“Dianne’s so valued and the time she was out was so important for her health. It wouldn’t matter if she was out a year, she’d be welcome back! She always has a place here,” says owner of It’s A Shear Thing salon, Edward McNamara. He’s referring to the long-awaited return of veteran stylist, Dianne Zahn. This September will mark a more than six-month hiatus for Dianne due to serious health issues.
“I’m feeling better. I just need to build stamina. I’m looking forward to getting back into the shop and doing what I absolutely love to do,” said Zahn as she anticipates once again standing behind the chair and building back her strength.
It was behind the chair, in February of this year, that Dianne and Eddie recognized something was wrong. Fellow stylists working that day encouraged a hospital visit as Dianne was sent home. Just days later when symptoms worsened, she followed up on their advice and went for treatment in the emergency room. She was admitted.
Five days was an unexpectedly long hospital visit for Dianne, who rarely finds herself sick. She was given a diagnosis of diverticulitis, a complication related to infection forming in small pouches in the intestinal tract. The affliction led to malnourishment and a tear in the intestinal wall. Her infection was treated and she was sent home, expected to return for surgery. This would only be the beginning of her battles.
A battery of tests to ensure the best conditions for upcoming surgery lengthened the time away from her craft. Over the time awaiting the approval for surgery, Dianne felt weak and was in too much pain to work on her feet. A hard reality to face for someone who spent 30 years in an active line of work.
Dianne explained that, “just being in the house all the time…I didn’t feel like I was accomplishing anything. I felt like I was stuck. It was depressing being out [of work], but the support I got from clients and co-workers was really encouraging.”
The surgery in mid-June was a relief after removal of part of the intestine and treatment of inflamed tissue. Finally, Dianne could move past the illness and towards getting back to the job and people she loves.
It’s not only Dianne and the salon stylists who are excited for her return. Many clients have reached out to Dianne over this trying time, sending hope for a speedy recovery in anticipation of seeing her back in action. Jennifer Bertrand, a regular client of It’s A Shear Thing salon had this to say about Dianne’s recovery and return: “We’ve been counting down. She has dibs on my daughter’s first haircut so we’re really excited to have her come back!”
Dianne is scheduled to get back behind the chair Sept. 7. She is taking it slow, working only the weekends initially. Her plan is to return gradually to a full schedule, and have many more years of sharing her beauty skills with the community of Salisbury.