Turkey Here I Come for my Hair Transformation. Istanbul, TR

First, I have to start by saying I reluctantly...

First, I have to start by saying I reluctantly decided to start another post about my hair until after the actual procedure. However, I decided to start a post after my communication with Dr. Ali Emre Karadeniz and his cordinator Azuri and my live conversation with Dr. Ali Emre Karadeniz himself. While this is only the beginning of my journey, my decision to move forward came from the very qualified HT surgeons here in Georgie, but very expensive and not within my budget. My brief communication with Dr. Altac at Tarnsest Clinic was very positive. They do FUE and I have no desire to cut my hair off! Lol. The extensive articles and videos with Dr. Ali Emre Karadeniz and national board associated with HT. Most importantly, I found him to have the most experience with FUT and he does majority of the surgery. In addition to getting my strengths from RS community, some in particular like Charisma, Djames210, CaliD3 and several others. Thank you for being so open and candid about the hair struggles and journey.

Thus far, I'm lucky to have many sky miles on my Delta card and snag a ticket for only $95 in taxes (my miles covered round trip). I went ahead and secured my Turkey visa online, which cost $20 and is only a few minutes process.

I booked five days in Turkey and will be traveling alone !!!!! Three days will be spend at Yasmak Sultan Hotel and last two nights at hotel that Dr. Ali Emre Karadeniz provided. I will post some pictures of my before and continue to share!!

CURRENTLY

Concerns-turkey

My ex-husband called me last night and shared there was bombing last night in Istanbul. I'm very very concern....any one in turkey @ the moment or heading out to turkey soon? Please share your thoughts...
I'm not trying to rain on anyone parade:-(
I'm just nervous but still determine to get my confidence builder back .. Fix my edges

Sinus Infection-BUT Depart April 4th to Turkey ! Let's do a count down...

I am so stoked about my upcoming HT with Dr. Ali @ AEK. I have some support here at home with me going to Turkey. Other's have tried to put extreme fair in me about Turkey crisis! But it's not working...my hair means a lot to me and not having healthy edges makes me look older :-( I have to be selective with my styling now that I now longer wears extension. So yep!! I'm packing for Turkey as we speak in a few minutes.

4/6/16 Landed in Turkey

What a beautiful place ! Everyone that I've come in contact with have been nothing but very nice ( even with the limited English) and my non Turkish speaking self. I'm taking a breather as I composed this update from my hotel room at Silence Hotel & Convention. Delta flight nonstop to Paris was on time. Air France connecting from Paris to Turkey on time and flight crew super nice. Immigration man super nice and it's just been wonderful. Kinda funny @ the airport I saw signs saying Athestica Hair Clinic. But I don't think anyone care ! It's the norm in Turkey. My guy was holding my name (young medical student) can't remember his name. He told me how to say hello and thank you. He walked me outside and transitioned me over to the driver. He didn't speak one word of English but tried so hard to engage and played American musics. I was greeted warmly at Silence Hotel, checked in and escorted to my room. I'm taking a breather and will venture out downstairs to eat. I'm not sure what my plan is for tomorrow. My Hair transplant scheduled for Friday. My next post will be after transplant !! Yea

OMG! I did it!! (2,200 graphs=3,706 hair) some triple, single & double

So, where do I start from...
Thursday, Dr. K send his patient coordinator Azru to come and get me from the hotel. Little did know it was within 5 minutes of the hotel. We walked over to his office at the end of his patient surgery and a warm welcome was received from him and his staff. I was greeted with cover for my shoe upon enter and Turkish coffee (thought I wasn’t supposed to have coffee within 24 hours of my surgery) LOL...thats how much i trust Dr. K. LOL
We talked some and he checked my hair (consultation) and I was given the option to pay the balance them or on Friday. I choose to pay him then in order to minimize walking around with such large sum of cash.

Enroute back to the hotel, I decided to stop and dine at Num Num and also do some people watching . The food was ok, weather good and service good.

Friday, I had breakfast and walked over to Dr. K Flat (clinic) as they call their space. The security lady down stair in Lobby stopped me and put me through a realm of questions. The challenge was! she and I was having communication challenges due to language barrier. Thank God for google translation. I entered the office exactly 9am, put on some surgery slipper, Dr. K took pictures and I changed into surgery gown (top). I’m a type A personality and very vocal! Before he even starts drawing lines around my edges, I made it clear that I want him to construct as much has possible to the original line. I have problem with edges, NOT my hairline (LOL). He marked it and said if that was ok, and I was good with it. Until he shaved!!! LOL…. I looked like darned Frankenstein...

I was given antibiotic (Largest size I’ve ever seen). My surgery areas was ready, which was very cleaned looking surgery bed/chair. Then i was asked to face down, he started to numb donor area. Which I have to say was way better then I anticipated as it relates to pain. I felt very tiny little prick and he verbalized each and every time he attempted. All of this was done within or less then hour. He did his stitches(going blank on the type of stitches modern day Dr have been using to allow hair to regrow in area and minimal to no scar). He also for the first time took out three grafts via FUE to test on AFRO hair and it was in tack, for males or females that don't want the FUT. Dr K is worth ever dime due to his time and not trained apprentice. He does all of the major work (numbing, cuts, stitches and holes).

Next he preps recipient area and LORDIE!!! LOL I felt like a million little bee stung my darn head!!! But it happens so fast within a few minutes it was done and all over. I was continuously offered water or something to drink. Which I declined most of the time and just wanted the procedure to be over! He made all of the holes in recipient area and said out loud “I have news for everyone”. He was short 500 graphs! I said WHAT!???!!! Casually and nicely he stated “I will have to re-open the donor areas, take 5 mili something! Then closed it back! The Doctor and I took a break in his office and chatted up…. Well that only helped my nerve temporarily!

How about as he proceeded to re-opened stiches donor area and removed more strips! My darn nerve got the best of me…. I was sick to my stomach (I will not give TMI). All of his staff including him stopped 100% and was then attentive to how i was feeling and ensuring I was good to continued! He even told me not to locked bathroom door (just in case i was more sick and needed help...that's a caring Doctor as he should be ethically, legally and morally !!! Dr. K stated my nerve got the best of me once he mentioned re-opening the donor area. They allowed me some time and ordered me something to eat…this was now around 2PM. I had no appetite and was worried about upsetting my stomach. So I had only the lentil soup and bread, which was good and helped some. I was ready for Dr. K to get back track but he was adamant about giving me extra time to take a breather and feel better. Eventfully, he came back and rename the donor area and did his thing. Through-out the remainder of the procedure they continuously asked me if I was ok. Except for the tat bit of warmest of the room I was actually good. I later noticed another person joined his team…. I guess he needed ARMY of four for this AFRO lady grafts and implant. LOL
I actually said it out loud to him and he cracked up! He explained again about Afro hair verses Caucasian hair. He had to purchased new tools now that he has influx off patients with AFRO hair (male & females)

Now!!!!! Here comes the part I wasn't physically prepared for!!! Laying down the same position for 4.5 HOURS!! I would move my hands and feet several times and they would say very nicely “please ma’am don’t move”. LOL!! At one point they asked me if I need a minute break? I was just so eager for them to finish! I said “NO”. The last hour…. I was started to feel some pain and it progressed to not so comfortable for me…For other’s it may have be fine.

FINALLY, around 6:30PM they finished up…OMG his staff was so attentive to me. They even put my shirt on and buttoned it. I was able to get my sneaker on, but one of his staff (more matured lady) was adamant about putting on my sneaker! By then I was in some pain and I was given pain medications and waited for Dr. K to give me instruction. I walked back to the hotel looking like DARN Frankenstein! I just can’t get use to this look yet (LOL) I stayed on top of my medications, took an hour nap and ordered room service.

Azru (patient coordinator WhatsApp me and then encouraged to not wait for pain to take medications. She also encouraged me to text her anytime! It’s now 10:30PM and I’m about to take one of the stronger medications for pain, even though it has subsided. Then Dr. K text me and checked up on me around 10:30PM! My new friend and guide Chrysma checked in on me! That just truly helped me to end my day on a great note. I’m BLESSED and look forward to my hair journey/Outcome! 2016 God continues to give me strengths and resources to do just spoil my self this year!

I’m finally back in Georgia from ISTANBUL/Aetshair

POSITIVE - HT
My extra three days in Turkey was great for several reasons and this is ONLY personal choice and truly not required. The second day my forehead was a bit swollen but for the most part the pain was under control. We ladies the struggles are real with our hair and styling after the procedure. Second day, I put a scarf over the back part of my hair and left the implanted area out….it worked!

While in Turkey I didn’t care too much about my Frankenstein look! Those folks just say in their mind/Turkish language “oh yea-another Hair Transplant patient” LOL …But for Atlanta Airport! No way Jose! I had to fab it up a little and create a disguised just in case I run into people I know!! (LOL) Therefore, I just pulled some of my natural area loosely over the donor area and sat a hat on the back of my head. (No where near the recipient area in order to not compromise it)

So as it relates to my Hair, the donor area still has a slight slight weird feelings-like it should! Considering some transitioned occurred J. you know what I mean?? LOL The front not so bad either, it just feels like headband is around my forehead. Now, due to unforeseen circumstances in Paris, I missed washing my hair the third day as per Dr. K instruction.

I just washed my recipient area for the first time (4th day). Now I will post the day of surgery pictures, second and third. Then moving forward, I will post 14 days, 30 days, 60 & 120 days ETC. How about that? I don’t really care to jinx anyone or myself. ---))))

POSITIVE-TURKEY
I also want to share some non HT experience… I made a new friend (FEMALE) Turkish/Iranian and I just went on her vibes, pure honesty, organic connection and her rebellious side! She doesn’t live her life based on no culture! Her culture is in her HEART! So, on her day off we went to One of the major shopping districts in the city (Bagdat Street) this street is lined with several exclusive designer stores including Louis Vuitton and Escada. (high fashion district with very upscale restaurants). Location reminded me some of south beach in Florida or Buckhead in Atlanta. Several British/US stores stores like Mark & Spencer, Apple, Burberry, Starbucks, Godiva, Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste, Clinique, combined with their own Turkish High end designer stores and Turkish Restaurants.

I was tired of hotel food and wanted some REAL authentic Turkish dish, which was really good. I paid for both of us meal and two cokes and it was about $12 US…reflected $12 on my card (inexpensive). Well, it didn’t matter! That’s the lease I could do to say thank you for taking the time. FYI-this wasn’t just a random person I never at any point felt uncomfortable or not safe. Parking was horrible, so we had to park by the beach area and walked a few blocked. Which was fine by me…
My new female buddy is tatty up/piercing/smokes/tank top so she didn’t quiet fit in either!! She made it clear that she is not trying to fit in either!! Just want to live life without constraints…providing she is not hurting anyone. I say AMEN MY sister in nature :0)

I went shopping and bought a few Turkish snacks for my son. I’m not a soda drinker but periodically have a taste for a coke. The hotel was selling then for 12Liri!!! The mall has cans for 4Liri and the other side of town had them for 1.25 LIRI in grocery store! This is just like any other places visited…prices are higher in selective district.

I welcome any questions openly on the forum or privately via message. As we speak…if I had to do this over again-would I? YES- based on my experience with Dr. K, his staff and the country. I would just tell Dr. K, that he may be brilliant due to surgeon mind that God blessed him with, but his mathematical skills is terrible! LOL

NOW, it is just a wait and see situation for the hair growth. This is just a process like it would have been with any surgeon regardless of the location or country. (I’M HOPEFUL ABOUT THE OUTCOME DOWN THE ROAD). Personally, I will be happy when my edges grow bountifully, but will be grateful for anything more then what I had.

FYI
I would like to add, taking electronic devices like (IPAD, LAPTOP and Phone) is a great thing! Download WhatsApp and encourage love ones to down load WhatsApp. If you don’t want to incur any charges, turn off roam and DATA if and when you have access to Wi-Fi and use WhatsApp. Also, my cell phone started to act up badly and wouldn’t give me access!!! So, I was able to access Apple via chat and it took them over an hour to resolve the problem. Now, if I didn’t have LAP TOP and needed to use hotel phone or computers, I’m afraid over an hour of usage would have been costly. So, this is just a suggestion!

Also, some of you may or may not know this…notify your debit/credit card holder of your travels/dates. You don’t want to be stuck with not having access to cash or using card. This will give heads up to the bank that there is no fraudulent activity going on….so that they don’t declined card.

THEN HERE COMES THE NOT SO GOOD…. Please keep in mind that I’m a social worker and work with some of the most severe cases of chronic cases/adults with psychiatrics challenges. Therefore, I’m assertive, proactive, understanding and non-complainer. I try to live life in the moment….

HOWEVER, THIS IS WHEN IT DON’T APPLY!!!! LOL ~~
I was stuck in Paris after Delta/Air France made a mess with (Emergency Exit lighting problem, half the plane reseated due to exit problem, wet tarmac, which now added up to incorrect weight-darn plane was out of whack!!!) The French aviation wasn’t having any part of those things and we sat on the Tarmac for more then 4 hours!!!!! Then given the option to wait it out or get off…once you off...you off! I later learned that the remainder of passenger sat on tarmac almost 7 HOURS! The flight was scheduled to take off at 4:15 and later learned that it took off at 10:23PM. The crew was an amazing, but NO NO…that’s a bit much for me, hungry, with a swollen face and supper stuffy plane. There is just so much peanuts and pretzel I can eat.

So, Delta housed the 46 passengers (including myself) in this little dirty run down hotel (IBIS) and I had no basic necessities. I was forced to check on my carry on luggage due to security reasons…But if I didn’t know how to live like a cave woman, I did learn in Paris of all PLACE.

Now it gets worst!! Third day to moisturize and shampoo my recipient area. Well, those crazy folks had me check on my carry on luggage!!! I honestly wanted to cry…BUT I didn’t. I will deal with Delta/Air France later. So, I improvised and just gently poured warm water over my recipient area a few times. Not much I can do!!

TUESDAY AM
I tried so hard to keep my ZEN moment going, but I just couldn’t…. Initially, I thought it was just so great about the security protocol. I was bonjouring and merci’ all the way through-until today. I tried to maintain my manners-that’s who I am by nature…But I sure as heck was just over all these extensive and excessive DARN checks! At one point I felt so annoyed that I wanted to ask each and everyone of one that passport check people “You think I really changed that many darn time since entering the airport? I know I’m a bit swollen in the face but it’s still me….

You think based on how people painted TURKEY, my issues and challenges would have been there…. Well, HELLO NO!!!. All my darn issues were in Paris-not with Parisian. They are nice people and I was there in 2009 and had a great time. While, I do understand when traveling things do happen. What was disturbing being how the French/ Air France/Delta contract workers treated us during the process. I will just leave that right there…. DELTA here I come with my formal complaints and list of rude contract workers and descriptions of what transpired to give facts and visualization of my experience.

Six days - looking good

Swelling is gone but a slight weird thing under my eye. Majority of my scabs are gone. I noticed a few tiny spots that appears to be shock lost. However I can see tiny little blacks dots in those areas that indicate the root is embedded. I've been washing the donor area daily only mixing water and shampoo in a cup. Then use Q tips to gentle massage. This allow me too if any hair comes out in qtips. Now six more days and I will remove stitches. Which one of nurses friend will remove. My struggle is styling but I will take that any day !

Full wash

Full wash...
Please excuse residues on my edges. Those are the last sets of scabs (sorry to gross you). But it's a fact and part of the journey of gaining back my fabulosity hair, skin & bod! I just love me some real self buddies!

14 Days since FUT...happy

Today is 14 days since my transplant with Dr. K in Turkey. While it's only 14 days and it's a process. I couldn't have been any happier about my decision. Now, my strong hopes to a healthy edge!

My lovely future surgeon Dr. Davoudi offered to have his nurse remove my stitches for free. The process was painless and fast 3-5 minutes. She also said the Doctor did s great job with the stitches. It looks very good and only feel a bit tender.... Which is normal given the time frame. I'm healing very well but Duffy do a great job watching the donor area -:(
I have very little scabs back there and one more wash will remove. For some apparent reason my focus has been on the recipient area!!

As you can see the recipient area are 100% scabs free. My scalp in the recipient area is starting to feel a bit normal ( loose and not stiff). I see a fees areas that may indicate some shedding. However, I'm back on my regime as before for hair thinning that my local dermatologist in Atlanta prescribed. Dr. K stated its not needed for the newly transplanted area. Regime is listed on my other post !

I will continue to moisturize with special spray and shampoo that Dr. Ali gave me. But I will wash my hair every 2-3 days for the next 7 days verses daily.

I use castor oil for my native hair.

Immediately upon removal of the stitches

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY / 1 month status

So it's been a month. While I've experienced some shedding one the left side. I stil have more little tiny hairs there then I had before. The recipient area is 90% back to feeling normal. Donor area is looking great ! But it itches sometimes. It's a bit irritated due to my excessive scratching :-( Overall, I'm still happy and just patiently waiting for the real growth. I tried to do spilt screen but my app wasn't cooperating.

Hair growth - almost 4 months

I know this is still at the early stage of my hair growth at almost 4 months. Words can not describe my feelings ... Happy
I have more hair around my edge prior to FuT surgery. I will post at 6 months.

Growth & Happy

While I'm still not yet at exactly six months. It feel great to be able to comb my hair backwards and not stressed out about no edges. I wish my hair line was closer to my original- but that's small matters!!!!! I'm still happy & grateful. I do look forward to my hair thickening and growing around the my edge !!

What can I say....Liberated it is!

I'm sitting in my car waiting to meet with a client and just reflected on my hair journey and wanted to share ! For those that have reservation about FUT or FUE. Don't think twice on getting it done. That's whether home or abroad...I'm rocking natural this week and used some Ecco gel to get s clean look.

Hair Progress

Some RS asked for pictures update. I will add more after my appointment at the salon. I'm still happy but certainly hope hair thicken up and grow.
Turkey Plastic Surgeon

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