43 Year Old Busy Mom Looking for a Refreshing Look

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I am scheduled for a SMAS (mini) facelift in two...

I am scheduled for a SMAS (mini) facelift in two days. I am a little nervous for the general anesthesia and the aftermath surgery pain. However, I am excited, too. My goal is to lift the lower and mid face. I am starting to look like my mother! I don't care about looking 25 again. I just want a refreshing look. I've tried more conservative ways, such as fillers, but they only do so much. My husband thinks I'm crazy for doing this, as he thinks I look just fine. I warned him 10 years ago I would do a facelift in my 40s!
I will post my progress.

One day post op

Surgery went well. I was the last surgery of the day, so I left with the employees. I haven't closed a place down since college!
The downside to being the last surgery is the wait...and wait...and wait some more. I also would have appreciated the good drug (Versed) sooner because I was a nervous wreck. They didn't give me the good stuff until I was literally wheeled into the operating room.
I was told I did very well in surgery. I did not wake up in pain. I was prescribed a steroid, antibiotic, and 325 mg hydrocodone. I also went home with a drain on each side and a super tight wrap. The pain didn't kick in until amout 6 pm and let me tell you, my drain pain pain is brutal. The pain pills didn't put a dent in the pain. I started with 1, then 2, then even went to 3 in the middle of the night and it still did not help. Needless to say, I didn't sleep at all. I am heading to the doctor now. Maybe she will have mercy on me and take these drains out!!

Day 2 post op

Thank you everyone for the well wishes! It has really kept up my spirits.
I had my one day post op visit with Dr Garrison yesterday. As I mentioned in my last post, my post op pain was quite significant and the pain pills were not helping at all. This bothered me because I normally have a pretty high pain tolerance (so I've been told on many occasions). I almost didn't even say anything to Dr Garrison because I didn't want to seem like a whiner. However, the pain was bad enough that I told the doctor and her staff. The whole staff was very sweet and took care of me right away. The nurse asked me a few questions about past medicine issues and we came to the conclusion that my body just doesn't respond to hydrocodone, which is terrible because that's one of the most common RXs to give for moderate pain. So, in the future, I have to ask for something different. Dr Garrison changed my med to an equivalent and ordered a shot, which included an anti nausea and a pain med to get my pain control back on a manageable level. The anti nausea part of it made me extremely drowsy, so my hubby drove me home and I went straight to bed. My pain level was bad enough that it took a few hours before I felt a little relief. I am extremely grateful to Dr Garrison and her staff for taking mercy on me yesterday. They called me today to check on me and make sure I'm more comfortable, which I am. The pain is still there, but it's more manageable. One thing I have learned during this process is everyone is different. I read tons of postings from women who had the same surgery and they had little to no pain, and based on my past high pain tolerance, I assumed I would be in the same boat. Obviously, I was mistaken!! So, don't assume anything until you're post op! I think my pain level is a bit higher than most because I've always been super sensitive behind my ears where the stitches are- not pain, just sensitive, like how you feel when you push on a bruise. That is just my theory.
As far as the brusing and swelling,I hardly have any brusing at all- just a tiny one on my right cheek. Swelling is down a little each day.

Day 3 post op- enter the "itching phase"

Two pieces of good news- I no longer have the jowls of my neighbor's bulldog, and the pain decreases each day. The bad news- the itching! Ohh, the relentless itching. Ice packs do help a bit. I also started taking an antihistamine. My skin is extremely sensitive, so it kicks into itchy overdrive when I have stitches and I usually break out into a rash. Yes- I'm that annoying person who has to purchase the make up for sensitive skin and/or items with no harsh chemicals. Using a regular bar of soap creates a major bumpy rash all over my body. Therefore, I expected a bit of discomfort with the stitches. Funny how you forget exactly how uncomfortable it is until you are actually in the "what was I thinking?!" moment. However, I know it's temporary and will have the stitches removed Monday. Hallelujah! I also read online about witchcycles- frozen witch hazel pads- that may help itching. I plan on trying that later. I'll keep you posted. For now, it's back to Netflix, rest and recovery.

The Post Op Stitch Itch

If the US military is looking for new torture ideas, I'm pretty sure the post op stitch itch is a good one.
Things I have found that help the itch- ice packs and witch cycles (frozen cotton balls dipped in witch hazel). Yes, you look pretty ridiculous with cotton balls rolling out of your ears, but it feels sooo good.
I'm on day 5 post op and have had my ups and downs- I'll feel really great for a few hours, then not so much later. I only slept about an hour last night because the left side behind my ear was pretty uncomfortable, even after taking my pain meds. I am a very impatient person, so waiting to feel better is not fun. I'm supposed to get my stitches out Monday, so I am hoping that will help (fingers crossed).

Aha moment

Yesterday, my left ear became extremely red and hard as a rock, plus I have a rash and severe pain down my neck. I asked my husband to look at it to see if my stitches looked weird. He immediately took a photo and told me to call the doctor. I spoke with the doctor in call (not the one who did my surgery) and explained my symptoms. I also told him I could send pics. After sending the pics, he said it definitely looks like an infection and placed me on another round of antibiotics. So, the mystery of why my pain hasn't gotten any better since my surgery has been solved (maybe). It's nice to know I'm not just being a wimp. I'm not sure how I got the infection- it could be a number of things. It seems like it started a few days ago. I go back to my doctor on Monday, so she may have more info for me. Moral of the story: if you are still having severe pain after a few days, not feeling progressively better each day, and/or have a lot of redness, swelling or rash around the stitches, please call your doctor! I knew today something wasn't right.

One week update

Went for my one week visit and had stitches around my ear taken out. I found out I do NOT have an infection after all. Dr Garrsion took one look at me and said I am allergic to the topical antibiotic. The huge rashes behind both ears (right side rash developed yesterday) were the tell-tell sign. She could see why the on call doc thought it was an infection, though, based on my symptoms and because my left ear was so swollen, you could have mistaken it for a football.
So, I'm off the topical antibiotic (gee- I was literally slathering it on about an hour ago) and back on an oral steroid. I'll continue the oral antibiotics as well.

What a difference a day makes! 10 days post op

I'm at day 10 post op and had the rest of my stitches removed. I stopped the antibiotic once I found out I was allergic and it made a HUGE difference! I feel much better- hardly any pain at all. I still have some itching as I heal, but overall I am close to 100 percent. Dr Garrsion was awesome throughout the entire process and I highly recommend her. She's very laid back, which is exactly what I need because I am pretty high strung.

Two month update

Swelling continued to decrease each week and I think I'm finally complete!
Springfield Plastic Surgeon

Dr Garrison has a good bedside manner. I chose her because I trust her work. She was honest with me from the beginning and said I don't need a full facelift. We specifically discussed the areas that bothered me on my lower face (i.e. jowls). She wasn't pushy at all. In fact, it took me over a year to decide I wanted to schedule my surgery. The office was flexible and willing to work around my schedule.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
4 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
4 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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