I flew out on Friday night to JFK from Heathrow and checked into my Manhattan hotel round about midnight. Spent the next 2 days seeing some sights and doing my shopping (Nintendo DS Lites $135 - that's about half the price back home and got a ipod 80gb classic for about £120!).
Sunday night I went up to Penn Station and got the Long Island Rail Road out to Great Neck (just $6 one way). 30 minutes later I was at Great Neck, and the Andrew Hotel was just outside the train station. Checked in and then walked to Fellers to get an idea of how long it would take (about 20 minutes).
So on the Monday morning, I awoke very early (5ish!) and left the Andrew at about 6.50am to make sure I would be there on time! Obviously was there really early, but I didn't mind. A man walked in at about 7.30 and after a second check I realised it was the man himself. We got the lift up to the 2nd floor and he had already put me at ease by the time we reached his office.
Now this is the bit where I just screwed things up! 10 minutes later we sat in his office and he asked me what I wanted. I said that I had extensive hairloss already but that I had coverage. I said that it was highly likely that my coverage would go sooner rather later - he agreed 100%. I mentioned a couple of forum regulars - stevo and spursman and said I was after something similar - a two stop strategy with the first one that day focusing on the front third and the second one reducing my crown. I said that due to my loss I wasn't sure whether two HT's would get my coverage (albeit thin over my very thin crown). Fast forward 12 hours and I look in detail for the first time at my HT#1 - did I say front third to the Dr Feller - like stevo and spursman. You bet I did, but hang on I thought stevo and spursman did the front half. Panic set in, my HT strategy was/is in tatters and all because my communication was poor/confused. Feller did exactly what was asked and has done a magnificent job as you will see. Tip#1 make sure you know EXACTLY wha you want and make sure you communicate it correctly.
Let's rewind those 12 hours again. Back in Fellers office. I commented I had a massively off set hairline, and I produced a few photos of my hairline from our the years. He agreed and said he was indeed hugely offset and also that my skull bulged in corner where my hairline was more receded making it look worse. He proceded to start drawing a new straight hairline. He seemed to be getting a real kick out of drawing the hairline, and indeed then said as much. He was really excited with the new hairline. He then buzzed my front half, and started drawing grids for the grafts. I stressed I wanted to hairs to go back as far as possible and he said everyone says that and would do what he could.
The next bit - the needle! I was moved into another room, laid face down and then the injections in the back of the head where the strip would be taken. As mentioned just like wasp stings the first round, and I didn't feel the second round. Then into the room, sat in the chair and the strip was taken.
Dr Feller said I had good laxity (little tight in a couple of areas, so will have to work on the exercises for HT2) and a good donor which was really pleasing He cut three separate strips, and then stapled me up. Then he put a few injections in my hairline and started on the slits for the grafts. He put 3200 slits in and said he stopped counting the grafts after 3000, so I have 3000-3200 grafts in total. The assistants said the grafts were largely a 50/50 split between 1's and 2's with a handful of 3's. All the 1's were put in the hairline (I had 900 in the hairline) and then the 2's were used to hammer into the front third. The assistants were great - they were the ones who put all the grafts in. They said I had the most fantastic skin to work with and as such they finished miles ahead of when they were expecting to. I was in the chair from pretty much 9am through to about 1.15pm, I had some lunch which they had ordered for me from the deli, had a look in a mirror for the first time to see what they had done so far and was most impressed. It was only then I was told that was it. 3000+ grafts in just over 4 years - they had worked very quickly and very professionally.
I also had a couple of people who had come in for consultations come in, and Dr Feller was clearly really excited about my expected result to show me off. The assistants also said it looked superb
I had some more photos taken, got my prescription and then had to pay another $1400 as I had only paid for 2500 grafts so moved comofrtably into the next band. That was a bit of a gutter, but he had thrown in up to 200 more grafts.
My parting words with Dr Feller were could I have a similar procedure in say a year from now. He said yes providing I did the exercises and said anytime from 8 months would be ok. He said "Consider your front third done!". Nice to hear.
Marcia was going to order me a taxi, but I felt absolutely fine and I ended up slowly walking back to the Andrew which was what I wanted - I needed some fresh air. Back to the Andrew by 2pm I then chilled for the next for hours, but first looked at the HT for the first time in real detail. I didn't get much of a chance in the room, and looked in a mirror at 1pm whilst eating my lunch. I actually thought at the time we were breaking for lunch and then the assistants would be putting more grafts in behind to go towards my crown. So despite an amazing job done, I was a little disappointed as I screwed up big style in saying exactly what I wanted. If I had said I wanted the front half done the grafts could have been distributed that way. I actually thought the front third went to the base of the crown, the crown was your mid section and the back third was at the back of your head. Thought I had done my research 100% I was wrong.
At about 3 I started gettting some increasing pain from my pain so took a Viocidin pill, took another at 5.30 (meant to take 1 every 4-6 hours but I needed another). I took a 3rd at 9pm and went out to the Chinese takeway just round the corner. Ate that and fell asleep watching some college basketball. Next thing I know it's 8am the following day with no pain at all! I flew home last night and to top it off got upgraded to club class and had a bed from the journey home
Now my dilemma. Even though Dr Feller said my front third is done, and it most certainly is. It was absolutely hammered, so I guess/hope it's going to grow out pretty thick I have virtually nothing behind it and still an awful lot left to cover before even touching the crown. To even things out I might have to hammer the mid section with the second strip and leave it at that. I only planned on 2 HT's not least because of the cost. The second will have to be the last for quite some time, but I really really want some work on the crown.
Get your communication strategy sorted - I screwed mine up big time.....
Here's the only pic I have at the mo taken about an hour after I got back from Dr Fellers. He has done an outstanding job. The bald bit behind is my mid section, the crown is not shown but is pretty much shot.
Spex - I think the Dr will be sending my pics to you. Feel free to publish though blank out my face