My Journey Into Darkness

By Salt and Pepper [Staff Writer]

I thought long and hard about leaving the program. I actually sent an email to my dermatologist and said that I couldn’t continue with the program if I couldn’t change the scheduled dates of receiving the implant from Mondays to Fridays. Having my implant put in on Fridays allows me to recuperate over the weekend from the side effects.

Not wanting me to leave, the dermatologist immediately ordered my Monday appointments changed to Friday.

Along with the implant drug afamelanotide, I have to participate in getting UVB “photo therapy” or light treatments 3 times per week. I stand in a closed cylinder of lights without any clothes. The length of time that I spend in the cylinder escalates from day to day. I started out receiving 2 minutes of light, and now after 8 weeks, I get a little over 5 minutes. It gets very hot in there, and I have even been burned on my ear and face.

To avoid that, I now cover my entire head when I go in for my light treatments. Because my face appears to be sensitive, I cover my face in sunscreen along with a cloth. Every part of my body is exposed to the light, except for my head.

I haven’t had a problem with my skin burning from the light on any other place. I’m glad. I don’t want to run into any more complications, or I will have to leave the program.

I really don’t want to leave, because the treatments are working. The vitiligo in my hands is hardly noticeable. I can’t wait to see what my skin will look like at Christmas. It would be a nice present for me, if I’m able to see all of my white spots gone from my body. Wow, it seems like a real possibility.

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