I inherited great hair and great big bags from my...
I inherited great hair and great big bags from my father. I've been wanting to do something about the bags since my 20's. I turned 48 last month and I decided it was time. I did a lot of research on this site, interviewed Dr. Young, who has a good reputation, and scheduled the date for 7/10. I don't know if I can change ratings after I post, so I'm putting all high ratings. So far so good and I think staying positive about the outcome will help.
My doc gave me vitanins, bromelain and arnica tablets to take 10 days before the operation. I was also instructed to only take Tylenol for pain (which is useless to me, oh well). I didn't get my surgery time until the night before. A nurse called and went over the list of what to do pretty fast. I missed wash your hair the night before and don't wear any hair products. I didn't wash my hair and had to brush out the mousse from the day before. I have curly hair and the final look was not pretty. I didn't put anything on my body--no lotions, deodorant, makeup, jewelry--nothing,
Supplies--a reading wedge pillow, Vaseline, gel wetting eye drops (generic Target). saline eye drops (generic), tissues by the bed, IMAK eye mask from Amazon (very soothing when it is cold), my meds prescribed by the doctor, straws for drinking, Bio-oil, pineapple, washcloths, ice bag (the kind with a screw on lid-very handy since you can pour cold water/ice or hot water in when you need it) and lots of pillows.
Day of Surgery
First I took a pregnancy test. Negative of course. Anything other than negative would have been a BIG problem. I stripped done to my underwear and put on a lovely hospital gown. The nurse gave me a lidocaine injection for the IV. How did she know I was a weenie about needles? I waited about an hour with the IV dripping saline. Then I really had to pee. *Hint: you can carry your IV bag into the restroom with you. I talked to the surgeon while he drew all over my eyes with a marker. Then I talked to the anesthesiologist. The nurse gave me something in my IV for to relax me.
"How long before this takes effffff....Neber minnndd"
The anesthesiologist put a mask over my face. "This is just oxygen--"
"Wake up, Veronica you're husbands here to take you home."
"My eyes hurt. My throat hurts."
"Well, here's a sip of water and some morophine through your IV. how's that?"
They wheeled me to the front of the building in a wheelchair. I wore my huge Elton John sunglasses and my hubby bundled me up in the car.
Got home. I ate a couple of crackers and took some meds. Fell onto my pre-made nest of pillows.
First 24 hours
Lots of sleeping. Little pain (thank you morophine injection). Ate some crackers-- nom nom nom. Drank some water. I recommend sipping with a straw. Slept off and on. Eyes got all gunky. I used lots of eye gel drops (much better than the regular watery kind) and the chilled eye mask I got from Amazon. Ahhh. I also slathered on arnica gel under my eyes after icing. That felt nice. My eyes felt achy, heavy with some stinging when I wasn't on meds.
Then the Vicodin wrath hit about midnight. I was itchy, constipated and wired. I took half a phenergan. Zzzzzzz. No more Vicodin for me, thank you.
Day 3 (2 days after surgery)
More swelling, little bruising that I had turned yellow. Changed from Vicodin to tramadol. When I was able to fall asleep on the Vicodin, my dreams were vivid and exhausting. It was like being awake while dreaming. The tramadol is smoother and more relaxing. I used an ice pack that you can fill with water and ice. I highly recommend it. My eyes were gunky after sleeping and I had to wash them with gel drops. I recommend the gel over liquid artificial tears. The gel doesn't go all over the place, which means more stays in your eyes. What little pain I had felt like burning on my lids, like when you put too much sunscreen on your eyelids. The tramadol took care of that. My eyes still felt swollen and heavy,
Day 4 (3 days after surgery)
Woke up with the usual gunky eyes. Cleaned them out with a lot of artificial tears. Looked at my eyes after cleaning. WHAT! Where did this freaky indented scar come from on my inner eye near my nose? I hope it's from swelling because that wasn't there a few days ago. Took pictures , worried about it until I figured there is nothing I could do. If it wasn't there right after the surgery then it should go away. Right? I think the stitches are pulling that area a bit out of shape as it heals. Decided to try only Tylenol for pain. My left eye said --LOL, good try, Slick.Let me remind you that you have STITCHES across your eyes. I popped a tramadol and chided myself for foolish, yet well-meaning attempt. I've been doing Weight Watchers for 3 months and lost 10 pounds. I've eaten half the points I'm supposed to for the last four days. All right, hello another pound loss. I hopped on the scale. No way! Up a pound and a half. I was ready to suck down another tramadol to drown my sorrow. Wait, do these cause weight gain? Well crap.
Day 5 (4 days after surgery)
Less gunk this morning. Eyes felt gritty, itchy and achy. I'm a wimp, I freely admit it.; I took a pain pill, after I ate some bread. The puffiness has gone down and the bruising is turning yellow. I am beginning to look human again and my son has stopped calling me zombie mother. LOL. I switched to warm compresses last night. The blood around the stitches has mostly washed away and the redness has faded a little more. The weird indentation in the inside corner of my eye seems to have receded. It looks like the skin is pulled too tight, but I suppose it's due to a combination of swelling and stitches. It is really easy to freak out when you see something weird. These are your eyes and you wonder if it the defect is permanent. I spent a few hours out of bed and even did some small chores around the house. I'd say day 4 is the turning point of when things start to get better. I'm keeping a thin coat of Vaseline on my stitches to keep the skin supple. My PS didn't tell me to do this, but I read that it's not good to let the skin dry out and scab. I'm still depending on my pain pills. I know Tylenol has never been a super pain reliever for me. Even Tylenol with codeine doesn't do much for me.
5 Days Post Surgery
Ugh. Woke up with totally swollen eyes. I looked like I lost a fight. After washing them with saline so I could pry my lids apart, I noticed my right iris was a big bubble. Not cool. My eyes were watering like crazy and the right eye drainage was pink. Called the nurse and took a quick trip to my PS's office. She said my sclera was irritated and swollen. She called in some drops and my hubby went to pick them up (he's such a great husband). The nurse said 4 to 5 days post surgery can be the peak of swelling. I sure hope so; they get anymore swollen, I won't be able to see a thing. If this is because I had mild picante sauce last night, this is going to be a problem. I'm Hispanic and live in San Antonio! Eating spicy food is practically a requirement to live in SA. I guess I'll try bland and salt free for the next couple of days. Yuck.
6 days post op w/chemosis
The bubbly white of my eye is chemosis, which happens to 20% of the patients who get lower eyelid surgery. The swelling around my eyes went down and moved onto my cheeks. This is how I looked when I swelled up during pregnancy. Oh joy. My eyes are still watering and they get blurry from that. But I'm only taking a pain pill every twelve hours. I'd probably be off of them if the chemosis wasn't irritating the heck out of both my eyes.
9 days post op Hello Bags, I See You're Still Here
Had the ends of my stitches pulled a couple of says ago. I said to the nurse, "I thought these were dissolvable."
"We'll, they are and aren't."
What's that supposed to mean? I'm an information hound and cryptic words are only my friends when I read mystery novels.
So, the swelling is going down and I look less like The Godfather every day. The process is s-l-o-o-o-o-w. if someone says you can be back to work in 3 or 4 days (or even out of the house in 7), you'd better be some young 20 year-old or those numbers just don't apply. Yesterday was the first day I could even see without my eyes watering. And that stinking chemosis (in both eyes now) is just starting to go down. I won't even get started on the HUGE bags under my eyes. Well that was $4,000 well spent. I'm just plain grumpy that I still look like crap. This should get better. Correction, this better get better.
19 days post op Looking Better
When I said I wanted younger eyes, I didn't mean I wanted them to have pimples. But, that's what I'm fighting right now. It seems eyelids love to get little pimples as they heal. Oh well. At least I'm starting to be happy with my operation. There is still some swelling and one eye looks a lot better than the other as far as the bags are concerned. Hopefully the other will catch up as more swelling subsides. My vision is no longer blurry and I've been driving for about a week. There is no discomfort left, but my eyelids feel numb when I put on mascara.
3 months post op
29 Oct 2013
3 months post
Things are still getting better. My scars have faded to red lines- almost unnoticeable. I still have some malar funkiness going on. Boo hiss. But the doc says he believes it will go away. So far I'm pretty happy with the results. One eye looks better than the other, but my lids look FABULOUS. $4,200 worth of happy? Not yet, more like $3,500 worth of happy. But maybe in another 3 months everything will smooth out completely. Update in 3 months.