60th Birthday Present to Myself - Saint Louis, MO

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I have great skin, but the saggy face was the only...

I have great skin, but the saggy face was the only thing about me that wasn't going to get any better. I am eager for a change. I'm the first in my circle to do this; my female friends are all buzzing.

I'm doing this because my face looks sad and grim when I am not. I had lipo on my potbelly in 2014. Best money I ever spent. This MACS is going to be great.

Here's a before photo, taken Dec. 1.

It seemed to happen so suddenly -- like, this year. I stopped wanting to go out. I don't want to see with my colleagues of 25 years. "How old she's gotten."

Another "before." It is soooo much the jawline.

I had felt nervous at first but after lots of research and picking the best surgeon (who went to school where I did) I can't wait. Money and ride all lined up as if it were meant to be. He mentioned eye work and I know I could use it, but I normally wear glasses with bright color frames, trying to distract eyes from the rest of my face. Those days of neck scarves up over my chin and turtlenecks will soon be over. The jawline is my main concern.

Before: 101 Ways to Distract from My Lower Face

Large glasses with bright-pink inner rims, highlighted choppy-cut hair, eyeshadow in a distracting color, brow highlighter, dark-colored foundation on the turkey wattle, brightly colored clothing. Four earrings in each lobe (not visible here) and very often (not today) I wear big dangly ones. I never wore makeup except for lipstick until this year and watched YouTubes to learn how to put it on. Prefer surgery to wasting 20 minutes daily on makeup as camouflage. Looking for a pearl necklace like Barbara Bush's.

Nervous of course

I spent some time reading scare stories about post op pain and paralysis. Wish I hadn't wasted the time. You get what you focus on. Keeping my focus on the future.

It's Done

Two hour 45 minutes. I was sedated and numb but awake and listened during the whole process (cold cloth over my eyes to reduce swelling) and could feel my skin being pulled and stitched. It wasn't scary; it was interesting. Slight nausea afterward was probably from the painkiller or simply the one-time introduction of unusual drugs into my body. Got an anti nausea pill. Mouth was so numb a nurse showed me how to use a bent straw to get water...put the bent end far back in the mouth. Napped for two hrs and now ready for chicken soup. Over my head and under my chin is tied a double bag of ice the nurses gave me.

Relieved that it is over. No real pain yet. I feel sort of like I felt back in school gym class when a basketball hit me in the face.

Photo upload is not working on mobile. I'll have to get to the PC.

After 24 hours

Yes, it hurts, but my left eyelid isn't swollen nearly shut like it was yesterday. Slept in my patio chair nearly 12 hours with 2 one-hour wakeups. Still too sore to chew anything. Surprise: I went outside to use my phone (poor phone reception in this foothills area, always) and the cold air felt very good on my bandaged face.

After 48 hours

Another long sleep, 10 hrs with one wakeup. Face is less swollen and pain is less. It wasn't discomfort yesterday; it was pain! Last night I'd reached my tylenol limit so took the Nuprosyn or whatever it's called, the opiate. Nausea for two hours. I will never take it again.

My neighbor kindly came over today and waited while I showered for the first time in case I needed help. I felt so much better after. Then after a nap, for the first time I got hungry! Oatmeal with milk was no problem. I diced chicken and put watermelon in the blender. Still not so easy to chew.

I was reading that there's postsurgical centers where you can rest for a day. If I'd have known that it'd have been nice to be taken care of.

No matter what I do pix won't upload on mobile, so I'll get onto the PC maybe tomorrow.

Day 1: Just After Getting Home

Now I can sit at the PC and upload the photos! This was an hour after I got home when I had ice packs tied to my face as well as the post-surgical dressing.

Day 2: After 24 hours

It looks better. Between 24 and 48 hours is when it hurt the most and I iced and took the limit of Tylenol. The doctor called on his personal phone to answer my question about whether the opioid was still safe to take after that many Tylenol. Yes, it was. Slept as much as possible.

Day 3: After 72 hours

You deserve to see all the photos even if they are ugly. I want to be honest! You'll notice, from these photos taken in the pitiless light of day, that certain lines and sagging are gone. My left face is more swollen than my right; the postop documents tell me that's quite common. Bruises have begun fading.

I did not have my chin's fat pad suctioned. It was not part of the deal; MACS lift is not a neck lift, and I would have refused it if offered. Everyone has one of those fat pads.

I sleep in a sleeping bag in my patio chair (I don't have a recliner) fixed up with pillows. It's not good for my back, so I'm rearranging things.

Day 4: After 96 hours

Wish the swelling would go down. Doesn't look any better. Blood had collected beneath under the loose folds at the outside corners of my eyes and I rearranged my velcros so that skin is tighter and didn't fold over itself, and the redness is dissipating.

Slept 9 hours with no waking. Still can't chew anything like a vegetable. I tried, and it pulled my stitches and hurt.

Today I feel not blue but tired even this morning and uninterested in any reading or movies. My body is probably totally concentrating on healing. Facial skin feels too tender even for the special wash.

It's 0 degrees outside. I fed the birds and that felt like all the work I could do today.

Day 5: Brighter

Last night so swollen I thought my cheeks would split. I read that the fluid comes out through urine so I ate the diuretic foods on hand: canned pineapple, lemon juice in water. They seemed to work because today while I still have swelling it's not uncomfortable. I also put on the prescription moisturizer, but it turned my cheeks red so I will do my normal coconut oil.

Cheek surfaces that were completely numb now have sensation at the edges except near the ears: 100 percent numb there. That's a plus for tomorrow's front sutures removal.

After a lovely cup of coffee I am going to work for a while. I work at home but believe me, I do work, up to 14 hours a day. I feel with my improved face as if I can live my magical fifties over again!

Happy Winter Solstice tomorrow at 5:45 am CST! From now on the light increases!

Foods NOT to Eat Postsurgery

Nucynta is TOXIC with grapefruit. Nobody pointed this out. It was in the tiny label on the bottle, NOT ON THE DRUG SHEET AT ALL. Thank God I didn't eat a grapefruit. Can't have grapefruit more than 6 days before Nucynta.

Store-roasted chicken I was dicing and eating greatly worsened my swelling because it's loaded with salt, even with the skin off--it's Brined!

Just don't eat salt!

Day 6: Front Stitches Removed

Dr. and nurse said I am healing very, very well and the asymmetry is normal. Front-of-the-ear stitches removal relieved the "stretched" feeling. 7 days from now the stitches from my lobes up to the middle-back of the ears will be removed.

You Wanted to See My Stitches?

Here they are, just before today's removal. Up the back of my ear there are more to be removed in 7 days.

Lest We Forget: One Last "Before" Photo

My neck on Nov. 18, less than a month ago. This photo was the one that made me say "Enough" and start looking in earnest for plastic surgery. I will look at this whenever I feel like complaining about the swelling.

BTW, the swelling isn't less but now is evenly distributed on both sides, and the fluid appears to be traveling a bit downward, as it should, possibly because of a simple exercise suggested by the nurse. Turn head to the right and hold a few seconds; return to center. Repeat to the left. Repeat with head as far back as it can go. Repeat with head all the way forward. Do a couple of rounds of this every few hours. It feels as if this sort of unclogs the path down toward the lymph nodes and drainage. I'm all for that.

Day 8

Chewing and talking have helped the swelling and tightness. Bruising on face is now just yellow; neck bruises still there. Lunched out on seafood knowing restaurant food is full of salt. I also ate a sugary treat. What the heck, I was hungry. It was my first real full meal since the surgery. Social contact after so much isolation felt healthy. I also slept in my own bed last night, feeling heavenly, but forgot my neck strap.

Read all about the lymphatic system, which is responsible for swelling. It's amazing. The swelling is bringing healing. I won't complain.

Photos of my mother and sister who is 3 years younger show the same great (naturally oily) skin persisting into my mother's eighties, but lava-like neck and jaw sagging around age 54 or so. Genetics.

Day 9: Happy

Eager to show you the photos and encourage you. There are some bad MACS reviews on RS. Not everybody is a candidate. I went into the consultation not asking for any particular procedure and let the PS recommend what he thought was right for me. I feel fine. The more I chew, talk, and smile, the less the "pulling" sensation. Ask for a front-of-tragus incision. It's healing beautifully. Listen when people say the results of back-of-tragus incisions give away your secret facelift to anyone who knows enough to look there.

More Day 9 Photos

Photos will upload only one at a time!

Day 9: Do I look 60?

Wishing you holidays as happy as mine. Raiding my savings for this procedure was a good choice not only for my vanity and self-confidence, but I think a jowl-free face increases my job chances. Age discrimination is real and it is not illegal. Maybe they'll assign me the front counter at Mickey D's rather than keep me in the back sweating over vats of hot fat (smile).

The Knife: Why Worry?

So many women have all kinds of injections, treatments (including those that don't work), trying for a facelift look without 'going under the knife.' Friend with excess chin was going to havr that new laser-type thing (not resurfacing, but beneath the skin) because she wanted to avoid "cutting." I said, you will only be trading burning for cutting. Why not just cut and get it done the way you know will really work," no more expensive half-measures, experiments, and so on.

If you are afraid of the knife you simply haven't found the PS you can trust with the knife. A PS who is board certified! Experienced! Demand his or her picture book! Ask every question and what if! Nail down all aftercare visits! Do not go by price only! And look at him or her and the office, check out how they sell you on it.

When checking out surgeons I interviewed a grubby one, with terrible skin and five layers of serious jowl. His name tag pin had been taped over because he'd changed the name of his business and hadn't spent the few bucks to get a new name tag for himself. He had dandruff and his doctor coat was over-laundered and fraying.

He had the most marvelous, warmly welcoming saleslady who was the first person I met with, and she hadn't undergone any procedures. Said her husband was too jealous. If she had been the PS instead of the saleslady, I'd have signed right away!

Surgeons train for years with their "knife" and do this every day, and their patients are their walking testmonials who talk and post online, and in the same way I'm committed to being the best in my profession, they are committed. And very, very into the details, down to clean walls and carpets, and shoes in the office, not clogs.

I am so glad I chose this "knife" thing. Got it done. Once and it's over. Prefer it to needles in my face every couple of months hoping to avoid "the knife." It's not a steak knife! Ask to see it.

Almost Two Weeks After: Surprise! To the Optometrist ASAP!

Photos are sans makeup. My cheekbones are emerging as the swelling recedes. Discoloration is a non-issue. But when I took photos with my glasses on, gosh they looked bad on me compared to the pre-op photo that showed me wearing them. I didn't realize until now -- the surgery changed my face and these frames aren't right anymore! The old jowls had squared off my jawline so the rounded square frames with pink trim had been flattering and distracting. Now they look wrong. To the optometrist to select new frames as soon as swelling is gone. Computer glasses look a bit better, but they aren't my regular frames. It hadn't even occurred to me that I might want new specs.

Not only that, but probably new hair and makeup too. Hair appointment is January 14th; it had to be 4 weeks post-surgery to be safe.

Stitches in the backs of the ears will be removed tomorrow.

All Stitches Out

The reason the back stitches stay in for two weeks: keeping those edges held together tightly while healing leaves a thinner scar. PS showed me the clinical Before photos ... I hadn't seen them ... and they deeply shocked me and I'm happy with my choice and my investment. Hope he puts my before and after photos in his book.

Glad the stitches are out. They were reddening lately as my body tried to reject the black nylon thread embedded in it.

Day off from work spent tooling around, coffee with friend. She said nothing about my appearance. Still my face looks swollen and moony but others think it's just my face. Went to look for new, more brightly colored clothing. Hey everyone, you can look at me now, I'm not in despair about my face! The tragic expression that was my resting face is gone.

Should I dress for age 40 or age 60, I wondered while shopping. Anyone else ever encounter this question? Age 60 on Jan 25. Only lucky people get to be 60.

Ate a lot yesterday, esp protein (half a pound rare roast beef I craved). I'm sure the body needed it.

What People Say

Male friend (massage therapist/astrologer) said nothing. I finally said, How do you like my facelift? He did not believe me til he saw backs of my ears still with steri-strips on them.

Female friend, chiropractor, very healthy, organic, and religious. After about an hour of talk I said How do you like my facelift? She said, You had a facelift? Really? When? I told her and I said I wasn't ready to accept my sagging old face. She said, I never saw or thought your face or neck was sagging; I always saw your glasses. I showed her my before pictures and she said OMG, I never saw that. Then she asked How much?

Day 22 Photos

Here are "after" photos taken in the same place and lighting as some of the before photos for comparison. There's swelling still. I wonder if mine is particularly slow. I photographed under my chin and also in one photo reared my head back to show I can still create a chin if I do that, but why would I do that? Remember, MACS is not a necklift but rather a jawline/jowls thing. If in the future I want it suctioned I know who to call.

The aftercare instructions said hair might be "lifeless" after a facial procedure and that's true of mine. It did not explain why, but I'm guessing because of the trauma near the scalp or hairline.

Every day there's more sensation in my face and now little electrical-type prickling along my temples and cheekbones, and those are the nerves and blood vessels knitting themselves back together. This does not hurt.

Three Months and Three Weeks Out

Just an update. I am much more confident now. In some lights I can see that the skin has relaxed a bit, has flaws, a bit of this and that, so the big New York modeling agency probably won't discover me anytime soon, but. . .

Dr. Lund performed on me a MACS (lower facelift) in the in-office suite in 2 hours 45 minutes under local anesthesia. Met this man and saw his keenness, professionalism, and perfectionism (it takes one to know one). Kindly, solicitous, he answered all my questions, and phoned me about 8 hrs after surgery to ask how I was. He is super-skilled with any portion of the body. He radiates competence so I had no fear or doubts and my trust in him was greatly rewarded. Gratitude to his facility, staff and nurses too, for walking me through this event and for taking years off my 60-year-old face. I posted photos under MACS lift on this site. Go look!

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
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