My Doctor Prescribed Blowouts

Here was a human with an actual medical degree ordering me to get my hair professionally blow-dried. Angels were singing.
Publish date:
September 8, 2015
blowouts, surgery, prescriptions

I realize that from the title of this post alone you’re already thinking, This dumb first-world betch... That's fair. I get it. I might think that, too, but there is a legitimate reason for all this.

Let’s rewind several weeks.

I was heading to work at a TV studio one morning with a ton of stuff to carry. Frankly, it was just too much and too heavy for me to find my way onto the subway or a bus, and the idea of trying to hail a cab with all that stuff was overwhelming, so I got an Uber. Things were fine until my car was smashed in the middle of a multi-vehicle pileup and my neck and shoulders were in serious pain from a relatively intense head impact.

A bunch of MRIs, therapy and Advil later, I found out that my rotator cuff had been badly torn from the accident and it wouldn’t heal without surgery.

All this time-wasting crap was really starting to cut into my work, my free time, my time with my kids, and my general ability to be really great at enjoying my sleep. Not trying to brag, but I’m an Olympic-level sleeper when my shoulder isn’t all effed up. I booked the surgery as soon as I could get my mom on board to help watch my kids for a couple days and when work wasn’t too busy. I was kind of excited to take the next step in kicking this pain to the curb, not to mention a little nervous when my surgeon told me point-blank at my pre-op visit, "You’re going to be pretty bandaged up and in a sling for a while."

My first thought was, But how I am going to cut food and tie my hair back if I have only one working arm? I pushed these thoughts to the back of my head, and about 10 days later was being wheeled into surgery after signing a bunch of intense-looking forms.

My surgeon spent a few minutes going over the post-op care before I was knocked out.

"Let’s go over some things before we put the good stuff in your IV. You’re going to need to have some help at home for at least a few days. It’s just not likely that you’ll be comfortable enough or mobile enough to get your normal things done."

So there goes just about everything I like to do.

"OK, so, when can I shower again?" I love showering. It's how I start my day; it’s better than a cup of coffee for me.

"That’s the thing—you don’t want any moisture near the incision or stitches for a minimum of two weeks. Definitely no showers in that time."

"Dr. Wright, are you serious? No showering? I mean, I love a good bath from time to time, but it’s summer and I’m going to stink," I protested. "How am I going to do this without losing all the people I love due to my new body odor issue?"

"Good point." He paused to study my face and head for a moment. I could tell he was looking at the horse-mane levels of hair on my head and probably thinking how righteously stinky I’d be in the heat of summer without proper cleansing. “I’m going to prescribe blowouts. Get them as often as you need, just make sure the salon doesn’t get water near your stitches. Understood?”

I’ve never been a drugs and alcohol kind of girl—just not my thing. But prescription blowouts? That’s an addiction I could really get behind. As a woman of big, Middle Eastern waves with a thick and occasionally coarse texture, this was my dream. Washing my own hair has been historically fine, but doing my own blowdrying? Well, that’s a nearly two-hour affair at home.

Here was a human with an actual medical degree and a practice in New York—not one of those faux doctors from islands nobody’s ever heard of (no offense, Rhode Island)—ordering me to get blowouts. Angels were singing. And then the anesthesia kicked in and I don’t remember much else.

Three days later, the anesthesia haze fully cleared and I found myself with a renewed sense of excitement to fill my blowout prescription. I called my dealer—the salon about a block away from my apartment—and got an appointment. There is something so beautifully glorious about having someone else do your hair when you’re just not feeling your best.

I walked out of that salon with enough pep in my step to renew the energy in my one-handed lifestyle. And if you think it’s easy to type long articles with one hand in a sling, it’s not. I’m basically your grandmother at a computer right now, one finger pecking away at the keyboard.

I’ve got about 12 days left on my prescription, and I’m already feeling like a junkie. How, oh how, can I get my doctor to prescribe another round of blowouts after my stitches come out?

I know what you’re thinking now: Why does this girl need a prescription? Why can’t she just go to a salon anyway? You’re totally right. I mean, it’s not like insurance covers the cost of a blowout bar or on-the-go hairstyling service; at least mine doesn’t. (If yours does can you give me details on that? I’d like to switch.) But there’s some type of beautiful psychological excuse to spend cash you normally wouldn’t that occurs when a doctor tells you to do something.

Until I get cut off, you’ll find me over here in Hair Euphoria, a magical land adjacent to Endless Shoulder Pain.