Tuesday, September 30, 2008

1,000 Needles

They say that when you reach the top of mount Everest, you are too tired, too out of breath, too close to to collapse, to possibly take in the glory of the moment. I wonder if this is why so many transsexuals feel depression when they finally reach sex reassignment surgery. We get there and the journey is so long and so hard, that you're finally going in for just another expensive procedure.

This crossed my mind as I tossed and turned last night with the last throws of a fever, knowing full well it was too late to cancel my appointment for laser hair removal on my face. And knowing that no matter how bad it was and no matter how scared I was of going when I'm sick, all the way to Hollywood, that nothing could convince me to put it off for another month.

Luckily my fever for whatever reason went away when I finally did sleep and wake up, despite only getting a few hours of sleep. The usually paranoia took its place in my mind. What if it doesn't work, what if something goes wrong, what if I shaved too recently, or not recently enough. What if the follicles do not fall out for some reason...

During the procedure, I was not prepared for the indescribable pain of it. I had heard nightmare stories of SRS and electrolysis, but the myth I had been exposed to was that laser hair removal is painless. The reality is that she sat me back in a chair, and launched tiny needles into my face, with a little needle shotgun. This is how it felt anyways. I always considered myself to have a high pain threshold yet I was clutching the chair and wincing at each blast. Some weaker part of me deep inside wanted to call it off and leave, but I would never give up on this procedure, I wanted it too bad. I held on and stood as still as I could.

It has been more than 6 hours since I had the procedure done, and I can still occasionally smell the smell of burning flesh. The initial red marks on my face are now gone, though the sting is still there and very slight. My face looks the same as it did before the procedure, as if i had shaved several hours ago, with some stubble. Hope and fear do a dance in my chaotic mind as I wait impatiently for the little follicles to fall out. Oh how I long to see my face without the constant mask of dirt that carpets it.

Another long delayed post. I had so much to say, and yet sheer laziness kept me from devoting some of my time on my roommate's computer to updating this blog. Shame on me. Well, as always, expect at least one post a month.


VĂ©ro B said...

Good for you getting started on laser treatments! I hope they work well for you. I guess this means you saved up enough money. Good on you for that too! That took some determination.

Yeah, whoever told you laser hair removal is painless was either lying or very badly mistaken. I would not have made it through without a topical pain reliever called Emla, which sadly you can't get in the States without a prescription. If there's anything you can use on your upper lip, you'll be happier.

That's not burning flesh, by the way, at least not if you're going to a reputable clinic. That's singed hair. The point is to kill the hair without hurting your skin much. The worst you should feel on your skin is like a first-degree burn -- same as a mild sunburn. That should go away soon.

Waiting for the hairs to fall out -- that's one thing that makes electrolysis more satisfying. But if you have large areas of dense hair to remove, and if you're a good candidate for laser treatment (dark hair, fair skin), then I think it's worthwhile to do the carpet bombing before you deal with individual hairs.

Hugs for you!

Samantha Shanti said...

Hey girl! Good to see you in here again, though I'm not sure how I missed this one.

If the laser gets to be too painful, let me know, I can send you and MP3 of the hypnotherapy session I use. No pain at all. None, zip, nada.

I can send it to you because I own it, wrote it and recorded it for my own use, and I'm a certified clinical hypnotherapist. You just have to promise you won't give it to anyone else without checking with me first.

Congratulations on getting started, how awesome!