Less than a month to go before I get my neck and...
Less than a month to go before I get my neck and upper eyelids done with Dr. David Harley of Asheville, NC. From the time I was little....even before I understood "physical beauty," I would look at my grandmother's crepey neck waddle and say to myself..."that's not right." The decision to lift my neck should it start to appear like that was made long, long, ago lol. And my neck has started to get that "melty, crepey" loveliness. I belong to a group in Virginia called the Central Virginia Haunters (we are a group of home/Halloween haunters, Halloween lovers, etc.) At one of recent gatherings, one of my younger cohorts referred to me affectionately as "being like a haunt nana." Uhm. He's my kid's age...in his 30's. I could be his mom, NOT his nana. So that was probably the thing that made me take this plunge. Before, I thought if I took the right supplements (and I take a ton!), ate the right foods, etc., I would somehow beat Mother Nature at her own game. The good part of this is that I've made my body a healthier place, and the odds are with me of a good outcome with this surgery as a result. I've had breast augmentation in the past, and I imagine my upcoming surgery pain/recovery will be much easier. That's my hope anyway.
All my dealings with Dr. Harley and his staff have been very positive. They have answered all of my questions, and are very professional. Dr. Harley's reputation speaks for itself, but what really impresses me is the sensitivity and kindness he exudes. I have a remote history of a little anxiety, and I find it helpful to find someone who is kind and caring in their approach.
I'm posting my before pictures, and will try to post as many as I can during my recovery. I look at these and see all my genetic history, good and bad. My mom had good skin, and for the most part, mine is not bad...just a little tired and droopy lol. Both parents were of European/Scottish descent, so I got a whopping portion of white, white Celtic/German skin AND cellulite (from both parents lol). I just think it's wrong for the creator to give you cellulite AND ghostly skin, but they seem to go hand in hand. Speaking of cellulite, for what it's worth, I tried Velasmooth once, and that made everything worse for me. The good part of that story is that the Spa I went to gave me a 15% discount on Thermage as a result. Not sure whether or not Thermage worked, but it didn't seem to do any harm.
But things are beyond the reach of Thermage and creams now....so here I am, about to embark upon something that hopefully will make my outside look as young and energetic as I feel on the inside. Looking forward. Wish me luck! :)
Not too bad. The worst part were the numbing shots. And even after TEN valium, I did not go completely out, but it was not unpleasant. Dr. Harley, and his assistant, Kelly, were wonderful. Here's a shot from last night. : )
So glad to get the compression mask off. Was starting to feel like Jacob Marley's ghost in A Christmas Carol.
Day Four Post-Op
Okay....let's try this again. Nothing more frustrating, and exhausting, than writing out my review and having it disappear. This has happened twice to me (while I was trying to update via my phone....perhaps that is why). No doubt it is more operator error than the fault of the Real Self website, but here we go....
I feel very good physically. I could probably go and do, just as per usual (I normally run like a house afire), but am trying to be very restful to let my body heal naturally. I'm catching up on my reading and watching some movies. Trying not to let the dust bunnies accumulating around me bug me to the point of actual housework lol.
My kitties love the fact that they can crawl up into my lap and keep me warm and cozy (I imagine it's more the other way around...I keep THEM warm and cozy). Their purring is very conducive to lulling me to sleep, and catnapping along side them.
I have almost no pain now....more itching from the healing process than anything. I feel very "stretched," and hope that settles down once the swelling subsides some. I've always felt that if you are going to get facial plastic surgery, "that the corners of one's mouth should not touch one's earlobes" like the Joker. To me, that look is right up there with sausage fish lips, and while the "real housewives" love it so, nothing screams "I've had work done" quite like that. In the end, I just wanted to look like me....like I've had a really, really great nap or vacation.
I'm starting to show some bruising now. I'm doing my arnica sublingually and using the gel topically religiously. I'm on the last day of using the Bacitracin ointment after cleansing the incisions. My sutures come out on Friday, and I'll be so happy to wash my hair. In the pictures, you'll see it is up in a towel, but I have merely wetted it so that I can put a little Wen styling lotion in it to keep it under control. Otherwise, I'd be looking a bit like Phyllis Diller. Hopefully, my husband can still stand to get close to my hair lol. But at it's worst, it wouldn't smell like him after he's spent a couple of days at the hunting camp, so I guess we're even. : )
I'm eating tons of pineapple and blueberries (in my smoothies). Also pomegranate and strawberries. I'm staying off the majority of my vitamin supplement regimen until after Friday, and then will resume in earnest.
This experience has been a very positive one for me. I really couldn't have asked for a more caring physician and staff. Dr. Harley, Kelly and Juanita are tops!
Update Time - One Week + One Day
Good morning, All-
Here we are at one weekish. I wanted to get real clear (okay, brutally clear) pictures. I had my sutures removed yesterday by my PCP here in Virginia. He said that I was healing well. I do have some bruising, but it is light and I believe the Arnica gel really helps in this regard. (Side note: You can also tell the Arnica gel is a bit drying....Lord, my neck needs some moisturizer in these pictures lol). But even moisturizer and plastic surgery will not correct everything. I'm still working with my genetics, so I will baby "this investment" as best I can with limiting sugar (so rough on the skin), limiting sun exposure (my PCP said this helps the most with scarring), supplements, and water!
My incisions are healing fairly well. The right side is doing better than my left. The chin incision is doing great; however, the big scabby area is where the drain was. I keep treating with hydrogen peroxide twice a day and hope that starts to look a little better. Right now, it looks almost like a burn.
My eyes are doing well. I have a bit of blurriness from time to time. Started using some "Clear Eyes" to help with any dryness. I am happiest about the eye result. Dr. Harley paid careful attention to their natural shape and just as I wanted, I look "rested." I do have little "bumps" near the tear ducts where the suture tails were, but hopefully that will smooth out.
My PCP was making jokes about "not to pull my ears, or they might fall off" yesterday. They had a lot of sutures and while I did not want to entertain you with pictures from behind my ears, there seems to be a great deal of scab/bumpiness back there. Feels gross. Probably looks gross too. So unless it gives me any trouble, I'll just monitor by feel and you can take my word for it lol.
My energy is good, and I have pre-holiday cleaning to do. But I really have to watch it and not overdo. My face lets me know if I'm too active. Gets really tight feeling, and that's when I know I need to take a break, ice the area and enjoy a movie. :) I start back to work on Monday, so I've really, really been enjoying this time off.
Wishing you all the best, and a most Happy Thanksgiving. I'll check in periodically during the holidays. :)
Three weeks Post Op!
My face is starting to wake up. Still have a lot of numbness in front of my ears and under my jawline, but it seems to be getting a bit better. And I'm really ok with it if it doesn't come back all the way. I kind of figured that might be a risk before I even went through with the procedure. The one thing that is disconcerting sometimes is that my eyelash/lids area is numb. Makes it interesting when I apply mascara lol. Anyway, I'm feeling pretty good. Back to the gym (walking), and here's an updated picture (with makeup). :)
If you're planning on weight loss, WAIT until after you lose the weight to get your neck lifted.
19 Sep 2016
10 months post
It has been nearly a year since my Biltmore lift with Dr. Harley, and since that time, I lost 28 pounds. I love the fact that I'm finally at my ideal weight. However, the skin on my neck has loosened as a result. It still looks better than it did before the lift; however, if I had to do it all over again (and will eventually, no doubt), I would have waited on having the lift until after I had lost the weight. So, word to the wise.....if you think you might go on a weight loss program, wait until you're done to do your lift.