Scuptra Injection Research Projects!
03.18.2008 - Scuptra Injection Research Projects!
Note:  There will be at least three separate occasions fro injections of the Scuptra to my face.  This is the first one - March 18th.  The next one is on April 22nd and a third is to follow that one.  Usually there are five appointments for this procedure but perhaps in my case, I will only need three sets of injections.  Time will tell!
The Veterans Administration Hospital tried to get me on this research project a year ago but said my face was too 'nice' to have injections to take away the sagging of an aging face.  Well they have more funding as this memo states and I am going in to see if I qualify this time.  I get paid to do this and may end up with less wrinkles.  Time will tell if I get onto this research program.  Wish me luck!

March 18, 2008 - First Session: I went to the Veterans Administration Hospital of San Francisco on Tuesday, March 18, 2008, for multiple reasons:  

  1. I had an appointment at one P.M. with dermatology for a new research project.  This project uses a method of improving ones facial contours by using a product called Scuptra.  This product has been used in Europe for many years and now is being tested by the Veterans Administration Hospital to see if it measures up to standards.  Instead of Botox, a saline solution with an additive is injected in the cheek areas.   This solution causes the fat cells to regenerate and fill out the face to a more youthful look - hopefully. 
  2. I next had an appointment with Dr. Chamie, my general physician, who was going to check my vital signs and general health conditions.
  3. Then I wanted him to investigate why I have been having so much trouble with my left foot.  It has been swollen for over six months.  No pain but the skin has been stretched due to liquids collecting in the area on top of the foot.
  4. Finally I was to meet with Sandy, the woman that manages another research project I am on.  Every four months I go in and have from four to eight vials of blood taken.  I have a questionnaire to fill out and sign and the get $20 for doing the research.  I have been on this research project for over five years now!

Well at one P.M. I checked in and the head nurse, Cindy, in the general practitioner division of the Veterans Administration Hospital told me I had to fill out some forms before going to Dermatology.    This consisted of about 40 pages!  By the time I was finished it was 1:30.  I saw my doctor and told him I was going to be late and he said he was there until after three P.M.   So off I went to Dermatology and the lead surgery nurse told me to go back and get my face measured.  Cindy said they didn’t do it.  Dermatology said they did!  Finally a woman said yes, they did the measurements there.  So after that, back to Dermatology and there the head nurse said I was to go to the office to be interviewed.   The doctor was very handsome, about 38.  He explained how the procedure worked and if I was in the program, would have to massage my face 5 – 5 – 5 (massage the face for five minutes, five time a day for five days).    I had a headache after being screwed around for almost one and a half hours.  I went in at one P.M. and now it was 2:30.  Suddenly the doctor told me to get onto the surgery chair and I thought, “What the hell is he talking about!”  Then I saw about 20 hypodermic needles on a tray.   Next to it was the lead surgery nurse and a woman doctor who had just come in.   I said what was happening and they said the procedure was just about to start!  What!   So he said just relax and it won’t hurt much.  Well I was a mess, he did about 16 injections in my right cheek and it hurt like hell.  Then he said to the other doctor, as long as we are doing this research, I should put about four shots in his temple area (Something they normally don’t do).   By then I was having a hot flash and felt slightly sick to my stomach.  I went to turn my head and the woman doctor said, just like in a Western Movie, except for the word gun, she used the word needle!  She said:

“Don’t move, I have a needle in my hand (and I’m not afraid to use it)!”

So she did the left side of my face and I was not happy.  Then they said I was a great patient and would look fantastic.   Yeah, right I said.   Then the surgery nurse put a towel over my face and proceeded to massage my cheeks and temples for about five minutes.   I am supposed to go back in six weeks but not sure about the pain.   Time will tell.

Then back to my doctor and he wanted to look at my photos from Nicaragua and said I had fantastic photos and the panoramic were really great and my blood test results were great.  I finally said he needed to check out my foot.   I told him Cindy, the nurse, had suggested an ultra-sound on my foot.  Next thing he gave me a form and said to go to the imaging room for an X-Ray of my foot.  So off to the Imaging Division and there the operator put me on the table and proceeded to explain how they now have a plate that is reusable.   Somehow the photons are generated on the plate and then the plate is put on a machine that uses a laser to read and digitally produce a picture of the area.   After a successful image is taken, the plate is de-magnetized and the plate is ready to be used again!

So next I went back to my doctor and Sandy was there for the other research project I am on.  They took about six vials of blood to send to the University of San Francisco Medical Center for research into aging.  They also do a questionnaire about one’s habits over the last four month, how much sex, now much drinking, how many illegal drugs taken and psychologically, how one feels about ones self and life in general.    As we were finishing Dr. Chanie came in and told me he had set up an ultra-sound for 10:30 A.M. in the Imaging Division on Wednesday.   I wasn’t happy but decided to get the tests over with.

So on Wednesday, March 19, 2008, I went to the Veterans Administration Hospital for my 10:30 appointment.  I thought it would be about 30 minutes maximum.   Well I had to take off my clothes and lie on a table and it took the ultra-sound operator an hour and a half to do the test.   They started at the groin on each leg and worked down past the knee.   Finally they did the left foot that was swollen.    The person doing the testing said a doctor would do the final review and let my doctor know what if anything, was going on.    She said as long as there aren’t any blood clots; one is safe.  If not, some type of action needs to be taken.   Hopefully since my foot is better since I am wearing a stocking to force the blood back up the leg, that will be enough to fix the problem.   Time will tell.

And that was my exciting two days at the Veterans Administration Hospital in San Francisco!

April 22, 2008 - Second Session:  Well I moaned and groaned and the V. A. staff had a good laugh.  The doctor said I made more noise than any other client.  I was not amused.  They said the first treatment took very well and instead of five sessions, three would probably do it.  Well it did hurt again but it only took about five minutes or so!   
May 27, 2008 - Third Session:  My doctor and the nurses thought my face looked fantastic and said I may not have to have another session of needles in my face!  This time I was prepared and bit the bullet and didn't moan and groan.  Such a good boy.  They took photos and said I should come back on June 24th for a review and photos and then determine if the sessions were successful!
June 24, 2008 - Fourth Session:  On my last session they took photos and said I should come back on June 24th for a review and photos and then determine if the sessions were successful!  We shall see!

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  Charles Walter Buntjer

San Francisco California
Created on: 2008.03.18  

Updated on: 2008.03.18