I am 59 married to a wonderful man who thinks I am...
I am 59 married to a wonderful man who thinks I am beautiful. He needs glasses seriously! I have never been a beauty but a few years ago I started to notice in photos I had someone else's neck. But whose was it? Oh yeah it was my 80 year old mothers neck on my body. Genetics comes to visit and stayed. Over time I just stopped being photographed because I just hated it. I have always had baggy hands but now it was the eyes, the cheeks and the neck. The way it us going I will need rollers to hold up the skin in a few years. But what the heck. This was my life and I just figured I would limit photos and time in front of the mirror hoping no one else noticed or at least say anything. However I started to have vision problems and I went to an eye specialist who did a field of vision test and found I see only half of the world. He sent me to Dr. Larson and his clinic. I went with an open mind hoping ins. might cover the procedure. The staff was very professional and kind. Dr. Larson looked at my test and said my case was severe and I should have it done because it was certain to get worse. We went over everything and he said he would submit to my ins co. And contact me. He was ready to leave when something happened and I became possessed and blurted out "can you do something about my neck" . Where I got the courage is a mystery to me. Dr. Larson sat back down and did an exam of my baggy neck. We discussed my overall health issues and he then asked if I was serious. Someone said yes from inside my head so we discussed it further. Dr. Larson said I would benefit from having my neck lifted but if I was going that far he suggested I conside a face lift to get rid of my Jowls also. I thought yo my self "hell ya". We discussed this in detail and I looked at pictures. I had met a woman in the waiting room who had had an upper and lower lid with a face lift and she looked terrific. Maybe she looked terrific before but that did not cross my mind until later. Anyway I digress. Dr. Larson said I should think about it. His staff gave me pricing and I waited to hear from my ins co. A few weeks ago I got the go ahead for the eye surgery and made my final decision to go ahead with the full deal. Upper eye, face and neck lift. I have pre op on Oct 22 and surgery on Oct 29. Dr. Larson said he wanted to do my surgery at a local hospital with an overnight stay which is fine with me. He could do it in their center but felt more secure using the hospital facility. Because of other health issues.
Now I am less than two weeks out and I m a wreck. I am not sure if I made the right decision after all I was never a beauty queen and he doesn't have much to work with to begin. Am I just being vain? I always figured I'd just age the old fashion way. But I am too young to be sagging and bagging all over the place.
Any words of wisdom or thoughts would be appreciated.
I will update as I walk this journey with both the good and the bad. When I get more courage I will submit a full face image.
8 days and counting
Tomorrow I go for the pre op and pay my part of the surgical costs. Insurance is paying for the eyes! I want to thank everyone for commenting. I do feel better. I spoke with the Dr.'s office yesterday and the RN who was super nice and took a considerable amount of time with me quelled a number of my fears. She was very sincere and took a full medical history to discuss with the doctor and promised to call me on Monday. I also have an additional appointment with the doctor on Tuesday to go over a few things. I have a seizure disorder that I wanted them to be aware of and I have had extensive neck surgery in the past and don't want my neck cranked around. In addition I have an underlying condition called syringomyelia and I have a syrinx in the neck region that I want them to be fully aware of. When I was done bringing everything up she asked if I had any airway problems. I had completely forgot to mention my tiny airway. I wear a cpap even when napping. She instructed me to bring it to the hospital because they will put it on me as I come out of the anesthesia. I am having a general not a local. I thought wow she is very good. Unfortunately she is not the or nurse but if the or nurse is half as good as the office RN I should feel confident and be in good hands. I am feeling less anxious now with the comments and speaking with the nurse. So tomorrow I go for pre op and then on Monday I see my PCP for a physical and Tuesday I see the surgeon and Thursday we go for it. I do feel very confident with this surgeon and will keep this updated incase there are others considering surgery in this area.
Again thanks so much for the encouragement.
Pre op testing day
I am heading out to have my testing and pay the fees! I wanted to post a few before pics. Still not brave enough to give you the full face but you get the idea from these pics. I have bagging and sagging issues. I have to tell ya'll it is nice to know I am not alone. Will let you know how today goes. Still a bit nervous but ok so far.
Above and beyond
Just had to update because I got another call from Dr. Larson's RN with clear instructions on what meds to take and how to take them or in one case when to stop taking it. I felt this was so above and beyond my expectations. I feel so good about their professionalism and patient care. So far I don't have a single complaint regarding this Dr. or his staff. When I had my visit today it was clearly explained where the incisions would be placed and what to expect from the surgery. I'm feeling good. Now that might change in 10 minutes but right now I'm feel confident.
On a side note I was at the bank today getting my money straight and my friend, the banker, asked if I was leaving town. I whispered no I'm having a face lift. Then I told her she was the only person other than my husband to know. She asked who was doing my surgery and I told her Dr. Larson. She then told me "he's great he did my tummy tuck" she added that now I was the only other person in the bank that knows.! It was comical. But it helped to ease my mind. I also got to talk to another patient at the Dr. Office today that was recovering from her procedure and she said the same thing about the Dr. He is just great.
Ok so I am rambling and I am trying to psyche myself out here-have patience with me!
4 DAYS AND COUNTING DOWN - NERVOUS
I am a bag of nerves bu am prepared as best I can. I have everything in the house I need and am just waiting. This might be the hardest part. Not sure I will lett you know I wanted to post a few more before photos so after the surger you all can give me your honest opinion of how I look after surgery. I will be wanting honestt opinions as to whether it made a little difference or a big differrence so her are my photos for comparison. I hate pictures!
One day and counting.
Had my final visit with Dr. Larson - what a great guy! He discussed my procedure at length and answered my 25 questions. He will use staples and yes I will have a drain for a day. I will see some hair when I shower that appears to fall out. In reality it will be hair that gets tangled up when they remove the piece is scalp and is just washing out. He gave me a good visual of what he expects. Nothing too severe. A very natural refreshing of my face. The lines in my neck will still be visible but higher and lighter. I will wake up with the toothache bandage like others I have seen here. Expect swelling in eyes but he hopes it will be minimal. Surgery to last up to 6 hours. All great answers and a real comfort to hear directly from him.
I also met a beautiful lady in the waiting room who was back for a follow up visit after her face lift with eyes. She was beautiful and gave him good reviews. I know I would be happy with her results! I had Botox in my 11s. Doc said they will be smoothing out about the same time as my face is shaping up. I am excited, nervous and in a hurry to get things done. Tomorrow will be tough. I have gotten up the nerve to post the full face picture I just took. As soon as I edit them and rotate I will post tonight.
I am here no turning back now!
29 Oct 2015
Day of treatment
Just got registered and have started the process! Yikes a bundle of emotions for sure. Thinking and praying for all those great ladies doing the same thing today. See everyone when it is over.
In room after surgery
29 Oct 2015
Day of treatment
Resting and being taken good care of by staff! Feeling like I had surgery but nothing to difficult.
Some serious discomfort! Swelling etc. but doc says it went perfect. Drains out! Big bandage off. Now got the face bra on. Scheduled to go this evening. Yippie . But seriously not very comfortable right now . Continual muscle spasms in neck and back. Face feel ok. Pain more because of other health issues. Some due to surgery but not all.
The healing begins, my surgeon was fabulous. Caring and compassionate. Highly recommend him!
Approximately 33 hours post op
Still some discomfort but I am holding up ok. Just arrived home. Will wait for morning to shower. Just no energy right now. Most pain is in the neck region. Not sure how much is surgery related or how much is due to my spinal cord disease. I had to take off my pain patch days before surgery. Can't remember the last time I was without it. I wear it continually for chronic severe pain and think it is just put of my system so I am feeling the pain from that condition and not the lift. Don't want to scare anyone. I am tolerating the pain and have just reapplied my patch. In a day or two it will have it under control.
Hospital staff was excellent. Very pleased with my doctor overall. He was prompt, informative, compassionate and above all an excellent surgeon. Will keep posting ad the days go by and the healing begins. Not much bruising on face but neck is heavily bruised. I expected much more. Still early and hard to tell.may pop out in the next few days.
Less pain today
Had procedure Thursday at 7 am it is now a full 48+ hours after. Still some neck pain but no face pain. Chipmunk cheeks and swollen eyes are the name of the game. Pretty sure most post op pain I experienced was from my spinal cord condition. Since I am back on meds the pain is lessening. I think this because pain was concentrated in central spine where no incision was made. Don't want anyone to think this will happen to them. Most ladies have written pain was minimal. It just was not my experience. I would still do this again even knowing about the pain. I see my surgeon on Tuesday for suture removal. After my hair wash I felt much better. There was a lot of tangled loose hair that I got out. I have very frizzy curly hair naturally so without rollers and products it is unmanageable right now! More photos to come! Excuse error can't figure out how to spell check on this site? Anyone know?
Photos 48 hours out
Thanks to all of you who are traveling this road with me. I appreciate all of you and your kind words. They really do help during this process. I wish I felt up to responding individually but I just don't feel strong enough yet. So accept this simple message filled with love as my thank you. When I get stronger in a few days I will respond more appropriately to your kindness. Keep those messages coming as they really do lift my spirits!
Finally taking a break from the face bra. Doc said to wear 22 hours on 2 hours off. Feeling just sore now. No great pain. Manageable with meds. I am slathered with arnica Cream so I am glossy. Let me know what you think so far. I am a big girl, tell the truth I can take it. My hubby says I look Asian ! No offense to my Asian sisters! I am swollen and bruised. But I have always bruised easily so I expected this. Here goes. I have taken more photos in the last couple of weeks than I have in the entire decade before!
Procedure was Thursday and today is Sunday -
Just posting photos as I can't tell much has changed. But I promised to keep them coming for ladies getting ready for procedure or thinking of starting the process. So ladies these are for you! Swollen and bruised. Also medicated!
Day 4 results actually Monday at 2pm ends day 4 but I'm calling it quits for tonight
Ending the day thinking of all my fellow travelers. Signing out with the latest photos. Baggy swollen under eyes. Not much bruising on face (yet) she says. Oh yes I know I may have just jinxed myself. Plenty of yellowing bruising on neck to make up for the lack on the face. But I was wondering if there is anything I can do for the bags under the eyes? It seems like fluid from swelling. Doesn't hurt but is unsightly. Ears and eye lids are itchy. Resisting scratching so far. I am gently touching with Qtip. Note took off face bra to way today. Had it off for about 1 hour. How long do I have to wear this torture device, I mean this very important medical device that I am wearing for my own good! Ok so how long?
I am gonna showe -yes I am!
So in the midst of my self pep talk I decided to say hello to all. We have several ladies who undergo their procedures today so if you are the praying type offer some up for them. Being at the 4 to 5 day transition today I am acutely aware of what their days going to hold. Joy, anxiety, doubt, excitement and then you wake up from surgery and you have really really done it and the relief of having had the procedure and awoken is awesome. Those pre op forms can scare the hell out of you beforehand. But once you are awake the healing begins. Lift these ladies up today and send them healing thought. In my opinion just for me days 1-3 were hard both physically and mentally and spiritually. I will update after my shower today.
I did make my appt for tomorrow. It is at 11:45 I wonder if enough to time has passed to take out any sutures. It's only been 5 full days at that point. When did you get yours out? I asked if I should come in the back door and she burst into laughter. Glad I could make her day but I was serious. I feel a mess and the hair well it just won't cooperate with me in any fashion!
The going to the doctor look and today's photo line up- who is that girl!
Tired cause I showered and work on the hopeless hair situation. Imagine giant floppy hat and sun glasses! I think the healing is going well. What do you guys think? Very little discomfort really just tired!
Ok time for my Day 5/6 update
Trip to Dr. Made me feel all is well. My ears are not falling off. My head held together when staples were removed. Still have a few in place to be taken out next Wed. Healing is all nornal. Less swelling and bruising than anticipated so far! Having the eye sutures removed was so easy. Expected pain but only had tugging. Of couse he has been doing this over 20 years and his dad was a PS also so this has been his life. He spent lots of time explaining the next part of the healing process. Told me all in all my surgery was an easy one. He is pleased with my progress and his handy work so i'm feelin ok! Had him photo behind my ears cause i just couldn't get the angle right! I had some ear bleeding and the black stuff is just scabby. He said to leave it alone and let it come off naturally. To pick at it will make it bleed and i could cause an infection. Said it would come off as i heal and probably wash out when i wash my hair. No big deal in other words. I just feel like i am in such good hands with this doctor. His entire staff make you feel they really care for you as a whole patient and not just another client. Hard to explain but they make you feel cared for like no doctors office I have ever visited. See them again in7 days. I also was told i can ditch the face bra. So happy about that. Thought i had to wear it for weeks but he explained each doctor has their on plan and he saw no need for the face bra especially where it was irritating my ears. Said to not worry my face will not fall. All his oatients take it off after 5 day. All in all I'm very happy with the surgery, my care and after care. I was told to call at any time if i has a question or concern about my healing. But still letting hubby work like a rented mule caring for me. Oh i know i will have to pay this back sometime but right now it feels so good to be pampered. Right now he is cooking me up a tenderloin! Yum Yum. Bye girls be well and thanks for being there for me when iI needed you the most. I felt your prayers and the hand holding especiaaly from my new friend vicki44602. Who by the way had her follow up today to. Can't wait to hear from you girlfriend!
More selfies of Dr Larsons fine work!
I wanted to give the full prospective now i have had some sutures and staples taken out. I have been out of face bra for 5 hours and feel fine. That thing was so annoying and hurt where it would bind up on me. Also my ear was always bleeding from direct contact with it. So here the real pictures showing the bruising, swellin and suture lines. I think all will be ok and i am today feeling good about this journey. Funny how i hated photos for years and now i am posting the nasty of the nasty! Here goes girks!
Tomorrow is the one week mark and all seems ok!
Todays photos as promised to the great girls out there at are following my progress and cheering me on! You know who you are but do you know how much I appreciate your support and kind words? It means the world to me to get your uplifting messages. Heres a couple of photos. Not many as not much has changed!
Dat 7 is in the bag!
Well it is a week today that i had my procedures and all in all I believe it has turned out ok! Perhaps better than i expected. Here's todays photos. Not much as changed. Still swollen and yellow but can now move my neck and my ears are feeling like thet just might really be mine. For a few days they felt alien. I still have minor discomfort at night. I am still sleeping upright. I do not wear the face bra any longer. It continued to irratate my ear so I gave it up. Doctor had staid to stop it but I felt more held together with it but it is not worth the ear irritation. Thanks to all of you who have been so kind during this journey. It has been quite a first week thar is for sure. My husband say i look like a younger version of myself which is just what I was looking for. The best compliment he could have given me. Here is the photos you have asked for. Yes in these I am in my hubbys tee shirt, but it is a clean one. He has lots and lots, i am not wearing a bra so this is casual me. Once my face heals and my intimate life picks up i will have to shopping for some pretty sexy things.! Beging in menopause has been no fun but I just found out about the Mona Lisa laser for rejuvenating our more private parts. The old girl has dried up a bit and relations can be painful. This might be the miracle i need to reopen the factory. If you have menopause related issues check it out. You can google the name. Here is those photos i got off track there!
Sorry there seems to be a problem?
Ok got those now lets try the rest of the photos
Sorry not all would load at once
A before and a seven day picture series for real comparison
Give me your honest opinions. I like things so far but know there is still lots of healing to happen! Love all my new friends. You girls are awesome. Thanks for being so positive!
Nov 6 update
Not much has changed. Each day slowly I feel stronger. I was surprised I have lost 7 lbs. but I am sure that is because I cut out sugar and fast food. I am hoping I stick to this a I feel healthier for it. Swelling still the same, tightness is easing up a bit, no pain except burning ear tips, still yell but never really turned purple which I guess is a real plus. I feel good and I feel happy. Hopefully it shows in my face because before I always looked angry.
The sadness set in....
Everything has had me sad today. Nothing wrong in my life at all but watching the news even sad commercials and I am crying! I heard it could happen but did not expect it! I had to turn off the news after I started crying over the poor Brit who fell from the cruise ship! My heart breaks for his family and friends and the poor people fleaing war torn countrys with their children.... Oh my, so over whelming! However crying is not something I would recommend after an eye and face lift. I am so puffed up and red and just ugly. Lets hope the sadness pass and lets also pray for those less fortunate!
Day 11 post
Well I made my debut appearance with lots of friends and aquaintences and I got lots of compliments on how lovely I looked! Other than that no one seemed to know I had all this work done. Mostly I heard you look good, you are wearing makeup, you should wear it more often, have you lost weight, etc! I was so happy no one came up and said "did you get a face Lift" i would have had to tell the truth and I dont want to. i am enjoying my rejuvenation! I did wear eye makeup for the first time in 8 or more years so it was a pretty dramatic change for me. But before with my saggy lids, eye make up was a disaster.If I got shadow on it would just settle in the creases and mascara forget it. It would end up on the upper lid the lower lid and in my eye. So I had given up on it. Well today I went all out and I felt like I really looked nice. It made me feel good about my appearance. I'll post photos tomorrow when I do it again! I have healled well. No bruising and minimal swelling. I learned how to do lymphatic drainage and it has cleared most of the facial swelling. I was curious after reading our Costa Rica RF blogs about what it was. There are some good videos online to show you exactly how to do it. I can feel the fluid leave my head when I do it. My swelling went down quickly after the first time. I am doing it twice a day now and it really clears your head.
Now to get the staples out on Wed. And get back to life! Can't wait. Thanks to all my new RS friends this whole process was easier than I could have imagined! Love to all.
Day 12 with and without makeup!
Well here I am day 12. Tell me what you think! I think everything looks good except for those 11s. I had botox but still they are there. Dad gum it! Maybe rejuvederm? Give me your suggestions Please!
A comparison before and after no make up
The photos soeak fir themselves!
Before and after neck at 12 days
There has been a dramatic change in my neck. I am very pleased with it. It is amazing what a skilled surgeon can accomplish,
The new eye
So very pleased with my improved eyes. I might kiss my surgeon tomorrow. Makeup is a little tired but clearly they are improved!
Dr pt today - Day 13
I had a great follow up. The dastardly syaples are out. PS can't believe the fast healing. Not a bruise remains but still some swelling to resolve! Want me to come back in 6 weeks! Itmust be good news! Here's todays pics. Trying out new makeup is fun!
Just to let you all know nothing has fallen yet! All seems to be going as my PS said it would. Still swellng off an on! Some bumps that seem to have a mind of their own moving from one side to the next at will! I am please. I am enjoying trying new makeup tricks. May go for a lesson? I was wondering how many of you think you could have returned to work in one week! I wish there was a polling link on this site. I know I could not have gone back to work in a week and I had really fast healing. I want women out thete to know tnat even though it seems I was back up an running quick this is a tough ordeal. And even my OS say to wait 9 month to a year for final results. So ok how many think a week is reasonable? Two week? Three weeks ?
I am well. Feeling strong as I come up on the three week mark. I did find what I believe to be a suture still remaining so I will see Dr Larson tomorrow to have it removed. I think he missed it because I have so much hair and it is really buried behind and above my ear. I could be wrong and it might be dissolvable but I do not think so because it is a black string type and not like the one behind my ears. Those have actually dissolved and are now gone! Very happy about this. I have very little scaring which really please me. My ears still feel funny but my face is now almost back to normal feeling. Still tight but no longer numb. I have only one complaint. It is the dissolvable suture under my chin. It is tight and a constant bother. I will ask him to snip it and I hope he does. Not too many changes to report. I will post pics tomorrow when I am presentable. In my pjs right now with hair in a ponytail. Not very attractive! Hope everyone is well! I keep catching hubby looking at me checking the final product. He keeps saying I look like I did in my 30s. Not so sure myself but if he thinks do I will take it. Afterall he looks at this face alot more than I do. He thought I was crazy to do this in the first place but I can tell he is pleased that it turned out to be so easy and I have not had any complications. I count myself luck and blessed to have him!
Saw the doc today
All is well. Had the rogue suture removed and the dissolvable one under the chin was clipped too! Thank you God! It was so annoying. Doc added some more botox in my 11's . He still thinks that they will relax- someday! Here are some latest pics. Very happy with results. Thanks to all of you for getting me through this process. Tomorrow is 3 weeks. Once the chin spot heals there is no more visible signs except for light signs around my ears. You all be the judge!
I want to thank everyone for the constant hand holding! Each day that passes thing continue to heal, shift and surprise me. In a couple of days I will have a month- today is the 4 week mark!. Pictures are from a couple of days ago. Late at night with no make up. I can see definite improvement and my scars are very tiny!
Need the perfect pillow and answers! Please weigh in with you opinion!
General update! Scars invisible but expecting them to turn red as I have been told they can. No pain! Still tight and expecting that to last 6 months. Swelling skips around like water balloons under the skin. Comes and goes so I dont worry about it! I am sleeping with my head elevated still for swellng. But here is the problem I have purchased no less than 10 pillows. Ok it is closer to 15. I do know this is a sign of insanity! So no lectures the hubby is very good in that department. All that said my dag gum ears are still keeping me awake. Does anyone have the perfect pillow? My ears are set so they are almost even with my back of the head. So now I am thinking just a tiny pillow directly under the head. All this is complicated by the fact I have had extensive neck reconstruction in the past and have a syrinx in my spinal cord at that level too! My face and neck lift were not that difficult to handle after day 4. First few days were tough but good meds and rest took care of that. But the ears are a whole nother story. So two questions posted here!
1) does anyone know the perfect pillow? 2) how long before my ears stop bothering me?
I got a couple of PMs wanting pictures so here is the naked truth!
Naked as in no makeup! No make up but the hair is clean and brushed. You can see the swelling underthe chin and those dreaded 11's that are immune to botox apparently!
Couple of pics did not load so here is the rest.
I have not taken so many pictures in more than 20 years. The ones I did take I was sure to delete as soon as I could get my grubby hands on them. Now I am photo obsessed! I promise no more photos until 8 weeks. That is unless I get a great makeup shot that I think the world can't live without! Sorry but I just love this new face and want to remember it if it goes douth on me some night! Or I wake up and this was just a dream! Perhaps I am in a coma. With a face this good just let me sleep! I am sureI will end up in hell. It is just how my mind works! Must be a short circuit or something! I include scar photos with the help of my hubby. He freaked out. Apparently had no idea my head was cut open! What did he think happened?
I said no more photos - I lied!
Got ready for church and it hit me! What I had not noticed before! My mouth does not point downward any more! There is no more normal frown! This is wonderful. I love it. I dud not know it would happen! I got so use to looking mean i was expecting the eyes to look better but firgot the mouth would also improve. It is exciting. I took a few photos (ok I took a lot this morning) with make up and hair done. Excure the eyebrows as I am trying to grow them out to have a thicker brow now that I like my eyes I think the brow can be done next time I have my hair dyed. So here is the photos I promised NOT to take! Sorry I could not help myself!
Adjusting to the new normal
The weeks have flown by! Really it seems to be one big blur. Still swelling here and there. Each day it is anybodies guess which cheek or side of the neck it will appear one. Tingling, numbness and tightness still lingers and I know it will be like my best friend. Always there never lets you down! I had my hair done today and even though it has been 5 weeks plus sitting in the chair for 5 hours was hard! Posting todays pics taken tonight with no makeup. My stylist said she could bately make out my scars so I feel very fortunate for that. Hope all are well and healing quickly. Everyday there is someone else starting this journey.
Working on week 7
12 Dec 2015
2 months post
Things are chugging alone. Noticing small changes now. Nothing dramatic. Sleeping much better. Salt will still cause swelling! Just may give up adding it! I am getting better with my makeup techniques. I am enjoying the newbys as they start their journey. So everybody keep posting up a storm!