62 Years Old, 65 Pound Weight Loss, Facelift, Necklift, Eyelids in May - The Woodlands, TX

Today, after over 2 years of planning, I finally...

Today, after over 2 years of planning, I finally scheduled surgery for May 9. I turn 62 this month and after losing 65 pounds, it is time to do this. I love that I lost a lot of weight (next I plan to do a tummy tuck and breast lift after I recover from this), but my face looks worse now. The loose skin from weight loss didn't help. And, the last two years I've hated almost every photo. My eyelids started sagging years ago, actually. I didn't like them when I was in my 30s! And now they really just hang down.

About 5 or 6 years ago I developed cholesterol deposits around my eyes. I only had mildly elevated blood cholesterol and it is normal now. But, sometimes people get these nonetheless. They haven't gotten worse in several years, but haven't gotten better. I've tried covering with Dermablend and it really doesn't work. I just want these gone.

I always read that if you spent too much time in the sun you would get wrinkles so I have always been really careful with my skin. But that hasn't helped my eyes and it doesn't help my sagging jowls! And, then there is the neck! This is an area where I really feel it got so much worse with weight loss. Just awful.

Recently, I went to lunch with my mother for her 92nd birthday. I felt she looked better than me. When I was in my 40s or even early 50s people usually thought I was younger than my chronological age. Now, I feel that my face looks way older than my chronological age. The pictures I am putting up are mostly taken without makeup...but I don't look that much better with makeup.

I saw two plastic surgeons, both found here at Realself. I liked both of them and it was a hard decision between them. I finally decided on Dr. Andrew Lyos because I liked his plan on my face a little better and I thought he was more thorough on the facial consultation. I also saw both surgeons about a tummy tuck and breast lift. I am not sure yet which I will use for that. I will decide on that later. I did have a hard time deciding whether to do the face first or do the body work first. I finally decided to do the fast first because it is so visible and because I think recovery from it will be easier than from the tummy tuck/breast lift.

Currently I am planned for: Cheek and Necklift with Ptysmaplasty with Fat Grafting, Quad Blepharoplasty, temporal browlift, excision of cholesterol deposits and bilateral earlobe repair. My ears were pierced too low almost 50 years ago and they are now close to tearing through at the bottom. The result is I can't wear anything except very, very light earrings. I have lots of earrings I want to wear that just turn upside down when I put them on. I plan to have both ears repaired so that I can re-pierce them later. I may decide to do that separately from the surgery, not sure yet.

I will be having surgery in a hospital and will stay overnight. I am so happy to finally be doing this. Surgery is scheduled for May 9th with a pretrial on April 26th.

Another photo from my 2015 birthday

Since some commented on my birthday photo in 2015 I thought I would post one from that day I didn't like. I had my husband take a ton of photos of me that day and I liked that photo (I use it whenever I need a photo) but a lot of them I didn't like.

Soft Diet Before Surgery?

I have a vague recollection that some people said that their surgery had them do a soft or liquid diet for the couple of days before surgery. Is that common?

My surgery is the day after Mother's Day and if I am going to be on a liquid or soft diet that day then I won't do the things with my kids I usually do on Mother's Day. Pre-op visit isn't until the 26th so just wondering what is usual for planning purposes. Anyone know?

The Waiting Game

Time seems to drag right now. Everything is on hold. I know that I will be busy after the pre-op on 4/26. But, until then there isn't much to do. I keep going through reviews here to make things to ask about or to think about doing before surgery. Some of the list: 1. Maybe get a neck pillow. Someone talked in their review about the savemyface pillow. They have those on Amazon. I am really worried about the sleeping. The good part is I have a recliner that has power reclining and I can recline the legs and back separately. So, I plan to sleep on that. The bad part is that I have always had lots of difficulty getting to sleep and really have difficulty sleeping on my back. So, I'm worried that I won't get much sleep and will be exhausted. 2. Maybe get some gel packs for my eyes. I saw a blog post where someone found these really tiny gel packs for each eye and they looked great. I will wait on this till after the pre-op though since I want to hear what the surgeon recommends. 3. I need to buy some tops that button up the front. I really don't have any -- well, I have one. Everything else goes over my head and I'm sure I won't want to do that the first couple of days. I plan to have a tummy tuck/breast lift in a few months and a lot of people recommend wearing dresses. I don't have any of those either. Maybe I could find a couple of dresses that open in the front and would work for both... 4. I've been making a list of soft foods I might want to buy to have on handy for the first few days after surgery. I've seen some suggest jello, ice cream, pudding -- all things I don't usually have in the house. I must admit I am worried about weight. I've lost 65 pounds and a big part of maintaining that is exercise. I see a trainer twice a week and do a lot of walking in our hilly neighborhood. Or, when it is hot I use the treadmill or recumbent exercise bike I have here at home. With having the tummy tuck later, it is going to be a long time before I can do weight lifting with a trainer and I am worried about being sedentary. I hope I can at least do the treadmill at slow speed relatively soon (of course, I'll do whatever the surgeon recommends...I don't want to take any chances). I am sure that once I have the pre-op things will be busy but right now I just keep thinking about this, but don't have much to do. Time drags. I did make an appointment to get my hair colored next Friday. I sort of wanted to wait another week but my birthday is on the 25th and I wanted to get it colored before then since I'll go out that day. I would normally get my perm redone in mid-May but will be postponing it since that will be right after surgery. I am trying to grow out my hair to shoulder length and got the perm a few months to help with my hair growing out. Anyway -- going back to looking through reviews for ideas of things to ask about at the pre-op and things to get to prepare....

Sometimes, it is just how you look at it.

So sometimes, things are just how you look at it. The pic I am uploading with this is one I happened to come across a few minutes ago when I was going through some photos and deleting ones I didn't like. As soon as I saw this one, I just went "Ugh."

The side of my looks all droopy. There is excess skin on the upper part of the eye and below the eye. And, then there is skin in my turkey neck. I was just thinking about how much I didn't like this picture, when my husband happened to walk in and saw it up on my monitor. He said, "Oh, where was that picture? That looks good."

The picture was taken about a month ago (we were together at the time) and I certainly didn't think I looked good in it. And, so I told him that I didn't like how I looked. He told me that he likes how I look! I pointed out my eyes and neck. He could see I wasn't happy with what he said and he said that I look good now, but will look better after my surgery.

I think part of it is that I look at that picture and see everything I don't like in my appearance. He looks at it and sees it more as a whole and doesn't see those little details that are so important to me.

And, of course, I don't actually want him to look at the photo and say that he thinks I look horrible....

So, yes, I am glad he likes how I look but that doesn't change how I feel when I look at that photo....

Getting Ready

Starting to do things to prepare. I went and got my hair colored yesterday for last time before surgery. I made a change to my color -- going from red with light highlighting to a medium brown with more highlights.

Today, I bought a couple of shirts that button up the front that I can wear the first few days after surgery. This was a little frustrating because it was hard to find something I liked. Most of the shirts that buttoned up the front where uncomfortable because they tended to be bind a little across the chest. If I bought shirts that were comfortable across the chest then they swam on my everywhere else. (I am having a breast lift in a couple of months so maybe that will help with that problem). I finally found a couple of shirts that were OK.

Tuesday is my pre-op so I am working on questions for that.

Birthday Today

62nd birthday today. Took some pics with makeup on.

Went to Pre-Op

Yesterday I went to my pre-op. I will give a fairly long description of the visit since I know that when I was thinking about surgery it really helped me to read detailed reviews.

I first read through a big packet of instructions and signed the consent forms. I thought they were good and detailed and gave a lot of information. I also particularly liked how the forms handled the risks of surgery. I've seen some forms that just list each risk with no discussion of them or no indication of which ones are more likely. These forms did give information about the risks and gave some indication of which ones were more common and often stated how a complication might be handled.

After going through all the forms I met with one of the doctor's assistants. She went over all the instructions for the period from now until surgery and went over the post surgery period. I had brought a lot of questions with me and she was able to answer about 3/4 of them.

There was discussion about what kinds of things not to take between now and surgery (like Advil and Aspirin, for example).

I asked her if there was any restriction on what I could eat before surgery (of course, she said nothing after midnight the night before) and she said I might want to eat a soft diet the day before. I asked about that since the day before surgery is Mother's Day and I planned to get together with kids that day and eat. She said it was OK to eat but it might be more likely to make me more constipated. So, I will eat that day but will eat lightly for that meal and then be soft for the rest of the day.

We talked about medication and I told her that I tend to get nauseated with pain medication. So, she added a anti-nausea medication to my meds (antibiotic and pain medication). They gave me samples of an eye ointment and tears to use after surgery. Those were in a small bag they gave me with some gauze.

I asked about sleeping and was told to sleep on my back for 3 weeks and was cautioned against flexing my neck. They don't want me bending my neck to my chest because of the stress it puts on the stitches behind the ear. I said I planned to sleep in a recliner with a neck pillow and she said that was perfect. I said I planned to buy a neck pillow and she said that would give me one.

She suggested that I take Bromelain before and after surgery and Arnica before surgery. I could buy it there (which I did) or get it elsewhere.

She gave me a lot of post-surgery instructions. I will staying overnight at the hospital after surgery and she said I would leave about noon the next day after surgery. My surgery is on a Monday, so I will be released on Tuesday.

I will have drains and I received instructions on how to empty them and keep a record. I will see the doctor again on Thursday. The doctor has two offices. One office is in the Woodlands which is close to where I live. The other office is in the Houston Medical Center which is a long drive. They are in the Medical Center that Thursday so I will have to go there for that appointment.

Assuming the output from my drains is OK, they will take out the drains at that time and will wash my hair. After that I will be able to do full showers (before that I am not supposed to get anything wet around the incisions.

She said that I couldn't use the treadmill or exercise bike until 3 weeks after surgery. However, there was no limitation as to how many steps I could walk around the house. She said she thought the reason for no treadmill even if slow and flat was because it wasn't as stable. I could understand that.

After we got finished, she took me to the next room and did the before pictures. Since I am having several procedures, there were a lot of pictures. After that, I went back to the first room and someone came in and did a tear test.

And, then Dr. Lyos came in. By then I had asked a lot of my questions so didn't have that much to ask him. He went over what they would be doing. He told me that he would probably excise most of my cholesterol deposits, but might not be able to excise all of them during surgery because he doesn't want to do anything that would negatively affect my wound healing.

We also discussed the temporal brow lift. I had been a little uncertain whether to do it and, after discussing it, I decided to go ahead with it. I asked about the fat transfer and if there was any problem if I lost 5 pounds or so after surgery and he said it wasn't a problem. He is only transferring a little fat to the malar area and may not end up transferring any at all. It will depend on how it goes during surgery.

They also did Botox on me. This was done between the brows and on the outer corners of the eyes. He said this was to relax those muscles so they wouldn't be pulling down on the areas where there was surgery. I had never had anything like Botox so this was a different experience for me.

They put an anesthetic on my face and then he injected the places. While there was the anesthetic I found the injections...unpleasant. It wasn't a severe pain, by any means, but it did sting a bit. The cumulative effect of all the injections was a little jarring. My allergist's office is in the same building and I had planned to go get an allergy shot after the visit, but after the Botox I felt rung out.

So, I paid and just went home. I used a credit card to pay since, doing that, I got discount (if you use Care Credit you don't get the discount) on the surgeon's fee and the credit card I use gives me 1% cash back.

The total time I was there was about 2 hours and 45 minutes which was longer than I had anticipated. When I got home, I was just exhausted and was incredibly sleepy. I had instructions not to lay down for 4 hours (after the Botox) so couldn't sleep. I really struggled to sit up and stay awake. This is really unusual for me.

This morning, I went by the hospital and did my lab work and EKG. The hospital is in Houston so it was a long drive there but I wanted to get all that done and wanted to just go ahead and pay the hospital so I wouldn't have to deal with it on the morning of surgery. That all went fine.

After we were done with that, we went and got my prescriptions filled so I have those ready. They said I needed to bring them with me to the hospital when I have the surgery.

One More Thing

One more thing from the pre-op. I asked when I could wear a headset (for my computer) after surgery and was told not for 10 days. I use a headset with over the ear headphones. This was a real blow to me because I always use a headset at the computer and use Skype a lot. And, I don't actually have speakers set up on my computer since I use the headset all the time. Of course, now that I think about it I understand why using the headset is a problem.

I also asked about using earbuds and was told that would depend on how much swelling I had inside the ear. So, I guess I will need to set up speakers on my computer.

And, I was told I should wear light, loose reading glasses for the first few days. I think I have an old pair that I can use for this.

Anyone replace makeup before surgery?

Went shopping to buy almost everything I needed to get in preparation for surgery. Bought over the counter stuff (eye drops, antibiotic ointment, artificial tears, sunscreen). Also bought frozen peas and small snack size ziplock bags to make ice packs for after surgery. I think I got everything on the list except for a scarf. Will pick one up sometime this week.

I wondered if anyone else replaced makeup before surgery. I have not been big on wearing makeup the last few years (basically felt I looked bad enough that it didn't help that much). I only wore it when I went to my office (I mostly work from home) or was going out somewhere special.

Anyway, as a result, it takes me a long time to use up foundation and eye makeup, etc. The current makeup I am using is about a year and a half old. I know I have read that you should really replace it every 6 months (to avoid bacteria) but I haven't done that since I use it up so slowly.

Of course, with having surgery, I want to be super cautious. Wondering if I should replace all my makeup so I have new makeup to use after surgery?

Less Than a Week (And I Hate Botox)

I didn't really think I would feel many butterflies before surgery, but as it gets to be less than a week I do start to feel a few. I don't in any way feel any doubt about doing it. But, I am wondering what the recovery will really be like. But, mostly, I am ready to get it done. I like closure and don't like things that are open ended. So, I want to be past the surgery. So I am somewhat impatiently waiting for next Monday (the 9th) when I will have surgery. One strange thing this week has been adjusting to the Botox that was done to relax the muscles between my brows and by my eyes (on the outside). I don't mind it near the eyes, but really don't like it between my brows. To me, I look very different. I'm sure I don't look that different to others, but I notice it. And, the Botox effect just seems, well, creepy to me. Maybe it wouldn't seem so odd to me if I didn't have all the extra skins around my eyes and all the drooping. Of course, I know the Botox isn't permanent. I went out the other night for my son's birthday so took some pictures that will be among my final ones before surgery. (I guess the final ones will be Sunday on Mother's Day). I actually preferred the pre-Botox pictures that were done on my birthday last week.

New Makeup

So, I went ahead and decided to buy new makeup today. Most of my makeup was older than it really should be and I don't want to risk any infection after surgery so I replaced everything.

The person at the store put on my makeup. It was a little heavier than I like but I took a few pics afterwards to be sort of my last before pics with makeup on.

Bromelain cause nausea?

Today I started taking Bromelain. I took it on an empty stomach as directed and I now feel queasy. Has anyone experienced nausea with Bromelain? I am not sure I will be taking much of it if it causes nausea.

12 Hours To Go

My surgery is scheduled to start about 12 hours from now. I have to be there at 6 AM which means leaving about 4:30 AM. I tend to go to bed late and have a hard time to getting to sleep earlier than usual, so I doubt I will get much sleep tonight. I have a few butterflies about tomorrow. I am not all that worried, but just wanting to be on the other side of surgery which 24 hours from now I will be. Will be staying overnight at the hospital so probably will post something after I get home on Tuesday. I've told my husband to take lots of pictures of me so I can post them later.

At Home

Came home this afternoon after surgery yesterday. Dictating this because I can hardly see. Everything went fine, but my eyes are really swollen. Post more tomorrow.

Lots of swelling

I am still having lots of swelling making it almost impossible to see or to write posts. I will try to get caught up as soon as I can. To start at the end, though, I had my drains taken out today and am able to see a little better,

I will do a few post catching back up today. I arrived super early Monday morning and had my husband take last minute pre photos and some photos of the many markings. I was having a lot done:

Temporal brow lift, quad bleharoplasty, Facelift, neckliff, excision of cholesterol deposits (some will be done later), ear lobe repair and possible fat transfer.

More updating (day of surgery)

I finally got a little bit of restful sleep and feel well enough to do some updating (forgive any typos still find it hard to see). When I woke up after surgery I was in recovery room and was still very sleepy. I remember them putting a cold gel thing on my face znc nothing else. My husband says he came in and I don't remember that at all. And, then he saw when I went to my room. I actually don't remember that at all. In fact, I was a little upset later when I woke up and thought he hadn't been there but he really had been. In fact, I had asked him to take pcitures and he did. You can;t see much since I had on the gel pack on my eyes and the angle he could take was limited. I actually woke up about an hour after the picture was taken and the rest of the night was basically mostly taken up with constantly switching out the gel packs on the ice pad. Dr. Lyos has his patients stay overnight at the hospital when they have this type of surgery and I think that was a good decision. I can't imagine how I would have managed. I was only allowed to have water and was using a catherter for the night. They gave me good pain meds so I wasn't all that uncomfortable but even then I could tell I had a lot swelling. Basically I couldn't open my eyes hardly at all and could only see a crack of light occasionally. The staff was really extremely attentive and I was very pleased with the hospital. More later about day 2.

Tuesday

Trying to sit up now since doctor says that will help with the swelling. Tuesday morning Dr. Lyos came in early and changed my dressings and took a look at everything. One of the things I like about him is that he is very thorough and meticulous. He did caution me that I should expect more swelling than typical because I had the temporal brow list along with the eyelid surgery. Also, the ear lobe repair would cause more swelling. Still, I don't think I really realized how bad it would be. After Dr. Lyos left, they took out my catheter and put me on a liquid diet for breaskfast and brought me in some oatmeal and a smoothie. Dr. Lyos and I were agreed that I would leave until I could urinate, so I kept wanting to need to pee but I wasn't really hungry or thirsty. Oh, he did say that he did some fat transfer to both cheeks. He told my husband on Monday after surgery that he thought I was going to be really happy with my results. At lunch they let me eat shrimp scampi and that was great (yes, hospital food that was great). I still wasn't real hungry and I couldn't see anything very much. My husband had to cut up the shrimp for me. I was very insistent that I be given anti-nausea medicine with any pain medication since I am very prone to nausea. My husband showed up about 9:00. I was glad when he got there. Basically all morning I was basically getting my eyes iced with an eye gel pack. But basically I could only see tiny slits and everything was blurry. Finally, I was able to pee and we loaded up left for the hour and a half drive back to our house which was no fun. When I got home I mostly just set up with the recliner but tried to get up and move around at least to the bathroom once an hour. I was in a lot of pain at this point. In the hospital they were giving me 2 pain pills (once they stopped injections) but the prescription was one pill. I was starting to get more and more swelling. I am posting some pics from the hospital in the morning and then some at home in the afternoon. Most of my time was trying to eat something to I could take medicine, trading out with putting gel packs on my eyes and trying to sleep. And I wasn't sleeping at all. I was exhausted but couldn't sleep. And the swelling was just getting worse.

Wednesday (2 Days Post)

After a good night's sleep (6 hours without waking) I feel I can post a bit more to get caught up. I still can't open the left eye at all so seeing anything is a challenge. Finally reading glasses help a little but it is all blurry. I am so much better now, but it is still rough. Wednesday was the worse day by far. Dr. Lyos later said that 48 hours after surgery is the worst and it was awful. I slept very little on Tuesday night and what little I slept was totally not restful. I still wasn’t hungry but knew I needed to eat foods so I could take meds. The best thing was when I had my husband make me a scrambled egg. It was just enough food and not too hard to eat. Early in the day he called Dr. Lyos office since I was having so much swelling. They said it sounded like the upper end of swelling, but was normal. I took a single pain pill as prescribed and it barely took the urge off the pain. The pain was mostly the swelling but also the incisions behind the ear and a little of the tightness in the neck. I always wondering what people meant when they said the neck felt tight. Well, to me it felt like one was chocking me. Also the incisions from the temporal brow lift hurt. So, yea, everything hurt. Actually, the eyes most just had an achy, swollen feeling rather than actual pain. But, I couldn’t rest at all. I couldn’t do anything. I had a tiny slit I could look through on my right eye, but everything was blurred. I tried to listen to news channels on TV but my ears were heavily bandaged so that wasn’t much help. So, my husband called back to Dr. Lyos office and they talked to him after he got out of surgery. He thought it sounded OK in terms of amount of swelling given what I had had done. But, I was allowed to take 1 ½ to 2 pain pills. At first I took 1 ½ because I was so afraid of getting nauseated. I was OK with that I felt a bit more pain relief but it didn’t entirely go away. The next time I took 2 pain pills and that gave good relief and I got my first 2 hours of actual sleep. Being able to sleep just a little bit really helped. I still wasn't very hungry and needed my husband to do almost everything for me. I could walk around OK but given my vision I had to be so careful that I didn't trip on anything. I am sleeping the recliners and all of our cats came and slept in my lap for awhile that night. They same to know I didn't feel good and they were really careful. I woke up as my night time pain medicine ran so I had to eat something and take anti-nausea meds so I could take more medication. I got a little more sleep than the night before but was still exhausted. Next I will talk about Thursday when I went to the doctor, got my drains out and got my hair washed and he made a medication change that really help.ed

Thursday (3 Days Post 0p)

Thursday I went in to the doctor’s to have my drains removed. I knew this would be an ordeal because he was going to be in his Medical Center office that day. Usually, I see him at his Woodlands office. The appointment was at 10 so we had to leave early enough to deal with some of the heavy traffic going that direction. The instructions said to take pain medication before coming since they would removing the drains. I dithered about whether to take 2 (what I really wanted to take for the pain) or 1 ½ (I was worried about getting nauseated with the long drive). Finally I took 1 ½ and brought 3 Cherry Coke Zeros with me in a frozen bag. I find that the carbonated drinks really help with any queasiness that I get. I try to limit them and not drink very many, but not this week. The twists and turns to get to the office were really bothering me as I felt every jostle. His office is right by a major hospital and it is super busy there and it took 10 minutes just to navigate the valet parking. The attendants there kept asking if I needed a wheelchair. I am sure I looked pretty back particularly the the fact that my left eye was completely swollen shut and the right eye just had a tiny slit. Also there was this huge red place in the middle of my forehead. I had noticed it starting to itch and sort of weep the night before. When I got there I immediately asked for a restroom (due to the two Cherry Coke Zero I had consumed on the way). Then, his staff brought me in and blessedly started removing the dressings. It felt so, so, so good to have them gone. We were chatting and they removed my drains and I didn’t even fell it when they removed them. So, that wasn’t bad at all. A few of the pics posted with this were taken by my husband after the dressings had been removed. Getting everything cleaned up felt great. They were so gentle that it was all very comfortable. Dr. Lyos came in and checked everything out. He basically felt it was all fine. He says that the temporal brow lift coupled with the blepharoplasty is what resulted in all the swelling and thought it was normal. I was surprised that not even wearing reading glasses helped me, but said the pressure of the swelling on my eyes changed my vision temporarily. He said that the first 47 hours are the worst and it should be better by the end of the weekend or so. He said at my next appointment the sutures that aren’t in my scalp will be removed so I look forward to that. He also noticed the read place on the forehead and we finally attributed it to a reaction to some adhesive used In that area. I usually do OK with adhesives but I will occasionally have one that will cause problems. He prescribed a hydrocortisone cream for it. The bigg issue I discussed with him was my total exhaustion because I wasn’t getting any restful sleep. Moving up to taking 2 pain pills did finally allow me to fall asleep for a couple of hours which was at least something, but my sleep wasn’t very restful. And, I spent a lot of time sort of being an area where I wasn’t exactly asleep but I wasn’t awake and I Wasn’t resting either. Just a very weird feeling and I was getting more and more tired. He suggested that I try a little Valium. It would help a little with the pain and would help me to relax a little and be able to get a better quality of sleep. I could back off a little on the pain medication if I did that. It sounded like a great idea. After he was finished with me, I had the absolute best part of the visit. One of his staff washed my hair. She rinsed it very thoroughly and then gently washed it. Words truly can’t express how wonderful this was and to have someone else do it instead of my trying ot or my husband trying to do without hurting me was just wonderful. If there is one service that I would like to see every plastic surgeon offer – this is it. After that was done we left and made the long trek back home. I go back to that office next Tuesday to get sutures out, but after that should be able to come to the Woodlands office. By the time we got home, my pain medication from the morning had long since worn off. I took a single pain pill (plust my antinausea) medication while my husband went off to get my new prescriptions. After he got back a took a Valium and just laid down for awhile expecting what I had been going through since surgery. Not totally awake, but not resint either. Instead, I woke up 2 hours later having finally had a nice sleep. It felt incredibly wonderful. In fact, overall I just felt better. I felt enough better that I was starting to worry about constipation. I had taken a stool softener on Tuesday and Wednesday that said you could take 1 to 3. I had taken one. I decided to bump that up to two. Most of the evening I felt better and I could tell that my eye swelling a little better. The slit that I could see through on the right eye was a little longer. I had some tuna fish salad right before bed (Dr. Lyos had stressed trying to avoid high sodium foods) and then too 1 pain pill and 1 Valium. I slept a few hours and then woke up feeling OK, but just not able to set to sleep. Enough time had passed that I could either take pain medication or valium but I wasn’t in much pain so I took a valium after eating. I went back to bed and woke up 6 blissful hours later. So, I finally got a good night’s sleep and came up with my plan. To basically take a single pain pill as needed, and then to use the valium at night to help with the sleep. (Forgive any typos in this). I actually did pretty well on Friday, but I have an ointment that is used on my eyes that make it really hard for me to see things for several hours after using it. I just have waited to use use it right before bed, but didn’t so it is supper hard to see anything right now. I am writing this in Word at 300%> Tomorrow I just get caught up with Friday and then future posts will be timely.

Friday and to the present

I was working on a long review with photos and then somehow lost everything. Thankfully, I had kept the test in a Word doc so think I have it all:

Finally my last post to get caught up to the present. Friday was a great day because I was able to have my first shower. My husband unwrapped all my bandages and then I was able to shower. The funny thing was I told him to take the gauzed out of my ears and he said there was nothing there. It was just all the swelling. Remember I had not just my stitches, but ear lobe repair where my ears had been pierced too los and had really stretched out. If I was going to do all this, I wanted to finally be able to wear all my earrings!.

For the shower I wanted to be super careful so I sat down and used a handheld shower and then I just rinsed my hair. It didn't really need musch shampooing and I wanted to be really careful. Even so, just getting it went felt great.
I was able to see a little better on Friday. I finally could see a little bit out of the left eye and had a larger slit in the right eye. Also, finally, I could put on reading glasses and ehy helped a little. I had my husband take a bunch pictures with all the bandages off particularly the surgery, since I know everyone is always curious about those.

I also took 3 of the stool softener in the morning as there had still been no action. I was a little hungrier and had my husband go out and buy a Which Wich sandwich because I felt eating a normal meal might help from the bathroom front. The sandwich tasted so salty. I wasn't able to eat morehtna about 1/4 of it. But, thankfully, later in the day I was able to go to the bathroom so that issue was solved.

I still wasn't able to do too much bostly due to vision. I usually am a big online person and I like to read so this has been tough. When I was up and feeling well, I worked on posts to here. Also, I track what I eat every day. I lost 65 pounds and have tons of loose skin (Mommy Makeover coming up next) and I recently pased over 1000 days of recording what I ate. So I was having my husband write it all down for me and then last evening I felt well enough to go and put in on MyFitnessPal.

Then disaster (well not really disaster struck). I have so many medicines I have to juggle. I have the pain pilss wich come with the antinausea medicine. Then my natibiogic, the valium at night. Bromelain on an emtpy stomach. Arnica to dissolve under the tongue. Artificial tears several times a da. Then an eye ointment for tearshat I do in the monring. And, then ointment for the incisions that aren't on my eyes or scalp. Then there is an ointment that goes on my eyes once a day that has some abtibiogic and steriod in it. I don't like it because I can't see for hours afterwards. Also, I know have the hydrodorizaone cream for my forehead which I try hard not to get on my eyes. I wanted to do it it first and then do the eye ointment later. My husband wanted to do them the other order and I agreed. So we did that ointment on the eyes and I basically could hardly see anything for the rest of the evening. We agreed to, from now on, do that one when I went to bed.

I had planned to do my Thursday post last night and it was so hard. I had to write it in Word at 300% and then move over here. When I went to bed I took a pain pill and valium. I woke up several hours later and most of my bandanges had come off off, but I put them back on. I was able to take another valium (enough time had passed) and I slept well. But, I woked up this mornign and all my bandages had come off and I was running my eyes! Everything looked OK though. I was still really tired so my husband put on my morning ointment, rebandaged me and I took my meds and went back to bed for anotther 3 hours. I seemed to be getting caught up with all the mixxed sleep.

When I woke up I felt pretty good. I can see better. My eye still look iike slits but I can see out of both eyes. And, I felt rested and like I could at least move around do stuff. So I came in here to do this post to get caught up the present. (Vision is still blurry so forgive typos).

I ate something then just took a plain Tylenol and laid down to get my moisturing ointment and I fell asleep again. I think I am getting caught up on all the sleep I missed. The photos I am posting are from Friday when I unbandaged everything to take a shower. Thought some would like the detailed look at the incisions and bruises.

Tired but better

Yesterday and today I have seemed to only want to sleep. I don't feel bad. I just feel exhausted. I think I am finally catching up on lost sleep. Vision is better but still poor. Took a few day 6 photos when I did my shower. Two weird things. I have a large bruise on the to of my right brewer. No idea why. Also, I have a clear sticky liquid oozing from the incision on the body of my chin. Not sure why.

No Expectations

One of the different things about my review and process is that I have no real picture in my mind of what my results will be like. I've read to look at a picture from 10 or 15 years ago and use those as a guideline. The thing is that to of 15 years ago I weighed 50 to 65 pounds more than I weigh now. Going back to how I looked then doesn't seem all that appealing. To go back to within 10 pounds of where I am now I have to back almost 20 years. So, as I am recovering I don't have some mental picture of what I expect. I mean, yes, I want to have a neck that doesn't look like a turkey and don't want the loose skin on the eyes, but how the whole thing will go together is something where I just have no expectations. I think that makes it easier in many ways since I don't have some visions of looking like I looked at X age. Today has gone well. I have still been sleepy. I think I am still really catching up on those several days I didn't sleep well. While my vision is still blurry, it is much better than it was. I am looking forward to getting a lot of the sutures out tomorrow. I've been having trouble keeping the bandages in place. I do to sleep and wake up with them having slipped away. I also want to talk to the doctor about the oozing from the incision on the chin. It doesn't hurt and doesn't seem to be infected, but isn't stopping either. This is first on my list of things to ask about.

8 Days Post-Surgery

Today has been a great turning point. I had surgery one week ago yesterday. And, I realized now that I am feeling so much better and -- finally -- I can see well. I still have a lot of swelling, but I just feel SO much better.

Honestly, I still don't recognize myself in the mirror. I mean that literally. What I see bears no real relationship to how I usually look. I realize fully that this is due to swelling so it doesn't freak me out. It is, though, a little odd.

Also, I got most of my sutures out today. All except the ones in the scalp which come out next week. I had mentioned that I had oozing from the incision on the chin. The doctor has chalked that up to the same adhesive that was used on my forehead (that is the red patch in my forehead). Years ago I used to have trouble with some adhesives. I remember once I had surgery and when they pulled off the bandages my skin came with it. But, recent years I haven't had problems. Well, apparently I do still have it with some adhesives. I will definitely have to remember that when I have my tummy tuck. So I am putting the same steroid cream on my chin (not on the incision just near it) and hope it will clear up soon.

My swelling is much better. It was so funny. When we arrived at the valet parking at the doctor's office, the attendant recognized me from last Thursday and commented on how much better I looked!. I do still have a lot of swelling which I know is most of what makes me look so different, but at least I can open both eyes now. I have more swelling in the left eye than the right. Also I have a lot of swelling in the lower jaw area.

My husband said that I had warned him in advance about swelling and about bruising. But, the swelling was much worse than he expected (me, too!). However, the bruising was much less. I actually have very little facial bruising except when you look at me from the side. Most of my bruising has been on my neck and back and on the chest. I have facial bruising when seen in profile. The odd part is that I have a large purple bruise on my right breast. Dr. Lyos seemed startled by it and asked if it hurt, but it didn't. It was just sort of odd.

The removal of the stitches was ....OK. Well, to be honest, the ones everywhere except my eyes were fine. Not fun exactly, but OK. They did put on numbing cream and that helped. But, the stitches on the eyes really hurt particularly the ones on the top closest to my nose. I could live without going through that again.

After I got home I took a shower (still trying to get dried blood out of the hair) and tried to have my husband do some good pics of current progress and particularly showing the incisions where the sutures had been removed. There is still some dried blood there but I still wanted to be cautious about washing too vigorously since I do still have some stitches. I look pretty grim in the pictures. I actually wasn't in a bad mood just trying to keep a neutral expression.

So, a bunch of pictures since I know I pored over pictures before hand. This might be a good look to see how it is when there is lots of swelling. Remember that I had a lot done: Facelift, Temporal Browlift (a big part of the swelling), quad blepharoplasty, excision of cholesterol deposits (the ones on the upper lids, the ones below still need to be done), ear lobe repair to both ears, neck lift.

More Photos, updated too quickly.

More photos from Tuesday. Hit to update too quickly.

Finally Begin to Recognize Myself

It has been disconcerting the last few days that I felt I didn't recognize myself at all. Most of the really bad eye swelling had gone so I was OK with my eyes, but I just didn't recognize my lower face. I think now that I was so focused on the extreme swelling in my eye area (due to temporal brow lift and quad bleph) that I really didn't realize how much swelling I had in the lower face and neck. The last day or two though I think the swelling is going down enough that I recognize myself. I am really happy with my neck. I still have swelling and bruising but think it is going to work out good. The eyes were a big concern to me before. They had a lot of loose skin and were more hooded than I liked (I mean even back in my 20s I didn't like them). I think I will be happy with them. The external sutures have been removed but I still have some swelling and they haven't flattened out but the doctor says that will come. I am also finally feeling a bit more energetic. I am putting up two pictures comparing before and after.

Musings on Two Weeks Post Surgery

Surgery was two weeks ago today (on Monday, May 9th). So, time for a few musings. Tomorrow I go in to get the rest of my stitches out and I sure hope I can wear makeup soon. 1. It has both been harder and easier than I expected. I know that sounds weird, but is the best way I can explain it. The surgery took more out of me and exhausted me more than I expected. But, when I think of all that was done, it is amazing to me that I look as well as I look now and feel as well as I feel. 2. The pain wasn't terrible at any point. I will say the first couple of days it was worse than could be handled adequately with one pain pill. I did have my husband call the doctor's office and got permission to take 2. That really helped. But, at this point, I haven't had a pain pill in several days. I will have one in the morning since I am getting sutures out, but probably won't have any more. There are other things that were harder to deal with than the pain. 3. Getting enough sleep was a challenge. I have a lot of trouble sleeping at the best of times and sleeping on my back is very difficult. The first few days I got almost no sleep even sleeping in a recliner (an absolute necessity for me). The doctor at my first post-op visit prescribed valium and taking that with a reduced amount of pain medication gave me several nights of great sleep. But, once I didn't need the pain pills and stopped taking the valium a few days ago I started having huge problems sleeping again. I so hope I will be able to sleep on my side in another week or so. 4. I was way more tired than I expected to be. On the one hand I didn't feel that awful once I got the pain issue squared away. But I got tired so easily. There were several days that I just think the entire day was sleeping, icing my eyes and eating so I could take meds. Now, I am much more active, but I get tired very easily. That is an odd feeling for me. Maybe it is because of age, but maybe it is just the healing process. I expected to be more active more quickly. I have to consciously remember that I am still really in a fairly early stage of healing despite how well it looks on the outside. 5. Swelling, particularly of my eyes, was much worse than I expected. I was warned, but the reality was just worse than I anticipated. Those first few days when I couldn't see hardly anything were hard. I couldn't read or watch TV or do anything. I just got lots of practice icing my eyes. That said, it wasn't nearly as painful as it looks like in the photos and it is over now. The swelling in my lower face and neck is expected, but still weird. When I feel the side of my lower face or my neck it sort of feels like there is concrete stuffed in there. Very odd feeling. It isn't painful, just strange. I also wondered what people meant when they said their neck felt tight. Now I understand. It isn't painful, exactly, but is a strange feeling. I know it can last for awhile, so I have to be patient. 6. I had read about how sometimes people become depressed after surgery and I thought it was odd how the information from the doctor talked about this so much. I haven't been depressed, but I understand better now how that can happen. It is disconcerting to not recognize yourself in the mirror. Even though you know objectively that you are barely healing, it is hard to look and see something that is in the early stages of healing. For example, my eyes. Most of the stitches are gone and they function, but the scars are very raised and obvious right now. Objectively, I know they will flatten out and become much less obvious. 2 weeks is really nothing in terms of healing. But, it is still hard to look at. I have faith it will all work out, but I can see how it is hard to maintain that faith during early healing. And, recovery can be rough and when the expected results just aren't visible yet, it can be hard. I am patient and know those things will come but I can see how it can be hard, particularly if healing is slower than expected. 7. I can't stress too much how truly odd it is to look in the mirror and look different. Yes, I have now healed enough that I can compare before and after photos and can see it is the same person. And, I definitely like the direction it is going. But, it is still strange to look in the mirror and just not look like what you looked like before (even if some of the differences are positive ones). It may be more of an issue for me because I lost 65 pounds over the last few years. I can't look back at a picture from 10 or 15 years ago because I am so different in those pictures due to weight. And, it is even worse, that I am in the early stages of healing. For example, I can already tell I will love my eyes so much more than the ones I hated to look at before. I hated having photos taken in the past because I hated the droopy eyes with lots of loose skin. I can already see that is gone. But...I am still very much early stage. As I mentioned, those incisions haven't flattened out yet. And, I still have cholesterol deposits below my eyes that will be removed later. So, yes, I can see the work is in progress but I still don't really look like me or know where I will end up. I feel confident it will be a good place, but it still seems odd to look at a face and know that it isn't your old face and it isn't where it will be a month or two from now either. It is a real feeling of uncertainty. You have to have faith that the results you want will be there, but it is still odd. 8. I really want to wear makeup. I'm not a big makeup person but I so much want to be able to hide the bruises on the sides of my face and to work a little with the eyes, etc. I have really tried as best I can to be meticulous at following the doctor's instructions, but I sure hope I get released on this one soon. 9. I've found that life is much easier for me if I just don't care if someone knows that I had this surgery. Today, I went out for the first time (other than to the doctor). We had dinner at Panera. I did wear a hat and sunglasses but I had bruises on my cheeks. I thought there was a good chance no one would notice due to my hair and hat. But, bottom line, I decided I didn't care of they did. I work from home and when I was telling a couple of colleagues I would be away due to surgery, they were clearly concerned although trying hard not to ask me what was wrong. I finally just said to heck with it and told them I was having facial cosmetic surgery. It made everything ever so much easier. I have a weight loss blog and I had to really think about how to handle this on there. My weight loss is a big reason I am having this surgery and a future tummy tuck and breast lift. I ended up posting about the surgery and posting my before pics and some of my post-surgery pics. I recognize that by doing that someone who knows me in real life may find those pics. I just decided I didn't care. While I probably won't volunteer I had the surgery, I am not going out of my way to keep it a secret either. It is just easier to me that way (I recognize other people have different situations). 10. OK, 10th and last thought. I follow Weight Watchers (which is how I lost my weight) and am a lifetime member at goal weight. The first week after surgery I wasn't very hungry and didn't eat much compared to usual. I wear a Fitbit (except the day of surgery) and I record everything I eat. During the first week of recovery, my husband wrote down everything I ate. Anyway, on paper, over the two weeks I should have gained about half a pound. A week after surgery I was actually up 2 pounds which I think mostly was due to the swelling. On paper, I should have been down about half a pound since I wasn't hungry the first few days after surgery (and ate nothing on surgery day). But, then yesterday I was down 2.8 pounds from the prior Sunday. On paper, I should have gained about 3/4 of a pound this last week. The net over the two weeks is that I am actually down .8 pounds from the day before surgery. So, why do I now weigh about 1.3 pounds less than I would have expected on paper (i.e. calories burned per Fitbit compared to calories eaten). I think that what I've read really is true. Healing burns calories. While it might have seemed like I was a slug for the past 2 weeks, my body was busily working to heal me. All of that work burns calories so I didn't gain any weight. I had gone into surgery with the idea that my goal was to maintain my weight and to eat protein and to try to promote healing. So far that worked out well. I'm glad I gave myself permission to eat whatever I felt like and that would help with healing.

Repost of Musings on Two Weeks Post Surgery (with formatting)

(This is a repost of prior post with no new content, but with proper formatting).

Surgery was two weeks ago today (on Monday, May 9th). So, time for a few musings. Tomorrow I go in to get the rest of my stitches out and I sure hope I can wear makeup soon.

1. It has both been harder and easier than I expected. I know that sounds weird, but is the best way I can explain it. The surgery took more out of me and exhausted me more than I expected. But, when I think of all that was done, it is amazing to me that I look as well as I look now and feel as well as I feel.

2. The pain wasn't terrible at any point. I will say the first couple of days it was worse than could be handled adequately with one pain pill. I did have my husband call the doctor's office and got permission to take 2. That really helped. But, at this point, I haven't had a pain pill in several days. I will have one in the morning since I am getting sutures out, but probably won't have any more. There are other things that were harder to deal with than the pain.

3. Getting enough sleep was a challenge. I have a lot of trouble sleeping at the best of times and sleeping on my back is very difficult. The first few days I got almost no sleep even sleeping in a recliner (an absolute necessity for me). The doctor at my first post-op visit prescribed valium and taking that with a reduced amount of pain medication gave me several nights of great sleep. But, once I didn't need the pain pills and stopped taking the valium a few days ago I started having huge problems sleeping again. I so hope I will be able to sleep on my side in another week or so.

4. I was way more tired than I expected to be. On the one hand I didn't feel that awful once I got the pain issue squared away. But I got tired so easily. There were several days that I just think the entire day was sleeping, icing my eyes and eating so I could take meds. Now, I am much more active, but I get tired very easily. That is an odd feeling for me. Maybe it is because of age, but maybe it is just the healing process. I expected to be more active more quickly. I have to consciously remember that I am still really in a fairly early stage of healing despite how well it looks on the outside.

5. Swelling, particularly of my eyes, was much worse than I expected. I was warned, but the reality was just worse than I anticipated. Those first few days when I couldn't see hardly anything were hard. I couldn't read or watch TV or do anything. I just got lots of practice icing my eyes. That said, it wasn't nearly as painful as it looks like in the photos and it is over now. The swelling in my lower face and neck is expected, but still weird. When I feel the side of my lower face or my neck it sort of feels like there is concrete stuffed in there. Very odd feeling. It isn't painful, just strange. I also wondered what people meant when they said their neck felt tight. Now I understand. It isn't painful, exactly, but is a strange feeling. I know it can last for awhile, so I have to be patient.

6. I had read about how sometimes people become depressed after surgery and I thought it was odd how the information from the doctor talked about this so much. I haven't been depressed, but I understand better now how that can happen. It is disconcerting to not recognize yourself in the mirror. Even though you know objectively that you are barely healing, it is hard to look and see something that is in the early stages of healing. For example, my eyes. Most of the stitches are gone and they function, but the scars are very raised and obvious right now. Objectively, I know they will flatten out and become much less obvious. 2 weeks is really nothing in terms of healing. But, it is still hard to look at. I have faith it will all work out, but I can see how it is hard to maintain that faith during early healing. And, recovery can be rough and when the expected results just aren't visible yet, it can be hard. I am patient and know those things will come but I can see how it can be hard, particularly if healing is slower than expected.

7. I can't stress too much how truly odd it is to look in the mirror and look different. Yes, I have now healed enough that I can compare before and after photos and can see it is the same person. And, I definitely like the direction it is going. But, it is still strange to look in the mirror and just not look like what you looked like before (even if some of the differences are positive ones). It may be more of an issue for me because I lost 65 pounds over the last few years. I can't look back at a picture from 10 or 15 years ago because I am so different in those pictures due to weight. And, it is even worse, that I am in the early stages of healing. For example, I can already tell I will love my eyes so much more than the ones I hated to look at before. I hated having photos taken in the past because I hated the droopy eyes with lots of loose skin. I can already see that is gone. But...I am still very much early stage. As I mentioned, those incisions haven't flattened out yet. And, I still have cholesterol deposits below my eyes that will be removed later. So, yes, I can see the work is in progress but I still don't really look like me or know where I will end up. I feel confident it will be a good place, but it still seems odd to look at a face and know that it isn't your old face and it isn't where it will be a month or two from now either. It is a real feeling of uncertainty. You have to have faith that the results you want will be there, but it is still odd.

8. I really want to wear makeup. I'm not a big makeup person but I so much want to be able to hide the bruises on the sides of my face and to work a little with the eyes, etc. I have really tried as best I can to be meticulous at following the doctor's instructions, but I sure hope I get released on this one soon.

9. I've found that life is much easier for me if I just don't care if someone knows that I had this surgery. Today, I went out for the first time (other than to the doctor). We had dinner at Panera. I did wear a hat and sunglasses but I had bruises on my cheeks. I thought there was a good chance no one would notice due to my hair and hat. But, bottom line, I decided I didn't care of they did. I work from home and when I was telling a couple of colleagues I would be away due to surgery, they were clearly concerned although trying hard not to ask me what was wrong. I finally just said to heck with it and told them I was having facial cosmetic surgery. It made everything ever so much easier. I have a weight loss blog and I had to really think about how to handle this on there. My weight loss is a big reason I am having this surgery and a future tummy tuck and breast lift. I ended up posting about the surgery and posting my before pics and some of my post-surgery pics. I recognize that by doing that someone who knows me in real life may find those pics. I just decided I didn't care. While I probably won't volunteer I had the surgery, I am not going out of my way to keep it a secret either. It is just easier to me that way (I recognize other people have different situations).

10. OK, 10th and last thought. I follow Weight Watchers (which is how I lost my weight) and am a lifetime member at goal weight. The first week after surgery I wasn't very hungry and didn't eat much compared to usual. I wear a Fitbit (except the day of surgery) and I record everything I eat. During the first week of recovery, my husband wrote down everything I ate. Anyway, on paper, over the two weeks I should have gained about half a pound. A week after surgery I was actually up 2 pounds which I think mostly was due to the swelling. On paper, I should have been down about half a pound since I wasn't hungry the first few days after surgery (and ate nothing on surgery day). But, then yesterday I was down 2.8 pounds from the prior Sunday. On paper, I should have gained about 3/4 of a pound this last week. The net over the two weeks is that I am actually down .8 pounds from the day before surgery. So, why do I now weigh about 1.3 pounds less than I would have expected on paper (i.e. calories burned per Fitbit compared to calories eaten). I think that what I've read really is true. Healing burns calories. While it might have seemed like I was a slug for the past 2 weeks, my body was busily working to heal me. All of that work burns calories so I didn't gain any weight. I had gone into surgery with the idea that my goal was to maintain my weight and to eat protein and to try to promote healing. So far that worked out well. I'm glad I gave myself permission to eat whatever I felt like and that would help with healing.

Sutures Out and Makeup Finally

I went to see my surgeon today (Tuesday) 15 days after surgery. The final sutures (those in the scalp) were removed along with a couple that had been missed earlier (apparently sometimes when there is a crusted over scab a stitch can be missed). I took a pain pill before hand, but this wasn't very painful. The last time was painful when the eyelid stitches were removed. The ones on the scalp were really not a big deal (my doctor did not use staples). I was feeling better today so went in with a long list of questions. 1. My right eye has been feeling funny for a few days. Sort of like when you have a lash in the eye. It isn't exactly painful, but annoying. Dr. Lyos looked at it carefully and found no evidence of abrasion of the lashes touching the eye. Basically, he chalked this up to some eye dryness and the fact I still have a lot of swelling in the eye region (it is still a lot better than it was, but it is still a lot of swelling). He recommended using the artificial tears more often and using the steroid/antibiotic ointment at night and possibly in the day. I didn't really like that because I can't see when I use it (everything is blurry). Doing it at bedtime is OK, but not during the day. He did say that if I used it in the day I could just put it in the right eye then since I'm not having problems with the left. 2. We talked about when he will do the excision of the cholesterol deposits below my eyes. He recommended doing it about 3 months after surgery since he doesn't want any wound healing issues. I really want them gone, but I also want it done the right way so I will be patient. That said, now that I only have these below my eyes, they are easier to hide with makeup. 3. He confirmed that my eyelid scars will flatten and lighten with time and with swelling going down. He commented I still have a lot of swelling. But, he did clear me to wear makeup so I was happy. 4. I no longer have to put antibiotics on my incisions or wrap my head at night. That was nice. 5. We had an extended discussion of my huge problem sleeping. Right after surgery, I had a lot of trouble sleeping and had pain so took pain meds. He suggested that I back off on the pain meds a bit but take valium and that would help me sleep and help with pain. And, for awhile that worked great. I took one pain pill and valium at night and then slept well. But, after my pain went away I quit doing that. And, now, I can't sleep. Last night, I didn't get to sleep until after 5:00 AM although I was tired. I find it hard to sleep on my back. I am a 3/4 of the way to the stomach sleeper. So, now I am using the recliner and neck pillow. They aren't uncomfortable but I just can't sleep. He doesn't want me to sleep on my side until 5 weeks after surgery. A big part of it is due to it increasing swelling and not wanting pressure on the incisions even though the sutures are out. I understand that, but I can't go nuts with no sleep either. So the current approach is that I will try to see if just taking a valium at night without a pain pill will help. If so, then I can do that while I need to until I can sleep on my side. If not, then he will prescribe Ambien. I don't really like taking those types of meds, but I am willing to do it for this period so I can get some sleep. 6. We talked about the hardness on the sides of my face and my chin and neck. It sort of feels like I have play doh stuffed under my skin. He agrees that this is primarily swelling and should go down. He suggested that I do some facial massage to massage up to my temple area. I will start doing that tomorrow. The swelling isn't painful, just odd feeling. 7. I mentioned to him what I posted about yesterday about losing weight when I didn't really expect to. I was down to 144.1 pounds this morning which is another pound since this weekend. He confirmed that this is part of the body burning more calories due to the efforts made to heal me. I had also noticed something interesting after I posted yesterday. I wear a Fitbit Blaze that continuously measure my heart rate. My resting heart rate in the morning is up about 10 bpm each morning and my heart rate just sitting around (like typing this or reading) is also up from what it usually is. He said that is part of the same thing. The body's efforts to heal me. 8. We talked a little bit about when I can do the tummy tuck/breast lift. He said ideally 3 months after this surgery, but at least 6 weeks. I had originally (pre-surgery) been hot to get it done as soon as possible. I now realize that something closer to 3 months is smarter. I still tire so easily. I want to build back up a little more. I need to check with his scheduler to see when I can schedule this but, ideally, sometime in August would work best. 9. He said my tiredness is normal. Part of that is just from the general anesthesia and just the healing. I did ask how recovering from this (all the stuff I had done) compares to the recovery from the tummy tuck/breast lift. He commented that in some ways this is harder because of the facial swelling (I couldn't see hardly anything for the first week) and because the bruising is visible. On the other hand, even with Exparel, the tummy tuck tends to be more painful. And, both of them are tiring. Oh, I as also encouraged to use a cream by NeoCutis called Bio-Cream. It is really expensive and usually I don't buy that kind of thing. There wasn't a hard sell on it at all, but I felt that for this period of time in particular it was worth using. After I left the doctor's office and got home, I had a small lunch. I did have some residual pain from the suture removal (not awful but a little bit) so took a pain pill but didn't take an anti-nausea pill since I thought I was close enough to when I had taken one that morning. Well, that was a mistake as the pill made me queasy. Anyway, I went and put on makeup (finally!). My son and his girlfriend were coming over so I wanted to be able to cover the bruises (I have some dermablend I used to use for the cholesterol deposits) and to see how I looked with makeup. It was a little challenging doing it. Part of it was the light in my makeup mirror went out so it was hard to see the fine details on the eyes even though I had a lot of magnification. Then, I was using the new makeup I bought right before surgery. A lot of it was new products (such as gel eye liner instead of pencil) or was new colors so there was a learning curve. The result of both of these is that I ended up with way heavier makeup on than I like to wear. But, I was getting really tired and couldn't face washing it all off and starting over. The eyes were particularly hard to do. First, I still have some numbness so the "feel" of everything was different. Putting on mascara was... interesting. Then I really do have scars on the upper lids that haven't flattened yet so getting everything evenly applied was challenging. I ended up with eye makeup that was too heavy and less than smooth looking. But, I mostly wanted to just see how it looked with makeup and to have something to compare to a before photo. My husband then took some pictures of me. By then, with all the activity and the pain pill making me queasy I started feeling wretched and like I was going to keel over. So we only took a few pics and then I said I just had to lay down for awhile. So - the caveats on the photos are that these are 15 days after surgery. I had a temporal brow lift, quad bleph and excision of cholesterol deposits on the upper eye. Translations: I still have lots of eye swelling. And my lower face and neck feel like they have been wrapped with play doh so I have a lot of swelling there. So, I see all those flaws. But, I can also see that I don't have a turkey neck and I don't have droopy eyes (the two things I hated the most) and I look a lot better than I did even a week ago.

One more Pic

One more Pic, cropped to focus on the face. It is a little hard to see but I don't have drooping on the side of the eye any more. You can also see my eyelid which you used to not be able to see much of unless I closed my eye. You can sort of see my scars but I know those will flatten and fade. If you look closely you can see the cholesterol deposits under the eye, but they will be taken care of in a few months. I also really think I am going to like the temporal brow lift. My lower face and neck do seem so wide but I know that is due to swelling.

So, for 15 days after surgery, I am OK with this. I still don't actually recognize myself that much (nose and mouth I do but not much else), but I am liking the direction this is all going.

Fairly dramatic before and current

The left photo was taken in March; the right photo was taken 15 days after surgery. I think the two show a pretty dramatic difference in in how my eyelid drooping has changed and my turkey neck has changed even with all the swelling still going on.

Scar Healing

Thought I would post some pics of updates on my scars since the sutures in the scalp were removed. That was on Tuesday. I noticed sent then I seemed to constantly have little pieces of scabs flaking off. They were sort of greenish looking. I had noticed in one of my prior pics that there was what looked like green in my incisions behind the ear and I asked the assistant removing sutures about it. She said it was an exudate that came during healing and wasn't a sign of infection.

When I showered today, I didn't scrub at the incisions at all. I did thoroughly wash my hair but just rinsed the incision. Most of the flakey stuff washed away and there is only a little left. There is still a little of the green left but, much left.

The incisions behind the ears hurt a little when I wear my reading glasses, but not a big deal. Tylenol take care of it.

Also, I noticed today that most of the bruises on the side of my face (the only bruises I have on my face are gone) and what is left is easily covered by makeup.

3 week post surgery

Monday wass 3 weeks since my facial plastic surgery. This is a milestone I was particularly looking forward to as it I was told I could start slow treadmill or exercise bike today. I ended up spending 25 minutes on the treadmill. I actually had to break it into 2 parts to do it since I found I got tired more easily than I expected. Also, I walked at 1.3 to 1.4 mph which is a lot slower than what I am used to. Still, it gave me a real feeling of normalcy.

I can see that I am slowly getting back to normal. I still tire more easily than normal, but not as badly as a week ago. I am still taking the Valium at night to sleep since I have 2 more weeks before Dr. Lyos wants me to sleep on my side. Sleeping on my back is very difficult for me. The Valium, however, has made it possible. The only thing I don’t like is that I tend to be tired all morning after I get up. Even at the best of time, pre-surgery, I always wake up tired but it dissipates in half an hour or so. Now, it takes hours. Still, the fact I am now sleeping has made it much better for me.

I put on makeup again so I could take some 3 week pics. When I did makeup for the last photos I took I was frustrated because my makeup mirror light had burned out. I actually ended up getting a new mirror with 15x magnification which I really need for my eyes. And, using it I found out some interesting things.

First, I can see that I have a few stitch fragments in my right eye. I thought I might but I couldn’t see them with a regular mirror. I can see them with this mirror. I had been warned that I might have a few still so it wasn’t a big surprise. Also, I have a few sutures behind my ears. When they took them out, they said they didn’t take any that were beneath large scabs. Now that the scabs fell out, I can see the a few sutures left. I will get those out on Thursday at my next appointment.

Second, I find that I can’t fully close my left eye while keeping my right eye open. If I close both eyes together, it seems to be fine. And, just sitting here, if I try to slow my left eye alone it seems OK. But, at 15x magnification trying to put on eyeliner I can clearly see that I can’t quite close the left eye if I keep the right eye open. I had no problem putting eyeliner on the right eye. But, it was harder on the left since I couldn’t fully close that eye while keeping the right eye open (which I had to do in order to put on makeup). My husband recalls the doctor saying that would improve in time, but I will ask about it on Thursday.

My facial bruising is mostly gone. On the left side I didn’t have any. On the right side I had a small area that I needed to cover with makeup. I do still have some bruising on my neck. Still, most of it is covered by my hair so it is not a big deal.

My lower face still feels like it has play doh stuffed in it, but it seems to be diminishing a bit. I did pictures today with makeup and with unhappy with several of them because I felt they made me look fat. My husband thought I looked fine. I finally realized that it is the swelling on my neck and under my chin as well as the lower face swelling.

I don’t have much pain any more except a little bit behind my ears. My reading glasses sometimes touch the area around the incisions and it can be a little painful. I try to keep them higher up on my head, but over time they slip down or I forget. I do still have a bit of a helmet feel on my scalp and the tightness in my neck. Those aren’t exactly painful, just odd feeling.

I am still learning how to do my eye makeup. My eyes are so different looking that there is definitely a learning curve. Even as a young woman, if my eyes were open you couldn’t see my lids so it is definitely different to be able to see them. I am having to learn how to best do my makeup. My scars on the upper lids (especially on the right which had 2 incisions due to my cholesterol deposits) haven’t flattened out or lightened yet. I realize that is something that will come with time. And, I still have cholesterol deposits that will be excised later.

Overall, though, I am definitely feeling more normal even though I tire more easily and I look forward to being able to sleep on my side in 2 weeks.

3 weeks post-surgery pics

2 more pics

Post-Op Appointment & Update

I went in for another post-op appointment (3 weeks, and 3 days since surgery). I got even more sutures out as well as some fragments that were around my eye. Basically if there is a big scab over a suture they don't remove it so I had several at various places that were now ready to come out. As usual, getting the ones out of the eyes hurt the most. Overall, it was a good appointment and I got answers to questions. 1. A couple of days ago, I had scheduled my tummy tuck/breast lift for 7/27 which is 11 weeks, 2 days after this surgery. I confirmed with Dr. Lyos that that is acceptable scheduling. My main concern is safety and the risk of blood clots with the tummy tuck so wanted to make sure this was OK and he said it was. I think this scheduling gives me enough time to get my energy back from this surgery. And, I want to be safe. But, within those bounds, I figure sooner rather than later. This way I can get all the recovery out of the way before getting back to my more regular exercise routine. 2. I have been using the treadmill since Monday and it has been great. Just slow walking and the longest session has been 25 minutes, but it has really helped to make me feel more normal. I still get tired more easily, but feel much better now than I did at my last appointment last week. 3. The doctor feels my swelling is coming down, although still present of course. He says it will continue to come down. 4. I asked about the fact that I can't fully close my left eye if my right eye is open. His assistant had earlier mentioned that this is common and usually resolves. He said pretty much the same thing and said I was now ready to squinch my eyes (close them tightly) several times a day to help with that. 5. My left ear lobe now seems adhered to my head while before it was dangling. See my pics. He said that this kind of asymmetry sometimes shows up after surgery. If this doesn't resolve, he indicated it can be easily corrected at the 6 month mark. I am OK with that although it feels sort of weird. (I don't mean physically feels weird, just seems alien to me). 6. I had mentioned in a prior post what felt like a drooping or pleat in my right upper eye. The scar there seems very thick and swollen. He felt it would flatten out. I had wrongly thought that I had two incisions on the right eyelid (as part of the excision of cholesterol deposits) but I was wrong on that. There was one incision and some deposits were excised as part of that. What is going on is apparently an asymmetry thing. My brow is lower on that side so I had more drooping skin. He said that he could only take out so much skin without making the incision too long where it would be visible. Again, this may end up looking OK as it heals. If it, he says the extra skin can be excised in 6 months. I am OK with that. Of course, I would rather that isn't necessary but yes I had a lot of drooping on right side so I understand his point. 7. He doesn't want me to get my eyebrows waxed for something like 10 more weeks because doesn't want any possibility of anything getting burned. I was so surprised by this I failed to ask about cold waxing strips or about threading eyebrows. He did say I can pluck so I guess I'll just do that. 8. He did some excision of cholesterol deposits when he did my quad bleph. But I still have the ones underneath my eyes and a little bit in the upper eyes. He is cautious about doing too much of those at once due to wound healing (he doesn't want my lower eyelid to drag down). He says he can do some work on those when he does the tummy tuck/breast lift. 9. Overall, he is happy with the progress and I am too even if I need my ear and right eye worked on a bit in 6 months. I am more interested in the overall result than in being impatient. 10. The valium was doing great at helping me sleep in the recliner, but was making me tired for hours after I got up. Last night, I cut in half and got a good night's sleep and wasn't so tired today. So that is what I plan to do for the next 10 days or so until I am at 5 weeks and can sleep on my side. 11. This Saturday will be the first time (except family and medical personnel) that I have seen people that I know since surgery. I am going to my monthly Weight Watchers meeting. My hair is sort of not at its best right now since it badly needs a perm (and could use color) but I can't do the perm until 6/21 so I will just have to make the best of it. I am a little nervous that I am too swollen still to go out to see people I know but my husband thinks I look fine to go out. In the past, I often went to the meetings without makeup (this is a morning meeting and I'm not a morning person), but I will get up a little earlier and at least put on some light makeup. I could actually wait until later in the month to do it (to maintain free lifetime status I have to weigh in once a month no more than 2 pounds above goal), but I'll probably just go ahead and do it this Saturday.

4 Weeks and 1 Day

Thought I would post some pictures showing where I am at 4 weeks and 1 day. On a day by day basis it is hard to see the changes in swelling, but on the comparison that I did showing me before, at 2 weeks, at 3 weeks and today I can see the change. Right now, I am feeling better. I feel much more back into normal life. I do still tire more easily than normal and I abide by the restrictions to not do heavy exercise or things that would be a strain, but I feel normal most of the time. The ears still feel sort of like they are just stuck on there and some of the scalp feels weird (like patchwork), but it isn't painful and is not a big deal. I think I this point I am mostly just waiting for the swelling to go down. I really want to get my hair done. I have a permanent to be done 2 weeks from now (I can really see now that I need it) and hair color in 3 weeks (I have to wait for a week after the perm). The one thing I don't like in the new pics is that the gray is starting to show. But that is a minor thing really. At this point, I am happy with my results. I think I will most likely need a minor revision to my left ear and to my right eyelid. I had so much excess skin and low brow on the right eye that possibly I may find that not everything could be removed in one go without extending the scar too far past the eye. But, as the swelling goes down and the scar flattens maybe it will be OK. Doctor says that, if need be, excess skin can be excised at 6 months. And, as I've mentioned before I still have some cholesterol deposits around my eyes that need to be excised. Some of that may be done when I have my Mommy Makeover (tummy tuck/breast lift) on July 27. One of the things that has been harder for me than I expected is how different I feel that I look in the eyes. This is not a bad thing. But, it is still disconcerting. My nose and lips look the same since there was no change there. My turkey neck is gone and looks different but I remember when I never had a turkey neck. The general jowl sagging that is gone is, again, a return to a time when I didn't have that. But the eyes are different. Yes, I used to not have the huge eye sagging I've had the last few years. But I never liked my eyes. If my eyes were open, for example, you could never see my lids at all even when I was young. When I first consulted with the doctor, and we talked about a temporal brow lift, he commented that some people don't like them because they feel it makes their eyes look different. I understand now what he means. The way my eyes look now is different from how they have ever looked in my entire life. I look in the mirror and they don't look like me. I mean, yes, I realize my face overall looks enough like me that people will recognize me. When I walked into my Weight Watchers meeting, my leader called out to me "Look at you!" from across the room (she knew I was having the surgery). So, sure, I am recognizable just looking at my face as a whole. But, when I look in my mirror and see my eyes it is like looking at someone else. My neck and jowls and such look rejuvenated as some people put it. My eyes look different. Now, I like the difference. I am very glad I had the temporal brow lift (I honestly think I would not have been happy with just the quad bleph without it). I like my eyes now more than I have ever liked them in my life even knowing that I still have swelling and may need a small revision to the right eye. But, at this point, I still have not yet internalized those new eyes as being "mine". Oh, interestingly, on the burning more calories after surgery due to healing, I weighed in Saturday down .8 pound from where I was 2 days before surgery. On paper based upon Fitbit and MyFitnessPal, I should have gained about .6 pounds. I am now counting the days to when I can sleep on my side (next Monday!).

5 1/2 Week Doctor Follow Up Visit

Today I went to a 5 1/2 week follow up visit and wanted to update. Follow up visit went well. When Dr. Lyos came in the room, the first thing he commented on was that I was healing really well. He asked how I was feeling in terms of tiredness and I told him that I was doing well. And, finally I am. I had had so much trouble sleeping while in the recliner having to sleep on my back. Now, I am back in bed sleeping on my side and am getting a lot more rest. My ears still feel a little funny when I sleep on my side but everything is so much better. Of course, in 6 weeks I am back to sleeping on my back in the recliner since I will be having my Mommy Makeover surgery. I had one suture fragment in my right eye incision that needed to be removed, but that was easy. There were a few things that I asked about and I've put those in my pictures. I noticed this week I have some puffiness right above my cheeks. Dr. Lyos, in fact, commented on this before I could ask (although I had it in my list of questions). He says those are the malar fat pads and they tend to retain fluids. He said this can be more noticeable after the other swelling has gone away. I noticed these just showing up this week, which is also the week I started sleeping on my side. He said that was also a factor. He recommended that I massage them and showed me what to do. And, he prescribed a low dose of a diuretic and potassium supplement. He says that this should get better in time as swelling continues to go down. I have noticed that if I smile I have these deep dimples in my cheek. I am trying to show them in the picture but they don't really show how deep and prominent they are when smiling. He said this type of thing is common during healing and will go away in time. I noticed on the back of left ear I have some raised scar tissue. He said that is likely to flatten out. If it doesn't, it can be dealt with at 6 months. I have a few areas I am watching for possible touch ups at 6 months. That scar tissue is one of them. Also, the attachment of my left ear to my face may need a little revision. Most notably, my right eye has a bit more skin on it than the left eye (the doctor previously indicated that brow was a little lower so had more loose skin) and the scar on the outside part of the right eye is thicker than the similar scar on my other eyes. He indicated that this scar will probably flatten out and I know I have to wait on that. It is possible that I will need a little more skin excision on that eye, but that is also something to wait and see on. I still have some excision of cholesterol deposits to be done around my eyes so that may be a factor as well. I haven't done any full makeup on pics since last week because I can't stand my hair right now. My gray is really showing and my perm needs to be redone. I get the perm next Tuesday and the hair color the week after that. I do have one pic of my face (without makeup) mostly to show me with my eyes closed to show the upper incisions. Overall, I thought the visit went great and really I am just waiting now to see how things go over the next few months. I was supposed to come back for a follow up in about a month. I already had a pre-op scheduled for July 14 for my tummy tuck/breast lift (yes, I have a review started for that one too), so we will do my next face followup at that time. At this point, I am very happy with my results and with how healing is going. I am mostly just eager to get my perm and color done on my hair (can't wait until 6/28 when it will all be done). I am really feeling fine now and that is good. He did caution me to be careful not to do things that would put a strain on the neck, he doesn't want that muscle separating. I am very careful what I do and am not lifting anything that is remotely heavy.

6 Week Update

Today is 6 weeks since I had surgery. Things are mostly going well. On my right cheek bone (right where the face is at the bend from the front of the face to the side, there is a super sore place. I can feel an internal suture underneath it. I called the doctor's office and they said this was a normal part of healing and I could put warm compresses on it. It is sore enough that it hurts to smile. (That is one reason I don't have much of a smile in the pic I am posting from yesterday). Tomorrow I am going to get a permanent on my hair and then next Tuesday I can finally get color on it. I am really looking forward to that since quite a lot of my gray is showing.

A Visit to the Hairdresser

So, yesterday, I went and got a body wave. I would have ordinarily done this a couple of weeks after surgery so I was really glad to get it done. Also, I had to get that done this week so I can go to my other hairdresser next week who does my color (I hate that you can really see my gray roots right now). I was a little nervous because I still have one area on my scalp that has a small scab on it. I was worried that would burn, but it didn't. The hairdresser did make one comment that made me feel good. She said that she had seen a lot of people with scars from facial plastic surgery and mine were really well done. She said that mine were already really faint and better than many that she sees. She particularly commented on the incisions on the face in front of/near the ears and how faint they are.

8 weeks

Today is 8 weeks after surgery. I am still very happy that I did it. I am posting a picture. I wasn't really happy with the lighting in any of the pics I did yesterday, but this was the best one.

Overall, I actually find that having the surgery and the results have had a stronger impact on my mood than I thought it would. It is like a weight lifted from my shoulders that I didn't have before. I do feel more self-confident than I did before. I thought I was self-confident before and it many ways I was. But I wasn't confident about my appearance and now I am. I just to hate it when people took pictures of me. I usually took the pics at occasions and rarely had one done of me (and when I did I almost always hated them). Now, I am just way more relaxed about it. Even a "bad" picture looks so much better.

Recovery is going well. There are occasionally odd things for a few days and then they go away. My "dimples" have moved around during healing. I basically am just not worrying about that kind of thing until later. I can tell I have less swelling on the side of the face because I can very easily feel the knots in the sutures under the skin. Before, I could feel only a few of them. Now, I can feel many more. That doesn't bother me (there was one that hurt for a few days and then it quit hurting). Occasionally I will have an area that hurts or itches for a few days, then it gets better. I have found my face itching at times. I did some searches here on realself and found people saying that this is due to healing. I will ask at my next appointment.

I went and had my hair colored last week. This is a different hairdresser than the one who does my perm. This one also mentioned my scars and how she thought they were really good for this point. She mentioned she has another client who had surgery 6 months ago and has much worse scars.

Follow Up

I had a follow up appointment with my surgeon today. It is 9 1/2 weeks after surgery. I was actually having a pre-op appointment for my mommy makeover (tummy tuck/breast lift) and we combined that with the face follow up appointment.

At this point, things are going well. My swelling is down a lot. Actually as my swelling has gone down, I can feel through the skin the knots in the sutures (which is weird but not painful). Those will eventually dissolve.

I am still really happy with the surgery results. There are a couple of things that may get addressed at 6 months (possibly some additional skin removal on my right eye and how my left ear lobe attaches to my face). But, really, things are going well. I still have a couple of dimples in my cheeks. He said that should smooth out over time.

I also have a raised place at the end of the incision at the side of my eye. When he does my mommy makeover he is going to look at that. Also, during the mommy makeover he is going to remove some more of the cholesterol deposits under my eyes. I will probably have some more removed later as well. This was expected from the beginning.

I basically feel very normal at this point. I do still have some numbness in front of my ears, underneath my chin and behind my ears and on top of my head. But, those are really minor. For the first 6 weeks or so my ears always felt like they were just stuck on the side of my face. That has mostly gone away. My range of motion in my neck is good. If I look up, I do still feel some pulling but not very much.

I do have some itching on my face and top of my head. He said that most of that is because of histamine being released as part of healing. Scratching doesn't really help but taking an antihistamine does.

As I mentioned I am doing the mommy makeover on July 27th so that will be a major procedure with a new recovery. I am at a point now where I feel really good and would like to be able to get back to normal exercise, but that is not in the cards for awhile due to that surgery.

Mommy Makeover Done

Just a quick post. I came through my tummy tuck and breast lift fine. He also removed cholesterol deposits around my eye. Those haven't hurt at all. They have Steristrips on them that just fall out on their own. He also explored this bump just past the end of my left eye. It was a cyst and he removed it.

I've a more difficult recovery this time. This was a lot more painful. And, the night after surgery I got really sick and threw up 3 times which. He switched my antinausea and pain meds after that. Also, I have a lot of swellling right now. But, I think everything will work out fine.

Eye Work Done during Mommy Makeover

Here is a close up pic of the eye work done during the Mommy Makeover. He removed some more cholesterol deposits. Most of them are now gone but I probably will need a third round done in the office. We'll see. On my upper right eyelid bleph the outer third of the incision was really raised. There was a large cholesterol deposit there. That is now gone and the incision already much flatter.

He also explored a bump near the end of my left. It was a cyst. He said it could have been from a suture fragment or possibly just showed up on its on. In any event re moved it.

Mostly focused on my Mommy Makeover right now

While some face work was done (removal of cholesterol deposits and a cyst) while I had the mommy makeover my recovery has mostly focused on that. Psychologically I think the facial surgery is more difficult. Physically, I think the recover from the Mommy Makeover is much worse -- specifically from the Tummy Tuck (for me recovery from the breast lift has been the easiest of all the surgeries)

With the facial surgery I think it is more difficult psychologically because you are seeing all the changes in a very visible area. The impact of swelling and healing is a large one. At 3 1/2 months now I realize I look different than I looked at 6 weeks because I don't have as much swelling. SOme of that is good -- I don't have weird looking dimples and creases in my. But, with the less swelling I probably do look a little older simply because of loss of volume. To be clear I look a little older perhaps than I looked at 6 weeks when I had swelling. I most certainly look better now than I look before surgery. Another pyschological aspect with facial surgery is that eyes changed a lot so I didn't really recognize myself. That was odd. I knew it was mean (nose and mouth didn't change) but the eye change was big enough for me to not to see me in the mirror anymore. I liked the new me but it was a new me. I've mostly adjusted to that by now. But with facial surgery you are dealing with that in real time and basically publicly. You can't really hide it.

But, very little of that matters in tummy tuck/ breast lift. I'm much less obsessed about my scars since they mostly aren't visible to anyone other than me - - and my husband. I see that they are slowly getting better and that is nice. The swelling from the tummy tuck and lips can be great. I have seen a difference in my natural waistline of up to 3" from morning to night. And, no I don't know how the swelling looks. One reason I wear a compression garment is to help with swelling and it does help but doesn't alleviate it. But, mostly no one but me sees the swelling. So it doesn't bother me nearly as much as facial changes bothered me.

But from a physical standpoint - this surgery was way more taxing than the facial surgery. THe biggest negative on the facial was that because of my eye surgery I basically could see much of anything for 4 days. That was one area the tummy tuck was better. I could see sooner.

But, getting past the tummy tuck was way more painful than the facial surgery (the breast life honestly wasn't painful for me - maybe it was just subsumed in the tummy tuck). Every movement hurt. THe first night after surgery I was encouraged to walk around promptly threw up 3 times. Laughing or coughing hurt. Sitting up hurt. Early on, I had walk hunched over and my neck and/or back killed me. I did get a muscle relaxant which helped for that. And, it is better. But at almost 5 weeks after the Mommy Makeover I am not where I was physically at the same time after facial surgery. At about 3 weeks after facial surgery I felt I was getting energy back and could sit at my office desk for most of a deal. Now at 4 1/2 weeks after the Mommy Makeover, I am just starting to get back energy and I can't sit at a desk for hours. My ends up killing me and I get exhausted.

The result is that almost all my energy right now is focused on recovering from the Mommy Makeover. I also don't think about my facial surgery at all. I have noticed that my cholesterol deposits are much better. Also there was an incision on my upper right lid that wasn't flattening out and I think that was mostly due to a cholesterol deposit near it. That seems to be greatly improved. Where cholesterol deposits were removed under my eyes those excision are not totally healed yet which is why I haven't done new pictures. They are coming along nicely and I think soon I'll do some pics.

I am happy with both groups of surgery that I did and glad I chose the order that I chose. But, just recognizing that for me the mommy makeover is physically a more demanding recover.

Almost 5 month Update

Haven't updated for awhile because there wasn't much change but this is a good time for an update. It will be 5 months in a week.

The pictures really tell you the status. For the face pictures, I am very happy with the results. I did have Botox done 2 weeks and got Juvederm in my nasolabial lines and the marrionette lines. I felt those things were optional but I wanted the best result and there are things that a facelift really doesn't correct. When I first had Botox right before surgery, I didn't like it. It was done so that my muscles wouldn't pull down on my browlift. But, I got used to it and when it wore off I found that I liked the look better with the botox. For the lines, those were improved with the surgery. And they looked great when I had swelling. But, as the swelling faded those lines came back and I liked it better with them softer.

One reason I wanted to post photos today is that starting to tomorrow I am also going to do IPL and Resurfacex. This is 4 treatments of each one. Again, I want my skin to look the best possible.

I also post some photos here showing my eyes in closeup and pictures of in front of and behind my ears. As you see, basically my scars in front of my ears don't show at all. If looking in person and knowing where to look, you can find them if you look really carefully but they are super faint.

Next week I am having a few things done. I have had 2 rounds of having cholesterol deposits removed around my eyes. This had to be carefully done so as to not have the incisions pull down on the eyelid. I will be having my final round of removal done. Also my left ear is a bit of pixie ear (see the photo of the front of my left ear. When it healed, the ear adhered to my face. That is going to be fixed. Finally, my ears will be pierced again. I had my ear lobe repaired as my pierced ears had almost pulled through.

5 months after surgery I am very happy with the results. The hardest thing was adjusting to looking different from how I had ever looked before. But, I have adjusted to that and gotten used to the new me.

I actually don't even think about appearance most of the time because I know I look good. I used to worry about it when I went out and now I don't.

(As an aside I am 3 months post tummy tuck/breast lift and that has gone very well also. It was a very difficult surgery to recover from but really worth it).

Ear Lobe Repair and Such

I am now at 6 months post surgery so had a few things done today. As I showed in a prior picture I had a bit of a pixie ear where the ear lobe healed attached to my face instead of how it was before surgery. That was repaired today. Also, the third round of removal of cholesterol deposits on my eyes was done. And, finally, when I had the original surgery I had pierced ears that had elongated and were close to tearing through. That was repaired and today I had my ears pierced again.

Oh, one other thing. On the back of one ear, the incision had healed with some excess skin where the scar was. That excess skin was removed. I am attaching pictures of everything.

Ironically, this has turned out to be more painful than anything else I had done. After my facelift and everything, I was on pain medication afterwards so I never really felt any pain in my eyes or my ears. I had some more cholesterol deposits removed when I did my tummy tuck/breast lift and that never hurt. So it never really occurred to me that the same thing today would hurt. I was forgetting that I was taking pain medication after the tummy tuck/breast lift. So, today, after the local anesthetic wore off the cholesterol deposit excisions really hurt. I still had a few of my pain pills from my surgery so I took one.
Houston Plastic Surgeon

So far I am very happy with Dr. Lyos and his office. I am not yet doing ratings since I am still so early in the healing process, but at this point I am happy and anticipate giving a high overall rating.

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