Diary Of An Eye Job

Hear first hand about a patient’s blepharoplasty experience performed at Belcara Health.

By Debra Stone

As Published in The Baltimore Sun

I’ve never been one to eat peas. As a child, my mother insisted I finish my vegetables, so I swallowed peas like pills with my iced tea. How to explain that I now find myself befriending not just one serving, but an entire bag? Frozen peas are just the ticket for reducing swelling after an eye job.

I don’t really like admitting to vanity, but I’m convinced that denial does no good. It’s like lying about your age. What’s the point? After you lie, you’re no younger. So, I might as well own up and be done with it. Now I officially become one of “those” women. When people talk about me they’ll say, “You know, she’s had work done.”

For years I said I would get my eyes done at fifty. When I turned fifty last year, I decided I wasn’t ready. Within months, I changed my mind. I made an appointment, saw a doctor, and booked the procedure. Everyone in my family thought I was crazy. They said I didn’t need it. But I wasn’t doing this for anyone else. I was doing it for myself. And I figured if I avoided potential risks, like blindness, I’d be pretty happy about it.

My surgery was scheduled for a Monday morning. Sunday evening, calls of good wishes started coming in. My 93-year-old father told me how great he thinks Joan Rivers looks. I assured him that he was out of his mind, and that I had no intention of ever looking like Joan Rivers.

By 11 P.M. I was pretty nervous, and started crying. I knew I’d better stop or my eyes would swell, and I would screw up the whole thing. Luckily, the doctor’s office anticipated my anxiety and had prescribed something to help me sleep. I popped the pill. It worked.

Monday morning, my husband drove me to the doctor’s office, and within short order I was climbing onto the operating table. I don’t remember a whole lot after that until I woke up at home something later that day, starving. I ate a sandwich and about ten pieces of Ruggelach (a Jewish pastry), and went back to sleep. At this rate, I was going to have beautiful eyes but a really big butt.

I was told to keep my head elevated, so I slept on what I call my triangles. They’re cushions made of TempurPedic material. I was propped at an angle, perfect for preventing swelling and for keeping a bag of frozen peas balanced on my face.

I had a whole host of prescriptions: an antibiotic, a Medrol dose pack, natural supplements that are supposed to keep swelling and bruising to a minimum, plus stuff for pain. I never needed the pain meds. But it was good to have something for swelling and bruising, as I looked a little scary. O.K. I looked very scary. I told anyone who wanted to visit to avoid bringing small children, as I was afraid they would run shrieking down the street.

On Day 2, my husband went back to work and left me in the care of a very good friend. By the end of the day, I was calling her Nurse Ratchett. She kept giving me fresh bags of peas to put over my eyes, so I passed most of the day in darkness.

Other than the discomfort around my eyes, I felt pretty good, so it was tough to sit still all day. If I could have only have put in a load of laundry and swiffered the floor, I would have been content. But Nurse Ratchett was there, so I kept still with my peas. About once an hour I checked myself in the mirror. I looked about the same at 4 P.M. as I did at three, and again the same at 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. I finally gave up and went to bed.

Every day after that, I felt fine. I started looking better too. On Day 3, I went to the doctor and he said everything was going along swimmingly. When I told my husband the doctor gave me exercises to do, he found that pretty funny. I wasn’t allowed to go to the gym, but I was told to squint hard for ten second intervals to build the muscles back in my eyelids and reduce swelling.

What can I say? This whole thing has seemed pretty simple. I feel a little funny about being so public about it, but I think it’s better to be up front, rather than have people talking behind my back.

Several years ago, my aunt had a facelift. I talked to her a few weeks later on the phone. She proceeded to tell me every detail, and then concluded the conversation by saying, “Ugh… I’m so sick of talking about my facelift.” This seemed pretty hilarious to me since she had just talked my ear off about it for forty-five minutes. Now, that I’ve gotten this on paper, I figure there’s nothing else to talk about. So, anyone who wants to call, don’t worry. I’ll try not to bore you. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to throw out my peas.

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