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Tuesday, 25 May 2010


By Johna Ferguson

Webster’s says it means: to be excessively proud of oneself, one’s qualities or one’s possessions. Well, I guess that applies to me.

When born, I was adopted and my parents were so glad to obtain a child, they overlooked one thing. I was born with rickets and they bound my legs together when I was a baby so they’d grow straight and lucky for me, I now have very straight legs.

I was born with just peach fuzz on my head, but they knew it would eventually grow, and grow it did so that in middle and high school I had the same long, luxuriant crop of hair as my classmates. But one thing they didn’t notice; my ears that stuck out. I guess my mother thought my hair would always cover them, and it usually did but I never wore a pony tail.

But now at age 80 my hair is rapidly thinning. Not only from old age but also all the medicines I must take. Right before we left Seattle for China, I had a hair cut. The stylist suggested why not a boy’s cut since my hair was thinning and I agreed. But only then did I realize how my big ears stuck out like sore thumbs.

Therefore when we got to China, I thought about having my ears pinned back nearer my head. Not made smaller for that would be major surgery; I just wanted them a little closer to my head. My husband called one of his former students, now working in a plastic surgery hospital, to see if he could do that sort of thing. He and his assistant came to see my ears and to discuss what I wanted done, and a date was set for the surgery.

Yesterday was the day. My husband and I took a taxi to the hospital. Once there I was registered, paid the money for the operation (a small amount), had an EKG, a complete blood work-up, my temp taken as well as my blood pressure. All were perfect so they could proceed.

But first about the hospital, a new one. Now, Chinese doctors can have private practices and this is where they make their money. This hospital, with a uniformed doorman, was four stories tall. The first floor had an enormous reception room, white marble floors, white silk damask covered sofas and overstuffed chairs with all the exposed wood painted white. Huge chandeliers lighted the room and as there was no view other than the street, floor-to-ceiling, thin, white silk curtains decorated with gold braid covered the windows. To me it was just like entering a Beverly Hills spa.

We were to go to the doctor’s office on the third floor and were directed to the elevator, just around the corner. What a shock. The doors were decorated with a photo of a woman lounging in a evening dress with more than ample bosom showing.

As we went from floor to floor to various labs, on each elevator door was the same type of picture only different models. They were blown up so large they were almost pornographic. Then on the hall walls were hung pictures of various parts of the body, showing the different surgeries, but all the pictures were tastefully done with the models wearing scanty under pants or minute bras with lots of lace.

Now the surgery is over and my entire head is wrapped so tightly in bandages one would think I had brain surgery. They must stay on for a week before the unveiling. Actually the surgery only took one hour, was painless thanks to local anesthesia, and there has been no pain since I returned home right after it all.

I just hope my vanity or whatever one calls it proves its worth so that every morning when I brush my teeth I’ll see a new me in the bathroom mirror.

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Instructions for submitting are here.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Good for you--it's never too late to enjoy looking your best, is it?

I hope you took pictures of the 'before' and 'after'. When you look at the 'before' you will be so glad that you took the plunge and had your ears moved in a tad.

It's my guess that your parents didn't notice, or care about, your minor imperfections because they loved you so much. I'll bet you were a cute baby and that's all they saw.


I love the insights you give us into China.

Thanks for the descriptions of the hospital and the doctors.

I hope your operation was a complete success and also hope you love your new ears...

Fantastic! We are not "old folks" when we keep on learning, doing and being involved in life. Keep on going fantastic lady.

Thank you for sharing such a fascinating story in every way.

Hope you enjoy the "new" you!

How brave of you to have that surgery at this point. I'm sure you are going to be gorgeous. My grandson will need that procedure. Perhaps I should send him to China?

So, we can't call you Minnie Mouse anymore?

I'm sure you are, and always have been, beautiful!

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