The Home Phototherapy Unit Arrives!

A few weeks ago the narrowband ultraviolet B light (NUVB) panel finally arrived. My dermatologist and I decided to try home phototherapy after determining that Tremfya (guselkumab) alone would not adequately suppress my psoriasis or address my atopic dermatitis.

I gave up, though, after my health insurance denier provider rejected the initial prescription, the first appeal, and then the appeal to the denial. I know I shouldn’t stop fighting, but I figured I needed to choose my battles wisely. I lost this round and that was that.

A Gift Arrives Via Freight Truck

As the delivery truck pulled up to my driveway I thought about how a couple dozen people generously gave to the GoFundMe campaign started by a parishioner at church. The over four thousand dollars raised allowed me to order, and now take delivery, of a Daavlin Series 7 eight bulb NUVB panel with dosimetry timer.

The over two hundred thirty pound wooden box initially looked like a crudely constructed coffin. But inside contained another tool in the arsenal to combat inflammatory immune responses on my skin. Here I’m holding the protective grills that install over each pair of six foot light bulbs:

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Timely Help to Haul It Into the House

My son Tim and his friend waited to go to the Sacramento airport to catch a flight to Southern California. Their long awaited senior trip would commence in just a couple hours. But I had an important job for them before they headed to Disneyland: haul the light panel into my bedroom.

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It’s not that I couldn’t do it myself, of course. I mainly wanted to give these two strong young men a chance to practice kindness and helpfulness. They didn’t disappoint. Not only did Tim and his classmate carry the unit into the house, they also helped me assemble it.

Some Assembly Definitely Required

One of the best parts of unwrapping this medical equipment present came after securing the foot supports. We proppped up the unit then proceeded to grab an end of the plastic wrap and run around the unit. It unwrapped like a mummy’s cloths revealing the carefully protected package underneath.

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A couple hiccups in assembly followed. Initially we didn’t understand where to install two metal bars with curved ends. The instruction manual mentioned support brackets, but no picture displayed where they should go. Also, one of the screws to secure the white grill on the left door would not loosen one bit. I almost blasted the light bulb with my screwdriver when I tried much too hard to turn it and my hand slipped. Message to manufacturer: no need to tighten that screw so much guys.

Today the grill still needs to be installed on the left panel, but at least it’s up and running!

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Here’s how it looks when the doors are closed between treatments, sitting pretty in the corner of my bedroom:

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Do I Have to Use It?

After everything we went through to finally place the home phototherapy unit in the corner of my bedroom, I asked myself, “Do I have to use it?” Over ten years ago I received the absolute worst artificial light skin burn I could ever imagine. I couldn’t shower without pain for weeks. That traumatic event caused me to vow to never use NUVB again.

Could I overcome my fears to use the light panel? If so, would it provide the relief that I so much want to experience and share with those who helped me obtain it? Or would it become a piece of unused furniture in my bedroom much like that aspirational rowing machine? I’ll provide an update soon on what happened next.