Friday, March 21, 2008

Waxing, the perfect mons, blue extremities versus moisturizer

This morning we were women with a mission: hair removal. See, in Beppu, Japan we are going to a “traditional Japanese Bathhouse” where there are hot springs. In a bathhouse the women go on one side and get naked and then wash outside the “communal water” and rinse before going in. And, according to reports, if you are different (Like you having DD breasts *cough*Linda*cough*) then you may have older women coming over and grabbing or holding them. Seriously. A friend told us that even in department stores women would ask to hold her breasts. See, in Japan, everything is two sizes up, so my A/B’s are now C/D’s (Woo Hoo! I knew if I prayed long enough the day would come!). She also said don’t buy bras there as they are SO padded they made her C’s into like E’s. But then, she was also the one who told us that we HAD to go to a love hotel (Maybe we should have asked a few more details on what her job WAS over there exactly). So, major public nudity means going for a wax.

To avoid the problem of last time (the wax bonding to me and being unable to be scraped off with a trowel), Linda brought a heater to heat up my lower legs. I went first with my months of hair because my care workers won’t shave my legs (nor will Linda, though it turned out as she took off her jeans she had been SHAVING HERSELF – oooooh!). All went fine, and I was glad for the diminished sensation (limited sensation, no sensation?) below the knee, it turns that the closer we get to the…ahem, bikini area, the more I could still feel. Which is good, sex wise, but bad waxing wise. It turned out that wearing my thong bikini leopard print Victoria Secret panties was a BAD idea because the beautician was like, “Oh great, we can go right in!” Right in? Oh yeah, nothing like having hot wax poured a couple millimeters from the labia. Well, nothing until it is RIPPED out in one swift motion. Then she started working down toward the clit and I was thinking, “Oh God, why, WHY did I not take the time for a trim?” Actually thinking that and saying, “WoW!” really slowly which meant, “OMG! If you do that again I am either going to be attached to the ceiling or passed out.” And yes, I was paying for this with money, not some charity event.

Anyway, I get home and go to the bathroom and start calling, “Linda, Linda, come here!” And she opened the door and I was leaning back pointing down going, “Look, I have the little triangle of the Mons, just like those magazines! We should take pictures!” Apparently, Linda camera whore that she may be has limits and while, yes, I had been waxed into the classic nudie mons pubic hair cheesecake triangle, she was NOT going to take a picture of it. Well, fine, I sure hope the people in Japan appreciate the effort I went to for them.

Back at the salon (the same one who told me my hair couldn’t hold pink due to thyroid), the beautician let me know that the four inches or so around my ankles had no hair at all, it had all died off. We surmised that was because Reynaud’s means it isn’t getting enough circulation at the follicle level and the hairs died by.....asphyxiation. I said, “Why is it that every time we come HERE, I find more bits of me that aren’t working?”

Linda said, “Because your doctor doesn’t wax your legs.”

Me: “Good point.”

So after that came the threading in which two threads rip out your eyebrows using friction and high tension. It sounds like a small buzz saw and feels like someone taking an ice pick to your forehead. But it is over quickly and now I was a little shaky but waxed, threaded, hair cut and coloured: ergo ready to meet the wide world. But first I needed to go home and rest because I notice there are several triggers for my “attacks”: Heat, Fatigue, Lack of Sleep and/or Pain, temperature changes, internal changes and talking.

The last one is my new irony: talk so much I risk brain damage by becoming cyanotic (why can’t medical people use “blue” it is a perfectly good word, not, “your fingers are cyanotic” but “your fingers are blue!”). Anyway, by 2:00 pm something funky was happening inside me because my fingers were very, And I did a face plant so I went to bed (Interpret: Linda forced me to bed to try and sleep). Almost immediately my heart did something new, which made under my left armpit and into the heart hurt like someone took a broad dagger, stabbed me, and then a second later twisted it (thus producing two screams). I couldn’t move and Linda had to roll me (I begged her to promise me that IT wouldn't happen again, and she said, "I wish I could sweetie!" - Linda, you got to know when to lie!) and after pain pills I slept, only to wake up choking on my own saliva (called aspirating). I went back to sleep and I think I was aspirating because a) my throat felt raw upon waking and b) My dream was about a clogged toilet and pulling crap like shirts and pants out of it, only I was pulling them out of MY MOUTH. And no matter how much stuff I pulled out, I still couldn’t breath, or I could barely breath. Or you could do some interpretation between that dream and how much I write a day!

I slept about four hours and then got up and got right back on the “Going to Japan” chore list which today was, “Get all the stuff I sold this week ready for posting” along with collecting addresses and the other 1,000 things to do before a trip (1 week: I’m not ready to go yet!). Linda did most of the packages, I just helped with the labels and stuff like that. I also went a little crazy trying to find the pocket Japan dictionary I found three weeks ago and was SURE I put up atop a bookcase. It has decided to hide until the day we arrive BACK from Japan at which time it will be sitting in plain sight. If I don’t find it by Wednesday, I am getting a new one from the bookstore (arg!).

So, no. No picture of a classic sculpted by waxing mons to put up on the blog (Boo! Linda Boo!). Why would I want to do that, many, many sane people would ask? I dunno, I guess the same reason I put up a lot of stuff: a) I’ve never had someone wax it that shape before and b) it looks like a celebrity, or famous women (I’m sure Betty Paige had one that was perfectly triangular!) and c) geometric figures? Hey, sometimes I am not so sure why I do things; they seem a good idea at the time.

Okay, here is your Linda quote for the day which shows a lot about Linda: She grabs my hands and says, “Your hands are completely blue…..and really need some moisturizer.” (she has this whole obsession with moisturizer and hands and feet) – same with at the salon, “You have no blood flow to your ankles....we should use moisturizer.”

I’m not saying she’s wrong, I’m just saying my mind throws a few “AHHH!” or “Oh no!” or “That’s bad!” between “Blue fingers” and then down to “need to be moisturized.” I guess we each have our own priorities.


cheryl g said...

Actually I think the people of Japan will be too fascinated by Linda's DD's to notice your wax job - sorry...

I noticed you took longer for extremities and lips to turn blue when you were using the oxy. Cyanosis is caused by a marked drop in the O2-blood saturation levels. To compensate your body is pulling the blood away from extremities to keep the brain/heart/lungs supplied.

Be careful with your blue fingers. They are just as susceptible to necrosis as your feet.

Tayi said...

Moisturizing blue fingers might not be such a bad idea, I think. I mean, massage encourages circulation, right? So you might as well put on some hand lotion at the same time as you try to encourage the blood to flow. Of course, I really don't know anything about cyanosis and maybe blood flow doesn't make a difference if there's no oxygen in your blood anyway.

Sorry to be so morbidly curious, but would sleeping on your side/stomach solve the aspiration problem? My practical medical knowledge is mostly limited to first aid for traumatic injuries, and supposedly if you roll someone with a head injury onto their side, they won't choke on their own vomit. I'm curious to know if it works the same way for you.

I know you're not a big fan of being overly careful with yourself, but you might consider all your readers. We expect entertaining stories and pictures from Japan, so if you're going to be particularly careful and restful and all that, now would be the time! Not that it's easy to rest right before international travel, but still. I hope you feel better.

Lene Andersen said...

"they seem a good idea at the time."

That's the theme for your life, innit? ;)

Gaina said...

I now have hilarious mental images of a doctor waxing your legs. Thanks for that :).

elizabeth said...

Yay. Brave you. How bad was it on a scale of 1 to 10? I'm thinking of following suit for a vacation in June but I fear the pain will leave me with one side waxed...

Elizabeth McClung said...

Cheryl: yes, that's the way of it, not matter what I do, can't compete with Linda's "natural wonders".

Yes, I think being on oxy while I talk is the new protocol, sadly. Because I CAN talk.

Tayi: Don't know if Linda was more worried about dry skin or no oxygen in extremities - but I am guessing less circulation means dry skin.

Sleeping on my side is something that I try, however, as my diaphram doesn't seem to be working/very weak, it means that one lung does open when I breath, and since the right lung doesn't seem to work very well, I tend to alternate between on my back and slightly tilted left with the bed back at an angle (Because it is too hard/impossible to breath lying flat some days).

Lene: Pretty much, throw in an obsessive, "I'm not giving up" personality and you end up with how I do things.

Giana: I think the doctor would learn more about my body if he gave me a waxing, but I am guessing that suggestion will be shot down.

Elizabeth: if you go with someone (to avoid chickening out) and listen to an mp3 player it is not bad, until you get to the bikini/brazilian area - then you are in trouble (also around the ankles seems painful) - same with pits. But it is literally only a few seconds and WHOOSH - gone!

Raccoon said...

I think that, if you didn't know Linda had shaved, the two of you might want to spend more than an hour in that Love Hotel.

Tayi, if Elizabeth's diaphragm gives her problems sleeping on the side, being on her stomach would be exponentially worse. Her lungs/diaphragm/intercostals (the muscles alongside the ribs) would be weighted down too much. At least, that's been my experience. Also, it's actually very hard to turn yourself over in that position, which can be very claustrophobic. Just speaking from personal experience...

Naturally blue extremities is bad. Very very bad. Naturally blue lips -- oh so much worse! Blue lips means no oxygen to head which means no oxygen to the brain which means passing out which is bad!

Have some oxygen!

Maggie said...

hi-emt medical lesson of the day. Cheryl is right, the cyanosis is because your tissues are not oxygen rich. Your body is holding onto carbon dioxide. The diagnosis of COPD encompasses several general signs and symptoms including hypoxic drive. For most folks, it is the desire to get rid of CO2 that forces them to breathe. When the cells start to have poor gas exchange, the drive actually changes and it becomes the presence of low levels of O2 that will physiologically stimulate breathing. High flow 02 for long periods of time will actually confuse the system and may cause a copd patient to stop breathing (like 12 lpm for more than 24 hrs.
Massage will encourage circulation of the surface caps and vessels. If you're going for stimulation, that's a good thing. However, it's not going to do anything for the cyanosis unless someone figures out how to massage your diaphragm.

Dawn Allenbach said...

Your wax job might need moisturizer.


Gimme a break, OK? I got up at 6:30 and did the usual eight transfers to fly back to NO. I'm pooped and a bit slap-happy.

Man, my face needs some moisturizer. Oy!

Elizabeth McClung said...

Raccoon: I knew someone would figure it out, like, "How could you not know?" And she changes into long PJ's while I am writing, usually either, she goes to bed while care giver takes care of me overnight or we work together on Japan stuff until we are so tired that we get techy. I mean, sitting on the same couch to watch a DVD is intimacy we have to plan and fight for. As for more, it is on the list EVERY weekend, but gets shoved out by...well, stuff. So yeah, need to check in for more than an hour. We need one of those three or four hour quickies.

Maggie: you're back! But where is YOUR waxing story? Don't go all EMT on! Well you don't have to worry about me going 12 lpm because I like my nose membrane without gushing blood, thanks! I do 3 lpm then down to 2, only 3 or 4 when non-responsive. What the heck are people doing with 12 lpm on for long periods, wouldn't that alter the ph balance of thier blood even if they weren't hyperventilating? (thus spasms, etc)

So two immediate questions: How do you massage/jump start a diaphram? And in an question which is starting to pop up more and more: How do people eat who have a) a hard time breathing on thier own and b) a tendancy to lose swallow function now and then? It is just for me, eating a sandwich puts me in oxy depo and has me gasping like I've run up a hill.

Dawn: Well that is a VERY good place to start with what Raccoon brought up, I will tell Linda right now that my wax job DOES need moisture.

I wondered where you had gone, I assumed it was "Students turn in papers, make teacher's life hell" or something of the like.

Raccoon: Told Linda your first paragraph and she started giggling hysterically - I think that is a good sign....for me!

yanub said...

You can never go wrong by using moisturizer. Linda is wise beyond her years.

Gracious, but you went to more trouble to get yourself presentable for strangers than I would for an intimate encounter. Of course, this may be why my intimate encounters are so few and far between.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Yanub: yes, Linda is great in the ways of HAND moisturizer, she however does NOT moisturizer her FACE (which is what I am big on!)

As for encounters - well, I figure if I am going the nudie catwalk ala disability style, I want to make sure my rep goes far and wide.

Ableize - Disabled Support said...

Hell, i'm not sure why but i did read your entire entry, i seemed to get more interesred as it went on (kinda scarry)

Anyway the conclution i come to is very simply.

Thank god i'm a bloke lol

Very entertaining thought and if you need a photographer i'm ya man lol