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Alaska

Haircut... It's One Of My Triggers I Guess

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Like many of you I spent 2 years of trying to figure out what the heck was going on with me. Biggest issue was feeling dizzy and times feeling like I was going to have a stoke or seizure or something. Then I had days of just feeling awful and felt out of it. I got overstimulated easily, especially in loud environments. Throw in fluorescent lights, tall ceilings (like Walmart) and the room being too warm and it brings out the perfect storm in me. The Doc I went to at the time stated "why don't you just stop thinking about it for a month or two and call me back then." I thought about saying "why don't you put your hand in boiling water and you don't think about that and call me back." I actually thought of something else, but I probably shouldn't say. I fired him and found a Doc that listened me. The new Doc took 3 hours with me during the intake, and I was looking at my clock during the meeting because I had to go. That was a first. Well eventually a tilt table test was ordered and I passed out in less than 10 minutes after being put in the standing position. So that was my intro to what is my current diagnosis of Neurally Mediated Hypotension. That Tilt Table Test was a fun ride... in no way at all. They should pay me for it. Luckily I had never fainted before and still haven't without the TTT, but have a lot of pre-fainting episodes where I feel very close to fainting.

So, to the haircut. The last few years I've noticed I worry about getting my haircut because I seem to feel worse while I get one. Today was no different. As the haircut continued I started feeling worse and worse, to the point my forehead is sweating and I'm thinking to myself "do I need to get down on the floor before I pass out." She asked "are you ok". I must have looked bad. I pulled through and made it. But then I realized sitting still on that chair to get my haircut is basically the same as not being able to move on the Tilt Table. I do feel bad standing in lines, but at least you can move around.

Anyone else triggered by haircuts, or having to sit still like in a car?

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My first thought was, do you have your hair washed before getting it cut? I had to quit having my hair washed because it was bothering my neck soooo bad to lean back at that angle. Good thing I quit, as a few years later I found out I have a narrowing of my spine in the neck area. Having the spinal cord compressed at the neck in an extended position like that would not be good for the nervous system.

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You know, when I started feeling really bad I was looking down for awhile and they do put those wraps/gown around your neck pretty tight, and looking down made it even more tight.... so maybe that was it.

I just got my MRI results back of my neck and spin. Still have to talk with the Doc what it all could mean for feeling dizzy. But this is what it said:

"There is a broad-based disk bulge at the c6-c7 level which results in narrowing of the canal and impresses upon the cord"

So, I don't know if that relates to my symptoms or not??

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I have the stenosis and the discs touch my cord at c3-c5. The original neuro said he didn't think it contributed to my POTS, but the next neuro wouldn't commit either way. I am at my next one, and will see what her impression is.

I see you had to bend your head down--I don't like bending my head in any direction. It makes me feel "off", kind of hard to explain.

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Two years ago while getting my haircut I completely blacked out for about 15 minutes. I woke up in the ambulance. I think it was the combination of what other's mentioned above because it happened a lot after that and I had to have someone go with me to get my haircut because the ambulance became an expensive ride. :) But for me it was the laying my neck in the shampoo bowl, then getting up and then tilting my head down and sitting up too long. But now I just go there with a wet head and they cut my hair without having to have me tilt my neck too much. Then I used to get a little panicky about it after the one episode and it didn't help at all. So I always remind myself to breathe and relax. I'm much better with it now, but I know everyone is different.

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I used to get flare ups after every hair cut--for several years. Recently it has not caused any problems for me. so I agree that there is something about it--maybe it is the sitting still for so long--that triggers a POTS reaction.

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Welcome to the group, Alaska!

I'm not sure how I would have reacted to a dr telling me to go home and 'not think about it'...that's brutal !! I'm glad to hear that you dumped him and have moved on to someone better.

I went for my first post-POTS haircut a few weeks ago. I'm not at a point where I can actually participate in life outside my house, so it was a big deal. I needed a cut badly (just to make day to day care easier), so I washed my hair at home and went in with a wet head in a ballcap. I went to a quick cut place, so it wouldn't take long and I decided not to tell the hairdresser that I have any issues - I just wanted to pretend to be normal for a brief period of time. My mother had driven me there and stayed in case anything came up. I took my shoes off and folded my legs up on the chair with me (I never would have been able to get through it with blood pooling in my feet). As soon as she put the comb through my hair, I knew it wasn't good - I hadn't anticipated the strain it would put on my neck to hold my head upright and still. Thankfully, she wasn't a talker because I just needed all of my mental focus just to get through it. When she finished I just put the ballcap back on and left with a wet head (the same way I went in).

So, I was completely exhausted and flat out on the couch for the next day or so. My husband called from work to see if I had actually gotten the haircut, thinking (or at least hoping) that I would feel rejuvinated and refreshed...not quite what I was feeling... :wacko:

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The neck thing makes sense and also the long period of sitting explantion. Maybe blood pooling in the legs/feet. I know I'm constantly doing little maneuvers to minimize symptoms - right now I'm kind of hunched over, with legs crossed. Makes sense that being forced to sit upright -with no way to compensate- would make things worse.

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I haven't had my hair cut- and I'm a cut AND highlight kind of girl too- since the summer. My hair is a MESS. It looks horrible plus I've lost about 40% of my hair as well (I'm thinking thyroid issues no one can figure out) I've been debating about making an appt. bu I'm basically bed bound so was wondering if it would end in catastrophe. Sounds like quite a few of you get symptoms. Darn!!! I wonder if I can pay a stylist to come to my house?? Hmmm.

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Jenn, didn't you say you were anemic? That could definitely cause hair loss.

I am going to confess here...I have my husband cut my hair! He absolutely knows nothing about cutting hair, but he trims it for me(he is so sweet and will do anything I ask!). I am lucky in that I have alot of hair with body, so no one would see if anything was slightly uneven. I already cannot sit up in a straight chair, as it puts too much pressure in my chest and head, so sitting at the beauty shop is out.

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I've lost a lot of hair with this illness too. I think this can happen with neuropathy, maybe that's why - or maybe our circulation issues affect hair growth. I rarely get a haircut- it's too much work... getting to the appointment, sitting through the appointment, then trying to maintain what the hairstylist did- I'm exhausted just thinking about it! A ponytail is my solution. :D

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Alaska,

So glad you brought this up! ha

I get nervous too. I think part of it is anxiety because I am in a public place, technically stuck there until it's over with your little cape on. Also, I do find that after i get my hair washed I do get up slower, they are always like "okay, all done" and I slow it way down and sit up get my bearings etc and then go to the chair.

Also, my hairdresser is always like, uncross your legs (i think it can throw off the the cut) and I always think, "No!" but i do it anyway for her : ) Maybe we also are more sensitive to stimulation, so someone brushing your hair can flare you up because it can be a bit painful sometimes.

I keep tensing my calf muscles. It is so true that you have to be so still and i am not use to having to do that, so it maybe makes me a bit symptomatic, but also anxious. I also never let them dry my hair anymore because I just want to get out of there because I am uncomfortable and sooo bored!

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It's a trigger for me too! Especially when she puts all my hair over my face I get so hot (I have a lot hair :) ). My neighbor has three little toddlers and she found a hair dresser that will come to your house and you just wash your hair beforehand. She charges the same amount so I'm going to go that route next time.

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Wow. I didn't think about how many of you are effected the same way. I feel for you all. I'm a guy, so my haircut was easier... I just have them use a 6 guard on top and 1 on the side. But she seemed to be taking forever. I feel bad because I asked her if she could hurry up please. I made it though. It's interesting when I started feeling like fainting, I got really hot and my senses went into overload. I started hearing how busy it was in the place and all the people talking. That was likely my "fight or flight" response kicking in, which makes all senses hyperactive and ready to "fight or flight".

That's interesting about the hair, as starting 3 years ago I developed alopecia and lost a patch of my hair in 2-3 spots on the back of my head. This happened the winter two years ago and then the following winter. Thankfully it grow back. But, this all happened before I started having the dizziness and before being diagnosed with neurally mediated hypotension. I'm curious about the connection. They tested my thyroid probably 4-5 times in the last 4 years, and it is always normal. So my hair loss was really my first sign of something being wrong. That is an autoimmune thing, and I have always question if my NMH is autoimmune related.

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HI Alaska,

I can't keep my head bent down when my stylist cuts the back of my hair so she has to raise the chair higher to get to it. She also knows not to spin the chair AT ALL. WHen she wants me to see the back of my hair to check it at the end, she hands me the hand held mirror and I stand up and turn around.(She's an old family friend, thank goodness, so she dosn't look at me like I'm crazy.) The thing that gets me the worst is when someone in the salon is getting a perm. The smell really sets of some of my symptoms.

Glad your new doc is more attentive than your old one. You are not alone.

Katie

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Hey everyone I am a hairstylist (now I do it part time because of pots) and I think if you are feeling ill you should ask the stylist to stop and give you a minute to move around. If you are feeling overheated, most blowdryers have cool air button that you could have put on you as well. Remember, you are the client so they are going to do whatever makes you comfortable (if they are a good stylist). I think the person who mentioned going with wet hair or finding a stylist that will come to you is a good idea. Styleseat.com is a website that lets you find hairstylists close to you and some who will come to your house. And yes stylists make clients uncross their legs and put their head down for an even haircut.

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Someone may have already mentioned this (sorry if they have!) but I am wondering if it has something to do with all the chemicals? I have a difficult time as well, even when I just go in for a haircut. I have noticed though that it is the smell and the chemicals that bother me the most (that and when they stick you under the dryer with that stupid cape on-- it's just way too hot!). Whenever I get my hair highlighted I get all my symptoms x10.

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I just had a horrible episode two days ago while getting my hair colored at the salon. I was fine until about 10 minutes in. My stylist and I were talking and all of the sudden my body started feeling really heavy like something was on top of me and I could no longer speak. I knew what i wanted to say but I could make my mouth work. I was really lightheaded and nauseous. I had to leave to go to the bathroom twice. Needless to say, I then had a full on anxiety attack. I almost left mid highlight, that’s how bad it was. I though I was having a stroke. I rushed my stylist to finish and left immediately. I felt terrible the rest of the day and two days later am finally starting to feel myself again. This happens to a lesser degree every time I go to the salon. I sometime me carry a plastic bag with me in case I have to vomit. Why is this? I have some back and neck issues, like arthritis. I can’t believe that other people have these things happen too! I thought I was crazy!   

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On 3/26/2012 at 6:05 PM, Alaska said:

Like many of you I spent 2 years of trying to figure out what the heck was going on with me. Biggest issue was feeling dizzy and times feeling like I was going to have a stoke or seizure or something. Then I had days of just feeling awful and felt out of it. I got overstimulated easily, especially in loud environments. Throw in fluorescent lights, tall ceilings (like Walmart) and the room being too warm and it brings out the perfect storm in me. The Doc I went to at the time stated "why don't you just stop thinking about it for a month or two and call me back then." I thought about saying "why don't you put your hand in boiling water and you don't think about that and call me back." I actually thought of something else, but I probably shouldn't say. I fired him and found a Doc that listened me. The new Doc took 3 hours with me during the intake, and I was looking at my clock during the meeting because I had to go. That was a first. Well eventually a tilt table test was ordered and I passed out in less than 10 minutes after being put in the standing position. So that was my intro to what is my current diagnosis of Neurally Mediated Hypotension. That Tilt Table Test was a fun ride... in no way at all. They should pay me for it. Luckily I had never fainted before and still haven't without the TTT, but have a lot of pre-fainting episodes where I feel very close to fainting.

So, to the haircut. The last few years I've noticed I worry about getting my haircut because I seem to feel worse while I get one. Today was no different. As the haircut continued I started feeling worse and worse, to the point my forehead is sweating and I'm thinking to myself "do I need to get down on the floor before I pass out." She asked "are you ok". I must have looked bad. I pulled through and made it. But then I realized sitting still on that chair to get my haircut is basically the same as not being able to move on the Tilt Table. I do feel bad standing in lines, but at least you can move around.

Anyone else triggered by haircuts, or having to sit still like in a car?

Yes I hate getting haircuts now. I am triggered. I had one instance where I knew something was wrong. And this was before I was diagnosed or saw a specialist. My forehead started to sweat and my anxiety was off the charts. I tried to play it off. She probably thought I was crazy. I believe I was squirming a little bit. I now only get haircuts during the weekday where nobody else is there getting a haircut. It has helped. But it's a battle I deal with now. 

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I've had to give up going to the hairdresser but I've found someone who comes to the house. I can get my hair washed before she comes, she just cuts it and then I can dry it myself. So much easier. I used to wonder why I felt so strange in the hairdresser before I was diagnosed. I especially couldn't manage leaning back to get my hair washed.

It's great to come on here and find out that my weirdest symptoms are normal for lots of other people! 

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On 3/27/2012 at 12:42 AM, Alaska said:

Think they would have charged me for the haircut if I passed out? :D

They made sure to collect the bill when I blacked out waiting on the ambulance at Olive garden on my first experience with fainting. I had a gift card in my pocket too. Never got to use it. 🤦‍♂️

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This sometimes happens to me when I have to sit still for a while and yes, I do believe it is from sitting still for too long.  It happened last week when I sat for maybe a couple of hours straight, getting caught up on newspapers and mail.  A couple of things have helped me with this - first, moving about in *whatever manner is possible at the moment* if I can't get up and start walking.  The OP mentioned getting haircuts and sitting in a car but even sitting in a car isn't bad (unless I'm the driver and am at a standstill in traffic) because if I'm a passenger, I can still move my legs around and shift positions, move the seat back, and, if I'm the driver, I can still be in control if I need to pull over.  Stuck in traffic and driving myself, no place to pull over, different story.  Then I crank up the A/C full force and blow it on my face, no matter how cold it is outside, and take a swig or two of ice water I keep on hand in a tumbler.  And take deep, slow breaths and try to distract my mind and not think about it, because that makes it worse.  Sing to myself or something. 

I think one reason haircuts are tricky is that you're "expected" to sit still when someone's working on your hair so you might not be so comfortable to start "fidgeting".  I was on jury duty yesterday and you know how that goes, sit, sit, sit . . .  I started to feel a little bit woozy after a while so I started moving my legs back and forth as I sat, you know, bending them at the knees as if I were walking.  Drank a bit of Carnation breakfast drink I had in my purse, as a distraction.  It helped, but I was kind of wiped out by the time I got home a couple of hours later.  DH wisely advised me to hit the bed!

 

 

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6 hours ago, Delta said:

This sometimes happens to me when I have to sit still for a while and yes, I do believe it is from sitting still for too long.  It happened last week when I sat for maybe a couple of hours straight, getting caught up on newspapers and mail.  A couple of things have helped me with this - first, moving about in *whatever manner is possible at the moment* if I can't get up and start walking.  The OP mentioned getting haircuts and sitting in a car but even sitting in a car isn't bad (unless I'm the driver and am at a standstill in traffic) because if I'm a passenger, I can still move my legs around and shift positions, move the seat back, and, if I'm the driver, I can still be in control if I need to pull over.  Stuck in traffic and driving myself, no place to pull over, different story.  Then I crank up the A/C full force and blow it on my face, no matter how cold it is outside, and take a swig or two of ice water I keep on hand in a tumbler.  And take deep, slow breaths and try to distract my mind and not think about it, because that makes it worse.  Sing to myself or something. 

I think one reason haircuts are tricky is that you're "expected" to sit still when someone's working on your hair so you might not be so comfortable to start "fidgeting".  I was on jury duty yesterday and you know how that goes, sit, sit, sit . . .  I started to feel a little bit woozy after a while so I started moving my legs back and forth as I sat, you know, bending them at the knees as if I were walking.  Drank a bit of Carnation breakfast drink I had in my purse, as a distraction.  It helped, but I was kind of wiped out by the time I got home a couple of hours later.  DH wisely advised me to hit the bed!

 

 

Sat for 20 mins at an attorney's office today to get her attached to my case. Plus the car ride. Feel like I've worked a 16 hour shift. Had to take a nap like an 80 year old man.

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