"No object is so beautiful that, under certain conditions, it will not look ugly."
- Oscar Wilde
Friday December 12, 2008 one of the longest days in my life. It was my first time ever meeting Dr. Luis Casavantes, AND have him do a major dermatological treatment on my face! (This ain't no consultation, fur sure...totally!) Dr. C was highly recommended from colleagues and friends, I viewed photos and watched his video included on this website, and I was feeling like I had done my research, but there was still some sense of anxiety.
After making a connecting flight through Chicago, arriving in San Diego, and traveling the 45 minutes through the border to Tijuana, the medical shuttle driver pointed out the office of Dr. C, rising like mini Twin Towers up the road. How apropos, me being from New York City and witnessing both of the towers fall. This will be my chance to rebuild my face to its former glory...I know it's kind of stretch. I was greeted by an assistant who photographed my "before" face from every angle imaginable, while I was admiring the view. The towers (or Grand Hotel Tijuana complex, including Dr. C's 11th floor offices) were adjacent to an exclusive golf course, which appeared as an oasis in the valley surrounded by the desert mountains. Not to shabby, compared to my NY dermatologist's office with street level views of E64th Street. After I was ushered into the office of Wade Zobel, Dr. C chief nurse, for a pre-procedure interview and a document signing fest. Wade was employed by Dr. C and was also a patient, so he was speaking from first hand experience about the procedure. After viewing my "old" face from my passport and license, Wade had a better idea of what I was looking for. My face had totally changed from the wasting; originally I had a square face (which was news to me.)
Make no mistake; the procedure was horribly painful and uncomfortable. But in comparison, the other traumas I've experienced during my trials and tribulations with AIDS; did NOT produce such amazing and immediate results. I'm not sure which was worse, the Lidocaine injections or the PMMA being inserted under my skin. During the numbing process, I was given two "squeezies" balls, which were surprisingly a great detraction from the needle being poked relentlessly into my face. After what seemed like hours of Lidocaine injections, with sweating, white-knuckles, and flats squeezies balls that looks like pancakes, I opened my eyes to be greeted with the PMMA "gun." The stainless steel "gun" has a micro-canula tip (to me it just looks like a big fat needle,) and I was actually astonished with the result...only after many hours later! The video of the procedure left out the quintessential element – the patient's internal soundtrack. When the micro-canula gun entered my temple, I felt no pain, just the tearing of flesh (on the inside of my face) reverberating through my skull bone. "What cost beauty?"…hee hee. The cheek entry-points were a different story. Unforeseen was the fact that I had thin skin (apparently, most Italian have thick skin, literality,) and I learns this the hard way, with the micro-canula tearing dangerously close to the inside of my mouth. Hopefully, you're getting the picture! Afterwards, Wade said, "Your face is really pissed off right now," which I thought was very heartfelt, in its own way. Yes, my face was super pissed especially when the Lidocaine wore off. I couldn't even hold my Blackberry against by cheek, because my face was so swollen and sore.
Arriving late Friday night to stay with a old friend, I slept thirteen hours (on my back, my face was too sensitive.) My face had exploded into a balloon overnight. All my friends were telling me I looked fabulous, I guess they were expecting bruises and scars or something?! I avoided shaving all weekend, only on Sunday was I man enough to take a shower, scared of that shower-head hitting my tender face. On the plane returning to Newark airport Sunday night, I noticed a women blatantly reading "Ten Days to Self-Esteem." Still a little uncomfortable from the procedure, I thought to myself, it only took me three, loser...hee hee!
It sure feels good to be back!
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