I've always been a big hair loser.
Well, fine, not always. I had thick hair until I was a teenager, and then it mysteriously started falling out.
When I was thirteen or so my mom took me to the doctor to have some tests done. (This is the ONLY doctor visit I had before my marriage, save a few to have warts burned off. No lie.) I kept finding bruises without knowing where they came from and I lost hair in such quantities, I was convinced I had leukemia or some life-threatening blood disease. (Dramatic much?) The tests, unfortunately, came back normal.
"Your blood vessels are just really close to the skin," the Dr. said, "and you probably don't lose as much hair as you think. It's just long, so you notice it more."
I heard that same thing - "it's long, so you notice it more" - many times over the next decade, when hairdressers noticed it piling up on the comb, or when I mentioned it to other people. I got it, I got it. Everyone loses about 100 hairs a day. And they used to recommend women brush their hair 100 strokes a day, until studies showed that brushing too much makes hair brittle.
Normal, but don't brush too much.
One thing I loved about pregnancy was that my hair was at least three times the usual thickness, shiny and lovely and growing. Until the Great Post-Partum Hair Loss, that is. Still, everyone said it was normal, and that some women even get bald spots. Mine never got that bad.
So a couple months ago, when my hair started coming out in handfuls every time I showered, blow-dried, or brushed my hair, I didn't worry too much at first. Blame it on the hormones! Hormones! Hormones! Surely it's normal! Normal! Normal!
Sorry about that .... anyway.
The hair loss was annoying, but the dizziness was worrying. And still it took a full-blown UTI* to get me in the clinic to take care of it. More blood work done; thyroid levels checked. Sure enough, my thyroid isn't functioning the way it should, (high TSH and low t3, t4,) but we won't know exactly what to do until I get a few more tests done. Just what we need right now.
Now I know that I'm not crazy. About the hair loss, at least.
*"Bring on the Rain," or something. I've had a broken wrist, two different infections requiring antibiotics, and a diagnosis of a lifelong thyroid problem within the past 10 weeks. And you thought I was joking about funding the hospital!