I had quite a few consults and did not want to...
I had quite a few consults and did not want to travel, but Dr. Harley's work and bedside manner just made me take the plunge. He is the sweetest and most personable doctor and his work speaks for itself. I had 4 consults and he was my choice. I am starting to jowl and get the turkey gobbler. NOPE! I am not going down like that. I have a younger husband and am not ready to head into his midlife crisis with jowls and a turkey gobbler! I love the results of my weight loss, but as my sisters-in-MWL know, you are left with the destruction of a terrible lifestyle. This equates loose skin and premature aging in your face due to rapid volume loss. I have been propping myself in the last 4 years with fillers and the price is getting to the point that it makes more financial long-term sense to invest in a procedure that will last me 5-10 years and won't fade in 6 months to a year. Not to mention that none of them really get rid of jowling or turkey neck. This is a loose skin issue that is going to take tightening SMAS to fix. I have grown more and more aware of gravity's cruelty in the last year or so. The breaking point was a picture taken at an engagement that clearly reflected jowls and neck sagging. I about had a heart attack. As the last year or two has progressed, I don't like who I see in the mirror as much. I do not want to look 25. I just want to get ahead of the curve after my weight loss put me behind it. I am not ready to rock the jowls and turkey neck. I spent nearly two decades of my life being a mother of 5, then working in corporate hades in a high-stress environment. I am ready to reclaim some of these lost years where I was never really too kind to myself. I want to rock my 40's and 50's and becoming a Harley Honey is just another step at redeeming some of what I had lost. So excited and I owe it to many good reviews on here. I WILL be reporting at a year out, 5 years out (God willing) for those women who want that confirmation. I did have the opportunity to see a woman he worked on 5 years-ago and she looks great. I went to a Dolly Parton concert a few months ago and she said to the audience "I am aging gracefully and I have the plastic surgeon bills to prove it." That is how this girl is going to roll, too. Follow the journey with me :)
Booking trip and pre-surgery crash diet.
So I am all over hotwire and priceline. Looks like I can get a round trip for 290 and hotel for about 500 for 7 days. Not bad. I am doing the "Almased" diet. I want to drop 10-15 lbs before I go for max skin looseness. I am also contemplating my eyes. I don't think I totally need it yet, but they are starting to hang more than they used to and might as well handle it now. I am going to keep on this diet and stop eating Lindt chocolate balls. I swear the valentine sale candy is kicking my butt. I am getting so excited. I am really on the fence about driving up vs. flight. Just wondering if I should not put myself through a drive, but by the time you deal with the airport and flight, you are looking at 6 hours vs. 8 hour-drive. I am wondering which hotel is best. Ugh....decisions, decisions.
Seriously considering upper bleph and lower bleph issues. Brow lift? Not so sure which? (EYE PICS and more NECK PICS)
Well, the more all of us Harley Honeys discuss the "should I bleph or should I not?"........The more I want to go for my eyes now while I am investing the money into the trip and the time into the recovery. After all, I don't want to do all this just to have my eyes head south in two years. (or less) I already have seen changes in the lids and some new hanging. It isn't bad, but it wasn't there before and my guess is: It isn't going to get better.What do you think? Here are my eyes...Go for it? I don't know what they do for the hollow darkness that has taken over since my rhino/septoplasty. But I will tell you that it is worse.
I booked a great room on Airbnb and even had the person offer to take me to the doctor. This will save me so much time and money. They also live 1 mile from the office. For anyone who is on airbnb and looking to book a room the following will not accept patients who need a nurse to drive them back to their room:
Her name is Arlene and she declined my stay due to not being comfortable with a nurse bringing me there. So just a heads up to save any fellow realselfers from booking with her and finding out the hard way. She is a really nice lady and lives 0.1 miles from the office. Right across the street! But she doesn't allow nurses or them to drive you there or be there according to her message and decline to me. I will be sure to review my host and stay and let you know how it goes in case you want to use this resource! I am excited.
Flight booked!!! Thank you to the Harley Honeys who post travel & siteseeing information!
So 290 roundtrip...not bad! I am so excited and with every new detail of the trip being checked off my "To Do" list, the more exhilarated I become! Maud has been posting some great details on shops and hot spots of Asheville. I have resolved to not "overdo" it, but to enjoy Asheville like a fine wine....fully and with slow breaths! I think the biggest thing I am nervous about is my husband not being with me the whole time. He works for the FAA and the towers and pilots need him. So, he won't be with me the whole trip. Kind of a bummer because I wanted to hit the sites with my best friend. Nevertheless, my schoolgirl giddiness hasn't waned a bit. I have been exercising and really supplementing with the bromine. Dropped all of my Retin-A stuff. I have been eating a lot of fresh fruits and veggies. I love my Almased shakes. I have a little bit of IBS and it is truly working wonders for it. I am going to really miss my kiddos. I didn't realize this was Easter weekend when I booked! I am going to compensate by making them huge baskets before I leave and my Mom and Dad are going to plan an adventurous egg hunt. My other big fret is I am not bringing my Chihuahua, Macho Nacho. I am going to miss that little stinker. He sleeps with me every night and has a little bit of separation anxiety. I plan to face time him a bunch. He loves doing that when I take a trip without him. I won't lie, though, the thought of having so much "me" time feels selfish but also FANTASTIC!!!! It is a rarity in my world. I will savor every moment of it.
I got the nurse ready to go!
So, I got the lists from Juanita and made my calls. I will tell you that I am making a different choice than most of the other ladies on here. I have my reasons. I chose Molena's TCOB and really enjoyed my conversation with her. She did not try and assert that I would have to have a nurse for at least 30 hours or push the entire phone call. She was very professional and unassuming. Her rate was much better and I felt immediately comfortable. She has a 4-hour minimum. I will have someone with me, so I don't need 24 hours of nursing care.
Without naming names, another company I contacted seemed very pushy. I don't mind paying for 24-hours if I need it. But I don't like being told that I have to have a medical professional there for 24-hours or can't have the surgery. I don't like having them demanding to speak with my hubs when they figured out that I wasn't "biting" on the "scare" tactics on how complicated, intricate and detailed my healing would be and I would have to have a nurse watching me sleep. If I didn't use them I would bruise, not heal as well and have all sort of complications. No thanks.
I have had 6 cosmetic procedures to include having the middle of my face broken (septoplasty) and I have had drains from 4 places on my body at once and not had this kind of push ever used by a care company. I know how to empty my drains and I know it is not rocket science. Seriously, this agent repeated 5 times, "I don't care if I don't get the business, I just want you to know."
Ok, rant over! lol
Molena? A WHOLE different experience. She was lovely from the start. Heck, I would probably pay for 24-hours just cause I like her.
In the least, I am thinking about 10 hours and maybe take me the next morning to the appointment, but mostly because she really enjoys seeing the reveal so much. She told me that was her favorite part. (See, that is a good lady!) She was so kind and down-to-earth. I am happy and feel really positive. Please give Molena a call. I think you will really like her.
One more thing checked off the list! Now for the list of things to buy. Wedge pillows and ice masks...here I come!
The "affair" of the stitches
So to all of the ladies that are endeavoring a Biltmore Lift, you must have thought of your stitches and their removal. I found out straightaway from Juanita that the stitches can only come out after 7 whole days after the surgery. I had already booked my flight earlier than I could be seen on that day, so I was at a bit of an impasse.
Some of my Harley Honey family will want to leave earlier by car and will find themselves in the same deadlock. Not to worry! You can have your physician at home do the job. I have my ENT removing the stitches and already have my appointment set for the 8th day.
He also did my rhinoplasty/septoplasty, so I am in wonderfully skilled hands.
If you have a nurse in the family, you can have the same arrangement. I was afraid to remove them from my eyes, quite frankly. I have removed stitches myself from other surgeries, it isn't complicated, but in a situation of the face and eyes....it seems a bit more perilous.
So, one more thing off my "to-do" list and one less worry on the affair of the stitches.
Ice Mask (I would highly suggest this as a purchase)
I got a shipment from amazon today.
Arnica pills and cream-check.
TheraPearl cooling face mask with strap-check....
Oh, and a picture of my DH. Isn't he handsome?
Pillow System.....because we can't lay flat!
Ok, I scored big time. I got the Avana Kind 4-pillow system for 132 bucks on Ebay. New, just no box. Southersister reviewed this and said it was a Godsend. So, I am excited to get this baby here and vacuum packed into a very big bag. It has great reviews and is normally sold at Brookstone for around 189, so I as glad to score it a little cheaper. I will let you all know how it works out with recovery and if it was worth it, IMO. If I do get my eyes done, someone was saying something about arnica eye drops? I am just curious if anyone else has tried these out? I am less than a month out and FREAKING!!! More and more Harley Honeys that I began posting with are out of surgery or just in and it is more than thrilling to see all of your posts, reviews and feedback. We are truly one big, gorgeous family!
Nerves, excitement and found another great nurse if anyone is looking!
I am still sticking with Molena, but I had a great conversation with Lisa at Care Car. Juanita sent her information. She is a sweetheart and the cool thing is she is an Uber driver, too. She doesn't push for 24 hours, she has a minimum (not sure how long) but her rates are a little less expensive than I was quoted at TLC. She is also in the process of building a suite off her house so she can provide care and a nice place to stay. So, ladies further out, keep this in mind.
Juanita has her information, but if anyone wants me to PM them this resource, she has some openings in May, June and July.
I am so nervous. I talked to Molena a little bit about it and she is a very soothing person. My husband broke his ankle playing basketball this week, so it has been a bit crazy at the abode.
I keep reading reviews of the current post-surgery Harley Honeys and they are so good. The work is so awesome. I just feel better and better about this decision. Just so excited and ready to go for it! 2 weeks and 3 days!!!!!!
10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1......blast off to Operation Turkey Gobbler.
So I have 10 more days until I am standing in front of Dr. Harley and all of the plans and approaches will be discussed, I will meet Juanita and the staff (can't wait for that!) I am thinking of the IRS/Taxes, Easter and Bunnies, Facelifts and Turkey Gobblers, Chihuahuas and missing the crap out of them, hubbies and hot dates after the procedure, AirBnB and nurses, soy shakes and weight gain, hormones and cellulite, and also if I can finish my kitchen cabinets and cleaning this house.
In all of the minutiae of the next 10 days, I am in disbelief that the moment is arriving. I am grateful for the friends who are with me on the journey and all of your reviews, words of encouragement and relating to each other. I don't know what I would do without you all, I am serious. I have to get my fix everyday from my harley honeys and my realself buddies. Then in the process of all of this caring and sharing, I was selected to be a real friend and that was such a blessing and wonderful gift. I have made even more buddies and made a commitment each day to show love to all these precious people on here thinking of making the leap, needing advice and reassurance or just plain venting with each other. I think about Kentucky always saying she is "paying it forward." Even that detail, she has no idea, but it has helped my daily life. I let that person cut me off on the road and "Pay it forward," for the days I have been a beast on the highway. We all contribute so much to each other. To watch Maurdian and Faceliftneed write each other such compassionate and caring messages. LisaisLucky is planning, Kentucky is healing, Better and Better is gorgeous and back to work and school. The skeins of all of these journeys give us so much comfort and we are in this special family that constantly amazes me. I know this is corny as crap, but I can't help it. Maybe it is the extra estrogen, maybe it is one of my "sweet miss piggy" moments, but there is just something so cathartic about this process. It is a scary and exciting burrito of emotions as we all emerge from the cocoon. I will put the syrup back in the cabinet, but know I am sincere. I COULD NOT have done this without all of you. My realself family is integral in my even having the confidence to take this step. With that said, THANK YOU!!! Now the countdown begins...........*Cue up the song from the band,Europe, back in the 80's*
RS REVIEW video and time-lapse, anyone??? (Yep, we are doing this......)
Ok, ladies. I have thought about this and thought about this. I am going to make a review video compiling the start to finish journey of this whole process. I have the go from RS to do a time-lapse or video piece...Guess what?? They may FEATURE it!! Dr. Harley is ALL on board and we are going to do this. Ladies, if you would like to see this process in a video format from start-to-finish....say "YES!" Down below. Otherwise it will likely be time-lapse. Also, please let me know what YOU would like to see, know, are most interested in watching or insight you are seeking. I am going to do a time-lapse of healing and pre to post operative results, but I would also like to do another video featuring some of the travel in the area, the procedure visit, must-have items, etc. Any of your ideas are welcome below. If RS chooses not to feature it...guess what??? You can PM me and I will send it to you upon completion. This will be available via Instagram or Youtube. Give me a few weeks so I can heal to get this all together. If any of you are getting close to procedure and I am not quite done, I will send it in rough draft form what I do have if it will ease you in your journey.
Let me know my HARLEY HONEYS and all prospective facelift/necklift friends!!! I am doing this just for you. We all post, but an intimate video and time-lapse feature would be bomb to me, so I am doing it for you!
Looking forward to hearing your input!!
7 minutes til midnight
I am lying in bed with so much to tell all of you. Today has been a whirlwind with flights, airbnb bookings, uber, rental car, last minute supplies and some funny situations for later sharing. I walked in the front door to sweet Juanita sitting at the front desk. She peered out and saw me with my camera and ducked out of sight! She was everything she is on the phone, just even better. She led me into a consult room and I passed the most beautiful artwork on the way. I am talking a grand scale painting that could easily grace the halls of the Biltmore Mansion. The soothing, rich blue of the office kept me gentled during my wait. Juanita popped back in and sat down on the chair across from me and talked like we were best, good friends. I heard an Australian accent in the room next door thanking Dr. Harley as they left! I think I know who that was! I had my camera all ready as Dr. Harley walked in the door. He strolled in and looked up with a twinkle of amusement mixed with some bashful, Southern charm at my impromptu footage. Then I sat down with him and talked all about Realself epic journaling and the face in front of him. There is a beautifully draped window in the room that has the perfect amount of light to work out all of the details. I expressed my concern about my eyes and he pinched that little crepe of skin and agreed wholeheartedly with me on a bleph. (insert chorus of angels singing) We decided on some Juvaderm around the mouth to enhance things and exchanged some laughter about life. All of the ladies and he gathered in a team huddle and we made some pictures, laughed a bit more. They are a colorfully-knit family, familiar and authentic. Dr. Harley had no trouble looking me in the eye during the entirety of our pre-operative appointment. He has a boyish glimmer in his eye that tells you right away he loves what he does and is a very special person. His office is a home nestled in all of the vivid pink and white, dogwood splendor of an April day in Asheville. You feel welcome, safe and part of a family. This family just happens to have a Vanderbilt/Dartmouth Grad with an amazing talent for eradicating Turkey Gobblers. I can't wait for tomorrow. I am saying goodbye to my face a few more times and I will see you on the "other side." Goodnight, dear hearts!
Happy Easter! It is a good day to rise out of the healing cave and say hello to my Harley Honey Bunnies!
I have been incognito for a few days and at the worst possible time, right? All of this waiting and and I go quiet. I promise you ladies, it has been for good reason. I am so swollen and so bruised, it is hard to tell anything right now, but I will still post some photos. I am good, no complications, but in my normal fashion, I bled a lot. Dr. Harley said he spent more time than normal having to cauterize and stop the bleeding, so if my results are hard to see quite yet, no worries. They will emerge soon enough. I am already very happy with everything. Having my second thoughts at the belph, which is TOTALLY normal. My eyes are going to take time to heal. i can already tell. I am still trying to get all the rest I can get. I get up here and there, but notice the more I move around, the more I swell. I am so sick of pineapple! I have been eating a good amount of it. Molena, got me a few goodies to try out and a cool ice mask. She is AWESOME! Do not hesitate to use her. She has a really nice new car that is easy to get in and out of, the best bedside manner. I am going to post all sorts of specifics (because there is SO much I wish I would have known.) I am still sleepy.Dr Harley switched out my norco for percocet. I am a big wuss on pain. He is so good to us, you guys. Here are a few preliminary shots. One on the morning I as gettng the bandage off!
All the colors of the rainbow
Well, it seems that day three and four are those days were you turn the corner as far as healing. I have gone from black, blue, purple and now a beautiful shade of rustic yellow. There is definitely gold at the end of the rainbow and it is around my eyes anchored in all of its circular glory! I am still swollen on my right side a bit more. I am feeling much better today. In fact, I have a hankering to go shopping in the worst way. But, I know I need to rest .....so I will. Here are some more pictures and as always I am thinking of all of you. I am heavily taking a lot of video and journaling the entire experience with my words. Each day really is something different. I can't wait until all the swelling is gone and I can have a field day at the Ulta store buy new make up.
Ummm, Dr. Harley, I have a question?
Cabin fever and looking at a mirror too much will produce humorous moments. Enjoy my dorky moments. The shenanigans that happen when you send Dr. Harley a video question.....
Day 4 and 5 post-op healing progress
Here are some candid pictures of my healing over day 4 and 5. The energy comes and goes. One day you will feel like perking up a bit and the next you will be down for the count. Your body is mega-healing. Your face is so vascular and this is so normal. Here is the progress so far :
The Low-down and dirty Bleph Blues
It is a real place, ladies. You have two huge things smack in the middle of your face. They are the windows to your soul and when you operate on them, you can get a little impatient with the healing and apprehensive about the changes.
Right now, my stitches are still very much in and very dark. I have an incision line that seems a bit farther out than many I have seen, but I know it is because I have a large eye space and I had some 'baggage' big-time. I am mostly tripping out on the changes near the tear duct. It seems like one side almost has a folded look. I realize I am so early in the healing process that I need to just chill. I had another member, who I won't name, pm me all during the first weeks of her bleph and she was horrified and regretting it. Then, around the 3- week-mark, when the healing had it's chance to smooth thing out, she was screaming the praises and very happy she did it. She apologized for scaring me, but honestly I am glad she showed me this side of things because I am now experiencing the same "Bleph Blues." It is a mixture of happiness at the removal of crepe and hang tinged with fear of the scars, the bumps being so odd and the new look almost overwhelming you. It seems so subtle in pictures, but in person, when you look in that morning mirror (and the afternoon, evening and every hour!) you see such a different set of eyes because of all the moving parts that come with healing. You just have to give it time. I am preaching this as I am feeling the very real feeling of subtle regret, but I know I did the right thing and just have to let my body smooth things over with time and rest. It is an odd place to be sort of down in the midst of such joy at a new jawline. Juxtaposed feelings and I have never been strangers. I just keep being positive and thinking back to the myriad of feelings my other Harley Honeys have experienced. I draw from those journeys. Molena is about to swing by and take me out. I am glad to get free of the cave of healing hibernation and out into humanity. I have a serious hankering for a Starbucks Frapp, again. I have my incognito shades handy and some concealer for desperate moments. I will take lots of pictures :) Dermablend has a liquid that I will put a link to below. It is MUCH less greasy and thick than the original and it has great pigment for coverage. Molena is an angel. DO NOT hesitate to book with her. I am serious. She is an angel. Here are some pictures with an without make up. Close ups and such.
Blue skies and home dry.
So I am home and I have a lap full of dogs, arms around my children and my husband giving me lots of kisses. Someone asked if I was off the painkillers and yes I have been off of those for several days. I really didn't need them after the 3rd to 4th day. I have been getting by on Tylenol with no issue. I am icing my face as we speak and you will really want to do that as soon as you get off the plane. All of the hustle and bustle of the airport is not fun for swelling and you will get that tightness and want to ice right away. Melina gave me a great tip and told me to get a 10 pack of white washcloths from Walmart for about three dollars. Get them wet and put them in the freezer. I am telling you what they are great. You can mold them because they get kind of stiff and they don't get too cold on the skin, but cold enough to really help. Between that and my crazy mask, I have been in heaven since I got home and was able to ice. I am a happy camper. Stitches came out today before I took my flight!! I have a video of it and you will see how it is handled up close and personal! I will tell you one thing, all of those bumps are already flattening out on the bleph where they remove the stitches. I am so happy about that. Molina and I went out and had a beautiful time on a scenic tour she gave me The day before I left. She did this out of the goodness of her heart. Kind of funny to think she said when she was a little girl she didn't know how to say her own name and she called herself mo-Mean-a!! There is not a mean bone in that woman's body. I have so much to share with you over the next few days, lots of pictures and lots of updates. Please stay on the lookout. I just need a couple of days to recover from this long trip, but I promise I have lots of new things to show you, some sneaky clips from the video and points of view you normally won't see. Dr. Harley has been a saint and I can honestly say that he is an angel. We really do get our wings when we step into the Harley family. This Harley honey is a sleepy honey. So off to dreamland I go with both eyes ready to close! I've got so much to show you and I can't wait! I've got to love on my sweet husband for a little while, though. He knows how much I care for all of you and how much all of you have meant to me on this journey. A few home-cooked meals and he'll be good to go....then it will be full-throttle, girl time! My youngest daughter, Summer, told me that I needed to get all of my footage off her iPad because she had no iCloud storage. I told her there wasn't a cloud big enough to help out my honeys!
Molena's frozen washcloth tip!
So in the first days that you are healing, you will not want the heavy weight of a mask or frozen peas, in my opinion. Molina came up with an invaluable tip to take a 10 pack of washcloths from Walmart that cost 3 to 4 dollars and freeze them all. You just wet them and lay them individually flat in the freezer. Separate using any method you would like. Then you take them out and they are a moldable frozen sheet that has no weight and the perfect amount of ice and coldness! I would definitely do this the first 3 to 4 days after surgery. You can mold them to your neck, too. It feels heavenly! When the frozen cloth has defrosted and still cold, but able to be wadded into a ball, you can apply them to your eyes and it feels great. See the pictures for example. Thank you so much to Molena's Taking Care of Business and her savvy for this great tip! All of you who are in the process of scheduling really need to give her a call for your aftercare. She is the best and the best priced! If she is booked, call Lisa at Care Car! She is also an amazing person. She is the second best priced! Please tell them that Forty sent you. I don't get anything for it, but I like to let them know that I am pulling for them on this end! I just really like to let other women running a business know that I am in full support of them. Especially when I've had good experiences with both.
Baseball game on the fly
Well, my face is still the size of a large watermelon at times. The swelling is very much due to the Florida heat. Boy was there a difference when I stepped off the plane! I tried to slip into my son's baseball game today and ended up spending 3 innings in the car cooling down with the AC. At least I was facing the diamond and could see some of it from the windshield view. I have posted some pictures so you can see today's healing level and with make up. Things are moving along nicely. I am very much using the mepitac tape along with biocorneum scar cream. Of course for the ball game, I decided to take off the tape and try to hide everything with my bye-bye red cream from IT cosmetics. This was a very nice suggestion by Kentucky 1965. I do I have to give the makeup props! It is very good. It didn't hide the black eye completely, but got very close. Still, nobody knew as long as I have my aviator glasses on. I was really enjoying the game for the first inning. Here in Florida, when it is about to rain the heat gets insane. I am talking sweltering heat that would bake a cookie in your car. It is miserable and because of this my face was swelling in record speed. Then came the rain and everything cool down a bit. I still had to go hide in that car, but for the little bit I did get to enjoy the game I was looking great ladies! My husband looked over at me lovingly and said "I think this was money well spent, babe." I asked him, "Really, you can see it already?" He said, "You look younger than me!" I just leaned over and gave him a big kiss. That was the best homerun of the game.
Be prepared, ladies. You will have a lot of those WOW moments. I was going through photos libraries and trying to do some footage for the video and some different compilations. I found these two photos and put them side-by-side and about had a heart attack! He does such natural work that you really don't feel like much has been done, but then you look at your photos and gasp, "whoa," you realize the miracle he has created.This is one of those WOW moments. Just thought I would share. I can't wait to see all of yours! It is the best thing ever to see all of you heal and look even better than before. It is quite a treat to excavate your best self.
Day 12 and lots of revelations.
We are just shy of two weeks and boy am I happy!! Everything is healing nicely and things are smoothing out all around the incision lines. That feed bag feeling that geezerhottie so adequately described, that tight band feeling under your chin...... it dissipated today to about half as bad. You really feel it when you yawn or brush your teeth. It isn't completely gone, but better. I did get a little bit of an infection right at the top of my ears. I will say this; clean your phones even if you're wearing your tape, that phone is touching the area and they can be filthy. The area I got a little bit of the infection in is exactly where my phone would hit. I would highly suggest using an ear bud for the first few weeks or putting it on speakerphone.(unless you have relatives like mine!) Dr. Harley called in a prescription in an hour after I texted him a picture. He is so awesome.I am feeling better. I feel less tired. I'm trying hard not to overdo it. I have little hired helpers called children who desperately want to keep their iPads. They are doing the bending over to get out the laundry and load the dishwasher. They get to scrub the bathtub this week. My baseboards can wait!! They might turn on me! They are already giving me the stink eye as if doing a little bit of laundry is the end of the world. Other than that, everything covers well with make up. Everything I am showing you is completely make-up free. Dedication, anybody? The lisp is still here and the lip issue, but it is better today. Dr. Harley told me that women either have it on the right or the left sometimes for the first few weeks, but sometimes (I hit the jackpot) get it right in the middle. He guaranteed me that it fades within 3 to 5 weeks. I kind of like my little lisp. My husband loves it. The voice text on my phone absolutely mutilates everything I say. Boy, have I sent some doozies. It is bad enough to have a southern accent but couple that with a lisp and you might as well sit on a bench with a box of chocolates. I am tediously working on my video and some supply list PDFs for you. I know I promised it would be done in two weeks or so, but cut me a little slack. I am healing! I totally invite you to message me if you have any further questions. I really enjoy speaking to each of you individually. Well, that's it for day 12!! Your best good friend, 40.
Unexpected speed bumps in Bleph recovery.
So by now you're probably asking where is the video? Well, the past few days I have had an unexpected development. I keep having blurry vision and issues with even seeing at a distance, not to mention the total blurs up close. I have 2020 vision in my distance and a slight correction in my near vision. Still I am almost 2020 in both. I keep having blurry vision and even at a distance, which is abnormal for me. I do not post this to scare anybody! I post this to let you know the phases and realities.possible when you healing from a bleph. You might not. You may. I am honest about my journey and this is a part of my journey where some unexpected things are happening. I think the reason that is occurring all of the sudden it's because we are at the 2 to 3 week mark. I think my eyes are starting to form the scar and this might be retracting the lid skin a bit more than in the first couple of weeks.I'm going to reach out to Dr. Harley in the next couple of days if this does not resolve. I'm using eyedrops faithfully, taping and still my husband said he could see that my eyes were not completely closed when I slept. It isn't a major opening, but just enough that I am drying out in the night. I do not want to get a bunch of PMs with women freaking out over this. I just think it is a normal part of the process. I've read many questions about it and seeing that some of this is somewhat normal. I just want to give it a chance and go through the process of healing. I do want you to be aware this is possible so you don't freak out if it happens to you. Until this resolves, I'm not going to be posting very much because it is hard for me to see honestly. Every time I blink I get blurry and have to readjust. So I just want to give it a few days. I will keep you updated about what happens. Keep me in your prayers and thoughts.
The desert of testing
Hello my beautiful realself friends and Harley Honey/Angels alike. I know I have been somewhat of a disappearing act lately, but the desert of testing has been a real place for me. I have read about mythological creatures with no complications or issue in healing, but this is a reality that eludes me. My face and neck have afforded no issues, but my bleph has been a healing process.
Am I out of the woods yet? No. Is it better? I would say 50%. I am still sleeping with my eyes open. (The kids caught me in a nap and had a lot of fun with video!) and my eyes are as dry as the Sahara, but I have seen some improvement in the level of blurriness and dryness. I am still using the eye drops each hour and massaging religiously. I found an awesome bleph massage tip from another doctor on here. I am going to share that in a video on a separate post. I am starting to finish up the main "journey" video and all the little snippets. It has been somewhat challenging because focused reading and looking at a computer screen is pretty taxing on dry eyes. I have also been vertically and horizontally massaging my incisions as Dr. Harley suggested. I have spent a good bit of time researching this issue on the internet and with others and most commonly this resolves. This is good. Mostly I post this intense honesty not to scare anyone or cause drama, but to prepare the few souls out there who may experience the same prolonged healing. If we all write, "Everything was perfect. I don't know what happened with those other women," it isn't going to help the few that might have an issue. When people sprout wings and walk on water, I will get worried. In the meantime, there are natural healing speed bumps that can happen. Your eyes are complicated and you should be prepared for scar tissue that can cause prolonged healing, etc. I am trusting Dr. Harley and respecting the process. I am giving it time because this isn't my first rodeo with plastic surgery and the healing investment that it can be. None of us should walk into an office and think we will not have any issue that may take more than a week or two when endeavoring to pursue procedures involving the eyes or face. This is reality.
With that said, I am very happy with my results. The eyes look nice, but I do have to force the one shut. It is an annoyance and the constant application of drops is a necessary evil. I have said more than once "My vanity is kicking my butt." Isn't it nice to be honest with yourself!!?? Lol.
Having consistent dry eyes is hazardous to your cornea. This is just a reality. I can't stress enough if you are one of the prolonged healers are hardy, internal scar creators to please stay MOISTURIZED. The goggles have certainly helped. I will post a link and include them on the list. Honestly, this has just annoying and somewhat anxiety-producing. My eyes have always been my one redeeming feature and my sight stellar, so this has been a bumpy recovery. It is no slight to Dr. Harley, it is just a possible reality of the procedure. If all of this lamenting could help spare one lady who may experience the same healing pattern, I feel justified <3
Now onto the positive. I love my face. I am so happy with the result. My lip is still popping up a bit, but not as bad as it was and I can now roll my lips after applying lipstick or gloss, which I COULD NOT do in the first 3 weeks. My scars are undetectable with makeup and very light without. The tightness in my neck is still persistent when I look up to kiss my hubs or get a lost spice out of the cabinet, but the feed bag/party hat feeling has gone. I am still wearing tape on my ears and using Biocorneum when I massage my eyes. I am using Systane gel at night and sport during the day. Sometimes refresh.
Here is a link to the sleeping goggles that have certainly helped!
Bleph recovery tip and video
Excuse the lisp! I still have a bit of one due to the lip popping up. It is way better and dissipating, so I am not freaking out...(nor should you!) The healing process is real. In the video, it is hard to see the slight sliver of opening when I am recording it, but it is there. Because of this incomplete closing during sleep (eyes relax more and will open) and during blinking, even that small sliver can cause drying from incomplete lubrication that happens when they close. I am suspecting it will resolve, but for now, the dryness continues. I am glad he didn't take all the loose skin from the A-frame deformity (look it up :) because the closure issue would have been worse. The scar placement is very good. The outer scars will fade in time with my crows feet. They are the darkest of the scars, but coverable with makeup.
Here is a link to the doctor's description of the bleph tip. INVALUABLE tip and has helped.
August 25th, 2013
The reason your eyelids don't close totally is due to micro scars that are connecting the dermis of your eyelid to the tendon of the muscle that elevates the eye (levator aponeurosis).
The treatment is incredibly simple. Put your index finger holding one eyelid down and then open and close the other eyelid. Since the levator muscles work in unison, your other eyelid will attempt to open and close, stretching out the levator aponeurosis of the closed eye and breaking, or at least stretching, the micro scars preventing complete closure. Then repeat with the other eye and the other index finger.
In my practice, I have patients begin this treatment on the 8th post operative day for 3 minutes, then again on the 9th post operative day for 3 minutes, and that usually cures the eyelid closure problem. At 2 months after surgery, it make take a few more stretching exercises, but be careful not to overdo it. To be safe, discuss this with your personal plastic surgeon, and don't forget, the incision was made at the right place and your surgeon did a great job.
S. Larry Schlesinger, MD, FACS
Harley Honey Supply List
Ok, my ladies! So this is what I used and what came in handy for me. If you see anything I have missed....PLEASE, add in the comments for all the lovely facelift sisters out there. We can't think of it all, but together we can cover a lot of ground.
I have a PDF format. If you want me to send it to you, message me!
Harley Honey Supply List
1. Neck pillow (preferably memory foam) (to keep your neck straight and keep you from moving your head in a bad position)
2. Wedge Pillow or Pillow System (for elevation, this is crucial)
3. 10 pack of thin white washcloths (To freeze and apply to face and neck. MUCH lighter than packs)
4. Ducolax or stool softener (Pain meds will constipate you)
5. Mepitac Tape (at least 2 rolls) (You will NOT reapply this the first day, but will need it each day after)
6. Arnica Pellets (2-4 weeks pre & post op for bruising and swelling, get at least 200 pellets or a few bottles)
7. Bromelain Tablets (2-4 weeks pre & post-op for bruising, get 100-200 ct bottle or you will run out)
8. Arnica Gel (for neck bruising)
9. Activia Yogurt (To help avoid yeast infection from the antibiotics that kill your healthy bacteria)
10. ZIP-UP front jacket with hood (You don’t want ANYONE to see you!)Darker is best due to blood.
11. Zip up robe (pulling things over your head really hurts the first few days) Darker is better in case of blood.
12. STRAWS (It really helps with drinking and not leaning)
13. Pineapple and Blueberries, instant oatmeal cups (with blueberry is great), Tapioca or Rice pudding (has some weight and fills you up), Pudding, Jello, Ready-to-Drink Protein Shakes (ex: Muscle Milk). Anything soft, LOW SALT or SALT FREE. You won’t want to chew for several days!
14. Salt-Free seasoning *you won’t want to touch salt for several weeks or you will swell*
15. Dry Shampoo (In case you don’t feel like washing your hair for a few days)
16. Baby wipes or sanitary wipes (In case you don’t want to shower and also to keep your cell phone and anything that touches your face very clean)
17. For BLEPH patients: Systane Eye Drops and gel drops or ointment for night.
18. Extra towels by the bed (you will put them over pillow so you don’t get blood there. Have them ready)
19. Tupperwear or disposable, resealable container (If you need to empty your drain on your own, you can do so in this and not have to get up and go to bathroom, then use wipes as needed)
20. Handheld mirror (To check stitches, make tape adjustment, etc) You can prop it on your laptop or bedside table or on your knees if you need to do something hands-free. This saves trips to bathroom.
21. Tylenol (When you don’t need pain meds, this will work nicely and you can’t use any NSAIDS)
22. A coffee drink, ready to go. (If you are used to coffee, you will want some next morning to avoid headache. You won’t want to make it, so have one ready, like a cold brew or something)
23. At least 4-5 pillows (You will put one underneath each armpit to keep you from rolling and want 1-2 on top of wedge pillow and one under your knees)
24. Sunglasses (The light will hurt on the pain meds)
25. Soft hair band (This will keep your hair back and not in your face or sticking to your wounds behind your ear if you have longer hair)
26. Soft Bristle hair brush (If you have a hard bristle and hit behind your ears just one time, you won't need to know why! lol)
27. Bye-Bye Red from IT cosmetics is less thick and REALLY good at hiding the scars. Dermablend is thick. The Dermablend camo mousse is a little bit better.Figure out what kind of thick coverage and high pigment stuff you want to use BEFORE you leave. You will have bruises for the first week and this will help.
Laying it on the table ( and I am not blephing!)
So, as you all know I have been in the healing isolation cave. I know I have been kind of quiet, but it is because my eyes have been giving me a lot of trouble. They are getting better and now I feel up to posting more. I still cannot close one of them completely. It also does not blink completely. This is what causes the dryness. This has been very disconcerting and hard to deal with. I have to use eyedrops a lot and my eye is very dry at night. Otherwise, I am very thrilled with my results. I would not hesitate to go again. I don't know if I would have Dr. Harley do my blepharoplasty if I had to do it over again. He has the lower neck and jaw down to a science, though. I am not a politically correct person and will never lie or tell you something that you want to hear. I am not happy with my eyes. This is just an honest statement from me. I am happy with the way they look when they are open, but the one,when it is closed looks sort of wonky and does not close all the way. I have to force blink both of my eyes. It is not natural and I have to force it for it to happen. I regret doing the surgery on my eyes. I wish I would've waited to have my eyes done. In my haste to get everything done at once, I jumped a little quickly. I should've read more reviews and took my time. This is no slight to Dr. Harley. He is a wonderful surgeon and a great man. However, there is a fellowship certification with eyes and other things that are much more intense as far as a doctor specializing in them. This is something I probably should have used an optomologist who specializes in the surgery to do. I continue to massage and I continue to use the exercises that I learned from another surgeon on RS, but the fact is one is too short. Maybe over time, gravity will help them sag down and they will correct themselves. From what I have read, this should not be an issue. Blepharoplasty should be pretty easy and if you have this trouble after so many weeks, it is usually a permanent thing. For this reason, I am going to do a separate review for blepharoplasty and I really want everyone to just research this and make their own informed decision. Dr. Harley is a wonderful doctor and I really love his work. I am not saying he is a bad doctor or you should avoid Him. What I am saying is your eye FUNCTION is a very important feature and perhaps his specialty is more with the Biltmore lift. He has had many good results and I may perhaps be an anomaly. All I know is this is really difficult. It is a daily, constant battle. It is impacting my life. I have halted doing the video and other things because my eyes are so dry, everything is blurry. If I focus too long on things, it gets worse. I have to use the drops constantly and that adds to it being blurry. I am not going to give up and still wait for resolution. I have an appointment with an ophthalmologist, but I canceled. I think deep down inside I am afraid that this is a permanent issue. it has gotten a little bit better and I think that I am trying to give him the benefit of the doubt and let it heal itself. I don't want to be a drama queen and go over reacting and running to an optometrist or ophthalmologist. It is tough though! Poin it has gotten a little bit better and I think that I am trying to give him the benefit of the doubt and let it heal itself. I don't want to be a drama queen and go over reacting and running to an optometrist or ophthalmologist. It is tough though! These are my eyes and every day is a huge hassle. Deep inside I don't want to think if this is a normal recovery. Even deeper inside, I don't want to believe I have a permit issue. I want to have faith in him and trust him in this process. It is such a roller coaster! Just something I didn't expect and didn't want. I would've rather had the wrinkles than to deal with all of this has been very emotional. Please bear with me, ladies, I am not perfect. Anyway, I hope that you will enjoy these pictures and many show my scars up close. I did go ahead and list everything you need pre-surgery in a previous post. It is your packing list and a list of essentials. I have it in PDF form if you need it.
As far as the facelift and necklift portion, I am thrilled! Results are beautiful. Nobody has asked me if I had a facelift or necklace. They have commented that I look younger for more refreshed, asked me if I got more sleep, asked me if I had a new healthy diet. It is pretty funny to see people recognizing that something is different, but not being able to place their finger on it. That is the results that Harley to see you, natural. I don't feel the tightness under my chin that I did. Don't get me wrong, everything is still tight and beautiful, but the feeling of tightness and a feed bag is gone.It is still hard to look up in a severe degree, but it is doable. My lip is still malpositioed. It pops up and covers my lower teeth. It is a little bit better, but still very much there. I will keep you posted when things are improving or if they do. Love you gals! Missed you gals! I am excited for all of the girls on their way or just recovering. You will be so happy with your result with a lower face and neck lift.
Heartfelt emails meet meaningful phone calls. This is how Dr. Harley rolls <3
I had an amazing nearly hour long conversation with Dr. Harley. He also sent me an email really addressing each and EVERY concern I had. I feel so much better after all of that. How many doctors do you know will stay on the phone with you as they are walking in the door of their home and greeting their family? His beautiful children were in the background screaming "Daddy's home!" and he stayed on the phone with me easing my concerns and giving me a lot of medical insight. I feel a lot better about it. I tried to get him off the phone because I felt so bad he was doing that on his family time. He just reassured me and said, "Really, this is what I do. Let's keep talking." The pieces of his letter I attached are just small examples of how genuine and concerned he is. This was one long letter and I responded with a novella. Rest assured. But he puts up with it and calls me back that evening and invests even more time. Simply amazing!
I also did a Q&A on Realself and all of the doctors are telling me to chill. They said it looked like I would have a great result and this is likely exactly what Dr. Harley said.....skin contraction issues that typically resolve.
I wanted to give Dr. Harley a shout-out for this amount of his time. I appreciate it and have never run across this kind of patient/doctor investment in my life. I have had a few procedures and never had this level of concern or interaction. I didn't call him, either! He called me on his own accord. He was encouraging, kind, never assuming or defensive. He is just that caliber of person. If you have any issues, trust me, he will address them.
By the way, please forgive the sloppily worded reviews as of late. I had been using voice messaging because of my blurs and today has been a clearer day. I went back and read through the last review or two and WHOA NELLY! I hope you can decipher that mess!!! I tried to respond to all of your comments. You guys are amazing.
Today has been a better day. Eyes are a little less dry due to it cooling down some. I am very hopeful.
Here is the link to my Q&A and various answers. Most thought it was a good result and that it would resolve. So rest easy, ladies who have this healing issue that I also have.
I also attached some (not even ALL it was so detailed and invested!) of his letter so you can see how thorough and invested he truly is. This is special doctor, ladies. He is for real.
To top this off, please like my review, find it helpful and give me a comment. I have a FREE Biocorneum to give one of my lovely friends on here directly from Jill at RealSelf. She sent one free to me and one to give to a friend. I can't think of a better group of friends to send it to. Just comment, like and find the review helpful, respond you did and I will put your name in the bag and if you win....send you a free bottle. Pretty expensive and awesome stuff and I know one of you would love to give it a try. I love it and was thrilled to get another bottle. Love you guys!!! xoxoxoxo Here is a link to the product! https://www.realself.com/guide/biocorneum
Week 7 update
Hello my beautiful Harley honeys and real self friends. Week 7 has brought lots of subtle surprises mostly in the form of nerves starting to wake up. I can see a softening that is occurring in my face and I am starting to look even more rested than I did before. I can feel more and more on the sides of my face and under my chin, which is nice! My crazy lip is still popping up, but my eyes are improving every day. The dryness is starting to fade and I am really happy with that! I will say that my one brow seems to have dropped a lot. You'll have to look at the pictures to see. Before I had a lower brow on that one side and it was heavier with extra skin, but now that the extra I baggage is taken away and the compensatory muscle is not working so hard anymore. This is perfectly normal and when you have extra eye skin your muscle compensates and lifts your brow naturally. When you take that baggage away, your brow does not lift as high. This is something you really need to consider if you have a difference in eyebrow height before you have blepharoplasty. It is something you and your physician need to discuss, because you may need a brow lift to go with it if this is an issue. I am still thinking about this in a long term capacity and hopefully a little Botox will pop that brow right back up, but I am hesitant to mess with Botox during this most important healing stage. I don't think I want to add anything to the mix right now. I do think it will improve my eye result a lot if I get a little Botox on the crows feet. The engagement of my muscles and trying to close my lid has made my wrinkles and my crows feet a little more pronounced. It is also added a strange wrinkling pattern that I have caught when I blink my eyes. I do think this will relax overtime and it is just par for the course. You have to realize that all of these changes in your body cause other changes to coincide at the same time. What goes up must come down and it is no different with your face. If you cut areas and swelling occurs, it could aggravate nerves and all sorts of other things. You have to keep this in mind when things are a little wonky the first month or two, but over all I am thrilled! I trust what Dr. Harley says about this being temporary and that it will resolve. I love the results of my chin and my profile. My face looks so much better. I don't look like that tired old hag I was seeing before! I have not had anyone notice that I had a facelift or ask. I have had so many people say that I look rested and happy. That is so nice! I will keep all of you posted over the coming weeks and years. I promise I will do what I say. I'm still working on the video and it is not out of the question or plan. I just needed time. My eyes are just now recovering and I am editing and doing some other things. I love you all and happy healing! For those Harley honeys and facelift sisters who haven't yet had surgery or just out, I am excited for you and hope you keep us all posted! You will not regret this! I truly enjoy reading all of your journeys and checking in on you! Hugs and kisses!