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A Change in Pespective

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I had to go see Dr Chu yesterday for more excision - this is my 4th visit.. and although I am seeing improvements, it is slow progress, as I have so many deep pits to work on.

I'm normally a very positive person, but somehow, on my way there (takes 2.5 hours to drive to) I found myself getting really upset and feeling sorry for myself.

I saw Dr Chu at around 12 noon and he said that his receptionist had only booked me in for a 5 minute appointment so all he could give me was NLite - I was upset, so he said I could hang around and he would squeeze me in at 2.30PM to have some excision (which was really kind of him)...

So I had 2 hours to wait. I sat on a bench outside the hospital feeling very conscious of myself with all my red marks from my last lot of excisions - a guy came and sat next to me and asked me what I was so upset about, and I told him about the scar work and what I was doing there.. I hadn't even looked at him.

As we continued to talk, I looked up at his face and he looked so ill - he had a white ghostly look about him (he was black) and he was wearing hospital patient clothing, with a tag on his wrist. Turned out that he had sickle cell anemia and the person on his right (on his ward) died the night before and the person on his left had died this morning.

There is no cure for his condition, the hospital can only treat him for the physical pain .. he knew he only had a few weeks to live..... and his girlfriend (who was his only support) had died 6 months ago of liver disease.

I realised that I had so much hope - I was here being treated by one of the 'great docs' and there is a 'cure' .. but just takes time.. and there really is so much hope for all of us, especially with the advances in procedures right now and in the near future.

We shared a lot of emotional intimacy on that bench. It helped both of us.

When I drove home that afternoon, I didn't cry for me, I cried for him.

Puts things in perspective doesn't it?

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wow, nicely put Maya, poor guy. It reminds me of a while back when I had a couple of scares myself, I was tested for marphans syndrome which I thankfully dont have (not a very nice thing to have) and then just a few weeks later I thought I had colon cancer, but again I was tested and it turns out I have very mild colitis which isnt that bad at all. But during the times that I thought I could have a life threatening condition my skin really didnt bother me at all, infact I hardly even thought about it where normally I think about my scars atleast a few times every hour!

A lot of people have it a lot worse than most of us, but that doesnt stop us from worrying about the biggest problem in our lifes, which for most of us here is acne and acne scarring.


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Every time I feel sorry for myself, all I have to do is turn on the television to see what pain and sufferring really is.

I watch a lot of the Discover/History chanell and I always see shows about people who have real problems...and yes, it puts it into perspective and makes me thankful for all that I've got.

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all i can say is wow. Thanks for the post. It made think in a new way. and god bless that guy what a hard life. I had a derm tell me one time just be happy you don't have [-o< skin cancer and i was mad but he was right.

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That really did put things in their proper place. I don't think that it in any way lessens the seriousness of what we deal with on a daily basis though. You have the right to be upset when you are working hard to address your scarring and you encounter an office screw up. We all get down sometimes and those feeling ARE valid and shouldn't be discounted. Although, I really think that for us and for your friend we need to hold on to the hope and truly great promise of rapid advances in medical care that I am sure we will see in our life times.

Maya, I really want to let you know how much I appreciate you and all the positive energy you have put into this site and directed our way. I value you so much.



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Thanks anna - I really appreciate and value you and everyone else here too. O:)

It took me a while to understand, but I find the gift of giving reaps boundless rewards. I have received so much from being here, I can't put it all into words. Although I do have a handful of good friends and the most fantastically supportive b/f, the sense of community here always humbles me.

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Guest Tracy

Damn, Maya......that sure was a healthy kick in my "personal pity party" ass!! Makes me really take a cold, hard look at how severely superficial I can be at times!! I really need to work on that.

And it's not that my feelings are not valid at times, because they are, it's just that sometimes my concern over the scarring CONSUMES me!! That's the unhealthy part I personally need to work on. I'm much more than my scars.

Very moving post. I'll keep this man in my prayers. And I'll be praying for greater humility for myself. I really needed to read that today.

Sometimes God will send someone our way to help us put things into the proper perspective. Thanks so much for sharing. I always get so much from you, you probably don't even realize it. I'm so glad we "met".

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I know how you feel, Maya. I was feeling so crappy with my skin taking so long to heal from my tca experiment (it's STILL healing!). I literally have not left the house to go anywhere in over 2 weeks. I've struggled a bit with feeling sorry for myself, too. I had wanted to get a part-time job, and now feel so self-conscious about it..... #-o

Nevertheless, I was moved by your post. Thanks so much for sharing it, and I'm sorry you were struggling. I think we all have those feelings when we are in the middle of doing stuff to our faces, tryng to look normal......

I guess it really is all about perspective...... [-o<

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Since this thread is all about a change in perspective.. i thought i should chip in something.. 8-[

Ever since i came across this forum, it inspired me. Im really thankful for the amount of information i could get out of reading the threads, and the encouraging support from the moderators and everyone that helped in any other ways. However, what really inspired me, is how blatantly HONEST everyone is talking about their acne condition. And I thought that well.. this should definitely be the way people should deal with problems in real life as well.

I have always believed that the society shaped its very people. And one thing that has got to change is its attitude towards 'less fortunate' people. I DO NOT even want to use the word 'less fortunate' as it seems totally inappropriate. The thing is, we have been 'taught' to hide away our problems.. yet we have never been taught to accept them or to accept failure. We all know that we should lift our heads up, maintain eye contact.. but we seems to be telling ourselves we should do this b'cos we should not feel ashame of ourselves.. but that is just so wrong.. we ought to be telling them that 'they' should accept the way we are...

If we really want to play a part in the society, i dun think its always about us. Sure we have to identify our problems and continuingly improve ourselves... we should change the perception of others as well.. or even our kids or future generations, not that i have any kids (im only 19 O:) ).. I had a bottle of vinegar in my room, my housemate walks in and asked whats that for.. i refused to explain.. but later on.. i feel i had just contributed to this habit of the society in not living up to our problems.. the next time he asked, im going to say its for my acne biggrin.gif

just something to share with everyone.. i hope it makes sense smile.gif


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I raise my glass to kibb...so far not many kids have asked me about it, but I'm sure next month when I lead my duaghter's Girl Scout meeting, I might get some questions because it will a few days after my Smoothbeam treatment (I'm not sure how long those spots will take to heal), and I figured the best way to deal with it would be to be honest about it.

After all, if I can spare them some of what I am going through, at least something good comes out of it, and thats what its all about. Still, society has instilled a stigma to skin problems that is hard to live down........


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I had a bottle of vinegar in my room, my housemate walks in and asked whats that for.. i refused to explain.. but later on.. i feel i had just contributed to this habit of the society in not living up to our problems.. the next time he asked, im going to say its for my acne
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