Today marks exactly two weeks that I allowed Dr. Mejia to slice a strip of scalp from the back of my head, sew the two remaining flaps of scalp back together again, then pierce the top of my head multiple times with a sharp instrument, followed by inserting 2,799 hair grafts in the holes he pierced.
I’m sure he’ll have a more clinical way of describing the procedure, but that is exactly how it appears in the photo gallery below.
I felt no pain during the operation, thanks to the anesthesia, Lortab and valium. And I’ve felt very little pain since, which is amazing considering all the slicing and jabbing and prodding and sewing that was done up there.
I still have a bottle of Lortab in case it does start hurting, but other than the occasional throbbing from the back of my head, which is my cue to pop a pill, I’ve felt very little pain.
And I’ve gone days without taking a pain pill.
Sometimes I forget about the stitches in the back of my head and I run my brush against the scar, which causes a sharp pain.
But other than that, I have to run my fingers along the scar to remind myself I went through this procedure.
Most of the stitches feel as if they have fallen out, but I am still supposed to see Dr. Mejia this week so he can remove what is left.
As expected, I’ve lost much of the hair he transplanted as you can see in the photo above, which I snapped Sunday morning. In fact, I may have even less hair than I did going into the operation.
But that is also normal because hair gets lost during the shock of the operation, but it grows back again.
The truth is, we won’t see the full result of the transplant until a year from now, which judging from what others have written in certain hair transplant forums, can drive some men crazy with anticipation.
Some of the men on these forums complain of redness on their scalp weeks and months after the operation, but as you can see in the above photo, any redness I have seems to be fading away fast.
I was supposed to take it easy these past two weeks, but I’ve had court dates and media interviews regarding my arrest covering the Occupy Miami eviction in January as well as photo assignments, so I hope all that activity did not screw up the doctor’s good work.
I wore my hat for the interviews because my hair was still looking funky from the operation. I posted one of the interviews below. It was conducted in Spanish, which means I resorted to Spanglish several times throughout the interview.
The other interview has yet to run, but it will also be in Spanish.
For the first few days after the operation, I experienced a lot of itching on my scalp, but that was only because I was not allowed to shampoo the top of my hair.
After the first week, Dr. Mejia told me to shampoo my hair vigorously, including the top part where the grafts were placed as well as the back where the stitches were, which probably caused some of the hair to fall out, but he said at that point, the grafts were already secured inside my scalp.
Meanwhile, I am still continuing on my permanent diet change, which has led to a loss of 20 pounds, but now it’s time to get back into the gym and start toning up the muscles again.
I started the diet change in October when I was weighing 205 pounds, eating a lot of greasy, fried food and starchy carbs.
Even when I would go through phases of working out intensely, I would only be able to drop down to 195 because I never adjusted my diet.
So after my 43rd birthday in September, I realized I wasn’t going to shed the weight unless I changed my diet, so I started eating salads, which I had never done before and little snacks of nuts and berries throughout the day.
I cut back on booze and when I do drink, I order wine or vodka with soda instead of beer, which can be extremely bloating.
But I purposely kept myself out of the gym during this adjustment because I know how famished I get after a good workout and I did not want to slip into my old eating habits.
My goal was to establish a permanent diet change to keep the excess weight off permanently rather than a short-term diet, which causes short-term weight loss, only for it to come back once I start eating like crap again.
But it’s been more than six months with the new diet and I don’t see myself slipping back, although I do indulge occasionally in a burger or pizza, but now it’s all about moderation instead of an everyday thing.
And because of that, my weight now hovers around 185 instead of 205, and I now wear a size 32 jeans instead of 34, something I had not done in ten years. I would like to keep my weight around 180, which is ideal for my height of 5’9”.
Actually, my goal is to reach 177 pounds just to say I lost 30 pounds in a year because I was weighing 207 at my heaviest last year. The idea is to shed as much fat as possible, then rebuild with muscle.
Saturday night, I drank alcohol for the first time since the operation while celebrating my mom’s birthday. It was Cinco de Mayo, so I finished a bottle of tequila with my crazy Tia Marita.
Now for the pictures that Blanca snapped with my Canon 5D and 100 mm f/2.8 macro lens, which is the perfect operating room lens. I will also be posting a video from the operation this week.