For the past few years, I have been really trying to take better care of myself. I lost 40 pounds and I exercise regularly, but I started to notice some signs of aging – including a few sun spots on my face and some sagging of the skin on my neck and jawline. I decided it was time to get vigilant about my skincare, so I decided to spring for once a month facials. However, I’m starting to second guess that decision.
At my first facial, I was immediately impressed with the spa. It was clean, comfortable, and relaxing. The esthetician seemed competent, but quiet. I explained my concerns and she assured me that she knew exactly what to do. About halfway through the treatment, I began to doubt her claims as my face began to sting and burn. Although I mentioned my discomfort, she assured me that it was just the “fruit acids doing their job.” She added, in a too-sweet tone, that the fruit acids “had a LOT of work to do.” At the end of the visit, my face felt tight and as dry as the Sahara. I asked the esthetician if that was normal and she told me that it was temporary and a very good sign that the facial had done its job.
The next morning, I looked in the mirror and shrieked. My face was mottled, peeling, cracking in spots, and very painful. I called the spa in a panic and was told that my skin had reacted badly to the product, but that I should look on the bright side – because it was like I had received a chemical peel without having to pay that price. I spent the next three days with my hair brushed forward to cover as much of my face as possible, but still managed to get two lectures from coworkers about the dangers of spending so much time in the sun.
When I worked up the courage to try again, I went to a different spa. This time everything was wonderful! The table was heated and comfortable, and I was covered with a heavy fleece blanket that kept me toasty. The treatment was actually so relaxing that I fell asleep on the table and woke myself up with a little snore. When I finished, the esthetician told me she would meet me at the reception desk and left the room. I stretched, stood, took one step, and my leg collapsed underneath me, sending me hurtling to the floor. I heard an ominous popping sound from my ankle as I landed and I laid there for a moment – in no pain, but stunned and baffled as to why I had fallen. I had to crawl to a nearby chair and managed to haul myself into it, and I realized at that point that my left leg was numb and unresponsive. I finally surmised that I had somehow pinched a nerve while I was lying on the table, which had deadened my leg.
As the feeling started to return to my leg, the pain set in. I crammed my foot into my boot and felt it tighten as my ankle swelled. I hobbled to the front desk, trying hard not to limp, and then somehow made it down the stairs and to my car. Luckily my ankle was not broken – just badly sprained – but every so often, I still feel twinges in that ankle to remind me of that misadventure.
I’ve toyed with the idea of given facials one more try – but I wonder if I should push my luck. Maybe I just need to “grow old gracefully” and accept the fact that turkey neck and age spots are in my future. Hmmmm…..then again, maybe not. Anyone have a good recommendation for a plastic surgeon?