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Archive for April, 2008

Chicago

I just returned from a weekend in Chicago.  Among other things, I attended a few sessions at the conference put on by the Trichotillomania Learning Center.  I was able to make some good contacts with people, as well as get ideas for professionals who might have similar ideas/research plans as me.   I found that a lot of my recent ideas about pulling & treatment and such may be on the right track, so now I just have to find a way to learn more and then figure out how to start researching such things without being in grad school or having a university affiliation.  I don’t really want to be that formal, but I want to test some theories.  So I don’t know exactly where to go with that next.  I’ll put some feelers out and go from there.

I managed to drive all the way home from Chicago today (3+ hours) and only pulled once.  That is pretty impressive.  I probably would have done more if Brian had been sleeping the whole time, but I’ll take what I can get as far as success.

More later.  I have to write up a report for work that I’ve been avoiding since we got home…

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I knew I hadn’t posted in a while, but I can’t believe that its been almost a month!!  Life has definitely been busy.  It also has been getting warmer, finally, and a little more sunny, so that means I am usually sitting at my computer less than when it is frigid outside.

So, I apologize to all 3 of my regular readers.  I didn’t mean to let you down.  The last month has been busy, like I said, with adding a third dance rehearsal to my weekly schedule.  That puts me out of the house three nights in a row, plus a good chunk of Friday afternoon.  It isn’t terribly convenient, but the movement is probably good for me.  I need to be forced out of the house sometimes anyway.  Now if I could just force myself to get out and finish my yardwork.  I”m to the point of trying to get rid of a bunch of weeds that are mixed in with some ground cover, and it isn’t going to be easy.

One thing I realized while gardening, is that the closest thing I’ve ever found to “simulate” or maybe “imitate” the sensations of my hair pulling, is removing the dead brown leaves from some of my plants.  They sort of pull off in the same way as a hair does, with a little bit of tension, but not too much.  I thought it was interesting to realize how similar the two things felt.

In addition, my biggest change has been instituting a (refined) sugar free, gluten/wheat free, dairy free, yeast free diet.  Needless to say it is really hard, but I’m trying to find at least a few things that I like to eat.  It is really hard when I’m at school or restaurants because so many things have hidden gluten or sugar in them.  If I were being hard core about it, I wouldn’t eat anything I didn’t make or buy labeled “gluten free.”  But, today one of the classes was selling nachos for lunch & it didn’t even occur to me until after I’d paid that I shouldn’t be eating the cheese, and probably not the taco seasoning either (why does that have gluten in it…I don’t understand).

I had intended to go for a sugar free diet and switch over to all whole grains.  But when I mentioned that to one of my doctors, he told me, that whole wheat wasn’t a good idea, and that staying away from wheat/gluten would actually be a better choice.  It is a pain in the butt!  However, I have noticed my pulling urges are fewer this week, but quite a bit.  I’m also finding it easier to stop myself if I start trying to pull.  Now, whether this is the placebo effect, or really the effect of all or part of the diet, I don’t know.  AT this point, I’ll take anything I can get, because my hair is in BAD shape!  I also go to a new psychiatrist this week to see if he has any suggestions for me.  Lastly, I go to the Trichotillomania Learning Center conference in Chicago this weekend.  I’m only going for Saturday afternoon, but I’m hoping to get some good information and make some good contacts.  I’m so used to music therapy conferences and being in that mindset.  It will be soooo strange to be with a bunch of other pullers rather than with a bunch of other colleagues who don’t know anything about my disorder.

I find lately, that I pull more at night when I’m starting to get sleepy.  Since I feel myself yawning and my scalp is starting to itch, it is time to sign off and go find some witch hazel to put on before bed.  If you’re still out there and still reading my blog, thanks!  Please leave a comment, so I know someone is out there.

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