Preparing and Pre-Op Appointment

I am starting to really get ready for my facial cosmetic surgery on May 9th. I had a long list of tasks to do before hand and lots of stuff to buy.  For example, last weekend I bought a couple of shirts to wear after surgery that button down the front.

Hair

One of the things that I did was get my hair colored.  I will not be able to color it for about 6 weeks after surgery.  I also took the opportunity to color my hair.  I have colored my hair red for the past several years.  Even before my hair started graying, I colored my hair most of my life.  I had very dark natural hair with very pale skin and I often felt my hair looked really harsh against my skin.

I think this was around the time I graduated college

I was about 21 in this picture. (And, I hated my upper eyelids even then).

So, I usually did something to my hair most of my adult life like in my 30s, when I had highlights in my dark hair.

I was down a little bit here, but still had a little double chin.

About 20 years or so ago, I mostly started wearing my hair red.  (Of course, if you look through my photos you can see I’ve pretty much had it every color).

I had gained some after getting married, but was in the 150s here.

I liked the red a lot, but as I have gotten older it is harder for graying hair to hold on to the red color.  I had managed by being careful not to shampoo too often, but after getting a perm a few months ago my hair hasn’t held onto the red color really at all.  After washing my hair once or twice, it basically just looked like a medium, boring brown (my least favorite color ever).  So, last month, I liked my hair right after I came home from the hairdressers, but was unhappy after I had washed it a couple of times.

So, when I went to get my hair done I wanted to change the color to something less likely to fade.  One option was to color my hair to my original color.  While I am graying, I do have some of my original color left so I could do that.  But, as mentioned, I think my original color was really harsh against my pale skin even when I was younger and is super harsh now.  So, that was out.  I also didn’t want anything I felt was boring.  One way to add something more to hair is to add highlights and lowlights.  The problem with doing that with a perm is that often with the curl any highlights or lowlights tend to just blend in.  I had highlights already in my hair, but once I had the permanent they didn’t show up hardly at all.

Another factor was I wanted to do something noticeably different from the red.  One recommendation often made to people having cosmetic surgery is to make some change to your hair.  Afterwards, people will notice there is something different about you but will often chalk it up to the change to your hair.  I didn’t want to cut my hair (I am in the process of growing it out shoulder length), so thought a new color would be something different. Of course, not that there is much secret that I am having surgery.  I mean here it is right here.  But, still.

I finally decided I would go with a medium brown base with chunky blond highlights and red lowlights.  I went to the hairdresser Saturday to do it.  I liked it, but the highlights weren’t chunky enough given my perm.  That is, the highlights would have been fine if I had straight hair, but with the curl they tended to blend in.  So, Monday morning, I went back and she did more highlights.  I was very happy with the result.  This is still a bit of a work in progress, but I felt like it did what I wanted.

Here is my hair in March:

Face 4

The neck and eyes in that photo is a good reminder of all my loose skin.  And, after I washed my hair a couple of times, the red color mostly faded out.

This is a pic taken Monday evening with the new color.

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I am happy with it and know it will get even better as my hair continues to grow and I get it done.  I won’t be able to get it done again for about 8 weeks due to the surgery.  I usually need to do it about every 5 weeks so those last 3 weeks are going to be difficult.  But, that’s OK.

Pre-Op Appointment

Yesterday I went to my pre-op appointment at my surgeon’s office.  This is the appointment where you get all your instructions, sign the consent forms, see the doctor and ask any questions, and fully pay the surgeon’s fee. It all took much longer to do than I had anticipated.

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. 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.

I asked her if there was any restrictions 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 eat soft food 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 mentioned that I planned to buy a neck pillow and she said that they would give me one. This is it and it is a really good pillow.

pillow


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.  I had heard of them before.  Supposedly the Bromelain helps with swelling and the Arnica helps with bruising.

IMG_3651

She gave me a lot of post-surgery instructions. I will be 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 close to where I live. The other office is over an hour away. They are in that office 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.  But, even though I understand it, I am still a little wary about having to be inactive.  From a weight standpoint, I rely on exercise a lot to keep me in balance on weight.  I find that if I am exercising I find it really easy to maintain and even to slowly lose a little weight.  So, not being able to do strength training at all and having to limit my activity is hard for me.  I know it is important to heal properly so, of course, I will follow instructions.  But, I do have a little bit of anxiety about upsetting my weight loss/maintenance routine.

After we got finished, she took me to the next room and did the before pictures. After that, I went back to the first room and someone came in and did a tear test.

Then the doctor 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. In that case, he would excise the rest of them later in his office.

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.  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. 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.

The reason I was asking about the losing weight is that I am currently up about 4 pounds from when I weighed in at the start of April.  The month of April and early May is very difficult for me every year.  In a period of about 5 weeks, I have each year:  a family celebration that involves eating out, my birthday, my son’s birthday and Mother’s Day.  I still have the last two of those to go.  And, this year has been more difficult than most.  I went out of town for a day earlier this month and went out to eat that day.  And, due to the preparing for surgery stuff I’ve been running a lot of errands and eating out more than usual.  And, I’ve been exercising less due to running those errands and weather related reasons (lots of rain around here lately).  So, I am expecting to show a gain when I weigh in right before surgery and just hope I won’t be more than 2 pounds over my goal weight.  If I am up, I will want to slowly lose anything I have gained.  I won’t want to lose too quickly, though, because I know it is important after surgery to eat sufficient calories so that I can heal properly.

At the end of the appointment, 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 wrung out. So, I went home.

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 was unusual for me.  I don’t know if it was related to the Botox or not.

Lab Work

This morning, I went by the hospital and did my lab work and EKG and paid the hospital for the surgery. The hospital is over an hour away, but I wanted to get all that done. That all went fine, although I had to cancel my personal training.  I still have 2 sessions left to do before I stop doing it until after this surgery and my tummy tuck are over and recovered from. After we were done, we ate out. It was midday and we were over an hour from home and still had more errands to run so I was hungry.  But, this is another example of eating out when I hadn’t really planned to do that during the mid-week.

After lunch, 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.

This took care of a lot of the critical things I had to get done.  But, I still have lots of things to get done before surgery.  I won’t be able to go out for the first couple of weeks after surgery except to the doctor, so I am trying to get done everything that I really need to do.  I keep a list of stuff to do and keep coming up with more things.

Comments

  1. Darlene Wright says

    Quite a lot to do to get ready for your surgery. Regarding your period of no exercise – can you do walking videos from YouTube? Best of luck to you and I can’t wait to see your results. Darlene

    • says

      I have sometimes done those videos. I think that for the first few weeks after surgery they want me to watch my intensity and be really careful. They don’t want extra swelling or bleeding so I imagine I will be really careful and do what the doctor says.
      Kitty recently posted…Preparing and Pre-Op AppointmentMy Profile

  2. Maggie says

    You look fantastic with the new color–it’s perfect with your skin tone! I also love your cat shirt. Where did you get it? I think I might have to have one. Thanks so much for sharing your journey. You’re an inspiration to me!

    • says

      Thanks. The shirt is a Jess and Jane shirt. I bought it off of Amazon. There are a lot of them in different colors and themes (I have most of the cat ones). I like them because they are a flattering cut for most people and I like the 3/4 length sleeves. They are really nice quality.
      Kitty recently posted…Preparing and Pre-Op AppointmentMy Profile

  3. says

    Wow, this sounds like such a lot of work. No wonder you were exhausted!! I am sure it will all be worth it, though.
    Ceasing exercise would be very very hard for me, too – in fact it’s a major turnoff for me to even consider one day getting a tummy tuck.
    I like the new hair color, you look great!!!
    Wendy recently posted…Race Day is finally here!My Profile

    • says

      Thanks. The thing I have to remember on the exercise is that by NOT exercising I will heal more quickly and it will be better for me so I hope that I will get back to exercise more quickly by doing what will most help me recover.

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