Wanted Face to Match How Well I Was Feeling - Costa Rica

Hello! I am 53 years old. For a long time I aged...


I am 53 years old. For a long time I aged well but
2 years ago things changed like someone threw a switch and my face started a rapid decline downwards. I had been battling an undiagnosed and untreated disease for 18 years. I live in Canada and saw numerous doctors but no one figured out what was wrong with me. I had no quality of life. Everyday was a struggle. Then just when I thought that the end was close I met someone who said I should get checked for Lyme disease. I looked up online people's story's with Lyme and there was my answer. Their story's were my story. Their symptoms were my symptoms. I went to the States to see a Lyme literate doctor and was diagnosed clinically. Two weeks later my blood work came back with a positive for Lyme and co infections. The hardest one for me to cope with Babesia. I have been on heavy duty medication to try and beat Chronic Lyme and co infections now for 17 months. It has been a terrible struggle. The medications worked but I had been sick too long and my kidney's, liver and heart struggled on the medication. I would start and then have to stop medication once my doctor reviewed my blood work which I do every month. Every time I stopped the medication my symptoms would rush back. I would sink into a very sad, hopeless place but I would hang on. Then the doctor brought my medications down to 3 that I hadn't tried before because of cost and everything changed. My organs weren't over taxed and my symptoms went away. I couldn't believe it. After almost 20 years quality of life came flooding back. I felt wonderful but when I looked in the mirror there I saw a stranger and although she felt well she looked old, sick and tired and I just wasn't having it. I had tried Botox and Juvederm a year earlier and they had helped but I quickly realized the constant maintenance would be ongoing and the costs over the years would add up to far more then a face lift in the end. So I started saving and started my journey of finding a terrific surgeon. I had found RealSelf a couple of years earlier when I was looking into Juvederm. Now I revisited searching for a surgeon with remarkable reviews at a price I could afford. I found doctor Lev in Costa Rica and went for it. I contacted Didi and followed what she asked me to do and one by one everything fell into place. I have been to Costa Rica before and love it so I had no worries about going there for surgery. A few years ago I had gone to Costa Rica for a holiday. Ten feet before going through immigration I passed out on the floor of the airport. I was taken to hospital and like a conveyor belt saw numerous doctors and had numerous tests. My husband watched as a room of 12 doctors conferred about their findings. I was approached, told what was wrong, given a shot and told to get to my condo and rest and that the next day I would be fine. The Bill? Zero!
It was free. Amazing! I woke up the next day and I was fine. No sign of my problem. My husband said it was the most amazing hospital experience he had ever seen. So I have no fear of going to Costa Rica for anything medical.

I have waited to post on RealSelf until medically things were perfect and my doctors had given me the ok to go ahead with the surgery. I have been cleared and it's a go. Doctor Lev contacted my Lyme doctor to make sure it was safe for me to proceed. He an amazingly caring guy.

Well I never did get this mail onto RealSelf before leaving. I'm already in San Jose and yesterday I had my neck, lower face and upper and lower eyes done plus my lips. I had hoped to have a forehead lift but Dr. Lev explained why I was not a good candidate. He showed me that when he pulled up on my forehead my eyebrows came way off my brow bone and it looked terrible on me. Instead he did Juvederm in my lips and before I go home will do Botox in my forehead so that my forehead matches the lower more youthful part of me. We can revisit my forehead a few years from now.
I have been up sold so man times in my life because I didn't know any better it was a pleasure to hear Dr. Lev tell it the way it really was. I hope that makes sense.

So I am lying here so very happy, beyond happy at Casa Mercedes Recovery Retreat.
What a wonderful, caring family. From the moment I arrived I was treated like family and Casa Mercedes feels like my second home.

For me Dr. Lev and Cassa Mercedes were the absolute right choices.

I am weary now so I will write more tomorrow about Dr. Lev's office consult and my procedure at the clinic.

Thank you for reading my very long letter.


Was a bit shaky yesterday but today is much better. I'm excited to meet with Dr. Lev and have bandages removed.

I am waiting patiently and happily at Casa
Mercedes's as my eye's face and neck metamorphosis into something lovely. I can see they are on their way now. Dr. Lev is really someone very special and he made me feel very special indeed. Everyone here is so very kind and caring. It's like being cocooned in love.

Helmet came off today and eye stitches removed. Tomorrow I get to wash my hair after compression garment comes off.

I was very ready to get the heavy, restricting helmet off. Also eyes feel more comfortable now stitches are removed. Around 3pm tomorrow I get to wash and dry my hair. I see Dr, Lev on Wedensday morning . So far so good.

Last bandage is being removed by Mercedes of Casa Mercedes. I love it here!!!

The unveiling!!!!
I am feeling well but am very ready to have the last bandages removed today. We are sitting under the veranda at Casa Mercedes while Mercedes following Dr. Lev's instructions does the unveiling. Then oh joy oh bliss I get to wash and dry my hair. Happy, Happy Day!!!!

The new me is peeking through the swelling and the bruises!

Today is a great day. Doctor Lev took some stitches out from infront of my ears and from under my chin. He is so very nice and so very careful. As I have thin skin he sees me quite often to do various things that normally would be done later. He's keeping close tabs on me. I feel I am in the best situation possible. Today he said You look like a teenager. I laughter with happiness :)
Costa Rica Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Lev is awesome. He was very honest with what he could and couldn't do with my face. I liked him right off the bat. He's very professional but at the same time warm and personable. He takes his time and is a true artist. He does it right or he doesn't do it at all.

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
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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