Read the Small Print
She sat, huddled and trembling on the exam table, paper gown grasped in her right hand... the left one absently rubbing a piece of hair in front of her ear.
So wrapped in thought, she startled when Dr. Silvers walked back in, reading her chart, professionally tanned face setting off his blue white teeth, his lab coat the exact same shade of Arctic ice. She'd liked him from the start, his office out in the 'burbs were in shades of warm peach, his staff that didn't look like the usual plastic surgery staffs, all pictureperfect, but, normal woman who made you feel it was okay to look the way you did, and okay to want to change...he believed in hiring his family as staff, and, he did his operations in his little suite of rooms in the back. All of those little things helped keep his prices affordable, he told her.
"Lila, if you'll just stand, I can show you what is going to happen today." he said, holding out his rather freakishly soft hand to her nail bitten one.
Barely touching her gown, he pulled it aside, gazing at what gravity and a 220 lb weight loss had done to her breasts, her stomach, her arms, thighs, bottom. She thought here was a quick intake of breath, a look of, "This is what makes the Baby Jesus cry." ....more a nuance that an actual look. She had to be wrong. The only expressions he'd ever shown before was his usual, well, smile or a furrowing of his brow... at least she thought that's what he was doing, the Botox did remove the actual furrowing capability...the expression he'd worn when she told him of her life as a heavy woman. He had never seen her naked before, said there was no need, simply quoted her a flat fee based on the work he said she'd want done to perfect her body, remove all that was left hanging around (here he gave a kind of a giggle) after the two years of dieting.
He worked quickly, his black pen drawing circles and arrows...sometimes pulling out the drooping flesh to make notes. Scribbling on the chart in code, muttering, taking digital photos and finally announcing, "Okay! When we are done today, you'll have a tummy tuck, lipo on your outer thighs and hips, we'll take excess skin from your upper arms and inner thighs, a 'butt' lift, remove those chins, pull your face up, do an upper and lower eye lift, take some fat from your butt and put it in your lips. I'll make those 44 Longs into nice tight 36D's (again with the giggle), reduce your waist, do a few hair plugs, fix your nose and pin down that one ear. A little Botox here and there, and I'll whiten your teeth for free! Piece O'Cake! Any questions, Miss Turner?"
She whispered no, not wanting the tears to fall, grabbing the gown together again, and thought ahead, to how she'd look, how this would change her life... the sacrifices made, the money saved, the years and years of diets, ridicule, believing one day... one day. Her un-Botox'd face was a smile, at him, at life, a huge smile, full of hope.
In all of her prep work, all of the saving, the double jobs, the reading about the long recovery, the pain... the one thing she didn't do was check state laws, which stated anyone who had an MD could obtain a license for plastic surgery without doing a residency. So it was, the last thoughts she'd have were why the medical diplomas for her doctor, hanging on the walls she was wheeled past on her way to the tiny, cramped back operating room, were for Podiatry.