what’s a matter with that ladies face?

4 days after surgery

4 days after surgery (photos nicely done by http://www.nylaportraits.com/)


 I had an eye job.  Let’s get that straight right from the start. I wasn’t beaten by my husband or in a car accident. I get that you might wince or feel empathetic pain looking at these photos but when they were taken a few days after my surgery I felt fine.  A little tired from the pain meds, but considering I had my face cut open, pretty good.

could have been in season 3 of Daphne Dishes!

could have been in season 3 of Daphne Dishes!


I had been thinking about doing this for a while.  I can see dwindling collagen and gravity were altering a few things on my face… and other places.   Finding out my show wasn’t renewed seemed like a good time.  Don’t need to be in front of the camera’s any time soon.  I’m not going to apologize or feel I have to justify it. In the grand scheme of things it’s not such a big deal.  In an age of self transformation from multiple piercing to transgender, who really cares about a middle aged lady fixing a saggy eyelid?


Yet, when women do it ( and men too) they hide.  Why?  I’m greatly influenced by my brief time living in Miami.  Miami is populated with lots of South Americans.  Maybe because Brazil is in the top 10 of countries with plastic surgery ( South Korea is number one)  Or maybe because Miami is a city you can reinvent yourself, but people walk around with some bruising.  People say, “oh, did you get the fat pocket surgery?  I’m thinking of doing that.”  It’s no big deal.


Why not be open?  People will judge me for it, but I judge the sloppy dressed lady behind me at the supermarket.  I cringe at  pierced septums, I fixate on mucus hanging from their hoop when they have a cold.  I’m startled when I see a neck tattoo.  So judge away.

While these pictures are a bit alarming I’m glad we took them because by the next day a lot of the bruising had receded.  Moms at school would remark, “It’s really gone down.”  and “I’ve never seen anyone out after surgery, everybody hides.” I’m outspoken and honest to a fault.  It’s gotten me in trouble.  A lot.  But, the flip side is this is my authentic self.  When my friend Cheryl sent me the photos she took she said, “they are vulnerable and funny, like you.”  I think it’s why comedy resonates with me.  I’ll make fun of myself before you can.  Funny people are famously a bit dark.  Yep. Think that’s true.  See my mangled face!  Bwahhh.


The question I get asked the most is ,”Did it hurt?”  A bit, but not much. I did it without general anesthesia.  Partly because I find recovering from that difficult, and partly because not doing it saved me $2,500.   I took two xanaxs, a vicodin, an antibiotic and a few minutes later as I was getting woozy my doctor started shooting me up with lidocaine around my eyes.  That kinda hurt, about like a botox shot feels on your forehead.  That was maybe 30 seconds, then I fell asleep.  When I woke up my husband was there ( I took a cab solo to the procedure, no use someone waiting around).  That was when I had the most pain.  I felt throbbing soreness around my eyes.  They gave me a pain pill and by the time I was in our car I felt nothing.  I slept propped up and my husband dutifully woke me up every 4 hours to give me the meds so I could stay ahead of the pain. He also woke me up at dinner time to give me a bowl of homemade Carbonara pasta.  My favorite!  “Hmm, this is good.” I ate a small bowl and passed out again.  By the next day I was feeling better.


Now, it’s not without problems.  Mostly because I’m taking an opiate for pain and I went cold turkey one day.  At that point the pain could be controlled with a little Advil, but I started to slip into Kurt Cobain like depression.  I called my husband who said, “Go take a half pill, you have to wean yourself.”  Which I did over the next few days.  Between the surgery and pills I was a bit more emotional than normal.  

I'm bruised, but still your wacky mom

I’m bruised, but still your wacky mom

I had prepped my kids that I was going to look like Frankenstein when I got home.  They were fascinated to see the stitches on my eyelids.  They are pretty grizzly looking at first.  The lower lids were artfully stitched up on my lash line so they were unrecognizable. The uppers, yikes! My kids liked helping with my cold compresses the first few days, and later the warm ones.  They let me sleep the first two days.  Then they wanted mom on the go again bruised or not.  Kids roll with it.


call me crazy, but I love this picture

call me crazy, but I love this picture

I hear,  “ I didn’t think you needed this.”  Well, thanks friend/family/dude at gas station.  That’s kinder than saying “I wondered when you were going to tighten that up!”  But, I didn’t do it for anyone else.  I did it for me. My own selfish, self centered, vain self.    It got to the point that when I put on liquid eye liner on my top lid it would end up near my eyebrows as my drooping lid would fall and catch it. When I smiled a ridge of flesh like a caterpillar was forming under my eyes, especially my right one. It bugged me.  So, the doctor removed some skin at the bottom and artfully stitched me up on my lower lash line.  Very well done.  Harder and longer to heal is the upper lids.  A month later all bruising is gone, but I still have flesh bumps on my lid where the stitches were.  They say it can take 6 months for the swelling to completely go away and for it to settle.  I hope so, because of after the hassle and expense of this I do want to look refreshed. That’s why I thought I needed this.


I get the resistance, but  I didn’t think that pretty girl at the sandwich shop should have put that large tattoo on her shoulder and gauges in her ears, but she didn’t ask me.  

no make up?, that's just the start

no make up?, that’s just the start

Don’t worry I tell friends, I’m not going to become the cat lady and change the plane of my face and have puffy lips.  At some point, I will go gently into the aging process, a lineless 80 year old might be unnerving.  But for right now I just want to look a smidge more like the lady I’ve been staring at for years.   I’m not justifying, I’m explaining and I want to support anyone who has done this or wants to.  If you saved your acorns to do it, good for you. We all have our reasons, and they are our own.

Our Upside Down World

Imagine saying this… “Please don’t load the dishwasher; I’ll do it.”

At 5 a.m.: “No, don’t get up; I’ve got the baby, you sleep.”

These are the kind of things coming through my abnormally kind mouth the last 24 hours as Mark recuperates from his eye surgery. We went back to UCLA this morning at the doctor told him had he not had the surgery it would have been “catastrophic.” Yikes.

Happily Mark is not in any pain. It itches but not super bad. When the nurse took off the patch at the examination he said, “How does it look, honey?”

“You know that last scene in the original Rocky where he is screaming for Adrian? Like that.”

So he can’t leave the house for a week. He can move around, but no lifting, straining, bending over, gardening (there goes that herb garden I was looking forward to).

I was pretty freaked looking at his eye. Our vulnerability can hit us at times and make me shaky. Then you get over your fear and the other self takes over.

We had some nice, mellow moments at home today. Since he has to slow the pace down I said he better be careful ’cause without activity he could blimp up, and I’m not into being married to a big fattie.

He has been watching a lot of TV, and he did make some applesauce for Rex, which he loved. Ahhh.


Okay, is he better yet?

Yes, he did coach me on how to make a sauce for the petrale sole I was making, but I am so used to him not being here. We just had a fight about the appropriate way to reprimand Vivien, or not at all… which was my vote. And Nosy Nellie decided to update my software thus causing me to lose things I had open on my computer.

I felt like a teenager in a sense saying, “Leave my stuff alone!!” He thinks if the software update thing is bouncing it means immediate action.

Okay, watching “Top Chef: Masters” finale with him was fun. He was really intense. We were both glad that Rick Bayless won. His food is incredible, and we personally really like him.

“I wish I could email him and congratulate him” Mark said.

“You can.” I said without thinking

“But I can’t read.” Oh, right.

I can do it for you. Group hug.

Brother, Can You Spare a Ride?

I’m a tad stressed about Mark’s surgery and all the logistics that entails for a husband going through major eye surgery who cannot drive in a car for weeks, let alone help with the baby like he usually does. So I don’t want to say I’m not getting the desired support from certain family members when I need it. I’ll just say that someone who gave birth to someone who is not me sort of irked me today…

This person… has been saying she wants to help, so I called today and said could she please take Vivien to school since Mark has to be at the hospital at 8am. I will take Rex with me. I said we would need to leave by 7:20 at the latest.

Her: “Well, I couldn’t get there by then. I’ll come about 8:45.” Whaaaaa? She lives 1.5 miles away. Now, my stepson will be here, but he is 15 and not a natural babysitter. I explained that if there was a few minutes where only Oliver was in charge it’s ok as he could call 911 if the house was on fire, but he will not be waking Vivien up with a hug and making her breakfast and getting her dressed.

“Oh, yeah, that’s true.” She asks me again when we are leaving. Still 7:15 to 7:20. “I can’t make it by then. I will be there more like 7:45.” I don’t know what irruption in the space time continuum has occurred that one can arrive a one time and not 25 minutes earlier when there is not change in traffic flow or weather conditions between these 25 minutes, but there it is!

I thought of pressing the issue, but then why bother? If someone wants to be passive aggressive they can. And I thought, she was late to to our house the morning I gave birth to Rex.

Mark called this unnamed person and in a very nice way offered her a wake up call.

You could snap my muscles with a spoon. I don’t care what Stephanie Wilder-Taylor say, tonight I’m having some wine.

My sister-in-law Leslie is driving hundreds of miles to come down this weekend to be helpful. Bless her heart.

I also have to arrange a follow up doctors visit for him on Wednesday when I have to go to work for a short time and then take Rex to get his shots. Of course they don’t give us times beforehand because it’s so much easier to twist in the wind.


The other day I got such a nice little gift out of nowhere. A hello from my friend Stacie. We used to work together, and she knows I had my arm acne problem from pregnancy. Pretty, oh, pretty and if the water police aren’t around, I’m a bath whore. So she sent me french lavender bubble bath and lotion from EO. It’s all organic and all that jazz, but all I know is my itchy skin doesn’t explode after I use it, which is rad. And the smell makes me feel pretty.

A play on the old ad… “EO lavender bubbles, take me away”

They also have hand sanitizers, which I will be dousing us with as we enter and exit the hospital… but avoiding the eyes.

I Married a Pirate

SO it’s a good thing Top Chef isn’t taping this month, ’cause my poor husband has some gnarly eye surgery awaiting him. He had a floater a few weeks ago. When he went to the doctor they said he had a retinal tear. They shot 600 laser blasts to contain it, but a blood vessel popped. The blood drips down into the jelly of the inside of the eyeball, and thus his left eye’s vision looks like a Jackson Pollack painting.

He has gone back to the doctor several times, had second opinions, and the upshot is the eye doctors at UCLA and USC agree he needs surgery. They are going to extract the jelly… suck it out as it were, then refill the eye ball… the vitreous with a substitute… some saline solution. You can see I didn’t go to medical school.

He has to be TOTALLY chill for 48 hours and for several weeks is not even suppose to be in a car unless it’s to go to the doctor. He can’t pick Vivien up at all and must be careful about lifting Rex. So obviously I am concerned about what he has to go through. He is being very brave. I’d be flipping out. And I’m bracing for being in charge of the whole shooting match. I’ll be the Kate Gosselin as it were… except instead of my husband being AWOL with a 22 year old, he’ll be sitting quietly with an eye patch. One that he has to wear for weeks. I’m clearing the decks next week so I can be a good nurse… I fear I’ll be like Kathy Bates in Misery.

Has anyone dealt with this kind of eye surgery before? It seems very scary to me, but Dr. Dean Edell (my mentor) said it’s pretty routine, though serious. Wondering what to expect in helping him and what I won’t get help with.

He has such nice shoulders. Maybe I should get him a parrot?