Correct cosmetic treatment not only enchance the face but changes the life
‘Filler has bad reputation but it fixed my lopsided face – I look like me again’
Alison Waite, who suffered multiple serious health problems, says she now understands the impact cosmetic treatments can have on ‘rebuilding a person’s identity’
Alison was constantly reminded of her illness with people commenting that she looked tired – even when she was on the mend
Every time Alison Waite looked in the mirror, she was reminded of her illness with fatigue etched on her face.
She had hollow cheeks and eyebags while one side was lopsided. It was the result of years of exhaustion and health problems that came about after doctors discovered she had a benign brain tumour.
No amount of make-up could hide or change what Alison felt underneath and despite feeling eventually better after managing her symptoms, her friends still commented on how tired she looked.
After researching what she could do, she turned to an aesthetic treatment to put back what her illness had taken away.
She had cosmetic filler injected into her cheeks and eyebags and now feels like herself again, having the confidence to wear her signature red lipstick that she previously wouldn’t have been without.
Alison, who is a mum to 24-year-old twins from Nottingham, had to quit her job as a knitwear lecturer when her symptoms worsened.
Alison no longer felt like herself and was constantly reminded of her illness with the way she looked
Her feelings of exhaustion came to a head five years ago which led to doctors discovering she had a benign brain tumour and that she had also had a bleed on the brain – yet she has no recollection of a head injury.
She suffered from intense migraines that would see her in bed for a week and had functional neuropathy – a problem with how the brain receives and sends information to the rest of the body – which caused numbness in her hands and feet, resulting in her losing her balance.
Her further diagnosis of Bell’s palsy – a condition that causes sudden weakness in the muscles on one side of the face – caused her face to droop.
Unable to look at a screen for long periods of time, she also had to quit studying for her PhD.
“I was suffering with chronic migraines weekly where I’d be out for two or three days with physical exhaustion,” Alison recalls.
“I then developed a weird limp and had balance problems. I thought there might have been something wrong with my ear and when things are vague, most people think ‘oh it’ll go away’.
“Then there was a week in January 2018 where I was in bed for five days with a migraine. I couldn’t bare light, sound, or move, because nausea would hit me and I thought I was going to fall over.
“My husband wanted to take me to hospital but I refused.”
The mum-of-two eventually visited her GP, who referred her to hospital and the tumour was discovered.
Due to its benign nature, she hasn’t had surgery to remove it, however it is continuing to grow slowly.
She was put on medication to deal with the symptoms but seeing her face every day was still “shocking”.
“I had physio to help with the way I walked but when I looked in the mirror, I thought, god, I look knackered,” Alison says.
“As I felt better I started seeing people and they’d say ‘you look so tired’.
“It sounds silly but every time I looked in the mirror or I met somebody I was reminded I’ve got this going on. It’s not about vanity it’s about sense of self.
“I wasn’t showing that I was feeling better on the inside and I was just fed up with it.”
As a self-confessed problem solver, Alison, who recognises how fortunate she is to have savings, researched what she could do to make herself look like how she was before her health problems.
She came across Dr Olha from Angel’s Twelve, who was local to her, and suggested the rebalancing of her face with HA filler MaiLi injections in the apple of her cheeks, under the eye socket, around the jawline and with more to the right side to lift the face.
“I’d done a lot of research and watched so many videos online [of people having filler] and in some clinics, everyone looked so similar,” Alison continues.
“I wanted someone who could give me a bit more oomph and take the last few years away. It wasn’t about looking younger, it was about looking like I wasn’t ill.”
Alison had her first injection last September, and the whole process was done gradually to see how her face would react, taking around 10 weeks.
Now, she can look in the mirror and smile, having the confidence to apply her bold lipstick.
Alison is back wearing her bright lippy
She previously didn’t want to draw attention to her sagging mouth but now feels like herself again.
“It’s unbelievable. People don’t say ‘you look tired, you look ill,’ anymore,” she says.
“The biggest thing for me was being able to put on a dark-coloured lipstick. When I was young and up until I got ill, I used to wear red lipstick.
“It is the weirdest thing but it is getting a bit of my personality back. I look like me now.”
Commenting on how dermal filler, which is typically associated with large pouting lips and unnatural appearances, can have an immense impact on those with medical issues, Alison says: “It is astonishing.
“Had I not been ill, I would have thought ‘well it’s ncie to have a pick me up’ but not really been able to understand the impact it can have after suddenly feeling old and vulnerable and frail and having that etched on your face when you’re not old.
“When you’ve lost a lot of things a part of your life that you value, I loved my job, I loved my PhD, being able to move forward and feel like you’ve reclaimed your self again, it’s really important.”
It hasn’t come cheap, as it cost her around £1,500 to £2,000 – with this type of treatment for those with medical issues unavailable on the NHS – but to Alison it is priceless.
“I am lucky because I had savings and could afford to do this but there are people that won’t be able to and I know it’s not a pressing issue but if people feel terrible about themselves and can’t do anything about it because of finance then that is sad,” Alison adds.
“Not everything cosmetic is for cosmetic reasons – it’s about feeling good about yourself and for your mental health.”