My consultation with the skin-care specialist is much less ego-crushing. I already know my skin isn't the greatest, so what she tells me isn't news. I'm actually really interested in the procedures they offer, and if I had $150 to spare every six weeks, I'd already be a microdermabrasion fanatic.
She also tells me about a shot called Restylane that I can get for the low, low price of $510 a shot. Restylane is a dermal filler (which means it will fill in my deeper scars, whereas microdermabrasion just buffs the skin) normally used for wrinkles. It stays good for six months. I know because the doctor told me that this particular skin specialist has the same kind of skin as me. She's been getting Restylane shots, and she looks amazing. Unfortunately, I have to chalk this up to another "if I could afford it" experience, and leave without booking an appointment.
I notice that my opinion on this stuff starting to change. I mean, I really would go for the Restylane injections if I could.
But by this point in my experiment, the doctor visits are starting to wear me down. I'm finding it hard to make it to them on time because I'm tired of pretending not to like myself. I'm also sick of wasting my cute panties on these appointments.
Plus, my previously held standards of beauty are starting to morph. I notice myself constantly evaluating every body that crosses my path, wondering if the person has had work done, making note of what I think they should consider.
I'm also perpetually late to appointments because I just can't seem to learn my way around Scottsdale. It's with great relief that I arrive (almost an hour late) at my second-to-last plastic surgeon appointment.
I'm here to talk about real liposuction and find out what the doc thinks of Lipodissolve. I throw in a boob job just for fun.
The doctor in this office was licensed just a year ago, so we're within 10 years of each other. This makes things more awkward when it comes time to strip. But before I don the now-familiar paper robes, we have to talk about what I want. I am so bored with these conversations.
As I sit in the examining room waiting for him to enter, some crappy pop star is singing about releasing your inhibitions and feeling rain upon your skin.
I'm rewriting the lyrics in my head to say, "Release your inhibitions, feel the blade upon your skin."
This is what too many plastic surgery consultations can do to a girl.
The doctor comes in and I ask what he thinks about Lipodissolve. He practically jumps out of his chair. Apparently, this is a touchy subject among surgeons.
"Lipodissolve is a compound previously used to dissolve gallstones. Someone decided to see what happens when they inject it into the skin," he says. I can tell from the gallstone reference, he doesn't think highly of the procedure. "They get results, but it's very limited. Plastic surgeons aren't doing it because it's not proven. I know surgeons who have done it to themselves to see, and they had no results but an extreme amount of pain."
Okay. No Lipodissolve. We settle on traditional liposuction and possible breast implants. He tells me the recovery period for lipo is about two weeks and that I will have to wear a "garment" during that time. He says it's like bike shorts, but every time he says the word "garment," I'm picturing Mormon wedding underpants. Hot.
He glosses over the painful part, but I've done my homework. If I were to get the procedure, he would make several incisions in my thighs and insert an instrument that digs the fat out and sends it shooting out of my body via a tube. It's not as invasive as other surgeries, but it's nothing to take lightly. Some women have bruising up and down their legs for weeks.
Now it's time for him to take a look at what I've got, and what he'll be "fixing." He sends in his assistant to bring me some "clothes" to put on. The panties are especially humiliating they're made out of paper and have only a string of elastic holding them together. I'm not sure why I have to wear them because you can see my legs just fine in my own underwear, but I decide not to argue.
On her way out, the assistant tells me they remind her of edible panties. I laugh nervously. I get dressed and am pretty much dying of embarrassment when both the doctor and the assistant come back in (it's bad enough having my nipples measured with one person in the room).