Diary Of A Facelift
Sharon Valentine flew from Queensland to visit Dr. Nettle for facelift surgery. She has kindly shared her experience of the whole procedure through a surgery journal which she has allowed to be shown on our blog.
WHY A FACELIFT?
In December I turn 60 and I can’t believe it, because the woman I feel inside is only in her 40’s. As women age we are faced with a terrible double standard in comparison to men. Men go grey and they are perceived as distinguished; whereas women who go grey are considered to have “Let themselves go”. I have chosen to have a facelift, something I’ve wanted for more than 10 years because I want to see a reflection of my inner self looking back at me in the mirror. It’s my hope that having a facelift will also be a life lift; to help me get out of the social rut I’m in and help my confidence.
WHY DR NETTLE?
I first saw Dr Nettle on a program called 10 years younger in 10 days and from memory it aired on channel 7. He always seemed to have a lovely bedside manner and always had great results. Meeting Dr Nettle was very exciting. He has an effortless kindness that shines through; I could tell he really cared. He’s intelligent, articulate but most importantly a wonderful listener. His results speak for themselves but from the moment I met him I trusted him. I feel trust is the key.
Today’s a scary day knowing that tomorrow everything is going to change. I spoke with Dr Nettle about my concerns. I wanted to make sure we were on the same page; “I don’t want to look like I’ve a long sleep… I want to look YOUNG” but in saying that I didn’t have a specific image in mind. I didn’t think I was going to look like I did when I was 40 but I definitely wanted to look more youthful.
Also meet the surgical nurse Natalie who took me step by step through my post operative instructions as well as the vitamins provided to me which I would be taking to help with the healing process. She also explained that I would need to continuously apply paw paw cream to my top lip after having the dermabrasion, so the skin doesn’t dry out. I had also made sure that I read all the literature that was sent to me prior to this appointment and made sure I had I was fully prepared. Natalie was shocked at how organised I was but I felt that was important.
DAY 1 – Today I am full of emotions. I’m nervous, excited and scared all at the same time. A nurse admits me into the surgical ward; I’m given my gown, paper shower cap, giant paper pants and some very sexy blue booties. I’m whisked into a room where I see Dr Nettle and his smiling kind face puts my nerves at ease. He pulls out a pen and starts to draw on my face; I like to think it’s a “MAGIC MARKER”. He leaves me and prepares for surgery. While waiting I tell a nurse that I need to use the ladies. I’m taken to the restroom and it’s not until I look in mirror I realise how much marker is all over my face; it looked very tribal. I laugh and think to myself that it’s like war paint because I’m about to enter a battle… “The war against wrinkles”
Waking up in my room after the surgery I’m in pain and feel really uncomfortable but once I receive pain medication the night seems to go by quite quickly. I have a nurse whom regularly checks my temperature, blood pressure and she also changes the cold gauze pads on my eyes. It’s dark; I have trouble seeing but even though having someone coming in all the time could be annoying… Tonight it was nice as I don’t feel so alone.
DAY 2 – Today I’m discharged from the hospital and do I look a sight! Four drains, stitches, staples, a bandage around my head, tape on my upper eyelids and a cast on my nose. I am taken to Dr Nettles practise for my first post op visit. On arrival I am greeted by his professional and caring team whom lead me into a treatment room where Natalie is waiting for me.
Natalie removes the bandage from around my head, cleans my face, eyes and removes two of the drains. I feel very nervous about having the drains removed. I am given some happy gas while they are being pulled out. I find this part painful. I’m still left with the two larger ones which will be removed Monday. I am shown how easy it is to empty them and instructed to do so 3 times a day. I see Dr Nettle and he is pleased with how I look and I ask him the most important question “when can I wash my hair?” he says anytime I like, aslong as I use baby shampoo. My hair is very matted and has dried blood in it.Dr Nettle also gives me his phone number for over the weekend and tells me to ring if I have any questions or concerns as he would be available to speak to me day or night. That made me feel totally at ease. I am lead out of the practise via a discreet exit and make my way back to the apartment. I washed my hair before bed and I feel so much better. Also applied the paw paw cream to my top lip.
DAY 3 – Today I am very sore and I think to myself “what have I done?” but that soon passes when my daughter Bonnie shows me a before picture she took of me at the hospital. I know it’ll be worth it in the long run. I spent the day resting, taking my pain medication and religiously applying paw paw cream to my top lip. I am continuing to use cold gauze pads on my eyes, all day. I also have a hot sensation all over my face and neck; I’ve found applying cold face washers to be really helpful in relieving this feeling.
DAY 4 – My eyes are a little bit puffier today; the paper tape on my eyelids feel uncomfortable. Last night I must have slept on my left side because one of the drains behind my ears is hurting. It almost feels like I twisted it a little. I’m going to try and sleep with pillows on both sides to stop me from turning over in the night.
DAY 5 – This morning I realise that the two remaining drains go in behind my ears to along my neck and finish underneath my chin. I’m so nervous and I am sick with worry about having them removed. I return to the practise and Natalie whom is very caring puts my fears to rest. She gives me laughing gas again and before I know it the drains are out. I feel a bit silly having spent the weekend worrying about them so much. Once the drains are out it feels wonderful. Natalie also removes some stitches from underneath my eyes and then I am sent for a lovely lymphatic drainage face massage with the very gentle Maureen. After which I’m then discreetly lead out and return to the apartment to rest.
DAY 6 – Today I am having a complete rest day. The bruising is the very noticeable and the swelling is moving further down my face. I’m still using cold face washers to help stop my face from feeling so hot. Today everything feels really tight and when I tell my daughter she’s say “that’s what you wanted mum” we laugh because it’s true.
DAY 7 – Another visit with Natalie today but this time the cast comes off the top of my nose, the splints from inside my nose come out, the stitches for underneath my chin and my upper eyelid stitches are removed. I also get a little help from the laughing gas to get through the appointment. Again I worried all last night and hardly felt a thing. Lucky me today I get another relaxing face massage with Maureen. Now I have paper tape over my nose instead of the cast.
DAY 8 – Today I’m spending the whole day in my pyjamas resting and relaxing. I still feel tight. My face still feels hot so I’m continuing to use face washers to cool it down. Also keeping up my fluids, vitamins, pain relief and paw paw cream. I very rarely get the chance to spend the day relaxing so I’m enjoying it… while I can.
DAY 9 – I see Dr Nettle today and he is very happy with my progress. He gives me some massage techniques to help with the swelling on my face. Natalie removes some of the stitches and staples from behind my ears. I am now starting to resemble myself. My eyes are more open today and the bruising is going down.
DAY 10 – Still resting and Keeping up with all my aftercare instructions. I had a funny experience today. While I was looking in the mirror I thought I’d noticed that the bruising had moved further down my neck and onto the top of my chest but to my surprise when I moved my head sideways; it moved too. My goodness I couldn’t believe it; I realised it was a shadow. I have a chin!
DAY 11 – Today I’m feeling really impatient; I want to be completely healed and can’t wait to see the final result. I know healing takes time but I’m just so excited. I’m still feeling tight and sore but the bruising is fading in certain sections.
DAY 12 – Today the remaining stitches and staples have been removed. Again with the help of the laughing gas. The paper tape has also been removed and my new nose is revealed. I can’t believe the difference. I am so happy with how everything is healing. Continuing the vitamins, some pain relief and paw paw cream.
Day 13 – Feeling a little low today… and how does a woman lift her spirits? With some retail therapy. And that’s just what I did! Those 5 hours went by so quickly! Time flies when you’re having fun. The tight sensation is still present around my checks, the bruising has gone down and my top lip is looking really good.
DAY 14 – This morning is my last check up with Dr Nettle before I fly home to Queensland. He wanted to check on my progress. He was very happy and took some photos of me. I thanked him for doing such wonderful work and I make an appointment to see him again in a month’s time. Knowing that I was going home to my own bed was lovely and made the flight home go so much faster but the biggest moment was when I got off the plane and was greeted by my husband; who had tears in his eyes. When I asked him what was wrong his replied “You’ve always looked beautiful but now you look Happy”.
POST SURGERY THOUGHTS
Having the amount of procedures that I had all at once was very though and painful. I went through ups and down; emotionally and physically. The healing process gave me a renewed perspective and respect for the human body. After putting myself through something like this the least I could do is eat healthier and be move active. Plastic surgery has nothing to do with the journey it’s 100% about the destination… And that’s what you need to focus on during recover; The outcome. Thank you Dr Nettle for helping my inner self be reflected on the outside.