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.
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 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.
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 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
At the end of the appointment, they also
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.
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.