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.
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 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.
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.
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.