Recently I was having lunch with one of my best friends. She was in the middle of telling a story about…OK I admit I have no idea what she was saying because I was trying to figure out what was different about her. And just like that it hit me.
“Amber! Hold up. What happened to that weird freckle…mole…age spot…WHATEVER…that used to be on the side of your face?”
That’s about the time I literally gripped her face with my right hand and moved her head to the right and then to the left. Looking for what? The freckle/mole/age spot that was NOW MISSING. “I know it was there. I always noticed it.”
She pushed my hand away and said a little too loudly, “EXACTLY. That is why I had that sucker erased. If you look even closer you will notice the lines around my eyes have been erased too.”
I gasped and looked closer. She was right. Here we were, both of us forty-three years old, and yet clearly she was now ten years younger than me. “What did you do to your face and where do I sign up?”
So for the next hour, instead of filling in each other on the happenings and goings-on of our lives and our kids and all that other crap, she told me about how I (too!) could have my face lasered off.
The very next week I called the same medi-spa as my friend and made an appointment. When asked if I would like to schedule a consultation first I was like, “Nope. Don’t need it. I’ve seen what it can do and I’m ready to go.” The very patient lady on the phone started to say something (probably important about health and safety and whatnot) when I cut her off and asked, “Do you have anything available for tomorrow?”
Side note: There are times when my “balls to the wall-jumping in the deep end without knowing how to swim-live out loud” approach to life has served me well. This wasn’t one of those times.
A week later I entered the medical spa with a child-like bounce in my step. It felt like Christmas morning. This year I’d asked Santa for a newer, shinier, less age-spotty, face.
When the super adorable esthetician came in the waiting room and called my name the receptionist wished me good luck.
Once inside Treatment Room 1, the same spunky esthetician rubbed numbing cream on my face. Then she asked if I had any questions, and that’s when my good sense finally kicked in. “Yes. OK. So what’s about to happen?”
Theresa smiled at me. That was her name. Theresa. So, like I was saying, Theresa smiled at me and said, “You’re going to stay in this room for one hour while your face goes numb. It will help with the pain.”
“Um…this is going to hurt?”
Theresa got a weird look on her face, cocked her head to the side, and asked, “Didn’t you go over this when you came in for your consultation?”
“Well, I didn’t exactly come in for a consultation. You see, my friend Amber had this done and so I wanted to do it too. Her face looks amazing.” At this point I realized I sounded like my eleven-year old. “Mom, can we go to Justice so I can get these colored jeans with the matching vest and fedora? Mackenzie wore this whole cute outfit and I want it too.” Insert eye roll.
Instead of judging me to my face, Theresa spent the next twenty minutes consulting me on Fraxel repair. Something I should have done before now. But! I’m sure the minute I left she went in the break room and was all, “Wait til I tell you about the crazy lady in Room 1.”
After the numbing hour it was time for the procedure. I still had no idea what was ahead. But, I did know this. It no longer felt like Christmas morning. Now it felt like my turn to go in a haunted house. You know, when you would go with your friends and they begged you to go first and come back and tell them if it’s scary? And two minutes later you came running out the other end screaming and flailing your arms? “IT’S SCARY, IT’S SCARY!”
I lay down on the table and Theresa put a stress ball in each of my hands. “What’s this for?”
“Most patients like to squeeze them. It helps with the…”
I cut her off then. “Don’t say pain!”
It took her about five minutes to get the machine prepped and ready to go. At this point I just wanted it over with.
This next part is hard to tell but I’ll do my best. This was the worst pain I’ve ever felt IN MY LIFE. And I’ve given birth FOUR TIMES. Once even without MEDICATION.
You know when you accidentally burn yourself with a curling iron and the pain is indescribable? This was that, but imagine rubbing a curling iron up, down, back, forth, over, and around your face ON PURPOSE for about fifteen minutes.
My face continued to burn for four hours after I left the medi-spa. Imagine getting rug burn on your entire face and then rubbing it down with fresh jalapeños.
I wish I was exaggerating.
Over the next week my face when through a series of burning, swelling, itching, peeling, scabbing, sloughing, and then finally, MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ME!
Yes, the results are crazy amazing. They do recommend a person go through this 3-5 times to achieve the full benefits. I think I’m good with one treatment. I’ve never been a fan of self-inflicted torture. Also, it’s expensive.
If I had to do it over I would do a few things differently.
1. Don’t schedule it when you have to go out in public. Like the Taylor Swift concert. People will stare at you like you’re a house fire burn victim.
2. Don’t schedule a procedure like this if you have small children who scare easily. My youngest is seven and he made me wear sunglasses and a bandana. I looked like a suburban bandit housewife.
3. Get the 4-1-1 on any kind of skin procedure BEFORE you show up for your appointment. I was told they would have given me a pain killer had I consulted with them first.
4. Don’t be an idiot like me. Knowledge is power. Going through life with your vagina blowing in the wind is not always the best idea. Learn from me, people.