I apologize for being absent for almost four years. I am doing just fine, and I hope you are, too.
It was actually quite incidental that I logged into my "Allerleirah" account after such a long time. My overflowing inbox surprised me. I did not expect that emails would continue to flow in from women and girls who were just starting their body hair journey, or from others interested in supporting hirsute women by sharing our stories on websites, in magazines, and on TV. I did not expect that there would still be questions.
You are still finding my dormant blog and sending me messages, which tells me that there is still not enough support out there. And because you are looking for someone to answer your questions and have the courage to reach out to a stranger like me, I really ought to be there for you.
So, if you never got a reply from me, I am sorry. I hope you found your answers somewhere else. I had to muddle through a lot of this on my own, too, and I still made it. You're probably doing even better than I did.
And if you want to, please write me again. I will make myself available again. Just because I feel like I have nothing new to say about hirsutism doesn't mean I shouldn't be around to say the same things as many times as is needed for others. I can look back on my struggle from a privileged place where hirsutism is now livable, but others aren't there yet.
I will help you.
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About half the emails I received simply wanted an update on my own hairy situation, so here it is:
Medications: Unchanged since the last post. I’m still on 100 mg of Spironolactone a day, Diane-35, and Vaniqa.
Any new hair observations?: Unchanged since the last post. It has been stable for a long time thanks to the medications. Taking the same med dose won't have increasing effectiveness over time, it will only keep things the same.
Any new side effects?: Nothing I've noticed. Spiro hasn't given me noticeable constipation since I started pursuing digestive health with fermented foods like kefir. I think over time the Diane has made my eyes dry, so wearing contacts has grown more difficult. I just use more expensive eye gel drops and wear glasses more. My boyfriend likes me in glasses anyway, he's got a thing for librarians. ;-)
Morning routine: Tweezing hairs on my chin every day or so. Sometimes I will bleach the sides of my face when I feel like I have a lot of darker blond hairs there--though they only seem to be darker in certain lights at certain angles. It helps me feel more confident, though, so I do it. \
Further laser treatments?: I went in once since the videos to have a touch-up laser session, which reduced the amount of time I have to pluck back to almost nil. My chin is the most sensitive to the hair-growing hormone, so even though the meds help, it'll never stay bare forever. Just gotta keep going back. Now that I'm in my thirties with a steady job, it doesn't hurt the wallet as much to shell out $120 or so to get zapped once every year or so. Totally worth it.
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Emotionally, I don’t have as many days where I don’t want to leave the house because my face makes me feel self-conscious. Now and then it still happens, but you just have to accept those times and remember that tomorrow will be a better day.
I've found that my anxiety has not lessened about travel. My heart will still freeze in my chest at the prospect of camping and I'll grasp for every excuse in the book, even though I know my hair growth is not such a factor in my reality anymore. And I still cringe when someone tries to touch my face.
It is possible that it is still affecting my relationships, as well. I have been dating someone for two years now, but I hold back from any kind of intimacy. There are a few possible reasons for that, but one of them may be self-consciousness about my body. I have begun therapy this year to investigate my romantic hang-ups. (And because this is something that I would want to know: I told him about my hirsutism fairly early in the dating process. He was curious but not repulsed, and impressed by how well I hid it to the point where I don't think he quite believes I'm hirsute at all. He has only my face to go by, of course.)
Part of the reason I am not so focused on hirsutism anymore is because I have a new problem: migraines. I used to get a couple per year, but in the past few years I have begun getting one to three each month that last a few days each, not including the postdome. I lose a lot of work time and a lot of family time, which gives me a lot of stress. My new focus is finding a migraine remedy that works for me. One of the things I’m trying right now is massage, something that as a hirsute person I never thought I would do. It helps to approach it as a medical treatment and not as a decadent treat. And if you got the kind of massages I get, you wouldn't think of it as relaxing at all.
So, that's how I'm doing. If I failed to answer something you've been wondering, please leave it in the comments, and email me with any questions, concerns, requests... I'm here for you again.