Well, I wanted to write this blog first thing this morning but the clocks went forward here in Europe and I was busily glued to the television watching the Malaysian Grand Prix. FORMULA 1 IS BACK!!! It's a shame my boy from Britain (Lewis Hamilton) didn't win today, but let’s remember he did win last week and he got a very respectable second place today so a great start to my Sunday.
Sooo, what's been happening with my recover? At lasteth, mine hair hath start’d to groweth!!! (Old English meaning "at last my hair has started to grow"). Whilst the growth is modest, it is growth none-the-less, progress is progress. It is in-keeping with my expected recovery at this stage and is the most significant and amazing update since my sutures (stitches) and bandages were removed in late December 2013. What began as initial sproutings around 12 weeks ago, are now long, wiry, wispy hairs that I refuse to cut. Interestingly, the first hair growth was at the exact same location where my AKN began with an acne bump that never healed (circa 1989) - I consider this a symbolic and positive indication of the healing process, as if it is somehow stamping out the ghost of the AKN at the very location where it all began. My AKN began at the back of my head in the lower central region, approximately one third of the way up from the hair line on my lower neck (approximately where most pony-tails would grow). There is further hair growth along the lower hair line. The hair is now very obvious when you see it closely (within a few feet proximity). It is mostly a clump of soft wispy hair and a lower line which gives the overall impression that my scar is ever so slightly smaller, seemingly narrower. Perhaps I should let it grow into a pony-tail... Why (I hear you ask)? Simply because now, after 28 years, I can :-D
One other point of note is the general pigmentation of my scar is darker than it was and is now closer to the natural colour of my skin, all of which has come together to improve the general appearance at the back of my head. The darker pigmentation is from the lower hair line and seems to be rising. This is by far the most significant aesthetic improvement to date and to me is a clear indication that my recovery is heading in the right direction.
See for yourself. Take a look at the pictures below (click each to see larger picture):
It's simple, twice a day I use Rogaine Foam (known as Regaine Foam in Europe) after each shower. I gently rub in a small amount of foam into the scar and I am ready for the day. It makes it feel moisturised and somehow rejuvenated.
I have been so happy with the Burt’s Bees BaoBab More Moisture natural shampoo as recommended by Dr. Umar that I have continued to use it. It contains a lot of natural good stuff and does not contain a lot of the usual bad stuff (feel free to read up on this topic from above link for actual details). My hair and scalp feels cleaner and somehow more in balance than with any other product I have ever used.
To be honest, I remain measured in my celebrations at this stage as my healing still remains a work in progress. I celebrate being AKN free for well over a year, I celebrate no further itching, flaking or bleeding and I celebrate initial hair re-growth and pigmentation improvements. Although measured, I am optimistic for the future healing as when observed closely, I can also see many more hairs about to break through the skin. I anticipate that the next two blog updates (June and especially September 2015) will show the likely extent of my finished healing and it will be clear whether I will be discharged from Dr. Umar or if further treatments are required. Until then, take care...