A Week At Brookline Guesthouse

Brookline Guesthouse

My procedure with Dr Rahal was always going to happen, and likewise it was inevitable that I’d stay at Brookline Guesthouse during my time in town.

For those who don’t know, this is the private B&B-style house situated on a street less than 5 minutes’ walk from the clinic. Only Rahal patients can stay there and it’s been set up to make the procedure experience easy for those who don’t live locally. It does this in two, equally important ways. I’ll begin with the most obvious:

Comfort & Convenience

I’ve mentioned already how close the house is to the clinic. I actually timed the walk and it came in at 3 minutes 45 seconds. Patients get a ride back after the procedure, but the proximity makes it easy to drop back in daily for check-ups. It will also save you money on cab fares.

Each room is furnished with reclining chairs, as is the living room.  These offer the optimal sleeping position during the post-op period.

Camaraderie & Support

This is less obvious and might not even enter your head when planning your procedure, but to me it’s what makes Brookline special. All of the guests are there for the same reason and are all sharing the same experience and emotions. This generates trust and openness between the guests and can help patients feel at ease before their big day. I noticed that it was common to immediately start talking about hair loss with a new guest as soon as they arrive. This would be weird anywhere else, but at Brookline it’s totally normal.

I hope my experience below will expand on the above.

My Arrival

I got a lift from the airport to Brookline and already knew the house from those times I’d ‘rolled by’ on Google Street View. It’s a very nice looking house, I knew that already, but I hadn’t seen much of the interior.

Mahesh, the owner/manager, was there to greet me – as he does with all his guests. I was surprised by the high ceilings in the hallway and living room. First impressions are that it’s a very spacious and impressive home.

Mahesh gave me the full tour, showing me the kitchen (well stocked with food and drink) living room and bedrooms. He also showed me the laundry room and the massive basement boiler which keeps the house toasty.

The First Days

During my first days at Brookline there were four other guests, and I met them at the kitchen and living room area where everyone tended to congregate. They were Michael from Texas, Alex from Italy, Adam from California and Nick from London. I had actually met Nick back home when he came in for a consultation. I soon realized that Adam was a patient who I’d exchanged many emails with. Most guests won’t have that prior contact with the others, but it was a bonus for me.

Left to right: Mike, Alex, Nick and Adam

As I’m a patient advisor everyone had questions and wanted me to comment on how their freshly completed procedures looked. That’s another thing that other guests won’t experience, but what you will find is that it helps to be able to chat about what you’ve just done and what you can expect in the months ahead. It’s that support aspect I mentioned above.

Michael was actually born in Vietnam and he spotted a Vietnamese restaurant up the road. We all layered up for the cold and headed out for a bite to eat. Actually more of a slurp as we ordered soup on Michael’s recommendation. Alex got the meat

I’m sure local residents are used to the blue caps by now

I think Michael influenced us all in his dietary habits. He’s big on juicing – and by that I mean liquefying fruit and veg to create a highly nutritious drink. It seems to be a daily ritual for him and every morning he was busy preparing his ingredients and his juicing machine (brought with him all the way from Texas) was put into action. Most of us enjoyed his green concoctions and I’m betting that Adam from California now owns a juicer!

The next day was another day for eating out. We found a Thai place, also down the road, and stuffed our faces. I think we all had one eye on the beers behind the bar, but we had to do without as drinking is forbidden before and immediately after a hair transplant (the beer store across the road from the clinic also offers temptation!)

That day we had a new arrival – “Niceguy” Joel from near Toronto. Joel’s procedure was set for the next day, so during my transplant he was in the next room having his. I’ll never forget my Procedure Day Buddy!

“Niceguy” Joel – my Procedure Day Buddy!

That evening was the night of the Superbowl and the living room was pretty rowdy. As I’m not interested in football I retired to my room fairly early. Hey, my procedure was the next day and I had to be up at the crack of dawn!

The Final Days

After the first couple of days I spent most of my time at the office. I would’ve liked to have spent more time with the guys but I wasn’t there on vacation! Guests came and went. First there was Gary, a Bloodstock Agent from Canada. An interesting guy who knows how to place bets and win!

Alex, from Italy – the final arrival during my stay

Next new arrival was Edward. He was another patient who I’d been consulting with. He drove all the way from New York to be there and his hairline will look amazing once it grows. The final guest/patient to turn up on the scene during my stay was another Alex from Italy. I liked him and his Sicilian character livened up that evening. I regretted that it was my last night in town.

Last Word

My experience of Brookline Guesthouse was overwhelmingly positive. It was always exciting to see who would turn up next, knowing they could be anyone from literally anywhere on the planet. It will be hard to forget those nights hanging out with those guys – nice surroundings, good company, endless slices of melon (courtesy of Joel!) and when it came time to leave I wished I didn’t have a plane to catch, so I could delay my departure and stay one more night. Or another week.

I’ll be back.

 

Comments

  1. Awesome write up Matt! Glad you enjoyed Brookline 🙂
    It’s a place where strangers turn into friends.

  2. Love this post! Thanks for explaining Brooklines “homey” feel 🙂

  3. My enthusiasm came across then? 🙂

  4. Michelle Fraser says:

    Hey Matt,
    Wonderful testimonial. The Brookline Guesthouse is really such a great addition to the experience, thanks for the interactive post and pictures!

  5. Mike York says:

    Excellent write-up there Matt. I had a similarly positive experience at Brookline, and will definitely stay there again when I go back for my next procedure.

  6. Alex from Italy says:

    I stayed here 2 weeks, and I really enjoyed it, although there was -20C degrees outside!
    I knew Matt and other people, all of them were very special.
    Mahesh is a very polite guy, and he will help you for everything.
    I think this house has been designed well for the patients, I really recommend this place instead going in an hotel, because if go in an hotel you have to stay close in the room, instead here you can a lot of free space and you can go out without any problems.

    • Hi Alex. I’m glad you enjoyed your stay too. I think it would be very boring at a normal hotel. You’ll see I ended up blurring your face in the photo. You said you were fine with showing it but we decided written permission was needed.

  7. I added a few more photos, including one of the room I used and my favourite: a nice birdseye view of the living room.

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