though have funnily become attached to my lack of hair.
Most people who know me now and see me regularly are surprised when my hair isn’t shaved every few weeks. Wallace is used to seeing and feeling my shaved head, but he also really likes it when I grow it out a bit.
The last time I grew it out a bit, I found a local barber shop where I woul be welcome. I went semi regularly for some queer cuts, which was always an interesting experience as a woman in a male space. (Hint: they got over it.)