A Plastic Surgery Love Story
by Didi Carr Reuben

I'd like to introduce you to Mary.a 56 year old patient who came to Costa Rica from Texas. Mary just recently retired from teaching school for nearly 35 years and Terry, her husband is recently retired from the nursing profession. Both decided that after all their years of hard work they each had earned a dream that until now, they didn't have the time or money to fulfill. Mary's dream was to have a complete physical make-over..a facelift, breast reduction and lift and a tummy tuck. Terry's dream was to buy himself a Harley.

Hello? How do you spell MIDLIFE CRISIS??????

Well, okay, forget the midlife crisis thing. Let's just stick with the "Dream" theme. Cause that's so much more romantic.and after all, this IS a love story.

Ok, so the first dream to be fulfilled was Mary's surgeries. Terry, Mary and I communicated about everything under the sun to do with the Costa Rica experience. Whatever questions I couldn't answer, or the website didn't answer, or Terry didn't have the answer to (it helped that he's a nurse!) Dr. Lev would answer..until finally after about six months of talking about it and planning for it.November came and Mary was off to Costa Rica for her exciting adventure.

This was the first time in almost 30 years of marriage that Terry and Mary were separated for longer than 24 hours. Mary had to stay in Costa Rica for three weeks because she was having three surgeries to be done in two separate hospital stays. She went in for her facelift first, then three days later, went back in for her tummy tuck, breast reduction and lift. Mary says it was too much surgery to do in one trip. There are too many things to heal from at once. After all, each of the three surgeries she had is considered a major surgery on its own. So having three done in one trip is a lot to ask of yourself.

But Mary was a trooper extraordinaire. Since I was there with Mary and her group, I was able to observe her before her surgery, the day of her surgery, and the days following her surgery until I had to leave. I admired her positive outlook so much. She always had a big smile on her face no matter how much she was hurting. She was always so grateful for this opportunity and showed her gratitude all the time by being a gracious and pleasant patient with Dr. Lev and everyone at the Villa Plenitud Recovery Facility as well as wonderfully supportive to the other women in her group.

One day while visiting the Villa Plenitud, I went up to Mary's room to visit with her for a little while and she just happened to be on the phone with Terry. As she lay there all bandaged up from head to pelvis I heard her last words to her man before she hung up the phone..

"Your dream is next! The soon as I get home!"

What a woman!

Mary and Terry talked almost every day. They missed each other so much. And Terry was always very supportive of what Mary was doing. He knew how important this was for her, and he was her rock throughout the entire experience.including the months prior to the surgeries and the months following.

I hope you enjoy the photos. She is an inspiration to the rest of us girls and boys who have dreams.