Breakages and poor condition are some of the reasons hair thins, so take steps to prevent hair loss by restricting the use of blow-dryers – extreme heat can break down the proteins in hair – straighteners or chemical treatments such as perms, straightening agents and colouring. The more you abuse your hair, the more risk there is of long-term damage.


But again, our universal, built-in defense mechanism kicks in. That won’t happen to me. Even now, at my young, old age, I have a tendency to ignore the facts. I still bury this mortality card somewhere deep in the deck. Fantasy does, after all, have its merits! When my mother died, I was, of course, heartbroken, but never reckoned I would not go on to live a long, long time. After all, I was a kid and fifty-three seemed a long way off. My reality check came when I reached fifty-three. It was then I began to wonder, not only whether I would survive my fifty-third year, but what would happen if my life just stopped, as hers had at that same age? I must admit, I was not thinking of the impact of my demise on family, friends, career, and plans. I was thinking of the impact on me! Now that I have lived twenty-five years longer than my mother, and ten years longer than my father, any sense of immortality has long ago disappeared. Not only does reading the obit page, and checking off each lost friend, relative, or acquaintance, and noting their age compared to my own, see to that, so, too, have two major surgeries.

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