Sunday, July 30, 2017

Red Lobster Comes to Cuenca

Grab this related post Widget!

No, not the restaurant chain, silly. I'm talking about me.

This recent exchange says it all:

Friend: "Damn, dude, that's the worst sunburn I've ever seen."

Me: "That's because you're looking at every sunburn I've ever had all at the same time."

Last night marked three weeks into my treatment for sun damage. I applied the fluorouracil ointment for the 21st time and once again it felt like I had set my face ablaze. I got into bed and said to Cynthia, "I don't know if I can keep doing this." When water from the shower striking my face this morning made me wince in pain I decided it was time to pull the plug.

The maximum recommended length of time for this treatment is 30 days, so anybody who knows me also knows that was my goal. As one of my readers said in an email, "You go big or go home." In spite of the pain I could have continued but I'm ready to start healing and get on with my life. I'm sure what I've gone through will go a long ways toward removing most if not all of the pre-cancerous skin growth.

Beyond the obvious shock of how extensive my sun damage turned out to be came some smaller surprises along the way. I was concerned that I wasn't going to be able to shave. And between my head and face I've got a lot of real estate to maintain.

You've never seen me with hair and a beard, and you never will for a very good reason. Both look terrible. So the thought of having this surface-of-Mars face and cranium covered with a scraggly coat of gray fur was more than I--and Cynthia--could bear. Fortunately, as long as I take my time, shaving hasn't been an issue.

A real surprise has been some unexpected spots where sun damage has revealed itself to be lurking. Like in the nooks, crannies, and creases of my ears of all places. Thinking back that's probably not an area where I always diligently strived for 100% sunscreen coverage. A couple of open, bleeding wounds tells me that was a bad idea. Ugh.

And it's a complete mystery why the skin on my face right next to my nose is freaking out. No way I missed putting sunscreen there.

So as we say goodbye to my active treatment phase, here's my full face photo from the previous post followed by ones taken today:

Anybody blame me for stopping? Good. I'm not sure what to expect next so I'll update you in a few days. Thanks so much for the many emails and Facebook messages, my friends.


Myron D'Abreo said...

Hi Edd,

I am a avid reader of your blog and enjoy reading it.

Sorry to see you in pain and discomfort. I use coconut oil as a sunblock and it does work very well. Never had a sun burn and I live in Qatar. It also soothes sunburns, I think you should give it a try. Just to be clerk, I'm no doctor.

A short read about its properties and in the treatment of sunburns.

You get some good organic stuff from Nectar tienda in Cuenca.

All the best and get well soon.


Edd Staton said...

Hi, Myron. thanks for your kind support. To tell you the truth I'd never heard of coconut oil being used as a sunscreen so I did some research. There's certainly no consensus out there. With coconut oil having a tested SPF of somewhere between 4 & 7 while recommended levels are 30 or more I'm not sold, but I'm glad it's working for you.