I love plastic surgery and other aesthetic enhancements, procedures, and all the accoutrements that go with it all. I would never have the money to do any of these things, until we don't have to pay for camp anymore, which is many years from now. By then, I probably will have thrown in the towel on this stuff. Or not.
There was a contest for $7500 of procedures between these two places- Aesthetic Rejuvenation Center & Iluminada Studio, in BC Magazine (Bergen County Magazine). It was to nominate yourself or someone else. B nominated me. People might think that was mean, for a husband to nominate their wife. What can I say besides, B knows me. This is right up my alley. If I had the money, I have a wish list of things I'd like to do to keep my youth. Judge if you will.
I won the contest.
Next came the consultation. I'd been sitting in the waiting room since I was early. I saw they do "Cool Sculpting". That was intriguing. I'd had liposuction on my hips, butt, and thighs, when I was twenty-seven. It was expensive. That's also "real" surgery. I'm forty-two now, by the way. It's time for some maintenance. Cool sculpting is where they freeze your fat. You can read about the actual terminology of what it does here: http://www.coolsculpting.com/. It's not surgery though. There's supposed to be no downtime. There's no anesthesia either. I guess you'd call it one of those lunchtime procedures.
They said they'd have to see if I was a candidate. I met with Gleisys Rodriguez, who does the Cool Sculpting. She is very sweet and very knowledgeable about the procedure. She researched it even before she became certified. She's also had it done on her so she knows how it feels, what makes the results better, etc. I was comfortable scheduling an appointment with her.
I'm only writing about this procedure right now, because that's all I have had done. I have others scheduled in the next few weeks like: DermaPen, Microdermabrasion, Ulthera, IPL. I will write about those after I have them done. I'm like FrankenMom for the next month or so.
Gleisys measured my fat with these plastic plates. That's how they determine how many treatments you'd need for an area. She said I needed six treatments. Not six as in needing to come back six times. Six as in, that is how many I need for a whole area. It's not like liposuction where when you get that done, it's just the whole stomach at once. Each part of the stomach is it's own section that needs treatment. I needed four on the front and two on the sides going toward the back. I drew a not-so-artistic diagram.
|Crude diagram of where I was having Cool Sculpting done|
I got there and she did the before photos. I had to take them from eight different angles I think. Then I got on a bed with a comfortable pillow and blankets. They have a tv with Netflix you can watch during the treatments. I was set. B drove me and came in just to see what it was all about. And to see how painful or not it would be.
She first puts a freezing gel pad on the area. Then she connects this thing that looks like a vacuum to the area and it sucks in the fat. Depending on the area, that can be a bit painful. I actually only found it painful on three out of the six spots. The upper stomach because you almost feel like you can't breathe. Then the sides, where the muffin top sits. Gleisys said those parts hurt the least on her, so I think it really depends on the person.
She also said I had a very even distribution of fat- which is "unusual". Go me! Yay- perfect fat! Some people need two treatments on one side vs one treatment on the other because most people are apparently fat lopsided.
Then you sit. For an hour, with it sucking and freezing on your fat. I fell asleep during two of the stomach treatments. I had my laptop, iPad, iPhone, etc. During the last two hours, I re-watched some of the first season of Ally McBeal (the unisex!).
I'd say the worst part of the whole thing was when she'd pull the vacuum OFF. Something about it coming off just did not feel good. You're numb while it's on so you're not feeling anything But then it's off and you are. I can't even adequately describe what it feels like. I made the mistake of looking down, only once, and it was a visual I will never be able to unsee. I did not look again. Your skin looks like a frozen reddish purple stick of butter. It also doesn't even feel like it's on your body. Gleysis then massages the skin to get it to uncrystalize, if that's a word, and go soft like it was prior to treatment. That feels weird to, but it didn't hurt. It was a little more tender on the sides, during the massage part but I wouldn't say it "hurt".
I was totally fine after all four stomach treatments. However, I was not so fine after the sides. I fainted after each one. Now, I'm a fainter. Not often, but it's happened enough times where I knew it wasn't that big of a deal. I definitely didn't drink enough water during the day, and I didn't really eat either. I didn't ask what the deal was with food beforehand. I could've brought more stuff with me, but I just didn't. I had protein bar, a granola bar, a pint of blueberries, and a small bag of pretzels. I also had taken an antihistamine so I could've been a little dried out from that too.
It was weird fainting already laying down. One time, in 2004, I was sick, it was New Years Eve Day, and I was in the mall. I was trying to find an outfit for that night. I was achy from being sick and I thought it would be a good idea to get one of those chair massages at a kiosk in the mall. I was at laying on an angle on one of those chairs with the face-hole. It was just SO hot in there, and I knew I was about to faint. I'd fainted at Headliner over the summer (from HEAT, not drugs, as they thought), so I knew what it felt like. I figured it wouldn't be a big deal because I was already laying-ish. No, no. I fell right on to the floor, the people working the massage kiosk didn't speak English, got scared, just started throwing water on me and telling me to leave.
Anyway- I fainted on the bed table there, but I had another hour, so I just came to, and powered through for the last treatment. Once it gets in my head though, I knew it was going to happen again. Like when I fell asleep on the back of B's Harley. I don't know what happened, but I did, fall asleep. So then every time I got on there, I felt like I was going to fall asleep. I wasn't wrong this time either. After the other side was done, I was talking to Gleisys and I just said- "I'm going to faint again". She looked nervous, but I knew I'd be fine. I just closed my eyes, tried to breathe, and then I was out. I came to in a few seconds probably, and I was fine.
I do NOT think anyone else would faint unless you're prone to fainting. I often don't drink enough water so I think I'm more dehydrated than most. I think if you are hydrated enough, you'd be fine. Or if you broke up the treatments. I was just cocky about doing them all at once too, without really knowing what it would be like.
B just reminded me- it's E's birthday today. He said that it's almost eight years to the day that I felt this way. Birth. Cool Sculpting is like giving birth. Maybe not fully like birth, because giving birth once made that one time enough. I'd have these treatments again before I'd ever give birth again.
When I left the center, I didn't really want to look at my stomach. I got a glimpse and it didn't look pretty. It's like when you have a baby, and your stomach is still like jelly. It's swollen. You're supposed to wear a compression garmet after for the best results. That, they didn't tell me until I was undergoing the treatment. I wish she would've said that prior.
I have a drawer full of Spanx. I opened a new package I must have gotten at Loehmann's when they were still here. I came home, took a shower, and put the Spanx on.
I'm sore. Like with birth. Going to the bathroom is difficult because I can't get the Spanx down without pain. It's sore to the touch. Mostly around the top stomach area. The sides aren't as sore as the top.
I ordered a belly band/waist trainer type thing from Amazon for like ten dollars. I wasn't buying an expensive one because this isn't liposuction so I don't feel I needed something medical grade. I don't "have" to wear it. It just helps. If I went through all this, I'm going to do whatever I have to do to get the best results. It will be easier to go to the bathroom after I get that because it's only the belly area. The Spanx are thigh ones too so it's a whole scene trying to get them down. With just a waist trainer, I could use the bathroom without taking it off at all. Amazon $10 Waist Trainer
All in all, I have a feeling it's going to give me good results. Gleisys said I have the right kind of fat. I didn't have a hanging belly- it was more just sticking out. Like a pooch. I feel like someone with more fat would have to go through the six treatments a second time. Maybe I won't get optimal results because I'm only doing it the once, but I have a pretty low tolerance for pain. If it was free, I don't think I'd decline. But to pay to do it again, I don't know. I doubt I'd ever have that kind of F-U money anyway, so it's a moot point.
It cost around $750 per treatment, so for me, it would've been $4500 to do what I did. Cool Sculpting can be done on many different areas- stomach, thighs, arms, chin, etc. If I was to do it again, instead of doing the same spots over, I might try doing thighs. I feel like that would hurt less? Maybe? Right now I'm walking like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. I sometimes walk like that anyway, because of lower back problems, but this is because it hurts to stand straight.
The pain isn't unbearable though. I slept somewhat decently, but I'm also not a good sleeper in general. E also yelled out last night because he lost a tooth in his sleep. That didn't help my sleeping be restful. I went to work today. I've been able to help customers. I've just been moving slower. I'm supposed to walk tonight with Megan. I don't think I want to do our full walk, but I can definitely do a shorter one.
Gleisys told me I want the inflammation so I shouldn't take ibuprofen. Normally for this kind of pain, I'd take that. But I want the best result, so I'm just taking the soreness with no meds.
I think it was a fine experience. Only time will tell now if it worked. You see the best results in three months. You'll have to wait for the after pictures. But I will try to take pics in a month to show progress.
Here are my really attractive "before" photos: