The following post is PART 4 in a series of blog posts by Sue Teague, a Retired RN and plastic surgery patient who had a brow lift, lower eyelid lift, neck lift & face lift at CosMed Plastic Surgery Center in Mexico.
*Click here to Read Part 1 – How I selected my plastic surgeon
*Click here to Read Part 2 – What to Expect the First Days after a Face Lift
*Click here to Read Part 3 – Week One of the Healing Process after Face Lift
It is Day 10 and, as you can see, the bruising has subsided and the face is starting to look more human than alien.
Here are a few temporary, downside realities:
- The headaches from the extremely tight neck are still with me and I am taking Tylenol for relief…
- My eyes feel dry and irritated and, when water gets in them in the shower, it is uncomfortable. This is probably due to a mild inflammation and their being more “open”.
- My skin is dry and sensation is completely altered. My head feels like a cantaloupe…
- Pressure to the sides of the face produce tenderness; needless to say, I must sleep on my back at all times…
- The stitches are annoying and there is some tenderness at the back of the ears with drainage and mild infection. The ear areas are on a “watch” with extra cleanliness care.
Did I say that the neck feels super tight and constricted? It is not a “strangulation” feeling or produces any sensation of air hunger—it’s feels like you are wearing a cervical collar with a tight turtleneck. I am still turning the head as a unit with the body.
After 10 days of recuperation, I thought “if this is as bad as it gets, then it’s a piece of cake!” I have had several major surgeries in the past and would rate the facelift surgery as the easiest by far!
Day 8 was my first social public appearance and two acquaintances were amazed at how good I looked for being so freshly post-surgical. I have to say that I agree! The early result is quite encouraging and I can already appreciate the positive changes in my face.
I am very excited to have my sister take my photo today! I have passed another suture-removal milestone. I emailed Dr. Quiroz a current set of close-up photos and he phoned me to say it was OK to remove the scalp sutures. The suture removal was entirely painless since the scalp is numb.
The clinic advised that the area behind one of my ears was looking a little “funky”. I sent Dr. Quiroz close-ups of these and advised him that I was monitoring them closely. I enlisted my sister to help observe and take close-up photos.
The remaining ear and nape sutures are getting still annoying. Being a lifelong nail biter, I am tempted to “fiddle” with them which are a no-no due to the possibility of introducing an infection.
I am driving but that is “iffy” since I do not have the ability to turn the head quickly or comfortably. I do, however, drive an RV and am quite accustomed to using side mirrors. Still, I believe it is smarter to be a passenger and would not recommend driving.
I am finally stitch-free! Even though the area behind my one ear is still “funky”, I feel this is major progress! The clinic took a culture as a safeguard and wrote me scrip for an antibiotic.
The clinic nurse practitioner was quite impressed with the surgery and wanted to know who did it. She assumed it was done locally (which in this area would be the Bay area or Portland). When I told her about Dr. Quiroz in Tijuana, she was flabbergasted! She gave me her email address and asked to see photos of my face “before”.
The most notable change in the last week is the eyes; they are not as swollen though one can still see the incision line. I think that overall swelling is less than the last photo. The neck is unchanged in either its appearance or the feeling of tightness. However, I am now past the 3-week prohibition against turning the neck and have begun to cautiously turn my neck in small movements to relax and stretch stiffened muscles.
This week, I got a much-needed massage. I phoned staff there and described my situation and they assured me that massage technique could accommodate me. I was positioned on my back due to the facial sensitivity and staff paid special attention to relaxation and circulation. I was unaware of the tension in my body from the constant vigilance of protecting my neck and head until after the wonderful massage!
I have been mingling in public without being self-conscious since Day 14. At this point, a little makeup would probably cover any evidence of the surgery, but I do not wear makeup.
It is hard to believe that just 3 weeks ago, I began a journey in Mexico with no guarantees.
As I look back on a photo taken with my I-Pad days prior to surgery, I am very happy with my decision.