08) Appointment no. 3 and no. 4

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December 16th 2016

It’s been a while..

First off, let me apologize for the delay in the new posts. Last year wasn’t the best year for me and I didn’t keep you updated as much as I would have liked. However, I did continue my treatments, which means I have lots to share with you in the next few weeks!

The third time is a charm?

“The third time around I was well prepared, or so I thought.”

Just before the summer of 2016 I went in for the third treatment at the Veldhoven Kliniek in the Netherlands. In a previous post I told you about the thing with the numbing creme. The first time I didn’t use it at all and the second time I used far to little. So the third time around I was well prepared, or so I thought. I used six small tubes of creme this time and covered it with plastic foil and some medical tape. BUT, I had applied it way to early causing the numbing effect to wear off before I even got to the clinic. The instructions said it would take about 1-3 hours before numbing would occur and it would hold for 3-5 hours. Instead, it took 1 hour to become numb and that lasted about 1,5 hours. You can however see the effect of the creme on my skin before treatment:

with-emla-creme-before-laser-treatment

The blood rises to the top and gives your skin the red color, but you can see it had started to fade. The stripes are caused by the tape, turns out this brand of medical tape and I are not friends…!

Well, that hurt

Combining the facts that the laser was set higher than last time, the numbing effect wore off and my back was hurting from the allergic reaction to the tape, it was my most painful laser session yet. Enough to consider quitting the whole procedure when we halfway done, but my buddy pulled me through it. Always bring a buddy if you can, mine is the best. And I must say, the clinic staff is also very supportive and friendly! They will stop whenever you need to and make sure you keep communicating with them. Talking about your day can help distract you and counting down together until a section is done is very motivating. I really liked it when they would describe the process for me, since I can’t see what they are doing.
Afterwards the pain faded like it usually does and I was fine again. It did take more energy, but that is to be expected. Also, I didn’t experience any additional pain, blisters of bleeding even though they had set the laser higher. That made me happy off course.

“Talking about your day can help distract you and counting down together until a section is done is very motivating.”

Then it all got better

About 16 weeks later I went in for the fourth treatment. I must admit, I was pretty scared beforehand because the pain had been that bad last time. Once again, I applied all the tubes of numbing creme and covered it with plastic foil. The effect caught me by surprise (it shouldn’t have), it was so much better. Off course, I would have known that sooner, had I not been so stubborn. You can clearly see the difference in redness on my skin below. It’s not pain free, but a lot better then it was before. I noticed I was talking during the treatment, when other times all I did was focus on my breathing and relaxing the muscles. The fact that I was telling stories and laughing says a lot!

Where I am now

I was pleased to hear from the staff that my tattoo responds well to the laser. Much has faded already and all the lines have become blurred. There is no sign of scarring, skin damage or skin discoloration, which is great news. Here is result after four treatments:

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The original tattoo, before treatments started
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After four treatments

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to choose a proper laser treatment center with qualified staff members. I can tell you all about my process and experiences, but it still a personal story. In the end I hope everyone is treated safely and with the same proper care I’m receiving.

Let me know how your process is going and ask me anything by sending a PM or commenting below.

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