Bonjour from Paris! I’m currently in Europe to finally attend Paris IMCAS – one of the largest conferences in our industry, with 10-12,000 attendees – for the first time in over 3 years! Usually IMCAS Paris is held in cold and snowy January, so it’s lovely to be attending in June when it’s spring in Paris and starting to get cold in NZ! I’m so excited to be learning about new techniques and technologies ‘in person’ again, not to mention catching up with old and new friends from across the globe!
I’ve mentioned before that I’m part of a global group of trainers for Botox and fillers called ‘The Hive’ – many I’ve met in person, and some who I’ve only met online so far. As many of the top injectors in the world come to this conference, there are some people I’ll finally get to meet in person for the first time! One of the research papers that a group of us wrote during lockdown has just been announced as being in the top 5% most popular research papers on this topic, despite only being published less than a year, so I’m looking forward to celebrating with my co-authors, and hopefully popping in to attend the seminar one of our team is presenting on it.
It was wonderful to get back to London after almost 3 years and catch up with my friends over there. It’s crazy what a time warp Covid has created, as it only feels like it’s been a year or so since I’ve been up! London is abuzz with preparations for the Queen’s Jubilee, and my friends are members at Soho House, The Ned, and Annabelle’s members clubs, so we had some wonderful lunches and dinners, including some time by the rooftop pool at The Ned, taking advantage of the sunny London afternoon while catching up on emails!
While in London, I caught up with my friend Liesel, a leading cosmetic doctor who works at Ouronyx, a stunning high-end clinic launched during lockdown by the ex-global head of Allergan, who shoulder-tapped some of the finest injectors in the industry and set up Ouronyx clinics in both London and Dubai. I was able to visit Ouronyx and chat with some of the team about their concepts, sharing ideas around best practice and different techniques. Ouronyx – derived from the words ‘ouro’, meaning gold, and ‘onyx’ which is black – represents the light and dark sides of all human personality, and has some incredible commissioned art using the butterfly symbol of transformation. Like us, they offer a one-hour initial consultation, and complimentary makeup (when we’re not in Covid restrictions!), and have focused on quality care and quality products, so we had a lot of similarities and ideas to share!
While waiting for my flight to London in Auckland, a call went out in the Koru Lounge for anyone with medical training to make themselves known to the front desk. After checking to see if anyone else had put their hand up, I cut short the phone call I was on and presented myself to the front desk asking how I could help. A young woman who had been working in the lounge had collapsed in the bathrooms, without anyone seeing her. She was still on the floor, in the recovery position, with one of her teammates supporting her. Fortunately it was only a few minutes before the paramedics and then the ambulance arrived. I was beyond impressed with the compassion, clarity and skills shown by the St John’s ambulance team, as they assessed her, roused her out of her low level of consciousness to be able to help her onto the stretcher, and whisked her off to hospital just as my flight called final call! I asked the flight attendants to let me know how she went, and as I exited the plane (after a wonderful flight in first class!) they said she was stable in hospital and having some tests. It was such a treat to be in Emirates first class – although it will make it very difficult to go back to business class on the way home!
After Paris, I’ll spend 5 days in Mallorca with friends before coming back for my next operation, which will be fat grafting and a scar revision to improve the shape and contour of my reconstructed breast. Once I’ve recovered from surgery, I have a couple of training workshops that I’m running on Profhilo and Hyalase, then the Vampire Academy in September. Our Profhilo workshop sold out super-fast, so we’ll be running another one later in the year (the waitlist for that is almost full too), potentially in October.
We had our quarterly team training day last month, where our medical team has the opportunity to practice new techniques on our team and share ideas about how to make our practice more efficient, sustainable and safe, while providing the best possible patient experience. This time we had a focus on temples, cheeks, tear troughs and jawline with filler, and the team did some spectacular (subtle but significant) work. I don’t usually get treated at Team Training Day, as I spend most of my time floating between rooms and facilitating, but with my early sagging I was a great candidate for these techniques. I had essentially the whole team treating me, and received filler in my temples, cheeks, angle of the jaw, chin crease and mouth corners. You can see from the before and after photos the team has done a lovely job, and got me looking and feeling great to face my peers in Paris!
As you probably know, we have some incredible nurse injectors on our team, so we celebrated International Nurses Day and said ‘thank you’ with some fun ‘syringe-topped’ muffins turning up at work for the team to share. We are so grateful and appreciative of our nursing team and the amazing work they do every day. Thank you ladies, it wouldn’t be the same without you!
The other big celebrations for me last month were Mother’s Day, and my dad’s birthday. I flew up to the Bay of Islands with my brother and his family, and took great delight in taking my nephews to the Koru Lounge for the first time! It was a very special weekend spending time together as a family. We had a delicious lunch at Omata Estate, and then a special birthday dinner for dad at The Duke, where the whole restaurant sang him ‘Happy Birthday’. While Dad had limited energy as he was due for another blood transfusion, he did surprisingly well at taking part in the mealtimes with family. In between times I took my nephews fishing off the wharf with my dad’s fishing gear, and we had some great family walks, beach adventures and pool time with my brother and his family. It has been such a joy to have the opportunity to spend quality time with family, and such a gift to have us all together to celebrate dad and his life.
It’s been wonderful to be travelling again, and I feel like my brain is slowly starting to get back on track! Five days of intense conference and training will be a test for it, the first big test it’s had in a while. I’m much more conscious about listening to my body and giving it the appropriate rest, nutrition, exercise, water and sleep, so it will be a much more sedate conference experience this time compared to my previous conferences, where my FOMO used to kick in and I would push myself to do everything and attend as much as I possibly could. There are many gifts to slowing down, and being a bit more selective will be one of them. I can’t wait to get back and share all the new concepts with our team, and to incorporate them in our training! Keep an eye out over the next 6 months as we hopefully start to share some of the things I’ve learned.
It’s incredible to believe we are now halfway through the year, in June! Wishing you a fabulous month ahead, and we look forward to seeing you in clinic!
Love and hugs, Cat 😻 xx