I promised myself I would never look my age. They...
I promised myself I would never look my age. They say " just grow old gracefully".
grow old GRACEFULLY! ....how can I do that? No one grows old gracefully...you just grow old! Well I've decided to make an adventure out of going to Costa Rica to get some years back. I've always looked pretty young for my age.....I'm 65! I can pass for 50-55. I can't believe that one because last week I was 30! My skin is still in pretty good shape. It's the underlying muscle sagging that is getting me down. I've been told the outcomes of plastic surgery are better if you start the process of fixing things before everything sags to you knees. So that's what I'm doing. I've had contact with such wonderful people on Realself, did my homework and due diligence and have committed to Dr.Alberto Arguello! Let's the adventure begin!
I guess it's time to put up some uglies. Now that I've started this blog, I owe it to everyone to show what my doctor has to contend with. Work your magic, Dr. Arguello. So excited for Costa Rican adventure.
I'm sure some of you seeing the price tag for this thing is off putting but I haven't yet mentioned all I have planned for my improvement. I will have two separate surgeries. A neck lift, face lift, upper and lower blepharoplasties, then breast augmentation revision and revision of previous tummy tuck scar with some additional skin excision. Possibly some lipo as well. This of course will be up to the discretion of Dr. Arguello when we have our in person consultation. Some surgeries may change or be eliminated or added as he sees fit. I trust he will aesthetically make the right recommendations for the best outcome.
The real deal
Today I got the most amazing phone call from Dr. Arguello. What a delightful and enjoyable man! He is everything his past and present patients have said he is. He's funny, articulate and instills a sense of comfort with his demeanor. I like that he is so safety conscious and takes a holistic approach in addition to the standard/ best medical practices approach to his treatment and technique. I've been walking in the clouds all day after speaking with him. I'm now assured that my decision to go to Costa Rica and Dr. Arguello is a sound one. I'm looking so forward to meeting him in person and letting him transform me into the best version of myself.
This is the bravest or craziest thing I have ever done but I am determined to bring as much insight and information to this journey so that others can feel they could take this journey to Costa Rica with confidence.
Another day in paradise.....
Well today I did what others have mentioned doing as they await their surgery date....I packed and re-packed my suitcase! How crazy is that? I have been accumulating all necessary items (and some not so necessary items) to take along. I've printed up instructions from the doctor's website of pre surgical information in addition to do's and dont's. Ive also got instructions regarding arriving at the airport in Costa Rica. I think I'm all set. I'm sure I'll unpack several more times before departure just to remember everything I'm taking! I haven't yet purchased scar gel, but have been looking at NewGel+. Anyone had good results with it? I've also purchased Vitamedica's pre/post surgical recovery supplement regimen. I want every available advantage when it comes to healing and wellness. I'm determined to be a good patient and do everything right!
There are so many wonderful people on this site that are so supportive and non judgmental. So many people really understand what most of us are striving to achieve. Even though generally those we encounter on a daily basis would not condone publicly what we at RealSelf talk about daily, I have found that if those same people were given a choice to change themselves for the better without peer judgement they would go for it. I'm tired of political correctness and hypocracy. I have made my decision to do something about my looks...the parts of me that are not aging so well. I'm not trying to be someone I'm not. I want to be me only better. If by improving myself I'm able to give more of myself to others then that is my mission. Don't be deterred by those who are not supportive. You have enough support on this site to carry you through...thank you , each one of you for making this community so special.
The wait for my time in Costa Rica is driving me nuts. Just because I'm looking so forward to this, time is dragging....lol
Well another week closer to my destiny. Just waiting it out. I so appreciate Realselfers' feedback and support. I find I'm anxiously awaiting comments from you all day long! Thanks everybody!
The big mental picture
I just wrote a very long monolog of my thoughts about this journey I'm about to embark on and accidentally deleted it...ugh. I'm gonna try to recapture the mood but I'm afraid the gist won't have the same feeling.
I'm convinced that the length of time that elapses between thinking about having plastic surgery and actually having it is the time necessary for us to reconcile what we are actually about to do. When I first started thinking about this, it was only mild interest. This site and others opened up my eyes to the possibilites. I have been very lucky to have maintained myself for 65 years but the inevitable was bound to happen...those signs of aging we can no longer hide behind makeup and hairstyle. It has been more of a challenge when i have a girlfriend who is contantly engaging strangers in the game of "guess how old my friend is" Most guess between 40-55 and are amazed I'm 65. Actually I'm amazed too because just a couple of years ago I was 30! Its wonderful, don't get me wrong. I'm grateful, but when i look in the mirror im forced to see the real me, warts and all. I've vacillated between dismissing this whole thing to booking my surgery for tomorrow. I have to seriously contemplate what I'm about to do. Everything in life has tradeoffs. Some more acceptable than others. As far as having a facelift, I have to consider what I will gain and what I might lose. The biggest issue for me is the obvious scars that announce what I've had done. Your face is always out there for scrutiny. Is the judgement of others something I can live with? It has to be considered. Most of the time the tradeoffs are acceptable and manageable. For instance, a few years ago I had a Tummy Tuck. That is something I had wanted for 40 plus years. The tradeoff? A large abdominal scar and numbness for flat smooth tummy and narrow waist. Worth it? You bet ! I had breast augmentation many years ago. I had capsular contracture and numbness. The tradeoff? I've had a "great rack" for 35 years.....
Now that my surgery date is set, my deposits paid, airline booked. The only thing I now need to focus on is me. My mental and physical health and wellbeing. The full equation includes the skill and ability of my plastic surgeon, Dr. Arguello. I have decided not to worry about what ifs...what if there are complications? What if my results are not desirable? What if.....there are a million of them. I can only do what I can do. Stay mentally engaged and upbeat. Keep my body in the best possible shape so healing will be optimal. I have to say it is empowering to not have to put Dr. Arguello so much into the equation as I trust his skill and expertise to keep up his end of this bargain by utilizing his training and experience to create and improve upon what nature is determined to tear down. I know how lucky I am to be able to do this and am humble and grateful for everything. I know firsthand how fleeting things in life can be. Embrace the good, downplay the bad. Ok enough preaching....lol. I'm working on the mental health thing here.. is it working? I haven't a clue! !!
My husband's take on this:
He knows I'm going for plastic surgery but still thinks it will be a vacation! Say what? How can having my body and face filleted open be a vacation? He has the mindset that because I'm going to a beautiful exotic country that somehow equates to "vacation". He's so silly. I, on the other hand am much more pragmatic about the whole thing in that I know what lies ahead as far as recovery and discomfort and pain and swelling and all the post surgical demons waiting to cause me grief! I'm ready, I think to take on the challenge. This is by far the bravest thing I've ever done. The fact that I'm making this journey alone is really what makes this brave. I could have plastic surgery anywhere but feel so compelled to follow my heart to Costa Rica. There is this draw I feel to the doctor and to the recovery facility. The credit for that draw has to be given to those other brave beauties that pioneered before me and provided so much vital information on this site about their experiences. Thanks to all the rest of you thinking about doing this or just want to give words of encouragement. I can't tell you how important your feedback has been and continues to be. My first surgery is scheduled for 3 weeks from today. In a few days it will be 2 weeks before my departure. I started exploring the idea of going to Costa Rica almost 6 months ago. That was a lifetime ago now. Soon it will be my turn.....I am nervous and excited. Bring it on, I'm so ready!
The countdown begins!
I absolutely cannot believe my trip to Costa Rica is around the corner. Saturday I leave on the greatest adventure of my life! I have paid for everything now so it is up to Dr. Arguello what kind of magic he can perform on me. I have a decision to make on size and manufacturer of Silicone implants. I'm hoping he can do under the muscle this time. My skin quality is not what it used to be so not sure if lipo will be possible or not. My TT revision will be skin only excision of stretch marks ( I had a set of twins, love them, hate what they did to my body!) Then there is the face...well actually the neck is the biggest problem area then eyes.....this list goes on. I never ever thought I would have surgery on my face but one day I woke up and realized I was no longer happy with how thingsy were changing. I'm so very fortunate to be able to make this trip and improve those things I'm no longer happy with. This is a dream come true for me. Wish me luck.
This just gets better!
Today, out of the blue I received a call from Dr. Arguello. He wanted to reassure me that he and Dr. Arce were all set for my arrival in Costa Rica and see if I had any questions or concerns. He basically said just because I get my surgery done and go home he's not thru with me yet...I can get rid of him that easy...he'll be there for me! I told him how impressed I was with his follow up with Vee1028 by seeing her when he came to Las Vegas for a Plastic Surgery conference. He told me he-will be coming near me in September and wants to follow up with me too. Wow. What a great man. He is so happy and confident and upbeat. He promises the royal treatment. I can't wait to meet him and Dr. Arce. I got all the medical consent forms emailed to me that I printed out and have to sign. There is a ton of info. I think I'll be packing 10 extra pounds of paperwork, lol
Eve of departure
Tomorrow's the day i make my way to Costa Rica. Still isn't real. I'm gonna wake up and find I was in the Twilight Zone this whole time......deep sigh!
Everybody has been so kind and sweet about my upcoming transformation. You gals on this site make the best cheerleaders! I need you all.. The preparation for this has been so much fun. The planning, the buying of stuff to take along, the packing and unpacking and re-packing. The countdown of the days. What an amazing experience so far and I haven't even taken off yet. This is truly a journey of a lifetime and a bucket list item for sure!
On Costa Rican time!
Well, I made it. Carlos was at the airport to meet me and I'm all checked in to Verdeza, the aftercare facility. Because it is so late there is minimal staff here tonight but I got a quick tour and had some documents to sign. Tomorrow Carlos is taking me on a tour of the surrounding tourist attractions. So this is real. I'm actually here! Monday and Tuesday I have doctor's appointments and surgery on Wednesday. It's been a long day.
Day one in Costa Rica.....
Well I didn't sleep very well last night. I think I was just over stimulated with everything. I got up early today to a great breakfast and then Carlos took me on a tour of the Poas Volcano and the LA Paz gardens with butterflies and exotic animals and the most lush beautiful rain forest and waterfalls. It's not for the weak tho. It's about a 3 mile hike up and down steps. My legs really got a workout but so worth it. Tonight I'm beat. Tomorrow Carlos will pick me up in the morning for a visit with the cardiologist then to Dr. Arce. Goodnight all!
My day today
Well this morning I was up early as I still didn't sleep well. I'm used to a very soft mattress and the bed is firm so that may be it. Carlos was early as usual but I beat him to the lobby! Yay...minor victory! It's funny how stupid little things make for entertainment, lol. The food here is soooo good!. You sit in a large dining room with separate tables just like a small restaurant and you order from a menu. Your food is made to order and is so fresh and wonderful. Why does food always taste so much better when you're away from home?
I met with Dr. Deliyore as my first appointmet of the day. He did a complete cardiac workup and EKG. He was funny and we had a good time. And the best part is he cleared me for surgery! He said I was in great health. Then I walked a half a block to the Omega Medical building, 7th floor ( I even took the stairs the whole way) to Dr. Arce's office. He spent a great deal of time with me explaining everything and writing medical instructions for the Clinica Unibe, where the surgeries will be performed and wrote out instructions for me to follow post op. Then I got a prescription and it was time for the dreaded pre-op pictures. We went into a room where I stripped and posed for god-awful pics of my "trouble" spots....basically my whole body!! lol. Ladies if you are modest you better leave it at the door because you stand there in your naked glory while the camera flashes from all sides. Actually at this point knowing I'm going to have some improvements in my body, I don't mind walking around naked...lol. tomorrow is my consult with Dr. Arguello. That is the final step before surgery on Wednesday morning. Drinking lots of water and eating pineapple and papaya! Yummy.
The "A"Team....Arguello and Arce!
Dr. Arguello is everything everyone has said about him and more!. He is so incredibly handsome, I think I just stared at him the whole time I was in his office! He has such an aesthetic eye and just by letting me sit a ramble on talking to him he was able to suggest reasonable changes he could make to my face to make such great improvements. I'm so confident in his abilities. When he looked at my body he made recommendations that exceeded what I thought I needed. Not more...just better ways of improving. Well my lovely RS friends. I bid you good night....I'll see you on the other side. I'll post when I'm coherent enough to see to type and make sense . Here's to the new old me!
1 day post op
Omg....had breast implant revision..340cc Natrelle inspira. He couldn't go under the muscle because it was too tight against chest wall. They are a completely different shape than before so don't know what to expect with healing and settling. Had extensive lipo to hips back, abdomen , thighs. My butt looks really good and round. I'm not gonna whitewash it....it hurts like a mother. I also got my upper and lower eyes done so can't see very well. Crusty with blood. Saturday I go in for face lift and neck lift. This is grueling and difficult. After saturday the true healing g begins. I stayed in the hospital over night and the care was excellent. I'm really tired now so I'll post tomorrow. Thanks everybody for your well wishes.
Ok...so this is a bit late but.....
The past few days have been horrible to say the least. I'll try to touch on the high points. Wednesday April 27 I was taken by my driver, Carlos and his other employee, Pricilla at 6:15 in the morning to be admitted to Clinica Unibe. There was a ton of paperwork to be done and of course it was all in Spanish and had to be methodically translated verbally into to English for me. It's funny how the same kind of admitting paperwork is filled out in this country as is in the US. Once I was admitted I was greeted by very sweet nurses who had me change into a hospital gown and an IV was started with an infusion of antibiotics. So my doctor and the anesthesiologist came to talk to me giving assurances they would treat me well and with great care.
Dr. Arguello marked up my body .....his surgery roadmap. I was placed under the most comfortable inflatable warm air blanket and was wheeled into the OR. The very next minute, I was in my hospital room fully awake with the surgery over. What the?.......yes it seemed that quick but it was actually 4 hours long. So what did he do to me to take 4 hours? Well I actually blamed him for running me over with a bulldozer but he assured me he had not! He did extensive lipo, breast implant revision. He removed my 35 year old 300cc over the muscle implants with the intention of going under the muscle with 340 cc Natrelle high profile but when he got inside, my pectoral muscles were torn and atrophied so badly from the old implants even with trying to do a muscle repair he couldn't place them under so he did a complete capsulectomy on both sides with pocket repair and put them over the muscle again. He excised several very large stretch marks I had on my flanks and still had time to do upper and lower blepharoplasties. I stayed overnight in the Clinica Unibe with a great medical staff and was released the next morning back to the aftercare facility, Verdeza. Three days later I was back at Clinica Unibe for round two, facelift and Necklift. Now I'm done with surgeries and is time to heal. I am very tired now and want to sleep so I will cut this short and continue tomorrow. Good night lovely ladies and gentlemen....
Day #? Haven't a clue
Did long update but when I tried to add pic I lost post. Damn. Very hard night. Everything you hear bad, I had. ....pain, bruising, swelling, contipation, bloat. It's hard being here alone. Was anxious and depressed. Percocet is the drug of the devil, lol. Makes me crazy. On good note...very constipated but have been taking Miralax and stool softener so it was just a matter of time.....then Kaboom! I think I lost 20 lbs in one go a round. Almost better than sex! Almost lol. Much easier to poop than get lipo....hehe. I got a shower and wounds cleaned...heaven. so good. Now I'm resting. Have a spa treatments in one hour then lunch.....not hungry but have to eat. Thank you everyone on RS. Couldn't do this without your support. Means everything to me. XOXO
Ok...so not quite paradise but not hell either!
I think I may have turned the corner...I hope so. The spa treatment made me feel human again. Can't believe what a difference. It's radio frequencies at different wavelengths that produce different massages./ vibrations. So soothing. Did my face, neck , breasts and abdomen . Hour long piece of heaven. Great lunch waiting in my room. Spaghetti with meat sauce, mashed sweet potato and chocolate mousse and watermelon juice. Yummy. Rained like crazy for abt 2 hours. I guess it's officially Costa Rican wet season! Pura Vida!
Again to everyone...I will try to answer each of you but if I don't keep sending happy thoughts...... you're all sweet.:^)
Hi remember me.....crazy old lady?
Just exactly like everyone says...each day improves. Walked to spa treatment today. Such a nice area. Have some very sore spots on back and abdomen from lipo and very bruised but eye swelling is resolving. Side of my face on both sides is numb as is part of neck. He didn't do platysmaplasty as I didn't need it but he undermined cheek skin and removed about 1 1/2 in. of skin on each side. He sent me pics....so cool....I know you think I'm crazy but I like gore even if it's my own, lol. The breast revision was the most invasive as he had to rebuild the pocket after capsulectomy. My pectoral muscles were in shreds and too thin to reconstruct even tho he tried and he had to revise the pockets. He put in 340 cc Natrelle high profiles. They look good
He did recommend a lift but I didn't want additional cutting. I'm just hoping I don't get CC again but he did everything he knows how to prevent it again including textured implants. He didn't have to use any drains anywhere. He said I didn't bleed at all. He was very pleased with himself. On my right breast he noticed a slight pucker due to to suturing the pocket and it looked a bit smaller so he went back in during my second surgery and cut that suture and breast straightened out beautifully. But That means extended pain on that side. Hey what's a little more torture among friends? I love you all. Keep sending happy vibes!
Something just came to mind
Something that I've not seen anybody mention....during surgery you are given a cocktail of drugs for sedation, anti nausea/vomiting, probably a paralytic so you can be intubated...who knows what else. We'll when you wake up and try to pee for the first few times it's agony...you feel your bladder is full but seems to take forever to get the urine stream to start. For 4 or 5 times after the first surgery it was a real struggle. I think I sat there for 1/2 hour each time just trying to go. After my 2nd surgery the urinary retention was so bad I needed to be catheterized just to get it empty. After that I went ok. But that hurts! Tubes are not supposed to go up there! Not recommended however not being able to pee is pure torture...I guess the lesser of the evils, hehehe
A little potty humor..
It's so funny, it's seems for a lot of women bowel habits are just a necessary evil....not like men who make farting a national past time and I'm surprised there isn't a bowel movement Olympic event for men. We women just do our business quietly with no fanfare. I'm just mentioning this because now all the bad drugs are out of my system and I'm eating regular healthy meals, my intestines are very happy and regular...you could set your watch by it, lol and I have never in my life been that regular..so it just amuses me! On a more serious note. I have been having increased pain in my low back. Saw Dr. Arce today for suture removal around my eyes....they are still so swollen that REALLY HURT. I know most say suture removal isn't painful but mine were. Then he checked my back and guess what?...... the dreaded seroma! My whole back from waist to flanks to Crack of butt all fluid filled. He had to inject lidocaine. Reopen lipo incision and basically "milk" the serosanguinous fluid out...and there was alot!. It was mostly blood.....man that really hurt but much better now it's drained. Now I have to manually massage that area to keep the fluid flowing for the next few dsys. I feel like I'm having a period. ....so much liquid. Now I'm getting ready to walk over for my spa treatment. Check in later. XOXO
Ok so this is day 5 post 2nd surgery...
I'm not sure of my days...my crazy husband just called to wish me Happy Cinco de Mayo...I had to remind the fool I'm in Costa Rica not Mexico! He was just giving me a hard time!
Well the seroma comtinues to plague me..by seroma it's just not a small pocket of fluid, it is mostly my entire torso. Went for one hour spa treatment that turned into 3 hours as Dr. Arce met me there and did a second torture session on me by milking and massaging the fluid out again. Much more fluid than yesterday. Then his wonderful Mary, who works at the spa did intense ultrasound treatments on parts of my body I forgot existed...then it was Dr. Arce's turn again at the torture..again more fluid. And as I write this my backside.continues to leak all over. Feels like I'm on my period...boy now I remember why I hated that time of the month so much! So sorry to you gals still experiencing that....it sucks. I was a bit concerned...no, scratch that, I was very concerned my left breast has started to feel hard again. I had capsular contracture so bad before, I just will do about anything to prevent it again. Dr. Arce could see (feel) my concern but I'm so early on and have such fluid accumulation he thinks it might just be part of the swelling and healing process but he did write me a prescription for a drug that is supposed to help prevent CC. It is somewhat controversial and some doctors question it's efficacy. It's an asthma drug. But I'm willing to sacrifice a goat at Stone Henge if it helps.
.lol. not really I love animals and couldn't kill anything! But I'm sure you get my point. So now I'm wiped out again and need to sleep. Love to you all! Nite.
So....day 325..no that's not right, lol just seems like it!
I'm sorry everyone I've not been the best at updating but I've had this weird preoccupation with HEALING!!! It has been hard but now I'm much better. Today is post op face lift, neck lift x 1 week. 10 days postoperative for getting run over by bulldozer! The face is much easier recovery. Not much pain. More just discomfort due to swelling, bruising. And the gawd awful chin strap. I have to wear it for 12 days. But that helps make things stay tight. It's a small sacrifice.
I noticed the most amazing thing....I had a tummy tuck 3 years ago. Long incision beyond hip to hip. It was wavy and always stayed purplish. My doc did lipo under it or around scar or something so now it is straight and white....go figure. I guess some scar tissue under scar was pulling and distorting it. My eyes are more puffy today as I slept a bit flatter last light and sort of on my right side so right eye not looking great. I got my ice pack on it.
My right boob is still very soft but left is harder. Doc says still too early for CC as there is so much healing to do but he's watching it closely. My incisions are itchy...had the sutures in front of my ears removed yesterday. I'm slathering a calendula cream on the incisions per docs instructions. I'm so happy he takes holistic approach as well as standard accepted medical approach to everything.
My seroma is still there but not as painful. I just have to massage in the direction of flanks to the middle of back and upper back toward lower back to keep the incision open and leaking fluid.sounds awful but not that bad...just hard to do myself.
It is sunny today and quite windy...Rained cats, dogs, elephants and rhinos last night. So beautiful. Coming from California and 4 years of drought, I really appreciate the rain. It's about 72° F just so gorgeous. Wish I could afford a vacation home here but I spent all my money having plastic surgery. How stupid is that?.....lol. have a good day everyone!!!!
As requested ...some pics.
"THE SUN WILL COME OUT TOMMORROW"
He he....Happy Mother's Day, everyone! Well today I feel even better...so far that is. I've only been up for a short while and am not quite awake yet but so far so good. Still some pain around my torso from seroma but I slept well. My eyes are a bit dry when I first open them but it improves in a short time....this is nothing new..I usually have dry eyes anyway. So now it's breakfast time then the horrible ordeal of taking a shower. Takes about two hours because of all the garments I have to remove and put back on. I'm exhausted when I get through! Bruising is better under my eyes. But my neck looks funny. It's swollen and purple/ brown....didn't know there was such a color, lol. It's concentrated on one side so really looks weird.
I really feel more alert today even tho I haven't taken narcotics for 5 days.. well my breakfast awaits...yummm. later......
So...I have an odd update today....
I have been staying close to Verdeza since I've been here but today was really the first day I thought I was well enough to explore the neighborhood. I have met a delightful couple...the man lives here at Verdeza because he needs extra nursing care the wife can no longer provide but she lives a few blocks away and spends most meals with her husband here. Well she invited me to come see her home and gave me a map and directions. She said it was an easy walk....so off I went, not really planning to visit because I didn't call her beforehand but just wanted to find her place....well I walked and walked, and walked, and walked. I think I ended up in Nicaragua! About this time, being the directionally challenged person that I am and totally exhausted and in pain, found my way back to Verdeza (without asking for directions! Such a proud moment for me!) I staggered back to my room and reviewed the map I realized I was looking on the wrong side of the street....duh, I'm so lame!......so my positive upbeat story for the day is, I got some great exercise today and got to see how truly lovely this neighborhood is. I'm really starting to get bummed that my time here is going by so fast...isn't that what everyone says? I am awaiting my new RS friend Jamaican43 to arrive as it looks like she will be delayed until tomorrow morning . Tomorrow more spa treatments and a visit to Dr. Arguello...yay!
2016 : A Space Odyssey..........ha ha
Sorry everyone I have not updated in two days...and what two days they have been! It has been crazy.......first off let me say the damn seroma Is still the bane of my existence!!!!!! That damn thing is more tenacious than I am!!
I have had it drained about 6-7 times and it keeps coming back. The biggest problem besides orangish colored juice coming out of my back is the doc has to reopen the wound with a shot of lidocaine and scalpel each time. The beautiful Maria Louisa , the therapist at the spa has also been working on it so diligently to massage the fluid out and break up any hard spots using Radio frequency and ultra sonic and infrared technology. It doesn't hurt like it did. So that's a good thing.
Diane (Jamaican43) arrived yesterday and is such a delightful person. We have so much in common. We have been having such a good time. Today she encountered an issue that is going to cause a delay in her surgery. But I'll let her tell her own story.
I'm still very bruised but they are resolving under my eyes but now the side of my neck on the left side is the color of a walking zombie...black, brown, yucky colored. All of my sutures are out.....yay!!!!,. The scars are healing beautifully. Although still scabby and reddish, I can already tell they will be great...if you're into scars, that is! Dr. Arguello is such a master and the kindest, warmest, happiest person I have ever met . He is always laughing and is so humble. Dr. Arce is the same. They make a great team.
I have to tell a cute story...last evening Diane and I and a gentleman who resides permanently at Verdeza, walked over to Avenida Escazu, a very upscale designer shopping area with restaurants and art galleries and breweries, and beautiful designer brand clothing. Outside one of the art galleries are several large sculptures of the naked female form, sans arms, legs and head...the perfect female, right guys? We were standing in front of the gallery talking when a young couple approached. Because we we kinda blocking the walkway the young woman went around us on one side while the man went around us on the other side, right into the path of the female sculpture...he suddenly reached over and grabbed the ass and rubbed the sculpture then continued on his way. I started laughing hysterically, he turned around and realized I saw him rub the butt, quickly grabbed his girlfriend while looking at me with pleading eyes as if to say "don't tell my girlfriend what I just did"...he was so embarrassed but it made my day!!!!
Today I saw Dr. Arguello and he is very happy with my progress but wanted to be proactive in finding out why one of my breasts is harder than the other so he sent me over to Hospital Biblica for an ultrasound. He thought maybe there was fluid accumulation but it turns out the softer boob has some fluid but the other has iinflammation that just has to resolve on its own and no evidence of a forming capsular contracture.......hooray! So today was a busy day....only one more week in paradise.....where has the time gone?
On a helpful note.....
I purchased some calendula cream from the doctor's office. I have to apply it 4-5 times a day to my incisions. It really seems to help with healing. I am mixing it with Arnica gel and applying it with a Q- tip. Also for those of you about to undergo blepharoplasties one of the most soothing things you can do is put 4 chamomile tea bags in hot water. After its brewed , put ice cubes in it to make very cool, dip gauze in the tea or use the tea bags themselves on the eyelids. So soothing and the cold helps with swelling .
Dada da da da da dada da da da da dada da da da da my Seroma
I couldnt help myself...it just seemed the right theme song. Lol. Well today was a good day.....my seroma is slowly resolving. Had another heavenly spa treatment this morning with a wonderful facial thrown in for good measure. As if what I have voluntarily gone thru isn't enough, tomorrow I have a 35% TCA peel as the lines in my neck were too deep to pull into oblivion thru surgery. I also have some vertical lip lines,,,yuck and a few acne scars on my chin too. Dr. Arguello thinks the best way to improve those things is with a peel. Not my favorite thing as I've had a few...not fun. He isn't going to totally roast me so I don't go home next Tuesday looking like my zombie mask is too tight. So hopefully the peel will be short and sweet.. It just makes sense because I'm already here in Costa Rica to torture myself as much as I can, lol. I can't slack off you know! I've been feeling too good.
Today Diane and I walked to the Walmart and had a nice dinner together. She is so sweet. Hopefully her surgery will be Saturday.. I'm gonna be so sad to leave her. It so nice having a friend here with me. We laugh so much...it's great for the soul.
My ears are still pretty sore and I'm slathering calendula on them. My eyes and ears still have scabs so I have to be careful but I still wearing the headwrap. Maybe tomorrow I will be done with it. I'm not sure I can wear it with having the peel.. So that pretty much does it for today. Tomorrow in addition to the spa treatment, Laura Delaney is supposed to be here for a short visit with the doctors so I hope I get a chance to meet her. Good night everyone!
The three musketeers
Today I met lauradelaney1 with Jamaican43. .....we have so much in common and had such a good time together. Laura is here for some treatments and will only stay a few days. Hopefully Jamaican (Diane) will have surgery Saturday. I can't tell you how wonderful it is to be with the people I have been communicating with on RealSelf for the past months. These are real genuinely good people. I wish we didn't live so far from each other because I can see us being close friends.
Well today I endured a 35%TCA peel.....ouch! It was very quick as the burning starts almost immediately even with topical anesthetic. I thought I was pretty numb until he started applying the acid......wowza....he looked for what he called "frosting" of the outer layers of the skin...a whitish cast then put ice cubes directly on my skin....awwwwwww. Instant relief. The burning stopped and I only got a little red. Feels like my face is very tight and dry but doesn't hurt. It will probably be redder tomorrow and will start peeling and flaking in a few days. He would rather do a series of quicker lighter peels, as the results are more predictable than causing the great discomfort associated with deeper peels....that's just fine with me. I guess it's just his personal preference. Anyway, today I'm doing great. No issues to speak of....tomorrow another spa day......this is the life.....soon I'll have to go back to reality ......damn!
For everyone's information
It has come to my attention that an ex-patient of Dr. Arguellos is on a quest to discredit him and convince other prospective patients that he is somehow incompetent or unethical.
I have to tell you this forum is for support of one another, not a platform to air your greivences or further anyone's agenda. That being said...I am currently still in Costa Rica after having undergone various procedures and if I could find even one flaw in the doctor's ability or character I certainly would be in a position to let that be known. The care I have received here far exceeds what even I expected and I have been involved in both ends of the spectrum with regard to good and bad medical practices. So far I am currently 16 days post op from first surgery and 13 days post op second surgery. I currently feel great...a little pain but that's to be expected...what I didn't expect was to find such loving, caring, doctors and medical staff along the way. The post op medical spa treatments have helped me in my healing beyond my wildest expectations. That has truly been as important as having the surgeries themselves and that truly surprised me as I'm quite the skeptic. In my humble opinion if everyone on this planet had the heart, love, and the ability and desire to help others like Dr. Arguello and Dr. Arce this world would be immeasurably better off. Doesn't it seem odd that one person who praised her results from these doctor's expertise for 6 months, touting their ability to almost walk on water could suddenly blame them for being the devil? What's wrong with this picture ? For what it's worth, this trip to Costa Rica, BY MYSELF AT 65 YEARS OF AGE HAS BEEN ONE THE THE GREATEST HIGHLIGHTS OF MY LIFE. ALL DUE TO THE GREATEST DOCTOR'S AND OTHER WONDERFUL COSTA RICAN PEOPLE who have helped me , cared for me and befriended me along the way! I will be very sad to leave..it has been a blast with a lot if pain along the way...but oh well plastic surgery is no picnic...right?
Buenos dias everyone. ..that's good day to those non Spanish speakers, lol
Well its Sunday and my time in Costa Rica is getting short. I leave on Tuesday. I leave behind part of my heart....I have met the most wonderful people and the best doctor's I have ever known. I came here for a facelift, necklift, upper and lower blepharoplasties, breast implant revision and mini tummy tuck revision. What I got was the expected facial surgery but no tummy tuck as the doctor said I didn't need it. What he did was lipo Instead to re-contour my body to a figure I haven't seen in years. He addressed my concerns without judgement and made recommendations when asked with no pressure to have them performed. I still have a lot of healing to do and still look a bit foreign to myself but the positive feedback I have gotten from even total strangers has been astounding. If I could afford to come here annually for "maintenance " treatments, I certainly would. I have nothing to gain or lose by posting the realization of my journey and wish all the best to each and every one of you...you've helped me make this journey a happy reality. I will post pics soon!
Well today is my last full day in Costa Rica. Tomorrow morning bright and early, I get on the plane that will take me back to the US and my home. My healing continues to progress at ,I think, an alarming rate....I usually don't heal fast but I have to credit a lot of my quick improvement not only to the great medical care, both mental and physical but to a pre/post surgical vitamin regimen I have been following. Pm me if you want info about it. I have started to say goodbye to some of the staff here at Verdeza and of course started to cry with each goodbye. I'm packing and feeling melancholy about leaving such a great place.
My last appointment with Dr. Arguello and Dr. Arce will be today also.....that will probably be the hardest of goodbyes but I will be talking to them on the phone regularly to provide updates on my progress.
My face feels very tight and crinkly from the chemical peel on Thursday and is peeling like crazy and I have an area behind my left ear that is sore and oozing a little. There's no infection just the skin margins trying to heal. I'm using Calendula cream on it multiple times a day. I also put a wad of cotton behind both ears at night to prevent me from squishing my ears at night when I sleep. My breasts are getting softer...they feel so much different than my old implants...really squishy! My areas of lipo, although still kinda sore to the touch only hurt when I sit too long and the areas get tight and pull. But as soon as I get my butt up and moving, I'm good. So that's my story and I'm sticking to it!........have a good day everyone!
Today I thought perhaps I could walk around a bit and see more of the area but the sky opened up with the most torrential rains with lightning and thunder I've ever been in. Hey I live in California...2 sprinkles of rain is a downpour! So needless to say I was stuck in my room. But, Diane came and stayed for a while. She looks fantastic..I can't believe how great her lift looks. Dr. A is a genius! She's a bit nauseated but the staff and doctor is on top of it so she should feel better soon. She is having NO pain ...thats astounding to me but that goes to show how different we all are. Gonna sit down now for my last meal at Verdeza. ...yummy Arroz con pollo.....
Even though I was very sad to leave Costa Rica, it's always nice to get home. My trip home was very long with multiple layovers. I left CR at 800 am and arrived at my destination airport in Las Vegas at 6:35 pm. There is only one hour time zone difference so you can imagine my fatigue and relief at finally making it. My lipo areas get very tight when I don't move for any length of time so I looked like a really old lady when I got off the plane. My husband picked me up and we went to a hotel for the night as I was not up to a 2 hour drive home. I had to show him my body and he seemed pleased although realizes I'm a work in progress. I'm 65. I will never look 20 or 30. I still have cellulite and loose skin but I am several sizes smaller and have such a flat tummy. My breasts look smaller than before but the doctor had so much pocket revision to do after removing my thick capsules even though my implants are bigger than the old ones. The new implants are high profile but he couldn't put them under the muscle because of the atrophy to my pectorals. I was sad about that and so was he as he tries to always do submuscular. My face lift and necklift are still undergoing changes hourly it seems. My incisions are still scabby and eyes itch . I'm tired of wearing antiembolism stockings and the sports bra and tight faja but the doctor was adamant wearing stockings for 4 weeks, faja for 2 months and sports bra for 4 weeks. I spent too much on this to not comply so I will suck it up and be a good little patient....
"The Long and Winding Road"
Yeah...I'm a Beatles fan. I grew up with them...what can I say? Some of you will understand. To those of you who dont, I'm sorry, lol....but I like most new music too! I'm a rocker chick! Lol.
Well I have made it thru the first 24 hours at home. I'm tired alot but I'm doing ok. My eyes were giving me fits this morning, red and felt like something was in my right one. It's hard because I can't rub them to get it out. After closer exam I pulled 3 eyelashes that had fallen out and we're hanging around the corner. So now it feels much better although they are dry due to the low humidity in the area I live (the high desert of southern California ). My incisions behind my ears are crusty but only hurt when I lay on them so I'm continuing my back sleeping for a while longer. I usually sleep with my face scrunched into my pillow so I guess I better change that if I want to have my face heal without weird lines. I cant yet see a big improvement in my face except my jowls are gone. I'll be glad when the tightness and swelling is gone around my eyes. Most of my bruising has resolved although I developed a new bruise on my left flank for some reason. It doesn't hurt tho. My neck is still peeling and I have a feeling I might just go thru another round of peeling as it still feels tight and crunchy.
My nipples are very sensitive and my boobs are warm all the time now. Before, with my old implants, my boobs always were cool to the touch and nipple sensation was muted. That is a great unexpected benefit!
I'm sorry all my neck lines are not gone especially those on the outer neck near my ears but the dr. was honest with me and said they are almost impossible to get rid of as they were too deep. He did eliminate the smaller more superficial lines. I wish I was 30 again but I would have to have the knowledge and wisdom I have gained thru life or it wouldn't be worth it. Sorry you 30 year olds out there...I mean no offense. .you are so lucky to have your youth. Embrace it....before you know it you'll be my age and wonder WTF happened! I still can't believe it myself!!!
Ok...so what day is it again?
Hi everybody! Well today I changed out of my post surgical compression garment into a much tighter body shaper...I feel squished but man, is my body slim! I can't believe it is me. My tummy is very flat and waist small and my butt looks great...nice and round so in clothes I look like I'm 20. When I take off my clothes the skin is still that of a 65 year old.....crap, crap, crap, but I'm not running around nude so the illusion Is maintained.....yay! My face is still peeling a bit but the incisions around my ears are healing well as are those on my eyes. The lower incisions are completely invisible and other than a bit of discomfort when I touch them ( I know keep my dirty fingers off) you would never be able to tell anything surgical was done. The uppers are more visible with redness and a bit of puckering where the sutures were but the doctor said they will flatten out in time. My lower eyelashes seem to be gone but maybe just the trauma of surgery made them go into hiding! I had major irritation of my right eye last night. Upon closer inspection found an upper eyelash completely turned inward under the upper lid. I moved it with tweezers and ahhhhhh! instant relief. My skin on my face feels tight like it is sunburned or something but when I touch it, the skin is supple and not tight to the touch so it is an internal feeling if that makes sense. There is considerable numbness in front of my ears and the side of my neck but it is the kind of numbness that doesn't feel totally dead..like it is slowly going to resolve and I'll get normal feeling back. My ears feel pretty normal with only a slight numbness on the upper ears. The lipo area on my lower back is also numb but again at this point I think that feeling will come back. It feels so odd to scratch an itch there and not be able to satisfy that itch because of lack of feeling.....quite annoying! My energy level is not up to par but I'm not expecting that for weeks.... One more thing.....I am now going thru the depression so many feel after surgery. There was such great excitement surrounding my trip to Costa Rica and the surgeries and the experience of meeting such wonderful people. There is a bit of a letdown now after such a tremendous "high" for 24 days. Besides, I'm tired of the healing process already....I want to be healed NOW! I still promise to post new pics but I have to see my hairstylist first as my hair color has faded and I need a cut.....consummate vanity wins out.! Goodnight beautiful RS friends........
Yipeeee, it's the weekend!....wait, what?
I'm retired so weekends mean nothing to me...its just another day, lol. Well today I had a great conversation with Dr. Arguello about that sore area under my right breast. He gave me specific instructions on caring for the area and I really hope it quickly resolves....what if it doesn't? Well I will see my primary physician here at home for urgent treatment and then, well I don't know yet. I know Dr. Arguello will fix any issue I have but I still have to get my butt to Costa Rica for that. It is a long way away and of course that argument about having your PS close for treatment is very valid. I'm not yet sure what I will do if it comes to that but my first inclination is to jump on a jet! I had such a remarkable time and would love to see those wonderful friends I met there again. I miss them even though I have only been home for 4 days. How crazy is that? Per doctors orders today I didn't do anything that would put stress on my incision. I laid around and felt like a slug but I will do whatever it takes to resolve problems if that's what Dr. Arguello thinks best. I'm a good little patient, aren't I?
Still in recovery mode...and hating it!
Another uneventful day not in paradise! Dr. Arguello texted me this morning wanting to know how the open part of my incision is doing. I sent him a pic and he gave me some treatment advise. I can't yet tell if it's any better as I know these things sometimes take weeks to fully resolve but it doesn't hurt as much so I take that as a good sign.
I'm restricted on my movements which sucks but I want everything to heal well. My shape is really shaping up, haha. If I wasn't 65 I could almost wear a bikini but the skin is still old so I'll settle for wearing sexy bras and thongs when I'm healed enough. In clothes things look great. My butt is nice and round and I love it! I wore a pair of leggings today and can't believe the difference in my figure. I'd go out in public in them! That's saying alot! No more muffin top, yay! The face and neck continue to do their thing although I'm not sure what their thing is! One minute I don't like the changes and the next love it so it's very fluid at the moment. I have to be realistic in my expectations as I'm 65 and not 30. Menopause has done it's typical ravaging to my skin but I do take bio-identical hormones that have forestalled some of the ravaging! . I still feel 30 most of the time so I think that helps too! Well actually during this healing processes I feel more like 47 or 48, lol.
The shock of my life! Well not really but good nonetheless.
Well today I went back and forth with my doctor on the next course of action if my breast incision fails to heal. He is ssooooo supportive and caring. No decisions yet as it is too early on, but he will do a revision or anything else necessary to make me happy!
Now on a HAPPY note. Today I went to my hairstylist. She knew I was going to Costa Rica for surgery and was very supportive. She has not seen me since weeks before I left. When I walked in the door she just freaked out....OMG she could not believe it. She said I look 10 years younger and had to get another girl over to see me too. The second girl didn't really know what I did but immediately realized I looked so much better. The whole time I was there getting color, highlights and cut she just kept staring at me with a smile on her face...just astounded at the results. She said she had never seen a facelift so expertly done and she's seen a lot of facelifts on many of her clients. She cut about 3 inches off my hair and I can't believe the difference.. I had on no makeup and I usually do my eyes...she said I no longer need makeup, I look so young......what a great compliment. Wow...that blew me away! I see myself everyday so the changes for me have been slow and subtle but she thought it was so dramatic she couldn't get over it....what a great boost to my self esteem. I will post pics soon...I know I keep saying that but I will....promise.
Im running out of titles....lol
Soooo. Today bright and early Dr. Arguello texted me wanting an update on my breast incision.....I went into the bathroom, took off the bandage and low and behold....ITS BETTER! Yay!,,,,,I sent him a pic and he was so happy he said he could now sleep at night. He was so concerned he made numerous suggestions for me getting treated here in the US by some of his PS friends or coming back to CR for whatever it took to make it better. He defies all typical care most patients expect from their doctors. At least in this day and age where everyone seems too busy to provide the care everyone would like to receive. Plastic Surgery is a precarious business to be in....you have the power to change lives in such profound ways but also have to deal with the psychological issues that frequently accompany a patient seeking "perfection". Doctors are only human and can only do what their training and your own anatomy will allow them to do. I've learned that the hard way but hey, I'm alive and healthy and one hot mama for 65... I'm not giving up my quest to be the best I can be and I think this trip to Costa Rica has allowed me to see who I really am or at least aspire to be. I know the value of friendship and love and think I'm a better person for it. Blah, blah, blah....either that or I'm totally full of s**t.....lol
Update for Thursday.....
Well everyone ....thank you all for your words of encouragement and well wishes.
My breast incision is closing up and seems to be on the road to recovery. My breast swelling is gone now too. Their size and shape are different so trying to get used to that. My whole body is so much smaller than before. I tried on size 6 pants and they fell off!!!! I was a size 8-10 when I left for CR.
I am trying to maintain the same healthy eating habits I had in Costa Rica aND have been so good, only eating one bad thing all week...and it wasn't so bad...Atkins chocolate carmel square, no sugar, low carbs. My biggest problem is eating too much. Anybody relate? I didn't think so...I knew I was the only one!
Not for me. I don't care what day it is. Lol. So the latest in my continuing saga.......I'm so much better! Yay! Tomorrow will be 4 weeks post surgical and things are settling down. I have some absorbable sutures in my lipo incisions as well as my excised stretch marks. They have begun sticking out a bit like tiny monofilament fishing line in multiple places. I asked the doctor when I could expect they would absorb or fall off and he said "anytime now". well low and behold....that's exactly what has started to happen. One was particularly troublesome so I pulled it and it just broke away from the skin very easily. No pain, no discomfort, nothing......so now I know any more I find will be no big deal to get rid of. Most of my incisions have healed well now with only the incision under my right breast still sore and sensitive. The stretch mark incisions are also still sore but I'm still wearing my compression garments so that constant pressure on them is probably contributing to the soreness. I can't wait to start using a scar treatment on them and just ordered Mepitac silicone tape from Amazon. I'm going to put that on all my incisions to improve the color and flatten any scars that need it. I have to say though my incisions are looking really good for this early in the healing process. They are the expected pink color but the placement is so good that once the scars fade I doubt you will ever see them. This especially holds true for the facelift scars.
Today for the first time since surgery I put on makeup...it was a little tricky for the eyeshadow as the lids are sensitive and still a little puckered but boy when I looked in the mirror after putting on the war paint I was surprised at how good I looked. It looks like me only a good 10 years younger. My right neck is still a bit swollen but the whole thing looks so much better. It's so hard to be patient and let the healing happen...you just want it over with already! I'm still sleeping mostly on my back as I can definitely see the advantages of not squishing my face into a pillow, that I have done for years. It's so odd to wake in the morning and not look tired and puffy like I have for years. I look rested even when I'm not.....how cool is that? My husband doesn't buy the "I'm too tired " excuse anymore, lol....even though I am tired. The energy level, I have been told, takes a while to return. I totally get that, for sure. So the bottom line is......at this point everything that was an issue before is resolving...is it perfect? No not yet if ever but so far I'm happy with how things are going. At the three month mark I think I will be permanent and stationary but then again...I could be wrong about that too. The lipo areas continue to cause a pulling type sensation when I sit idle for too long but as soon as I move about it stops. I remember having that same type of pulling following my tummy tuck where areas had been lipo'd.
So goodnight sweet friends...happy healing to you all!
The grand unveiling: finally some pics
These picd are out of sequence but gives an idea of my post surgical journey.
Today was rather uneventful except a few of the disolvable sutures are working their way out and are really bugging me. They itch like crazy but do come out fairly easy except for a couple by my ears that won't yet budge. Dr. Arguello checked in with me again today and gave me the green light to massage my incisions so I am using organic coconut oil. In addition, I can start using the Bio Corneum scar treatment I got from him before I left CR. It has the added benefit of having an SPF of 30. My thighs still have a bit of bruising and there is still some sore spots but over all I'm pretty good. So without further delay here are some pictures of my tortured body.
Happy Memorial Day:remember our heroes
Hi everyone. Lately I have been getting questions regarding little things such as what kind of neck pillow is best following surgery or what's the best way to ice your face ........let me start with the pillow. I wasn't sure which one would work best for me so I bought them all! Meaning I got different materials to find the most comfortable. I got high profile memory foam, regular memory foam, fiberfill stuffing and Styrofoam beads. All were horseshoe shaped. The one I used exclusively was the one with the beads. It conformed to my neck and was the most comfortable to me. It had a snap to close the loop so it stayed around my neck. It was convenient on the plane and just snapped onto my carry on bag strap. It only cost $7.99 so after using it every night while in Costa Rica. ..it can only be spot cleaned according to the label, I tossed it out when I got home. Another pillow I discovered that is really good once you get home is a Side Sleeper Pro. It's kind of comma shaped so it hugs your head in any position and also is stuffed with styro beads but the cool thing is its got a round depression in it for your ear when you're on your side. This is so handy when your ears are still so sore after facelift. You just kinda nestle your head so your ear is over this depression and voila! NO pressure on the ear! Yay!
Immediately following blepharoplasties cold compresses of iced chamomile tea really helped with swelling. Just brew your tea, put ice cubes in and use gauze dressing soaked in cold tea on your eyes. You can cool the compresses off anytime by putting it back in the cold tea. One gal here had a reaction to chamomile tea so found ice water worked for her. Be sure when you put ice on your swollen areas it is wrapped in a towel or something similar as you may have numb areas and you don't want to injure the skin with ice directly on the skin. I was very lucky I didn't have very much swelling at all. So I didn't need to ice for too long.
You gals getting ready to travel to Costa Rica for surgery really should download a Spanish translator app on your phone.
The first few days after eye surgery you can't see very much as you may have ointment in your eyes or the swelling may just make it difficult to see clearly but it's very important for you to be able to communicate with your caregivers if they don't speak English or you don't speak Spanish. I did find though that there is definately a universal language...although limited, you can make your needs known.
For the past two days I have been getting back into walking. I've been pretty idle throughout this healing process. I have gone back on my bio-identical hormones and have finally stopped wearing the dreaded post surgical stockings. Dr. Arguello is very cautious you prevent blood clots so he has you wear them for 4 weeks. The hormones for me are a lifesaver and make me feel human but they do cause some fluid retention...I'm hating that part because I just had all this stubborn fat sucked out of me and don't want it to look like I'm putting on weight again. Anyone else have issues with weight/fluid gain with BHRT ?
The areas I had lipo'd still hurt and get real tight and pull if I lie down or am not moving around. It feels like, I imagine what an anaconda's squeeze would feel like. Not pleasant. To be totally honest the absolute most painful thing of everything I went through is the excised stretch marks. Those things hurt all the time. The sutures are disolvable and the incisions are closed up well but the pain remains. Of course my compression garment probably is the true culprit here as it is really tight and puts pressure on them. Oh that's another thing...after lipo wear your faja or compression garment or similar for as long as you can stand it. The longer the better. Especially if you are post menopausal. Our skin elasticity is pretty much shot so if you want to give your skin the best chance to recover a reasonable conformity to the underlying muscles you must squeeze it into submission ! I had previously had lipo to my outer thighs and stopped wearing compression after about 3 weeks and ended up with a very bumpy look. 2-4 months would probably be good. I know the hot summer months are almost here so that makes it especially difficult to keep that hot stuff on your body but consider all the money you spent to be sucked and vacuumed. You want the best possible outcome, right?
Dr. Arguello again checked in with me today to see how I'm doing. That man is amazing!
These are some more pics of other parts of body
I took a ton of pics during my process so just wanted to share some of my body. I'm really swollen....
May 31, 2016..........
Well today was quite interesting. I saw a women who is easily 15 years younger than me. She hadn't seen me in about two months. She kept telling me how good I looked and wanted to know how much weight I've lost. she just stared at me in astonishment. She thought I've been on vacation so thought that was the reason for the improvement. Then I went and got a mani/pedi. The girl doing the job was new so has never seen me before. As we were talking she asked if I had kids. I told her three sons...she asked their ages....gulp! When I told her mid forties she looked at me totally baffled and said she had been trying to guess my age and had concluded I was 40 or maybe 42. Another total disbeliever....boy this feels good. What an ego boost. I find it so hard to believe the truthfulness in their comments as I've never thought of myself in that way before.
Since I've been home I've tried to walk for exercise and eat as healthily as I did in Costa Rica. I have done really well everyday but today I just couldn't stand it so went to our local favorite Mexican restaurant for " Taco Tuesday". Chips and salsa, 2 chicken tacos and the best margarita ever! I have not had any alcohol since returning. I walked to the restaurant..about a mile each way so I hope I made up for the high fat, salty goodness of the meal. Tomorrow I'll probably be blown up like a balloon. So now I need to make a conscious effort to drink lots of water...and I'll probably be up all night peeing, lol.
June 1, 2016...already
Where has the time gone? Wasn't it Christmas last week?
Well today marks 5 weeks for my lipo, breast implant revision and upper and lower blepharoplasties. The face and neck lift will be 5 weeks on Saturday. At first I didn't think my surgery dates would ever arrive, now they're in the past...just lamenting. Everything continues to heal and progress. The lipo areas still pull and get stiff when I'm idle. The facelift scars are looking really good. The right side more than the left. My jawline is nice and sharp and the neck continues to be a neck! Gotcha! Just wanted to see If you were paying attention! The neck looks far better than it did although it will never be perfect. I knew that going in. There is still quite a bit of numbness on my neck and around my ears. The ear incisions still hurt if I touch them or sleep goofy but I'm still trying to sleep on my back as much as I can. Another dissolvable suture came out today from behind my ear. I think I only have one left that is partially poking out in front of my left ear. It feels like a tiny piece of fishing line poking out but it's too short to cut off. Dr. Arguello said to leave it alone and it will fall out on its own. My breasts are, I think, at their final destination...meaning the swelling is gone and they've "fluffed" as much as they are going to. Their shape is less bulbous than the old implants and have a pleasant slope. The nipples are finally pointing in a decent direction and not at the floor anymore. They are nice and soft and feel so natural. There is a very slight rippling if I move a certain way but my breasts were essentially "gutted" with the capsulectomies. I had little to no breast tissue to start with so now there is just skin and a bit of fat covering the implants. My nipples are so sensitive! And my breasts are warm all the time....before the skin always felt cold, even in the summer. And when I say cold, I mean dead cold. Like when you get cold and clammy without the clammy. After my first implants I lost some nipple sensation but now they are crazy sensitive! I love it!
I continue to wear compression although I find body shapers to be more comfortable than the faja during the day. Plus they don't show thru clothes like the thick compression garment does.
I am still contending with the blues as I am missing my newfound Costa Rican friends, including my doctors and am really tired of the healing process. I'm not complaining, just stating a fact. Dr. Arguello continues to check on my progress daily. I can't believe how attentive he is to his patients.
Week five post op
Well, I think I've finally gotten to the point where I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Today all the places that have been so sore finally are not so sore. My outer corners of my eyes on the incisions hurts a little and there are still bumps along the incision line. I'm massaging them several times a day and putting steri strips on them per another RS gals recommendation, but everything else is doing well. My tummy is still very hard under the skin...even though I would like to chalk it up to really tight firm muscles, I know it is still swelling that gives that firmness. At some point it will be gone, but I'd love to keep it. The doctor said I will continue to get smaller over the next 4 months. I guess that's how long it takes for all of the lipo swelling to dissipate. My breasts still feel kinda odd. When I squeeze them there is a weird crunchiness to them. Apparently there is still some fluid inside the pocket. That will resolve on its own. My nipples are so sensitive. A sensation I haven't had in a very long time. I've always had very flat nipples so I wanted them to protrude more. The doctor injected them with Juvederm to plump them up a bit so now they stick out more. I'm sure that's what made them so sensitive. At first they really hurt from the injections but after 2 days that went away and now I'm left with very pleasant sensations! There is still pain in the under boob incision especially the one that split open but it only hurts if I touch it or my bra rubs it. I'm putting silicone tape on it to lessen scar formation.
The face lift incisions look really good. On the right ..barely visible. On the left there is a small area of redness that needs to fade. I'm using a combo of scar treatments on them so hopefully something will give a dramatic improvement in the redness. I'm using a concoction of Bio Oil, Vit. E oil, and aloe vera gel at night. During the day, Vit. E oil with Biocorneum scar therapy with SPF 30. I also use regular Neutrgena sunblock lightweight lotion for faces with an SPF of 70. And a hat if I'm walking or otherwise out in the sun. I hate wearing a hat as it ruins the hairdo but wrinkles are far worse than a bad hair day!
Let's see. What else? I'm still wearing compression. I wear the post op garment at night now and a long (to the knees) body shaper for day. I've got many different ones, some with more compression than others. I try to keep the tighter ones on, but sometimes they are so uncomfortable I can't stand it and I put a looser one on for awhile.
I have more energy and have been walking more. It's funny how the improvement in everything just seemed to happen overnight. One day I was still feeling a lot of post op discomfort and the next, not much at all. Tomorrow I'll probably feel like s**t again, lol. I've heard many gals say it's up and down that way for awhile. Sigh!
The very latest
Well today I woke up and took off my faja to take a shower and my abdomen where my stretch marks were excised on the left side was broken out in an itchy rash. The right side was fine.....don't know what that's all about. I'm putting a steroid cream on it and it's already going away. The marks are very red and I know it will take time for them to heal and fade.
I'm still plagued by swelling off and on in the lower back and I think I may purchase a compression pad that goes under my faja that is specifically for low back lipo to help mold and smooth that area during healing. It still gets sore and stiff when I lie down on my back or sit for too long. The face is healing very well but I still have one small area in front of my left ear where there is a little hole caused by an absorbable suture trying to work it's way out. The tail of the suture is just below the surface and is too short to grab with tweezers and pull out ( I tried) But just long enough that it feels like a sharp bristle. . Dr. Arguello assures me it will dissolve soon. Every day there is something new going on.......what a strange process. I feel like I'm the only one going thru this but I know I'm not! Welcome to post surgical adventures 101.
Hitting the 6 week mark
Can you believe it's 6 weeks post op already? Seems like yesterday I was planning my trip to Costa Rica and was thinking it was never going to get here. Now it's over and done. Wow just unbelievable.
Well my latest update is going to be rather boring I'm afraid. Nothing earth shattering to report...yay! That is a good thing I think. My face continues to heal. The incisions look really good but continue to itch. My eye incisions are still bumpy and a bit puckery but I'm continuing my massages to resolve that. My lipo areas still hurt at times but I'm still wearing my compression so that may be contributing to the soreness as it squeezes me to death....well almost...I'm being dramatic...indulge me, lol. I bought a new faja that is a bit less in the compression department so I'll see if that one is a bit more comfortable. I ordered it online and it won't arrive until next week. I also ordered some Costa Rican coffee in the K cups as I have a Kuerig coffee maker. That coffee is just sooooo good.
My breasts don't hurt anymore except for the incisions..they are tender to the touch. The neck is odd. It feels like it's really tight but the skin isn't tight...it must be swelling under the surface. I did wake up this morning with swelling on my cheeks in front of my ears. Maybe too much salt intake although I never add salt to my food .
I'm walking 2 miles a day to help with my quest to lose a few more pounds....Dr. Arguello sucked 3.2 liters of "good quality fat" from my body so now I have to maintain that loss. Just cuz the fat cells were removed doesn't mean the remaining fat cells can't enlarge and compensate for what was taken..,...damn fat cells! Too smart for their own good.
Dr. Arguello contacted me again today and just wants a detailed report on my healing..even insignificant things he's interested in. That man is amazing. So that is pretty much it for now. " Just another manic Monday"...oh wait it's Thursday...see I told you time flies!
Another week is passing me by!
15 Jun 2016
2 months post
Well tomorrow I will be at the 7 week post op mark for my first surgery. I had facelift, necklift, upper and lower blepharoplasties, breast implant revision with capsulectomies, stretch mark excisions, lipo of abdomen, flanks, lower back and inner and out thighs, chemical peel and Juvederm....wow try saying all of that three times really fast!
Let me start from the top and work my way down. My eyes: ....well the scars are still pretty prominent and are bumpy and red. Dr. Arguello, who still contacts me almost daily advised me to massage them in a circular motion several times a day. I'm using organic coconut oil in addition to vitamin E oil and silicone scar gel. At night I put a tiny piece of Mepitac scar tape on the incisions. There is still a tiny bit of pain when I massage the outer corners of the eyes.
The face: it isn't as tight feeling as it has been. The swelling is mostly gone but sometimes creeps in if I've had alcohol or too much salt. The incisions look wonderful. All those annoying absorbable sutures have finally gone away so no more concerns with those. The incisions behind my ears and into the hairline is still quite red but I'm putting Biocorneum Scar Supervision gel on them twice a day. The area immediately in front of my ears for about two inches is very numb but the feeling is starting to come back on my cheeks. My ears feel absolutely normal with no numbness whatsoever. Behind the ears and straight down the lateral neck is also numb but the sensation is not as "dead" as it was. I can feel pressure and more sensation returning every day. My neck still feels like it's very tight underneath the skin but externally it isn't. It looks pretty good with most of the sagging gone. There are still the horizontal neck rings and even with the 35%TCA peel, I don't think they are improved. Dr. Arguello was upfront about them and said to his knowledge the only way to make a difference in those is a series of chemical peels..I'm just not up for that just yet...this healing process is grueling and I don't want to deliberately prolong this agony.....so I'll wait for awhile before I think about another procedure.
Now for the breasts: well I had that problem when I first got home where an area of the incision opened up. I was afraid it would get infected but that never happened. I followed the doctors instructions in caring for the wound and it cleared up. Because my old implants were so old and there was such a thick capsular contracture, he pretty much "gutted" my breasts. I had very little breast tissue to begin with and he wasn't able to put the new implants under the muscle due to atrophy so there is just skin and a little fat covering the implants. I went with 340cc Natrelle high profile, textured round implants. After all the swelling subsided they are much smaller than my old breasts even though the new implants are bigger in volume. Go figure.....do I detect a bit of "boob greed.?" Yes indeed!!!!! When you get use to a certain size then suddenly they are different there is certainly an adjustment period . My old bras still fit but no longer with the " cup runneth over" look. I no longer have cleavage or upper pole fullness unless I wrestle them into a push-up bra. But I have to say, they are not small...a C cup and look very natural except for some slight rippling when I move a certain way. My nipples are still very sensitive and there is no numbness on my breasts.
The stretch marks: this I think was probably an unusual surgery. Doctors typically don't remove them in the manner mine were. I was very bothered by their size and because of their location they couldn't be addressed with a tummy tuck. Remember I had a tummy tuck 3 years ago and these were not addressed during that surgery. I was very disappointed and decided this time I would do all I could to get those things removed. Dr. Arguello looked at them carefully and came up with a plan just to excise each one individually. I would be left with a single thin scar line instead of these deep ugly cravasses I had before. They are still very pink/ purple in color but I can see when that fades they will look great.
The liposuction: Dr. Arguello used tumescent lipo and was very surprised he was able to suck so much "good quality fat" from me. 3.2 liters to be exact. He did my abdomen from pubic area to ribs, flanks, lower back around the top of my butt cheeks and inner and outer thighs. He sculpted everything in such a way that it gives the impression I had a Brazilian Butt Lift. I didn't and I really like the shape of my butt. He took a small amount of fat from the lipo and transferred it to my face although at this point I'm not sure where as I don't really see it. The chemical peel was done 4 days before I went home and can't really see any difference except my skin is smooth and soft and much more hydrated.
So that's my story and I'm sticking to it!!!!! Happy healing to those going thru this process and happy planning to those thinking about making a change. It is truly a great ride!
A step backward
15 Jun 2016
2 months post
Today I woke up in pain. My lipo area was really tight and swollen especially my low back and under my breasts on my lower rib cage. I wore a new compression garment to bed last night and I think it may have been too tight or something, although it felt comfortable enough when I went to bed. Also all day I kept getting "zinger" pains. In my breasts, around my ears and cheeks and in several lipo areas. I guess it must be just nerves regenerating or either that or those pesky little aliens Dr. Arguello implanted inside me when he did surgery, lol. He texted me again today with his usual cheerleader routine, " just be patient my dear, everything is normal" it's good to hear that, as you always feel like you're the only one going thru these weird feelings and sensations. I guess he's seen and heard it all. He's so understanding and is such an inspiration. And he always has me laughing!
Happy summer...it's official. June 21, 2016. 8 weeks post op
21 Jun 2016
2 months post
Well I haven't posted for a week but there wasn't much to report. I'm still healing and some days it certainly feels like this process is never going to stop. I would think by now I would be all healed up but Noooooo! Still lots of things happening. My biggest concern right now is my eyelid incisions. They are very prominent and bumpy. I've been advised to massage them several times a day and I have been but they seem to be getting worse. I don't know at what point the scars mature to what they ultimately will be. I'm hoping they still have lots of maturing to do....that's the only thing on my body I want "matured". I have been using organic coconut oil with vitamin E oil and I discovered a little trick. Because big ole fingers don't do a great job of massaging eyelids I needed to discover something smaller to get the incisions massaged. Well guess what? I had something all along. The rounded blunt end of an eyeshadow brush. I can dip it in the oil and smooth it gently back and forth over the incisions. I don't yet know if it is doing any good as I just discovered the brush last night so haven't used it that much yet. I've spoken to Dr. Arguello about the incisions and he said in some cases a shot of steroids into the incision may be needed to soften the scar. No shots near my eyes! Not while I'm conscious!!!! That sounds horrible. I'm just hoping the massaging does the trick.
Today I woke up a bit swollen and really haven't had too much since my surgery. I couldn't figure it out and then it dawned on me I ate salted corn chips on Fathers Day. Way too many of them!!!! So salt is definately my nemesis. And I'm not drinking nearly enough water to combat the salt intake....
I'm still numb on the sides of my face and neck but everyday it seems a bit better. Maybe it's just wishful thinking but I want as much of it to go away as possible. I'm lucky, I think that my ears aren't numb at all. This morning I woke up with a tiny sore area behind my right ear. I think another one of those dissolvable sutures is just below the surface and is trying to come out. My incisions in front of my ears look really good, barely visible.
My breasts are looking good, very soft, yay! They are not as big as before the revision but they still look like I have boobies! The incisions that are taking the longest to heal are those excised stretch marks. There are still a few places that haven't completely healed yet and they are bright red in color. They itch and hurt when touched but as long as the scars are not raised, when healed they will just look like lines. I can live with that! My back lipo area still gets tender to the touch at times and when I move certain ways pulls tight like its ripping under the skin. I just have to adjust my movements then it stops.
And then let's talk about "ZINGERS". These are the sharp, quick nerve pains that come and go in all areas of my body that had surgery. It is sometimes alarming as they happen suddenly and feel like electric shocks. Let's face it any kind of surgery does trauma no matter the technique of the doctor. And the body goes thru a hell of a lot to repair that trauma. Nerves regenerating is just one of those healing processes that can hurt when it's happening.
Dr. Arguello still contacts me all the time and is very attentive wanting to know every detail of my healing process. He is such a wonderful man and so caring. I could not have picked a better plastic surgeon. Dr. Arce also contacts me just to see how I am. I'm so lucky to have found them!
Happy Friday everyone
24 Jun 2016
2 months post
Well the milia on my eyelids are getting more prominent. I'm not sure if I should wait awhile to have them removed or take care of it sooner rather than later. What about Retin-A or similar exfoliating to get them to come to the surface? Thanks to those RS gals who posted to me about them being milia. I never would have thought that...one thing is clear...they don't go away on their own and IT HURTS LIKE HELL to have them removed! Oh dear..don't know what to do.....what do you think ladies? Any suggestions would be appreciated. I'm also posting some new pics.
Another week. July 2, 2016- 9 weeks post
Well we're into July already. My healing, I think, has leveled off and there is really not much new to report. My ear incisions are looking really good but there is a small area that still itches and is bothersome. The feeling is coming back in front of my ears and on my lateral neck. Now when I scratch it I can actually feel it. It's not back to normal but I think , with time I will regain almost normal sensation. I'm still swelling a little bit, most of the time there is none, then I'll wake up in the morning and i will be a little puffy. I think my water consumption is the biggest culprit...lack of it! I try so hard to drink more but I find the day has gone by with little of the precious elixir consumed. Then I guzzle it down late in the evening just to make my quota! Guess what comes next? You guessed it......peeing all night.......I usually don't get thirsty during the day so that's where my problem lies.
My results are good but it's funny how one day I feel like there is a dramatic difference and the next not so much. My results are very subtle and I don't think anyone who knows me could guess what I've done. That's the sign of good work. Refreshed without looking "done". Dr. Arguello is a true artist and I'm so grateful I found him. We still talk frequently and he is so patient with me regarding any concerns I have. He keeps saying "be patient" . I'm still early in my recovery and a lot of changes occur in the first 9 months to a year.
The milia on my eyelid incisions are getting more pronounced and are quite common, I've read. Sometimes they do resolve on their own but most of the time they have to be forcefully evicted from their resting places. That entails poking a hole in the skin to gain access and removing them. Just the thought of it hurts. I actually tried to see if I could remove them myself but can't see well enough up close with one eye closed. My depth perception is off so I'm not even gonna try to mess with them. What I am doing is putting a glycolic/ salicylic acid on them. I'm hoping the exfoliating power will wipe the little buggers out. I just have to be careful using a product like that near my eyes. I'll give it a while to work and if there is even a hint of eye irritation I'll discontinue it. If all else fails I'll seek a dermatologist to remove them.
My boobs are doing good, no hint of capsular contracture. They are still very soft and I think at their final fluff.
My stretch mark incisions are purplish red but starting to fade. I've been using MedermaPM intensive overnight scar cream. Don't know if it's making a difference but I hope it is. Finally the lipo areas. Believe it or not the low back area still hurts a bit and really pulls and stretches when I bend forward. I'm still wearing compression although I must confess I've skipped a few nights as it's just too damned hot!
The greatest pleasure I think in all of this is I wake up in the morning with no awful eye bags that always made me look tired. My jawline is defined and even though the neck isn't perfect, even the bottom near my clavicles is tighter. I'm so glad I did this! It's been a crazy roller coaster ride for sure.
Happy 4th of July
Here are some new pics. The blotchiness on the side of my face has been there since surgery. It is residual bruising but is going away. I'm using Vit C, niacinimide and sunscreen of course on it.
Ten weeks post op....wow!!
So..another week. This is just crazy. It is going so fast! Everything continues to heal...I swear I'm being patient! I am I am...I just want to be at my final results . I am so happy with everything so far except for those damned milia on my eyelids. Once they resolve, one way or another it will be great. My ear incisions are barely visible in front but still a bit red behind ears. The breasts are so soft and natural. The incisions are still a bit sore but mostly if I wear a bra with a band that rubs that spot. The stretch mark incisions are the reddest of everything. There is still some tenderness but not much.. I'm getting smaller and smaller in the lipo areas with my waist 26 1/2 inches. Yay!! The downside of that is most women's clothes that fit me in the hips gap so bad at the waist they about fall off. I know....tough problem to have! Hey I'm not complaining....I love it. Except for the fashion statement of wearing pants around your ass looks completely stupid on everyone and especially a 65 year old woman! So I have really large safety pins to tighten up the waistbands on some of my pants.
I am in contact with Dr. Arguello all the time, still! He is such a kind caring person and a remarkable surgeon. He far exceeded any expectations I had and I would love to do this journey all over again even though I'm about totally fed up with the healing process. So although that doesn't make much sense, if my memory was erased regarding the recovery process I would undergo surgery again just for the great experience I had during my stay in Costa Rica. Don't let anyone dissuade you if you're thinking of having Dr. Arguello do your surgery. He is wonderful and treats all his patients like family. He gives 100% to every surgery striving to do the absolute best he can with patient's safety his utmost concern.
Guess it's time for another update July 13, 2016...
14 Jul 2016
3 months post
Well...week 11 post op. Everything seems to be settling into place. The eyes have healed well but those milia are still giving me fits. More and more keep showing up. I got brave, sterilized a needle and attempted to relieve one from its resting place. I got a percentage of it out but I don't think the whole thing as it's still a bit raised but it hurt too much to continue digging. Besides its close to the outside corner of my eye and I had to close my eye to get to it. That makes my depth perception whacky so I finally gave up. As long as these little suckers keep forming I will wait to seek professional help with their removal. Might as well let them grow and get done growing before getting rid of them. I just hope it's not going to be an ongoing problem. I've been cleaning my lids and putting just the tiniest dab of Retin A on them with a Qtip at night. Right now the area is starting to get rough and peel so I'm hoping the milia peel themselves right out of there!!! I haven't had any dryness or other problems with my eyes except milia. My boobs are doing good. Still nice and soft. They look great in a push up bra! Even though they seemed a bit smaller than my first implants, these are high profile so they project more, which is very cool but the diameter is smaller so the cleavage has to be coaxed with a push up. That's ok as I don't want to be one of those matronly types with too big of breasts as I get older!
I'm still a bit hard under the skin in my lipo areas and there is still some numbness but it's not as pronounced so when I scratch it I can feel it. It's not back to normal yet but I'm still hoping it will get there!
The face lift/ neck lift areas are kind of funny from day to day. I thought all the swelling was gone but some days for no apparent reason it will be there. I notice it because the areas will be more numb. I've found that I really have to sleep on my back and slightly elevated for when I sleep on my side my face gets creases from my pillow and they don't go away for 24 hours! Then it looks like I have some kind of defect in my cheek contours. Not good! So the bottom line...until you are probably 6 months or more post op, sleep on your back...I know it's hard.....I hate it too. But I don't want my results to suffer because I'm not willing to make a few changes. My neck is not as tight as it was but I have pictures taken during my surgery that show Dr. Arguello removed 1 1/2 inches of skin from either side of my face and neck. That's 3 inches total so I was definately nipped and tucked. But my skin has already relaxed a bit. I guess that is common. Overall though my results are very good. I'm continuing a good skin care routine and will be doing some more chemical peels to smooth out the flaws even more. Maybe one day I'll reach 12 years old, lol!! I just don't want the mentality of a 12 year old.! Sorry kids.............
The stretch mark incisions continue to look horrible but only because they are still very red....once they fade I'm hoping they won't be very noticeable. It's better than the original stretch marks though. I continue to put Mederma PM on them and they are beginning to fade the tiniest bit. 3 more years and they will be non-existent! Yay! So that's my story and I'm sticking to it! I'm happy to answer anybody's questions about what I've experienced so far so fire away! This has certainly been the adventure!!!
Three month update.....July 27, 2016
27 Jul 2016
3 months post
I'm officially at the three month mark post op. Seems like only yesterday...well not really but it's one of those things in your life that goes quickly but drags on too, kind of like marriage...it's seems the time goes so fast, like you just got married yesterday but then you realize the kids are grown, the grandkids are getting there too and you realize it's been forever since you tied the knot!
I'm not sure how much healing I'm doing. Seems like my condition has not changed for months. I'm happy with my facelift. I'm not pulled or fake looking in any way. I just look refreshed and better! The neck is much improved although I would like all the wrinkles to be gone but that is just wishful thinking.
The blepharoplasties are healed but I'm still plagued by a few milia on the upper lids. I got brave (or stupid) and dug one of them out. I'm not sure if I got the whole thing out but it doesn't show so I guess I did. It hurt so bad to attack it that I'll leave the others alone. They seem sometimes like they are getting smaller but then they look bigger on other days...I don't know. It's a conspiracy to rattle me! The boobs are soft and feel very natural but have really shrunk in size and flatten out when I lie on my back and fall to my armpits. The lipo areas have a few contour irregularities but nothing horrendous. Just old fat and old skin acting old!
I'm still numb in places like in front of my ears and the lateral neck but most everything else is back to normal feeling. There are some places with residual tenderness like my low back and the incisions around my ears but nothing else hurts anymore.
I'm being vigilant with my skin care, using a 20% vitamin C serum with a 10% niacinamide and hyaluronic acid serum with a good antioxidant serum and .025% Retin-A at night. I use an SPF 70 sunscreen everyday after my serums. I also bought a chemical peel for home use consisting of 5 acids: glycolic acid, Trichloroacetic acid, mandelic acid, malic acid and citric acid. It comes in a jar with cotton pads moistened with the liquid peel acids. You leave it on one to two minutes then wash off with cold water. It makes my skin very soft and it peels very lightly about day three or four. It is safe to use every one to two weeks.
My stretch mark scars are still purplish and even though I'm using scar tape and Mederma PM they are not looking any better. I guess now I know why doctors don't like to remove them. The scars are worse than the stretch marks. I'm still hoping they fade or I can treat them with an IPL but I don't know if that would make a difference....do any of you RS friends happen to know? I just want them to fade into a white line and not the thick ripply looking things they are now. So that's about it. I will post some pics soon. Haven't taken any new ones in a while.
So just to recap: I'm good...healed pretty well, would do it again and I love my doctors. Want to go back to Costa Rica soon. Drs. Arguello and Arce still contact me for updates and just to say hello.....how cool is that?
Guilty as charged......about time, right? 6 month update
28 Oct 2016
6 months post
Hi all, well I don't know what I've been doing since my last update but it must have been really important to keep me away from RS..........not really. Truth be known, I have been too lazy to post and take new pics. But I promise to do better in the future!
Ok so what has been going on with me? Well I think my condition is permanent and stationary, lol. My healing has gone very well. Is everything absolutely perfect? Uhh, no but it's all very much improved and I have no complaints.
My blepharoplasties have healed well but I have a bit more visible scarring on my upper right eyelid . The left eyelid incision is pretty much completely invisible. I still have a few milia too. I've dug a couple out but got a few more....and that HURTS so I'm leaving them alone for now. I'm absolutely loving the improvement to my lower lids.....no eye bags, yay!
My facelift looks very good but my neck is not crazy tight anymore. That's what happens with worn leather, it stretches. You cut it off, it stretches again....that's just what it does! But it's a whole lot better than before surgery and that's what counts.
I have been using a skin care regime along with low percentage chemical peels that continue to improve the look of my skin.
My boobs are a bit of an issue...nothing done wrong, just my body not reacting normally to the implants so there may need to be some revision there.
All my lipo areas have smoothed out but I'm still struggling to keep my weight down. Following surgery, I lost 15 lbs and that was great. My waist was down to 26 inches! Yay! But alas...food is my downfall so I think I'm a bit more than that now.
You might all recall I had excision of multiple huge stretch marks on my flanks. Well those are fading but not like I'd hoped. The incisions are white but the skin around them has pinkish discoloration. The doctor assures me it's just gonna take time to fade. I've tried many different scar treatments and can't say any of them have been effective for fading the incisions but all my incisions are flat so that's a good thing. My ear incisions are nearly invisible...I really have to try to find them but in front of my ears and along the jawline and lateral neck still have diminished sensation. It's not numb like it was but not normal feeling either. And some days it's better than others so that's strange.
I continue to remain in contact with Drs Arguello and Arce. They still check up on me and I sincerely hope to go back to visit Costa Rica in the very near future. I'm still very happy with everything I had done and won't ever consider going to another plastic surgeon but Dr. Arguello. He treated me very well...much better than care I've gotten in the US and I've seen some very qualified and highly respected doctors here.
I have continued to stalk RS everyday..so I'm not out of the loop. I'm still following those who've gone before and after me. Some report good results, some are not happy but everyone has their expectations of what they expect of their outcomes....all I can say is try to be patient ( look who's talking). At first everything seems wrong. Then as everything heals and settles down, slowly you'll start seeing improvements. Ultimately I hope all of your healing achieves what you are hoping for. We can't always predict a final result no matter how perfect a procedure was performed initially.
7 month update
25 Nov 2016
7 months post
Well its nearly 7 months since my adenture in paradise...Costa Rica and Drs. Arguello and Arce.
I continue on my journey, still so pleased with my surgical results. People mistake me for 45 all the time and I'll be 66 in a few months...the time has flown by though...at this rate I'll be 80 next month. Haha. Everything has healed well. My facelift scars are barely noticable. I'm thrilled with my lower blephs as I no longer have eye bags and the skin is fairly smooth too. The upper eyelids are still plagued with milia and one incision shows a little more than the other but a recent visit to a California plastic surgeon for a consult for a gynecological issue in the future put my concerns to rest..he said what I have with the milia is very common and not an issue. He also said my incisions look great and I've had a wonderful result with all I had done in Costa Rica. When I told him what I paid he said just his fees would be at least 50% more without any aftercare or surgery fees. He was very impressed with Dr. Arguello's work. It's always nice to get another doctors opinion on the surgical skills of your doctor. He didn't have to tell me though, I already knew!
My boobs have gotten smaller as they've settled but so far no hint of capsular contracture. They are very soft and natural.
My biggest issue is keeping my weight down so the lipo areas stay nice. I love my butt. With lipo to my outer thighs and lower back I have a bootylicious backside. It's nice and round and my clothes look good. From behind I look 30. I'm glad I don't have that flat square butt women tend to develop at my age. Sorry if I offended anyone but you gals know what I'm talking about...after menopause your body just changes and not for the better without a bit of surgical intervention. It sucks but it's true. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.
Birthday wishes vs birthday reality
4 Mar 2017
11 months post
Well I have debated long and hard about this update ...whether I should or shouldn't "come clean" and have decided to tell all. This will be a shock to some of you but here goes.
After all my healing, getting 98% of the feeling back in all surgically altered parts of my body and being fortunate enough to meet Dr. Arguello in Los Angeles when he came to attend a Plastic Surgery Conference and show him my progress, a couple of things that I was not entirely satisfied with got discussed. Mainly my boobs. Even though my new implants were bigger than my previous ones, after complete settling and healing, they were very far apart and so small. He agreed that a revision would improve my appearance. The stipulation was I had to purchase the implants I wanted and he would " install" them for me. So that's what I did! I bought Natrelle Inspira 415 cc TRF (textured, round, full) implants. Let me tell you they aren't cheap! I also wanted those dreaded milia removed from my upper eyelids.
Soooo. I made arrangements to go back to Costa Rica. I did it on the cheap this time around. My airfare was paid for with air mileage points, I didn't stay at Verdeza this time to save money and stayed in a hotel suite. Luckily my friend, Laura Delaney wanted to go back for some skin rejuvenation so we met there and shared the room.
I arrived at the Juan Santamaria airport and got a free hotel shuttle to my hotel. That was the evening of January 31st, 2017. On Feb 1, I met with Drs. Arce and Arguello at their office. I took Uber....very easy and so quick and only cost $3.50. So much more economical than taxis. I can't tell you how wonderful it was to see them both again. After getting my medical clearances, my surgery was scheduled for 9 am on Feb 2. That day also happens to be my birthday! So not only did I travel to Costa Rica for the second time by myself, did not have any aftercare arrangements ( except for in case of emergency situations ) , I did this on my birthday too! What was I thinking? Well Dr. Arguello discussed what the plan was to be...he would do a couple of minor little tweaks on my eyelids to get rid of the milia AND another 35% TCA peel on my lower face and chest. The breast implants were higher in profile and wider in the base (12.75cm X 5.2 cm) than the previous implants. I would not stay at Clinica Unibe overnight but only for a couple of hours so saved a ton of money there.
So on Feb 2 I took Uber to Clinica Unibe at 7 am. One big change I noticed this time was the front admissions clerk spoke English and all the hospital paperwork and consent forms were in English as well....that was a minor victory. After admission, I met a hospital doctor for my admitting history and physical, then it was off to the preop area. The IV was started and prophylactic antibiotics given. Then of course the surgical stockings and the warm air blanket. My nurse was introduced to me and I was advised it was his birthday...when I told him it was my birthday too....well instant bonding!!!! He took very good care of me. Later the Anesthesiologist and Dr. Arguello came in to say hi and shortly thereafter I was wheeled into the OR. I leapt onto the surgery table and that's the last thing I remember until I woke up. IN PAIN! OMG...I hurt so bad. The boobs and the peel. I thought I was on fire! I was given a fentanyl patch and within a short time I was pretty pain free. The staff called Uber for me and I went back to my hotel. For the first 3 days the patch did its magic then after that I just took Aleve. So how did I fare? Well, Laura and I had a good time although we didn't feel up to doing much. Fortunately a buffet breakfast was included in the room rate, there was a supermarket close by where I stocked up of food items and there were about 10 restaurants within close walking distance so eating was not an issue. And I rested and slept a lot! Laura was only with me for 5 days and I stayed a total of 11 so I did spend an amount of time alone. When it was time to go home I again went thru the doctor withdrawals missing both of them. The weather was cold in CR...well cold by CR standards. Sweaters or light jackets. Rain and very windy. Downtown San Jose is NOT a pretty place, very old and run down, very poor, not like the touristy areas with jungles and birds and volcanoes and waterfalls, etc.
So I got home safely but have to say I'm not healing as well as my first time around. The peel was very deep and still hurts a lot. It is red and rough. The boobs also hurt but look a lot better. The eyes are good but still have healing to do before the redness and swelling is gone.
So that's my story and I'm sticking to it.! I decided I would not place blame on Dr. Arguello for anything I was not happy with without giving him a chance to correct or improve what was wrong. He exceeded my expectations... so he will do revisions, unlike what some former patients of his think. He can't fix what he doesn't know or see even tho it is a pain in the ass to have to go all the way back to CR. That's just part of the deal when you decide to travel out of the country for plastic surgery. I was very lucky to have a great outcome on my facelift and my body certainly doesn't have the shape of a 66 year old, but it's not perfect and never will be. I've done what I can and will continue to maintain what I so painfully altered to make better. Crazy? Probably a little bit but no aging gracefully if I can help it! To those who may wonder....no more plastic surgery for me. I'm done. This healing process sucks, I'm tired of the pain and I'm not going to turn into a PS junkie who doesn't look normal or natural anymore. I look great now and will try to keep that as long as I can.
Time for more " what the hell was I thinking"
12 Mar 2017
11 months post
Well today is 5 and a half weeks following adventure #2 in Costa Rica and I just had a feeling at some point my luck would run out. My chest post 35%TCA peel is almost as painful as in the beginning. I don't know what's going on but I went to a dermatologist who put me on a steroid cream...so far it's doing NOTHING to alleviate the redness and hypertrophic scars forming at the anterior base of my neck. She is very concerned I might form a keloid. I'm also on an antibiotic cream for a couple of open wounds and silver sulfadiazine cream (burn therapy). I am keeping the area very moist with Aquaphor ointment but it's just not improving. The area feels like it's being scraped with a wire brush anytime anything touches it......imagine continuing dermabrasion.....24/7. I think what may have happened was some areas absorbed the TCA to a deeper level. I've read that TCA can sometimes be unpredictable.
I have been in contact with Dr. Arguello who is giving great advice but of course unable to provide treatment because I'm too far away! He did offer though. I will be seeing the derm again in 2 weeks. If it's no better she may opt for steroid injections. Yuck, yuck and more yuck! Not in the true yuck sense of being grossed out but in the sense I'm a chicken s**t when it comes to pain so submitting to that when my pain level is already mostly off the charts is not something I'm relishing. But...I've spent too much time and money on "improvements" not to follow through with whatever I need so I don't scar.
I do have a bit of advice to those who might be considering revisions...make sure you give enough time from initial surgery to revision. Things constantly change that first year post and to go back in and be cut on again has other consequences you may not have bargained for. For instance...I had a couple of small tweaks on my eyelids and some scar revisions. Because I'm not healing very fast this time those areas hurt more and the numbness that had almost entirely resolved is now much more pronounced. I'm hoping its swelling in my lower face, neck and chest although it really doesn't look swollen. I know I'm still early on in my recovery but I'm not any more patient this time around than I was the first time! It's so easy at first to think everything is wrong but trust me when I say... so much of your concerns today will resolve tomorrow. Remember that your skin is dynamic. It moves and stretches and is constantly being subjected to the forces of gravity...from what I can tell there's no way to mitigate that one permanently. We just take care of the sags and bags temporarily until we're too old to see them any longer! Gee aren't I just a fountain of optimism? That's what happens when you have too much pain for too long.
On a happier note....my neck and lower face are very tight and the skin is silky smooth. The skin is even toned although still a bit pink. I'll post some pics soon.