January 9, 2013

Laser Consult Next Week!

How long have I been saying I am seriously considering trying laser hair removal again?  Last January, when I went to see the endocrinologist and decided to stay with the medication I am on right now, I knew it was probably the next step in reducing the hair I have to live with.  In August I think I was more seriously resolved, because my ovarian cysts had finally been explained to me and I could move on from that.  I seem to focus on the health concerns that worry me most, and then go down the list.  That indicates to me that hirsutism is no longer my highest concern.  That's pretty exciting on its own.

But I'd love to push it even further down the list, even if the results of laser hair removal are as temporary as last time (3-4 months, if you remember). And it will always be a lingering question in my life if I don't try again--what if the results are better on the medication?  I'll always wonder.

Funnily enough, it wasn't so much the inspiration of others' New Years Resolutions that finally urged me to make the calls, though it is that sensation of January being a "fresh start."  It's hearing about friends taking charge of their own lives and doing the things they always meant to do for themselves that is spurring me on to tackle the questions in my life.  It's getting me beyond the fear of being disappointed, the fear of pain, and the fear of cost.

So I called the same clinic I went to before.  The technician I used to see no longer works there, but they still have my life from 2004-2005, and I feel more confident using this place than trying another clinic elsewhere.  This one is connected with a team of dermatologists (even if one of them is the one who sent me right to laser instead of trying to figure out the cause of my hirsutism), and not one of the many salons that have popped up all over the place in the last several years.  You might be able to get good treatment from a salon, but I can be fairly sure a clinic like this with the backing of doctors will have the most state-of-the-art equipment and most highly trained staff.  I'll know for sure by the kind of questions they ask at my consultation.

I like to think I'm going into this with more realistic expectations.  I know what laser hair removal feels like, and I know the worst-case scenario results.  What I don't know is how much it costs now, and how well it will do this time.  So there's plenty to still be nervous about, but I also feel excited that I am finally trying it again.  I am brainstorming how to document the journey this time, so if anyone has any suggestions, or anything they would really like to see, please leave it in the comments!


Anonymous said...

Very good!! Don't know until you try (again), right?

I had about 5 sessions, years ago also, 2006-ish i believe. But when I hadn't noticed, or been encouraged by a doctor that it was doing anything but a small amount of temporary damage control, I decided it was a hopeless path for me.

Before my vacation this past summer (I read something in one of your blog posts about how it might be worth it to have a round of laser just for the immediate benefits). It decreased the amount of post-trip anxiety I had by just thinking of not having to dedicate precious vacation time to the usual routine, in an unusual place ta-boot. So I saved some coin and went for it. And guess what? For those two weeks (and a week or so after I returned) I was about 90% less hairy! If I hadn't had it done, I don't think I could've survived without appearing to others as an anti-social, premadonna, basketcase -due to the bathroom routine/avoiding the morning mingling, etc. It was 100% worth the treatment.
And the technician noted that I'd "only" had 5 previous sessions, and that I can be optimistic that more sessions likely would result in long-term results. I didn't get the feeling it was a sales pitch either but that her assessment was honest. So, one day when I have the ways and means, I think I'll try a few more treatments. I have also been prescribed Spiro (along with my birth control pills) but have procrastinated on starting it for like 2 years now. I want to, and I need to, but. It's hard. I worry about the side effects, I stress about what would happen if my (live in) boyfriend found out and asked about it. But I think I must come to terms with my worries and get on Spiro before i can do more laser hair removal. Wouldn't want to waste time and money. Plus, it seems to help just on it's own for some people right?

Hope your consult goes well!

Allerleirah said...

Can't remember exactly where I said that either, but yes, even though laser wasn't permanent for me last time, it was so nice to have one mostly hair-free summer. It really does change the way you live and what your thoughts are consumed with every day.

As to the Spiro, you'll never know for sure what side-effects you'll have until you try it. Frankly, I was more frightened of the birth control, though I didn't need to be. Spiro is the most tolerated medication for blocking androgens, but if you're afraid of what you're putting in your body, that's no way to live either. You'll have to decide for yourself if its worth it for you.

As for your boyfriend, I would endorse honesty as the best policy, but I also understand how hard that is to actually do, as I've never discussed it with my family. But, Spiro was developed originally as a blood pressure medication, though it is not nearly as effective as others we have now. You could always tell your boyfriend that until you're ready to reveal more.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your response, I appreciate the support.
I did this some time ago, with the butterfly circus movie... Just wanted to share a site that I've been very impressed with, you may know it already but if not, I definitely recommend (to anyone) bookmarking it and looking through it when you have a few extra minutes, or anytime you're feeling less than 100%. It's one I go back to again and again, so much content, wisdom, written in easy to absorb format. It really helps to spark the positive and widen perspective when I'm not doing too good.
it's a gem.


Allerleirah said...

Ooh, good recommendation! I love the post "10 Choices You Will Regret in 10 Years."

It is so important to keep things in perspective, because hirsutism can be overwhelming at times. This seems like a good site to help with that.