Eventually, I was given a treatment plan. First it was steroid injections, then immunotherapy. But every time I went in to begin the treatment, I was told my condition had progressed too far for it to be a viable option. I felt defeated, and no doctor could deny it.
Alopecia comes in many different forms, and of course, varying degrees. Essentially your immune system decides one day that it doesn’t like your hair anymore, so it starts attacking it, similar to how it would attack a virus. There’s alopecia areata, which sees a patient lose little round spots of hair; alopecia totalis, which is the loss of all of your hair on your head; and then alopecia universalis, which means there is no hair anywhere on the body. I have universalis. My eyebrows and eyelashes were the last to go and the hardest to say goodbye to.
It was after I’d lost everything that I began on immunosuppressants, which are medications that actively weaken your immune system. The aim of the game is to find the right balance between lowering your immune response enough to stop attacking you, but not so much that you’re constantly sick. It didn’t work: I was horrendously sick and for no gain. I was at war with my body, again.