I Did Not Have Plastic Surgery

The morning before the procedure
One week after

My niece Leah is employed by an upscale eye institute in Arizona, where she has worked her way up to the position of surgical technician.  Leah is always checking our eyes for any sign of cataracts, glaucoma, and/or macular degeneration. During her visit in February, when I caught her staring at me during breakfast.

“What are you staring at?” I asked. Leah said “ You need cataract surgery.” Then she added, “Your skin is really hooded over your eyes.”

At this point I got up from the table with mixed emotions. Was Leah insulting me or being helpful? Leah later explained that I should make an appointment with the specialist about the cataracts surgery and see if I was a candidate for the eyelid procedure.

Since I was planning a trip to Arizona to get my eyes examined for glasses,  I went ahead and made an appointment for the examination to see if I really needed cataract surgery. It turned out that I did not.

The morning of my eye examination I told Leah, “You better make sure I can see the specialist about the hooding over my eyes.” Leah chuckled sarcastically and said, “That’s impossible. He is booked months in advance!” Under my breath I said, “I will see him today.”

Leah removing my sutures

Leah did the full medical eye examination. When we were done, I asked Leah about the ophthalmologist to examine   my hooded eyes. Leah rolled her eyes and said, “He’s too busy!” I asked her to please check. Thanks to Leah, the kind doctor agreed to see me. He examined my eyelids and said, “You really do have a lot of excess skin, but we need to do some testing to see if you are a candidate for the operation,” as this was considered a medical procedure.

My niece Leah and me

Another two weeks passed, and I was back in Arizona for the testing. The excess skin was causing problems with my peripheral vision, so and after the examination I was cleared for surgery.

I told my family about the this, and shared the news with a few friends. They all responded, “So you’re having an eye lift.” It was useless to try to explain: first it was not my idea, and second, the blepharoplasty was performed by an ophthalmologist rather than a plastic  surgeon. I told my prayer group and they, too, thought the surgery was a cosmetic procedure. When they prayed for me, one of the men kiddingly said, “Lord, make Lynda young and beautiful.” Everyone broke out in loud laughter, including me.

On the morning of the surgery all was normal, and it was time to get the anesthesia. A kind  nurse found a weak vein on my right arm for the sedation. The anesthesiologist came to explain that after the arm IV, he would follow with injecting the outer parts of my eyes. By this time both of my eyes were covered. They put some type of tape around my face and over my mouth; it was definitely sticky, and resembled the blue tape used by painters.

I could still speak, but my words were a little muffled. I asked the doctor if we could pray, and he sweetly agreed.  “Dear Lord, guide his hands through this surgery, that all goes well and that no infection sets in.” With that I was out… well sort of.

During the procedure I could hear talking.  I heard the sound as the skin was being cut around my eyes; it was an unusual sensation. While I was being patched back together, I could hear the needle penetrating through my skin and I heard the thread moving through the sewing motion.

Immediately after surgery, some type of heavy  ointment was put into my eyes, causing extremely blurred vision. I was put in a chair that reminded me of a folding lawn chair, but I was coiled up in it like a groggy contortionist folded into a small package. I could hear the soothing voice of Andrea Bocelli playing in the background, so I felt that this was a confirmation that all went well.

Leah warned me about the bruising, and that it was going to look really bad, but I told her, “Leah, it’s not going to be that way for me.” Leah’s response was, “OK, I do this for a living, and you are going to be really bruised up.” Surprisingly, the bruising around my eyes was very minimal.

The doctor’s instructions were to take Tylenol because  after the anesthesia wore off the pain would set in. I never once felt an ounce of pain, not once!

I returned to church the following Sunday,and wearing my regular glasses, it just looked like I had a little too much smoky eye shadow going on. There were no double takes from anyone.

Maddie about to wash my hair

The only thing I could not do was shampoo my hair because I could not wet the sutures. Misty, my hairdresser, came by a few days after the surgery to wash my hair. I had to bribe my granddaughter into shampooing my hair. She agreed, but only if I wore sunglasses.

I am not a vain person, and I never gave my hooded eyelids a second thought. To me it was just part of aging gracefully. Since I had never even googled this procedure, I’ve come to the conclusion that this surgery was a special gift from God.

Ephesians 3:20

20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,

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