Mane-Attraction's - Profile page Journey to Ottawa and Surgery Day
I awoke early on the 4th of May 2009, after only 4 hours of sleep. Boarded my plane at Melbourne's Tullamarine airport at 10am. As I walked through the metal airport security gates, I knew that there was no turning back and I was really going through with this Hair Transplant gig! After a 4 hour flight, the plane stopped in Auckland, New Zealand with a stop-over of several hours. Then, jumped back on the plane from NZ direct to Los Angeles - all up, 17 hours of flight time just there!
Upon arriving in LA, I was scrutinized very carefully by a rookie customs official who was apparently still learning the ropes. Had to go into immigration for questioning, as they got my passport confused with someone of the same namesake who had been running drugs into the United States via the Caribbean. Yikes! I thought they were going to put me on the next flight back to Australia and that I'd miss my appointment with Rahal. But to cut a long story short, after much inconvenience I was allowed to proceed. Another four hours later, I boarded my flight from LA to Toronto, which took 4.5 hours. Started watching Valkyrie with Tom Cruise mid-flight, which was almost enough to put me to sleep... but not quite. I think I was analyzing Mr Cruise's hairline most of the time, rather than comprehending the actual film.
After reaching Toronto, I had yet another waiting period of 1.5 hours. I was also questioned by customs and immigration at Toronto's Pearson airport and had to tell the immigration dude about my HT procedure. The customs officer really perked up when I mentioned that I was staying at Adam's Airport Inn, because apparently he'd stayed there himself on the one and only occasion he'd been to Ottawa. I guess that must have earned me some brownie points with him, because he let me through right after that. All in all, I found customs coming into Canada to be much, much better than those coming into LA!
Finally, I was onto the final stretch of my very arduous journey -- the one hour flight from Toronto to Ottawa. As the plane touched down in Ontario, everything felt a little surreal. I had been in transit for over 24 hours and awake for even longer. I was mere minutes away from the fabled Adam's Airport Inn and Bank Street, which, until that point in time, had only existed to me on the virtuality of the Internet. After escaping the very last airport I jumped into a taxi and moments later, I arrived at the inn, greeted by that huge, red, glowing sign! Inside I was greeted warmly by Jallal, the night manager. He gave me a tour of all the facilities, and finally the key to my room.
Sorry about the rambling, but the point of all the above preamble is to provide an accurate and honest account of the amount of travel and inconvenience I was willing to endure in order to ensure I received top results from a top Doc. Seriously, I consider all of these inconveniences to be minor in light of the benefits a Rahal HT can provide, and even if I had to go through it all again, I still wouldn't have had it any other way.
Anyhow,After setting up my laptop, settling into my hotel room, and having a shower, I went to sleep, ready to begin the next phase of my follicular journey...
I spent the next few days familiarizing myself with the Bank Street area. Stocked up on food, snacks, and drinks to put in the mini-fridge in my room, so that I'd have a stockpile of supplies post-surgery. I also walked from Adam's Inn to Dr. Rahal's office a few times, in order to time myself and judge the distance. It took about 35-40 minutes. Not bad, and I actually prefer to walk both for the exercise benefits, and so as not to overspend on taxis unless it's absolutely necessary! Cabs seem to be quite expensive in Canada.
My pre-op consultation day arrived and I met Adrian and Dr. Rahal for the first time. Both were great! Adrian was extremely helpful and accommodating. It's very settling to be in his presence, as his un-salesman-like, truthful approach when answering the plethora of questions thrown at him (both about your own surgery and his) really puts you at ease. This is a guy who understands what it's like to be in the shoes of a balding male, and I found his attitude to be most refreshing. Adrian also gave me a tour of the front and back of his head. When I mentioned that this was the first time I'd ever seen a HT in person, Dr. Rahal joked that he hoped I wouldn't cancel the surgery now and run out the door! In all honesty, I have to say that Adrian's hair looked fantastic. He also had a totally undetectable donor scar, and I was excited to be able to see some of Dr. Rahal's handiwork in the flesh. Dr. Rahal and I went over my plans, goals, and expectations. I mentioned to him that I wanted a lowered hairline and he said we'd need to measure it the next day to see if it would look symmetrical with my face or not. After filling in the consent forms, I caught a cab back to the inn, took a Temazepam pill, and went to bed early to I could get up for my 6:30am surgery the next day. I had no qualms sleeping the night prior to surgery at all. No anxiety, no fears. no doubts. Nothing. I woke up nice and relaxed!
I have to say that I was never the slightest bit nervous in the lead-up to the surgery, and the same was true on the day of my surgery. I awoke and headed down to Rahal's clinic in the service of good old "Mo", the Rahal token cabbie. He reassured me that Dr. Rahal was the best, and that he has driven tonnes of satisfied patients back and forth over the many years. This was very good to hear, as it only solidified in my mind that I had made the correct choice of Doctor. I had no major doubts going into the surgery, although I did have a bunch of questions and comments for Dr. Rahal! Upon arrival, I had a good chat with Adrian for about 15 minutes, while Dr. Rahal prepared. When he was ready, I went into his office and we started designing my hairline. Dr. Rahal measured my facial dimensions and then strictly cautioned me that he wouldn't want to lower my hairline any further than approximately half a cm down my forehead, due to the chance of future increased loss in the crown later on. Now, I must state here that a lowered hairline is something I REALLY wanted going into this HT, so I tried to push Dr. Rahal for it, but he said that it really wouldn't be a good idea since his main concern was framing my face naturally, and that the new fringe (bangs) he was going to place in the receded areas would do a LOT to give the appearance of a lower hairline. At this point, I decided to shut up and listen to Dr. Rahal's advice, as I realized he really was doing what was in my best interests based on thousands of prior surgeries, which was very admirable of him! He actually did end up bringing down the right side of my hairline slightly more than the left, in order to match the bone structure in my forehead. He made the hairline nice and stagge
A more lowered, frontal view of the staggered hairline.
This elevated hairline view shows the effect of the staggered hairline that Dr. Rahal has designed.
Front right view.
Thought I would post these "before and after" comparison photos, both scaled to the same size, to illustrate exactly where Dr. Rahal decided to place the grafts. Any thoughts?
This shows my newly constructed hairline, courtesy of Dr. Rahal. Note the natty widow's peak!
Front left view.