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Welcome back to Episode 16. Just a few more weeks to go before the season ends, and then our reunion, which we taped last week. I sincerely hope you have enjoyed this season so far. We are nearing the end, which is always a bittersweet time for me. I enjoyed filming this year, and despite the conflict between Kelly and me, I felt it was a great season for my family and me.
This week you see me deciding to get a lower facelift. I talked to Dr. Ambe about it a few years ago, but I wasn’t ready to do it because I was scared. My fear was that I didn’t want to look pulled or distorted, but I knew that if I went to Dr. Ambe, I’d be in good hands. He did Tamra’s and a few of my other friends, and it turned out so natural and fresh looking, and I wanted the same for me, and I trust him.
Through the past few years and during my aging process, the elasticity in my skin was starting to drag down, so different doctors said the best way to correct that was to do fillers. That was one of my worse decisions, as I started to look puffy and my skin texture was awful. I needed to get all the fillers out, and the only way was for him to go under the skin and eliminate them.
I totally forgot to tell Dr. Ambe about my previous head/ear surgeries. It has been such a way of life for me since I was 5 years old with over eight surgeries throughout my lifetime. I never thought it would have been an impact on my facelift. I have a history of “cholesteatoma’s,” which is an inner ear tumor/cyst like growth that has come back over and over again and required many mastoid surgeries. I had a cochlear implant inserted in my inner right ear when I was in my mid 30’s, which has allowed me to hear now as prior to that I was deaf in that ear. It’s a very rare disease, and I’ve been fortunate to have incredible physicians throughout my life and can now hear about 60%, which is a miracle.
When Dr. Ambe opened me up behind my ear, he told Steve and me afterward that he was shocked about what he saw. I can’t believe I forgot to tell him, even after I talked to Steve about it the night before. I guess I was so nervous that I forgot. Bad decision on my part.
Due to the extensive work he had to do on me, my recovery was a little bit longer than most. He didn’t want any hematomas, so I was on strict doctor’s orders for bed rest.
I was glad that Steve said he would take care of me during my recovery, which is what I needed. I needed to know that he was “OK” with me doing the procedure before I actually had it done.
The recovery was about two full weeks of me laying low and resting and sleeping a lot. For me, that is always difficult to do, but it was what was needed to heal properly.
Dr. Ambe did an amazing job, and I'm so happy with the results, but surgery is surgery and anytime you go through something like that it's hard on your body. I was grateful to be able to spend time at the Monarch Beach Resort (from what I can remember), and it was incredible how well Steve took care of me.
One of the most admirable things I appreciate about Steve is how well he took care of me during my recovery. I think a true testament of your partner is how good he is to you when you are sick or recovering from surgery. Steve didn't want me to get this procedure done in the first place, so I was happy to see how well he did through it all. This was something I wanted to do for ME, and I knew I was in good hands. Steve came to all the doctor visits with me, supported my decision, and took care of me for several weeks. He even had his mother come to stay with me one day when he had some work appointments to go on.
Watching this episode was a little surreal. It was weird to see myself on the recovery table all bandaged up, because I have no recollection of it. Seeing everything again several months after we filmed this episode reaffirms that I made the right choice, and I am still happy with my decision.
Now on to Gina and Tamra. It was surprising to watch the conflict between Gina and Tamra. Being Shannon and Tamra's friend, I was happy that they were in a better place after our trip to Jamaica. Then Gina felt that she needed to start stirring things up again. I'm not sure what Gina's real motives are for making sure Shannon "knows what her friends are saying about her," but I don't think her intentions are pure here.
Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram at @vickigunvalson and to visit my website www.cotoinsurance.com for all your life insurance needs.
Have a great week!