Sunday, June 03, 2007

Apropos of nothing

I've noticed something strange for the last couple of months. Nothing earth-shattering. Nothing worthy of calling the doctor. But strange, nonetheless.

For those of you who've been pregnant, remember how, during pregnancy your nails and hair grew faster than normal? And your hair just changed? I remember it clearly. My hair had been mostly straight, a little wavy, before pregnancy. It got curlier and curlier during my pregnancy, then mellowed a bit.

In 2004, when I underwent radioactive iodine treatment for my thyroid gland, my hair changed again. I don't know if it was the radiation or the very-high-dose-for-many-months prednisone course, but my hair got curly. And it stayed curly through 2005, but then I cut it off. It's longer again, just covering my ears, and if I don't wrestle with blow drier and then straightening iron, it's not wavy; it's curly. This week I decided to quit fighting with it and play up the curls. But I'm still completely baffled by this development.

Someone I know at work is a chemist. When we talked about this odd situation, he told me that it definitely was not caused by the radiation. Instead, he theorizes, the course of steroids activated a dormant gene. That's the only explanation for my hair remaining curly for more than two years after the steroids should have cleared my system. And he talked to another chemist and they both think that's the explanation. Since I have no idea of the chemistry of hair curling (but they do), I've decided to believe them.

But it's not just hair that's different. My nails are growing so fast these days that I have to cut them weekly (in my line of work, long nails are not okay). My nails used to break off and grow very, very slowly. And, TMI alert, I've also gone up almost three bra sizes but haven't gained weight. It's a lot like being pregnant without morning sickness or a baby at the end. So I'm not complaining, just baffled.

So? Perimenopause? I've got a few "official" symptoms of that, and I fit the age group. Anyone else experienced (experiencing) this?


Lizard Eater said...

Curly hair, long fingernails and bigger boobs? I don't know what it is, but hit me with some of that.

juffie said...

I've not had steroid treatments, but after totally straight (read lank!) hair all my life, flat as a pancake (when curls and waves were all the rage), now that folks iron their hair (?!what's up with that?!), I have curls and waves. Go figure.

But it came on with age, so perimenopause may actually be it -- bigger boobs came too. And longer nails, now that I think about it. Hmmmm.

Anonymous said...

Your Grandmother D used to complain at length about the curliness of her hair--didn't look especially curly in the younger photos I've seen of her, so don't know if it was a later-in-life phenomenon.

I still have nail issues...not strong...and that one still splints if I don't have them professionally "maintained."

Melanie said...

OT-but what do you do, K?

I noticed that you said you can't have long fingernails; I'm intrigued.


Kaleigh said...

Oh, I work in a hospital. Nothing exciting about the fingernail rule. Pretty standard.

Anonymous said...

My hair never changed with any of my pregnancies.

My nails did look better and seemed stronger during my first pregnancy, but I always keep them very short (former-smoker-cum-nail-biter) so no fun there.

I did get larger breasts for the first pregnancy, and they didn't shrink afterward, but neither did I, as you recall (still carrying quite a bit of fat from baby-making.) For the second and third pregnancies, though, they haven't grown any more.

So, I am curious, as I am seriously working on lowering body fat and gaining muscle, what, if anything, will change about them.

I'm sure you are enjoying the changes though. :)