Saturday I went to the beauty shop to have my hair permed and the perm did not take – not on the ends anyway. How this happened, I will never know. I thought immediately after my perm that my hair didn’t look very curly, but I just assumed that it was due to the beautician just combing it out. I figured the curl would bounce up whenever my hair dried. But it never did. By yesterday, my hair looked really bad and the top layer of hair had no curl – it was just straight and very dry. So I called the salon back and I spoke with a nice lady who could take me last evening to see what she could do with my hair.
She asked me if I was on any medication, because we all know how medication can affect perms and chemical hair treatments, and I told her I was and that most of them were for pain. She also mentioned that she was on pain medication. While washing my hair, Pam asked me what I was on pain medication for and I told her I had chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and interstitial cystitis. She looked surprised as she replied that she also had interstitial cystitis and fibromyalgia.
We instantly connected as she fixed my hair. It is amazing how instantly connected you may feel to someone who suffers the same as you do. It’s nice to have someone to talk to who understands and I’m sure that it was the same for her. We face the same prejudices, the same hurt and misunderstanding from others and have to deal with crappy doctors and can relate to what that is like. We talked about what it was like to be labled as “junkies” because we have to be on pain medication to make it through the day. Only patients who suffer like we do know that we take pain medication out of survival not because we are addicted to them.
While I went into the salon only expecting to come out with my hair fixed, I found a new friend in chronic illness.