hairStroke recovery is all about dealing with loss. Each stroke survivor loses different things. There are commonalities, such as loss of feeling and control on one side of the body; these are the most easily recognized losses. Then there are the non-tangible losses, such as independence and difficulty organizing thought. One loss that I have not addressed in a blog post, is the loss of the dreadlocks I had cultivated for eight years. That hair symbolized my outlook on life. And it was a big part of who I was. Cutting my hair was a difficult decision. I knew I could not maintain it with a single hand and that it would be a burden for my family. So I cut all 59 dreadlocks, leaving about 2 inches of hair on my head. I ‘d worn the dreadlocks so long there were a bald patches on my noggin. So I had my friend Kathy give me a crew cut.

Yesterday Jack and I walked to our small vegetable garden. He carried a plastic Walmart sack. “ What ‘s in the sack?” I asked. “Your dreads.” He answered. I am going t tie them on the fence around the garden to see if they will deter the groundhogs, raccoons, and deer.

So today a multitude of my old body parts are being used as pest control.

Anything for homegrown tomatoes. Right?

About Vic Cobb Fountain

Empowered Stroke survivor: appreciating where I've been, anticipating where I'm going.
This entry was posted in family, stroke, stroke recovery, stroke survivor and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to dread-loss

  1. Julia says:

    I have so far refused to cut my hair. When I look in the mirror I see a deformed creature unable to walk gracefully or even properly, but when I just see my face I still see myself. My husband washes my hair for me each week, and puts it into a ponytail each morning before he leaves for work. He is absolutely amazing but unfortunately hasn’t learned to braid yet. Would it be easier to have short hair? Yes, undoubtedly, but my long hair has been a part of me for more than half a century, and I don’t think I’d survive it’s loss. As long as I have my long hair, I can maintain the illusion that someday I will again casually put it up into a French twist and head off to ballet class. Vic, it took enormous courage to cut your dreads. You are truly empowered.

  2. A lot of people identify themselves with their hair. It is okay to mourn the need to chop it off. Brain surgery led to my stroke, so mine was shaved off before I had a chance to make that decision. I found it rather freeing to have no hair to maintain.

    I hope those tomatoes thrived in light of your sacrifice. 🙂

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