I have a skin condition (rosacea) that, if left untreated, will turn my face into a vein-strewn red mess. Years ago, I had an elective skin treatment to eliminate the broken veins that had snaked their way onto my cheeks and nose. It was a light laser treatment, which they said would “feel like a rubber band is being snapped on your face.” Let me tell you, it was a heck of a lot more painful than that! But the treatment worked well. Since some veins and other assorted age-related globules were beginning to appear on my face, I decided it was time to subject myself to more elective self-torture.
I went to a local plastic surgery clinic that has a skin care specialist. She took one look at me and gave me a facial to remove about seven years of dead skin. We discussed options for removing my globs and decided on the lamprobe, a device that uses high-intensity something or ruthers to zap the veins and bumps into oblivion. This option was cheaper than the laser treatment I had before, so I was all for trying it.
We discussed what she would remove on my face next week, once my skin recovered from the shock of the facial. Things were fine until we talked about the big juicy mole I have on my right cheek. Well, it used to be a mole until a couple of years ago when its color began mysteriously disappearing. Now it’s just a big bump.
I swear I could hear the saliva collecting in the skin care specialist’s mouth as we discussed zapping my mole. She wanted it to add to her collection of dead skin tissue that I’m sure she keeps on a shrine in a hidden room inside her home.
I panicked. Unlike the other unwanted spots on my face, my mole had been with me for as long as I can remember. It had become part of my identity. Sure, it wasn’t as sexy as Cindy Crawford’s mole, but I was uncomfortable at the thought of parting with it.
The specialist said I should think about it during the coming week, and let her know when I came back for the procedure. So I did. The more I thought, the more I knew my mole had to stay. But that old crone’s bump alongside my nose? That could go. All those bumps on my forehead? Those could go, too. Good riddance.
The day of the procedure the specialist showed me a small device (like a pen) that had a pencil-lead thin metal probe on the end of it. This is what she would stick into my skin, firing the high-intensity whatevers to zap my face.
Would it hurt? She wouldn’t answer that directly, instead saying how some patents “got tired” after the worst blemishes were zapped and sometimes decided to leave the rest for another time. That did not bode well.
She washed my face and we discussed again what would go. The mole? “It stays,” I said. I gave her the whole Cindy Crawford argument.
She countered with “But Cindy Crawford’s mole has color to it. Yours doesn’t. It’s just a bump!”
After further negatory comments on my part, she begged, “Are you sure you don’t just want it made smaller? I can do that.”
“We’ll see once we get to that point,” I said.
She began on my forehead and worked her way down my face. It @#$%^&*! hurt. Not as much as the laser, but enough that my back arched several times while the probe did its nasty work. Specialist Lady said I was doing wonderfully.
Somewhere in our conversation punctuated by small moments of intense stinging – like a wasp was having its way with my face — I asked her if anyone had ever tried to hit her because of the pain. She said a woman raised her arm once, but put it back down after the specialist called the woman’s attention to it.
When Specialist Lady arrived at my mole terrain, I knew by that point how much more it would hurt than the other things she’d removed. I turned a hard heart to her pleas and said no again. But I did let her take off a mole on my lower neck as a consolation prize.
However, it’s been a few days now, and my neck mole has turned into a colorless blob. I’m a bit worried it will stay that way and am regretting giving Specialist Lady even this bit of turf. Well, I guess if it stays a colorless blob, it will match the one on my cheek! Who knows? Maybe I’ll even become attached to it.