Thursday, November 10, 2011

Dr. Donaldson - The Sequel

Before pic.  Hint:  I'm the one on the right.  No, YOUR right.
Okay.  So last week I had my "consultation" appointment at Dr. Donaldson's office (  To refresh your memory, see post  We had arranged a time, where I would literally walk through what a normal ("normal" being the operative word, natch) patient would experience during a regular consultation.  I had decided on the "Mommy Makeover".  This entails a breast lift, breast implants, tummy tuck, and liposuction.

Dr. Donaldson informed me that he did not coin the phrase "Mommy Makeover", a surgeon out of California did, but "it just stuck", and now everyone uses it.  Kinda like "Xerox," I guess.  ANYWAY, just because you request the Mommy Makeover, does not mean that you receive everything on the menu.  Think of the breast implants as the main course and the rest as side dishes, based up on your "condition".

For instance, MY rock star body only needed breast implants, and if I really wanted it, a mini-tuck. I guess what happens when you grow another life in your uterus, is that your muscles in your upper torso, separate, and they do not go back.  The good doctor demonstrated this by having me do a half sit up, (yes, I was still half naked) as he pressed his fingers in the crevasse that has developed between the first four muscles of my nonexistent six pack.  This exercise was both illuminating and humiliating at the same time.  Yet, another reminder of what used to be - kind of like my sense of shame, and the definition between my butt and the top of the backs of my legs.  During the measurement phase of the consultation, Dr. Donaldson declared that I was "a perfect isosceles triangle" and that they see that only once a month.  To which I replied, "Stiiiillll got it," which I don't.  That's the joke, get it?

Okay, before you start imagining what he is talking about, let me elaborate.  He was saying that my breasts were equidistant, with the center of my neck.  It was just so surreal.  One minute you are (what I like to think of myself) a reporter, and the next you are taking your top off and your subject is face to face with your naked body.  It reminded me of my "casting couch" days during my "I'm gonna go to Hollywood and be a star" phase after high school. 

He had me put on what he called "surgical footies" while he measured me.  Is this weird?

Standard Procedure
Next Dr. Donaldson is taking digital pictures of my bare torso, which I now understand is going to be used as blackmail when I become a big star.  Of course, that will be after I get my double D implants, that will rest on the table as I do book signings.

It's funny, because the night of my consultation, I went to a party, and I was relaying some of this material there, sort of like a comic might try a bit out in a nightclub - only we were in a basement playing foosball.  Who cares?  Same dif.  Anyway, as I recanted some of the events of that previous morning, I was met with expressions of horror, confusion, and amazement.

As I tried to explain, that this was "an assignment for my blog" and that it was all part of a "business proposition,"  it became abundantly clear that I had been duped by my business associate Marcy Fleisher (, of  "Risk free PR", my ass. 

I was so afraid of "whoring myself out" for my blog, to gain free shit, only to whore myself for the general  amusement of the masses.  Now, that, I can live with.  But, make no mistake, my standards are much lower than the average "reporter". Again, no boss, no defined job description or expectations.  Sooooo freeing!

Maybe that is my new hook.  I could just accept assignments in which I make a total ass of myself and then I can relate my experiences to all of you.  Gawd knows that I am running out of material in my real life.  Not really.  I have a million degrading stories in my lifetime to keep this blog going forever.  And the beauty is, that I am making bad decisions every day, so this factory isn't about to shut down anytime soon.

Seriously, I took this challenge, so that I may learn more about not only the industry of plastic surgery, but also the motivation a patient has to actually make an appointment, and then follow through with a procedure.

After my peep show with Dr. Donaldson and his nurse, (who was AWESOME, by the way - she let me poke her implants, but that was strictly clinical) we sat down and he showed me before and after shots of several of his patients.  I assumed these were his "success stories,"  as each of the transformations were truly life changing.

At first, I amused myself by imagining local celebrities, and those who consider themselves celebrities, as the naked torsos were presented to me, one by one.   But, then I just became mesmerized.

Genetics play a huge role in a person's aging process, and let's just be honest, some of us, were apparently dealt the Joker card, me included.  I was shown women who had lost a ton of weight and their bodies did not "bounce back" as they would have hoped.  I was given the privilege of viewing the bodies of patients who clearly make it their job to eat right and exercise like a crazy person, but their efforts were not reflected.  I can totally understand where someone would want to have actual breasts that would fill out their padded push up bra.  Think that chick (the obvious hold out) on Baywatch that was so flat chested you wanted to hug her. Growing her hair out was a major improvement, but I can't say that if I were next to Pamela Anderson and heroin addicted, Yasmine Bleeth, I might reconsider my boobs, as well.

Basically, each set of Before and After photos began to tell a story to me.  Not of desperate women who were trying to attract I don't know what (well, yes I do - douche bag men), but women who are using the technology that is available today to change something about themselves that has always, or in the last few childbearing experiences, bothered them to the point that they have become debilitatingly self-conscious.

Now, I am no fool.  I know that this is not the perspective of all of the plastic surgery candidates out there (read The Real Housewives of Whatever), it is just a point of view I had not considered before. 

It is interesting to note, that while Dr. Donaldson and I were having our sit down, I was wearing two different types of breast implants (saline and silicone) that were two different sizes.  I kept squeezing them as we talked, which now, looking back, would have been unnerving to anyone else, but not old Donaldson.  He wasn't phased a bit.  Respect.

They were HUGE, by the way, and I had not experienced THAT size since Hallie's, my first child's birth, when the La Leche representative recommended that I pump AND breastfeed.  Both Dr. Donaldson and his nurse agreed that that was the size that my "broad upper chest" demanded.  Subtext:  your actual breasts are halfway to your belly button, and what is left is a virtual empty apartment building in need of some tenants.
Okay, this is Eve's birth, but you get the idea if you multiply those puppies by like 10.

So, while I am feeling myself up and chatting with Dr. Donaldson, I, of course, accuse him of not being able to look at my face, and this would be the challenge I would be presented with, if I did, in fact, get implants, and that it was extremely important that people respect me for my mind.  He assured me that a lot of people with big boobs are smart, but when pressed to name one, he could only come up with Dolly Parton.  (That last line didn't happen at all.  Okay, I am a reporter who makes stuff up.  Unprecedented.)

Anyway, at the end of our conversation, Dr. Donaldson related that he is very proud of "the opportunity to change people's lives."  I then asked him if he had a God complex, because at that point I decided I would act like an attorney, as well, as a reporter, and he just laughed.  That haughty, elitist laugh of his, where he throws his head back, and bellows a deep, throaty, condescending laugh.  I'm embellishing, again, he just laughed like someone who thought I was ridiculous.

I have my OWN reasons for not getting implants, even though my chest (and my husband) is literally begging for them.  Aside from not wanting to endure the risks of surgery, I would have a hard time reconciling my decision to my three daughters, whom I am trying to instill positive body images.

Dr. Donaldson also has a daughter, and he fully relates to this issue.  When I asked him if, when his daughter were 18 years of age, he would allow her to get breast implants, he replied, "After examining the reasons WHY she wanted the implants...if the issue were say, that she did not feel feminine or something, then, yes, given the fact that she is eighteen, and is legally afforded the right to make her own decisions about her body, yes, I would consent to her getting implants."

I think everybody knows that eighteen-year-old girls are going to do what they set their minds to, with or without the consent of their parents, so if they bother to consult you at all, is a step in the right direction.

I am having a recovered memory of when I was a Freshman in high school and I was not allowed to wear make up  (I know, how Footloose of my parents, right?  I wasn't allowed to date, either.  I danced a lot, though.) .  Rather than sneak make up in my purse like every other girl my age, I decided to state my case to my Mother, who was the real driving force behind the ban.  My Mom felt that I did not need make up, and that it was just opening up this Pandora's box that would enable me to look like a dime store hooker every time I left the house.

My argument was that make up is used to enhance your features.  It doesn't have to be this face painting exercise that was going on in the Girls Restroom at Eastern High. 

My Mom did the right thing.  She took me to the Clinique counter at Lazarus, and bought me some powder, blush, mascara, and a very natural, demure lipstick. The associate taught me how to apply it, and it is a very fond memory of mine with my Mom.  (We tended to fight in Malls, mostly, so this one sticks out.)  I also got skin care, which is a ritual that I have used every night and morning since.  I am fairly sure one of the sets, either the make up or the skin care, was a free gift with purchase, but whatever.  It was a great memory for two reasons, really, because I presented my case, she saw my point of view, and she compromised. 

The bar is raised now, obviously, and we will be discussing implants and Restylane with our daughters, instead of skincare and eyeshadow.  My guidance today is to decide how you feel about plastic surgery and other "enhancement" products on the market, currently, so that you are prepared to intelligently discuss these issues with your daughters.  Whether or not, you choose to compromise or not, is your decision.  All kidding aside, I saw my job in these two posts, as a presentation that represented all sides of the argument.

Anyway, I got the implants, and I have never felt more confident.
Shopping for halter tops with my new boyfriend.  Who needs Brad, now that I have these knockers?

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