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About acrobaz1

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  1. Looks great. You're only a couple of weeks ahead of me I think. If only the little blighters didn't have to shed!
  2. Wow, thanks! At least you guys this side of the pond liked it! I posted it on the US forum and no-one even commented!! http://hair-restoration-info.com/eve/forum...861/m/449106261 Take it easy bros
  3. The scene: a kitchen table in a non-descript semi-detached somewhere in the UK. On the table is a half consumed bottle of white wine, some leftover tortilla chips and a metal implement that looks like it has emerged from a medieval torture chamber. Slumped across the table is a middle-aged man, positioned as if in prayer, yet unattractively dressed in a dressing gown and socks. Upon closer inspection, something metallic appears to be gleaming from the back of his head. In walks a beautiful woman, dressed smartly (skirt, top, knee high boots); she has clearly lived, yet has retained the soft contours of her youth. She speaks. Woman: Ready? Man: No. (He emits a strange noise. It might be a whimper.) Woman: Come on, you’ve been in the bath for over an hour, drinking wine! It must be soaked by now. Your head’s all wrinkly at the back. It’s like a big testicle. (Speaks to herself: “Quite apt really.”) Man: Look, I just want to get it over with. I’d like a decent night’s sleep for starters. Woman: Are you absolutely sure? Man: Yes. I don’t want that bloody nurse in the local surgery doing it. She’s like a pro wrestler. And she’d think I was vain. Or weird. Or both. Woman: Well, it’s your call. Come on then. Where do we start? Man: You saw that video posted by Spex on YouTube. That shows how to do it. Just copy that. Woman: Are you sure a proper staple remover wouldn’t be better? Or a wire cutter? I could just wrench them out with a screwdriver. Man: Stop taking the piss PLEASE and just get on with it. Woman: Don’t start on me. You wanted to get this done. I liked you as you were. Man: No you didn’t. You called me moon face. Woman: Only a couple of times. Man: Yes, once at Christmas dinner in front of all the in-laws, and the other at the school play. From the stage. With a microphone. Woman: You take yourself too seriously, that’s your problem. You might want to be Wolverine, but I always preferred Professor Xavier. Man: Can we just get on!? Woman: Alright. (Mumbles “Mr Grumpy” to herself.) There is a short pause. The woman concentrates. The man sweats. Man: Was that the first one out? That wasn’t too bad at all! Woman: I haven’t started yet. Man: So what have you been doing? Woman: Sterilizing the staple remover, you fool. You were stupid enough to take it out of the sterile packet the day you were given it. I had to sterilize it again. Man: What have you sterilized it in? Woman: Don’t worry. You and your new virtual buddies on that forum will be pleased with me – I did it in tea tree oil. All homeopathic. Man: Oh, ok. Woman: Like I said, all homoerotic. Man: What? Woman: Nothing. Just … well … you lot posting pictures of each other and making admiring comments. It is kind of, well, er, odd. You have to admit it. Man: We are supporting each other and there’s nothing wrong with that. Woman: Yup, support. Supporty-doo-daa. Nothing wrong with that. Man: Look, JUST BLOODY WELL GET ON WITH IT WILL YOU! Woman: Don’t start on me. I wanted to spend the money on a holiday. You spent it on a hairyday. Man: I am very grateful for your support. Truly. Now can we PLEASE JUST TAKE THE STAPLES OUT …. AAAAAAAAGH!!!!! Woman: Oops … Man: WHAT THE BLAZES WAS THAT!!?? Woman: I dropped the staple remover, sorry. Man: What, right on the sore bit of my head??!! Woman: It was the tea tree oil. It made it all slippery, sorry. Man: That was really bloody painful! Man whimpers again. Pause. A long, difficult, Pinter-esque pause. Woman: (With cold, ice queen voice.) When you’ve had three children, THEN you can talk to me about pain. Man: You always say that. Look it hurt, ok. Just be CAREFUL! Woman: You can go to that wrestler at the local clinic if you want. Man: No, it’s ok. Please just be careful. Woman: As you wish. By the way, do you know that there are 52 of these staples? Man: Well, I knew there was a lot, but I didn’t know exactly how many. Woman: Yup. 52. I asked Dr Feller to put in one for each week of the year where you lose an argument. Man: Oh ha bloody ha. Woman positions implement carefully. It may be the lighting, but a faint smirk appears to form across her face. She places the implement beneath the first staple. Then pulls. Hard. Man: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!! BLOODY ARSEBURGERS!!!!! Woman: WHAT NOW!? Man: You don’t just YANK them out! You have to squeeze it together and it just comes away. Like in the video!! Woman: Oh, you mean like this? She squeezes gently. The staple falls away like melting butter. She does four in this way. She grins to herself, and does three more. Man: Have you started yet? Woman: Yeah, I’ve managed to get one out. Man: One. Excellent. I didn’t feel a thing. Woman: Actually, I’ve done seven. Man: Will you stop enjoying this so much!! You can’t have done seven! Woman: Oh, calm your jets Scarface. I’ve done seven. Man: Really? Woman: Really. Man: Oh. Erm, well done you. Thanks love. The process continues without further mishap. After a few minutes, the man sits up in the chair at the kitchen table. He examines the table in front of him: 52 staples. He feels gingerly around to the back of his head and then examines his hands: only a tiny amount of blood. He looks around to see his wife, smiling at him, holding the staple remover. Woman: Piece of cake, eh? Man: Thanks a lot. I really appreciate your support in all this. Sorry for getting agitated. You’ve been great, really. Woman: Just remember that when I next want something expensive. Man: Of course. Look, I’m sorry for all the shouting. It’s just that … There is then a piercing, spine-chilling scream. Their blood runs cold. They turn around and see a small child staring at them. The small child, for her part, has surveyed the picture before her. Her father, semi-dressed, is bent over the table with a red line across the back of his head. There are droplets of blood. Her mother, in knee-high boots and a grin on her face, is standing by him with what looks like a dagger at head height. She appears to have been stapling him in the head. Girl: NOOOOO, DADDYYYYYYYYYY!!!!! Father: Oh sweetheart, let me explain …. Ends.
  4. Just a few comments to add. We went for a more mature hairline (rather than simply lowering it to where it once was), with a slight curve down at the ends, and reinforced the front third. I have some vestigial wisps of hair from my youthful hairline; you can see them best in the 'before' photos, and they were shaved off as part of the HT procedure. When they grow back, I'm hoping that they will underline the 'natural hairline' look. When I saw the close-up five-day photos, I really liked the angles at which the grafts had been placed. I can see now how such refined work can make the difference. The area towards the crown is thinning slightly but will hopefully be propecia-protected for the medium term. I am realistic that a further procedure may be needed at some point to reinforce the crown, but hopefully not for some years. I loved what Dr Feller said about my donor area - he said it was "like a child's"! - and that it could supply at least two good strips in the future if that is what I want. It's nice to know that long-term options exists. Thanks again for the supportive comments everyone.
  5. 39. Life begins next year!
  6. Thanks folks - appreciate the comments. Fingers crossed!
  7. My HT journey began, like so many others, in the distant past. I began to recede noticeably at my temples in my late 20s and more obviously so by my mid-30s. By my late 30s, I had progressed to the situation where I had an ‘island’ of hair at the front of my head and a veritable ocean of scalp around it. Think Alan Shearer (although it looked far better on him than me). I realised it had become a defining feature of my physical appearance: if I had not seen a friend for a while, I noticed their eyes drift upwards to the top of my head (and I knew what they were thinking); it occasionally became the means by which my children distinguished me from the parents of their friends (i.e. I was the “bald one”). I had known it was coming. There has been male pattern baldness on both sides of my family, always receding from the temples. I joked about it at first, because I had been absolutely convinced I would be fine when it happened – after all, it was hardly going to take me by surprise. However, when at last it had reached the point where I was balder than I was hairier, I was surprised with the big change to my appearance and with how it made me feel. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably experienced something similar. My response was to tend to avoid being photographed and, if I was photographed, I would wince at what I saw – the gleam of scalp. So, I tried option 1: the buzzcut, starting at #4 and then gradually down to #1. It didn’t suit me. I have a large head and, unless I’m going through one of my rare super-slim phases, I also have a round head. A real full moon job. I know that the buzzcut is a look that really suits some men (and good for them too), but it didn’t suit me. If it had suited me, if I’d have had compliments on how it looked, I’d have kept with it. But my wife and my kids didn’t like it and my colleagues teased me. I took all the teasing in good part, but obviously would have preferred to look better. Next, I tried option 2: the meds. In my case, this was something I bought in Boots (the name of which I can no longer remember) for about six months, then Regaine (minoxidil) for about 18 months. I can’t honestly say one way or another whether it made any difference. It might have slowed the rate of shedding, but I had nothing to compare it to. (I only started taking Propecia recently.) Eventually, I began to research HT procedures. My advice to anyone thinking of doing the same is to take your time and do your research. Then do some more research. Do not rush into anything. If you can afford it, be prepared to travel. I first had a consultation with a clinic that is based in Cyprus, although I didn’t realise that until I went along to the meeting in London. I met a charming bloke (who had received an HT himself recently). He was not medically qualified, but he knew what he was talking about and he did an initial assessment of me. In the follow-up feedback, he recommended 2,700 to 3,000 FUs by Strip. I am indebted to him for his honesty: I asked him where he would go if money were no object, and he said “the US or Canada”. I have not named the clinic because I would not want to get him into trouble for his candour, but would be happy to tell anyone via a P.M. if they wished. I think it is a perfectly solid clinic. I then left it for a while because, frankly, I didn’t at that stage want to travel abroad to Cyprus, the US or anywhere else for that matter. So I began to look at UK options, and then had a meeting with a representative for the Hospital Group. At this point, I did not realise the poor reputation it had. The representative was nice enough, although he understood little about hair loss because, frankly, he himself was the nearest I’ve even seen to a lycanthrope. I was put under some pressure (although eminently resistible) to pay a £500 deposit there and then. He said he thought the recommendation of 2,700+ FUs by the Cyprus clinic was “nonsense” (he asked “are they trying to make you look like me?”) and thought 1,000 would be enough. He said that I could always go back for more and that I could have upwards of 5 or 6 strips until I was satisfied. He sketched some in-fill on a picture in front of him (“a bit here, a bit there”) and then showed me some pictures of celebrities they’d apparently done: Quentin Wilson from Top Gear and Francis Rossi from Status Quo. Not exactly poster boys of cool, but there you go. It would be fair to say that I was chased afterwards to commit, but did not. I am not in a position to criticise the Hospital Group, as I had no further dealings with them. What put me off was the way in which their representative criticised a competitor. It dawned on me that these guys were in competition for my hard earned dough. I pulled away for a while. Eventually, I discovered the HRD forum at http://hair-restoration-info.com/eve and it made all the difference. This may sound pompous, but I mean it: this forum is like a pure democracy, a Greek city state. Everyone can speak and everyone has a voice. Reputations are built or destroyed by consensus. Results are posted and clearly show the advantages and disadvantages of surgery. From my perspective, it was just what I needed: a place where the salesmen played little part (or were clearly labelled as such) and where the real input came from those who’d had it done. And, of course, I loved the idea that Doctors themselves participated on the forum and were willing to be publicly tested by their results. Who needs shiny brochures when you have this forum? After a while, I made the decision to contact Spex privately. The name of Dr Feller came up again and again. I liked his posts: realistic, opinionated, passionate and evidence-based. His demolition of laser-combs on the HRD forum deserves to be read by anyone who forgets that this is a science, meaning that all developments need to be empirical and peer-reviewed. So I decided: he was the Doc for me. For those of you who are still researching, all I can say is that I researched HTs for two years (I am nothing if not methodical) and chose Dr Feller. There are many good surgeons recommended on this site, but probably five to ten that are truly world-class, and Dr Feller is one of them. Unlike some, I have not met Spex, although we have communicated by email and by phone. He has dealt with me very professionally: he didn’t push any sale, left me to make up my own mind, and sent me links to a great deal of impartial information. It was a light touch, and it was much appreciated. He recognised that what I needed was material from which I could make an informed decision. He couldn’t have been more different to the Hospital Group guy. I had my procedure at the Feller Clinic on 17 February 2009. I shall post the photos as soon as I have them. I had 3,200 FUs. The day itself was almost pleasurable. Dr Feller has a good way with people and put me at my ease. I put my trust in him completely. We had a nice chat at the start and at the end of the day. The technicians were a nice bunch, particularly Anne, and they kept me supplied with orange juice and water. He was reassuring at several points during the day. He’s been though it himself, and that gives him a lot of additional credibility. For those thinking of doing it, I wouldn’t describe it as painful. The injections to numb the donor and recipient areas are unpleasant and uncomfortable but, after that, you don’t feel a thing, honestly. Having my wisdom teeth removed was worse by a factor of 20! I had couple of dizzy spells, but no nausea. It was all very straightforward. I left with a full set of clear post-op instructions, took a cab back to my hotel at the end of day and slept ok after a meal. I flew back to the UK overnight the next day. I would definitely recommend an early return home. There was no problem flying. I would not have wanted to fly a few days later when the swelling had started. I’m happy to respond to questions. I’ll keep you informed of my progress and photos will follow. At the moment, I am delighted I did it and I am yet another fully paid-up member of the UK branch of the Dr Feller fan club. Thanks also to Spex. Best wishes all.
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