“My Birthmark Odyssey: When It’s Comfortable to Smile Again”

As humans we have a propensity to want to influence the outside world, to leave a mark, some sort of legacy. We have a natural instinct to want to communicate and share our lived experiences by way of storytelling. As social beings, we also have an innate need to want to belong, connect and to share knowledge with others who will listen. We all do the best we can with what we have as we try to navigate this odyssey called life.

After an 11 year hiatus, I’ve chosen to resume laser treatments and surgeries to treat my Port-Wine Stain birthmark and hemangioma, making this my twenty-ninth laser treatment and third facial surgery. This narrative is about sharing my most recent experience about this winding odyssey on which my birthmark has taken me.  It’s been a humbling journey full of downward and upward spirals. There have been many experiences up to this point, some of which I finally feel ready to share, and there will be many more. I wrote this as a sort of catharsis for me and for others like me. Thank you for reading and sharing.

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