46, new career, new life, and now a new face (actually just hoping to get my old face back - I really liked that face) :-)

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46, new career, new life, and now a new face (actually just hoping to get my old face back - I really liked that face) :-)

I did not think I would ever have a face lift, especially not this early in life. Then I hit my 40s and realized I was going to age like the side of my family that I would prefer not to age as. I can thank dad for those genetics. :-P I worked with a fantastic doctor from 40 to 42 who truly was a magician with a needle. That bought me a couple of years during which I quit obsessing over my growing jowls and deflating cheeks. Sadly, he was out of business for a bit, so I began searching for a new doctor. I am a strong advocate that only Board Certified Plastic Surgeons should be injecting anything into anyone's face - not nurses, not your dentist, not your gynecologist. Maybe because I live so close to Scottsdale, it seems to me like everyone here has a needle and an agenda. Fortunately, we have many wonderful, highly-trained doctors in town. It didn't take long to find another doctor who still did his own filler work and continued to work magic with my face without the need for surgery. The last couple of years, however, have really taken their toll. I feel like I look ten years older than I did just three years ago. I tried one more round of filler with my second doctor but left that appointment feeling like I didn't see any improvement (after spending close to $2,000). For me, that was the sign that it was absolutely time to take the next step. I wasn't sure if the next step would be lasers or surgery, but I knew it was time for something more intensive. So how did I find Dr. Olson? Through RealSelf. Ideally, I had hoped to have at least a couple of years relationship (through filler work) with a doctor before moving into surgery. I think that gives you both time to understand each others goals and expectations. Life simply didn't work out that way. This is my makeover year. I have put aside the necessary time and funds to proceed. I am about to begin a new chapter of life personally and with my career, so this is absolutely the right time for me to do this. Once I committed to the path, I began searching for the right doctor on RealSelf. It can take a bit of commitment to weed through some of the reviews. My advice to anyone posting a review is to include pictures, price, and a detailed explanation of recovery. As I move through this process, I will include all three details. Pre-op pictures will be attached shortly. Reviews that don't include these details always make me think someone's friend or family member is posting fake positive reviews for them. Seriously, a review without pictures, price, or recovery details is not a review at all. I will include every detail I can think of that might be helpful for someone deciding whether or not to proceed with this procedure. Dr. Olson is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with many happy clients. Although I believe his specialty is usually body work, this is actually of benefit to me as I will be requiring a breast implant exchange in the coming year. I like the idea of working with one doctor for everything. Surgery is very scary for any sane person, so I appreciate not having to search for a new doctor again in six months.

Four days to surgery. Starting to get…

Four days to surgery. Starting to get really nervous. Funny thing, I had breast implants when I was 29 and went into that surgery with absolutely no fear. I practically marched into the OR high on enthusiasm. I could use a little bit of that youth and naivety in my life right now. Didn't sleep at all last night, so I decided to look through old photos today to remember why I am doing this. Painful! I tried to find pictures that would reflect my face in various angles and across the aging process. The recent pictures are extremely difficult for me to look at, especially in the order I posted. One positive side to aging, however, it is finally possible to admit you are not a blond. ;-) The recent photos are without makeup or any special angling/posing. I see a lot of heaviness in the lower face that seems to have started around age 42/43 and then progressed rapidly over the last few years. Surprisingly, I'm also seeing a lot of age around my eyes in these photos. I think my growing jowls have been distracting me from noticing the eyes, so they were good for something. :-) On a more positive note, the distress caused by these pictures has helped me cope with the recent panic attacks. Clearly something must be done to stop this downward slide before I turn into a full blown bulldog. So facelift it is! I will post additional pictures throughout recovery and of course lots and lots of "afters".

Surgery was early yesterday morning. I…

Surgery was early yesterday morning. I prefer a morning surgery. It prevents you from having all day to think about what is going to happen. I was more than a little nervous heading into the office but went into a full blown panic once I arrived. I tried to hide it because it's embarrassing to admit you researched something for so long and pursued it with enthusiasm and now your questioning every decision you ever made. Apparently my heart rate and facial expressions were giving me away. Dr. Olson's OR nurse and anesthesiologist were both wonderful. They truly couldn't have personalities better suited for the job. By the time we walked into the OR, I was already feeling much more comfortable. The next thing I remember is being helped into my friends car to head home. I went home, took my pills and passed out for the afternoon. Funny story - I woke up around 5:30 PM. I was supposed to arrive at the doctor's office at 6:00 AM earlier that morning for surgery. When I woke up, I didn't remember the surgery and freaked out thinking we were running late. I was trying to get dressed and pull the dressing off my head because I thought it was a towel I had left on after my shower. This must be one of the many reasons we're supposed to have someone with us for 24 hours after surgery. It takes a good friend to calm you down in the middle of all that. Choose your surgical partners wisely.
Another piece of advice - hide your credit cards. I slept really hard last night and woke up around 4:00 am still pretty high off the pain pills. What do you do at 4:00 when your stoned and bored? You shop for things you absolutely don't need. My chihuahuas are now the proud owners of ponchos and sombreros. :-) Instagram photos to come...
BTW, this pain number reference is with properly managed pain meds. I was feeling well enough to try skipping dose. That was a very bad idea. This surgery is no joke. It hurts! Take your pain meds.

Surgery was on the 14th. Dr. Olson took…

Surgery was on the 14th. Dr. Olson took bandages off on the 15th. Yesterday (16th) was shower day. Best shower of my life! Bruises weren't too bad yesterday. They seem worse today. Pain has been consistently manageable; as long as I take my pain meds every 4 to 5 hours I'm fine. Extremely itchy today. That is annoying. Pictures from left to right begin with yesterday's photos. You can see I am bruising more today. Also including a photo of Bruiser in his new poncho. Like I said in an earlier post, hide your credit cards. You will buy things you don't need when you're high on pain meds at 4:00 a.m. :-)

Tomorrow is one week post-op. Hoping to get…

Tomorrow is one week post-op. Hoping to get my stitches out then. Pictures are from this morning. I don't know if the bruising across my chest is new or if I just didn't notice it before. It doesn't hurt, but it is very ugly. My pain is worse than it has been all week, but that is probably because I am off all pain pills now. I'm still avoiding my reflection unless I have to wash up. I know it will take three to four months (possibly six) to see final results, but I'm already tired of the bloated and bruised face looking back at me from the mirror. In all honesty, all I have done for the last two days is cry. Probably not helping my bloated face. I was concerned that maybe I should not have gone off the 5-HTP and St. Johns Wort that I have taken for years. They can cause bleeding complications, so I quit taking them two weeks before surgery. I'm supposed to wait one more week before taking them again, but I'm hoping to get permission to start sooner, as it will take some time for them to build back up in the system. After reading other post-op reviews, it seems this depression isn't unusual, so perhaps not related to my antidepressants/herbs at all. I've read many reviews by patients detailing their depression and pain, but then they disappear. No more reviews. I would love to know how this ends. Does this last for days or weeks? Are they happy with the final outcome? Was it worth it? I'll continue posting pictures of the healing process, but I'm withholding final "worth it" judgment until the three-month mark. That seems to be an important time in the healing process.

Eight days post op. Continuing with my…

Eight days post op. Continuing with my Bromelain and Arnica. Taking ibuprofen for pain (with doctor's permission). I'm sleeping better and pain is more bearable. Still can't drink without a straw or chew anything substantial. Pictures attached have a bit of concealer under my eyes (my regular stuff - nothing special to hide the bruises). The worst of the bruising is under my chin and around my ears. Stitches came out yesterday. That was not pleasant. I understand that other people don't find the stitch removal process to be nearly as unpleasant as I did. I fully admit to not having a pain tolerance. It was never high, but when I hit peri-menopause my tolerance for pain became non existent - so take that into consideration when considering your own concerns with this part of the process. Now that all the painful stuff is behind me, I just need to worry about the final outcome. That really is what this all comes down to. Was it worth it? Did I just waste a lot of money, time, and suffering? Right now, I feel bloating and very, very round. I know I am still experiencing extreme inflammation from healing process. Also, quite a bit of fat was injected, over injected to allow for absorption. It will take a full three or four months before I can offer an honest assessment as to wether or not this surgery was worth it. I will probably start posting pictures once a month or so, so that it is possible to allow for more healing time and a better visual of advances in the healing process.

2 months post op

Very minor swelling continues. Scars have greatly lessened. The worst scar is under my chin. Picture attached. Nothing I can't hide with my regular concealer. No one can tell that I have done anything, except to say that I look refreshed. Mostly happy with the results. I have a few concerns, but it is still fairly early in the healing process. Final results are around the six month mark, with the majority of the results seen in the two to three month window. Planning on moving forward with the halo laser after this to treat undereye area.
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon

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