I am counting down the days until Dec. 3rd...
I am counting down the days until Dec. 3rd procedure. I am totally comfortable with my choice of Dr. David Rosenberg but am pretty nervous!
Have made it a commitment to document my recovery as looking at reviews and day to day comments of the recovery have been super important to me. Will post more before photos as well, but here are the super detailed (too detailed if you ask ME) photos that I took of the computer screen at the doctors office. Basically it's a photo of a photo--not ideal.
It think some of my own photos will give a better representation of my 'before' pics...
Thanksgiving day updated photos--countdown to surgery Dec. 3rd...
My thanksgiving day photos.... time is ticking along!
Two more days....
I am not going to post anymore for now.
I will post photos from the day of the surgery , pre-surgery photos and my husband will be taking photos for me to document daily afterwards. Nervous and excited at the same time.
Will be recuperating at a hotel next door to Dr. Rosenberg's for 2 nights with a nurse and on Friday will head back home. Over and out until surgery day!
3 Dec 2014
Day of treatment
Still a little under the weather, so this one is being entered by "husband."
The readying for the procedure in the wee morning hours didn't seem to help the anxiety, although a Valium did, but that was just until we got to the Dr's office. On arrival, everyone, which means literally every single person we encountered, nurses, doctors, staff, all made her feel completely comfortable, in what you would think is an entirely uncomfortable situation. It made a huge difference (and the extra 1/2 Valium may have helped a bit as well).
As for the procedure, it was long. Longer than we thought, which was little disconcerting (but that was just for me, not her). Once it was completed though, the attention was tremendous again, and they were all over every step. Recovery took about 2 hours, with improvement steady the whole time. The first photo is about an hour in. The second, about 1-1/2 hours.
Pain was at a high of 7 (of 10), but only for a very short time. Took 1/2 a painkiller and then a while later another Valium, and it was quickly down to 5, and shortly after that to 3 (where it has pretty much stayed, if not even getting alit bit better).
We were able to walk out (assisted) to a nearby hotel, with the help of a private nurse, who also was a huge help every step of the way. The outfit was a little bit Invisible Man-ish (sunglasses on the outside of the scarf), but the short walk was totally uneventful. Once blood-pressure checked, changed, relaxed and in bed, she started with a slow round robin of 1/2 doses of meds (nothing major and not too regular), and that has been all that was needed for pain. The 3rd photo was when she first lied down in bed, maybe 2-1/2 hours after surgery. She began drinking water within an hour, took a few naps, and progressed to saltless soup about 4 hours after arriving.
Slight headache (probably needed some food), and a little pressure from the bandages, but otherwise, she can move around, walk, talk (too much?) and otherwise is quickly getting back to herself. Clearly some swelling, but even that isn't too bad (and the icings seem to be keeping that totally in control).
One piece of advice: Do not wear false eyelashes.
In a nutshell, this was way way way better than expected, and that's because it was way better than some other treatments in the past.
The Morning After
Husband, one more time.
The evening went great. Meds did the trick, and she was able to eat when necessary, take the required pills, and a few painkillers mixed in. Alert, good mood, little pain, and able to rest.
The morning after was a bit tougher. The excitement of After getting unwrapped bright and early, was a little disappointing when she actually saw the reality, a good amount of swelling and bruising. Along with that, discomfort starting showing itself in the ears and neck. After eating some scrambled eggs, she took another perc, and hoping that it takes off the edge and alleviates some of the discomfort. Attached are the early morning photos.
Day 3: The Homecoming!
Woke up with a little discomfort at 1130pm so my nurse gave me a dose up of Percocet, so slept fairly well.
AT 9am got my second Percocet as I was feeling some discomfort on one side--mainly my ear area. Nurse Karen told me that many times the 3rd day could be the worst in terms of swelling and sometimes discomfort. That's when the ice stops, which has been a lifesaver up until now.
Can't say enough about having the nurses ice you 24/7 for pain and swelling.
I use the word discomfort, because quite honestly it wasn't a lot of pain. My advice (as was the nurses) was to not let it reach the point where it was pain because it is then harder to manage.
Later that morning, at around 1130am she gave me a half a does of 5 mg valium to prepare for my shower. I was super nervous about getting my hair washed and valium also helps with relieving muscle tightening which I didn't realize. Nurse Karen is amazing. Nurturing, well informed, organized and patient. All the nurses that Dr. Rosenberg has are very good, but I must say one of my favorites was Nurse Karen.
As it turned out, my hair (which had become a netted mess) wasn't as big of a problem as I thought. Lost a few strands in the comb out, but with the extra wide comb, and helpful hands, it was relatively uneventful.
For the trip home, I took another half valium as the nerves started sparking again, but despite the protestor traffic (we live right next to Union Square Park), we made it ok.
Once settled in my own bed, was starting to feel some discomfort (in my other ear), so got ahead of it and took a Percocet. A cup of mango sorbet later, I was back on here updating, so it certainly did the trick. I feel like I am a bit of a balloon, but this should be about the worst of it.
2 Steps Forward, But 1 Step Back
Where is my nurse? Where is my ice? I miss them both. Luckily, I have a wonderful husband that is taking care of me.
I am home without either (ice, nurse) , and it has made a world of difference. Without the ice, waking up this morning (Saturday) was not the same. My face was much more swollen, especially my ears and upper neck. Much more sensitive too. I could feel it all as soon as I arose, and a look in the mirror confirmed every feeling (though looking wasn't as easy, through the slits in my eyes).
Meds at 6am, and then again at 10am, helped a lot, but it is not quite as easy to stay ahead of the pain. Just keep addressing it.
Spoke to nurse Karen (who was nice enough to call and reassure), and I am now looking forward to Monday when she says I will start getting some improvement. So long as it is palpable (not a golf ball), I should be fine. Not to be concerned. For today, ok to keep on taking the meds according to the prescriptions.
Starting tomorrow, hoping to start blending the Percocet with rounds of Tylenol. We shall see, as I have to do another hair wash tomorrow (as Monday, my stitches are coming out).
Day 4 , Dec 7... The worst is over
And honestly, the worst wasn't so bad. These are my morning photos before my 2nd hair wash/bath and I am clearly not looking my best. The discomfort is greater in the morning and I overexerted last night since I stayed up until 1 am supervising my husband as he put up our Christmas Tree.
It's 1230pm and I am feeling fine, but a little tired. A little nervous about my bath/hair washing. Will update later in the day. My right ear is still a bit ore swollen than the left and tomorrow I have an appointment to see Dr. Rosenberg so he will take a look at it to see if it's anything to address.
My advice is to rest, take very short walks in your house or around the block if it is not a crowded environment and keep your head elevated. Will post later today, hopefully with better pics.
Last pic of the day after doing hair and decorating our tree
Actually my husband did the tree. Anyway, tomorrow I am supposed to get some stitches taken out. Stay tuned....
Day 5 , Post Op, Some stitches removed
Today I went in for my 1st post operative appointment at Dr. Rosenberg's. Nurse Kim , who is a gentle person, snipped some of my stitches loose and made me feel completely at ease. I don't consider myself to be brave when it comes to removal of stitches (or surgery for that matter) but Kim was super patient with me. She assured me the doctor would return to look over my healing and take some more stitches out as needed.
The professionalism and hospitality at his office is something I have never experienced before and I am no amateur to plastic surgery. Everyone there is accommodating, kind and very knowledgeable. You can tell that everything is done with professionalism and also with empathy for the patient.
Dr. Rosenberg (as well as his staff) are diligent about their protocol , how their patients are treated, and he is especially interested that everyone did their part along the way from office staff to nursing after the surgery. I was actually surprised that he was so interested to hear any input on how things were done and that it made his patients feel comfortable. He is a perfectionist in EVERY way. You really don't see that kind of integrity as often as you would expect to.
Wednesday, I return for more stitches to be removed as well as the staples. For now, my ears are still swollen which he assured me was normal and my bruising is pretty much minimal. I am thrilled. I can't wait to see the progress.
Amazing for day 5 of recovery. I will post more photos on Wednesday.
IMPORTANT TIP: Especially if you are prone to constipation anyway.
The pain meds make you MORE prone to constipation. I was given senna-s (natural laxative) and told to drink mira-lax as well. If you get those instructions, follow them.
PLEASE don't forget to drink LOTS of water and follow instructions to avoid severe constipation. That is where I slacked off and I paid the piper for that today.
Remember you SHOULD NOT strain and it's important not to let yourself get impacted (which is possible). I had to finally get an enema but at least that worked. DRINK LOTS OF WATER!
Clearly, I don't need to post any photos for THIS post ;-)
Day 7--all Staples and Stitches removed!
And I worked myself into a frenzy over getting those staples removed. Didn't feel it although I must admit I took a percocet for that. Now I am done with pain killers and feeling much better. Still swollen but it's been only 7 days!
Happy, happy , happy!
Can't express how glad I am that I had this done!
One more comment / update
Although it's been a week and my results are beginning to appear quite nicely, I must say that I do tire very easily. I advise anyone that is doing this to take heed and REST.
Last night I went to my first casual restaurant experience and found myself unable to last quite as long as I would normally. This morning I woke up feeling a little bit more uncomfortable than I expected.
For now, I think that taking things one step at a time is best and listening to your body is important. Walking around a bit (for me) is fine. Everyone has their own threshold and should really be extra careful not to push it too far.
Healing is THE priority and there will be PLENTY of opportunities for everything else after that!
That's all from me for a while!
My swelling is going down at differing rates which is normal. Neck had an area that looked like it had a band around it. The swelling is visibly (easier to see in person) changing now. I tend to tire more easily than usual but that is again, quite normal. Super pleased with this surgery !
I think it's important to mention that I got used to my swollen face and the way it made my pores look smaller and that made me look younger. DON'T fall into that phase. In any case, the skin tone, and pores --I will be attending to after my healing (fraxel laser series).
Maybe it's only me but my good friend had to give me a coaching session to get me out of thinking that way. She had the same reaction after losing her swelling in another surgery.
I feel quite good, but am self conscious about the small amount of bruising that I have so I went to Sephora to get cover up that would get rid of it. Funny thing is the girl couldn't see what I was trying to cover up. I guess that sort of proves that we are our worst critics!
So far, GREAT! Very , very happy and looking forward to posting more in the month of January.
Jowls be gone!
I am feeling WONDERFUL today! I went to see Dr. Rosenberg because there was a bit of swelling under chin and on the right side of neck as well. Yesterday I got a little paranoid about it and thought it was better to be safe than sorry.
When I got there Kim (aka "nurse kim ") took a look at me and noticed that my incisions were healing quite well but the scabs (dont wanna be gross) , were sort of hanging off. Apparently I was not being overly 'assertive' with my incision cleaning. I barely touched my incisions because I was so scared to hurt the healing process but she picked them all off and voila' my ears look sooooo much better!
Dr. Rosenberg gave me my stamp of approval and, except for a bruise on my cheek that seems to be lingering, I am doing great.
Video update also. :)
I think I reached a plateau...
I am not posting photos today because I am pretty much in the same place as far as healing visually as last post.
I feel like the area under my chin is still swollen and my ears are still pretty sensitive. My area of concern (being vain, obviously) is my ROOTS. I cannot imagine getting them done anytime in the near future and I've been trying hair mascara but it's not really doing the trick. Not sure if it's because my roots are dark brown (think would cover grey easier but dont have that yet)
If anyone has any input on how long it took them to be able to color their hair (I believe my doctor said 6 weeks minimum) and what that experience was like I would appreciate it.
Still very sensitive...ears and behind hears.
A little over 6 weeks later
Swelling has moved downward so jawline is not quite as sharp at this point. This is all normal as swelling does move down.
Some internal stitches on scalp are coming to the surface. This is called Spitting Stitches and is normal too. Went to doctor and they just cut the ends. It just itches a little but nothing to worry about.
Behind ears still sensitive but getting better. Yesterday I had my hair colored and highlighted which did not cause me any discomfort although I have to make sure that no one touches my ears :)
Thanks! This is my latest post. If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask!
It's February 20th and...
20 Feb 2015
2 months post
I still have spitting stitches! Mind you, they aren't horrible, but they return in different places. Mostly they are very annoying, itchy and I go to Dr. Rosenberg to get them taken out.
He told me that only about 20 % of people get this lovely side effect and eventually they will either dissolve (as they were supposed to) or finish spitting out.
So.... apart from a little continual swelling under my chin and some on my neck, around ear, etc things are moving forward.
My ears are still sensitive. Even the tips of my ears (where there was no incision) feel very odd. I am certain that is normal and that all the nerves are figuring out how to realign due to the incision in front of and behind the ear.
Will update with photos in a week or so!
May 20th update!
20 May 2015
5 months post
I am doing great, NO MORE spitting stitches for me! Dr. Rosenberg injected the areas that were affected with (I believe) cortisone and all is well now.
I will return to his office in the next few weeks for a 6 month check up and post again at that time.
Happy Camper! :)