Saturday, 29 December 2012

An introspective look back at 2012

Well, that was quite a year for me, starting in January with my journey to Peru to finally get my FFS done - then with a visit in the Autumn to Istanbul in Turkey for more surgical procedures you might well describe it as a cutting edge year for me.  Sandwiched in between I took on some voluntary work, working with other 'protected status' groups on the Independent Advisory Group which works with our local Police Authority with the aim of stamping out hate crime.  I was also put through an intensive training course in the Summer and early Autumn for my other voluntary work which involves telephone support on a national suicide helpline - which can be very challenging, sometimes desperately sad but other times extremely satisfying and uplifting. 
This has also brought about a number of new friendships and also made a few more people aware that transsexual people are just ordinary people much like themselves, it's just that we had a struggle in our past in order to become our true selves.
One of the nicest things somebody said to me this year was when I met an old friend (who knows about my past now and who has read this blog) and upon the initial greetings hug, whispered in my ear, "Carol, you really are the bravest woman that I have ever met".  I, personally, have never considered it a brave thing to do, a necessary one indeed and the only choice that I did have at that long distant point in my past was to either transition or die - not really much of a choice for any person to make as I suspect the vast majority of people would choose to live.
So what new challenges await us in the New Year??  No doubt there will be plenty although with the public becoming more and more aware of trans issues, I have a feeling of great optimism - yes, there still many countries where we can still be imprisoned and even executed for trying to be our true selves, but there does appear to be increasing acceptance and understanding of our plight and with legislative steps now taking place in other parts of the world to secure equality in employment and other rights, then people will not have to face the terrible discrimination that those of us who transitioned many years ago had to face.
As this blog rapidly approaches it's first anniversary, I am heartened by the sheer number of views that it has attracted (well over 11,000 at the time of writing), so I would like to thank all those who have taken the time to read all or even just selective parts of it - and especially to those of you who have taken the time to leave comments or ask for more information.
A happy New Year to all my readers, may all your dreams come true at some point in 2013
Thank you
Carol xxx

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Boxes, litlle boxes

I had an interesting discussion in an online group this evening where people were complaining about the trans label and hated being put into boxes.

My argument is that that boxes or labels are important - but we all have a million boxes, we cannot be placed into just one box alone. You could have a box/label such as 'Sports orientated' where an athlete or a gymnast might be best described, you have others labelled 'Intelligent', or 'House Proud', or 'Psychotic' or 'Blonde', 'Beautiful', 'Fat', 'Thin' etc etc. They are all boxes which help define or describe who a person is - even 'Male' or 'Female' are boxes.
There is nothing wrong with boxes per se, it is just our attitude to them.  Nobody would object to being put into a box which described them as beautiful, or witty, or intelligent or caring.

Labels are just there to give more definition as to the type of people that we are - they are merely adjectives which help to describe or elaborate on a particular noun.
It is only when those labels are used in a pejorative way as a means of insulting or demeaning a person that they become objectionable.

Monday, 26 November 2012

First pics after tummy tuck

Well, after a long deliberation, I decided to put up my first pictures after my abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) so that  you can see the new waistline.  At this moment, because the scars are still showing I have decided to cover up a little and therefore I have a basque on to cover my modesty lol
I have shown this image to a few of my friends and they were amazed at what the tummy tuck has achieved (as have I lol) compared to my shape previously.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Transgender Day of Remembrance - 20th November 2012

Quote (from Trans: The Movie)
"Horrid things happen to us, we do not make it up"

Remembering those who had horrible things happen to them where they paid with their lives just for having the courage to be themselves
The photo on the left is an old friend of mine who died by being pushed off the platform in front of an incoming train on the London underground

Sonia died 25 October 2010, but is still remembered.
Please visit the link below for a list of people who were known to have died this year as a result of transphobia

What is so sad is that other than the senseless loss of live, these people never  had the chance to become the whole person that they knew themselves to be.  Even in the UK and despite our equality laws giving transgender people protection from dismissal on grounds of gender identity, the lack of employment opportunities for transgender people is huge and many are forced into the sex trade in order to put food in their stomachs and a roof over their head.  Their families and friends have frequently disowned them and quite often as a result of their gender dysphoria during their school years, many lack a good education.
It is quite easy to dismiss the brutality and violence as a case of "well they deserved it, going into the sex trade and not having had an GRS", but for many who are so desperate for surgery, this is their only means of getting together enough money to be able to afford it - especially in countries that do not have access to free health care.  How many other prostitutes are murdered so brutally - often shot, not just once, but multiple times, the victims are often burned and their bodies mutilated by frenzied knife wounds.
So, on 20th November each year, events are held around the world where transgender people, their families and their allies can come together to remember those that have died that year (and in the years before) due to ignorance and hatred of us.
To date the latest figures from the Transrespect web site show that 267 murders of transgender people (almost 100% transwomen) have taken place since the last TDoR, the vast majority in the central American belt and in South America - although 15 of them (6%) have taken place in the country that proclaims itself as being the home of democracy and freedom - the USA (see here for the list of names and full details of their murders).

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Transphobia on national television

I came across this video yesterday which is full of transphobic bile - I cannot believe that some of the views expressed in this video are for real.  Transgender children have to go through enough with bullying from both other children and the other children's parents, it is never something that is undertaken lightly and something that isn't done on a whim that one day they will 'be' a girl and the next day 'be' a boy.
To actually broadcast this bile without having done the proper research is vile and insidious and will result in far more bullying of transgender children - they need to be prosecuted for inciting hate crime in my humble opinion.

On reflection I would like to point out that I only know of one case where a 45 year old student flashed 'her' equipment to younger girls at a college (see here) and I have doubts if that person was a transsexual.  That person should have been prosecuted for that in my humble opinion.  Every person that I know that is transsexual has a loathing of their body and would never, ever display their body in public such is the shame and embarrassment that we feel.
However, every transgender child has to undergo a terrifying amount of bullying - and this will include other children trying to lift their skirts and pulling off their undergarments, this is a common story amongst trans children who have transitioned.  So we have to ask ourselves who is more in need of protection here and programmes on national television like the one above will actually increase this type of misunderstanding and rejection of trans children.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Party time last night

I was invited to one of my friend's 40th birthday party last night and had a really good fun evening - lovely to see a lot of my friends there last night, and nice to see Di and Terry there too (thank you for the drinks Terry).
What I find increasingly strange is why men do not like to get up and dance though - all night long it was just the women who were dancing (except for one guy, who kept at the fringes).  Answers on a postcard to:- ............... (or just use the comments box below, it might be easier lol)

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Elections for Police and Crimes Commissioners

These elections are important for transgender people as it could affect how the police deal with hate crimes in your local area.  So far there is a sense of total apathy towards these elections and so it is likely that only a small number of people could be voting in the area of your police authority - so your vote could be crucial in who gets elected and what the policy and priority is given towards transphobic hate crime.
Now that the list of applicants has been published for all police authority areas (See here for the list), I would urge you to send an email to each candidate in your area asking them what their policy is towards hate crime and transphobic hate crime in particular and how they would prioritise this.
I will publish the questions which I posed to all the candidates in my area (Devon and Cornwall Police Authority) and their responses here.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Removal of my stitches today

Just getting ready to go down to see the nurse at the medical centre where I am registered.

Just got back in and I was pleasantly surprised - the tummy ones didn't hurt at all, or the belly button ones.  I must admit though a few of the ones in the labia did sting a little.
I was a little embarrassed though, it is all well and good doctors in Turkey examining you down there - you won't see them again, but I know the practice nurse quite well and she is always taking blood samples and such for my diabetic checks etc.  However she was quite sweet about it all and helped put me at ease.
My tummy wouldn't stop rumbling though all the way through the removal process and in some ways this made it easier as we had a laugh about what my tummy was trying to vocalise lol.
Still it is all over now and she said that everything looks good and is healing fine.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Surprise, Surprise :)

Just measured my new tummy first thing this morning - and I am extremely pleased to report that my waistline is a trim 27" (down from 32") - and there is still a little bit of swelling still there.
Thank you Dr. Ergin xxx

Friday, 19 October 2012

My Review of Comfort Zone Cosmetic Surgery

I have just completed my initial review of Comfort Zone Cosmetic Surgery which you can find in the pages section in the right hand panel of the page - or by clicking here.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Journey Home

The old and the new in Istanbul
I didn't sleep very well last night and I didn't want to take a sleeping tablet, just in case I overslept and had to rush around and possibly miss my flight.  I must have dozed off at around 4 am though as the Imam woke me up with his call to prayer.  I felt a bit down about leaving - not only the weather and what the surgeries have accomplished, but I will really miss the companionship of the lovely Clare and the mad Ukrainian woman, Allah.  She's not mad really, but just crazy in the loveliest sense of the word.
Finished my packing and went to say bye bye to Mischoo and her sister, who I christened Tishchoo - she's practically identical except in the eyes and she is quite a bit smaller than Mischoo - and very timid, although she was taking food from my hand towards the end.
Clare knew that I loved the bracelet she had bought from the Grand Bazaar - and because I hadn't been able to go because of the delays the day before - she surprised me when she came down for breakfast as she said that she wanted me to have it - and she would get another one when she went there next.  What a wonderful special person to do that.  Thank you Clare, it meant an awful lot to me.
Arrived at the airport in plenty of time, that's the worst thing about flying - all the hanging around and then the only really exciting bits are the take off and landing.  It was hot and boring on the plane (which was full) and we landed at Luton at around 2:50 pm (UK time).  After going through Customs and collecting my luggage, I caught the shuttle bus that runs to the Long Stay Car Park and collected my car and then the long drive home back to Torquay.  When I got home it was raining quite heavily and COLD, almost turned the car round and drove back to Luton lol
Tummy and hair are fine but I have to see my GP early next week for him to remove the stitches - not looking forward to that one little bit.
Right, I'd better go and unpack some of my stuff and sort out the things for the washing machine tomorrow - back to reality with a bump.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Last Day

Scorching hot last day today which is turning out to be a bit of a farce. Engin was going to pick us all up at 10:30 am to go to the hospital, but ended up coming at 11:45 and then told me that the surgeon couldn't fit me in until this afternoon - so my intended last day shopping spree has disappeared up in smoke.
However here is a photograph of the wonderful Allah, the Ukrainian lady who looked after all the guests here, cooking all our meals, cleaning our rooms and doing any washing that we needed doing.
I will start packing some of my stuff in a moment in readiness for leaving early tomorrow morning (I will have to be out of the apartment by 9 am in order to get to the airport by around 10:30 to 11 am.  My flight back to the UK is at 12:45, so should be back in the UK by around 3pm (UK time), then the long car trip back to Torquay.
Finally went to see the two surgeons at 4pm and Claire met me at the Estethica Hospital - had a sandwich and a cup of cappuccino before going in to see the surgeons.  The first one was the surgeon who did the labiaplasty and he said it looks far better than it did before so I am really pleased about that and then I saw Dr Ergin (the surgeon who did my tummy)
He was very pleased with how it is healing.  Both of them prescribed some ointments for application afterwards.  I have to see my GP when I get back to the UK as I have a mixture of dissoluble and non dissoluble ones.
Next followed a comedy regime when Claire and myself caught a taxi to meet up with Engin. He drove us a quarter of a mile and then stopped in front of a taxi kiosk, got out and was in consultation with 5 other taxi drivers as to the location he was supposed to be taking us.  In the end we had to transfer into another taxi who drove us to the general vicinity and then he had to ask another driver for final directions whilst we were in a traffic jam.  Claire and myself were laughing our heads off at the Monty Pythonesque  of it all.
Engin met us at the clinic and then took us both out for a meal as it was my last night there.
Claire and I then went back to the apartment and we sat chatting  together until just turned 10 o'clock before we decided to turn in for the night.  Engin just popped in to give me my medications to take home with me. 

I really will miss Claire when I return home as she was really lovely and a genuinely nice person to know, in fact I will miss all of them, but Engin told me if I ever fancy a short break, then they would love me to come back and spend a few days with them as they will all miss my company too - and he really meant it, so who knows, maybe in a few moths time when I am sick of the English winter I might pop back to Turkey for a week to renew my friendships that I have made here.
This is me then, signing off from Turkey - a separate review will follow shortly xxx

Monday, 15 October 2012

Day 5 Post Op

Took another sleeping tablet last night and again slept like a log until about 7:45 am.  Took my restraining band off and finally got into the shower - pure bliss, I must have been in there at least 20 mins luxuriating in the flow of clean fresh water washing over my body.  Came out feeling fresh and alive and still marvelling at my new tummy, it's incredible, no bulge any more, just a beautiful flat tummy.
Went down to breakfast with a smiling Alla - saved some of my omelette for Mischoo (who seemed to love the bits of tomato ketchup still left on part of it.  It was a little cloudy when I got up, but the sun has soon chased those clouds away and it is glorious sunshine once again.  I love it here.  I plan to go down to the bazaar later on this morning as Diane told me that there is some beautiful jewellery down there - but she warned me that the vendors do expect to haggle over prices, as they seem to enjoy that here.
Went to try and find the bazaar, but it was either closed or I had got lost, but I had a nice walk round the many beautiful small shops in the town, but decided against buying anything until I have had a chance to visit the bazaar.  Must ask Engin where it is again.  Fruit has been not available since I got here, so bought a large bunch of grapes on my way back to the apartment - about twice the size of what you can buy in Sainsbury's for about 60 pence.
Clare was back from her weekend break with her boyfriend (with a sparkle back in her eyes lol).  In the end it was just far too hot to sit out on the patio - must be reaching 30ºC out there at the moment, so dreading coming back to the UK a day after tomorrow, just 1½ days left to go, can't believe it has passed so quickly.
Engin later informed me that the bazaar is only open on a Sunday (so I can either stay and have some more surgery and go to the market on Sunday or give up on the idea.
Lisa's nose job did look terrific - hmmmmmm (lol)
The new people from Switzerland arrived this afternoon (a brother and sister) to have their rhinoplasties done - this will probably be the last time that I see them this evening as they will be in the hospital tomorrow and I leave the day afterwards - shame as they seem to be fun people.  Another married couple are arriving this evening for slim lipo, so I will probably get to know them far less - although we will probably travel to the hospital together tomorrow when I will have my final consultation with the surgeon

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Day 4 Post Op

Took a sleeping tablet last night - and after 10 mins I was fast asleep and didn't remember a thing until I woke up (with a clear head) at 8 am this morning.  A day of rest and relaxation.  Engin mentioned that Diane and Lisa were going back to the hospital this evening for their last post operative checkups, so I asked him if I could go along as well as the liquid from the drain tubes was running a pale straw colour this morning and he said it would be fine for me to go as well.
The traffic was the worst I have yet seen in Istanbul - it took us 2½ hours to get there.  I swear that I will never EVER complain about traffic jams on the Newton Road again lol.
The surgeon had a look and said that I was healing extremely well and that that he was happy to remove the drains for me (YAY!!!!) and I had a good look at what he had done to my tummy - it is AMAZING!!!!!!!  All the ripples and pock marks were gone and the incision lines are well below my pantie line (except for one small vertical line running up from the tummy tuck button where he had removed my old belly button and sutured it closed - yes, he must have removed a tremendous amount of skin).  My new tummy was flat and smooth as a sheet of glass and he said it would improve a lot more over the next 6 to 8 weeks once the swelling had gone.  To say I am thrilled must be the understatement of the year.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Day 3 Post Op

View from my apartment window today
Good morning from a gloriously hot and sunny Istanbul in Turkey.  Already around 25ºC and forecast to rise to around 30ºC for today until Wednesday when I leave on my flight back to the UK.  I didn't sleep very well last night, not because of any pain from the operation sites, just a bit of back ache from having to sleep on my back all this time.  Got up at about 4am for an hour then back to bed and I then slept through until around 8am - even the Imam's call to prayer failed to wake me lol.
Finally able to get my wig back on and Alla greeted me with a "Beautiful" comment and a broad smile - and then proceeded to take photographs of me during breakfast.  I have noticed that she does this with people that she likes and doesn't bother to do so with people that she doesn't really care for, so I must be in her good books for some reason.
Had a peek at my labiaplasty this morning, but can't really see what the effect is as it's covered in plasters at the moment and I haven't really seen what the tummy tuck is like at the moment as I have to keep this elasticated "waspie" on at all times day and night - so I can't even shower at the moment.  I hope the surgeon gives me the OK to shower on Monday otherwise I will be sat alone on the plane on Wednesday.  More Later

Friday, 12 October 2012

Day 2 - Post op

Another view of my room
Woke this morning at around 6am with the Imam blaring out his song beckoning the faithful to prayer - couldn't get back to sleep so got up and washed as best I could (no showers yet unfortunately).  No pain at all except for when I use my tummy muscles - and even that isn't as bad as it was yesterday, except for when a sudden sneeze caught me out - and that was painful.
Went down to breakfast and to say bye bye to Lee who is leaving today (he is on the same time flight back to Luton as I am next Wednesday).  Had breakfast then sat out on the patio in the glorious sunshine having a chat with Claire until it was time for her to leave to go to the clinic to collect a patient who had had her liposuction the day before.  I haven't met her yet as she arrived the day that I was having my procedures done.
Back in my room now as the surgeon said it was important for me to rest as much as possible - more to follow later.
I was sorting through some of my clothes to wash and Alla (the lady who does the cooking and cleaning at the apartments) bustled in took them off me and said (in Turkish or Ukrainian, don't know which) something to the tune of, "That's my job" and off she went to wash them for me.  She's really quite lovely  - although she does tend to tease us about Mischoo (the kitten) calling her "Barbiecue" lol.  Feeling more able now as I have just got off my bed without the terrible pain that I had doing that yesterday, so things must be healing up down there quite rapidly, which augurs well for a complete recovery.  Apparently I won't see the results for at least a couple of months as there tends to be a fair amount of swelling and water retention for the first couple of months.  I will see both the surgeons on Monday for my post operative follow up and hopefully he will remove the drains at that time - at the moment I am walking round with what I have called my "puppy" - a small plastic bottle which contains the drain fluids - and this is running clearer now.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Following morning

My room - Como
I slept fitfully off and on until around 3:30am and I then asked the nurse if she could give me a sleeping tablet, she arrived with a needle and syringe which she said contained a pain killer and a sedative - and proceeded to inject it into my thigh.  Afterwards, I did manage to sleep until around 6:30am when they brought me my breakfast - a light salad with some goat's cheese and olives (yuck) and a cup of black tea.  Afterwards I went into my bathroom and had a good wash and freshen up - and immediately started feeling a lot better.  The nurse removed the saline/glucose drip and said that I didn't need it plugging back onto the cannula again - so I also went for a walk round to get my circulation moving again.
Compared with Peru, these rooms are sheer luxury, reasonably comfortable beds, plenty of locker space, wi-fi. The rooms also have an upper deck where friends or relatives can stay with you for company during your stay.  The nursing staff are also first class and respond immediately to the buzzer if you press it - even in the middle of the night - in Peru it was pot luck if they came to you within 30 mins
I am not in any real pain except for if I use my tummy muscles (which is for practically everything that I do I have just found out lol).
I am now just hanging about waiting for the surgeons to arrive and see if they will discharge me.

 Ozzie came to pick me up and it was a full car as Diane, Lisa, Lee had come to the clinic for their checkups, the traffic (as per usual in Istanbul) was a nightmare.  Ozzie tries to be so gentle when he is driving - especially when he is carrying patients who have had tummy surgery, he manoeuvres over speed bumps at about 1 mph so as not to create a jolt in us.
Had the funniest hair wash last night imaginable - I first sprayed the special foam on my head and left it for an hour as instructed.  Claire had volunteered to wash it for me because I am not supposed to stretch in any way..  We went into the large bathroom as it would have been difficult in mine and Claire worked out that the best way to do it was for her to get into the bath (it is a huge bath) and for me to hang my head over the side whilst she washed it.  So poor Claire is there getting her jeans soaking wet from the splashes - it was quite comical really - but at least it got the job done

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Day of the surgeries

Estethica Hospital/Clinic
The alarm clock on my phone woke me at 5:30 am time for a leisurely shower and wash my slowly growing hair and then get ready and pack the things that I am taking with me to the hospital.  I was actually ready far too early and had to wait for 35 mins for Engin to arrive.  Clare came down to join us, which I was glad of as she could understand how I am feeling and if I needed any personal stuff doing - at least it  would be another woman there to help me.  I was feeling quite nervous by now - which wasn't helped by the fact I was nil by mouth from the previous evening.
After arriving at the hospital, I was quickly ushered to my beautiful private room - where a nurse was there to greet me and help me get changed into my hospital gown.  A nurse bravely tried to find a vein so she could insert the cannula - in the end, as per usual it was inserted into a vein on my wrist.  I hate it there and when Claire saw my rising panic, she just grabbed my hand and said "look at me, not what she is doing".  I then remember being wheeled out of my room and saying "bye bye" to Clare  then I must have dozed off and the next thing was waking up in my room again.  I dozed fitfully for about 3 hours and then Engin and Clare popped in to see me and make sure that I was OK - Engin told me that I had been in theatre for over 4 hours and that both surgeons were happy with the outcome of their surgeries.
Unfortunately, I am trussed up in a very tight corset type of garment at the moment and this will have to stay in place for another week so I cannot see my tummy or the results of my labial reconstruction.
I dozed on and off throughout the rest of the day - not in any real pain unless I try and sit up and later on this evening I did manage to go to the loo with the help of two nurses.
I am feeling tired now, just wanted to reassure my friends who are following this blog that I am fine - will update this tomorrow after I have had some more sleep

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Hectic Morning

I was due to go and see the gynaecologist this morning, but the wind slammed the door to my room shut earlier on and dropped the catch down - so I couldn't get back into my room - and nobody could find the key.  It could only happen to me lol. 
We had to get a handyman in to climb into my room and let me back in so I could get ready to see him.  I wanted to see the gynaecologist about labial tightening and the first one that I saw could not perform the operation but he spoke to another plastic surgeon/gynaecologist, explained exactly what was needed and then Engin drove me round to see him.  Another session in the stirrups with the spot light concentrated on my genitalia and this time, this one said it was a relatively easy procedure to do and he was prepared to do it at the same time as my tummy tuck tomorrow..
The only unfortunate bit was yesterday when the tummy specialist confirmed that he could not use my excess fat to give me wider hips - as I am not carrying any spare fat, it is just the surplus skin that I had developed when I had been so overweight 4 years ago - but hopefully, I will now get my 24 to 25" waistline and a much better figure overall.
Thankfully Claire had come along with us so it was a lot easier for me as we could have a bit of a laugh about it -which certainly helped ease the embarrassment that I was feeling.

Well, it's 10:30 PM Turkish time, and I am all prepped, shaven in all the right places (ouch) and ready for my big day tomorrow.  Time for bobo's I think as I have to be up at 5:30 am as Engin is taking me to the hospital at 6:45am I am apparently the first one on the list so at least I will not be waiting around all day long like I was in Peru.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Abdominoplasty Consultation Day

Quite cloudy when I got up this morning and much cooler than it has been.  I will be having my consultation about my abdominoplasty with the surgeon very early this afternoon.  Sat talking to Claire in the garden for most of the morning just relaxing chatting about home and things that have happened in our lives.  Took a few photos of Mischoo (our resident kitten) that has seemed to adopt the apartments as her home.  She is so cute and loves human company and makes a fuss of us when we are out on the patio - morning, evening or night.  I have attached some photographs of her as a separate page which you can see here
At lunchtime a few of us travelled to the clinic where I had my consultations with various surgeons and the abdomino plasty surgeon told me that he could achieve the result that I wanted - without cutting into the back, he said he could achieve the back by doing a bit of liposuction at the back to lose my 'wings' - so I then went for my bloods, ecg and all the other tests - which came out satisfactorily, so it is full steam ahead for Wednesday at the Estethica Hospital (I had hoped for Tuesday, but he is busy then).  At the same time I might be having some Restylane fillers and my top lip filled - and I also might be having some other surgery (depending on the cost).

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Hair Wash Day

Engin outside the Hair Transplant Clinic
We had a guy from the USA join us last night called André and although he was a little shy at first joining us round the table after dinner, Engin persuaded him to join us and he is quite a character.
Engin called round shortly after breakfast to take me and André to the hair transplant clinic, André for his transplants - and me to have my hair washed and have the surgical cap that I had been wearing removed.
I was greeted like an old friend by the team when I got there, they really are kind and lovely people.
They first sprayed some foam onto my head which was left on for about an hour - this was to soften up the scabs so that they would not pull at the transplants when the hair was washed, then one of the team washed my head (pure bliss) and showed me what I had to do for the next few weeks when I washed my hair.
Afterwards, Engin drove me back and suggested that we meet up with a couple of the other girls who were out shopping - and took us to a new open air restaurant where we relaxed with a lovely cup of cappuccino and a delicious dark chocolate gateau.  Might as well give the surgeon something to work on for my tummy tuck as it will be my last piece of cake for a long time to come lol
Then back to the apartment where I finally had a chance to talk to the other lady who had had her tummy tuck on Thursday.  She said it was fine, although she had not had a chance to have a real look at it yet because of the corset which she had to wear, but she said that she wasn't suffering from any pain and was looking forward to seeing the result after the initial swelling had gone down.  She still had her drains in at the moment though as well.

My new friends Tracey and Jody departed back to London later on in the afternoon, feel rather sad at them going for they certainly added a sparkle to the visit here.  Have a safe flight the two of you - missing you already!

Saturday, 6 October 2012

I can't wait to be able to get something on my head

Spent a pleasant evening last night sat in the gardens talking to Tracey and Jody, they really are a mad pair (but absolutely delightful company).  Jody went to bed around midnight and I stayed up chatting to Tracey for a further 30 mins before I turned in.
This morning got up at around 7am - beautifully warm and sunny again.  Tracey is off to have her final teeth veneers and bridge work done later this morning and then they will both be off home tomorrow.  The two young girls who had their boob jobs left for home at 5am this morning and Tracey and Jody will be leaving on Sunday - which is a shame as I will miss their company.
Jody came down for breakfast just after I started mine and Tracey joined us later (a bit hung over from last night lol)
There will 3 new people arriving over the weekend - 1 man and two other women, so I hope they will be pleasant company too

Friday, 5 October 2012

Transplant Day

The transplant team
We had to get to the clinic at around 9:30 to 10 am on the Thursday morning, so I set my alarm clock on my mobile phone to go off at 7:30am - sufficient time I thought to have a shower, get dressed and have breakfast before leaving.  I did wake up at around 5:30am, but decided to go back to bed - despite it being light at that time.  I dozed for another hour, got up and then decided it was still too early to get up.  I was woken a short while later by a knock on the door saying it was 8:30 - I looked at my mobile and it said it was only 6:30 am - I HAD FORGOTTEN TO  PUT IT FORWARDS BY 2 HOURS BECAUSE O F THE TIME DIFFERENCE - DOH!!!!!!
Panic stations - quick shower and got ready - I had been left strict instructions that I had to have a big breakfast in preparation for the long surgery ahead.  My driver waited patiently for me to finish and then off to the clinic for my hair.
The staff were waiting for me when I arrived, but wanted my nerves to settle before everything started so we sat around a table with tea and chatted for 15 mins before I was ushered into the operating room.  The doctor gave me an injection into my hip to completely relax me and then waited a few mins before starting the injections into my scalp to numb me, it was a completely painless procedure.
Two of them then started removing the follicular grafts whilst the two others prepared the grafts for the later transplants into the thinning areas.  The doctor also suggested that I use some of the implants to round off the hairline to give it a more feminine contour, so I agreed to this.
After about 4 hours all the grafts had been removed so we adjourned for lunch lol (I do find this quite comical on reflection) - then it was back onto the operating chair for the graft sites to be prepared and then all he grafts were carefully placed into the sites.  Then it was time for a coffee and some cake (fortified with various minerals) and then time to say thank you and farewells.
Because I had previously had some 'punch' grafts done in the ealy 1980's, unfortunately they were only able to perform 2940 grafts instead of the 3,500 planned, but she assured me that it would be sufficient for me.
The only drawback is that I cannot wear the wig for another 10 days and as I had had my head shaved I was going to have to do a Sigourney Weaver and walk around for the next 10 days bald.  Oh well, if that is the price of having a full head of hair in the future, then it is a price worth paying.
When I went down to dinner that evening (dreading the reaction as you can imagine) the other girls were absolutely fine about it - very sympathetic and also interested in what had been involved.  By that time a slight headache was coming on on so I decided to retire for the night as I had been instructed that I had to lie down as much as possible over the next two days.
I did a little bit of updating my friends on the internet and then went to bed although I slept fitfully throughout the night, plagued by a mid headache.  The following morning (today) I woke up and the headache was gone, no pain at all - but just a slight swelling.  Engin came later after breakfast and removed the dressings and now I am just resting on my bed writing up my experiences to my blog.

The Apartment

Rear of the building showing patio and garden
The apartment where I am staying is a modern 3 story building in a new development about 30 mins drive away from Istanbul.  There are about 6 other girls staying there at the moment, all having various procedures ranging from tummy tucks, dental work and both breast reduction and enhancement surgeries.  There is a large communal lounge and a dining room where we are served our meals (yes, the treatments include the accommodation and all meals).  I have a large room with its own bathroom and shower, other rooms have a smaller room, but with a nice balcony - but no bathroom (but there is a shared bathroom that they use).
When I arrived, all the others had already had their lunch, but the Ukrainian woman who does the cooking and cleaning, prepared me a lovely lunch and then it was time to unpack, have a shower and have a talk with Engin about what was happening.
I then had a rest until about 8pm and went to join the other girls round the large dining room table for our dinner.  Engin mentioned that I had to dye my hair in preparation for the transplants and he had bought some hair colour for me and  Tracey mentioned that she was a hairdresser and would be pleased to do it for me.  Some of the them went back to their rooms as they were having early treatments the following day but I went out into the gardens with two of the others (a mad pair from Kent called Tracey and Jo) where we chatted for a while and then Tracey came up to my room to dye my hair a rich reddish brown colour.  We then went back out and stayed there chatting until around midnight.  They certainly are a bit of a one offs, both of them.
More images of the apartment can be viewed here .

Panic at Istanbul Airport

After touching down, going through Customs and Immigration, collecting my luggage and saying farewell to my travelling companions, I went out to the Reception area hoping to see my driver who was collecting me from the airport.  Nobody there with a placard with my name on it - but no panic as the flight had arrived 15 mins earlier than expected.  So I waited, and waited ................ and waited.  After 30 mins I was beginning to get worried, so I approached a woman in an information kiosk and asked her if she spoke English - she did (a little) so I asked her if she could find me the telephone number of the clinic, which she did and I tried to phone, but couldn't get a reply.
I then asked at one of the kiosks (where they had computers) if I could use one to Google the clinic - and I sent a message to the clinic saying that I had arrived, but there was no sign of a driver.
I then went outside to have a cigarette and two young Turkish guys approached me rather purposefully - fortunately they only wanted a light for their cigarettes lol.
There was a guy there who was in charge of the taxis who fortunately spoke a little English and I was contemplating getting a taxi to the clinic and I explained the situation to him.  He asked me if I had the telephone number of the clinic and he then phoned them for me - and with a smile he said "Five minutes" Wondering what the hell was going to happen to me in five minutes, it was with some relief that a man approached about 3 mins later with my name on a placard.
He drove me to the clinic that Engin uses for anybody undergoing hair transplants where I met Engin and he apologised profusely for the mix up at the airport and then I met the transplant team - all women and although only the surgeon herself spoke English, the other members of her team were warm and friendly.  After she explained the procedure, she asked me if I could dye my hair to make it easier for the team to perform the preparation of the hair and follicle for each individual transplant.  The surgery was set up for the following day and then Engin drove me back to the apartment - which as a long trip through a traffic congested Istanbul to the complex of apartments on the other side of Istanbul where I would be staying for the next fortnight.

Travel and flight to Turkey

It was a hectic couple of days before I travelled to Turkey - first dashing round getting some last minute shopping done after all the girls went home after their weekend in Torquay - and collecting the Turkish Lira that I had pre-ordered.  Then I had an evening duty on the telephone on the Monday and another training session on the Tuesday evening.  Dashed home from that before doing my final packing, then everything loaded into the car to start the 230 mile drive to Luton airport.
Then the inevitable 2 to 3 hour wait before boarding the aircraft and a safe and interesting flight to Istanbul airport.  I was sitting next to a woman of about 50 and her son who were having a short 5 day visit to Istanbul and we spent the whole flight engaged in a nice bit of chatting - talking about what she was going to be doing and the various places she was planning to visit.  Before we knew it we were touching down in Istanbul - and boy was it hot after leaving the UK

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Six Days To Go

Can't quite believe that in just six days time I will be on board my Easyjet flight to Istanbul in Turkey for my abdominoplasty and my FUE hair transplants.
Everything is now paid for, just got to find my passport, arrange for some foreign exchange money and then everything will be ready (except for my packing) - and that will be hectic as I have arranged for a T-Girls Weekend this coming weekend in my home town.  This will be an inaugural meeting and although twelve people will be attending from all over the UK, many more wanted to attend but could not do so because of prior committments - provided that they don't wreck the town, I will be arranging another one for next year which should attract 20 to 25 people.  Hopefully everybody will have fun and make it a rip-roaring success.

Friday, 14 September 2012

"Trans" - A powerful documentary about trans people

Trans is an award winning movie produced by Mark Schoen. This full length documentary film has won many accolades for its sensitive portrayal of the lives of people who are transgender. The video can be purchased on DVD by the producers of the movie - this is the trailer.  I have now bought the PAL version of this movie on DVD and it really is compelling viewing for anybody who is trans or who might benefit from seeing it.  Whilst shocking in parts, it was also tremendously empowering in other ways and left me being proud of who I am and the person that I became.You can view the preview of the video in my video section here.If you have seen the video preview and would like to purchase a copy you can do so by visiting the distributors web site here.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Now booked for my abdominoplasty and hair transplants in Istanbul, Turkey

 I have now booked for my additional surgeries for my full abdominoplasty and hair transplants (FUE technique) at Comfort Zone Cosmetic Surgery, Istanbul in Turkey.  I cannot fault their customer service at this point in time - I sent them an email with my initial enquiry at 10am on Monday morning and a few minutes later a gentleman called Engin telephoned me back thanking me for my enquiry and went on to describe their modus operandi in perfect English.  He said he would email me some images and further information and 5 mins later, the email he had promised me arrived on my desktop.  I further made some enquiries about the other types of surgeries that they perform and he always came back to me within the space of about 5 or 10 mins (except for one enquiry which I sent him early one evening - it would have been about 8:30pm local time in Turkey - and the response was a little slower, understandably, but still arrived on my desktop within the hour.

Comfort Zone Clinic - Interior
Comfort Zone Clinic - Exterior

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Looks like my trip back to Peru is no longer on

In March, just before I left Peru, Nikky examined my face and said "Miss Carol, when you return for your abdominoplasty and hair - I will give you a blepharoplasty".  I imagined this was because I had seemed to have paid substantially more than other patients who had similar treatments (or much greater treatments) at the same time - and more than some who followed later.
When I emailed Nikky about this, she now says that this is not possible and I will now have to pay an extra $1,300.  With these broken promises in mind I am now looking elsewhere and think I have come up with a better solution at a lower cost to what Nikky is offering.
More will follow later.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Ready to book my flight back to Peru

I'm now in the process of booking my final set of surgeries - full abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) and some hair grafts - and waiting for Nikky to confirm that the surgeons who will be doing these procedures will be available in mid November.  Once she has confirmed this I will book my flights.
I will be updating my blog about these procedures as they happen.  More information about the abdominoplasty surgery can be found on the Femilife website here

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Trans is an award winning movie produced by Mark Schoen. This full length documentary film has won many accolades for its sensitive portrayal of the lives of people who are transgender. The video can be purchased on DVD by the producers of the movie (at the moment in NTSC format, but being released in a weeks time in PAL format next week (for the UK and other European countries)- the trailer can be viewed on my video page here

Saturday, 30 June 2012

My FFS Results

Well, after several attempts, I was finally able to go and get my photographs done and I hope that you like the results that Dr. Pimental was able to achieve.  You can see the results here - but here are a few small previews:-

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Sometimes the media really are trash

Reveal front Cover - click to enlarge
The article was written by Boudicca Fox-Leonard, although it might not have been her that wrote the offensive remark on the front cover, that might have been done by a headline writer, a sub-editor or even the editor.  Boudicca Fox-Leonard is a senior features writer with Reveal and not a freelance journalist as previously mentioned - my sincere apologies for that mistake.  However, knowing this might make it worse as she must bear some of the responsibility for how her article was portrayed.

As she carries on with her life, she is probably totally unaware of the devastation that she leaves in her wake. This just encourages all those transphobic idiots out there to carry on with their bigoted and offensive comments.

OK, it is bad enough for us adults - but does she ever wonder what it does to young transgender children who are transitioning and are battling hurtful, stupid, spiteful comments from adults at the gates of the schools that they are attending which is then passed down to their own children and so the bullying continues throughout their school day.  I just wish all of them had to walk just 10 yards in those transgender children's shoes - see if they could stand their pain, the humiliating and degrading comments, they would wilt, run and hide after just a couple of paces.

The trouble with most of these fly by night journalists is that they have no conscience and are just happy to collect their pieces of silver without a thought or any idea of the trouble they leave in their wake - including self mutilations and even suicides.

What we do is not a lifestyle choice, it is a necessity for us to be able to live at all.

The magazine did publish a very weak apology on their Facebook page - put not for making the remarks, but for offending a few of us.  If you would like to add your own comments regarding this, you can do so by clicking on the link here

Friday, 13 April 2012


If anybody would like to take part in a very small, completely anonymous, survey about how you came out to your parents I would be grateful if you would take part in it.  The results might help those struggling with what is the best way to inform them.
For more information please see my separate page "Transgender: Telling Your Parents"

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Congratulations to Nikky on the opening of her new offices

Consultation area of Femilife's new offices
Nikky Sanchez, the owner and founder of Femilife, Peru has opened her new and beautiful office suite overlooking the Parqué Central de Miraflores in a prestigious area of this thriving and beautiful city.
Entrance to the Parqué Central de Miraflores (Femilife's offices are just out of image on the left)
This is where the surgeons will come to see Femilife's clients for their pre and post operative consultations and is located close to where most of the apartments which Femilife uses to accommodate its clients during their stay in Lima.
180º panorama image taken in the Parqué Central de Miraflores
It is in an area of the city which I felt completely safe in, both during the day and the night

More images of Femilife's new offices below:-
Click on any of the images to see a larger version of that image

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Comments from other neighbours

I happened to bump into another neighbour yesterday - I had decided to wear a new wig for the first time since I got back and I don't normally wear wigs - and she initially said that she loved my new hair style lol and that it made me look completely different, then she said that it really suited me as it made me look years younger (she has no idea why I had gone to Peru). I told her that it was probably my new teeth that also made me look a little different and she said that she had noticed that I had a much nicer smile. So it is quite strange really, those people who do not know why I went all make the comments that I look so much younger and fresher (yet they seemingly cannot work out why - until I give them a plausible, but different reason), which they seem to accept without further questioning.  I suppose I was also fortunate in that I was away for almost 2 months, which gives people's mental image of you time to get a little blurry and they know something is radically different but simply don't know the reason why your new appearance doesn't quite fit with the old fuzzy mental image they have of you.
So, perhaps if you are going for your FFS and don't want people to know what you are having done, do something radically different with your hair, change the colour , change the style and people will seemingly put your new face down to your new hair style/colour.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Comments from closest friends

Went out for lunch today with my two closest friends and as promised, they gave me their honest appraisal of the results of my surgeries.
They were both absolutely amazed and so pleased for me, especially the results from the face/neck lifts and the difference to my eyes, both of them loving the look which the surgeries had given me, saying I looked so much fresher and younger.  I didn't ask them if it made me look more feminine - it was not the sort of question to ask in a crowded restaurant lol.
Sarah noticed the difference to my lips, but Barbara didn't (I just think she was agog at the results from the other surgeries lol).  Barbara loved the effect which the brow surgery had given me, which opened my eyes completely - and now wants to know  which eye makeup I am using so she can do hers in a similar fashion, which I thought was a huge compliment to myself and also (indirectly) to the work that Dr. Pimentel had done.
Sarah also loved the dental work - and even jokingly asked would I bequeath them to her in any future will I made, which I thought was extremely funny (I'm still giggling now as I write this Sarah).
So am I pleased that I went to Femilife for my surgeries???  The answer has to be a resounding "YES" based upon the totally honest opinions of my two closest friends, it was very worth it.
I even celebrated by buying a new pair of shoes and a handbag to go with the new face (well any excuse is better than none).

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

First comment

It is strange how quickly you adapt to your new face and I don't think I have changed much, but I bumped into a neighbour yesterday who knew I was going to Peru, but not the reasons why and she remarked
"Wow Carol, you look amazing, the holiday has done you a power of good - you look a lot younger and fresher than before you left, you must have been working far too hard before"
This is exactly what I was hoping for, not a radical change so that people would not recognise me any more, just subtle changes that would make me look younger and more acceptable as a woman. I also think that because it was almost 2 months since she last saw me, it was more difficult for her to see the changes, it is not like she saw me the day previously and hence had a very recent mental image to compare me to.
I suppose the acid test will come next week when I go out for a meal with my closest friends (one of them is away at a tournament at the moment) and as they knew what I was going to Peru for, they will no doubt give me a totally honest opinion on the results, at least I hope they will.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Finally back home

Taken at Madrid airport of the plane I flew the final leg home in
Well, back home after an uneventful, but tiring trip back to the UK (except perhaps when I found I had ventured into a secure zone where I wasn't supposed to be and had to be escorted by an armed security guard who confiscated my passport until I had been through the security check point again for a complete sweep of both myself and my hand luggage). They must have ditzy blondes in Peru as well as he fortunately saw the funny side to it.
Finally got through my front door at half past midnight on Saturday morning.

God, it's freezing over here - have the CH turned up full blast just to keep warm.

My thanks to Dr. Pimentel, Nikky Sanchez, Dr. Cuevas and all the various other doctors and nurses who looked after me during my stay in your country.  I will treasure those memories forever.

.......... and last but not least, a special thanks to two of my best friends for the beautiful "Welcome Home" card which was waiting for me when I got in - made me completely teary eyed when I opened it xx

Thursday, 8 March 2012

I'm coming home

Went out this morning for a stroll down to the Larcomar shopping precinct and came back about noon to finish my packing and get changed into something more suitable for when I get back to the UK.  So, the suitcases are  all packed and ready to go, Nikky has just called in to say her goodbyes and Senor Carlos will be arriving in 1½ hours to take me to the airport.
So I'd best get this computer packed away and await for my driver

Day 5 of post laser treatment

The skin on my chin and top lip started peeling off yesterday and has been the same today.  The sides of the face have finally returned to normal as has the whole of the forehead and the top of my nose.  Still using plenty of the creams that Nikky gave me to help with the healing process - two lots of different creams applied liberally 3 times a day.
Had my consultation with the hair transplant specialist today and she was a lovely lady, although her English was the worst of all the doctors I have seen here, but Nikky, as always, was on hand to help with the translation.
Because I have very fine blonde hair, it turns out that I will need a larger number of follicles transplanted, she estimated around 4,000 (although she always does 10% more than she quotes for, because of the estimated 10% failure rate, but she said that would give me a full head of hair.
If I have it done when I return for my tummy tuck, I will have dye it brown otherwise it becomes difficult for her to separate all the different hairs and slice them into single follicular units - Oh well, there goes my blonde locks.
Night view from my apartment
As I am writing this, I am feeling a sense of sadness as I fly out in 24 hours on the long journey back to the UK.  Nikky has been a good friend to me whilst I have been here and because of that I will always be grateful to her and wish her well with her future and that of Femilife as well.  I might be able to get another post in before I depart but if I don't I will continue when I am back in the UK, so there might be a three day lapse before anything new is added to the blog.
Since I started writing this blog I have been contacted by many people who are either interested in having their FFS's done - or simply writing to tell me that they have found it interesting and I would like to thank them for taking the trouble of doing that.  There have been almost 3000 page views since I started the blog in January, just before I left the UK to come here, which to my mind has made the effort of doing it very rewarding.
Bye for now, and my thanks to Dr. Pimentel, Dr Cueva and Nikky Sanchez who all made this possible.
See you all back in the UK xxx

Monday, 5 March 2012

Day 3 of Post Laser Treatment

Yesterday, my face was still a little red, although more like sunburn, so it wasn't too bad but still felt like fine sandpaper.
View from the 12th floor
Today I had to get up early as I was changing apartments at 9 am so was up at 6 am to turn the heater on for my shower and then packed the rest of my things.  Showered, did my hair and face and the owner of the apartments came to help me move and showed me the new apartment.  It was actually Sophie's old apartment that I am in now, so I am fairly familiar with it.
My skin is much better this morning - the worst area had been the chin and the top lip area and this is now longer exhibiting the sandpaper syndrome and feels more like normal skin, but softer than it was previously.  Parts of my forehead are also returning to more normal skin type feeling, but the sides of my face and the top of my nose are still feeling a bit rough to the touch.  So hopefully, with another 3½ days to go before my flight back to the UK, everything should be back to normal.
Nikky will be calling round just before noon to take me to see the specialist who does the tummy tucks as I am sorely empted to have this done as well to get rid of all the stretch marks from when I slimmed down from 265 lbs to my present 135 lbs - I would then be able to wear a bikini again LOL.

 Just returned from my consultation with Dr. Villasis who again, is an absolutely charming man with a bright, happy smile and although his English was not as good as Dr. Pimentel's, he was perfectly understandable.  He explained what he could do to give me the smooth tummy I wanted, but also told me that my bulge was  due to the excess skin I had created during my fat period and that I had no fat left there now, just skin, so there was no need for liposuction.  No wonder it wasn't disappearing no matter what I ate or how much I exercised.  He explained thoroughly where he would cut and where the scar tissue would be, so I am happy with that as well.
Nikky will call round later this evening to give me a quote.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Day 1 Post Laser Treatment

I awoke about 5 am this morning with my face on fire so I got up and had a look and it was swollen and very red - like as if I had been out in the sun all day without a sun block on.  I applied an ice pack for about 20 mins and let the heat dissipate from my face and then went back to bed.  Woke up at 8 am again and it felt tight but not painful - and the skin now feels odd like it did last time - like fine sandpaper, so if my last treatment is anything to go by, it should return to normal in about about a week's time.
For a fuller understanding on how the fractional CO2 laser treatment works, please see here.
I will be going to see Dr. Pimentel later for what might be my last visit to him before I leave for home.

I saw Dr. Pimentel and he removed the remainder of the stitches, except those inside my mouth which he said would dissolve in the next month or two.   He also recommended that I have a further one or two laser peels once I am back in UK in order to get the maximum effect from the treatments which I have had, so I might have another one and then a further one next year when I am back in Peru.
Me encanta Perú

Final Laser Skin Resurfacing This Evening

Well the dreaded day has arrived - well evening really as Nikky picked me up at 6 pm to take me to Medi Esthetic for my final CO2 laser skin resurfacing treatment.  After a wait, I was shown into one of the many treatment rooms where a young technician cleansed my face and then applied liberal amounts of the anaesthetic cream to my face and then left me for about 20 mins for it to take effect.  Nikky left at that time as she had to go and see another client.  I was then asked to change rooms to where the fractionating CO2 laser was situated and then the doctor came in and started the treatment.
He started at pretty much the same strength as last time, but he was going over areas which only had fine lines  as he worked down towards my chin area, I noticed a perceptible change in the note that the machine was making - and a much more perceptible change in the amount of pain.  I almost jumped off the treatment table in shock, but gathered my nerves and signalled for him to continue, but it was nearing the threshold that I could take.  He went over the chin and lower cheek areas several times (about three I think) and then he tapped me on the shoulder, I opened my eyes and he softly said "Finito" with a broad smile  Thank goodness for that.
Unlike the previous session when the young technician applied a mask to my face and left me for about 30 mins, this time she tenderly kept wiping my face with a cool soothing liquid, and did it feel like heaven.  My face felt like it was on fire and swollen to the size of a melon, but after she had finished I went to the bathroom and checked and it was fine - just a little red and very slightly swollen.  I called Nikky to tell her I was ready for collection and she said that Senõr John would call to collect me and she would ring me when he arrived at the clinic.  About 30 mins later she called me to tell me that Senõr John was waiting outside for me and he took me back to my apartment.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Final Visit to Odontodigital Today

Went for what turns out to be my final visit to see Dr. Cueva at Odontodigital today.  After his usual warm greeting and a happy smile he set to work fitting all of the new lower crowns into place.  They look fabulous - no more crooked, worn teeth at the bottom now.
He also fitted to new upper denture into place and although I will still have to use dental glue for the time being, the upper teeth are just perfect.
For a full report see my separate page on Cosmetic Dentistry in Peru here.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Had my PRP Skin Rejuvenation Therapy Today

Nikky called to collect me at noon and took me to Medi Esthetic where I would have my PRP treatment.  Unfortunately I had to wait awhile until things were available for me to begin the treatment.  First I was escorted to a reasonably sized room and after removing my jewellery was asked to lie down on the treatment table for the technician to take my blood.  DOH!!! The poor lass couldn't find a vein (which is not unusual, I have been black and blue in the past when I have had to give blood samples as my veins lie quite deep  and everybody has difficulty taking samples).  After one attempt she gave up as she didn't want to do any damage and took me out from the clinic to another clinic specialising in blood tests, and a nice guy looked at my arms, laughed and nodded his head.  However, after a few minutes of tapping and hand clenching he did find one and managed to get enough blood out of me for the treatment.

After arrival back in the Medi Esthetic, I was taken back to the room and lay down for a while until another young girl entered and proceeded to apply an anaesthetic lotion to my face in the areas which were to be treated.  I then waited for about a further 10 mins for the lotion to take effect and another young girl came in to actually give the injections of my platelets back into my face.  Was it painful??  No not really, unpleasant in some areas (and nowhere near what I feared it would be on my top lip) but completely OK in other areas.  I have certainly experienced far worse sessions of electrolysis.  I did feel very swollen though afterwards but she returned and proceeded to dab my face with something which cooled my face down very quickly and that was that - the treatment was finished and I was free to go.

I called Nikky and she returned about 15 or 20 minutes later to collect me and take me back to my apartment.  After about an hour back in the apartment, I did feel my face stinging a little (no doubt as the facial anaesthetic started to wear off), but nothing too painful and I didn't even need any painkillers to control it.

For a fuller explanation about what PRP Rejuvenation Therapy is, please see my separate page on this topic here.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Important Notice

Nikky has asked me to point out that because of a number of factors (surgeon too booked up, clinic availability, accommodation availability) it is very difficult to book your surgery at short notice.  It could be possible sometimes (say in the event that somebody had to postpone their surgery for reasons beyond their control), but generally she would need a minimum of 2 to 3 months notice of you wanting a particular date.

Elation - and disappointment

Malecón de la Reserva,  Miraflores,  Lima
Went to the clinic at lunchtime to see Dr. Pimentel and he removed all the remaining stitches and gave me the go ahead for the CO2 laser resurfacing and said that the dentist could start work on my upper teeth on Thursday.
In the late afternoon I went to my appointment with Dr. Cueva and he tried in the metal caps which now had the porcelain crowns attached, I was pleased with them, but Dr. Cueva thought that he could improve on the fitting and the aesthetics so he explained what needed doing and why to the dental technician who was also present at the consultation.  After going over things several times with her to make sure she understood what was required, he told me that the final fitting would be on Thursday morning.  He also told the technician how he wanted the upper denture modified and if it still didn't fit correctly at that point he would make some further impressions and have a new set made for me.
Taken in the Parqué Central
The disappointment came when Nikky said that I couldn't have the laser treatment tonight despite Dr. Pimentel giving the go ahead for treatment to start.  She will be calling round later to explain why.
Apparently it was because the doctor at Medi Esthetic didn't have any spare appointments this evening which is beyond Nikky's control - but on the recommendation of Dr. Pimentel, I will first have the Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) rejuvenation treatment which will be followed on Friday by the 2nd laser skin resurfacing treatment.
Nikky's new clinic will be situated close to the Parqué Central de Miraflores she told me, which is a beautiful location - see the picture on the right which was taken within the grounds of the park.  It is about a 10 minute walk from the apartment where I am staying - but Innperu (the company that owns the apartment where I am staying also has some apartment blocks closer to this location, so perhaps Nikky will be using those apartments in the future if there is availability at the time you book.
North entrance to the Parqué Central de Miraflores, Lima Peru, a haven of shade after a shopping trip

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Another hot and sunny day

180º Panorama of the Pacific Coastline at Miraflores, Lima, Peru
Tower on the cliff top
Another beautiful day with clear blue skies, so it was promising to be very hot.  I decided to go shopping again up near the Parqué Central and then returned via the Vivanda supermarket that I use to stock up on things and get some more fresh fruit.  I was still a bit restless after this so decided to have a walk down to the cliffs overlooking the beach at Miraflores (picture above) and have a wander round that area.
After I returned to my apartment, Nikky called round to see me and we had a really good long chat to discuss what would be happening in the next 11 days before I fly back to the UK.  Monday in particular promises to be quite hectic as I will go and see Dr. Pimentel for removal of more stitches and he will then decide if I can have my laser treatment.  Late afternoon I am going to see Dr. Cueva for the last (hopefully) trial fitting of the metal caps and the porcelain crowns - then, provided I was given the OK for the laser treatment, I will go to the clinic (Medi Esthetic) for the CO2 laser resurfacing treatment on my face. 
One interesting point came up during the conversation is that Femilife is finally hoping to open their own offices in about a months time.  Other than the actual surgeries themselves, this will be the venue for all consultations and Post-operative follow up meetings with the surgeons.  It will be situated within a short walk of the apartments which Nikky is using to accommodate her patients.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Visit to the Dentist's for a Trial Fitting

Popped into the dentist's this evening to see Dr. Cueva for the trial fitting of the metal caps for the teeth over which the porcelain crowns will be fitted.  They fitted perfectly and I now have to return on Monday for the trial fitting of both the metal and the porcelain.  If I am happy with what I see, then they go back to the lab for final adjustment and will be fitted permanently in place on Tuesday.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Second Review of Face/Neck Uplifts and Implants

Nikky called to collect me today to take me to see Dr. Pimentel for the second review and to start the removal of the stitches.  He is pleased with how it is going, but told me I still had to avoid wearing the upper denture because of the stitches inside my mouth.
The bruising on my chin is now rapidly fading and he thought I would be fine to restart the laser skin resurfacing work either Friday or Saturday, so all is set fair for everything to be done for when I beging my journey back to the UK.
A full report is in my diary about my FFS here.
Nikky also informed me that my appointment with Dr. Cueva was tomorrow (not next Wednesday as I thought) as the crowns were not quite ready for today (why does it take 3 weeks for them to be made on the NHS I wonder - I thought it was good to be just a week lol).
After I got back to my apartment, I decided to go for a walk round as last week I had spotted a little shopping mall away from the main tourist shops where they sold some really nice looking handbags - so I went back there and after a delightful 30 mins of looking over the wares and having a chat with the nice Peruvian lady who owned the 'stall' (for want of a better word - it was like a large recess in the wall with a canopy hanging out from the wall) I bought a really nice one for just 30 soles (about £7)