I have never paid much attention to my appearance, preferring comfortable to smart clothes and wearing my hair in a fashionably dishevelled style.

Suddenly this has all changed. For the past couple of months I have been losing quite a lot of hair .  Stress, said some people, loss of vitamins because of your strange diet, said others. Now, despite being back on a normal diet, it seems to be getting worse. Whereas before I hardly looked in the mirror as I gave my hair a perfunctory comb, now I gaze in horror at this balding hag in the mirror (made worse by the ultra short cut I had before going into hospital).

I have always taken my thick hair for granted, even though it is thinner than when I was young.  And I have rather revelled in the hairdresser’s : “Vous avez des beaux cheveux”.

Now it is dawning on me how much one’s hair is part of one’s identity.  I understand better the distress of those going bald after chemotherapy. But at least they expect theirs to grow back. Not sure about mine. Silly, I know, to fixate on this, rather than my aches and pains.

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