Posted by: SandPen | August 6, 2017

Blue Light Special

Twenty-two years ago, I acquired a melanoma on my back. Detected in time, it was surgically removed and the surgeon said they got it all. Anything similar in future would be totally unrelated. I was quite proud of the slashing scar across my back and even claimed on occasion it was caused by Xerba, the Amazon warrior.

Regardless, my friendly dermatologist insisted on a complete body scan each year with a facial scan halfway in between. I only had a problem with that once when she brought in three female med students for a show and tell. I was a little embarrassed by the show part.

Each time she brought in a liquid nitrogen gun which left me with blistering pock marks for a few days. This year, however, she said she wanted to use a new more effective treatment on my face. The procedure involved dabbing a chemical all over my face, waiting an hour, then spending another hour under an intensive blue light. The chemical was absorbed by the precancer cells and the blue light activated it to burn them off. Worked well though the hour under the light seemed to go on forever.

A month later, she was so impressed with the treatment, she wanted to repeat it once more. When I complained about the hour exposure, she offered an alternative of applying the chemical in the afternoon, letting it gestate overnight and spending fifteen minutes under the light in the morning. Sounded preferable.

But it wasn’t. Those seventeen (as it turned out) minutes were spent in almost unbearable pain which I managed to survive. I was to avoid sunlight for a day or so and apply ice packs all that day. Unfortunately, my drive straight home was interrupted for twenty minutes by a traffic accident. I was not in direct sunlight so it should be okay. However, the stinging continued until evening despite ice packs. The other factor: shaving is not allowed for five days. You may get a kick out of the Before and After selfies:

As you can see, I’m admirably equipped for a career as a pan-handling wino, if only I can find an unoccupied street corner.

OOP’s, This picture scared the hell out of a friend who’s dermatologists wanted to try the procedure. This picture was taken on day five, the one below on day nine. The other confession I must add is that the Before photo was taken about five years before and is scheduled to be used for evermore at present.

In a nutshell, the one hour/one hour is a very tolerable procedure. Just stay clear of the overnight/fifteen minute version. Guess my career as a panhandler was short-lived.



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