Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Time in a Bottle

Where does your mind go while you are in the shower? I realize that this is a loaded question and I'm not looking for any off color remarks, but I remember when shower times were like vacations for my brain. As a child, I took a shower with the radio blasting out AM top ten hits, belting out the lyrics at the top of my lungs. The shampoo bottle was my microphone and I danced over the drain thinking that I sounded pretty damn good. As a young mother, shower time was an escape from hectic schedules, endless questions from my children and grading homework. I remember the hot water pounding my skin like a relaxing massage and the drain became the portal where all of my heavy cares melted away. But now, the shower is my nemesis and the drain predicts my future like a fortune teller. Lupus causes random hair loss. Not in everyone, but for me, it is never a good sign. My hands pull away multiple clumps of hair and I have to repeatedly kick away the collections that end up clogging the drain. That means that my body is fighting itself again......and loosing the battle. It means that a flare is coming and I am helpless against it's arrival. So now, shower time is a place I fear and I spend those solitary minutes evaluating the condition of my health rather than singing or relaxing. Did you see the beautiful glass bottle in my picture? Well, it's filled with all the hair that fell out this morning. I wanted to show you the covered drain, but I couldn't bare to take the picture. So now, it's just a matter of time for the hair to leave and the pain to come.
I took this picture right after my shower. I refuse to let this disease steal my joy for life!


Blogger Amy said...

I did expect that bottle to be filled with your gorgeous hair. Darlene, I am truly humbled by this post. There's so much strength and beauty in your words.

You know, this reminds me of my mother. She lost her hair due to chemotherapy and I remember watching her toss clumps of hair into the trash as she was brushing it. She caught me staring at her in horror as I was only nine years old and quite frightened by it all. She hugged me tightly and told me that she had to give up her hair in order to feel better - ten minutes later we were out the door and on our way to grab some ice cream, laughing all the way.

Darlene, I haven't visited that memory in years. Just when I think that I've lost her completely, she'll revisit me in a flash.

Thank you for sharing, love.

11:50 PM  
Blogger Bek said...

Thanks for sharing your story.
You are such a beautiful woman Darlene. I think it would be impossible for anything to steal your joy and beauty for life.

For you glow of life and spirit...
and I feel blessed that our paths have crossed.

Really blessed.
I am sorry this is happening to you sweets, and thank you for sharing again.
With Love

12:01 AM  
Anonymous angela marie said...

You are beautiful....Ilove you.

9:37 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

This photos says so much about your courage and strength, and your outlook on life. such bravery, and a fighting spirit that i admire so much... beautiful you, i'm so glad we've met x

11:50 AM  
Blogger Turquoise CRO said...

I am soooo sorry Darlene for YOU! For once I am speechless! What can I say to make you feel better?! I Love to get my shower every day, without it I would feel Blah! I am refusing to take high blood pressure meds because this is one of the side effects! Truly, I don't think I need these meds, we shall seeeee what my Dr. says to me today! I would hate to lose my hair because it is sooo darn fine to begin with! I want to send you cards by snail mail! Would that help some? I hate to seeeee YOU in pain! What a world this is! All I can do is pray for you sweet woman! Love and prayers, Cinda ((((Darlene))))) ps. send me your address if You want to, my email is

11:51 AM  
Blogger *aimee* said...

Oh that our paths would have crossed a hundred times before this moment (I do agree with Bek). It is a blessing just to glimpse the life that flows from each post you share. I am deeply humbled and moved by the strength of your spirit. Hugs to you.

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are beautiful, and not because of your hair. you are a fighter, and not because of the lupus. you are an angel, darlene, and you give us so much light and hope. nothing can change that. *hugs*

12:06 PM  
Blogger bb said...

This is such a beautiful picture of you, the fear of yesterday's self portrait falls away and there is such an inner acceptance.

Sending you hugs. There is so much beauty, love, wit and courage in you. Glad to have found you x

2:11 PM  
Anonymous Teresa said...

You are a great testimony of inspiration! How one can live with at times a crippling disease and not let it affect your perspective on what's really important--is a true blessing to many indeed! Your smile is as bright as the sunshine. Hope your day was awesome!

Oh yeah, btw: I remember singing to those top hits coming from the good old am radio too! What memories that brought back.


3:49 PM  
Blogger Bohemian Girl said...

this is one of my most favorite pictures of you. i think i am going to print it out and frame it...can you send me the large one? my beautiful big strong and steadfast you are.

i am proud that you put these raw emotions here. i think that in doing so, it will help prepare you for what is coming.

i love you and i know we are going to move through these fears together and stand tall above them.

wish i could be there when it comes to make you soup, cuddle and watch girly films. soon...

i love that you put your hair in a pretty bottle rather than the drain for the picture. it symbolizes you finding beauty in pain.

holding you in a warm hug...and pinching your cute butt. ;)

lil sis boho

5:53 PM  

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