Complimentary. On the House. A freebie !
Shelly met me when I entered the Plastic Surgeon’s office double glass doors on a sunny Friday in January. I thought I’d be ushered into a white painted office with pretty paintings with a white-coated pretty female doctor sitting across from me. I imagined we’d be seated for a formal consultation regarding the everafter challenge of shaving my left underarm in the vain hope of such convenience to never have to shave the left side ever again after a laser treatment. ‘A’. Singular. Uh huh. Yeah.
Wearing vibrant blues, she greeted me, smiling. I asked,” where is everyone? Are you doing this today? No wait? No consultation?”
She laughed, “Yep. You’re on! We got this whole side of the floor to ourselves, Dr. K’s gone on Friday afternoons so it’s just you and me.”
I assured her I didn’t have any deodorant on on the left side, they told me not to.
“It’s alright but this includes both sides.“ I know my face lit up like a Christmas tree — a big smile on my face! She guided me into a little room across from an office and other little rooms.
“It makes no sense for you to have to shave either side after going through a mastectomy and all that reconstruction — it’s all complimentary — on-the-house. Every KU mastectomy patient gets a free laser treatment. So are you ready?” Her laughter was very contagious. I was dumbfounded but happily removed purse, jacket, shirt and glasses as she got to work. She offered me a blanket but I was quite comfortable in the warmth of her little room. We babbled like clucking hens throughout the whole process.
She warned me the gel is cold and asked if I’m ticklish. I laughed, yes!
Slathering on the slick gel, both underarms were done in less than 30 minutes, likely woulda been less if we hadn’t yakked so much.
Shelly was very proficient and all about my comfort, telling me what she was doing, assuring me if it’s uncomfortable to let her know, which it wasn’t. Very much client oriented. She explained the process of how the hair grows in stages so I’d likely have to shave once more before the final treatment. I’d receive four treatments, every four to six weeks. That gives the hair follicles time to grow, being fully removed from my skin’s under layer by the last round of laser.
After I was dressed she gave me written instructions, advised how to take care of my underarms between laser treatments. I felt great! And I felt like I’d just made a new friend. I drove home excited and happier than I’d expected for just an armpit hair removal. It sounds kinda gross but it was so relaxing and our babble was so welcome after being at home recouping so much. I couldn’t wait to get home for show & tell.
During the next visit I got a complimentary swipe of two little spots of hair as well (yes we all have stupid little nuisance hairs). With one swipe of her wand they got zapped. Gone. Yay!
Three treatments and I haven’t had to shave my underarms but once three days after the first laser. It’s been such a relief — no worry anymore about slicing my armpit that I can’t feel! Great, great, great!
You can see I’m smiling, the whole thing is quite painless, and she was fast and gentle. You can see my skin is slightly pink in the few minutes of the laser. Shelly provided me with protective eye wear.
To some, getting underarm laser treatment may sound like a luxury, such high maintenance. But I say to a man, unless your face has been injured, leaving your chin or nose numb, you can feel every spot of your beard. If it’s numb like my underarm I’m quite sure you’d shave very carefully to avoid cuts or you simply say t’hell with it and grow a beard not to deal with it. Now I say to a woman, unless you have dealt with this, you’re as unfamiliar with one of those simple things as shaving after a mastectomy, just as I was. And unless you live in Europe with different society rules, it’s one of those necessary things that we women are not just going to ignore hairy pits. Grrrroooooss.
Following my mastectomy, in the first few weeks taking a shower, I tried with little success to shave my left underarm. I had no idea how clumsy a razor would be on a numb pocket of skin I couldn’t see. Definitely one of those day by day moments, moments of my mastectomy recovery that was a real pain in the ass. My underarm got so scratched up I couldn’t stand to apply deodorant. I’m too conservative and too fussy to not wear antiperspirant so it just felt wrong not to.
Okay, so next time I tried shaving over the bathroom basin. Oh what a hassle and a mess — exactly why I shave in the shower. At least I used to. I lost my patience with it. This was as ridiculous as trying to keep my legs shaved now. Too sore to bend over. I wondered why try? My husband said he couldn’t care less so I concluded in regards to my legs, it was just me being vain. Why women struggle (or pretend to) to shave those nubs before a date or you-know-what is beyond 98% of most men’s reason — they don’t care — oops this is about underarms, I said enough already. Some of us women’s social mores make me chuckle lately …
One distinct reason for laser treatment after a mastectomy: The entire underarm is numb. After my first fat graft surgery, the mastectomy side shows fluid buildup, impossible to shave. Two laser treatments down and I was too sore again to sit for Shelly.
Right and left underarms. I zoomed in as much as possible.
Three weeks after the final laser on the mastectomy underarm 😊