Time to out Myself as a Bray Babe! - London, GB

For any who have followed my saga you will have...

For any who have followed my saga you will have gathered that I was biding time for a face-lift.
I’ve been keeping my cards close to my chest after 2 failed procedures elsewhere (excessive buccal fat extraction leading to premature drooping and failed adequate correction) so I didn’t want to put the cart before the horse and get overly anticipant over my impending surgery.
As with my well-researched rhinoplasty I had a number of consultations with different surgeons, but the moment I met the disarmingly charming Dominic (and it was just a fleeting meeting prior to my consultation) I knew I could trust him with my face.
I can probably add nothing new to all that has been said before, but his bright, open and breezy manner will put you at ease. He answers all questions with clarity. In addition to his website he has reams of photos of prior patients and can show you. He is very realistic regarding the aesthetics that can be achieved and isn’t one to push for unnecessary procedures (in my case, not even the obagi skincare).
It was a relief to have someone note that which I have always perceived as imbalances in my facial proportions, and even better say that they can help to achieve the aesthetics I’ve always wanted.
We agreed on a brow, face and neck lift, something that most surgeons wouldn’t have done because I’m not 45 yet, but as he says, he treats the face not the year of birth.
So stay tuned and I’ll take you through the next chapter of my surgical adventures…
…Oh, and one heads up, he doesn’t shake hands in a stuffy way, more a hug and cheek kiss kind of a guy, so don’t accidentally head butt him (which I almost did! I think I styled it out though…).

The cost.

Some on here have objected to Dominic's prices and raise concerns, to this I say;

1) Yes, he is priced equivocally to surgeons who put you under general rather than local anaesthetic, but with local sedation you can express facial movement during the procedure, not an approximate guess by the surgeon when you are out cold.
I see this as a major benefit as I'm an expressive person and would hate to lose part of my mannerisms, hence part of me. It may sound odd, but when you are 'changing face', you still want to save part of yourself.
2) I'm sure keeping someone under local/twilight sedation actually takes more work than the full knock-out drops. So his anesthesiologist (who is lovely BTW) must really have to work hard for the hours she is sedating you.
3) Unlike my surgery elsewhere I got my meds included in the price. No awkward, woozy post-op hospital moments having to fork out more coinage (or plastic) of the realm before being permitted to leave. The pre and aftercare sheets are properly printed pamphlets too unlike photocopied pages I have received elsewhere and even presented in their own branded bags.
4) You are not discharged the same day and sent home, you don't have to pay extra for an overnight hospital stay (unlike other places) your overnight is included in the cost.
5) Dominic doesn't charge for revisions, unlike many other surgeons. This was comforting to me as I had to pay for my previous facial surgeon's mistakes which still didn't correct the problem he created. adding insult to injury. Literally!
6) Some things are worth paying that bit more for, be it a perfectly aged wine, stepping on a plane and turning left, a boutique hotel at a remote beach location or for the expertise and passion of someone working on something people see all day (and far more than you do).

I heeded the advice given to me by an aircraft buddy who had seen too much bad surgery in her time; Do it ONCE, do it WELL.

The Low Salicylate Diet.

Dominic recommended that I follow a low salicylate prior to, and after surgery.
The idea is to thicken the blood to minimise bruising.
I did warn him in advance that I suffer severely with a condition know as BLATB (bruise like a total bitch! - check out my post rhinoplasty panda look on my other review...) so not only did I follow the swish sheet that he gives you (wipe clean for handy kitchen reference), but I googled "Low Salicylate
Diets" and came upon all sorts of suggestions.
Bad news folks, peppermint is off the charts high in salicylates so I switched to using sodium bicarbonate. You get used to the manly taste after a while and it's actually not as abrasive to your teeth as you'd think.
As some people have said (in private) that they struggled with the diet and/or found it boring and repetitive I may well share some recipe ideas with you.
Please keep in mind I'm probably what would be called an experimental cook. I use my dishwasher to poach salmon, asparagus and pears (not all in the same jar...) to good effect.
Also after catering to the madness of Hub's sister for 3 months (a vegan, demi-pescetarian, secret ham eater) who would change her fictitious allergies on a whim, after seeing her eating wheat, dairy, sugar etc. I called her out on it all and bluntly told her she had 3 choices;
1) Eat what you asked for.
2) Go and get your own bloody food.
3) How about I smack you in the head with a frying pan?
Anyway, this was all training ground for the "How do I make these limited ingredients more fun and flavourful?" show that became "The Diet"!
On a side note the diet can also be used to reduce tinnitus and being a sufferer it was a perfect time to experiment and a perfect cover reason.

My tips on the diet in general;
If you are a caffeinated person wean yourself off several weeks or even a month before, that way you can slip but get back on the bull/horse/large quadruped.
If you are a sugar fiend you'll possibly have to reconnect with baking.
If you give up sugar (I did as it depletes the immune system) you can take the following to help reduce cravings; chromium, Vit B, Co-enzyme Q10 (there are more, just google them).
If you LOVE your wine, just remember that alcohol thins the blood (read wine considerably so), use this a the key reason not to sabotage your recovery.
If you don't taper off various habits before you start the diet you'll get crappy headaches and skin for the week before your surgery (don't ask me how I know o_O ).

If you need any further (th)inspiration to stick with it I'll share my best photo from week 1...

Combating BLAT-BAS (Bruising like a total bitch and swelling).

As mentioned before I suffer with BLAT-B (Bruise like a total bitch!) at the best of times, sitting too long on a wooden chair will leave my legs bruised, leaning against a ladder will do the same. So add in the swelling I get BLAT-BAS (Bruise like a total bitch and swelling!).
Because of my propensity to bruising I kept with the low salicylate diet to the letter but I had a few other things in my kit bag.
Topical arnica.- I have found it works better on me that the tablets.
Ice, ice baby! - Religiously, for the first few days that chill hardly left my side. I was so glad I had gel packs as well as the bag. Also keep the room temperature low, think 17 degrees. The hotter you are the more you will swell.
Pain meds - I was such a mess with the pain, not typical for me at all, but it was my 'lady time' which lowers the pain threshold (sorry it that is an over-share) and I've no fat in my cheeks to cushion anything so I suffered once the local wore off and I maintained a medication balance between paracetamol and tramadol (lucky I had tramadol left over from my rhinoplasty, as my friend told me save the good drugs for night time). I will make it crystal clear my pain is totally atypical of the experience of most. The younger and less fat you have the more likely are to perceive the pain for this procedure. Also maybe if you know your ‘lady-time’ will crash into your operation date you should speak to your doctor as they can prescribe tablets to delay the inevitable, or run your Pill packets back to back for a month. Just a thought?

Bromelain tablets - decrease in swelling/stiffness and help with repair. I didn’t use them while on the diet and wished I had because I know they really work for me, but added them in as soon as I finished.

Serrapeptase enzyme – I took it first thing with water and no other tablets or anything else (it needs to be on an empty stomach, which means 2 hours before eating but also at least 4 hours after eating. If you don't the enzymes will just digest your food, not travel beyond to where we need them to work for tissue repair.

Glucosamine, MSM, Chondroitin - again to help with tissue repair (if you are still on the diet avoid the one with added ginger).

Cleaning - after day 3 I used a saline solution (Himalayan mountain salt, purely because that is what I have (don’t I just sound so posh!)) to cleanse the suture lines twice a day to keep everything clean. I know what my scalp is like and didn’t want to risk any infections.
Moisturise - I’m not so good with KY-Jelly and after the first couple of applications my skin reminded me of that so I used a Nutiva organic extra virgin coconut oil to keep my stitches moisturised (because it is the ONLY thing that calms my angry scalp*, other brands don’t work for me, but I will emphasis I KNOW MY SKIN AND MY HEALING AND MY OILS. Please people, don’t just slap on any old oil (for the love of GOD avoid bio oil at this stage (or forever! Not a fan) and NEVER neat essential oils on yourself. If you are a layperson (I am not) follow Dominic’s advice and I will reiterate that I only did this because I TOTALLY know what I’m doing. After a week I used a SUPER delicate addition of essential oils but that is because I TOTALLY know that I'm doing, I won’t share the blend because it wouldn't work for everyone. Other patients of his have gone too harsh with the essential oils and created problems for themselves, so if in doubt leave it out and follow the Doc’s advice.
[*If you were thinking of following suit later for the scalp and hair growth and conditioning benefits, this is how I do my hair oil. **DON’T DO THIS TOO EARLY OR YOU RISK PULLING YOUR SITICHES AND TISSUE. I’d say wait a couple of weeks.** I actually put warmed coconut oil (sit the jar by the radiator for a while beforehand so it goes liquid) through my hair, scalp to tip, then don a shower cap, then a towel turban and sleep with a pillow covered with a towel, letting my hair infuse for AT LEAST 10-12 hours before shampooing (put the shampoo on and work it through your scalp before you hit the water or you will remember just how oil and water don't mix!) then wash it out, and follow with your conditioner which will mix with the coconut oil in your hair and should wash that out when you rinse. I do this 2-3 times a week and it's been so worth it for my hair. Anyway, I digress slightly!]
Elevation -. I keep joking about going to lay up (opposed to laying down) and while it is a little difficult I'm still sleeping up at an elevation to avoid the morning puffer fish face.
Bringing out the bruising - Shiners/Black eyes etc, I used luke-warm chamomile tea bags on my shiners (it’s an old German thing) and also witch hazel on toner pads which helps to bring out the bruising. It does have a distinctive smell, I’ll warn you of that now! Other remedies I couldn’t use due to either clashing with the diet of the risk of staining my suture lines, but when I got to the warm compress stage I did add a drop of lavender oil to the water I was using for the wash cloth, but I can’t highlight enough the importance of NOT OVERLOADING YOUR SYSTEM OR SKIN with lotions and potions.
Cover up – For my post rhinoplasty I bought Lycogel. I was between shades and didn’t fancy spending a further £70 (as it was then) to blend two shades. I found it took a lot of work to cover my post rhino bruises (but I was black and blue) and had to use a whole colour pallet of other concealers as well as the gel. I went to use it again first day venturing out to get my stitches out with Dominic only to find that it had vanished (with Hub’s sister no doubt, she seems to think if you say she can borrow something then she can take it too grrr,.).
During the summer I bought GOSH mineral powder from Superdrug (I’ll post a photo) so I used that and that gives really heavy coverage (not so suitable for my usual day to day wear), and in my opinion beating many other top expensive brands and Dominic, Lucy and Rebecca were all independently impressed with it. I'll post some pics so you can see what I mean. Without that powder I'd have been in hiding for. I found that the shade darker than my natural skin tone (what I'd call my summer shade) worked better at covering the bruises than my lighter shade, Maybe because 004 shade has a slightly yellow tone which counteracts the red and blue? You know your own skin tone though and just keep in mind the colour wheel and go for the opposite colour when covering them up. My skin favours technicolour dream bruises so I can be dealing will all the phases of bruising at one (I swear I’m not a battered wife)!
In short when covering bruises;
To cover pink/red bruises you will need a green tone.
To cover blue/purple bruises you will need a yellow tone
To cover green/yellow bruises you will need a mauve tone

Sorry this is so verbose. I hope that it is useful though xXxXx

Don't underestimate this surgery.

I have to admit I was a little thrown as to how zapped out I felt after my lift.

Then I analysed it;
My incision lines are longer than a tummy tuck and breast augmentation put together.
My incision lines are greater than the circumference of my waist and the length of skin now knitting back together is almost greater than my height.
That is quite a bit of repair work. No wonder my body is craving protein and demanding I take naps!
I went back to work after taking 12 days out, but staggered my return so I was on "light duties" and I'm really glad that I did. My second day back to work consisted mainly of hibernation, my third I needed a nap for a couple of hours, then by my 4th I was back on a roll...

Recovery Buddies

I will say several things on the topic of recovery buddies.

You 100% need one, possibly for a few days.
I was certainly woozy, definitely couldn’t go charging about and I absolutely had to take it easy.

Also pick someone who is practical, empathetic, organised and can keep their mouth shut! I speak from experience; a 4 hour lecture (repeated at points daily) on how I don’t need surgery, blissful silence when they left to get food because “the hotel was too fancy” was much appreciated even though inconvenient because I had to negotiate the room in my wobbly way to get to the phone and call reception for ice, then collect the bucket from the door that seemed disproportionally heavy. Their inability to work the hotel door meant I had to get up each time and let them in. They then promptly fell asleep and snored for the next 10 hours solid (leaving me to call for my ice etc), waking at 5:30, making a racket and trying to throw grapes in my face (not a euphemism). Then came the persistent attempts over several days to engage me in an in-depth political discussion (4:35am onwards and almost zero sleep) at which point I told them in not so many words that they could “Go forth, fornicate and become moribund”!
My head may have been sliced open but is was my Recovery Buddy who did my head in!
The one thing in their favour was I knew they could keep their mouth shut. Pick someone who you have far more dirt on than they have on you *Devil-horns icon* ;)

So in short, pick your buddy wisely!

Finally on to my actual surgical review!

Yes, I'm going for the longest review ever award!
Are you sitting comfortably? Then, I'll begin;

‘Twas the night before surgery and all through the house a creature was running about like a bloomin’ headless chicken, muttering all the swear words beginning with B and trying her best to do all those last minute tasks before being out of commission for 2 weeks!
I eventually washed my hair, face, neck with the special shampoo and took my sedative about 1am, consequently by 6:12 (I had an alarm set for every minute from 6am onwards JUST in case…) I’d crawled out of bed and in a haze I arrived at Harley St with my suitcase. I can only assume the lorazepam version of the bacchanalian bus took me there because I swear I don’t remember the journey. I greeted the lovely Meg on main reception (totally my Senior style icon) and took a last ‘old face’ selfie for my friend.

Comments were made about how glamorous I looked, I think that possibly most people don’t opt to wear silk button up shirts and Valentino when the go under the knife. That and great matching undies ;) (advice from Grandmother “always wear nice underwear, you’ll never know who’ll get to see it”) not that I think they were flashed at any point, but with the sedative acting like a few G’n’Ts anything is/was possible!

Actually on a serious note, do wear undies you are comfortable in laying down, you don’t want traitorous underwiring trying to stab you in the heart…

The worst thing for me was when the IV line went in. I knew from the feel of the angle I was going to bruise and had a pea-sized lump afterwards, but that is a quirk of me, so never ye stress my (about to be) pretties!

So add more medicinal equivalents to G’n’Ts intravenously and I’m off singing away (laying, not dancing on the table) and then drifting in and out of consciousness (they probably got fed up of my singing). Occasionally I’m asked to smile, and… …oh, who am I trying to kid, the rest I can’t remember apart from the photo of inside my head I asked him to take! Yes, I’m a sicko like that, let me know if you want me to post it!

Anyway, it seems like only 20 minutes had gone by but the clock said it's been around 3 hours. I’m bandaged up, accessorised with insta-ice collar (next season’s catwalk, I swear) and the first thing I do is selfie my friend and my sister who are both waiting on tenterhooks several time zones away in various directions.

Then SNAG… …my recovery buddy hasn’t arrived (Usually it is my sister, but work took her away so I went for a D-list choice) in spite of them being reminded constantly where to be and when, they still hadn’t even taken the train into London and then went to totally the wrong place. Lucy was really sweet and took me to the hotel just round the corner and dealt with my friend who was totally being Tim nice but dim. She organised ice, gave me Paracetamol and an ice bag (neither left my side for the next 4 days) and stayed until he finally arrived and all the time fielding work messages.

Dominic came and checked on me around 7:20 (by which time I’d created a nest of magazines) and he changed my bandages. He also talked me through my 'new face' not that I remember so much, a little anaesthesia goes a long way on me, what can I say, I’m cheap date! However, as those happy drops wore off I felt like my head was in a blender.

I got through 5 buckets of ice through the night, hardly sleeping much, partly due to recovery buddy snoring, partly due to pain and swelling.

A Bray Babe first... ...actual mid operation photo! Don't look if you are a sensitive soul.

Being somewhat of a gnarly wench I asked Dominic to take a photo for me mid op, I wanted to see inside my head (well when the hell else was I ever going to see it?).
He told me that was the first request of its kind, certainly not normal. I reminded him that I have never been normal had had no intention of starting now! So, if you are wondering what I looked like mid op, here it is…

***Those of a nervous disposition look away now…***

Dominic marvelled at the amount of excess skin I had. For me it was one of those “I always KNEW I had an extra fleshy face” moments, finally I could see it in the flesh, my flesh.
I think Dominic could run a sideline in DVDs for ghoulish patients like myself to watch our own ops. I'd have paid extra for that!

Ok, gross-out session over!

The morning after the night before...

You know what they say; When in Rome… …wear a toga! When on Harley St (post facelist) borrow style tips from your Arabic sisters, so the morning after my surgery I toddled round the corner from the hotel to the clinic (dressed very Arab-chic, which is actually quite fitting for the area).
Again there is much mirth about my recovery style (yet again in silk)! Darling Lucy washed and gently blow dried my hair. I greeted Dominic with “You gave me sodding hickeys!”. Well, it was what my neck bruises looked like and he actually giggled saying “Yeah, I gave you those!”.
He then took off my bandages, massaged Medik8 Hydrate B5 into my skin (he was amazed I could tell what it was, so was I to be honest.), took some (god awful) photos (in which I did my best startled rabbit impression again), put me under the red lamp, packaged me into a face bra (something I’m actually not a stranger to) and sent me on my way with lube for my suture lines (an odd perversion, but who am I to judge ;) meh it’s actually to keep the stitches moist.).
One mistake I made was that I probably didn’t impress upon Dominic exactly how much pain I was in, I usually have a high tolerance and many reviewers seemed to have been fine so I thought that the Paracetamol would start to kick in properly. It didn’t. Never have I been so glad I stockpiled “the good drugs” from my rhinoplasty because I medicine DJ’ed between Paracetamol and Tramadol at 2-hour intervals and was still hitting 8s on a pain scale (9 is when you cry with pain and 10 is when you pass out) for the next 4 days.
In my appointment a week later Dominic did apologise for my pain. Apparently I was an unusual case (back to me not being normal ;D ) but the younger and skinnier you are the more pain you can get because there just isn’t any cushioning there for the muscles. I clearly should have had this at 14 ½ stone not 7 ½ stone. So much for my weight loss incentive! Well what can I say, this trooper? survived and nobody died so no big deal… …it’s all good (now).

"Expect the worst 7 days of your life" was the advice of my best friend.

Early recovery was not a barrel load of laughs.
Actually I couldn’t laugh at all, or open my mouth more than 5mm (that’s just about enough to wedge in a thin rice cake and then suck on it as I couldn’t chew, certainly a very low point in my existence, as rice cakes are one of the party pooper foods of all time!).

I didn’t sleep more than 45 minutes at a time only partly due to keeping upright wedged on the sofa with my neck pillow keeping me in check, but also in part due to my poor choice recovery buddy. It all felt very ‘new mum’ when sleeping for 3 hours straight becomes a cause for celebration.
However, my best friend had warned me to expect the worst 7 days of my life, so after day 4 (which was my worst) when I began to feel better I also began to sleep 4 hours at a time, stopped needing the Tramadol at night and dropped to Paracetamol every 5-6 hours, swearing I’d start a liver cleanse as soon as I could.

Usually ice in my household is reserved for G’n’Ts but throughout the week I pretty much had my ice bag (blue ball bag as it became nicknamed) constantly on one part of my face or another taking away the swelling. I actually dozed off against it at some point on night 3, it leaked and I remember waking up in a wet patch. Just try sorting that out with a banging headache!

? Side note; Stock up on ice (I thought I had, but I was getting through it faster than it would freeze, so I also used cold water from the fridge at times), maybe even get 3 gel packs that you can pop in the freezer and use in rotation?

I also kept the heating off to keep my temperature low and slept wedged up on the sofa, embracing the sloth as my recovery spirit animal. Netflix was playing a whole host of random war films at all time of day and night (thanks to my recovery buddy who refused to leave my side yet spent most of the time snoring, belching and farting on the other sofa) so I drifted in and out of consciousness, in part because I wanted to avoid yet another lecture from them on how I didn’t need surgery, how I mustn’t have anything else done, and how I’m already like Joan Rivers etc or ‘How this country is blah, blah, blah…’. Well I did think about telling them a few offensive jokes in the hopes they’d leave the venue, in addition to suggestion that they yet again “Go forth fornicate and become moribund”, … …but they wanted to look after me even though it felt far more the other way round as I cleaned up after they left. As I said before, pick your recovery buddy carefully!

? Another side note; don’t try watching comedies, it hurts to laugh, the same goes for tragedies and crying! I found catching up on ‘House’ reassuring. All those Doctors while I was there in a face bra and stitches…!

? Yet another side note; if you have swollen so much your face bra is rubbing or chaffing your ears (like mine did) use cotton pads to protect your ears or you’ll have even more scabs to worry about. Also, make sure that you use a clean towel every time you wash and dry your head for the first week. I used cleaning wipes on my face and neck day 1-3 and had a full shower and hair wash day 4.

Food was more fuel than fancy. I don’t think I managed anything more than scrambled eggs day 1 and 2 and later in the week a lentil, chicken and leek concoction strongly resembling lukewarm baby food. People, I can’t stress enough the importance of advance culinary preparation, make sure you have pre-cooked your meals to take you through the first 4 days because I for one did not feel like doing anything, then they feel like a Godsend as it takes thinking out of the equation. Also. soup is hard to handle with a face bra on. Just go for homemade baby food and protein shakes, keep it heavy on the protein, your body needs it for repair!

As mentioned by others, Dominic is there at the end of the phone/email when you need him and he checks in on you through your recovery. I’m generally low maintenance, but one evening I did suddenly swell and go BRIGHT red. “Is THIS normal?” is probably the most common text he receives... …”Ice and elevation” are probably the most common answers!

My bruising came out and I began to look more and more like a sad panda, or Sharon Osbourne, either post op, or post fight with Ozzie. It pretty much felt the same!
Day 4 my sister paid a (literally) flying visit, bringing me food, paracetamol and love (oh and laundry). She also confirmed that I was looking like a young Joan Rivers (but that had also been said pre-op too), and my friend sent me lovely inspirational messages. It helps!
By day 5 and 6 I awoke only once in the night for paracetamol and none or once in the day. Before I knew it day 7 came around and I had to go and face the world…

…now if anyone a while back told me that I’d meet a man who would drug me, make me strip to my underwear, stick sharp object in me while strangers watched, leave bleeding and bruised, give me more drugs, ask me to put lube in odd places, then insist on seeing me again and that I’d not only comply but willing do so in addition to parting with a large sum of money for the privilege, I’d tell them that they were chuffing mad! Yet along to Harley St I was going to trot… (doesn’t that show how important context is?).

I gave myself ample time (so I thought) to get ready only to discover my lycogel concealer had been appropriated… …oh bugger! A mad rush to conceal my bruises (before I discovered good the GOSH powder really was) and I was out the door to Harley St taking on my friend’s advice ‘If you don’t want people to look at your face wear a low cut top!”. Honestly, it works! Had I just been going to see Dominic and back I’d not have worried, but I was out to the Chanel exhibition and tea afterwards, so I needed to employ adequate distraction techniques.
Dominic was impressed with my healing (and my ample cleavage, but being a professional wasn’t distracted by it in the field of duty. Good man!). The first of my stitches came out and he confirmed no more putting lube in odd places and no more day time face bra. He also blasted my/his ‘hickeys’ (my bruises) with his laser (a.k.a his Ferrari) and took more (god awful) photos.
Then it was out to face the world, feeling rather stiff-faced but doing my best to be fabulous in Chelsea (darling)!

? Oh, last side note; once your face bra comes off it feels like your face is still being held all the time!

Week 2, Hedwig, All-bran, the faked party and the anti-climax!

Week 2.
Never have I been so happy to have turned down a work offer. I was asked to host a workshop. This would have possibly been quite career forwarding but I declined due to an impending “lady operation”. No one asks for more details when you are of hysterectomy age! HA!
I did toy in my mind, would I be OK at 3-week post to host? Maybe I would have been but I just couldn’t think straight week 1 and my information pack would probably have been shockingly substandard, (totally against my ethos). I think the stress of preparation would have been too much. Treat yourselves gently people this is a bigger op than you’d think.

I was happy that talking was far easier (I kept to texting with Hubs while he was away week 1), and I was back on solids although still nothing that required extensive chewing. What I did also notice was at times the muscles in my jaw would suddenly spasm for a fraction of a second; this was usually as I was dropping off to sleep.

Week two consisted of napping in the style of a cat rather than week one where I was more of a practicing narcoleptic. I’d forgotten how great naps were, why did I ever think they were punishment?!
One of the slight problems I encountered though was that week one had thrown out my sleep cycle and I kept on waking around 3am. I must confess my usual, although unconventional method of drifting back off to sleep in a good orgasm (sorry to the ladies who are currently clutching their pearls to their chests and hyperventilating), but for me it’s not so much toss and turn at night more toss and toss (if Hubs is not around, and sorry if it’s TMI, but hey, someone has to mention this… …because, read on, it is important…).
Now I HAD been told no nookie for a month, but I thought a little gusset typing may assist me in drifting back off to sleep… …I wasted 15 minutes of my life and literally experienced an anti-climax, but not only that, I had strong heart palpations without any of the fun! It was rather worrying to say the least, but I wasn’t exactly going to text Dominic at 3.30am to explain what I’d just done, there is a boundary that even I won’t cross! Folks, when the medics say not to do something, listen to them, or at least wait until later in week 3 before “Conducting a lab experiment”… …ok, you can go and clean the coffee up that you just spat over your keyboard… …sorry!
(N.B. Admin, if you deem this to be TMI do please edit but my thought is that someone may make the same mistake and have more than just a few minutes of heart palpations. What a way to go though!).

What I did also suffer in week 2 and DID confess to Dominic (who has probably spat his tea over his desk reading my above paragraph) was what became dubbed “*Hedwig and the angry ear” (*Film reference if you are confused). Not only did I manage to klutzily catch my ear in my sleep (Talking of sleep, the end of week 2 was the first time I slept 7 hours straight.) but after a week of button up tops only, I wore a slash neck top and then took it off with slightly too much of a laissez-faire attitude, catching “Hedwig” who preceded to give me attitude back for the next few days. Folks, again learn from my mistakes. Keep to the button ups or be SUPER cautious when taking things over your head.
The other oddity to be noted about both Hedwig and “the other ear” was that they were producing what strongly resembled all-bran along the suture lines. It took the strength of a bear not to pick off the scabs that were itchy, but I kept using my oil on them to keep them moisturised, and reminded myself picking leads to scarring (like a little mantra… … picking leads to scarring… picking leads to scarring…).
I actually had a lot to catch up on during the days after having underestimated what my week one capabilities would be, so it was a bit of a rush to the finish line (well, the post office line) by the end of the week. I selected a Wednesday Addams style hair-do that nicely covered the suture lines. HA!
I had one impending problem. 3 Halloween invites, none of which I could attend because each would mean an overnight stay and my technicolour dream bruises, sobriety and occasional narcolepsy couldn’t really allow that. Each host was hoping I’d be there because “A party isn’t a party without me” aka I’m funny sober and even more so when drunk (apparently), who'd kickstart the conga?!
What to do? Well, I could not just vanish off the social radar and have each person think I snubbed them, so… …I faked a Halloween party!
Shocking! I dressed up, took selfies and uploaded them, I got the “likes” and (thanks, maybe to The Dark One himself) nobody asked where I was? ** villainous laugh**.

Week 2 progress pictures

I'm just putting the front-on pictures up at first so that you can see a run through as you click. I'll put the side profiles up afterwards.

Week 2, take 2

Sorry I have fewer photos in this set, but I wasn't doing the daily selfies to Sis this week.

Follow the rules the night before surgery! Posting this on all of my threads.

On another topic I follow I have seen people talking about eating the morning of their op (when they shouldn't be). Let me share this with you. I'm going to post it on all of my surgical threads because I think it is SUPER important.
If they say "Nil by mouth" from a certain time before your surgery then OBEY!
If you don't follow the rules you run the risk of vomiting/regurgitation under anaesthesia or pulmonary aspiration (where you breathe in your own vomit) which can lead to MASSIVE problems like, well, oh, I don't know, bradycardia leading to cardiac arrest, brain damage and death!

The risk is twice as common among elective surgical cases as we aren't ill and can be more blasé about our instructions and eat or drink when have been told not to!

Don't make your surgical? experience any more difficult than it need be.

Week 3 – The first “Ding Dong!” the Maserati and Hickey bye-bye!

(Day 15-21)
…On the cusp of week 3 I got my first "Ding Dong!" from a guy on the street. I was completely covered apart from my face, so I could tell that that was what he was complimenting me on!
I also noticed I got very lovely comments from the builders up on Regents Crescent now which didn't happen any other time I walked past them in Wintery months until 2 weeks ago...
I think we can see the common denominator (or should that be Dom-nominator?!) here?!....

My first day back to real work came round before I knew it, but carpe scrotum (aka take life by the balls) I had to get up and at ‘em!
I’d already planned on easing myself back in and just as well as my (now well practiced) pseudo-narcolepsy returned and the first 3 days of work were punctuated with ‘nana naps’, especially my second day where my spirit animal was clearly a koala. I’ve said it before, take it easy!

In a pre-emptive move I loosened the bulb from my main lamp in my ‘orifice’ to create more subdued lighting and even shifted my working position (where I’m visible to others) back to how it was, pre-days of trying to hide the bad side of my face from people. A small but gentle happy dance was performed!

I was aware that I still had reduced movement in my neck and was worried people may comment negatively on my appearance (even after the “Ding Dong”!) as I still felt like I had fugu face moments (and the evenings were still ice time) but nowt was said, just one person seemly apropos of nothing casually commented I never seemed to have aged in the 8 years they have known me! Cue another small happy dance!

My face or ‘The Maserati’ as I now refer to it as I think it has probably cost me the equivalent of a second hand one (like it’s current lady owner it has a few miles on the clock, a few dinks but excellent air bags) was far less swollen and although a lot of my bruising had gone I was still left with the ‘hickeys’ and a couple of hints of my shiners.
I text Dominic in the style of a whiny bitch asking if he could “blast me with his ‘Ferrari’ laser again?”.
He kindly suggested I come on by and blasted my ‘Maserati’, he took some more (God awful) photos and actually decided to start me on the Obagi nu derm too. I’m not surprised because my pores are like potholes (I’ve started a different thread for that if you want to follow my progress with it).
As I strolled through the back streets towards Bond St chatting to Mother dearest on the phone I noticed passers by giving me a few funny looks. I then realised I’d not covered the remainder of my bruises, so stopped and sheltered from the drizzle by an office building. I used their brass plaque as a mirror to apply the GOSH powder to the blemishes and a little lip gloss on the new ‘bumpers” of “The Mas/z” (I have a review thread for lip filler too)!

I kept Hedwig and the angry ear moisturised with my top quality coconut oil (mainly because I use it overnight as a hair oil every other night) and kept away for other products and essential oils and they happily continued their ‘All-Bran factory production line’ of scabs.
I resisted the urge to pick. If you need incentive use the mantra;
Picking leads to scarring, picking leads to scarring, picking leads to scarring…
…honestly you are doing yourself and Dominic a HUGE disservice if you pick.
It’s like ordering a Master Baker (enunciated that one carefully) to create a super special cake then once it has been presented to you (and before your big reveal) deciding that you actually wanted it with brandy, pouring that over the icing and then pick off the decoration and wondering why it’s not up to specification.

DON’T PICK… …DON’T USE NEAT ESSENTIAL OILS... …don’t slather on scented salves… …don’t believe everything on Pinterest!

Week 4 - From Dominic Bray to Dorian Gray!

Looking at my freshly revived face it was clear I had an issue. When you roll back time on one area any others that are less than youthful will give the game away. The administering forehead botox was required, it was clear that my ‘Maserati’ needed more ‘break fluid’!
I get botox once or twice a year, then I like to leave me skin to go fallow for a bit. I’d been holding off until after my neck, brow and face lift. There was a part of me that was wishing that my brown would be left immobile for a while. I got my wish but I wasn’t specific enough as I got all of a few hours of immobility, damn! So off I went to Rebecca for a few jabs in the forehead (as an aside I also had 0.5ml of lip filler and the backs of my hands done with Rebecca too ask part of my renovation!).
It was a work hard, play hard week. Whilst I was still in ‘Blandland’ dining out on ‘The Diet’ was possible (if you sweetly explain why you are being so boring in your food choices and not that you are neurotic A-list wannabe) but now released I was more than happy to set myself upon the various glorious culinary caverns around London with a fellow Bray Babe by my side. We drew many an admiring glance and even had champagne sent to us from cute 20-somethings along with requests for us to join them as we ate, drank and danced out and about, gracefully falling out of cabs at, let’s call them moderately early times (early in the morning that is) which was possibly why I needed nana naps through this week!
I was trying to avoid close friends and family until at least 6 weeks had passed but the timeline was brought forward with a brief visit by a dear friend who needed a flat surface for a night as she had an early conference the next morning. I did my best to subdue the lighting and arrange things so she’d sit on the other sofa and could hide my night time swelling, but no, she perched right next to me. The only thing she DID comment on (apart from how slim I’m looking) was how smooth and shiny my skin was which I chalked up to the Obagi (and was probably also the botox kicking in not that I’d admit to that either).
Changes were clearly evident to others, although for most the focus was on “how well I look with my latest weight loss”, yes, the 2 inches off the waist had almost everyone transfixed with my midriff not my face, yet I had two mentions of Dorian Gray from work connections within the space of 3 days! Part of me worried I was now looking too young, but I knew that the gentle swelling I still had was taking another 5 years off me. I also knew I’d be sad to see it go!

Week 5 - Human Velcro, The recovery Cha-Cha and "You’re my face now Dave"!

I met up with a friend who knew nothing about my op (they said I looked fabulous, diet is really working for me, tiny waist blah, blah…etc). When they came to leave they decided to do an interpretation of dance of the 7 veils (or singular woven scarf in this case) culminating in a move where they threw it around my neck to draw me towards them to air-kiss me ‘Goodnight’.
They weren’t aware that with a facial perimeter of stitch-work I was basically Human Velcro and ended up catching a few of my stitches along the way as they yanked their scarf taught.
I had to style it out that it ‘caught on my hair clips’. Once they’d left I treated the suture lines with saline and waited until a reasonable hour the following day before SOS texting Dominic that I’d lost some of my/his stitches.

Stitches out. - I was braced for pain having my stitches out, then totally forgot to take painkillers in advance in my rush to get there. Out came the stitches, all fine except one stubborn bugger, not really painful, just momentarily uncomfortable.
Dominic said that he was looking for signs along the incision lines that the hair is growing back (and it is) so he's happy) then he adds... ...”Oh look, a big blackhead, can I extract that for you too?”
Oh, gee thanks! Mortification Station. Ticket for one!

I’d been holding off getting my hair done and had an appointment booked before Hubs came back and mocked my roots. Even Dominic commented; “Have you been dying your roots grey?!”
“Erm, no, Dominic they are my 'natural highlights' and 'wisdom streaks'! How about you just continue taking some more God-awful photos?!”
Oh just dig me a frikin’ hole right now that I can crawl into and self-soothe with my giant blackheads and grey hairs!

Of course, once back home I felt several stitches that were missed. Stealthy little blighters.

This week I had lunch with Dad, and at first NOTHING was said, until later when he mentioned I was looking particularly well. That is about the best compliment an English Dad ever gives. I will have to see if Hubs spots anything but I hope he doesn’t feel my rogue ear stitch that I’ve tried to pull out with tweezers (don’t try that at home folks, those bad boys ain’t budging!).
I sent Dominic a text “Shall I tell you a joke...? ...The punch line has me in stitches (STILL)!”
He replied to make an appointment with Rebecca and get them taken out of my head. I was worried that they fester and get forced out of my flesh, but apparently they are dissolvable so fear not if you are in the same itchy-stitch-bitchy boat!.

The recovery Cha-Cha continues with memory lane swelling. I’ll be fine and then have one of those wipe-out days now where I feel exhausted for no apparent reason. I even had to take a couple of paracetamol the evening I had my stitches out. It's funny how pain hits you?
I’ve still got some yellow bruising around my temples, and what I’d call lower face cellulite! Not really noticeable except to the touch, but it feels odd and my neck is still lumpy, and a little mottling around the ‘ear flaps’ which Dominic had messaged me about, Oh the shame of my pubescent mind!. I’m such a child I actually sniggered at the word ‘flaps’. As an aside; There is actually a company called Holy Flaps (that do the kind of tableware that has the Twin-Set brigade clutching their pearls, e.g. my 'Gin Whore' glass!), which I found extra funny as my ear flaps clearly did have a hole in each!
During my last texting with Dominic I was saying about sunscreen, now being as he put it “always and forever” and he reminded me “You are just the custodian on MY face now. Make sure you look after it properly” which reminded me of Papa Lazarou from the comedy show League of Gentlemen “Dave, you’re MY face now Dave!” (If you never say the show you’ll be lost)!

I always hated my face shape, way too Pauline Collins for my liking. I looked like a young fogey! So when I had what I thought would be subtle buccal fat extraction and I suddenly had an alien shaped face looking back at me I was more than freaked out! Now post FL I can see definition in the mid face that I never had before (always felt I should have had) but my left is still 'swellegant', it is like I have a decade age difference between each side of my face (which is a look I’ve always been stuck with) I just hope it evens out in my favour.

I’m still getting used to my new face. I’m used to getting second looks. I don’t mean to buff my own chuff much (female equivalent to tooting my own flute, or blowing my own trumpet!) but I’ve a great figure (now) and have always been a flamboyant dresser (more likely to wear violet than be a shrinking one), but now they are looking at the face as well as the clothes (and cleavage)!

The art of sleeping – If sleeping were an Olympic sport, without a doubt I’d hold multiple gold medals. It is literally one of most favourite things. You guys see how my brain works when I’m conscious, imagine what my subconscious delivers while I’m practicing “death with benefits”?

**Top Tip for sleeping upright - put a pillow or two under your knees to stop you wriggling down the bed in your sleep.**

I’ve taken so well to sleeping upright that I’m still doing it! I just don’t dare lie down yet for fear of major puffer fish face, I tried it once last week and the morning wasn’t pretty, also where my ear rests on my pillow was getting sore. I have noticed that Hedwig and the angry ear are going through a “hurty phase” in general with occasional tiny bleeds overnight (most people wouldn't notice, but I did as I was still using saline behind my ears) so I’ve opted for using my neck pillow as a circle of support around my chosen sleeping ear and will try easing myself to a more horizontal plane.

The accidental reveal - I’ve been avoiding Face-time calls with Hubs while he’s been away. My front camera “isn’t focusing” mainly because I stuck a couple of bits of sellotape over it!
We arranged a Skype call, I was running late so text him to that effect, but he didn’t get my message. When online (with the sellotape over the webcam) I could see him clearly, I was in soft focus so there was no mention of my new look. Then two things happened almost simultaneously, as he was showing me his phone to prove he’d not received my message a picture was sent to him by a work colleague (let’s call her Voldemortta) and as his thumb touched the message it revealed bra covered boobs!
Now I can’t be one to pass too many judgments as on a recent visit to Ann Summers I almost text’ed 3 pictures of me in lingerie sets captioned “The red, the black, the green… …which ones?” to Dominic instead of Hubs (that would have required Mortification Station permanent residency) so I know miss-texts happen, but on reflection, he never answers Voldemortta’s calls in my presence… …yes, I’m dead suspicious of his behaviour but I literally can’t frown upon it thanks to my botox!

Week 6 - Making friends with the mirror

Getting my hair done brings me great pleasure in the results. There's an African saying "hair is beauty" and I've noticed that there is nothing like a great professional blow dry to turn heads, and great hair detracts from a less than great face. Trust me. It's a trick I've used for decades!

In all my years the part of the process I've hated the most at the hairdressers hasn't been the searing pain of peroxide eating into my scalp, or the hook jabbing me in the head in my cap highlights days. It's not been the singed ears from the blow drier or the choking cloud of hairspray.
It's been sitting, looking at myself for several hours. There was that fat, hangdog face, those tired eyes, dropping neck... ...and I hated it.
Today was different.

In the various salon mirrors I could see my new face. Those curves. Those cheeks, that awake brow. That lack of resting bitch face!
For the first time ever I saw a reflection that didn't disappoint me!
I explained the scars to my hairdresser in a very matter of fact manner, “I was having issues with my facial muscles and had to have an operation”. She was young and just accepted it.

I also had a glasses dilemma. I’ve needed new ones for ages. The problem is that I have never found it easy to find frames to suit my face shape. Even the assistants have agreed every time that I had an odd face shape. This time glasses shopping I had the opposite issue. Frame after frame looked great, naturally I fell in love with the Cartier, but budget didn’t permit!

I got my first shot at fooling the professionals, I know an anesthesiologist and was dead worried he’d spot I’d been “done”, but no, I just got compliments on how well I looked. The random street compliments have continued too which is odd, but nice!

Six weeks meant I was back to exercising. I found myself bent over, pumping hard in the bathroom… …with the sink plunger. Oh, what a glamorous life...

I must admit I have been avoiding Hubs calls since the ‘accidental reveal’ by Voldemortta. Words spoken in anger rarely bring about the best outcome. He’d left a voicemail message. He had ‘something important’ to tell me, and for those who ever watched Ally McBeal I heard the dumper truck reversing and just thought “Oh no, I can’t do this before Christmas” so I avoided the confrontation.

Week 7 - Hubs is back & Baby’s got grey eyes!

Whilst having my “which frames do I chose?” meltdown in the opticians I also ended up trying coloured contacts lenses and got some that match my sister’s. If you have not tried Air Optix Colors before they are so much nicer to wear than Freshlook (IMO) and this week I got the call to say they’d arrived, so I’ve been singing “Grey eyes… …baby’s got grey eyes…” to myself! I also figured they’d be a good distraction for when people think that there is something different about me. After all, the devil is in the details, and speaking of the Satan I got yet more street compliments, although one lot were from 2 guys who were smoking the Devil’s lettuce, so I wasn’t sure if they counted!

Hubs finally returned, although to be fair I’d intentionally avoided seeing him when he was passing through a couple of weeks back by “having to go to my Mother’s for a week" but he was "welcome to come too” which I knew would keep him away. Then our reunion the other Friday was scuppered by him missing his flight so he’d ‘have’ to spend the weekend in the USA (I couldn’t help but hear inverted commas) and he then flew direct to Germany for a few days. So finally, just after 6 weeks I got to see him, or more importantly (perhaps) he got to see me!
It wasn’t the rendezvous I’d imagined, far from it. He surprised me by coming back early. In my mind I wasn’t sat on the bathroom floor, screwdriver tucked behind my ear, emptying the sink trap and trying to work out where the leak was coming from!
So his first questions were “what are you doing?” and “what is that horrible smell?” I suggested he give me a moment and told him not to use the sink because I’d just turned off the water to the leaking taps (which he later actually remembered!).
He then said “Question… …is your hair style intentional?”
“Erm, why do you not like it?”
“Well, because I’ve seen you wake up looking like that..!”
And there we have it ladies and gentleman, Coppola curls confused the man!
So we went out for our anniversary dinner (He thought it was 16 years, I’m not sure where the other half decade came from?) and I noticed a change in his behaviour, far more tactile than usual. He actually said “You are looking good, but then again you always do!” well I nearly fell off my chair! He then went on to saying how he really needs to get in shape and I think for the first time I really saw that his critical nature is possibly part of his own insecurity.
I don’t know if it was the fact we were out drinking champagne ‘on a school night’ with him resembling a former Premiership footballer (not Wayne Rooney) and me all dressed up like a WAG but I became aware that the table next to us were angling their selfies to try and include us! They then wished us both a wonderful evening as they left and we chuckled to ourselves about “getting papped”. We were back to our high-spirited old selves and that made the night priceless.

Slightly tired the day after I had lunch with the Mumster who said that I looked ‘suspiciously young’ but didn’t realise I’d had surgery until I ‘fessed up, mainly because I’d love her to get a slice of the rejuvenated face cake and I think that she may need to mull it over for a year or so which then won’t leave her with a large window for optimal results.

In other news; I now have Hedwig and the perforated ears! Literally it looks like they are ready to be torn off along the dotted lines, but I know this is a passing phase. I’ll just have to keep them hidden from Hubs.

Week 8 - “You look incredible”

“You look incredible” were the first words of my British bestie, and as if to prove her point the sweet young delivery guy practically fell down the curb staring at me!
She followed by “You’ve had your lips done and got coloured contacts” Well there’s observation for you!
We had somewhat liquid lunch “Well it’s more economical to buy the bottle than the cost per glass after all…” and drifted down from Charlotte St to Oxford St for Christmas shopping. I received yet more street compliments from random street guys much to our amusement (I was invisible in school), but on my mental bingo card I’ve not “Made it” until somebody walks into a lamp post!

I had my first massage since the op which was a little awkward as Hedwig and the angry ear both expressing their displeasure by being touch sensitive with a constant dull ache. They’ve also half spat out another stitch each! Luckily ordinarily I sleep with my head in the nook of Hubs arm so I can sort of shield my ear that way too, although he’s suddenly turned into an ear twiddler which he’s not been before. His 6th sense is going for Hedwig!
From a feel around I think that all the post-surgical lumpiness in my neck and face has pretty much subsided, I still have an area where the sensation is dulled and I think of that song “I can’t feel my face (when I’m with you) but I love it!”. I definitely don’t have as much restriction as before, but I’m not in a hurry to repaint the Sistine chapel or I would feel the extra stretch when looking up, then left and right.
One of the downsides of the numb/dulled areas is that I can’t feel when here are hairs stuck to my face (thanks to the Obagi oiliness I seem to be getting) and Hubs seems to be forever spotting them and pulling them off.

I had a brief oh-no second when whilst showering with my hair clipped up, Hubs decided to join me in the bathroom (the only bulb I’ve not been able to lower the wattage on). All these years of trying to entice him and he picks NOW to be brave! A silent prayer offered to Aphrodite, I hoped that a naked female would distract him from my scars… …he didn’t seem to notice. Yay, boobs! ;)

Week 9 - A top up, an exorcism and a surprise or two!

I got my second chance at fooling more professionals this week. Well, almost.
I know someone who works to make the A-listers beautiful in the flesh. They work with the top designers and photographers. The beautiful people are their business. They noticed that “looked wonderful” and I’d had my “brows done”. This I found funny because of everything I thought I saw less of a change in my brow than any of my other procedures. Also “brows done” is ambiguous so I tried to find out what he meant by “done” and from what I could work out they didn’t mean surgery, just shaping! They also hated how much they hate botox and filler and why can't the A-list be natural like me, so I guess they didn't spot mine either!
A needed a little top up on my lip filler and an exorcism/extrication of Hedwig and the angry ear’s stitches both of which Rebecca kindly did for me. It also helped me relax a little more when Hubs starts to caress my ears.

These days I've no idea how old/young I look or who I look like. What I do know is that my upgraded self is gaining more random street compliments and admiring glances. Not only that, but Hubs has noticed that I'm getting them too. Suddenly he's back to first date self. We customarily have date night every couple of weeks, schedules permitting, but now I'm getting the champagne treatment. He's clearly happy to show me off again. He's back to opting to set next to me in restaurants so we can canoodle.
I don't know how things currently stand with Voldemortta but he actually thanked me for standing by him over the last month and admitted he'd done things he's not been proud of and really wants to be a better man. Wow. That is the best Christmas gift right there. Just when I was mentally starting to "consciously uncouple" the goal posts have changed which has thrown me for a loop. All I know is that he seems to have been acting out and feeling down with his midlife crisis while I've been pulled in and lifted up with what could be described as mine. So I see each of us has been dealing with a new era of life in a different way.

Happy New Year!!!

I'm not one to make resolutions, but I promised someone last year that I'd continue posting and I don't plan on abandoning this review this year.

Have a marvelous 2016, may the highs or last year be equal your lows of this year xXx

Week 10 - Hedwig's first and last Christmas!

Every now and then I turn into a Blonde Nigella (minus the substantially older husband and penchant for recreationals) and the kitchen becomes a hive of activity, Christmas is one of those times.
Cakes (free of any combination of dairy, gluten, sugar, eggs and nuts) are created. Mince pies, jams, lemon curd, chocolate truffles, cashew butter. I then distribute them to family and friends.
Oh did I tell you that I generally lace them all with copious amounts of alcohol? It's a wonderful way to distract them from my new look ;)
This year was no different and I also dropped a selection to 70 Harley St for Meg on main reception and Dominic's team (Gingerbread cookies with a selection of dipping sauces) while I called by for more Obagi. I then shared a smile with fellow lifted ladies on Harley St as we passed in the street.

The mega zit on my cheek (more boil like... ...sorry) persisted in joining me for the festive season. I think it is actually somewhat of a remnant of the PDO threadlift. I guess now I'm taking more selfies I can keep track if it is really the same zit in the same place. I could have done without it though.

The Festive Season is always a challenge. I come from a nuclear family, just mine is post-apocalyptic. I have at least 3 sets of family to visit. To keep them all happy I have to divide myself in a way that would tax the mind of King Soloman. Everyone wants at least 2 days, everyone wants Christmas Day and Boxing Day and failing that New Year will do, and that’s just MY family! Double that and you see why it's a challenge for us.
I wasn’t entirely sure how I’d be greeted with my new face “looking very well” was the consensus, and further interrogation was negated by various family members’ crises, for which I was eternally grateful. Not so much the having to entertain them wallowing in personal pity parties though… ...and the outdated views and... *shudders* *rocks back and forth*

Hedwig just wouldn't quit though. I had an inkling that a new stitch was playing peek-a-boo. I’d gone from thinking I could feel a prickle to feeling the tail sticking out, and what is worse, so did the new ear-twiddling Hubs... …”Is your ear still playing up from where the earring back went into it?”. I saw my out, I took it, “Yes, it’s just a little scab".
As Rebecca on my last visit had given my stitches a tug first off (she explained at this stage most are partially dissolved and just come out with a pull) I decided that a little self-exorcism of Hedwig’s stitch was in order (sorry Dominic, stop reading now... ...or you can slap me later!). A swift grab between my fingernails and a quick tug and out it came. Hubs went to feel it again “I thought it felt sharp a moment ago… …you’re good”.
I went to make a cup of tea and quickly gave Hedwig a swab with freshly made salt water. There was only a little blood and it stopped almost immediately. Phew! So long Hedwig, although the ears are still a little touch sensitive in places.

I realise I took no progress selfies this week. They are all of food, friends and fluffy cats!

Cooking in Blandland

I've started a recipe on blogger called "Cooking in Blandland".
While there are recipe blogs out there they can (often) include things that whilst OK for a low salicylate diet aren't good for a pre/post op diet.

So I'm trying to think of alternatives for people so they can keep within the bounds of THE DIET but also keep within the bounds of their sanity.

Vegans, you are going to be the toughest call of all, but I'll try my best for suggestions for you.

I'm neither veggie nor vegan, but I'm quite used to cooking for allergenic people and those who avoid x, y, z.
I'm hoping this means that I have a few culinary tricks up my sleeve as I try to produce flavourful things in Blandland!

Week 11 – Chistmissed, rain stops play... ...and a lemony treat!

This week I met up with a lovely friend of mine for a day of feeding the ducks (with her child) and then on to Winter Wonderland. To clarify her child was there and we were feeding the ducks together, and not with the flesh of her child! She was amazed at how seamless and natural I look now (she saw me in the early stages of recovery when I was rather Joan Rivers). Thumbs up!!!

If Hedwig and the angry ear had a song it would be “Never can say goodbye” because those stitches just won’t quit coming up! I’d made some new oil for them and left it in the kitchen in a handy shot glass to solidify to it’s opaque yellow colour.
Well one of the 4 horseman of the apocalypse rode into the UK this week and flooding stopped transport links for Christmas number 4 (with my post-apocalyptic nuclear family), not that I was too upset as I was feeling a bit blugh with a cold bug, so I convalesced and worked out what to do with all of the lemon curd I’d made for the gathering (pouring most in jars and a little left over bit into a handy shot glass) while I chatted to Hubs.
After taking my shower I made a cup of tea and anointed my suture lines with the oil, can you see where this is going…? Yup... “Oh no, I just put lemon curd on Hedwig!”
“What’s a Hedwig?” Asked Hubs.
“It’s the Latin name for that bit behind your ear just like the front is the tragus and the bit under your lip is the philtrum…” I really hope this question never comes up in a general knowledge quiz!
Hedwig seems to be fine after his lemony treat, though and I am ever surer what I can feel as a lump behind one ear lobe is another stitch waiting to come out. Watch this space!

Week 12 - I've got the itch and I'm my sister?!

Plural, itches actually… …and I can’t scratch them.
It is odd. I can feel a tickle/itch, but because of selected numbness around my temples/cheeks it feels more like I’m tickling when I try to scratch.
Instead I’m sort of applying light to moderate pressure with my palms and moving them in small circles, intermitting with a certain pointillism action with my nails up over my cheeks. I guess this mean the nerve regeneration is happening… …or Hedwig has morphed into a family of ants under my skin (which has totally broken out this week and my scars are one the red phase again. They will fade.).

In other news, I've been mistaken for my sister.
Not my actual sister, but my sister as in; someone recognised I was a younger version of me and told me I look so much like my sister, i.e. me!

Did that make sense? I'd only met them once before and they were drunk at the time (both times actually) and soI slunk away before it got any weirder than it already was...

Week 13 – Mrs Majika and the Braynaissance.

The discovery of this week; Healing takes longer that you’d think. I had a massage and forgot to say to the practitioner to go easy on me, wow, I think I regressed about a month when she pulled my shoulder and it in turn pulled my neck. Those muscle fibres stretched longer than they had ever done in their new position. I don’t think there is lasting damage, but I had face ache for a few days, which I certainly felt as I ran to the hairdressers... ...usually I only ever run; late, a mock, or my mouth!

I also noticed that I have Mr Majeika* hair strands, sort of similar to those I get in Autumn from wearing my sunglasses on my head when we get a Summer (‘when’ being the operative word, in the UK we may have Summer by name but not always by temperature!) and I’m sure it is probably from the times the Velcro on the face-bra attempted to scalp me.

The highlight of the week was a gathering of three Bray Babes in a café, each of us at varying stages of our journeys, each sporting those facial curves that Dominic gives, each sharing takes and revelling in our renewed looks, our renaissance, our Braynaissance if you will! Soph and Germi, it was a wonderful connect that we had and I look forward to the next one. xXx

*character from a UK TV series.

Week 14 – “You look better in photographs” – Hubs

On account of my Braynaissance (Sorry y’all, but I’m going to use that word up and wear it out…) I decided to get more up-to-date photos done for my website and to record some instructional videos this week.
Well, I’m not sure how you lot feel about photos, but I’m sure that I follow the aboriginal philosophy of cameras stealing the soul. Could this account for the vacuousness of the selfie generation?
It seems I naturally counteract the Dementor box (or camera if you will) by adopting RBF (resting bitch face) thus making myself (and my soul) unattractive as humanly possible to any soul-hungry dark creature.
For all of the photographer’s effort I got a couple of good images that I edited to upload. The video was a disaster thanks to workmen drilling next-door (so that is rescheduled for a fortnight) although I did get to see myself in motion and I was so happy with what I saw; fresh faced, alert and natural which is very much what my industry is about.
When my images came through Hubs commented “You look better in photographs”.
Now this may seem like an insult, but luckily for him I knew what he meant. i.e. “You are looking far better in photographs now than you have done in the past”. I told him I’d watched some YouTube tutorials on how to pose for photos (which isn’t a lie) I just neglected to mention I’d also had extensive cosmetic surgery!
Still, his comment was useful because I now realise that he envisions me very differently from image to actuality. Either that or I just don’t photograph well because I try to retain my soul!
One of my colleagues whom I’ve known for about 5 years (very Italian) asked me “what is your secret? How come you never age? I’m 38 and I feel so saggy all of a sudden. I looked in the mirror when I was having sex with my partner and everything was hanging down!” I told her I’d give her a number… …and the conversation was to end there! ; D
All she “needs” is a good BF (botox and fillers) so I’ve put her in touch with Rebecca (Dominic’s aesthetic nurse).

Hedwig and the angry ear are still flaking bits of stitch like suture sunburn behind my ear and on my tragus, but I’m seeing Dominic next week so I’ll ask him how normal this is.

Week 15 – "You look better in real life!" – Dominic

Time flies like and arrow. Fruit flies like a banana! (This is the quality of Dad joke I grew up with).
3 months have flown by, the chronometer counting cumulative recouping of facial sensation through the weeks and swelling abating from my cheeks (although I do miss it from under the eyes, maybe I should cry more to get that slight puffiness back?!).
It was time to see Dominic for (what I hoped this time wouldn’t be) more God-awful photos. He was thrilled to see my progress, then it was out with the Dementor box (or digital camera, if you will) to take the 3-month photos with the poise and precision that Dominic insists on.
Up they popped on screen and to give him credit he did nothing to hide his disappointment as he told me what I already knew “You look better in real life!” I laughed a little harder than appropriate as he didn’t know about Hubs comment the week before.
So, there is it confirmed, I’m just not built to be on the receiving end of the lens! Or in the very least not when my face is suffering from the affliction I share with her Majesty the Queen, RBF (Resting B!tch Face).

The summation of my progress so far;
Excellent regrowth of hair through the suture lines (and I had experienced a few ingown hairs working their way out)
My scars are fading as expected (a little more red along the earlobes than I’d like, but hey, this too shall pass).
The tissue is relaxing into position nicely (I’ve one point that is a little more solid, but it is softening).
My fat domes (from my previous bad fat transfer) are too deep in the muscle to tackle and there is a large possibility that alternative treatments will leave me with worse results than I have (so I’ll see how they progress).
Neck and jaw line are holding marvellously (I hope that it stays like that for a good while, genetics are not on my side here though).
Brow is in a more elevated position than before which I can only see with hindsight, initially I wasn’t sure if it had moved or if it was Botox ( it wasn’t the botox, and I’ll do a separate brow review as not everyone who has a brow lift has a face lift and v.v.).

Oh, and the joy of this week, rekindling my love of my first dangly earrings!
Up until this week I’d stuck with studs (although "sticking with studs" doesn't sound like a motto!).

Week 16 – Incubus of viral plague* lead to too much Monkey.

What a ‘delight’ it was this week to be attacked head on (or on my head) by a virus… …I went from feeling a little off colour to having no voice and an eye swelling like Popeye within the space of a matter of hours. Naturally it all happened after the Doctor’s office had closed so it was off to Accident and Emergency for a night of “Hospital Theatre” (medical equivalent of Street Theatre).
Feeling like a pathetic incapacitated beast-woman I was surprised when I realised the sweet 20-something receptionist was flirting with me! He then immediately got a passing doctor to check out my eye and they sent me off to the specialist eye unit there and then (usually a 3 hour wait is expected, but no criticism of our brilliant NHS).
The poor eye hospital staff were 3 doctors down so I had a long wait in store, and I noticed that the male receptionist addressed me in a nicer way than the other people subsequently checked in. This I don’t think was flirting (as he was very effeminate and I presumed gay), but it reinforced what I thought that people are being nicer to me than before my lift.
In the meanwhile had communicated with Hubs (just back from a long-haul business trip) that there was no point in sitting with me around sick people and I’d get a taxi home. He said he’d cook something as is pretty sure that the way to my heart is through my stomach, however, I know that the way to his heart is through his 4th and 5th ribs...
With my diagnosis of highly contagious multiple viral plague it was clear that our Chinese New Year (Year of the Monkey) party would need postponing. We ended up with more chicken and ribs (already marinating) than I knew what do with apart from cook a whole load and have the remainder occupy the woefully small freezer. Hubs couldn’t work out why it was mainly packed with ziplock bags of ice… …oops… …so wearing a surgical mask and white gloves I directed him on what to put where whilst feeling very Michael Jackson.
I then took my laryngitis, conjunctivitis, bronchitis and what I suspected to be a wannabe random cold-sore off to bed and half died.

*Devil wears Prada quote.

Week 17 – I will not be caged, and the best “Eff-off” I’ve ever received!

Given a 2 week sentence of ‘solitary confinement’ due to my viral contagion so (relatively) soon after surgery was odd. It was like a trip down memory lane, especially as my eyes were swollen. Having to set my alarm every 2 hours through the night to spray my eyes with colloidal silver in an effort to fight the viral conjunctivitis, and doing so hourly while awake, was a pain to do, but it seemed to work.
I’d maybe not have been so dedicated if it weren’t for a friend’s 40th birthday approaching and there was NO WAY that I was missing out. So like a 7 day Lazarus I managed to fix myself up and look sharp for a night out on the tiles!

What a raucous evening, out-dancing the young’uns until the wee small hours and (as well as receiving offers of drinks from lads in their 20s) getting the best/funniest compliment from a girl in the toilets who asked what had brought me to the club; when I told her “I’m here celebrating my friend’s 40th” she replied “Eff-off are you 40!” I told her I was actually over 40 and it was my friend’s 40th she was so disbelieving I had to show her my driving licence! :D

Week 18 – Reflection defection. Some of us are more sensitive than otters*!

My musing of the week is how odd it is that we can reset out baseline of critical thinking.
Prior to my lift I would mentally correct all of my perceived facial imbalances. It would have been easy for me to pin all of my hopes on how they were all going to be magically erased post-lift. However, my previous surgical experiences had taught me that you never really know what you are going to get. That the actual reflection may not mirror my mind, for that I’m grateful because I’m still getting used to seeing the new me, how others haven’t noticed, I don’t know! I digress…
So, now?
Well if I’m not careful then that old critique parrot perches right back on my shoulder… “…Oh look at this… …Who’s not a pretty girl then?!”
Through the magical medium of sharing on this site I see that it seems that many post lift ladies (and the odd gent) have those moments of “Oh I miss my early day swelling” too, and as it goes it is easy to think that we are back to the old, old face of before, although in most cases not, but we are just seeing those wrinkles and making them worse with worry. It seems some of us are more sensitive to this than others.
I found that seeing my ¾ before and after photos were the real “OK, wow, there is a real difference” moments, but that is not an angle I’m used to seeing, so rarely get to appreciate just how great that mid-face fullness looks.

What I’ve also noticed is that not only has my baseline for personal critical analysis been recalibrated (to self-criticise at my upgraded level of beauty), but I now perceive faults/flaws in those who I previously held as a look I wanted to achieve. Basically, I’ve upgraded from a 6 to an 8, but now 8 feels like the new 6! I’m having a personal-visual defect in what the mirror reflects.
What a minxy mind-monkey I have!

So what’s a gal to do? *le sigh* Well apart from evicting the parrot and the monkey (what a circus)… …I can appreciate that as one area is refreshed the focus is naturally drawn to areas that are not, for example; my forehead wrinkles, under eye hollows [please people, it’s not “hallows” hallows is the wrong word, I see used and it annoys the living crap out of me EVERY time. You sure as shee-it are not making them sacred, consecrated, sanctified or holy (which is what hallows means), so stop with the “hallows” (rant over)!!!], lip lines or lost volume and I assess what can be done.
In addition to my lift I have had filler and botox. In part, I’d hoped to hop the additional expense, but I can actually appreciate that the culmination of complementing treatments gives me the best aesthetic, so I “suck it up, buttercup” work a little harder to earn a bit more and get jabbed a little more for the best results. After all ,Dominic could only work with what I brought to the table and if the volume wasn’t there is the first place it needs to come from somewhere.
In short I have accepted that to get the best result I have to add a little wax when it comes to “polishing the Maseratti”!

*others, but it was too funny to correct.

Week 19 – a nice family outing!

Since I confessed to Mother dearest about my lift she’s been asking me questions… …for her sister.
I do think that it is without inverted commas!
She was hoping to treat my aunt to a neck lift, but thinks it is possibly out of her budget (as gifts to siblings go). I did wonder if she’d spilled the beans to my aunt already, but a family gathering proved that she hadn’t, yet!

To give you an overview we were in the decompression part of the evening (after the Grandparents had left, after dinner and after wine had been taken!) and my uncle (a man with no filter) commented on how I looked different around my jaw in a recent photo, he was not buying the "front camera makes me look different line", and wondered how much weight I'd lost.
This opened the channel of communication and my aunt agreed that I looked different, but had said that to mum several years ago (after my first surgery)…
…at which point mother dearest said “show them… …it’s as plain as the nose on her face!”.
Cue an hour long grilling about rhinoplasty and fillers (I admitted that much but admitting to any more and I’d never hear the last of it at any family gathering, ever!) but at least someone (unlike Hubs) noticed!
There again I found some old before anything photos and, well, there may have been a few changes in me…

Week 20 – Sweet sickness.

This post may seem irrelevant, but keep with it!
I've been battling the malaise for a while and it caught up with me.
Maybe I've said the following enough times to Hubs for it to stick "If you find me asleep on the sofa, I’m ill and there is something very wrong with me". So when he came home to find me knocked out on the couch he was clearly worried. "You are freezing" he commented as he stroked my arm, then immediately took off his jumper and made me put it on (although I had my own somewhere nearby) and hugged me as I stood up. I was caught off guard, feeling like a 7-year-old in an adult's jumper I lost all of my usual self-sufficiency.
He fetched water "Let's get you to bed..." lead me upstairs and undressed me with only concern (not desire) in his eyes and I've rarely seen that depth of concern.
I've a usual rule of quarantine when it's comes to illness and as I climbed into bed he lay alongside me hugging me "I'll just stay until you warm up" he whispered in my ear (and of course he promptly fell asleep).

As I lay awake, held in his arms it struck me that had I not had surgery, had I not become familiar with sofa sleeping this moment would never have happened. I'd have gone right to bed before Hubs got back and left a note saying I'd quarantined myself in the other room, so in a funny way, for at least this moment in time, surgery brought us closer together.
I wept silently to myself as I realised that for all of my usual fortitude sometimes there is something positive about being pretty vulnerable, or pretty and vulnerable... …and then I snuggled into him enjoying the beautiful moment, punctuated promptly by a loud snore that woke him and a muttered apology. He kissed Hedwig (unknowingly, who is back to being a little sore) “Promise me you’ll go to the Doctors tomorrow…” and went right back to gentle snoring.
I guess loving moments are found at unexpected times.

(On a side note; Having issues uploading photos)

Will these upload?!

I managed to miss these out by way of comparison to be "before anything" photos.
Here are week 19's set

Week 21 - Dr, Dr...

Week 21 – Dr Dr… At the doctors the receptionist looked at me disbelievingly. I'm not sure she was convinced I was actually me. Maybe she thought I was sneaking in under someone else's registration? "Are you sure that is your date of birth..?" "Pretty much. I've had it all my life, I don't think it's changed chronologically over the last 4 decades." She looked at my blankly. Not everyone gets my humour. When I actually got to see the doctor (who shrugged and put my symptoms down to a non-specific virus) she did point out that I was due for my over 40 health check "not that you at all look like it" she added. Nice to have independent verification! I did confide that I'd had help along the way. It's odd, because I feel I can't really take credit for my looks anymore. Prior to my rhinoplasty and buccal fat extraction (which caused my cheeks to cave in and sag) I took full credit. Now I feel credit has to go to Dominic for saving me! Does anyone else feel like this? (BTW all, sorry for the delay in posting. Technical issues).

Week 22 – Feeling lucky (lucky, lucky, lucky).

Out with Hubs for dinner in the back of the cab he hugged my closer and interlocked my hand in his. His plane later than anticipated so we’d lost the reservation at our first restaurant and went for another of our favourites. I’d had time to dress for dinner, he hadn’t.
“I’m feeling a little underdressed for this, but I’m with you so that’s OK.” I looked at him quizzically trying to decipher the meaning. “Well here I am looking well, rather casual, but you look great”.
“REALLY?” I sounded a little more shocked than I meant to.
“Yes, but you always have… …classic elegance”.
Well strike me down with a feather girls, compliments! The man is giving compliments! Honestly pre-lift at times I felt I’d have to do have had a Marching Band behind me while I wore nowt more than a feather boa, nipple tassels and some strategically placed glow in the dark stars while doing a series of back-flips, Arab-springs and landing in the splits to get his attention!

In the restaurant although he was seated opposite me, he chose to come and sit beside me, showering me with hugs and kisses. The manager asked how long we’d been together. “Ten years…”
He genuinely looked like he was counting back “but you don’t look old enough for that!” well it was very sweet of him to say that even if he didn’t mean it. He followed it up with “Most couples who have been together that long who come in here don’t talk to each other, they barely even look at each other… …wow, you are lucky, what’s your secret…”
Well I wasn’t going to spill the beans so I spilled my wine instead!
Yes, I’m feeling lucky though, especially lucky that I had the opportunity to have surgery with a great surgeon who enabled me to find a new version of me and rekindle a version of us.

(My pictures are not uploading, so I'll have to add them at a later date)

Week 23 & 24 - House!

It feels like my life seems to be becoming an episode of House M.D (minus the coma and discussion about lupus).
It seems that in short I have an invisible virus that makes me feel sick all the time (plus various other manifestations).
In all of the testing I've spent quite some time waiting about in medical establishments. This has lead to the odd conversation or two in waiting areas (take "odd" whichever way you will).

"You are very pretty but you don't have a conventional look"
"Erm, thanks I'll take that as a compliment". Prior to my facelift I'd only ever get the latter part of the comment (i.e. not having the conventional look, which thinking about it may never have been intended as a compliment at all!).
"What I mean is that there are those who are beautiful but they all look sort of the same..."
Me - "Identikits"
"...but you are... ...unusual..."
I was sort of hoping for alluring...
"...almost alluring".
Ok, almost, oh, ok, I'll take that "Thank you".

This was not the first conversation I'd had with someone recently about my looks.
The other went something like "Your face is unusual. You have no distinct ethnic features".
I did toy with telling them I'd had that removed 2 years ago, but it wasn't the time or place for one of my usual quips.

So what is it that I've noticed recently?
People are openly commenting on my facial features in a positive way, in the same way people comment on my figure. This is new. In the past it was "You have a great figure".
Prior to that it was "You don't sweat much for a fat bird"!
I'll have to see what happens when it gets round to summer (if we get one, it's not a given in the UK) on how comments vary between my face and figure, or if the crass guys comment on my boobs at all?!

Week 25 - The new Messiah!

If you are wondering if Obagi skincare is worth it, well, I've been on it for 5 months now and I clearly have a glow. So much so that I've been through not 2 but 3 pregnancy tests by the doctors! It's become a standing joke that I'm carrying the New Messiah. For instance out for Sunday lunch (with a good bottle of wine) the conversation flowed thus; "Should you be drinking that what with carrying the new messiah n'all?" "He's not the messiah!" I said glowering and just before draining my wine I added "He's just a very naughty boy...*" * Monty Python life of Brian quote. Oh, and to show people how well I bruise, this is my arm after a blood test. Look how far down the bruising traveled!

Week 26 - scar gazing

Scar gazing.

Several of the main concerns of people who are considering a lift are the placement and visibility of the scars.
While the initial stage feels very visible in the raw (so to speak) I hid mine with mineral make up. My initial plan was to hide them behind a scarf of headband.
Well that was a cute notion and the reality is I absolutely could NOT hide my scars with a scarf, because it sits in the wrong place. I found it brings your hair back to actually reveal your scar lines more. So word to the wise, play about with hairstyles pre-lift. Maybe a little styling gel/mousse and a sweep forward towards your face is the best option?
Anywho, as long as you've got covering make up you really don't need to stress.
Here I am now at around 27 weeks and I've not been covering them with anything for a good long while.
Up by the top of my brow line on one I've side I can still feel a slight "step" in the heights of the scalp and my face (I'm talking a fraction of a fraction of a millimetre) but in general I can't feel where my suture lines were anymore at all.
Several people may have seen me at one of Dominic's events as folks asked me to come along as a "show and tell". For those who've not seen me in the flesh, here are some odd selfies.
I was totally busted taking one and had to explain I was taking a picture of the back of my head to see how my hair looked... ...being an eccentric has advantages at times!

Tightness up to 6 months.

Well someone let a drama llama loose around the proverbial RealSelf paddock and It seems to have sparked a week for people questioning tightness.
I've mentioned mine sporadically but not overly because it was something I expected. Muscles have been moved and adjusted and it will take a while for them to settle in, forgive and relax. Post rhinoplasty my nose took over 2 years to settle so I expected no less from my face.
However, I'll highlight my experience thus far;
I've encountered a lot of tightness but I've become accustomed to it, from week 1-3 where I had to turn my whole body rather than my head to look behind me, to week 13 when I had my first massage and those muscle fibres were stretched longer than I'd moved them before in their new position. Even now (after 6 months) at certain angles I'm still tight.

I've noticed that if I sleep poorly, am emotional, stressed or stretch them excessively/rapidly I'm tighter the following day and that seems to be accumulative.
At certain angles the tightness looks worse than it is. It can be dependent on how my head is sitting in relation to my neck (projected, retracted. etc I'll post photos).

I've always had tight neck and jaw muscles (which has a knock on effect on the whole body) and in their new position I feel they are actually functioning better for me. My massage therapist confirmed this.
However, I'd describe the experience as a recovery dance. You go forward several steps, and back. Some days I'm more aware of tightness in my jaw, other times under my neck. Generally this is only so if I focus on it, but life is generally too busy for that.
If I were though for an example a professional sword swallower for a traveling circus then I'd have found the recovery tough, but that isn't my circus and those aren't my monkeys (to quote an old Polish proverb) so it's not been an issue. Seriously though if you rely on your head/neck/jaw to do a lot of animated movements for work (professional headbanger, dancer, sistine chapel painter, exercise instructor, 'adult' industry worker, plane spotter etc) you may need to consider taking at least 6 months out for recovery.

I still have some numbness too more so on the side that was most swollen but this is abating as time goes on.
I'll keep you all posted on my progress.

My own personal Brexit (Biexit?!)

Hello all, I've not forgotten you!
If you have ever heard the stats that top stressors in life are moving house, separation, death and incarceration then I could add that in my experience one can lead to another in a flow chart of emotional disruption!
Property matters have caused somewhat of an upheaval.
No, I've not killed Hubs, but there've been a few moments where it's been close to the wire (in my head at least) and right now I'm in my Bitch House while he remains in the Dog House! It may stay that way, it may not, neither of us has invoked our personal clause 50 yet!

I don't want to break continuity in my update timeline so I will post in all due course but just to let you know I'm still improving as I continue my recovery.

The silver lining.

"That rat-bastard stole your sparkle...".

There is nothing like a friend to give you support.

"...so here, have this prosecco to supplement it you miserable mare".

There's nothing dear friend who knows how you tick.

"You know just because you've put a lot of time and effort making a mistake it doesn't mean you have to remain committed to continuing it".

...and there is nothing like your very best friend to tell the truth.

As I got more wind of the details of Hubs past behaviour they cut deeper than the incisions made by Dominic and unlike my facelift scars, the fresh news of previous deceptions became too fresh and raw. Do ocelots change their spots? It's something I've get to see and believe.
Trust is so delicate. Just like with my previous surgeon when my trust was broken it was hard to have confidence in him.
So bestie kept topping up my glass and punctuating my woes with "that rat-bastard" as I regaled the various tales of deception I'd gleaned.
"...but this was all pre-Braynaissance" was my skewed logic.
"Darling you didn't deserve it then and you totally don't deserve it now"
This echoed all too well what I'd told him and he had told me.
The conclusion was unanimous. I deserved better.

She gave me sage advice "Although you may feel like you want to, don't kill him. Remember sweetie wine and incarceration don't mix".
So we poured and drank and talked and poured and popped corks and poured and drank and talked way into the tiny hours of the morning and beyond. In all of this cooking dinner never quite happened.
The resulting hangover put back the ten years that Dominic had taken off my face and a sea of nausea accompanied by a hippo tap dancing across my forehead made the very basics of human function almost impossible the following afternoon (I'm not going to even pretend it was morning when I surfaced).
It was a movie and don't move day with Neanderthal communication in grunts and groans and it took until the following day for me to feel human again.
That's the thing about feeling bad. You appreciate "normal" more afterwards. Every wine bottle foil has a silver lining!

London Facial Plastic Surgeon

Many reviews of Dominic sound same-y, but there are only so many ways to tell the truth. I will try to be a little different. In my opinion it is clear, Dominic has a passion for helping restore, retrieve and revive the beauty in faces. He has focused expertise rather than a Jack-of-all-trades. When a straight man looks purely at your face, not at your ample cleavage you know where his priorities lie. Very reassuring (I use the same principle with my hairdresser)! His approach isn’t old establishment (part of the charm), blended with his skill and intuition it cemented in my mind that this was the surgeon for me. *People frequently overpromise and underdeliver. How refreshing it is when one finds the opposite.* What can I say, I think that when it comes to the right surgeon you know that you know!

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
4 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
3 out of 5 stars Wait times
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