Well I had my pre-op apt with my plastic surgeon...
Well I had my pre-op apt with my plastic surgeon on Wednesday. I have to be honest I was starting to have second thoughts about spending so much money for vanity etc. But now that I have had my pre-op apt and paid for the surgery I am excited about going forward and looking forward to a positive outcome.
I had have always said I would get a facelift when I turned 60. When I would work overtime or holidays I would always say "I will put it in the facelift fund". After being diagnosed with thyroid cancer and having a thyroidectomy in November 2015 I lost 50 lbs. which really caused my face to sag and my turkey neck to stand out. I started getting consultation visits last fall a few months before my 60th birthday and decided on my surgeon but I changed jobs within my company and could not get 2 weeks off work due to training so I postponed it until this summer. I can't believe I am 2 1/2 weeks away from having my facelift with full face fat transfer finally!
I don't typically do blogs but I am so grateful for all the women who shared their journey on this blog and helped me to feel good about my decision. I learned so much about how to chose a doctor and what questions to ask not to mention how inspired I am about the before and after pictures, so I decided the least I can do is blog my journey to help someone that comes along afterward.
I had my significant other take pictures of me with my makeup on and my hair done for the before pictures and will use the same poses for the after pictures. On the internet I have seen a lot of before and after pictures but they really aren't fair since the before is without makeup and hair disheveled then the after pictures look like glamour shots. Lol! I want to have a better comparison. Ok, enough about me now I want to talk about my surgeon and how my pre-op apt went etc.
Her name is Dr. Jennifer Boll and her office is located in Tempe AZ. I have actually been buying my Obagi and ZO skin care from her office for a few years and also had facials done by her aestheticians. I had consulting apt with 2 other surgeons before seeing Dr. Boll. The first one was for a mini lift and I felt like I was in an infomercial. It was not very professional, I did not see a doctor I saw a sales person. I ran from there as fast as I could! The second apt was a prominent surgeon who only does faces. I knew someone that went to her and got good results 10 yrs ago but she was too clinical, kept emphasizing that you need to go to someone that only does faces and was pushing for me to have a chin implant done. The surgical suit is in her office which she said was accredited but I just didn't get a good feeling from her or her staff. I also didn't like the results I saw on the patients I saw while I was in the office. They looked very over done. So I went to Dr. Boll and when she came into the examining room she was warm and friendly and then she handed me a mirror and said "tell me what you don't like about your face"! I told her my turkey neck and explained about the 50 lb. weight loss, then the marionette lines, the jowls starting to form and the nasal folds. I also don't like the wrinkles on the side of my face when I smile. She then asked me about my eyes and I said I didn't think they looked bad but it might be a situation like when you remodel the kitchen now the living room looks bad. LOL! She told me that my eyes did not look bad and the lose skin on the bottom may be resolved with the fat transfer. She also said if I decide after the facelift heals that I want the eyes done (like maybe next year ) then we can consider that. I loved that she didn't push for an extra procedure, she wanted to address what I didn't like about my face and I had made my choice. Once I was in a position at work to get 2 weeks off I called the office and booked my surgery.
About the surgery. She has booked the OR for 6 hours, I understand there is prep work and bandaging afterward and that I most likely will not be under anesthesia that long but it kind of freaked me out. I have had 3 surgeries in my life but none that took that long. But Dr. Boll is board certified, did her residency at Mayo Clinic in MN, has hospital privileges at a very prominent hospital literally across the street from the surgical center, and the surgical center is licensed by the State of Arizona, credentialed by Medicare, and accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care since 1999. So I have full confidence in my surgeon and the surgical facility. It will be done under general anesthesia and the anesthesiologist will be by my side the entire time. I will also be monitored with state of the art equipment.
My pre-op instructions are: 2 weeks before surgery start taking 500mg Vitamin C twice a day (to promote healing), no crash diets, eat a healthy balanced diet with fruits vegetables and protein, stop using hydroquinone (skin bleach) and Retin A. 5 days before surgery start taking a stool softener and probiotic. The night before surgery shower with dial soap and wash my hair and nothing to eat or drink after midnight of course. The morning of the surgery shower with Dial soap again and wash my hair, no makeup, deodorant, lotions or hair styling products. Wear lose clothing with front button top nothing to pull over your head. I am planning to wear my baggy exercise pants with elastic waste and a blouse that has snaps in front rather than buttons with no underwear or bra and flip flops. I want to make it as easy to get dressed after surgery as possible.
Dr. Boll gave me Arnica Montana, there are 3 multi color capsules, 1 is taken 1 to 24 hours before surgery, another one is taken 3 to 6 hours after surgery and the third one is taken the evening of surgery. Then there are 9 more capsules all the same color and I am to take one in the morning, one in the afternoon and one in the evening for the 3 days after surgery. She also gave me antibiotics that I have to take 3 the evening of surgery and 3 the next morning. She said they put antibiotic in my IV during surgery so I will not need any after 24 hours. Of course she gave me Percoset in case I need them for pain and Zofran for Nausea in case I need that. So I am completed hooked up! :-)
I am planning to sleep in my electric recliner. I am a side sleeper and have back issues when I sleep on my back. I bought an airline neck pillow but Dr. Boll said she does not want me to use that. She said when you use them your head tends to tilt down and she wants my neck stretched back when I sleep. So I will use it when I travel then. :-) I will have a body pillow that I will lay on and pillows on each side of me on the recliner so I don't roll over in my sleep. It is a wide recliner and when I am watching TV at night, if I fall asleep I roll over on my side until my boyfriend wakes me up to go to bed. Dr. Boll said NO side sleeping at all. Since I want the best outcome and fastest recovery I am planning to follow her instructions to the tee.
Sorry this post is so long but when I read others posts sometimes it was lacking details and I had a lot of questions. I had a friend tell me one time that talking to me was like being interrogated by the police. lol I have always been inquisitive and like to fully understand things, especially when it involves me in an operating room for 6 hours. :-)
Only 5 more days!
I cannot believe it is only 5 days until my surgery. Tomorrow I start the probiotics and stool softeners. We are leaving early Saturday morning to go up north to go camping with friends and get out of the extreme heat. Sunday when we get back I will make cookies for work on Monday. I am working Monday and Tuesday then getting up early on Wednesday for surgery. I am totally ready for this and can't wait to be on the other side and healing.
Today is the last day with my old face
Tomorrow morning I will have my surgery and tomorrow afternoon I will start my recovery. I am surprisingly not nervous at all, just excited and anxious to get the surgery part over. My surgery is at 7:30 am and I have to be at the facility by 6:30 am. The surgery will be 5 to 6 hours and then 1 hour in recovery. I assume I will be out of it for the rest of the day after I get home.
I will post updates and pictures as I feel good enough to do so. Thanks to all of you for your support and sharing your stories and pictures to help me make this very crucial decision in my life.
On the other side now!
I had a hard time coming out of the anesthesia on Wednesday and was still groggy yesterday. I have been sleeping in my recliner and not really sleeping just nodding off. I don't have much of an appetite either. I did get the huge head wrap off yesterday afternoon but Dr. Boll decided to leave the drain in for another day and the compression bandage on my stomach. I will go back today to get the them both taken out. My stomach is tender from the liposuction.
I will post some pictures later today but I don't even look like myself. I am very swollen with a nice black eye on the left. Everything is swollen in spite of my icing 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off for the first 24 hours. I will ice some more today. Thank God that Dr. Boll and the OR nurse washed my hair after surgery so I don't have caked blood in my hair. I think I will feel better when I get the drain out and can take a shower.
I was hoping to not bruise so bad but I bled a lot. Before surgery the nurse told me that my 02 was low, they like it at 95 and mine was at 93. I asked what that meant and he said something about the hemoglobin and coagulation. Dr. Boll told me yesterday that I bleed every time she poked me with the fat transfer. Thank God for my BF, he has taken excellent care of me. I couldn't have managed without him.
Here I am day 3 post op
I feel so much better today. More alert and awake. Still eating soft food though and not much of an appetite. Dr. Boll kept my drain in a day longer so I got that out yesterday and my bandage off my stomach. I was able to take a shower which was good but didn't have to wash my hair since Dr. Boll and/or the OR nurse washed it for me after surgery. God bless them! :-)
I have to say I have had absolutely no pain at all. I haven't taken any pain pills. I do have soreness but no real pain. My ears were really sore after the compression wrap was worn for 1 full day but Dr. Boll took it off and put it on differently and now my ears don't hurt anymore. I think the nurse that put it on the first time had smashed my ears with it.
I have seen a huge difference in the swelling from Day 1 post op until Day 2 evening but I have to say I have been very diligent about icing and sleep sitting up in the recliner with just the feet up and the back reclined about 10 degree angle. I am continuing to bruise pretty badly. Dr. Boll said I bled a lot and day 1 told me that the bruising was going to get much worse. It has! It does concern me a little because I am afraid that I might still be pretty bruised when I return to work which will be awkward since I only told 1 person that I was having it done. I am eating pineapple and I finish my Arnica today so I hope I start seeing improvement tomorrow.
Will take some more pictures tonight and add them to the gallery. I must say when I take the compression bandage off I really like looking at that tight neck and jaw line. If that stays like it is I will be one happy lady.
So the day of surgery I was out of it and have vague recollection of leaving the surgery center or anything else that day. Thank God for BF who took care of me. He stripped my drain, emptied it logged the drainage. Helped me to the bathroom, got me up and walked every 2 hours etc. I had no appetite but ate soft foods to avoid nausea. I did have medicine for nausea but didn't want to use it.
Day 1 post op I was still dealing with effects of anesthesia, went to Dr. Boll and had the "Q Tip look" removed LOL. I did look like a giant Q tip and felt like a Panda Bear with such a big head. Dr. Boll decided to leave the drain in for an extra day and my face was really swollen.
Day 2 post op I had slept for 2 nights sitting up in recliner but woke up swollen at 3 AM, I used a kitchen timer and started with 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off icing for then next 7 hours. Then I went to get my drain out and the reduction in swelling was huge. This is the first day that I really saw my neck and jaw line. WOW! I was able to go home and take a shower and wash my hair.
Day 3 post op I had slept for 7 hours and woke up refreshed. I continued with the icing although I didn't have my swelling. However the bruising started to become extreme. All around my mouth, my neck and the corner of my left eye. Which started causing concern.
Day 4 post op, again I slept well, still sitting up only slightly reclined and again 7 hours continuous sleep. I believe that helps the body heal. This was the first day without Arnica so I wondered about the swelling. My lips were swollen when I woke up today so I iced them again but did not ice my face at all since there was no swelling. Dr. Boll told me that I bled a lot and I would bruise a lot because of it. I don't take blood thinners, aspirin, vitamin E, none of the things on the list so I was unsure of why I bled so much. The only thing that I eat regularly and have for a long time is Vietnamese Cinnamon on my oatmeal every morning. I researched this morning and sure enough it is a blood thinner. URGH!!! If I had just know that before surgery I would have stopped eating it.
Day 5 post op: Wake up to bruising being worse which now covered my lips and part of my left eyelid but no swelling at all. If I have to chose between bruising and swelling I would choose bruising since swelling stretches the skin. Again I slept well and have been eating healthy. Had a lot of energy yesterday, walked around the house more. Bruising seams to have stopped but has not started to diminish yet except under my left eye which was the first bruise that came out the day of surgery.
Today is Day 6 post op and I feel very normal today. Still eating healthy, walking around the house and resting. Bruising seems to have stabilized. I slept in recliner for 8 hours last night and woke up very refreshed. Will take my compression bandage off soon and take more pictures. I go back to work next Wednesday and hope the bruising is much better before then. I look like I went on a chocolate binge and smashed it all around my mouth. My neck did look a little better yesterday sow we will see what today brings. I have been eating cottage cheese and pineapple spears, will eat more fresh pineapple today and see if that helps with the extra Vitamin C.
I also drink Turmeric Tea which is an anti inflammatory and have been drinking that since Day 2 post op. When I can look past the bruising I am very pleased with the shape of my face. I will get a better idea once I can style my hair and see how it looks. I pull on my hair when I style it so I am going el natural for now. I get my stitches out tomorrow morning and will consult with Dr. Boll about when to start styling my hair again.
Day 5 post op pictures
Hope doctor has recommendation for bruising tomorrow. :-(
Day 6 Stitches out
Went to Dr. Boll's office to get my stitches out. She was in surgery so the nurse took them out, which I expected someone else would take them out. The nurse didn't like a little ridge on my neck from the compression bandage so she text a picture of my neck to Dr. Boll who responded by saying that the current bandage was fine. Multi tasking I love it! :-)
The stitch removal didn't hurt except it was a little tender behind the ears I didn't think they bothered me until they were gone and somehow I felt less pulling. The nurse said the incisions look really good and my BF did a good job caring for them. I was a little disappointed to find out I still need to use the Aquaphor since it makes such a mess of my hair but will continue to use it.
I could tell everyone was surprised at my bruising, I assume this is not the norm for Dr. Boll's patients. Not sure why I bled like I did but the fact is I did and now I have to deal with this excessive bruising. The nurse recommended Arnicare Gel so I got some today. It is a clear gel the active ingredient is Arnica Montana 1XHPUS-7%. The nurse said they use it in the office and it is really good. Fingers crossed I will see more improvement tomorrow morning.
I still need to be very careful with my incisions, can't pull on my hair so no styling yet. I go back to see Dr. Boll on Friday. If I still have bruising next Tuesday I will make a trip to Ulta beauty and get some camouflage foundation to wear to work. I don't wear foundation so if anyone thinks I look different I will use that as the reason. LOL!
Day 8 Post Op
Ok I am seeing SOME improvement on the bruises today. My BF says in real life the bruises around my mouth are 10 shades lighter than yesterday. I trust him since his is an artist and more sensitive to colors and hues. There are only a couple small black spots now where there were whole sections that were black. Baby steps I guess. Still hoping they are light enough to cover with makeup by Wednesday. Finger Crossed!
The big reveal today was my flat abdomen. The fat was pulled from my abdomen for the fat transfer. Dr. Boll had made mention before surgery that it will tighten up the area a bit. I was told to wear spanks once the bandaging came off on Friday so I have been wearing them 24/7 except when being washed and dried daily. Today I noticed the area is much flatter and the bruising is almost gone, which it was huge 2 days ago. Since I lost so much weight I believed that my stomach was lose skin and only a tummy tuck could have flattened anything, which is true for the upper part of my stomach area, but the abdomen is definitely flatter, as was confirmed by BF unsolicited. LOL! Thank you Dr. Boll for that unexpected surprise!
9 day post op follow up with Dr. Boll
I still have the bruising around my mouth but it is much lighter today. The neck is just yellow now with one spot that was the last bruise to come out on the right side but will be covered with my hair.
Saw Dr. Boll today, she is very pleased (as am I) with the progress I am making. She was impressed with the range of motion I have in my neck. She said the incisions look great. I asked if there was an alternative to the Aquaphor because it makes my hair look greasy so suggested a product that they sell and I purchased some. Its a silicone gel for scars that has SP30 in it. It actually seals the incision so I can then wear makeup over it and not be so nervous about getting hair products in it etc.
Dr. Boll said she could see the bruising was on the downside now but she doesn't think it will be gone by Wednesday. Hopefully it will be light enough to cover with makeup by then. She said I bled more than average and that is what caused the bruising. I told her about my cinnamon intake and she didn't seem to think that would have caused it then I told her that I also drink Tumeric tea and her eyebrows flew up. She said that really thins the blood. So we believe it was the combination of the two that caused the excessive bleeding.
Her and I both agreed that if you have to have either swelling or bruising, it is better to have bruising because it will heal with no lingering issues and you can cover it up. Swelling cannot be covered up and will stretch the skin. So I am grateful for all this bruising and minimal swelling.
She wants me to do some massage to smooth out the lumps and bumps, just a couple times a day. I can't see any lumps and bumps but she can so I will do it. :-) She said I only have to wear my compression garment at night now not during the day. YEAH! I feel so free! LOL!
I go back to see her on Monday. I am going to try sleeping reclined on an angle with a pillow propped behind me to give my body the feeling that I am laying on my side. Dr. Boll suggested it since I will not be able to sleep sitting up forever. If I have a lot of swelling in the morning then I will ice it and make adjustments.
All in all everything is healing quite nicely and I am happy to hear that. The neck bruising is light yellow now and I assume will be gone in a couple of days, the around the mouth is much lighter and getting better every day, the chest looks worse today than ever so hope it will be gone by Wednesday if not makeup will fix that or higher neckline shirts.
Day 12 Post op
I am seeing marked improvement in bruise dissipation, thankfully! I am sure that I will still need some cover up before going back to work on Wednesday but I am pleased at how quickly the bruises are fading now.
Thank you Melissa for suggesting putting heat on them. I was hesitant to do so because heat also causes swelling. Yesterday I used my quilted rice/corn filled heating pad and applied to the bruises on my face neck and hand off and on all day yesterday. I saw a huge difference this morning in the color and size of my bruising. I did not use the heat on my eye area and did not see as much improvement there. So I will heat it up again today and hopefully get it down to a minimum by Tuesday where I can maybe cover with only makeup and not have to deal with concealer.
I am having problems with my neck in the morning when I take my compression garment off though. I will talk to Dr. Boll tomorrow when I see her again. I am only wearing it at night and when I woke up yesterday and today there were deep ruts in my neck. I am still sleeping sitting up in the recliner so nothing has changed there. Not sure if I have it too tight or not tight enough or if there is something I can do to keep it flat on my neck during the night etc. So tonight I am going to try icing my neck and face prior to putting the garment on and hope that helps.
It seems like everything is trial and error since every one heals different. Once we find out what works for us it becomes useless information since I will probably not have another facelift done again. LOL!
The more the bruising subsides the more happy I am with my results. I cannot believe the difference in just 1 1/2 weeks time. I can't wait to go back to work and see peoples reaction. I am going to try and lay low at first and give myself more time to heal. I work for 3 days then have 2 off, then work 2 days and have 1 day off so it will give me more time to heal before I have to actually work a full week. I actually planned it that way due to the way my schedule fell. :-)
I have a friend of mine that has been considering getting a facelift too. She is now very interested in Dr. Boll. I can't say enough about Dr. Boll, she did a fantastic job and her staff has been very supportive too. This has been a really good experience for me so far.
Day 13 Post Op, back to work tomorrow
I am adding 5 new photos from today. A side view (my favorite because my neck looks fabulous!) 2 front views with bruises showing, 1 smiling 1 serious. I went to Sephora and bought some Kat-Von-B foundation that has the ability to cover up tattoos so the last 2 photos are facing front with the makeup on 1 smiling and 1 serious. Love my lips too. Depending on how much fat I lose I will have to replace with filler and maybe add a little to the top one. Down the road of course.
I went to one of my accounting clients today to do some work (this is my part time work) and he didn't look at me funny or ask why I look different. He was either being polite or didn't notice. Tomorrow will be the real test when I go back to my full time job.
The last couple of days I kept asking my BF if he thought I had bruising on my neck now and he said it was probably a shadow. Well tonight it is really obvious that it is not a shadow and is delayed bruising. So I will put the make up on my neck tomorrow too and wear a shirt that buttons up high to cover my chest area. I will come back and post what my co-workers reaction is.
I slept in the bed last night propped up on extra pillows but I didn't sleep well at all. I woke up 6 times and my BF said that he was ready to go to the guest room because I was doing a strange snoring thing. I have never had a snoring problem so we both think it might have something to do with the compression garment. BF said I was doing it in the recliner too when I fell asleep when he was a wake in the living room. Tonight I will be back in the recliner because I need a good nights sleep before returning to work. My job requires a sharp mind and attention to details, which I can't do if I am tired.
First Day Back to work ... BUSTED!
OK so I go to work and there is only 1 woman there that sits next to me. We are talking for about 5 minutes and she says to me "why do you look so different". SNAP!!! I told her that I started wearing foundation again because my freckles are coming out, then we started talking about foundation and sponge applicators etc. Other people came in but didn't say anything.
My manager comes up to me to say good morning and ask how my vacation is and he is looking at me strange but doesn't say anything. Just before I leave for the day he comes back to my desk and asks me if my cheeks are puffy. I tell him yes they are and I am wearing foundation, which I typically don't wear because I am getting too many freckles. He starts laughing and starts singing you are so vain, which I told him "please don't quit your day job". LOL
Just before I leave for the day I went to the restroom and one of my male team mates comes out of the men's room and says, "I don't know what you did but you look great". LOL! I smiled and said I will never tell.
So now I know that they are all going to be talking about it so I tried some damage control. After I got home I text the women that sits next to me and told her that I also had fat transfer done and that is why my cheeks are puffy. I told her it will take a couple months to go down because my body will absorb about 50% of it so they always put extra in to allow for that. Then I told her it will be our secret.
I am really not good at lying and I am actually disappointed that so many people noticed. I was hoping it would be slight enough that they wouldn't. It doesn't matter they will bug me for a few days and by the end of next week I will look normal to them again. :-)
I think I look more natural in the pictures but in person I look like I had work done. I thought maybe I was just too sensitive to my face and the way it looks but since so many people noticed today I assume I am actually realistic about it.
Day 16 Post Op
So here I am Day 16 post op, no foundation makeup, no bruising. I just got home from work. I had 2 people at work tell me I look better without the foundation. I admit I thought I looked like a mannequin. But now that I have no more bruising I don't need it. That was expensive for just 2 days use but if I get any filler work done later I might need it then too. Once I started using heat on the bruises they cleared up fairly quickly. I was hesitant to use heat because I was afraid that it would cause swelling but I was very careful to keep the heat around my mouth where the bruising was the worst and every day they got lighter. Had I started a few days earlier I wouldn't have needed the makeup at all. There was still a slight shadow last night so I used heat again and this morning I woke up and it was gone.
I asked the CMA at Dr. Boll's office today how long it will take for the fat to absorb in my cheeks and she said weeks sometimes months. That is what my sister in law told me, it took her a few months. The CMA said that people pay a lot of money to have cheeks like mine are now with fillers. So I will patiently wait to see where it all settles. I think if someone met me for the first time today they would have no idea that I had any plastic surgery done. It looks very natural. It is the people that know me that are having to adjust to my new face. Don't get me wrong about the cheeks, they look a bit big to me right now but I assure you I am very happy with my results and wouldn't trade my new face for my old face again for anything.
I don't have to work tomorrow so I am going to try sleeping in my bed tonight without being propped up. I am a little concerned that I might end up sleeping on my side but I will have my compression garment on to help with swelling if I do. I think the worse thing that can happen is I will have swelling in the morning then I will just ice it.
Every day I have more and more feeling coming back in my face too, which is a good thing. The picture of my neck shows how nice my lips look. They really are just perfect right now, I hope I don't lose any of the fat in my upper lip. It is so much easier to put your lipstick on when your lips are more even. If I lose too much I can just get fillers. When I went to Dr. Boll's today she gave me 3 gift certificates -- 1 for a free facial (which I love) 1 for a free Sunscreen (which I use Obagi or ZO) and 1 for filler (which I am sure I will need at some point). That was a huge surprise and very much appreciated. So I don't go back for 12 days because Dr. Boll is on vacation, unless of course I have an issue that I need the CMA or nurse to look at. That is the nice thing about Dr. Boll's office, there is always someone there to help you and honestly they never seem to be bothered. Anyway I am hoping that next visit Dr. Boll will tell me I no longer need the compression garment at night. That will be my next big milestone.
Sleeping in bed again! YEAH!!
So Friday night (16 days post op) I tried sleeping in bed with my usual pillow. I was really afraid that I would end up on my side because I am a side sleeper however, the first time I rolled on my side I was woke up by the pain in my earlobe from the pressure put on it. So I immediately rolled back over. I could not get comfortable and ended up back in the recliner again.
Last night (Saturday and 17 days post op), I was better prepared. I used a firmer pillow for my head and then took the long pillow I had been sleeping on top of in the recliner and wedged it in my side so that my body was not laying completely flat but my head was. This is a suggestion that Dr. Boll gave me because my upper back gets sore from laying flat on my back for too long (from an old injury). And it worked. I slept really well until the wee hours of the morning then I adjusted myself and my pillows and went back to sleep. I actually slept a total of 10 hours last night partially due to not having a good nights sleep the night before and partially due to a sinus infection which is causing me to have a sore throat too.
My face was slightly swollen in the morning, actually just lines on my cheeks where the compression garment was. I iced each cheek for 10 minutes each and the lines were gone. My BF said yesterday he thinks my cheeks are getting smaller too.
For the next 2 weeks I will be going into work 1 hour later due to training and I will have more time in the morning to ice so I will sleep in the bed now. I am not sure how long I will have to wear the compression garment at night (which I don't mind wearing) but I see Dr. Boll on August 9th and will find out then if she wants me to continue wearing it. I feel more secure with it on for some odd reason.
It still boggles my mind how quickly one can recover from such and extensive surgery. I fully understand that I am not going to be completely healed for several months but I feel really good now. Now that I can sleep in bed again it is just one more step back to normal.
In 3 weeks I will be having dinner with a group of friends that do not know about my facelift. It will be interesting to see what they say. Of course these people, I will tell them I had a facelift. It is just coworkers that I don't want to know.
Week 3 update
Well here it is week 3. I don't see Dr. Boll until next week because she is on vacation. My left ear incision still has some discharge and I continue to use Aquaphor behind both ears and applying sterile pad strips over it. I am using Silicone Gel on the front of my ear so my hair doesn't get greasy. That is what you see as white on my ear. My scars on the front of my ear are not visible but I still use the gel until I see Dr. Boll and get directions to do something different.
I have slept in my be without my compression garment for 4 nights and have no swelling issues. I do sleep better and woke up a couple of times laying on my right side, which is how I slept before surgery. My neck is still tight but not choking or uncomfortable, it just feels like I still have the compression garment on only loser.
I finally started wandering to my previous department at work where the people are more comfortable with me. The men say nothing they just look puzzled when they talk to me. The women say "what did you do" and then tell me how great I look. My previous manager told me she is envious and my previous co worker said "Damn girl you look goooood, you got it going on". LOL! 4 of them said "Wow your plastic surgeon did a really good job". I explained to them that I still have a lot of healing to do and won't see the full results for another 5 months. I have no swelling at all and I think my cheeks have gotten smaller. I hope they stay the size that they are now because I always had high prominent cheekbones when I was younger. Here are the pictures you can decide for yourself. I will post less pictures now since there doesn't seem to be much improvement, the differences are so subtle it might just be noticeable by me and my BF.
4 weeks post op
Had my 4 week check up with Dr. Boll this week. She was pleased with my progress. I had a couple of lumpy spots on my neck and she said that it is swelling. I thought swelling would be the entire neck, I didn't realize there could be isolated pockets of swelling in small areas? She recommended that I do light massage once a day to help move the fluid out. Which I did for a couple of days then I decided to try sleeping with my compression garment 2 nights ago. Not only did I wake myself up 6 or 7 times by snoring I kept my BF awake all night too. :-( I just can't wear that garment and sleep in my bed. Which is unfortunate because it really helped to reduce the lumps in just one night.
So last night I put it on when I got home from work and took it off when I went to bed. And the lumps are almost gone now. So from here on out I will continue to wear my garment at night while watching TV then take it off before bed until my next apt, which is not for a month. I want to get the best long term results I possibly can so I am going to do whatever I can to achieve that.
I wanted to share this with everyone in case you didn't know that swelling is not always your entire neck. If you look at the neck picture you might be able to see the lumps I am talking about. I want to add that I could wear my hair up or behind my ears right now because my incisions are so light nobody would even see them unless I pointed them out. I am still in awe at how quickly one can recover from such a surgery. Gotta love modern medicine!
Also, I asked Dr. Boll how much changes I will see from here on out and she said that the changes from now on are going to be very minor and very subtle. She said I will probably notice but nobody else will. So I am not going to post any pictures for a while until I figure out how to do the before and after side by side pictures.
2 Month Checkup Results
20 Sep 2017
2 months post
Well I went for my 2 month check up with Dr. Boll. She is very pleased with my progress and is very pleased that I am happy with the results. She said I have healed really well. The places in my hair where the skin is gathered isn't flattening out to her liking so she wants me to do massage on it to help it along. I don't have to go back again for 3 months and only so she can check on the scars.
I still have some numbness, not on the surface skin but deep under the skin, which she said is normal and could take up to a year to fully come back. She felt my neck and said she doesn't feel any lumpiness at all in my neck.
I got my hair cut a different style and really short. I swear the next day when I went to work EVERYONE make a comment about how good I look with my new haircut and beautiful it made me look. Now when I see people that didn't know I was having a facelift see me they always think it is the hair. My BF and I are calling it my $10,000 hair cut. LOL!
My hair stylist was totally blown away at how natural I look. After I left he was talking to his next client about it and she said she had been researching getting a facelift and said she wanted Dr. Boll's name and number. He called me and I gave him the information and I am going to give him some business cards when I go. Women always tell their hairstylist when they are thinking about a facelift. I am sure he will refer people to Dr. Boll. I told him I am available to talk to anyone about my experience or let them see my results in person if they want. If it weren't for people sharing their experience with me I wouldn't have know what to do and not to do.
I added some new pictures but they are actually from 3 weeks ago and my 2 month mark was 1 week ago. Close enough!