I have always looked young for my age, that is...
I have always looked young for my age, that is until about 3 years ago when life, stress and gravity took it's toll. I had my upper eyelids done at that time to repair my droopy eyelids that I felt were a contributing factor to my aging face. It worked but in the fall of 2015 I started to notice that the image reflected in the mirror didn't match again. I have been a RS member since before my eyelid surgery and I have read with interest the experiences of other ladies here and their facelift successes.
I am a take charge kind of gal and when I determine that I am going to do something then I will undertake to make it happen. My facelift decision was no different. Over the years, my husband and I had discussed it's eventuality but had not determined when. In April of this I told him it was time and his true supportive way he encouraged me to proceed. I studied RS stories with a vengeance and was surprised and delighted when I found an Ottawa lady who had had her procedure done locally. There are not many Canadian stories and this is one of the reasons that I have decided to share my story.
Choosing a Dr. was a concern for me. I want a 'specialist' - not a Dr. did more breast augmentations and tummy tucks than they did facelifts. I wanted someone who specialized in facelifts. Ottawa is the Nation's Capital but it really is a small city. With not a lot of resources out there I relied on RS to help me choose. I had my consultation appointment with Dr. Bonaparte on May 9th and liked him immediately. He was very calm, answered all my questions and showed me some of his patient before and after pictures. He has a down to earth air of confidence about him. At that appointment I decided that he would do the procedure.
Remember the trait, once decided that let's get this done? Well, before I left that day I had an estimate, made a down payment and had two potential surgery dates pending the availability of the anesthetist. Alison, the Administrator at Dr Bonaparte's office called the next day to confirm June 17th and to make my preop appointment for May 25th.
On May 25th I went for my preop appointment and met with Pat, one of the nurses that will be assisting in the surgery. I was shown a video that described the procedure and what to expect. I was given a tour of the surgical suite and was given instructions for preparing for my recovery and the day of surgery.
Like so many ladies on RS I am excited and nervous but honestly, the excitement overpowers the nerves. I look in the mirror and see my jowls and loose neck and know that soon it will be youthful again.
I am not good with selfies and so I want to get my husband to take some before pictures. I will post them here in the next week. Until then I continue to countdown the days when once again my face will match my attitude and actions.
Countdown is on...
I have been waiting for my husband to help me with my photos but he has just been so busy lately. I decided that I would start by posting some I had. I did take a selfy this morning without makeup just to show you how 'bad' it is when I don't try to cover it up. I was unsuccessful with the side ones but will get some before my surgery - that is a definite.
The picture of me and the tiger was taken in Thailand in February 2016. Interestingly, the viewing of pictures when we returned from our vacation was a pivotal point in my decision that it was time to have the procedure done. I look at some of the pictures and say, who is that lady? Can't be me...too old!!! lol.
It is challenging to post these before pictures but I am hoping that they will just make my 'after' pictures look more spectular!!!
One week to go
One week from today I will be starting the recovery stage of this journey. Today has been an emotional day. Not once did I question my decision to go ahead with this procedure, but rather, I think I am just worried about the unknown. In the same moment, I will be excitedly thinking about all of you ladies in the first days and weeks of recovery, and think about how your progress is inspiring.
So here are the 'ugly' pics. The no makeup, no holding my head the right way, just pure, raw turkey neck!!! Ugggh! One week from today, one week from today....one week from today and hopefully I have a beautiful neck again.
Just call me Alvin
Yesterday was the big day and frankly I was exhausted. My surgery was at 7:30 and was painless except for the needle for the IV. After that I was asleep and was awakened at 11:30 head wrapped and starting recovery. I felt good except for a pain in my jaw which still persists and prevents me from opening my mouth very wide. Dr. Bonaparte came in to see me around 1:00 and told me that I had significant swelling but that I was going to be very pleased with the results. My hubby picked me up around 2:30 and we started on the one hour journey home. Once I got there I was in need of pain medication and rest. My neck is very tight - and that is probably a rewarding pain and I have bruising extending from below my ear and down my chest. This bruising is surprising less today than it was yesterday.
I could not eat very much yesterday. My stomach was uneasy. I had taken a protein drink with me for after the surgery. For dinner I had a small greek yogurt and later a 1/2 bottle of protein drink. We went to bed - me all propped up but not very comfortable. I got out of bed at around 10 and took some gravol which seemed to make me feel better. Another pain killer at 11 saw me mostly sleeping the rest of the night.
This morning we had to remove the neck bra and change the dressings and polysporin the incisions. My handsome nurse...my hubby...who is a tough, macho guy had to take a break and sit down. The sight of me made him quite woosey. He says its very difficult to see me like this. I remind him that it is manageable pain and that the results will be worth it. The polysporin applications need to be done 3 times per day. My 'nurse' had a stronger stomach the next time.
I continue to be very swollen. I look like a Chipmunk. I am icing religiously which I am told will help with the swelling but it really hasn't shown up ....or perhaps it is just stopping it from getting worse. My neck is sore and the staples behind my ears at the lower hairline seem tight. Having said that - it is all bearable and not beyond what I expected it might be. Today I have slept probably 4 hours which I think is good because I believe the body heals best while at rest.
I will try to post some pictures later...I am hesitant as some of you ladies look so good Day 1 and 2 but this gal looks like she was hit by a truck. I will share as there must be just as many gals who have to go through some rough spots before the butterfly emerges. For now, I am definitely an Alvin the Chipmunk look alike....but Alvin is pretty cute isn't he? lol
Day 2 Post Op
Good Morning Ladies
I had a fairly good night and I dare say that the swelling has gone done a tiny bit. The bruising continues to change from purple to a lovely green shade. My neck is sore on the sides below my ears but this is where the bruising in so I am guessing something major happened under there. My 'nurse' is getting toughened up and is doing his polysporin job very well. My ears are tender today. I look forward to tomorrow - shower day and ditch the head bra day. In as much as it is a pain to wear there is something very supportive about it so I may wean myself off of it gradually. Overall I am doing well. I took big boy pain killer last night but this morning I switched to extra strength Tylenol in hopes that it will be enough. Still taking antibiotic and arnica.
I wish all of you a beautiful day. It is very hot here so it's a good day to stay inside in the air conditioning and recover.
Progress in the works
Today is a day of changes. Today I see progress. I am able to ditch the head bra and am enjoying the freedom and the ability to ice easier. I also look forward to my shower later today. My husband is going to help me so I have to wait until he gets home from work. I have had enough incidences of wooziness that he doesn't want me to attempt the shower on my own in case I fall. I have to agree so I will wait.
This morning pictures show progress and I believe the beginnings of some positive results. Does a Pixie morph from a cocoon like a butterfly? It feels like it.
I continue to not be able to eat much - my jaw is sore. I am losing weight - bonus!
Last night after my husband applied polysporin to my incisions I had a woozie moment and was in pain. Achy ears, tight, painful cheeks and neck. I had to resort to a big boy pain killer again and I had a fitful night. This morning I felt good and have not had to take any pain killer at all.
Hope everyone has a wonderful day.
50 shades of yellow
Every day shows small improvements. Yesterday I did some closet organizing...nothing strenuous just hanging up summer clothes and folding winter ones but after 40 minutes I was done and slept the afternoon away. My swelling is still present but certainly has decreased. The bruising has changed to shades of yellow and I have yellow where I didn't even appear to have a bruise - one would assume I had deep bruising. Under my chin is still pretty swollen so my profile is not ideal yet but I can see it/imagine it and I am very happy. I can see the youth returning and I am liking it!
Tomorrow I get my stitches and staples out. I am looking forward to not having them there.
It's not always rosie on this side of the fence
I am sharing this update because although I am fine, will be fine and am doing OK, the recovery process does not always go smoothly. On day 6 I finished the antibiotic (precautionary) that Dr Bonaparte prescribed. I noticed a red area under my right ear. On day 7 (Friday) I went to get my stitches and staples out and the red area was now larger and swollen so I showed it to Dr B. He thought it might be a leaking saliva gland and tried to aspirate - he got no fluid. He told me to watch it and if it changed colour to let him know. On Saturday morning I woke to a similar swelling and redness. I did not do anything strenuous and by midmorning the red area was an angry burgundy colour and was growing. I took pictures and emailed Dr B. He very promptly emailed me back with some questions and as I was typing my reply he called me. We discussed it and he said to meet him at his office. He opened up behind my ear again and tried to extract fluid. He got very little. He stitched it up again leaving a small hole. He prescribed a stronger antibiotic and the plan was to wait but I was to come to the office again on Monday.
By Monday the burgundy had changed to red again. He took out one of the stitches and tried to extract fluid and got some. I felt some immediate relief. I should note that since my surgery I had not been able to eat solid food. I knew to expect that somewhat but by the end of one week I thought I could at least scrambled eggs...NO way. The right side of my jaw would go into instant pain - like there was a knot tightening. I lost 6 lbs that first week and I was getting concerned. In as much as I appreciated the fast weight loss if this kept up I was going to become unhealthy very quickly - I am not a very big person. After leaving the office on Monday afternoon my jaw started to feel better. When I got home I wondered if it felt well enough to eat - experimenting, I ate a small cracker and it didn't hurt! I was ecstatic. Bonus to that, as I ate the cracker fluid started to leak from the hole behind my ear. I switched to a very chewy protein bar, still no pain and with each chew more and more fluid came out. As the fluid left some of the swelling when down and the tension left my jaw. I still have a ways to go - patience. The area is still red and I am still on antibiotic. If the opening behind my ear doesn't heal nicely Dr B says that he can go back and fix it later. Right now it is important to deal with this infection. The positive - I can hide it with big hair. The pain is gone. I am trusting my body to heal.
Am I happy with the results - you bet I am. It is unfortunate to have a set back but I think Dr Bonaparte has handled it professionally. I feel he genuinely cares.
I have attached pictures of the 'bump' from Saturday - the angry day and from today.
I have also attached pictures of today with the bump covered up - still some swelling, especially on my right side (understandably) and under my chin....but look at those results!
Healing hugs to all
Now we more forward again
It has been an eventful past week since my last post. Dr Bonaparte has been great. After seeing him on Monday we emailed each other daily. Me sending pictures and he sending me suggestions and support. The redness was lessening but I was concerned that with only 2 more days of antibiotic I thouhgt it should be better. On Wednesday he prescribed another antibiotic to ensure that we were covering the total spectrum. On Thursday morning I sent my daily update pictures and he suggested that I meet him at a local hospital where he was working that day. He fit me in between surgeries in their day clinic. He removed the rest of my stitches (from Saturday previous) and was able to get a tiny bit of fluid out. He felt that the second antibiotic was doing some good. I have not sent him updates since Thursday. I am 1/2 way through the 10 day course of this antibiotic and I see slow progress. The redness is not as bright and the swelling has gone down some. Thank goodness for big hair!
Our son was visiting us this weekend and we had not told him about the procedure. We decided that we wouldn't unless he asked. We never did. A couple times I saw him looking at me appraisingly but he never said anything. Phew!
This afternoon I am off to Dr Bonaparte's office for a check in. My face is looking great. I still have swelling but it doesn't make me look 'funny'. Under my chin is swollen the most but I know that is to be expected so I am trying for patience. I have been out in the public since Saturday and went back to work today.
So far so good. Moving forward and continuing to heal.
2.5 months out
29 Aug 2016
2 months post
I still have not had time to crop my photos and reinstall them into my story but wanted to check in and say hi. I am doing great - the results are phenomenal! I am so pleased. I finally feel like the outside matches the inside.
I wore my hair up!
19 Sep 2016
3 months post
As some of you know that have followed my story I had a bump in the road. At one week I had an infection set into the right side of my face. The infection was fixed with 2 runs of antibiotic but unfortunately a red, ugly area remained and showed no signs of going away. Having long hair was a beneficial as my hair covered all the red areas. Dr Bonaparte was fantastic and recommended a course of IPL treatments. IPL = Intense Pulse Light. It worked! So far I have had 3 treatments and results have been amazing. Tomorrow I find out if I need anymore. Jennifer, the technician, is fantastic. She is caring, efficient, thorough and very professional. She felt that I may just need a final touch up but we will see tomorrow. This weekend I wore my hair up for the first time since my surgery. I am so thrilled with the results of my surgery, with the results of the IPL and with the professional and thorough care that I have received from Dr. Bonaparte and all of the staff at the Ottawa Facial Surgery Centre. I would recommend the clinic to anyone that is considering a facial procedure.