Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Dear Mr Prograf,

Firstly, kudos to you on the science bit, and on creating an anti-rejection wonder. I'd say you drive a fierce nice car now, but I hope that back at the beginning, it wasn't all about the money, and the genius in you wanted to advance pharmaceutical brilliance.

You did good.

But let's talk about the hair loss that your drug causes.

You see, in all my imaginings of my post-transplant days, I saw showreels of myself tripping and giggling my way across cities and continents with hair.

I did not foresee the daily exodus down the plughole in my shower. Increasingly now I fear the moment of having to wash or brush my hair because of the frightening number of strands that come away in my hands.

It makes me sad, and I truly had enough of that before.

I know the medics say it should "settle down" once my body adjusts to being immuno-suppressed, but if that takes much longer, I am going to have to endure taunts from the meanies on the bus.

"Here, is that yer one Gail Porter?"

Worse still, someone may compare me to Sinead O'Connor, and I am neither bipolar, nor the mother of a handful of children who are all half siblings to each other, and whose living room is a bit crowded come Father's Day.

Please do not mistake this grumbling for ingratitude. I love, love, love my kidney, and I will never stop counting myself as a lucky one.

Luckier even than Dolores McNamara. Euromillions? Oodles of euro in the bank is no fortune compared to mine.

But it really would be terrific if I could have a working kidney and hair.

Some are comforted by the theory that the hair loss is down to your body trying to heal. That it diverts all the protein and the essential minerals towards patching up your wounds, and away from nourishing your tresses.

I'm not buying it.

So Mr Prograf, get thee to a lab, and sort it out. Pronto.

Keep the parts of your elixir that kidney needs to stay healthy. Lose the elements that are turning my scalp into the hair follicles' version of Pol Pot's killing fields.

Good man.


  1. Glad to see that your little blip last week has gone away, but very frustrating to hear about the hair loss. I hope it clears up soon and you can keep putting all your kidney woes far far behind you!

    1. Thanks Susan - the hair loss goes on, I'm afraid. I may consider chopping it up real sort. The pixie look, I believe it's called. Sheesh.

  2. Hi Regina, Great to see your still firing out the odd post and that it's going well. I remember this hair loss
    business and finding some on the pillow, (people who know me are laughing now) as I have a receding hairline and when i mentioned it most thought it was a self deprecating joke. These and other things pass and it all get back to that great normality, it's better than normal though, much better.
    (have just previewed this and it asks "Add a profile picture".?)

    1. Duffer - all words of reassurance are most welcome, thank you. I look forward to the day when this part will pass. I don't want anything getting in the way of the overall transplant happiness!