I am scheduled for consultation with Dr Harley on...
I am scheduled for consultation with Dr Harley on May 3rd in hopes of getting a neck and lower facelift. I have been reading and looking at many before and after pics of his Biltmore left. I'm hoping to be a good candidate for that. I'm will be 48 next month and have really started the aging process over the last 3-4 years. It's beginning to cause me anxiety. My boys are now grown at 24 and 26 years old. It's time to focus on me I think.
Neck and lower facelift
Well I changed my profile name. Decided to post my first picture. Taking and posting pictures is not an easy thing for me but hey...I say maybe its's time to branch out of my comfort zone! Haha
I am curious about the best moisturizer to use after surgery to maintain my new youthful look. I know...thinking ahead! :-) Has anyone asked Dr H this question? I will leave early early Monday to get there at 9:00 for my consultation. Looking so forward to meeting Dr H and hopefully getting an official surgery date. My fiance and I are going to do some site seeing in Asheville and then head to Myrtle Beach. Our check in time is 3P there. We are taking a much needed mini vacation. I'm just super excited!!! About the vacation...being able to do things for myself and for my loving and very supportive fiance...in which...without him none of this would even be possible.
Heading to Asheville NC
I am heading to Asheville as we speak for my consultation with Dr Harley at 9 in the morning. Not sure what hotel we're staying at yet but I'm excited!
I have very reluctantly decided to add more pics. This is really really hard for me to do. I feel that maybe it will help others that have possibly aged similar to me. I have a few others also that I will consider posting at a layer date. Taking it slow. :-)
I am working on booking my hotel. Juanita gave me a list and I was going to go with Baymont Inn And Suites. As I was looking on Trivago I noticed a hotel called Clarion Inn Biltmore Village. This is not on my list but looks very nice. Did anyone stay at Clarion? Any other suggestions? :-)
Is this a good pillow?
I bought this pillow from Kmart. Is this a good pillow or should it be bigger? Can I just use several regular pillows to prop myself up?
I have just 3 more weeks before my surgery. This year has flown by but May has been so terribly long! Funny how that happens when you are anxious about something.
Well...as I sit here counting my days down. 23 more to be exact...I am seriously considering lower bleph for my eyes. I thought I needed upper but Dr Harley said I would be better suited for a brow lift. However...I'd be a good candidate for lower bleph. I'd like to hear opinions from the girls that had this done. Are you happy with it? Was recovery hard? And has it affected your vision at all?
Caution: Long post
My day is drawing closer. I have 14 more days to be exact. I am still very excited but I am having my moments of talking to myself. More specifically...talking myself out of talking myself out of my surgery. Something that I am blessed to be able to do and what I've wanted to do (my neck) ever since I was in my late teens. I know it is because I am getting so nervous about the procedure itself. I do hope that I have a chance to talk to Dr Harley the morning of my surgery to confirm everything and ask a few more questions beforehand. During my wait period I've had plenty of time for pulling, lifting and tugging causing me to have a few more questions and want his advice on what will be best for me.
So...when I went to my local Health Food store to pick up my Arnica Montana tablets the lady that owns the store recognized me. My mom has been a very loyal customer there for as long as I can remember. I used to go with her to shop there frequently as a young girl. After we caught up on how and what my Mom is doing (she loves my Mom :-)) she asked me how old I was now. I told her 48. She said..."Wow...where in the world has the time gone"? Then she says..."you still look really good. Your skin is still so nice". I thanked her and stated that I appreciate the compliment but that I have aged so much over the last 2-3 years. Mind you...I am horrible at accepting compliments. I always feel the need to counter respond for some reason. I have gotten a lot better at simply saying "thank you" and leaving it at that but it is an effort. Self ridicule is so unattractive. I really feel that after getting my neck done that this will help me 150%. So anyway, I left the Health Food store a little confused. Really questioning myself. Am I just being a vain person? Or are my insecurities ligitimate? Does it matter? I came to the conclusion that No...it doesn't matter. What matters is my mental health and happiness. I have always been a bit of a introvert but the last 2 years it's been more so and I know it is because I feel very self conscious about my aging features. I already have reasons to be self conscious as I have a birth defect that I have learned to live with but this melting skin I can do something about. :-) I am looking so forward to a refreshed me. Thank you for listening to my long drawn out story!!! Everyone have a nice evening and thank you all for sharing your stories and updates! I enjoy them so much.
HAVE A HOME
Well...we now have a home booked for the 23rd. The day before surgery. That definitely solidifies everything. We will be staying at The Brookstone Lodge. It is 5 minutes from Dr Harley's office. I also took a look at everything that I am to refrain from 2 weeks prior. I didn't see caffeine on the list. I am a pretty avid caffeine person. Does anyone know if this is something that I should discontinue as well? I am praying not as I do not want to have to deal with the splitting headaches that come along with that. I mean...of course I would not drink any the day before of of surgery since one of my biggest fears is that the Cocktail that Dr Harley will provide me will not take or something. It's just a fear that I have. Well...I am literally counting the days down now. 11 more days. I am looking so forward to this.
Well...9 more days now. Juanita called in my prescription today. I will go by and pick that up tomorrow. Tonight I am not feeling any nerves. Only excitement. I have been having a hard time filing for STD thru my health insurance for time off from work. I think Juanita helped me get that resolved today. Thankfully. It's funny..I have a friend that is waiting for my outcome because she is thinking of having a necklift also. I told her that I'm not sure if she can get neck alone done...but she may end up asking Dr Harley. :-) So my fiance is wanting to trade in his car for a truck. We bought a house 2 years ago and have been doing alot of upgrades to it. It has been quite an ordeal without a truck. We even have a hard time getting yard work done without it. When he went to the dealership...they told him that he needed $2000 down. I feel bad because I just kept quiet. Thinking...I am not going to loan you my surgery money. He never asked but I know it had to have ran thru his mind. I now feel so guilty about it...he is trying to do this for us and I am just being kind of selfish. I just want to push thru this. I already feel self centered for spending this kind of money on myself. I mean...aging is a normal part of life...but God...it really really does affect me. So all of that to ask this...does Dr Harley accept Care Credit? If so, I can give my fiance the $$$ for the truck. I was going to ask Juanita today but I do not want her to doubt my payment ability. If that makes any sense. Well...I'm off to look at more updates of you lovely ladies. ?
I am just leaving after getting a cut and some color. I must say that the young lady did a phenomenal job!!! I am super pleased. I picked up my prescriptions. Also picked up my pineapples and blueberries. I love pineapple but not so fond of blueberries. I think I will just pop them into my oatmeal in the mornings to help get them in. I am going to take my Nutribullet with me but not sure I will need it. I am debating on whether or not to take the Bromelain. Haven't picked that up as of yet. Well I must say, the time for me has actually been passing by pretty quickly. Doesn't feel like 7 weeks since I went for consultation. I am posting a pic today. Happy Father's Day to all of the Male AND Female father's! Much love to all.
Well I just dropped my 2 furkids off at the babysitter. I am going to miss them so much. They are my light. I will be heading to my room in Asheville tomorrow morning. My nerves have gotten the best of me. I've been on edge all day and on the verge of tears off and on today. Don't get me wrong...I am terribly excited about making a change but I'll be glad when it's over. I'm just scared it's going to be painful. Well I am going to sleep as this has been such a busy day between work...packing our stuff...packing my furkids stuff and dropping them off. I plan on wearing a tank top with my fiances button down shirt over it (I do not own even one button down shirt) and pajama pants for my surgery. That way I can just comfortably lay back down afterwards. Or sit up I guess. Hmmm. Did anyone else wear pajama pants? I wanted to share a pic of my babies with you all because they are awesome. I rescued them May of 2014. They are Corgi JRT mix. CoJacks.
I AM HERE
I have checked into my hotel. It's very nice. 10 mins from Dr Harley. I had dinner at Cheddars for the first time. Hope I do not pay for it in regards to my surgery. Went to Walmart to pick up some socks. Also picked up some fruit and spinach for smoothies. I am back in room and now winding down for tomorrow. My turn has come!
SURGERY NOW BEHIND ME
I am so excited to say that surgery is behind me. I was very scared going to. So my process went just as others have said. Dr Harley came in to explain everything to me. He then asked me if I as ready. He walked me back. The unfortunate part for me was that I was awake throughout all of the local numbing process. My Cocktail didn't see to really work for me. I'm not sure why. Maybe because my intake of caffeine is pretty high everyday. I did not drink any night before or morning of surgery but I'm sure it is still in my system. Anyway...that was all that I felt. Dr Harley and Kelly talked me through all of the numbing. She is hilarious. I went this morning to remove my had wrap and Dr Harley did it for me. He seems really pleased with his work and I am ecstatic. I'm a little disappointed in myself in the fact that I didn't really show my excitement. I do not know if it was due to the meds still being in me or that I was kind of shocked about my neck. He did suggest the under eye Bleph. I am going to start saving my money for that and Dr H will be the one to do that for me also! I will post some updated pics after some of my healing starts. I look like I collided with a train right now. My hair is a birds nest!!!! LOL
Some of my after pics.
I was very skeptial about posting these pics but decided I would. I am swollen of course. Please let say this....I am posting my whole face. Do not confuse my mouth or scar on upper lip as being part of my FL surgery. Dr Harley had nothing to do with that. I was born with cleft lip and palate. So please overlook that. Thank you. Can't wait to fix my hair and put makeup on again.
2 Days After Surgery
I am having trouble staying upright while sleeping. But I am managing it. I was unlucky during surgery that the Cocktail didn't work for me as fast as it does for everyone else. I told Kelly, I promise I'm not a drug addict! LOL! I do believe it was due to the amount of caffeine that I take on a daily bases. I didn't take any night before or day of but I'm sure it was still in my system. I did sleep thru everything else tho. I woke up at the end when it was time to leave. I tell you this tho...I am no amateur when it comes to surgery. I've had many over the course of my lifetime due to my birth defect so anyone that may think that they would rather have IV sedation verses oral...I would highly highly suggest that you rethink it. The oral is better overall. Better for you brain and your recovering process. You can Google and learn more if you doubt what I'm saying. Simply read the effects that it can have on your brain. I really expected to have more bruising. As of right now...I have none. NONE! My swelling is very minimal. My pain is tolerable today. I took prescribed pain meds yesterday. Then last night I took Tylenol. I've kicked the pain and nausea pills to the curb...so to speak. Just Tylenol now. The sides of my face are still numb and feel hard as a rock. My chin only hurts during cleaning. It seems to be my ears that are hurting the most. Behind and under them. Dr Harley said that I had a whole lot of fat in my neck and he said that was great news. Not really sure why...he tried explaining but I think I was starting to feel the meds by then so I do not remember what he said as to why it's good to have a fat neck. LOL! Glad it was good for him tho! He also said that my filler should cause my lips to curl up a bit into like a smile. That will be AWESOME if it works out that way! I wonder how long it takes the swelling from fillers to go down? I haven't really been able to eat alot because I can't seem to open my mouth very wide yet. So I'm taking that hour by hour. Still sleepy too. Think I'm getting ready to take another nap with my furbabies. It's funny...2 days later I look in the mirror and start second guessing myself. I know it just takes time and I will be so happy when I can bathe tomorrow and hopefully come back to life some. Everyone please take care and I will post more pics later.
I am so anxious to see my new look! I can tell that I am going to love it so much!!! I wanted to post this to see if what I'm feeling is similar to all of you. I am having some sort of clear drainage...very little...coming from some spots of my incisions. I read on my post op instructions that this is normal tho so I'm not alarmed. My energy level is close to zero right now. I believe that I am able to shower and wash my hair now. (I had my procedure done at 11:00 on Friday morning). I am dying to clean up but scared at the same time. My instructions say you can shower 24 hours after. Is this what you guys did? Did it hurt your sutures while washing your hair? It may sound crazy but after I shower I know that I will feel like a different person. It will give me my energy back. Funny I know. I have slept the entire day away. I haven't had any problems with sleeping upright. However, my pups are feeling neglected. I will make it up to them soon. My sweet babies!!! I just love them so. Oh yea...did you guys use alcohol to remove the drawing lines? I am going to do a complete update with pics and everything once my mind is completely together again. LOL
I am feeling a lot better today. I slept all day Saturday and Sunday. I am still taking it easy catching up on Netflix show. I did end up needing one more pain pill last night because my ears were hurting and my left side of my chin. But today I only feel tightness. Still a tad bit hard to eat so I just break my food up. I may loose a couple of lbs to go along with my new face! :-) I am just beside myself with my results. As scared as I was and believe me...I WAS SCARED!!! It was not as bad as I feared and I'm ecstatic that I did it. Someone told me that I can have my stitches removed in my hometown but ohhh nooo...I will not do that! I'm driving back to Dr H. No one else is touching this. You guys have to understand just where I'm coming from. If anyone knows anything about cleft lip knows that I had fears of my scar changing or my lips becoming more asymmetrical. He seems knowledgeable of my defect and he did not seem intimidated by it at all. He just did a beautiful job. I am posting some more pics. Its hard to take by yourself. I may have my fiance take more when he gets off of work. I have tons of biactrin in my hair. Please excuse! LOL
Still a lot of swelling but no bruising yet. Wonder if I could possibly be lucky enough to avoid the bruising?!
Ok better pics of stitches
It was hard taking pics of my stitches by myself so here are better ones. There are a few things I've noticed that I'm praying is not due to swelling. Things I love but never expected to see. I'll wait to say once I know if its permanent.
Ohhh how do I remove the drawing marks on my neck and face? I've tried soap...alcohol and even toothpaste. LOL!!! I am feeling much better today. Energy still slightly low but much better! I am going to get dressed and go out tomorrow since I can discontinue the biactrin after today. It is not cute at all in my hair!!! I hope everyone is having a good day! :-)
A LITTLE MORE ALIVE
Well I finally drug myself up to get fully dressed. I am sooo happy that yesterday was the last day of the biactrin. No more greasy hair! Well soon I hope. I couldn't get it all out this morning. It took me over an hour and half to get dressed. I kept feeling sick and had to sit down for a bit off and on. I'm not sure why. I feel very weak and shaky but I do believe it is like someone else told me...the Antibiotics. I will be so happy to be finished with them. They smell HORRIBLE and I feel like that is all I am smelling all the time!!! I have washed my bedding twice because I feel like it is smelling like it too. I might suggest to Dr H to find a herbal good smelling Antibiotic for future patients. LOL ***Just kidding*** Anyway I'm pretty sure I will live. I am getting better day by day. Since today was my first day dressing I was BEYOND and I mean BEYOND excited!!!! I said in a previous post that there were a couple of things that I am hoping to be permanent and not due to swelling. Well what I'm referring to is the scar that I have on my upper lip has flattened. FLATTENED! I do a pretty good job at covering it with foundation but today I didn't even use any concealer on it. The other thing is in regards to leveling out my upper lip. Even if it is due to swelling and the scar returns to normal...I am still so very grateful and feel so blessed to have had this done. I am posting updated pics that I took this morning. All of these are with makeup on. I tried getting into sunlight also. You will see that my mouth is pretty stretched but I do understand why it is that way. I am not even a little concerned. Most of my sagging was on my left side. Also...my mouth has always been asymmetrical. I know that I talk about my birth defect quite often on here...please forgive me...having a cleft lip comes with such a social stigma that a person really has nowhere to vent about it. People generally ridicule instead of encourage. I have not had any of that on this site and I appreciate it immensely!!!! This is one of my favorite sayings of all times: LOVE YOURSELF...HAPPINESS IS WHEN YOU FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF WITHOUT FEELING THE NEED FOR ANYONE ELSE'S APPROVAL. *Much love to you all*
SEE MY NECK
Question: Do you see healing go even faster after stitches are removed?
Out enjoying some much needed sunshine. My mind is much less fuzzy today. Feeling 97% back to normal. I have no pain. My chin just feels kind of like I have a bandage taped across it. That's the best description I can give. I can now yawn without being afraid I'm going to bust the stitches. I'm heading to Taco Bell now to see if I can manage a burrito today. We'll see. 2 more days after today of the STANKING antibiotic! Still BEYOND thrilled. This is the best thing I could have done for myself. Have a great day everyone!
Just a couple of more pics. Mouth has relaxed now. One if chin scar. Energy coming back little more everyday. I hope everyone has a great weekend!
UPDATE ON INCISIONS
This is the last of the pics of incisions with the stitches still in place. I will drive up on Tuesday for Dr Harley to remove them. I am very anxious to get them out. The healing itching process has begun. Of course I'm still numb but it doesn't bother me at all. It does feel strange while putting on makeup. Still sore to the touch tho. I have really increased my water intake and am working on kicking caffeine completely. I have read how it dehydrates you so much aging your skin. I have to admit...I've not taken the best care of my skin. I have always had skin care routine but, I used tanning beds for years. I think I may go to a Dermatologist to get advice on what to use to preserve my investment. I've never taken time to really change my skin care routine to one for aging skin. Well...this is day 9. I wish everyone the best and a happy 4th. Stay safe.
Well...today was the day that I went to have my stitches removed. Juanita welcomed me so openly as usual! You don't even have to tell her your name. She just remembers who you are. Actually they all do! Stitch removal was a breeze! No pain at all!!! My chin feels much better. I have a little strip on it and Kelly told me to leave it on for 5 days. I also have little pieces of a bandaid on earlobes. Kelly is so crazy! In a good way! I could stay there and talk to her all day! I almost did! LOL! While I was inside, the bottom fell out (rain). I said...OMG I left my window cracked! Of course...I tried to look all cute for my follow up with some heeled boots on...so Kelly said...I'll go and close your window for you. I gave her my keys and I swear...just as she went out the door it started coming down in BUCKETS!!!! I felt so bad! She is too much!!! LOL!!! Then Dr Harley came in to see me. I know I must my face must have lit up because I was very happy to see him. I couldn't wait for him to see his results. He seemed very pleased. He is just such a great person. So calm and genuine. I truly truly appreciate him so much! He listened to what I had to say and after all of my swelling goes down...I may get a couple of more fillers. In my cheeks. I am really really loving my cheek area with all of the swelling. It seems to take away from the hollowness under my eyes. I think I am going to email and ask him if he possibly does Cheek Implants or if I am a good candidate for that even. I do wonder if there are any long term effects of getting filler over and over again. Well, anyway...I am posting 3 more pics from today. This is DAY 11. Oh yea, also Juanita gave me a coupon for a huge discount of Retin-A. I am going to start that. I am really working on forming a new facial routine for mature skin. Much love, healing and luck to everyone!!!!
BACK TO WORK
Well...today was my first day back to work. It was sooo hard to start waking up early again. I felt so self conscious when I got to work that I feel as if I didn't act like myself. I was just kind of quiet. No one asked me outright where I had been. Just saying...did you enjoy your vacation? I would like to think that my manager didn't tell anyone what I was having done. But highly unlikely. So...during work...my jaw began to feel very heavy and I have swollen more on the upper parts of my cheeks. They are also very tender to the touch. All of the scabs on my chin are now gone so I am going to start putting Mederma on it tomorrow. I still have scabs on the sides of my face by my ears but they are definitely coming off. However, behind my ears still feel pretty bad. There is one huge scab behind my left ear. I'll be glad when that is gone. I do hope that I do not swell any worse tomorrow. I am a Lab Tech for a high volume Plasma bank...so all of the running around causes you to become hot. Right at this moment I do not think there is any way to avoid being hot here. It is at least 98° every day. I'm so ready for Fall. This was my update. I didn't take or post any pics for this update as I feel it is a pretty typical update. I am coming along. Just need to stop feeling stressed that ppl know my business at work. I do not know why that is such a big deal to me but...it sort of is. I'll get over it. I hope everyone else is doing great!!!!
I would like to express some concerns that I'm having to see if anyone has experienced the same. I am scheduled to go back to Dr Harley for my last f/u next month. I will be one month post op come Friday. I have had no pain or issues at all until this past week. I have a swollen place on my neck...just below my chin... that I have assumed was where the drain tube was. It is still hard and pretty sore. Also...there appears to be crepy skin directly under it. I basically had zero bruising after surgery so for it to appear bruised now concerns me. Also...my left cheek is still very swollen and sore at times. Above my left ear is very tender. These are the only things that I am getting very concerned about. Mainly the long knot on my neck. I will post a pic following this.
I wanted to add this fun little picture
I am doing well but my God I am soooo ready for Fall!!! My f/u is scheduled for August 22nd. I hope everyone is well. Much love.
Update and question
I am back into my regular busy routine of working and tending to my male pup. His back has flared up on him again so he is undergoing more laser therapy. Poor baby boy. I am feeling pretty good these days and am still very happy with my rejuvenation. The minor setback that I had on my last post cleared right up with the antibiotic that Dr Harley called in for me. He thought it was a swollen Parotid gland and apparently it was. My feeling is coming back under my chin and in the sides of my face. I am still praying that I keep my cheeks. They still look great. Tho I do wonder if that could be why I notice more hollowness under my eyes. Because my cheeks are pronounced...Idk...maybe. My chin scar is still pretty thick and bumpy but I am able to massage it now that it is not so tender. I massage with organic cold pressed coconut oil. I still have little bumps behind my ear but they are just skin toned and itch sometimes from healing. A couple of years ago I bought a Dermawand. I have been considering pulling it back out and putting it to use now that I have my neck and lower face where I want them. It may help keep things firm longer. Does anyone else know about or use the Dermawand? Ppl online swear by it but it didn't do anything for me before surgery. Hmmm...something to think about. I want my results to last as long as possible of course. I definitely make caring for my skin a priority now. My makeup and moisturizes now have SPF in them and no more tanning beds for me. Well...I hope everyone else is doing well. I am going to post one or 2 recent pics. Goodnight peeps!
IT'S BEEN A WHILE
I wanted to pop in with a little update. I am still pleased with my results tho I do see some settling which would be normal. Nothing anyone else would notice...only me. I am still only slightly numb. I do notice that my ears are still pretty sore to touch. Under my earlobes and behind them. Under my chin also if I apply pressure to it. I'm sure it will go completely away in time. I am now considering getting Restyline(sp) and Radiesse(sp). I prob jacked up the spelling. I am looking for a good Dermatologist by me that does this to get an evaluation. Does anyone have any experience with either of these injectables? I want to get it under my eyes...cheeks...and I will need a little more on my marionette lines eventually. I want my cheeks to look like they did while I was swollen from my FL. They looked sooo nice and it took away from the hollowness under my eyes wonderfully. I wonder if these fillers hurt during injection. Also how long they last. Well...I do hope everyone is well! :-)
UPDATE WITH PICS
10 Oct 2016
4 months post
I am posting a few updates pics that I promised. I would like to indicate my biggest concerns when I had this done and my feelings about it now. My biggest concern was my neck. When I would look even slightly down my fat would push up to my chin and I would get huge fat rolls. I had no definition between my jaw line and neck. The 2 me biggest thing was my marionette lines. I am extremely pleased with my neck. That's all that needs to be said. That alone was worth every dime that I spent. I am also very pleased with my jawline. Even now after some relaxing. My marionette lines...I am and have been from the beginning...concerned about these since it's only been going on 4 months. (My left side mostly) I've never had fillers so I'm not sure what I should expect for longevity. I am going to look into more in the next couple of months but I hope I can find an injectable that lasts longer as I don't have $1000 to spend every 4 months. Dr Harley used Jeuvaderm on me. He did mention that it was pretty deep on my left side. I have been asked if I have any unevenness. You will see in the pics that yes I do. However...I can tell you...as a person that's had many surgeries...this is how swelling works. It's not the quality of FL you received...it's your healing process. Even tho you are not using general anesthesia...it is still kind of major surgery. It will take a year before everything is completely settled where it is going to be. That's when you can look at unevenness and freak out. LOL! I have been asked about feeling the Lidocaine shots...yes it hurt but I am still here...alive and updating my blog. From looking at everyone else...my situation is extremely rare and I know it was due to the amount of caffeine that I take. No one should fear it. Well...this was long. I was just trying to cover things I've been asked. Here are the pics and I hope everyone has a good day. I didn't have anyone here right now to get pics of the jawline and neck but I will add those this evening.