Advantages fast , excellent results
Disadvantages a week of inconvenience
|Value for Money|
Okay … an admission now …My latest little absence has been due to a short excursion into the world of " Nip Tuck . "
I had to jam it into my schedule between our last return from France and our next departure , which gave me a 5 week window of opportunity during which I had to have my op and heal enough to be fit for public viewing before the next trip .Frightening small children and hiding from our French friends and neighbours wasn't an option , so I needed to allow myself enough time for all scars to heal and begin to fade before the end of May .
So now …. back to the official beginning of the story .I've always been lucky enough to look ten to fifteen years younger than my age ( apart from when I was actually between 10 and 15 of course ) , and had never even considered the prospect of cosmetic surgery .
But then , after a particularly heavy few months of Birthdays , Anniversaries and trips away I awoke one morning to a reflection in the mirror which I wasn't quite expecting .
Yeah , I looked knackered …. It was self inflicted and to be expected .
No sympathy there then .
BUT … my left eyelid was swollen and almost closed . The right wasn't too bright either , but in comparison looked pretty okay-ish .
" Whatever " thought I . " It will have gone down in a couple of hours .. No problem . "
I'll just have a day in , chill out , watch a DVD and be back on top form again tomorrow .
Three days later I was hiding behind dark sunglasses in Boots ( yes .. very inconspicuous I know , but no way was I being seen in public in that state ! ) buying up every designer eye cream , gel and potion that said " De-puffing " " Anti Inflammatory " or " Cooling " .Another week later and I decided I must need something even stronger , swore off the drink FOREVER and headed back to Boots .
There a young assistant whispered to me that the best treatment for puffy eyes was ………………PREPARATION H !
Yes …… pile cream !!Apparently super models swear by it , as it is a vaso-constrictor that shrinks the blood vessels and thereby takes down the swelling almost magically .
Okay , so I'm easily persuaded .Off I went , back bottom bum cream concealed in a scrunched up paper bag , scuttled across the car park , dived into the car and headed home , then dashed upstairs to the bathroom to have my little haemorroid miracle worked for me .
Bum cream at the ready and … wide open eyes , here I come !!Ten minutes
Twenty minutesHalf an hour
Twenty four hoursThis magic potion is dragging it's arse somewhat .
A couple of days later I realised that nothing short of a real miracle ( one that didn't come in a tube ) was going to help .So I phoned my GP and made an appointment , wondering if I had an eye infection of some sort .
Later that day I sat in the surgery complete with my now signature black sunglasses , waiting patiently for the prescription pad to be produced , ending all of my problems in a few deft sweeps of a well chewed pen .But no .
Oh no no no no …. it wasn't to be that easy after all .It seems that while I've been so busy over these last few years , skipping blithely in and out of the country , running two houses , a business and a large family , I have been getting gradually older .
Sneaky thing that Mother Nature .While your back's turned she starts changing things , just a little at a time , a crease here , a milimeter lower there … knowing that you're too damned busy to notice just yet .
And so it was with me .
Well , except for the fact that my 12 day drinking - smoking - partying - and - staying - up - till - all - hours session ( during which I don't recall being sober for more than a few precious semi-lucid moments ) had enhanced the effect , making it look a lot worse than it actually was for a time .
This was , if you like , a sneak preview of the future .
But then he continued .
The worst of the swelling would go down on its own , but apparently in its own sweet time .
PHEW ! Cancel the gin and tablets .
He asked if it could be genetic … did anyone in the family have hooded eyes ?
Erm … yes .
My Mum AND my Dad , ( and my hell-spawned sister is looking a little frayed round the edges lately too … although it hadn't occurred to me until now .)
In all honesty , I hadn't noticed at all until it begun to actually involve me personally …
AAAAAAAAAARRRGGH !!!!NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO !!
DOUBLE THAT GIN ORDER AND MAKE IT QUICK !Ten minutes later I left the surgery victorious rather than depressed and beaten .
Well … what's a girl to do ?
Just give in ??
Four days later I had an appointment for my consultation .
This was simple and straightforward …. the surgeon inspected the problem and told me what he could do to rectify it .
Then a nurse took some medical history , a urine sample , a blood sample , height , weight , and measured my calves for the pressure stockings which I would need to wear for the operation and afterwards until I got out of bed and begun to walk around again .
Back to the surgeon , who checked his diary and offered me a date for the procedure which I accepted .
No worries about being hit with a huge bill after the event simply because you had an unforeseen reaction to something and had to stay a little longer than you had thought .
( Unlike at the garage when they quote you £200 for a service and then bill you for £600 because the brakes needed doing as well ( allegedly ) .
Or you had one meal more than they had budgeted for , and had to pay it as an exorbitant extra .
That's it . One price no matter what .
Paid , done , finished .
After she left I sat myself in the large , comfortable chair by the big sash windows and waited patiently ( with the help of the television and a phone call from my daughter ) for the surgeon and the anaesthetist to visit before my scheduled operation at 3pm .My designated nurse arrived , introduced herself , booked me in and laid out my theatre kit on the bottom of the bed … the traditional tie-up-the-back-type gown ( although unlike the NHS variety this one actually had all of its ties ) , white anti - DVT pressure stockings which I had been measured for in advance ( hmm … kinda porn-star-ish in a certain light . ) and ……. Oh horror !! Paper knickers !
Oh joy .Those paper ones have horrible tight elastic which cuts of the blood supply to your legs .
She said I didn't need to get changed yet … no point in sitting around in that kit until I had to .
She would pop in ten minutes before my op and give me a hand .
Apparently the stockings are a two-man job .
I begged to differ , but ordered anyway .
( However nice the hospital , I still wasn't counting on being here overnight. I like my own bed and home comforts thank you very much . )
I asked how long it would be before I could go out in public with any amount of confidence , and surprisingly enough the answer was " 2 weeks "
The thin skin of the eye area heals quickly , and I would even be able to use a little make up again within a couple of days of the stitches being removed
2pm , and I was finally all set .I rang my call bell for a nurse ( who appeared , smiling , within mili-seconds ) and asked her if it was okay for me to go sit in the garden and have a ciggie .
Bloody hell … its good , this private hospital malarky !
If I'd known I might have made a couple of claims against the private insurance we've been paying through the business for the past 6 years !
That's the joy of a cosmetic procedure .. you're not ill in the first place , not feeling rotten and depressed , and you know that afterwards you will have gained something rather than have lost anything !
You will come out better than you were , not minus an essential organ or a necessary body part .
We had , between us and with much hilarity , managed to heave the stockings on , and she had just finished fastening the back of the gown when there was a knock at the door and the porters arrived to take me to theatre .
Down the corridor , into the brass-embellished lift , up one floor and into the theatre suite .
Then I remember wondering how come I had got so drunk when I hadn't touched a drop for days … a thought which I quickly discarded as unimportant as the light swam pleasantly before my eyes .
And then I felt a cold sensation sweep up my arm .
The next thing I know I am waking up again , without even knowing I had gone back to sleep .
I'm in my sunny room , and one of the sash windows is slightly open .
I can hear a blackbird singing .
Then I'm waking up again . How surreal .I squint at the digital clock on the front of the TV , and it's 7.02 pm .
As I sit myself up , the nurse appears again out of nowhere and rearranges my pillows and call bell , which has a clip so it can be attached to the sheet to prevent it sliding away out of reach .The surgeon arrives , black suited and smart , seats himself in the comfortable chair by my bedside and asks how I am .
He seems a little surprised , but agrees that if the anaesthetist has no objections , and if I can manage to eat a little , drink a little , and pee a little , then he will authorise my discharge .
But he adds that there is no rush … the night staff will admit my husband to collect me at any time at all , whether it's 9pm or 4am , whenever I'm feeing comfortable enough to go .
The anaesthetist asks whether I need any anti-sickness medication or pain relief , and promises to send the house doctor in to see to it for me .
And as they leave , she arrives with the aforementioned analgesics .
It arrives neatly arranged on a white draped tray within five minutes , and I quickly drink the coffee ( and thoroughly enjoy it ) , but after a few nibbles of the toast leaves me retching , I hide it in my overnight bag like a naughty school girl .
Then I pay a quick visit to my en suite bathroom and duly produce the required pee .
Task completed .
Home James , and don't spare the horses !
He is a little surprised , as apparently he phoned an hour ago and spoke to my nurse , who had told him I was still pretty sleepy and certainly wouldn't be home tonight !
Crafty little minx !
She never even told me he had rung !
Aw … bless her . That's concern for you .
And in case she's reading this …. Rachel , you're a sweetheart , and it was nothing personal , but yes , I went home . Just like I said I would !
Okay , so the soreness was kicking in now … it was a couple of hours since the in-house doctor had given me some painkillers , but she had prepared some for me to take home which I could take in another hour or so .
And yes , when I stood up the room blurred a little , but the night exit to the car park was only around the corner from my room and I'm sure I would make it with some help .
And yes .. I'm bloody minded , determined and stubborn !
For the next three days I had to sleep with the head of the bed raised to prevent any more swelling around the wounds , so my husband arranged a large , rolled up duvet under the top of the mattress which worked a treat .
Better than being swamped with loads of pillows , and just enough of an incline to aid the healing without the worry of sliding down in the night and waking up finding myself at the bottom of the bed in the morning .
Day 5 , and my Dad drove me back to the hospital to have the dressings and stitches removed , a thing I had been secretly dreading .
However , five days of applying the antibiotic cream had loosened the steri-strips , so to my surprise they lifted away virtually without a twinge .
She gave me a couple of pieces of sterile gauze , soaked in iced water , and I laid on the bed for a couple of minutes with them over my eyes .
I could almost feel the swelling reducing .
I cleaned them carefully a couple of times a day , easing the goo out from under the corners which were still a little swollen , and resisting the urge to have a good old rub every morning when I woke up .Within three days all of the little scabs and bits of dry skin had come away , leaving fresh and surprisingly pale coloured skin behind .
Now it wasn't at all painful to raise my eyebrows or look up or down , and the renewed mobility in the area helped drain the excess fluid and reduce the swelling even further .In all honesty , the whole experience has been far less painful than I had imagined .
Today is Thursday … exactly two weeks to the day since my operation , and I have been into town with my daughter .
It isn't my first excursion , but by far my most public .
Unless I stood right in front of you and closed my eyes completely you wouldn't notice the scars even this early on .Now I can get up in the morning and see the old bright eyed me in the mirror . I have eyelids again …. I look wide awake instead of knackered .
No one has actually realised that I've had anything done .. I just look brighter and well rested .My aim was never to look younger .
I look exactly as I did before , just more alert and refreshed .
And that's exactly what I wanted .
And the money I will save on expensive wonder-creams that could never have achieved this result means that the surgery will have paid for itself in a couple of years .I have no regrets , and no guilt at having spent money in this way .
And I'm worth it .J xx
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