So, I'm finally doing it! Bought my ticket today,...
I went back and forth on doctors, almost made a deposit with Yili, she's great, but I really didn't like the idea of 5-6 surgeries per day, particularly because lipo on thinner patients is so much more difficult (or so they tell me) and requires more precision, and so, Baez it is. I like her work (not too many examples so far, but what I see looks good), she does only one patient a day, and she has been very responsive so far (albeit not very thorough in some responses, which seems to have more to do with English than anything else; I might switch to Spanish - mine is horrible, I learned it along the way, living in a Spanish-speaking country but I understand everything, so that might make it easier to communicate and get specific questions answered. However, I get a very good feeling from her, and feel comfortable with my choice.
About me - I've always been thin with a boyish figure, high muscle to fat ratio, 5'5'', and now 126ish lbs, which is about 10lbs more than my normal weight, and which I worked gain over the last 2 years. I'd like to gain a few more pounds, but I seem to have plateaued, and just keeping it at 126ish is sometimes a struggle.
I'm not looking for a huge bootie, just more of a womanly shape, small waist, and some hip/butt. My butt shape is ok looking straight at it, but from the side, it's kinda flat, or more like an inverted question mark - definitely not 'bubbly' :-/
I've tried squats and BBL workout and whatever I could come up with (I completed a 200-squats a day challenge last month, and guess what? yeah, no bootie! Thighs got stronger, but no bootie, and my form is purr-fect! I had sore glutes for a month, and nada!)
So, that's about it... I'll try to post some 'before' pictures, but more importantly, I plan to post 'after' pictures :)
10 pounds ago
I only hope I can regain the cellulite-free status after I'm all healed up and can return to my regular exercise regimen!
Thank you, Amazon!
Got my VitaMedica Recovery Support, anti-scar 'stick', boopy pillow, extra arnica, maxi dress (but omg, no way I'm wearing this after surgery, it's very body hugging... it'll be nice for 'later', to show off my new curves), protein powder, and other odds and ends. Got both the stomach and back board from The Pink Room (lol, they sent me a tape measure and a pink nail file as 'gifts', nice of them!).
I also ordered XS faja from The Pink Room, but I think I need to return it... I thought I'd bring an XS with me to DR, just in case, but, while Baez might be able to suck out a bunch of fat from my waist, stomach, love handles, I'm pretty sure she can't suck out my hip bones, and there's no way that thing is closing over my hip bones. How in the world do women fit into those?
Still waiting on some other stuff to arrive, and I'll make a Walmart run this weekend for pads, alcohol pads, gauze and other smaller items, and then I think I'll be ready... well, as ready as one can get. I don't think we ever feel fully ready, do we?
And I'm sick of eating... I did manage to pack on 2 more pounds, thank you very much Halloween and sitting on my ass (something I will miss for the next few months ;)
Camellia Recovery House
I've gone through a bunch of them, and in the end settled on the most expensive option, Armania, because quality of care is more important to me than saving some money. I mean, money's an issue, a big issue, but I'm going alone, and I need to return healthy and in one-piece, if for no other reason, then for my sister, who has stage 4 breast cancer (mom's stepping in while I'm in DR, but I'm the primary caregiver. And if anyone is wondering why I'm doing such an unnecessary procedure in this kind of situation, I'm doing it for both of us; I wasn't planning to do it this soon, but under the circumstances, it needs to happen sooner rather than later). So, top quality care was super-important to me.
Anyhow, a few nights ago, I read on one of the blogs (bsugirl) about RH owned by another RS sister, Camellia Recovery House; figuring I'd rather support one of our own, I messaged bsugirl, who was very helpful with the contact info (props girl, you rock!).
Well, let me tell you, I cannot believe that Camellia is not better known already!
Carli, the owner, is absolutely fabulous! She is very professional, responds to emails very promptly, answers all questions, sends more pictures on request (there are not many on the website), the home is new and looks very nice, and it's located in a good area, near US Embassy, and all that jazz. But, most importantly, you can really tell Carli's committed to giving top quality service, and that she cares about your post-op well-being. As a matter of fact, corresponding with her was such a positive experience that I don't mind making a deposit ($100) to confirm the reservation - some of you know that this was a deal-breaker for me with some other places, I'm not sending even $25 to another country sight-unseen (it's a matter of principle), but with Carli, I'm all, no problem, here's my deposit, let's confirm it.
(ok, let me elaborate on the 'matter of principle' - we all know that there are more beds in those RHs than the bodies to put in them... I think if we all went together at the same time, there'd still be some empty beds, right? So, while making a deposit to confirm, or giving a credit card number to hold a reservation (and charging one night stay for no-shows) would be totally acceptable, and especially if they are coming to pick you up at the airport, I object to the whole feeling of 'if you don't make a deposit, we might not have room for you' I've gotten from some others - not all, but some straight up told me that and others were more of a 'between the lines' thing.
Carli straight up told me she is very sparsely booked in November and has plenty of space for my dates (lol, basically told me I could probably pick which room I'd like to stay at), and that she requires a $100 deposit to confirm the reservation. No games, no pressure, no manipulations, it was straight up transparency and honesty, and so I'm happy to make a deposit because of it. I mean, we make deposits for our own piece of mind too (I'm actually still a little uneasy about Baez not requiring a deposit to confirm, but will just go with it), but I do object to feeling under pressure to confirm, and that there might not be space for me if I don't. Not so with Carli, and that honesty and transparency tells me a lot!)
It would have enjoyed the water-view over at Armenia, and the prices are the same, but, seriously, I'm going to DR for a major attack on my body, and to recover from it, not for the view, and everything about Carli and Camellia RH just feels right. I already feel well-taken care of, and I haven't even arrived yet :)
Anyhow, her website is CamelliaRecoveryHouse.com, check her out if you're still looking around/undecided. You can contact her from the website, or message me for email.
I'm sure I'll be reviewing/posting photos once I'm there, but for now, so far, seriously, highly recommended!
All Ready To Go
I think I might have overdone it on the 'supplies' - like, do I really need a laxative AND a stool softener? Do I really need both VitaMedica and MakeMeHeal vitamins? Pre-ops will probably go to waste/get used for other purposes, but I think it's ok to 'overdo' on the post-ops - can't hurt to take them longer than 14 days, right?
Two packages of protein powder, 4 boxes of meal replacement/protein bars (Atkins (yuck) and SouthBeach (semi-yuck), but they don't screw with my blood sugar), 2 boxes of instant oatmeal, an 8-pack of Ensure.
Maxi-pads, alcohol prep-pads, Hibiclens, wet wipes, scar stick, 2 different 'skin' recovery creams I get from Europe, one acts as a barrier, similar to silicone, but all natural (lol, I use them for face after laser treatments, but why should my butt be less important than my face? After all, I'm spending more on it then I ever did in one shot on my face!), a natural scar treatment lotion, Benadryl anti-itch cream, Diurex, Arnica gel, arnica pills (massive arnica pills, one from VitaMedica, 2 of those you get from Amazon that are 250 pills per bottle, but you have to take 16 of them a day (4x4)...I've already started taking them), foam, boppy pillow, stomach and back board, two pairs of compression socks (they don't really feel like they are compressing much though!), 3 brand new maxi dresses in various sizes, several already-owned maxi dresses, and then some of my regular clothes, since I'm going to see my man and finish my recovery in Costa Rica after DR before returning to the US... however, if I don't count my surgical supplies, everything 'personal' I'm bringing can fit in my carry-on!
Deposit for Camellia's made, bases touched with Baez (my god, if she's half as sweet in person as she is over emails (when she's emailing in Spanish), I'll have to give her a big kiss).
Still need to go to the bank tomorrow and get cash, and get my airport shuttle reserved. And do laundry so I can finish packing. And clean my room/organize my stuff so that I don't leave a disaster area in my sister's/brother-in-law's guest room. And work. And take sister to lung biopsy. And celebrate mom's birthday. Aggggghhh.... Still so much to do. I'm switching to 'one hour at the time' rather than 'one day at the time'.
I guess the best thing for me to do right now would be to go to sleep - going to be an early morning tomorrow (biopsy) and a long day ahead (work, laundry, cleaning, bank).
I'm actually looking forward to surgery... I don't need a blue pill, it's not my first time on the operating table, but I'm so taking it so that I can get some sleep.
Oh, one big thing I did not get was pain killers - I don't have a doctor here as I don't live here normally, and I couldn't get them prescribed based on 'I'm going to DR for cosmetic surgery'; hopefully Baez will write me a script for something strong though - I know you can get crappy pain killers over the counter in DR, but that you need a script for strong stuff, and she better write me one, especially since I can't take ibuprofen (allergic to it, go figure). I want to be happily high as a kite for at least the first few days after the surgery.......
Possibly adding a procedure
So lo and behold, Baez can do fillers to nasolabial folds. It doesn't sound like she does other parts (I also get fillers in my tear troughs and cheak bones, but they seem to last a lot longer), I ask if she can do fat transfer to the face or only butt, and she responded with 'yes, I can do nasolabial folds'
Still waiting to hear the price, and if it's doable... my butt will be getting a few cc's less.
Also, omg, I wish I knew sooner that Carli existed! She also does consulting services, and for a super-affordable cost too. It would have saved me so much time and so much anxiety and frustration had I known this months ago. The woman's a priceless resource, and more I communicate with her, more amazing she turns out. Generally, I'm a 'do it yourself/trust only yourself/if you want it done right, do it yourself' person, but she has fully won me over... funny thing is, she doesn't even try, it's not like she's trying to sell me on something, it's just that she's so on top of things, the trust and confidence come naturally. I feel SO GOOD about my decision to stay with her, and about letting her deal with all the necessary arrangements.
Next time I need to do anything (of course there will be the next time, time is generally not our friend ladies ;), I'm going 'hi Carli, this is what I'm looking for, work your magic please', and it will be worth every penny!
I don't know where all those pounds I gained went, but it wasn't to fat, and what I thought was fat (I can 'pinch' handfuls) is just skin laxity because I stopped working out and everything went loose :-/
Carli is awesome though - she took me to get a second opinion, just in case (lol, that was worse, he said 'the problem is not that she doesn't have enough fat... the problem is that she has no fat at all'. We went to see Contreras, and he is amazing, btw, and what a beautiful facility!). My only option is an implant, and while he could do it today, I am not ready to make that decision.
Oh well, everything happens for a reason...
I'll update more in a few days, I'm going to go explore a bit with Carli today, and leaving in the weee hours of the morning.
Carli is absolutely fabulous, she deserves her own dedicated review - she's so on top of things and has really taken great care of me!
I have nothing but the best to say about Dra Baez. I did not have the surgery, but I really appreciate her professionalism and not wanting to take my money knowing that she couldn't give me the result I wanted. She was very attentive and professional, and very sweet. I am looking at other options, but would have no hesitation going back to Baez for any future procedures.