Yesterday I did something scary yet entirely unimpressive (because it proves just how vain I really am).
I got an IPL photofacial to remove sun-damaged spots on my face. Why was this scary? Because I knew what to expect. As I sat in the dermatologist’s waiting room, amid people waiting to find out if their moles were trying to kill them, it occurred to me that worrying about a somewhat unpleasant cosmetic procedure makes me both really blessed and a bit shallow. This realization did not make me any less jittery.
Here’s how it went: a small paddle administered a shot of bright light that, despite the topical anesthetic, felt like a half-dozen tiny bees stings. Corrine, my nurse practitioner, moved the paddle across my face bit by bit until she had blasted all my freckles. Then she iced my face for a couple of minutes (note to self: anything requiring a break so you can ice your face involves pain). After that it was time for a second pass with the paddle to make sure she hadn’t missed a spot.
Sometimes I flinched.
A set of protective stickers plus a pair of goggles protected my eyes. But I still saw horizontal red lightening with each jolt. When the paddle was near my eyes, I was terrified. My brain knew that my eyes wouldn’t melt in their sockets, and that Corrine was not a psychotic just waiting for the opportunity to burn someone, but I still wanted to RUN. There may have been whimpering.
Sometimes I smelled something burning.
After the procedure my face was shiny, swollen and red. I looked a little…frightening. I stopped by Target on the way home, and more than one person glanced at me only to look quickly away. So that was fun.
The formerly beige spots have all turned a deep brown, as they are supposed to.
After a week the nearly black freckles will fall off, revealing skin that matches the rest of my face. My children are eager for this to happen. They don’t enjoy my new look.
Corrine suggested I come back in six weeks for another appointment. Apparently, some little dots escape the stinging paddle of vanity. I thought, there is no way I am doing this again.
We’ll see what I say after my little dots fall off.
Told you it wasn’t impressive.