Tuesday, September 7, 2010


It appears that my 5 year old daughter has "Trichotillomania."

"Trichotillomania is a disorder characterized by the non-cosmetic pulling of hair, resulting in significant hair loss. The name is derived from the Greek terms for hair (trich), pulling (tillo), and morbid impulse (mania). Trichotillomania is commonly associated with considerable distress.
The majority of individuals start pulling hair during childhood or adolescence, though hair pulling can begin at any age. Current estimates are that, among adults, roughly 1.5% of males and 3.5% of females in the U.S. engage in clinically significant non-cosmetic hair pulling in their lifetime." -From www.trich.org.

My little girl has had signs and symptoms of trichotillomania her entire life, although we were unaware of any correlation. She has always been a "face picker" and a year ago she plucked her eyebrows nearly bald. 2 months ago I started to notice bald spots on the top of my little girl's head and she admitted to me that she has been pulling it out. I immediately thought of OCD and consulted her pediatrician about it. She of course referred me to a child psychologist. I am now on a very long waiting list to see that child psychologist (looking for a career field to go into anyone? Apparently they're in high demand!). We have tried everything to curb this behavior but to no avail. Scolding/lectures, punishment, ignoring it, cutting her hair short, rewards for not pulling etc... According to my limited research, these tactics have little to no success rates and professional behavioral therapy is recommended.

I am unsure what triggers her hair pulling. It can be brought on by stress or anxiety, it can be considered a "nervous tic," an impulse-control disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, some do it subconsciously, some do it in response to relaxation. My little girl doesn't seem like an anxious child. She doesn't display any other signs or symptoms of OCD. She IS an especially sensitive little girl. I fear the addition of a new sibling or a change in my job or her schedule could affect her adversly.

I have been placating myself by telling myself that she will "grow out of it." But this reasoning provides only temporary relief and does not actually benefit she or I in healing. The truth is, we could be talking about weeks, months, or years of dealing with this. Many of the stories I have read online of others with this disease have suffered over 10 years. Always wearing hats or scarves, constant feelings of shame and isolation. I don't want my little girl to go through that.

After several hours of research yesterday, I have come to a new conclusion. This is a small thing. She's not dying of cancer, she doesn't have a serious psychotic illness like schizophrenia. She pulls her hair. We can deal with that, we can work through it. This will not ruin her life. This will not ruin our relationship. I took my little girl on a walk and promised her I would never make her feel like there was something wrong with her or yell at her about her hair pulling again. I want my little girl to be the self confident, wonderful, sweet, beautiful, snuggly little person I know she is. Trichotillomania will not hold her back. I don't know what to do yet, I don't know how to parent in this situation. But I do know that I will figure it out.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Quirks Tag

Tagged by Sarah...
Tell 6 unspectacular quirks about myself and tag 6 people.

1. I make up annoying nicknames for just about everyone. A few examples: Mom= Madre or Mamma Maria Tortilla. Zach= Zork, Zach Marie, or Zachy Poo. Patrice= P-p-p-Patty (remember from Carmen SanDiego!?), Holly= Holl-Hay etc...

2. Bad-mouthing- if someone hurts my feelings I just feel like I need to tell people and get their sympathy. Unfortunately, that equals bad mouthing people. Unfortunately unfortunately, I tend to get my feelings hurt fairly easily.

3. If I start reading a book, I cannot do anything else until I finish that book. This proved to be very annoying this summer when I started the Twilight series in the middle of remodeling our house.

4. I leave things undone just to see if Zach will do them if I don't. Example, I don't put the new toilet paper roll on just to see if Zach will do it. Guess if the toilet paper is ever actually on the holder at my house...

5. I manage to do the laundry at my house but seldom manage to fold it. Maybe I am just waiting to see if Zach will fold it...

6. I hate talking on the phone and avoid it at all costs. I will literally have 20+ text message or e-mail conversations with people but I won't just call them.

I tag: Sir Tahns-alot, Kensington, Mamma Maria Tortilla, P-p-p-Patty, and Sun-yotta.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Most Embarrasing Moments: Part IV

Back in the day...
Zach and I were living in 50 year old, 500 square foot, cinder block walled apartments: welcome to Aggie Village. In an effort to lead a healthier life, I had decided to begin riding a bike to school. It had been several years since I had attempted this, and I soon realized that the phrase "it's just like riding a bike" (implying that it is skill you never forget once you know how) was a LIE. But after an embarrassing day of riding the whole way to school with my whole front wheel and handle bars backwards (nope, this isn't the embarrassing moment) I had pretty much brushed up on my bike-riding skills enough to get to school unnoticed.
It was a cool, crisp fall morning, though not cold enough for frost. I made my way through Aggie Village parking lot on my bike easily, especially considering the 50+ pound backpack I was sporting. As I was nearing the edge of the parking lot where it met the street, I could see a Aggie shuttle making it's way toward the apartment complex, filled to the brim with college students, all staring out the window. I had to cross the parking lot entrance to get out of it's way. But as I turned, I could feel the heavy backpack pulling me off balance. Luckily I caught my fall with my foot. However, since the backpack was so heavy, I was still too off balance to avoid a fall all together. At this point, the shuttle had been stopped, waiting for me to get out of the entry way for probably a full minute as I was trying to gain control. It was in slow motion; I slowly slanted sideways further and further until I was finally lying on the gravel with the bike on top of me. A quick fall would have been so much better: I would have scraped myself up quickly and got out of the way, maybe someone from the shuttle would have asked if I was OK. But this slow, off balanced descent to the ground was... just weird. Lying there on the ground, not knowing exactly how I got there, all I could think to do was look up at the bus full of Aggie students. I could see their faces, including the driver; all bore the look of utter confusion as if they were all wondering, "What in the world is she doing?" No one was even laughing! I finally tried to get up but found that, like a beetle on it's back, I couldn't even sit up with the heavy backpack. I probably looked so odd, straining to sit up, my hands and legs waving around in the air, nothing happening. I finally wriggled out of the straps and dragged the backpack to the side of the road. I then went back for the bike. Total time making an idiot out of myself in front of an Aggie Shuttle waiting on me: 5 minutes. It felt like: 2 hours.
In case you want a little more insight into the time I rode my bike to school with the handles and wheel backwards, just imagine me riding to school, wondering why my knees were hitting the the handlbars, wondering why the breaks and the gears wouldn't work, convincing myself that some crazed vandal had come readjusted my bike just to be cruel. Then imagine me being really loud about it because I was having so much trouble riding the bike and I knew people were staring so I tried to verbally explain "man, what is wrong with this thing?", and then a nevous, "heh heh."

Monday, September 22, 2008

My Strange Phobia

All my life I have suffered from a very strange fear. I have a fear of certain textures. After a short internet search, I have discovered that this strange and rare fear is known as "cluster phobia." Some of my first memories of my fear of textures date back to when I was very very young, probably 5 years old. I would close my eyes at night and see textures, and it was nightmarish. I would be so scared I would run to my parents room and cry at the door. I couldn't stop picturing the textures and I would basically bawl myself to sleep many times. As I got older, those nightmares of textures have lessened but I still see them. They seem to be associated with bad memories and negative thoughts: I think something negative as I am drifting off to sleep and when I close my eyes, a scary texture flashes and wakes me up. Weird, huh. That's why I am blogging at 12:30 a.m. instead of sleeping. Luckily only 1 or 2 people read this blog so most of you don't have to know how truly strange I am :)
I am usually reminded of my fear of textures by things I see around me. Some people on cluster phobia internet forums can't stand looking at holes (like beehives for example), ducks flying together, fish scales. It seems as though this phobia is also genetic, and I am pretty sure my mom and sister hate certain textures too.
Anyhoo, below are some textures that make my stomach churn. Enjoy...

Noses with very deep blackheads

Certain TV static
Leaves with embedded insect eggs. I remember my mom and sisters and I freaking out over some embedded leaves one of us had received in flowers from somebody. We were all screaming and flipping out until my dad finally threw them outside.

Peeling roofs... I see this everywhere. It literally makes me nauseated and I panic just a little bit.

Strawberries with deep seeds. Very scary, not to mention they look like blackheads on a nose. (I usually just try to eat them without looking at them).

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Most Embarrasing Moments: Part III

Just a short. This is probably not one of my most embarrassing moments, because this type of thing happens to me on almost a daily basis. It was my last day of work in Las Vegas, and I had been pondering the fact that since I had worked their for only a year, no one would really care that I was leaving. I was retrieving some medications when two of my co-workers approached me with a box of cookies in their hands. I was overjoyed that they would actually care enough to bring me these tasty morsel's to bid me farewell. When they reached me, they said, "Today's your last day! You have fun back in Utah, okay?" I said, "I sure will," and while grabbing the box of cookies I said, "Thanks for the cookies." But for some reason they wouldn't let go of those cookies. There was a small struggle and finally they said, "um, these aren't for you." I turned red (I think I am red more than white), released the cookies and turned back around while they walked away. I'm sure they laughed until they couldn't breathe as soon as they got out of earshot. Ha, jokes on them, I don't even like cookies!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sarah Palin

I usually avoid political issues when blogging because I know politics are so controversial, especially right now. And I know that when I read blogs about political views it makes me uncomfortable because I know that feelings on one side or the other are so strong that it can break apart friendships. But I couldn't resist posting this picture and the story behind it. I think y'all know where I stand anyway:>)

September 9, 2008


RUSH: Kurt in Pittsburgh , hello, sir. Nice to have you on the EIB Network, and how about the Steelers defense?

CALLER: How about those Steelers, huh?

RUSH: How about that?

CALLER: Hey, listen, Rush, longtime listener, first-time caller, one of those Bible, family, gun clingers from western Pennsylvania .

RUSH: Thank you.

CALLER: And I wanted to share a story with you. A week ago last Saturday we went to the Palin-McCain rally in Washington , Pennsylvania , was the day after he announced her, and we have a five-year-old daughter with Down syndrome, and we made a sign that said: "We Love Kids with Down Syndrome." So when they pulled in their bus, the sign did catch their eye (McCain and Palin and the rest of their family) it caught their eye, we could tell, they gave us a thumbs-up from the bus, so we were all excited just by that --

RUSH: Wait, wait, wait. Who gave you the thumbs up, McCain and Palin?

CALLER: McCain, Palin, Cindy McCain, we could see them from the bus. We were in a position where we had eye contact with them --

RUSH: Oh, cool!

CALLER: My wife was holding our daughter.

RUSH: Very, very, very cool.

CALLER: It was really cool, Rush. I was like, "Wow, that's awesome," because I love Governor Palin and so I thought that's really neat. So then we moved around as the bus was getting ready to pull out, we kind of positioned ourselves so we could just wave them on and a Secret Service agent came up to us and said, "Hey, can you come with us?" I was like, "Do we have a choice?"

RUSH: (laughing) You shouldn't have worried. It's not the Clinton administration.

CALLER: Right. So we accompanied them up the hill, we went right to the bus, where it was, and Governor Palin, Senator McCain, Cindy, Todd Palin, they're all standing there. We're in this inner circle with just us and them, and the Secret Service agent, and they came right up to us and thanked us for coming out, said they loved our sign, and Governor Palin immediately said, "May I hold your daughter?" and our daughter Chloe, who's five, went right to her, and I have some pictures I'd love to send you maybe when I'm done here, but Governor Palin was hugging Chloe, and then her little daughter brought their baby Trig who has Down syndrome from the bus, he was napping, and Chloe went right over and kissed him on the cheek, and my son Nolan who's nine, he thanked her.

RUSH: This is amazing.

CALLER: I will send you all the stuff, Senator McCain was talking to my son, and we thanked him for his service, and he asked my son if he wanted to see the bus, and we were hanging out and it was very surreal. I felt like we could have had a pizza and a beer with them, they were so warm.

RUSH: You know what? I want to put you on hold. I want Snerdley to give you our super-secret, known-only-to-three-people here, e-mail address.

CALLER: I will send you everything, Rush.

RUSH: And then could you send us these pictures? Would you mind if we put them on the website?

CALLER: I would be honored, and my main thing is they are warm, kind, genuine people, and they represent the best of this country.

RUSH: That's right. And when you send these pictures, make sure you identify them. I mean, we'll know Palin and McCain, of course. Identify yourselves.

CALLER: I will, I will identify everybody in the picture, Rush, and God bless you for being a beacon of hope and truth in this country.

RUSH: Oh, no, no. It's nothing, it's nothing. You're doing the Lord's work.

CALLER: Well, we're very blessed and I want people to know what a blessing it is to have a child with Down syndrome. These kids, they're angels.

RUSH: That's the thing. There's always good to be found in everything that happens. It may be a while before it reveals itself.

CALLER: Absolutely.

RUSH: Right, and when she hugged my daughter I said, here's the difference, this candidate embraces life and all its limitless possibilities.

RUSH: All right.

CALLER: That's what she is.

RUSH: Terrific, okay, I gotta run here, but I'm going to put you on hold.

CALLER: Thank you, Rush.

RUSH: Thank you, Kurt. I really appreciate it.