61 Desperately Seeking the Fountain of Youth! Delray Beach, FL

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A few years ago, I began to dread looking into a...

A few years ago, I began to dread looking into a mirror, having pictures taken, and going to large social gatherings. I realized age had caught up with me! Ugh! How did this happen? Even though I had always been very active, and stayed in excellent shape, the fine lines, wrinkles, and saggy skin were starting to make me feel insecure and not very self confident at all. I did not want to continue feeling this way....So....I started on the long and VERY winding road toward plastic surgery! While on my adventure, I had a little filler and Botox here and there but with no decent results. t a certain point, all these fillers seem to be nothing more than bandaids. I needed to do something that would be long lasting and more dramatic. I consulted with around seven PS, ( now that's exhausting, and each one says something different than the next one!) and didn't feel comfortable with most of them here in South Florida. Finally, a friend of mine suggested I speak to Dr. John Westine. After my first consult, I felt he was the most detailed, qualified PS I had met and is double board certified, specializing in face and neck surgery.
So, here I am...planning to have face, neck,brow lift, and laser in a few more days! I am excited, nervous and scared about all of it! I know it will be both a journey and a lesson in learning to be patient, positive and trusting in the care of my doctor. I am Posting my "before" pictures, and will update as I go through this process! I do want to thank all the women that have had the courage to post on Realself. I have found a lot of very valuable information from the site. I am praying that I will be one of the women saying, "I am extremely.happy I did this; it was worth it, and I have no regrets"! And so we begin......

Just a few more days!

Sooooo... Just two full days left until the big day! Whew!
I have tried my best to remain calm by staying busy. I have plenty of reading material, all the soft foods for post op, and my RX organized! There is a lot to take care of when one is going to be out of commission for a few weeks! I have tried to do some working out everyday, since I know that won't be possible for awhile! I will probably have a very hard time staying inactive... Just not my nature!
I am planning to really enjoy these last few pre-op days.. Being outdoors, going out to dinner, eating some of the myriad of foods I won't be able to have for awhile, getting together with friends, and maybe going to the movies! All to Soon... The hibernation will begin!

Almost time!!!

Well, tomorrow morning is the big day! I tried to stay busy and distracted today, going to a movie, our to dinner, and spending time with family... However, as soon as I had any moment to myself, the nerves and anxiety would try to overcome my thoughts. It hasn't been easy knowing I am about to begin this journey.. It all seems surreal, since I've thought about doing this for a long time. I am praying for excellent results, and to feel this has all been worth it, like so many other Real self women!
I will post pics and update after surgery!
Thanks so much to all that have been communicating with me, and helping me stay positive about everything????

Made it Through Surgery!

Well, I made it through the surgery! Phew! I’m currently on Day 3 of post-op and my daughter is helping me recount the past few days J
Day 0 (Day of surgery). My husband went with me to Delray and he waited for me while I was in surgery. My surgery was 5 hours and then another 2 hours recovering. I can’t express what a good bedside manner Dr. Westine and his nurse Chris had; they played some music for me and did everything in their power to make sure that I was feeling relaxed when I went into surgery. Dr. Risso, the anesthesiologist, was also extremely soothing- he gave me mac 4 sedation. After the surgery I have no idea what was going on- I was soooo out of it. My husband is reminding me that I was VERY irritable and antsy on the 1hr drive home- my husband says he thought he had taken home the wrong patient because I did not seem like myself! When we arrived home I was very panicky but luckily the nurse and my daughter were there to greet me. I felt claustrophobic because my head was all wrapped up and I also felt nauseous- I took an anit-anxiety and pain pill which helped somewhat. The nurse stayed for a few hours in order to administer the prescriptions and calm me down. The ice packs were making me nuts but I was eating a good amount- I had some cream of wheat and oatmeal. Things were doing decently until about 10:30pm that evening when I threw up. The nurse had left by the time I threw up and my daughter was very freaked out but to be honest I felt GREAT afterwards and was able to sleep through the night.
Day 1 (Day after Surgery)- I woke up and went with my daughter and Husband to see Dr. Westine for my Post-op appointment. I was pretty out of it but I wasn’t nauseous anymore. Dr. Westine said that I was looking great (he must have a weird perception of great haha). I had a constant and dull pain going ancross my coronal area where I had the brow lift. Later that day my face was starting to swell and I felt like a balloon but Dr. Westine told me that was very normal. So, overall Day 1 was still very uncomfortable but at least I wasn’t nauseous.
Day 2- Day 2 was very similar to Day 1 in that I still was swelling up and felt claustrophobic. Everything just felt so tight! Dr. Westine said that was due to all of the internal stitches I had. I found that anti- anxiety meds and pain pills helped to alleviate the feeling. I still had a headache where my browlift was but I felt SO much better because I was allowed to get a shower. I can’t tell you how nice it was to be able to wash some of the gunk out of my hair – I started to feel like a human again after taking the shower. Again, I slept through the night with the help of an anti-anxiety. Ugh, I hate relying on all of these pills though!
Day 3- I’m doing pretty well today. My head feels very numb but the pain isn’t too bad so far. I’m not quite so groggy and I have actually been able to talk on the phone a little bit. I’m just a little scared because I keep looking into the mirror and I can’t recognize myself. I wonder if I’m ever going to look like myself again but my daughter assures me that these feelings are perfectly normal. Today my swelling is supposed to subside (yayy)!
So here’s my advice to everyone! 1) I would suggest having a nurse stay the whole night – it’s just reassuring to have a medical professional with you and it will help if you are prone to anxiety like myself. 2) try to do as much sleeping as possible because these aren’t exactly times that you want to remember (but at the same time don’t stress out if you can’t fall asleep). 3) try to use ice- it might help reduce the headache. 4) have some nice, calming music that you can let your mind drift away with. 5) tell your caregiver to take a break once in a while! Your caregiver is going to naturally be stressed out because they see you in discomfort – you REALLY need your caregiver to be calm so that they can help you. My husband was getting so irritable because he hadn’t left the house in 3 days but today he went for a walk and he felt refreshed afterwards.

4 days post

I will post more pics later today.... Have to say, hair is still a mess... Can't really do much with it...BUT Monday I will get my stitches out! Therefore, I should be able to come home, and wash my hair adequately without the stitches on my head! Ugh!
Headed back to to the doctors office today to have Reyna, (a wonderful nurse) check out my progress??. She seemed very pleased with the results so far!! She was able to take off a fare bit of the old, dead, skin, making my face start to begin a more youthful look... Although still a bit plump from the swelling, Dr. Westine tried something new ( right after surgery was completed) to work on a more rapid Laser healing process, and so far, it seems to be doing a great job! Yay!
I am still wearing the headband, and I admit, it does make me feel a bit closed in, so I take it off when I need a break.. (Dr. Office said this was ok to do)
So, at this point, I am just hoping the healing process continues without any glitches,as it has so far,and I will soon gaze at happy the renewed person in my mirrors soon!
It will be very interesting to see if I notice anyone who I feel may act differently (in a positive way, of course!) than prior to the procedure... Time will tell... But, no matter what, as long as I am the person happy with my results, that's what matters to me????
Oh, one more thing I should note... Valerie, from Dr. Westine's office also called me this afternoon, just to say "hi" see how I was doing, and thank me for posting on Real Self! Even their office knows; realself is a great website for women that want excellent, valid, trustworthy, good advice from other women! Thanks to all of you who post!

4 days puictures

My face looks a bit asymmetrical here but Dr. Westine has assures me that this is just part of the "wave of recovery" and that my face will look more symmetrical once the swelling subsides. But my daughter and husband say I'm looking better everyday!

Day 9 post op

Getting Better! As always, Thanks for everyone's support :)

Day 9 post op

Sorry, but I accidentally posted the pics, and then couldn't figure out how to go back and put in my update! Last few days have been a series of ups and downs, and lots of hoping that the swelling and numbness starts to diminish so I can feel comfortable enough to venture out on an errand or two over the next few days! I have a case of Cabin fever big time! I did drive with my daughter today to the local fish market, but I waited in the car while she bought the fish! It's hard to have to be patient as the world keeps turning!

I just feel like one side of my face is definitely not moving along at the same pace as the other....the one side still looks like it has that "surgery look," while the other side is ready to see the world! I wonder if many other Realself women have had this experience and that both sides will match up very soon!?
I still have a lot more stitches to get out over the next few days. I'm looking forward to this! I cannot thoroughly wash my hair with all the staples in the head, so it's always matted down! ugh! It is too painful to try to brush through my hair now, so.... Until the stitches come out, I have these BAD HAIR pics!
The ears, head and neck are still numb, which I thought would be about gone by now. As long as I know it's temporary, I can deal with it... But I DO need the face to even out so I can feel comfortable about things.
The weather, of course, has been just perfect, making it doubly hard to be inside. If I had the choice again, I would recuperate during the winter months...mentally Much easier for a person that enjoys being outdoors!
Any suggestions or advice any of you have is always welcomed and appreciated! I love all your comments... So very helpful!

. Pics at Doctor's office- 2 weeks 3 days post op

Hello everyone! Sorry it's been a while... Been working on a project during my recovery that has taken up a lot of my time. Sorry but I'm a bit tired ????????????in these pics and not smiling!
I am feeling more energetic every day, and hopefully I can start back to excercising next week- YAY! Not working out at all over the past 2 weeks has made me feel lethargic and very restless to be active again????
I have been able to get out and do a few things over the past few days, which has really improved my frame of mind. Being inside a lot can do a head trip on independent people like myself!
The doctor thinks I am doing very well with my progress so far, and maybe I'm just impatient, but I didn't know my head, ears, and chin would still be numb at this point. Apparently it can take several months or longer for these to have normal feeling again.. This I didn't realize- ugh! It is not fun to trying to style my hair right now, since it feels like the hair on tops and sides of my head is sitting on top of a helmet that is tightly attached to my skull. I also think my hair is thinning or maybe I am losing some of it now? I just hope thes things are just the temporary after effects of everything my face went through! If anyone has any experience with this numbness ( must be due to the brow lift) please let me know if this is truly all normal? I can handle this right now, but long term I would not be pleased.
I am very happy though, when I look at myself in the mirror now, and realize how much better I look without all those lines, bags and sags! The before and after pics are definitely astonishing. When Dr. Westine showed me my "before" pics again on the BIG SCREEN in his office, ???? I remembered why I had these procedure done!
I just have to trust that All's well that ends well!

Again, many thanks and much appreciation to all the Realself women that have reached out to give me their comments and advice as I continue down this long and winding road!????????
Delray Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Westine has an excellent demeanor; he seems to be a very detailed, caring and qualified surgeon. His office staff has been very willing to answer any questions I have had about the upcoming procedure.

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