I was recently contacted by my friend, Erica, asking me for an update on my facelift, after two years. We had originally done a four part series on my procedure for her wonderful website – I Spy Fabulous. I wanted women to get a first hand report on what the experience was really like. Seeing before and after pictures taken in the surgeon’s office didn’t tell the whole story, and that’s what I was interested in.
Keeping a diary enabled me to document everything I was going through––before, during, and after. It became the basis for the four part series. I took lots of pictures, many scary and unflattering, the kind doctors won’t show you. The purpose was so women could make a more informed decision when contemplating a facelift.
Collaborating with Erica allowed me to share my facelift experience and to connect with a community of women. Through emails, I have been touched by their questions, hopes, and fears. Some women said they weren’t planning to tell others they had had a facelift, but the candor expressed in the articles encouraged them to be honest. I’m grateful that many found the series helpful in their own facelift journeys.
For those of you interested in learning more about the facelift experience, please click the link to I Spy Fabulous to enjoy the condensed and updated version regarding my procedure.
To those who have been following along, this is the final part of my facelift journey. Thanks for sticking around for the reveal. (If you are just jumping in, see Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.) I hope you like the pictures and the results. I do, and that’s what counts. I’m grateful to live in an age where cosmetic surgery is an option.
I am still healing from my procedure. The numbness experienced on different areas of my face and scalp continues to dissipate, and I feel more normal each day. I have an area on my right eye that may need a small correction and I’ll discuss this with my doctor during my next appointment. Considering how much work was done, it’s a small thing.
In my opinion, elective cosmetic surgery shouldn’t be done to please another human being, and it’s not about perfection. It’s one pathway open for a person to improve their looks. For the best possible outcome, one must consider the variables such as a doctor’s abilities and medical experience, and an individual’s health and their healing abilities. A facelift is invasive and isn’t for everyone.
I’m grateful for medical advances, where people have the option to change physical attributes that affect their self-esteem. As a result of being open about my facelift, I’ve been blessed to hear stories from people who shared how certain surgeries transformed their lives for the better.
Before doing this series with Erica, I went round-and-round whether I should go public with my facelift. I worried that some friends and family would think less of me, and I wondered if I could handle being so exposed, especially when it came to the pictures that showed me stitched, bruised, and swollen.
When I spoke to surgeons, I was only shown before and after pictures of their previous patients. I wanted to know the real story, what happened in between those pictures, and that’s what tipped the scale to share. I thought there might be others who would want to know what the first couple of weeks were like after cosmetic surgery, so I kept a diary and took pictures of my face.
My photos were raw and difficult for me to see, but they are the truth of the procedure. Up until this surgery, I didn’t spend much time looking at my face. I’d brush my teeth, wash my face, and be off to greet the day. But after the facelift, I checked everyday to make sure the swelling was decreasing, and the stitches stayed in place. I didn’t want to come apart at the seams.
During my examinations, I began to notice how asymmetrical my face was. When given my information packet prior to surgery, I read how our faces are not symmetrical but didn’t give it much thought. Now, I’m well aware that my nose is off, one eye is bigger than the other, and so on. What will I do with this new awareness? Nothing. It is––what it is. Again, there is no such thing as perfection.
My facelift journey started because I’d lost 20 pounds and managed to keep the weight off for two years. With no elasticity, my facial skin appeared to be melting off like beige candle wax. My neck became a wattle and I found it disturbing. I knew I had options to make it go away, if I chose. And I did.
For those who have read my book, you know I mention what a great sense of humor my Higher Power has. That sense of humor has continued with this facelift. I have a beautiful new face, but to go out in public I must now cover it up with a mask! How is that for irony? No one anticipated Covid-19, so due to the lockdown very few friends and family have seen my results until today. All I can say is that I am happy with the results, and for me, I made the right decision.
I want to thank Erica again, for her willingness to partner on this series. Her website, I Spy Fabulous, contains a wealth of helpful information. Please pop over to see and more after pictures and our Q & A at The Finale.
Warning: The Pictures May Be Disturbing To Some, Please Proceed With Caution.
First off, thanks to all who have been so supportive and receptive to this cosmetic surgery series. I have appreciated your interest and kind words, especially those who have said I look great––having yet to be shown a final “after” picture. (If this is your first time to the series, you may want to visit Part 1 and Part 2.)
So I have to confess, the second week after my facelift surgery proved to be emotionally difficult. It was prior to our shelter-in-place orders, and I disliked not feeling great and wasn’t accustomed to being stuck at home. (Little did I know, I would soon become a champion stay-at-homer.) During the second week I was by myself, and had way too much time on my hands. I ended up freaking myself out thinking I wouldn’t recover.
I’ve learned a normal part of the healing process is to have a moment (or days) where you feel your decision to have surgery was a mistake. It’s also common to get a bit weepy or depressed. Hang in there, this too shall pass! Realize your face and body have experienced great trauma and they need time to heal. Be patient.
For me, one of the strangest parts of a facelift is the numbness felt on my scalp, forehead, and ears. The information packet I received from the doctor spoke to all this, it’s just something else to live it. (Feeling has returned slowly.)
As I indicated in Part 1 and 2, I’m collaborating with my friend, Erica Jabali, on this cosmetic surgery series. She has the most professional looking website I’ve seen, called I Spy Fabulous. (You have to see it.) Erica is a Mommy and Beauty Blogger. I’ve given her additional recovery pictures and my actual diary entries for the second week of recovery. Please click over to Erica’s Beauty Blog for: Recovering From Cosmetic Surgery – Erin’s Journey Part 3.
(WARNING: PICTURES BELOW MAY BE DISTURBING TO SOME – PROCEED WITH CAUTION.)
So the day of surgery had finally arrived. And even though having a facelift was scary, I felt that my odds were good since I take care of myself with diet and exercise, and I don’t drink, smoke, or do drugs. I thought those behaviors would make me a good candidate for surgery. And they did.
My “after” pictures may disturb some, but this is what recovery looks like. (Please know I don’t look like that today.) To deal with any surgery, a strong resolve and planning for the down-time is necessary to get through the first few weeks. I’m unaccustomed to not feeling great, so the first week of recovery was difficult. But once you are home after surgery, there is only one direction––and that is forward. Healing was my highest priority.
If you decide on cometic surgery, you will need the help of a friend or relative. I have to thank my friend, Andi, who cared for me and drove me to and from surgery, and to several medical appointments. Andi has been by my side through many adventures, my facelift being the most recent. It was comforting to know that she was watching over me, making sure I ate and took my meds. I was so out of it the first twenty-four hours, her presence was needed. So make sure you have a caring individual to watch over you for the first several days.
As I indicated in Part 1, I’m collaborating with my friend, Erica Jabali, on this cosmetic surgery series. Erica has the most professional looking website I’ve seen, called I Spy Fabulous. (You have to see it.) She’s a Mommy and Beauty Blogger. Erica has more “after” pictures and my week one diary entries. Please pop over to Erica’s Beauty Blog for Part 2: What Recovery Is Really Like.
Prior to the onset of COVID-19 and the advice to cancel elective surgeries, I had a facelift. There were many reasons for choosing cosmetic surgery, but at the forefront were my interactions with the public, and the desire to feel better about myself. Due to weight loss, the droopy saggy countenance that was reflected in the mirror, and in photos, didn’t match my youthful insides. I’m active and go to the gym. I wanted my face to match my joyful insides, and I felt cosmetic surgery could help me achieve that.
Since I travel to fairs and festivals doing Tarot readings for the public, and have authored a memoir, my life has become much more public. My book, That’s Why You’re Here, requires that I do speaking engagements to promote it. To reach clients out of the area, I’m on FaceTime and Skype to deliver Tarot Readings. I talk to others about deserving good things, and it became clear, it was time to invest in myself and to put my best face forward.
Once I researched, had my consultation, and had scheduled the cosmetic surgery, I contacted my talented friend, Erica Jabali. She owns and operates a fabulous website called I Spy Fabulous. The site is filled with wonderful tips and ideas regarding beauty, family, career, shopping, and so much more.
I sought out Erica to see if she would be interested in collaborating in telling the story of my cosmetic surgery, the before and after. I believed our readers would want to hear, first hand, what the experience was like. Erica agreed, and was onboard immediately.
I’m excited to have you read and see the results of our collaboration, and for you to walk this cosmetic surgery journey. If you’re considering surgery, may you find the series helpful.
Have you ever contemplated plastic surgery? I have. I’ve reached the “wisdom” stage in life, and this sage knows the “e” has fallen off, leaving behind a shriveled sag. The condition is evidenced by a drooping neck that appears to have been tugged repeatedly by an impatient toddler. I’m not talking a mere double-chin, I’m talking a flap that functions as a bib.
Hoping to erase decades, I did what other wise-women have done––I called a surgeon.
The Day of my Facelift Appointment:
On the day of my appointment, I entered an opulent office hidden within a strip-mall. A chandelier shimmered, expensive artwork adorned the walls, and a fountain bubbled. Everything dripped money. My hand shook as I signed in. I waited and listened. No tortured screams drifted from the rear, so I relaxed some. (Watching Botched the previous night hadn’t been prudent.)
A door opened, and a taut-necked older woman ushered me into a tastefully decorated room. A white-coated doctor introduced himself and sat me on a stool in front of an oversized silver-framed mirror. He stood behind me and said, “Now for my assessment.” He placed his practiced hands on either side of my neck, and pulled the skin back as if reining in a frightened horse. He shook his head and clicked his tongue. “This won’t do it. The neck won’t be enough. You need a full facelift.”
I knew it was bad, but not this bad. The doctor proceeded to stretch my cheeks towards my ears. A mole, once centered on my cheek, now rested on my earlobe. With one tense squeeze, the doctor had fashioned a new stud earring. I admired the look, but then he let go. My mole, like a bug, crawled back into place.
The surgeon said, as he spread them like wings, “If you want to lose the jowls, then a facelift is mandatory.”
I stared at my jowls and wondered how I’d transitioned into a portly English gentleman. Was gout next?
But the doctor wasn’t finished. He positioned fingers to my forehead and lifted toward my hairline. “A brow lift is also recommended.” My expression shot past deer caught in the headlights to parent caught having sex by a curious kid.
The surgeon released my forehead and my brows sank into my sockets. “See my assistant for a price sheet,” he said. The exam was, like the movie: Gone In 60 Seconds.
Once I got in the car, I opened the estimate. My brows lifted in horror. (One less procedure.) This sag/e pondered cheaper facelift options, and it didn’t take a prophet to see––it was turtlenecks and duct tape for me.