63 Years Old...it's Time! Headed to Costa Rica in Search of my Face. Costa Rica, CR

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Like so many women here have said before me, I...

Like so many women here have said before me, I always knew that I would someday have a face lift. Thankfully, my face has held up well until just the last 4 years or so. My sisters have even asked me several times over the years if I had already had work done. (no) I've thought about surgery often since my 60th birthday, but had developed a fear of surgery in general and decided that I just couldn't do an elective surgery.
In October I visited this page after being away from it for years. One of the first reviews I saw here was written by bmannzi43 who had just scheduled her surgery. I was so impressed by her bravery that I told myself if she could do it so could I. Watching and seeing her results convinced me that this was something I was ready for.
Now, the daunting task of choosing a surgeon. I knew I did not want to have the work done in Las Vegas where I live. Besides this being a city where so many doctors specialize in breasts, I knew it would be just too expensive for m. I saw Makeitup's review and was so impressed with her results that I considered going to MD., but traveling so far from home without a place to recover was impractical. I saw several reviews here of women who had gone to Mexico or Thailand for their surgery and considered going to Mexico. I just never saw a review of a doctor there that convinced me he would be the one I wanted to do the surgery. THEN I saw JacqE's blog! At first I was just caught up in reading her very entertaining, though thorough, review. Then I looked at her photos and read her comments about her doctor and her recovery and it was suddenly clear to me that Costa Rica and Dr. Arguello were the answers to all my questions.

It has taken me a couple of months to finally write to Dr. Arguello's coordinating liaison but finally did that and heard back from her within just a very few hours with a quote from the doctor for my surgery. I am so excited by this small but oh big step!!
Dr. Arquello sent the quote for a face & neck lift and upper bleph. I am wondering if I might also need a brow lift and/or chin implant? Something I will ask the doctor about when I speak to him.

A date with the doctor

WoooHooo! I have a date! Received an email from Lisa, Dr. Arguello's liaison, after I posted this yesterday. March 10th will be the day of my surgery. So excited! Seriously a dream come true.

6 Weeks Till Date of Surgery!

Today is exactly 6 weeks before my scheduled surgery and I've been freaking out all week. It's not the actual surgery that is causing this...I'm looking forward to that. Instead it's the logistics of scheduling time off from work as well as dealing with traveling out of the country to see a doctor I've never met and have had no real contact with. I know this is normal when having surgery in another country, but I can't stop thinking/worrying about it.
I'm in constant contact with other Real Selfers who have gone before me or who are going soon. Thank God for these ladies! They are all that keep me sane.
I wish I could just relax and enjoy the journey but my mind doesn't work that way. Hoping that as the time nears I'll be so busy getting ready for my trip that these worries will be pushed aside.
Would love to hear from any of you ladies who experienced the same fears when leaving the US for your surgery.

Thank you to all the Wonderful Women of Real Self

This is exactly what the header above states. A BIG "Thank You!" to the wonderful women here.
Anyone who has attempted to follow me here knows that I have struggled with my decision for the past 4 -5 weeks. Several things led to my depression during this time. Not much that I could really articulate and maybe so many things that it was hard to name one.
During this time I have been blessed to have so many of you wonderful women send me messages of comfort and encouragement. You've given me tips and advice and offered me prayers, and support, and empathy. I feel so blessed to have all of you be a part of this journey. Where else could I ever have found such wonderful, supportive friends?
There are so many of you that I hesitate to name names as I am afraid of forgetting someone. But, you all know who you are and I love every one of you.
God bless you all.

Leaving Las Vegas

Woke up this morning and my first thought was the same as it was yesterday, "What in the world am I doing?' Lots of nerves as well as excitement.
Just boarded the plane and on my way.
Cried when I left Jeff at the gate. 3 weeks is a long time to be away from home.
Wish me well everyone!

Surgery day moved up. Going in this afternoon!

Headed out for last visit with the doctor this morning before surgery at 1. Many went for hers at 6 thus morning.
Had a nice dinner and visit with her last night. Sooooooooo happy I have her here with me!
Yesterday was crazy and hectic because of schedule changes. I spent 26 hours either on a plane, in an airport, or in some doctor's office having tests done.
Everyone wish me well. Thank you all for being here for me.

Happily on the other side

Slept like a baby last night. Everyone here at the hospital has been so sweet to me. I still can't see much sub this is just a short update to say I'm OK

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Pictures right after surgery

Fat and happy!

I just wanted to let everyone know that Mandy and I are both doing well. We left the hospital together this morning and came back here to Verdeza. Dr. Arguello visited us both before we left the hospital and Dr.Ace came by Verdeza to see us after we had lunch. Between the smoothies and the salmon I had for lunch and ordered again for dinner, I don't think I'll be one of those who lose weight after surgery. Salmon wasn't even on the menu for today but was prepared specially for us since it would be easier to eat than the steak that was there.
I feel great right now, a little swelling but nothing bad. Yes, I am very happy I did this and that I chose this doctor and Costa Rica.

2nd Day

I slept well last night. The room I'm in has a hospital bed as well as a normal bed and a Tylenol PM helped me sleep. No pain yet, only a slight amount of discomfort....very little. Mandy couldn't get online and said to tell you all hello and that she is doing well.

Stitches out!

Mandy and I both saw Dr.Arguello today for the first time since surgery. Stitches are gone but the headgear stays. I will get to wash my hair tomorrow though!

10 days post op

I think I have the strictest doctor ever. Two weeks wearing the headgear and four weeks in the compression hose. It's little wonder that Mandy and I felt like a couple of bad girls playing hookey when we left the spa today after our massages with the dreaded wrappings in our hands. It's amazing how good a couple of hours without it feels!
I'm still badly swollen in my cheeks,my neck,and in my temples. I have to keep reminding myself that I'm only 10 days post op and have a lot of healing ahead of me. I really am tired of seeing this pumpkin face though. A friend asked for pictures. These are for you, Barb.


Such a sad day. My Real Self buddy went home today. I'm not quite sure how I would have gotten through the past 2 weeks without her and what will the next week be like without her?
No one to walk the halls of Verdeza with, no one to laugh and cry with, no one to keep me company while I snap endless selfies and stare endlessly into a magnifying mirror....no one to act like a silly giggly teenage girl with.
I came to Costa Rica to find my old face and I found a wonderful new friend.
I miss you Mandy!!

20 days post surgery

It's been 20 days since my surgery and tomorrow I leave Costa Rica. I'm still swollen through my temples and my lower cheek and jaw area. I do love my eyes and my neck and I am sure I will love the rest of my face as I continue to heal.
I had a wonderful time the last 2 days as I was able to get out with a group of women from a nearby Bread and Breakfast and do a little sightseeing.

Too many selfies

It seems to be a common side affect of face lifts....you're suddenly obsessed by this compulsion to take countless selfies throughout the day looking for any small change.
As you can see there really hasn't been any changes this week. I still have a lot of swelling on the sides of my face and neck. I feel amazing though and know that my face is only going to get better over the next few months. Happy happy.
I do think it might be better to go back to my darker hair though and maybe to the earlier style seen in one of those before pictures. What do you think?

Dr. Arguello made a house call!

Well, not really, but almost. He did come to Vegas this week for a conference though and had me come to his hotel so that he could take a look at me and remove 1 stitch we had decided to leave in. Wasn't that sweet!
I told him he should have come yesterday as I was so swollen today.

5 weeks post op

I saw my hairdresser yesterday and she was just amazed at the difference in my face and neck. Shes's been showing my pictures to all of her clients. I have a haircut and new color and I'm feeling pretty amazed myself!
I also saw who I would expect to be my worst critic this evening. My youngest daughter. She was absolutely thrilled with my face. She says I look just like I looked when she was 16. That would be 16 years ago. 47? I'll take that!
What I'm hearing from everybody is how natural high look. That I still look like me just younger. Isn't that what we all wanted?
I also talked to the wonderful Dr.Arguello this morning. He's happy with the way I'm looking but he told me to be careful losing weight...to take it slow.
I have to say I felt absolutely beautiful today. It's a good feeling. I'm happy

Returning to work

I took 6 weeks off from my very physical job to have this surgery and to recover. Now it is time to return and I have to say I'm more nervous about that than I was when I was being wheeled in to surgery!
I really wish I had been as smart as some of you here who told no one what you were having done. I was just the opposite and told almost EVERYONE!! Not really everyone but more than just 3 or 4. I was just so excited and wanted to talk to these women I spend much of my day with about it. I work with dozens of other women and while most aren't especially gossipy some do engage and I am certain everyone knows by now why I've been away so long.
I really don't care so much that people know. I think it's more a matter of not wanting to feel like my face is being scrutinized. They (of course) all told me that I already looked good for 63. I want them now to say simply, "You look good." without the age qualifier. I think part of me is afraid that no one will notice how much my face has changed for the better, that my jowls are gone, I have no marionette lines, and my neck is smooth.
I see the difference because I have the old pictures to remind me. But, I've seen so many women here with amazing results who say, "No one noticed." I think that would just suck.

I worried for nothing!

Well, it turns out that I worried about returning to work for no reason. It was a hard night physically and I have some swelling this morning because of it but otherwise it was all good!
The first person I saw was someone from another department who I am sure had no idea I had the surgery. She commented on not having seen me in a while. When I told her I had been out a few weeks she said, "Well, the time off did you good. Your eyes look so good...bigger." And rested. Then she commented that I look younger when I'm rested! Of course everyone I work with had to inspect but they were all thrilled for me and I heard things like, "I'm so jealous!" and "I want to go have it done!" Everyone was just sweet and supportive.
Today I get to see other women who know but weren't working yesterday but I'm much less worried today!

I want to let anyone who has asked me for Dr. Arguello's contact information to send me a private message as that has changed as of yesterday. I'd be more than happy to give you his new contact email address.
Costa Rica Plastic Surgeon

Choosing to have my surgery in another country surprised most people who know me and frightened some of them. I never felt that fear. I knew exactly which doctor I wanted to perform my surgery and, since he was in Costa Rica, that is where I knew I had to go. From the moment I walked into Dr. Arguello's office I knew I had made the right decision. I could not have asked for a more professional, caring doctor. I felt immediately at ease and safe knowing that this was the doctor I was entrusting my care to. Dr.Arguello and his assistant, Dr. Arce made me feel as if I was the most important person they were caring for each time I saw them. Dr. Arguello suggested exactly what surgeries I needed, nothing more or nothing less, so that I could reach my goal of looking like a better, more youthful, version of myself. The care and concern that Dr. Arguello shows goes beyond what I could have expected. He truly cares about his patients' health and well being. I feel so blessed and fortunate and thankful for the results that this amazing doctor was able to deliver. He truly is a gifted, skillful surgeon. I also have to mention Dr. Arce, his assistant, whose kind, caring manner was so appreciated and such an important part of my healing.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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