Dawn Mundy, 52, from Harlow in Essex, had anti-wrinkle injection treatment at Spire Hartswood Hospital by Mr Manu Sood, Consultant Plastic, Reconstructive and Hand Surgeon. Here is Dawn’s story…
"People haven’t actually asked if I’ve had any work done but they say I’m looking well ... which is just the result I wanted"
“Ten years ago, I lost my husband and had to face life as a one-parent family. It’s sometimes been a struggle. Every penny has mattered and I’ve always felt too guilty to spend much money on myself. I think a lot of women are like that: your children come first. I’ve just never been the sort of person to spend a lot of money on myself even though I save my two-pound coins and I joke that it’s my facelift fund!
Six years ago I met someone and last year, I moved in with him. Over the past few years, I’ve been looking in the mirror and watching my skin change as the menopause approaches … It’s like going back to teenage years with the spots! Recently my daughter said to me, ‘Mum, I know you’ve been under a lot of stress, but you’re starting to look really old’. She was right. I didn’t mind. I’d rather she be honest with me.
Then last year a young girl in work, just 27, got married and had the full works beforehand – anti-wrinkle injection, fillers, teeth whitening. I was surprised she’d consider anti-wrinkle treatment at such a young age but then I thought … well, why not? I spoke to my daughter about it and she said ‘Mum, there’s nothing wrong in looking after yourself’.
For the next year I read about Botox treatment in magazines, watched programmes on TV and researched it on the internet, but I still held back. I felt nervous. You see some awful facelifts on celebrities, or frozen faces, and I definitely didn’t want that.
In the meantime, I’d started to notice a few unwanted hairs, so I had some electrolysis. The lady who does my electrolysis happens to be a patient of Mr Manu Sood, a consultant plastic surgeon at Spire Hartswood Hospital in Brentwood. She’d been having anti-wrinkle treatment for seven years and she looks great. You absolutely wouldn’t know. She gave me personal recommendation.
I phoned and spoke to Mr Sood’s secretary who was very friendly and gave me lots of information. I could have had separate consultation and treatment appointments, but then I would have gone away and thought about it for another year! As I’d waited so I long I’d thought, I’ll just go for it – and I booked a combined consultation followed by the treatment.
Even when I came for my appointment I sat in the waiting room and thought, ‘What on earth am I doing here?’ And then I thought ‘Why not? Why shouldn’t you?
It helped being in a hospital. I wouldn’t go into a salon on the high street and have it done. That’s just not for me. You just feel safer. There’s more security knowing that the experience is here … You feel more confident about cleanliness in a hospital.
Spire Hartswood Hospital has been really good to me. My late husband had a car accident and he was in this hospital years ago, my daughter’s been here for treatment too. Personally, I wouldn’t go anywhere else. I live in Harlow and I would always come to The Hartswood because I feel comfortable.
I wanted the anti-wrinkle injection treatment to be elegant and sophisticated. I said to Mr Sood, ‘I don’t want to come out of here looking like a rabbit in the headlights’. But he told me he’s not in favour of the frozen face look.
Mr Sood was very good because he asked why I wanted it done, which I thought was important. For instance, after bereavement some women have work done to feel better about themselves, and it’s not the right time in their life. I felt settled and at ease with him.
I was nervous and I kept saying, ‘I bet you think I’m really vain! I’d never done anything like this before’. You don’t spend money on yourself, do you? And yet I go to work, I pay my mortgage, I’ve worked hard all my life, so why shouldn’t I have it? Getting over that hurdle is difficult which is silly really.
It didn’t hurt; it was just a bit uncomfortable. Afterwards, I had tiny pinprick bruises which were hardly noticeable. Mr Sood injected my forehead and at the sides of my eyes. It felt a bit like sunburn on my forehead. I was told no massage, no hot baths and no exercise for 48 hours. I could start to see results straight away and definitely a couple of days later when the tiny bruises had gone.
I was very pleased. People haven’t actually asked if I’ve had any work done but they say I’m looking well… which is just the result I wanted. My partner said to me, ‘Your eyebrows look different!’ They’ve raised slightly, which has made my eyes open up.
I make a lot of facial expressions and my eyebrows are always moving so I didn’t want to lose that and I haven’t. I didn’t want to look like some of those young girls on reality TV who don’t move their foreheads.
After I had the treatment, Mr Sood said to me, ‘Come back in three weeks time as I need to see how it’s gone, and my patients normally like a top-up’. But when I went back, he said to me, ‘You don’t need it’. I was impressed with that; what a genuine man.
I may have more treatment. Once you’ve had it, you get brave! I’ll see how it goes. The effects should last between four and six months.
I feel better about myself now. When you’re at this age and you’re about to go through the menopause, it gives you a boost. I’ve taken up running again too – I used to run marathons in my 20s. I’m doing things just for me now. You’ve got to look after number one, because if you don’t, you’re no good to anyone. My daughter's really pleased that I’m actually doing something for myself.
To anyone thinking about doing it, I’d say you should do your research. Be sure it’s what you want. Don’t rush into it. Do it for the right reasons. See a reputable plastic surgeon.
Manu Sood really makes you feel comfortable. He took time with me, and I was so impressed when he told me I didn’t need the top-up. That’s the difference between seeing him and going to the high street.
I would definitely have it done again. For me, it was the right thing.”