23 July 2007

i look like the devil

disaster number one:
i was supposed to color my hair on sunday. when i called up to confirm my appointment, the machine picked up my call. apparently, something cropped up and the salon would be closed for the day.

what the....

so my hair remains faded and ugly and i am not pleased.

disaster number two:
some of you might remember me mentioning that i've been seeing a small black dot. well, i got that checked out. i paid $300 to get some tests on my eyes done, which included a pretty cool test where i had to stick my head into this dome-shaped machine, and hold onto a clicker. extremely small lights would go off inside the dome, making it look like little stars in space. quite pretty. everytime i saw a light go off, i had to click. it was to test my vision field, so i had to look straight at this knob in the centre, while the lights go off all around the globe. my test results came back so-so, which i thought wasn't a good sign although the doc said it was nothing to worry about. however, upon closer examination, he said that i have very thin eyes.

i was like, "excuse me?" i would much rather have been told that i was very thin (har har), but i figured in an instant that being told that i had thin eyes, was not a compliment of any sorts.

our eyeballs are covered in a layer of skin or something. i'm not very good at all this, but i think he was trying to explain it to me in simple words. the skin on our bodies flake off, something we all know. apparently, because the layers protecting my eyes are very thin, what i'm seeing is actually a fragment of the layer when it "flaked" off.

bloody hell, i never knew that was remotely possible.

so he asked me if i've been seeing flashes of light as well, which would mean that the layers have already torn and i would need to get corrective laser surgery done to seal the skin back.

well i haven't been seeing any flashes, so he said i could get preventive surgery done, but it wasn't necessary. the best thing would be to take care of my eyes and to come back immediately if i ever thought i was seeing any flashes, or more black dots.

fuck. it scared the hell out of me because i would literally be lost without my eyes. the thing is, i've always had very sensitive eyes. the slightest bit of dust would irritate them and they would be the itchiest shit on earth. smoky, hazy situations make them red as well, and i always have to carry medicated eyedrops with me. he said that even sports can aggravate the situation, which is extremely baffling.

i think he scared me so much, i'm even imagining flashes of light. it's worrying to think that something could happen to my eyes and that i might one day go blind.

disaster number three:
a while ago, i also blogged about my insecurities about my skin. i used to have seriously bad acne. like really bad, so bad i hardly ever went out, except to go to work. all that has cleared up now, thank god, but the acne also left scars on my face.

it's no big deal to some people, but it has bugged me for 5 years now. i look in the mirror sometimes and i hate seeing those scars. because they remind me of a time when i was 19 or 20, when i was going through the worst time of my life. not only did i have full-blown acne and lose all self-confidence, i was going through a lot of family shit and i really spiraled down through hell.

things have gotten better within my family now and life has never been better.

but scars remain, in my heart from all the hurt i once experienced, and on my face. emotional scars heal over time, but those scars on my face never fail to remind me of how much i used to hate my life, and how much i used to hate me.

a few weeks ago, my dad asked if i wanted to go get an opinion on my skin, and arranged for me to go see a family friend, who was a dermatologist and plastic surgeon. well i thought i had nothing to lose, so i went along to see him.

he said my scars aren't so deep, and although i have one or two major ones, the rest aren't so bad. so he said instead of doing dermabrasion, or microdermabrasion, which is basically sanding down the skin and sounds awfully painful, he recommended that i try out a laser treatment called erbium yag. i was like, "erbium who??" it is a newer form of laser treatment that is less invasive and has less side-effects. there is also a lesser "down" time, meaning i don't have to be a recluse for more than a week, and should be up and about after 4 to 5 days.

i was left thinking about that for a few weeks.

i have never been against any form of plastic surgery. hell no. if i had the money and the courage, i'd have a new body by now. liposuction? yes baby. but after watching a documentary on it, it scared the fuck out of me and i decided i'd have to be very drunk and very sedated to ever try it. some of my friends have had surgery before. on their faces, on their boobs, on their tummies, etc. one friend had fat from her thighs removed and inserted into her chest and she looked fantastic after that.

and then of course, there are those who are desperate to look like barbie and after 24 surgeries, they become just another sad case. i've also seen pictures of awful surgeries, and seeing those had me reconsidering whether i'll ever try major surgery. because i don't wanna become like that.

since i met up with the doctor, i had been thinking about it and reading up a lot about laser treatments. and i thought, what the hell. i'd just go for it. after all, the scars have bothered me for years. if doing it might make me feel better about myself, then why not? plus, the guy was a professor (which means he's more than the average doc) at one of the biggest hospitals in singapore, and he does have a lot of experience in the field.

so i went.


i imagined it would hurt a lot more. well it was a little painful, but i had some local anesthetic to help relieve the pain. what killed me though, was the smell. from the moment the machine went on, before the prof even zapped my face, the smell of the laser stank up the room and it smelt of burning skin. fuck.

i was scared like shit and i actually kept repeating "help me god" in my head.

the whole procedure was over in less than 5 minutes and the nurse placed an ice pack on my cheeks to help stop the swelling. then she placed these huge-ass dressing over my face and when i looked at my reflection in some glass, i looked like the moon.

the prof said that the swelling should go down in about 3 days, and although my skin is red and raw now, it should heal pretty fast and i was looking at about 5 days of down-time. i could go see him whenever i wanted to if i had any worries, or call him if anything was bugging me.

i took off the dressing last night to bathe the zapped areas. oh god i look like shit. i pray it heals real soon. this better not botch up. i read online that i should keep the area moist, but the doctor told me i don't need to put any dressing, so now i'm leaving it as it is.

i'm actually bloody scared about it. i mean there is a chance that it won't go well. i've looked at myself in the mirror about 371820 times since i removed the dressing. oh god oh god it will heal beautifully, won't it!!??

my brother came home and his first comment was, "what happened to your face?"

then my sis came back and she went, "oh my god.... gil...."

so now, i look like the devil himself. if i were a star, i'd have ended up on awfulplasticsurgery.com. (is laser considered a form of plastic surgery anyway? it is, right?)

has anyone tried erbium yag laser before? or does anyone know of someone who has?

i guess i'll be cooped up at home for as long as these red cheeks take to heal. and freaking out the whole time. bleah. i'm worried sick and scared to bits. fuck fucking fuck.

ps: i would post photos but i don't want to spoil your day.

more reading for the nosey parkers:
cutaneous laser resurfacing: erbium:yag
erbium:yag laser