These words were innocently uttered by the plastic surgeon I went to see last Thursday. I’d asked him to look at my eyes and the problems I’m having, see what he recommended on that score. Plus, despite what I said a year or so ago, I am now considering more plastic surgery. I know: shallow.
But something terrible happened to me between then and now. The span between my chin and my neck unexpectedly gave way. The bottom just dropped out of it, like a bridge. One day it was all fine and young, the next day, bam: new things jiggling when I walk. It’s bad. So bad, I don’t dare show before pictures. You wouldn’t sleep again.
Don’t get me wrong. In every other way, the fifties are fabulous. Miraculously, the day after I turned 50, I stopped taking every little thing personally. My word is only my bond till I say it’s not. My family and I come first and that’s that. In exact order: my health and well-being first, my marriage next, then my kids, then everything else. Sacrifice and martyrdom is out. Life is too short to be on a downhill slide. I actually feel bad for people who don’t like me. Haha, if there were any of those people. There is a freedom being fifty I never expected and didn’t imagine.
The downside is that your body turns on you in ways you also never expected and couldn’t imagine. Like looking down and seeing my mother’s 50-year-old hands where my 20-year-old hands used to be. When did that happen???? Middle-aged spread and its staying power is not an imaginary thing invented to explain a little weight gain. And menopause. Whoa, there’s a cruel joke. But, hey, these are all facts of life. I can live with ’em. Good attitude.
The chin thing, that’s another story. Merriam Webster defines jowl as "the pendulous part of a double chin."
Gross. I’m not having anything on my body that can be thusly defined.
I can live with it if I must, but if there’s an option, I’m taking it. When I said "no more plastic surgery unless my jowls fall down around my knees," I never expected that to actually happen. Suddenly, I can see my future. Unless I do something, it will not be pretty.
So the lovely, otherwise-kind doctor, while he was taking photos of my face from every angle, photos none of us wants to see, asked – very matter-of-factly, sin opinión, without seeing any number on a scale – if this were my weight. I said I was working on ten pounds, would love to lose 20. He said if you are going to lose 20, have the surgery afterwards.
Then he said the surgery would be $2,500, the hospital stay would be $2,750. That’s a lotta dough. That’s Pilates three times a week for over a year. That’s 350 spa pedicures. A massage a week for almost two years. Before I spend $5,250 on the wattle, I’ll need to lose 20 pounds and gain an income. You know, I’ll bet if I lost 20 pounds, the wattle wouldn’t be nearly so cumbersome. Hal’s all for giving that a shot… Good idea.
El doctor was recommended by my friend Belinda from Key West, now living in Dominical. A couple of years ago, this doctor did her nose which is lovely. Two months ago, she had her upper eyelids done, a lower face lift and her "girls" slightly enhanced. She showed me everything, even the girls – all absolutely fabulous. I’d used this doctor, no problem.
About my eyes: he said he didn’t see any problems. Ok. As time goes by, the bumps are less and less noticeable, it’s true. But he’s in a tricky situation. If he says, "Wow, they really screwed this up" or even "Not a great job, there is a problem," and I go back to the first guys and share that in an effort to get my money back (forget them touching me again)… Well, the slander/libel laws here are pretty intense. You can go to jail for bad-mouthing someone. I can see where this doctor is not going to bad-mouth another doctor’s work, particularly the first day he meets me.
So are there really no problems? Is this all in my imagination? I’ll probably never know. Se la vie, life is too short. I’ll live with it.
In a couple of weeks, I’ll see another doctor for opinion and price. Then I plan to see a third. Doing my homework. But I’m thinking this is not going to happen, at least not this year. In 20 pounds, we’ll see. A lot can happen between now and then.
It is possible, you know, to lose those 20 pounds. I admit I would be the first one to be sceptical since I tried it time and time again to no avail. But 3 months on mostly living food “lifestyle” in Puerto Rico did it. Almost effortlessly. Trouble is my goal was 50 pounds weight loss and this is not happening. I am maintaining this 20 pound loss without an effort, lose another 5 or even 7 … and then I am back to my old 20 pounds lighter (and not one pound less) self. 🙂
Minerva, are you talking living food as in raw? I’m doing that at least 2x a week (raw food) and loving it. I’ve lost 10lbs so far (it has been about 1.5mo.) but I’m doing it kinda half-assed so… If one was to go raw more often I think the weight would come off faster. Anyway, I feel better and have more energy when I’m doing the raw thing. Now if I could do it in PR… bonus! lol.
I’d love to loose 60… working on it!
(tons of info online of course!)
Oh do I KNOW. I refuse to have my photo taken and if I am accidently included in a photo, I download and delete it(if it was taken with our camera) before even my husband sees it. Unless ofcourse my precious granddaughters are in it. The chin is not even a chin, it is more of a frontal neck area with a fat squishy satiny texture. There is no bone structure. I am a young, cool, hip, happenin’ 56. I still listen to rock and roll. I adore John Mayer, Juanes, and Oasis- even if they are Beatles wannabes. The fat, sagging, drying out, thinning in areas unmentionable, discoloration of pigmentation..the ugly truth to aging that my mother did not prepare me for. I have warned both my daughters of the numerous bodily changes with menopause and they grimace,then leave the room screaming in terror. They better start saving now for those surgeries, injections, suctions, creams and analgesics. I have no money for plastic surgery. I have no will power or self discipline to diet and lose 15-20 pounds which on my 5’4″ frame would make me svelt looking. I may just remove the 3 mirrors from the house. Wait, I can see my reflection in the computer monitor….no good. Why did I buy all the ingredients to make Key Lime Pie?, because I came across the photo/recipe/post card from my sister I’ve saved for 20 years..I am sabotaging myself for the feel good rush of sabor rica. I can’t even talk about my boobs or belly at this stage of the blog commentary. And my husband, building a clay wood burning pizza oven, that will help matters. And he is discovering his roots with his bagel making. Just say NO??? right…
You didn’t explain the mousepad slogan that people laugh about around here in Jaco:
“Wanted by the law, Unwanted by society”
Those words after your surgery, “no more plastic surgery unless my jowls fall down around my knees,” are burned in my brain. I have thought of that many times as I watch my jaws slide down. PLEASE, keep me informed. I’m about ready to do the neck and jowls tune-up. Thanks for sharing.
Just saying no is a constant battle in a house of two teens and a husband, all of whom eat pasta, cheese, candy, bread… if it’s not on my diet, they can’t get enough of it!!! One of life’s little cruelties…
Teri, here the saying is shortened to “home of the wanted and the unwanted”… gets a good laugh! Unless you are one of them…
I’ve had a couple of private emails extolling the virtues of Dr. Lev. If I ever have a spare $5k, I’m spending it at his house!
Guidance request…. my niece is interested in joining my wife and I and others to Costa Rica this August to have rhinoplasty. I would consider what wants to adjust as minor in correction and change but that may be because its her not me having it done. Can you guide us or suggest ways we might determine a “right” surgeon to speak with about this?
If you do not know who you would reoommend or want to refer to me to another source to discuss this situation with I understand fully. Thanks in advance for any guidance you feel comfortable offering.
Emotionally the over 50 crowd to under 70 crowd is the happiest. That’s when everything with the body starts to go though. Nothing wrong with a little nip tuck.