Sunday, March 7, 2021

February Things

This photo above sums up my February. I pretty much spent most of my time bead weaving. What happened was I went to see a doctor. Next thing I knew, all my beading supplies were on my table, the floor, everywhere. Okay, let me explain.

Most of last year I had been bitching about this thingy on my face about an inch below my left eye. I had worsened it by applying a pimple cream and I ended up with an allergic reaction resulting in me having to take antibiotics and anti inflammation meds for a week. I finally got my appointment with a skin doctor. She took one look at the thingy and said she knew what it was and it's harmless. It's called keratosis and is caused by long term exposure to the sun and ... wait for it, aging. So all those thousands of times I had gone running and frolicking in the swimming pool, I was exposing myself to these thingies. The good news is it can be removed easily. The bad news is since it's harmless, I have to pay private rate as the government does not subsidize cosmetic procedures. It costs a total of $310.30 including 7% gst. I agreed to the ransom amount (they made me sign a letter saying I agreed to pay the amount!) and the magic of private rate is I was scheduled for the procedure 3 days later. The doctor asked if I wanted to have the thingy tested but the test costs over a hundred bucks and if I agree to the test I have to agree to paying up to $500 for any subsequent tests. Common sense prevailed and I declined the test.

Hubs went with me to the clinic because I was a bit nervous. Here's me before the procedure. 

Here's me after the procedure which took maybe 10 minutes. The doctor used a tiny spray "gun" connected to a machine filled with liquid nitrogen (I think) and a lot of smoke is generated during the procedure which is sucked up by a vacuum cleaner (not the domestic kind). The liquid nitrogen "burns off" the thingy tho' there's no actual burning of skin. During the procedure, my whole face except for the thingy is covered. I also had my mask on over my mouth. It was a bit suffocating but I could endure it because it was so quick. The doctor used the mirror to show me what my new skin looked like and it was not pleasant. It's what your raw skin looks like when the upper layer of skin is removed. The area burned off had to be slightly larger than the size of the thingy so that was a big negative.

The caring for the wound was hard. Serious hard. The first day I had to avoid having any water touch the wound. So I didn't wash my face at all and when I brushed my teeth, I wore a mask over wound. The plaster had to stay on for one day. Late at night my daughter noticed some bleeding outside the plaster. This was unexpected. The doctor hadn't mentioned any bleeding. She made it sound like a blister will form immediately and I'll recover easily. It became quite nightmarish after that. I noticed the wound was weeping a lot. So I had to constantly dry it. I still kept the plaster on. From day 2 to day 6, I had to apply antibiotics on the wound 3 times a day. Omg. I really dreaded cleaning my face. First of all, I couldn't use any soap on the wound. So believe it or not, for 6 days I only washed one side of my face and used a towel to wipe the other side. Obviously, I didn't wash my hair as well! Thankfully the Universe was on my side and the weather was cool so I didn't sweat at all. Until day 8, there was always a little weeping and very tiny bleeding. (the doctor never mentioned any weeping of course) The "blister" did form from day 2 save for a tiny bit where the weeping occurred. I think around day 8, I started to feel really good because no more weeping! After I stopped using the antibiotic ointment, I had to apply Vaseline on the wound for a couple of weeks. 

Right now the wound has healed completely. The blister didn't get crusted so that was good because you don't want that. The area where the thingy was still has a different colour from my skin, slightly pinkish. It may remain like this forever or not but otherwise, it feels fine. At least it doesn't feel itchy anymore like before. During the period when I was caring for the wound, I had mixed feelings about going for the procedure. Of course I'm glad I went for it but I wished the recovery was easier. The doctor says there's a small chance the keratosis may return. If I'm so unlucky that it'll grow back after all I've gone through, I think I'll live with it. I don't want to go through the weepy wound stage again.

So how did I keep my sanity during the recovery? I couldn't do anything that would result in me sweating or itching so no sewing, knitting, baking or cooking. Bead weaving was the answer. This hobby requires a lot concentration so it was good to occupy my mind with sewing beads and not worry my head off about the wound. Sewing beads is very hard on the eyes. Fortunately my eyes have recovered from the blurriness which happened end of last year. The floaters? Like the doctor said, my clever brain has stopped seeing them. They're still there because if I look at a white screen for long or under very bright lights, I can make them out here and there. Otherwise I don't see them anymore! Isn't that great?

And the problem with bead weaving? Once you start, you can't stop. It is so addictive. In fact, I have dreams of myself bead weaving.

These 3 are Helix bracelets. I learnt the technique many years ago from a teacher in Singapore. Back then I didn't really enjoy making the bracelet because the technique didn't feel natural like I'm always struggling. The method I learnt was a top down method like this. I discovered that I much prefer the bottom up method like this. It's amazing how a simple change of direction makes everything easier.

These are peyote stuff. I'm most pleased with the top two. I've always wanted to try beading around crystals and I managed to do it. It takes a lot of patience! This video explains it quite well or you could just type "rivoli bezel" and I'm sure you'll get plenty of hits.

These two bracelets use right angled weave technique which is a technique I may never master. I don't understand why I don't get it.

These two are ugly. Big beads just don't look good.

I love this brick stitch pendant/ear ring but it was a lot of work. I used this tutorial and I followed the pattern but I had to chart the pattern myself. I almost wanted to give up. I have limited supply of delicas so no matter what these colours had to work together!

And these two are my favourite. I wore them when I went to meet my bff recently and she asked me where I bought them. Isn't that the best compliment?

p.s. I may have gone to Chinatown recently to buy more beads. Help!
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