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