After checking this website almost daily for the...
After checking this website almost daily for the last 6 months it's time I started to give back and share my story :)
I am 21years old and it is time to make the change! Throughout my teen years, and even quite recently, I was called big nose, ugly nose and variations of this. A few comments regarding noses have stayed with me in particular. One occurred quite recently. It was late one night and my parents had just gotten home from dinner with friends. Their friends had wondered into the lounge room while my parents were making coffee in the kitchen. None of the adults who had wondered into the lounge noticed me sitting silently in my blanket off to the side and they wondered up to the mantel where my parents had wedding photos on display. I’m fairly certain the adults had had a few drinks as one of them pointed to my parents photo where they were turned slightly to face each other and were smiling while they signed their wedding certificate and obnoxiously said "look at their noses sticking out!” My parents didn’t hear this but it just confirmed for me that on my own wedding day the last thing I want is to have to worry about this nose.
My dad has a long wide nose and my mum has a long thin nose with a big (Italian) hump on it. Unfortunately I inherited the best of both worlds (not) and got a wide, long nose with a hump on it. I also have a bulbous tip which droops significantly when I smile and the cartilage of the tip is uneven so one side flares out while the other comes in and it appears like my nose is turned to the left, this I also had pointed out to me- that my nose goes to one side; something I hadn't even noticed until then. I’m unsure if my nose was actually broken as a kid or if I have just inherited all the problems, as trauma to the area could be responsible for the asymmetry in the tip cartilage and mild obstruction in breathing I have.
It took a year of research before I even found Realself for me to decide this procedure was for me and to decide on my surgeon. It had to be Dr Imani who was also an ENT. I liked Dr Imani right from the start and he has said he can reduce the size a bit and make it more feminine (wooo!!), as well as remove the hump and try to do whatever else needs to be done to make it a more aesthetic nose.
I have huge eyes and lips as well so I know a little nose will not look good on me (nor is it possible as I have thick skin) but the aim is improvement not perfection. I have realistic expectations about the surgery and am comfortable with everything else about myself at this point in my life so I think this makes me a good rhinoplasty candidate.
My best friend had jaw surgery last year so is pro the surgery as she knows what a difference it can have in your life. She and my boyfriend are the two supporters I have as my parents are conservative and do not believe in unnecessary surgery That’s where all you realself readers come in. Please leave me any advice, comments, anything! I feel like I know many of you from flicking through the posts over the months :)
One week to go!
My surgery is exactly one week today and I'm both nervous and excited! Since I last posted I have lightened my hair and been told that the blonde softens the look of my nose a bit which is great, but I still can't wait to have it looking lovely and feminine.
I have collected an array of items that I will need after;
U-shaped travel pillow
Biotene mouth wash for dry mouth
Arnica pills and cream
Saline Nasal Spray & Flo rinser for nose
Lip balm - Carmex, Blistex, Paw Paw
An array of cold drinks - Pineapple juice (good because it contains bromelain), lemonade, orange juice
Calippo minis - yummy and are actually a good size for perhaps resting on my cheeks/ against my nose for icing
Low salt plain crackers for taking medicines
Frozen Berries for making smoothies
Cough drops for sore throat
Clothes that are easy to get on/off without disrupting my nose
I think i've covered most things but if anyone has any other suggestions please let me know.
Here are some more (and my final :) before photos!
24 hours from now my rhinoplasty will be over
Wow that came around quickly! I'm both excited and terrified. My surgery is first tomorrow morning and then I'm booked in to stay the night to recover a bit.
I have a couple of concerns that will plague my mind between now and when I go in to surgery. Firstly I am terrified of anaesthesia and am worried that something might go wrong and I won't wake up :( I shouldn't have googled potential problems with anaesthesia....
And secondly I am terrified of needles and of having a cannula in overnight so I hope everything goes smoothly there.
The thing I am not worried about at all is that my nose will turn out worse than it is now or that I will be unhappy with my result. This is a testament to how much faith I have in my surgeon as well as how much I dislike my current nose. As far as I'm concerned once the surgery has been performed and I'm awake then it's all smooth sailing and I likely won't have any more worries.... weird thinking huh!
Anyways I'll post as soon as I'm able to :)
I'm home :)
28 Jan 2014
Day of treatment
Wow what a full on 30 hours I have had! My alarm went off yesterday morning at 6.20am and I was so exhausted that I apparently turned it off in my sleep. Thankgod my boyfriend heard it ring before I turned it off and he got me up. We arrived at the hospital at 7am and everything happened so quickly. The anaesthetist was so lovely and when I told her about my fear of needles she said she could give me some laughing gas and then not put the needle in until I was knocked out so I really had nothing to fear. Next thing I knew I was awake in the recovery room. My surgery went from 8am till 11am.
When I woke up I had to pee really badly and I also had a sore throat from the breathing tube and my arm hurt just above where the drip was in. I was so glad I remembered to take some strepsils to the hospital cos they helped clear up the sore throat right away. My nose didn't actually cause me any pain at all and I quickly got used to the dry mouth. I was staying the night in the hospital so my best friend and my boyfriend came up to see me in the afternoon. My best friend brought me a magazine and a teddy and some chocolates as well as a cute card she made. My boyfriend was so helpful and supportive and stayed with me until I tried to sleep. I felt on top of the world yesterday and once the sore throat cleared I was in no pain at all.
Then throughout the night I barely slept and started to feel pain where the incision is and had to take medicine for it. Today has been a lot more painful than yesterday. I felt ill when I tried to stand up and was given some medicine for nausea. Bruises are also starting to form between my eyes. I think I over exerted myself yesterday by walking around the hospital with my boyfriend and I am paying for it today so now that I am home I've set up a bed in the recliner and I won't be getting up unless I need to.
I am so excited to see the results! When I woke up from the anaesthesia I did not have a drip pad on under my nose and when I first looked in the mirror I thought OMG I have a gap between my lip and my nose! I have never really had much of a gap there as my nose was so long and droopy so it's great to see there is already improvement with the cast on and it's looking more feminine :)
Feeling pretty good right now and I will continue to update :)
Cast comes off tomorrow!
The crazy week is almost over! This week was filled with so many highs and lows. I thought I had full on prepared myself for the recovery by reading and watching videos about other peoples experiences over the last year but there is so much that I never learnt until I went through it. I will list some things that I've found interesting about this week;
- Day 4 was terrible. I thought I was in the clear after day 3 but my face really swelled badly and was very bruised on day 4 and by far the worst thing was the nausea. I spent most of this day being sick and sitting very very still in between. I ended up contacting my anaesthetist who is so very lovely and she e-mailed me a script for some anti-nausea wafers which made it go away :)
- Sneezing is impossible! Well more like impossibly painful. The first couple days it was more like a weird repressed internal sneeze and in the last few days it was more of a full on sneeze. Both caused the cast to sort of lift off my face. A bit of a concern...
- Button/ zip clothes aren't actually essential. I found clothes that could be stepped into and pulled up to be a better option. I ended up just wearing multiple different pairs of singlets and shorties and pulling the singlets up over my hips.
- The heat makes your nose bleed more. My bedroom faces west and gets very hot in the afternoon and more nose would ooze a lot more blood at the time. Even eating mildly not food made the bleeding worse. Now I know why my surgeon said cold diet only
- There is very little pain from the nose itself. This would obviously vary depending on what was done to the nose but I think a lot was done during my surgery and the pain that I felt was from the incision at the front of the columella not from where the cast is
- My top lip is completely unmovable. When I look in the mirror and try to talk I look ridiculous. My top lip is also HUGE and I don't know whether its from swelling or if it's always been this long and I just didn't notice with that long nose hanging over it haha
My boyfriend washed my hair this afternoon which was a testing moment in our relationship :P My long thick hair was a bit difficult to wash in a sink but it was driving me crazy so he lovingly did his best :) My diet really has not been very healthy. It started out healthy with soft foods like yoghurt and mango and avocado but these foods didn't do a lot for my stomach with the heavy medication and was probably responsible for the nausea. I ended up eating nutella sandwiches without crust and potato chips. By potato chips I certainly don't mean the crunchy fried kind. I had thick cut frozen chips in my freezer that were low in salt and I cooked them in the airfryer until they were soft then mashed them and let them cool until they were room temperature. My stomach needed these carbs to withstand all the meds and I was only taking the bare minimum. My diet has pretty much returned to regular food today minus anything crunchy and I can now breathe out of my nose :)
I hope this helps someone! I will post some photos tomorrow when the cast is off and I only have tape on if the shape is visible.
Cast off tape on
Sooo happy the cast is gone! I feel like a weight has been lifted, literally. My face feels a lot more normal and less restricted now which is good :)
The cast removal itself was uncomfortable and rather painful on the sides of my nose, but bearable and didn't take long.
I got a bit snap happy this afternoon now that just the tape is on so I will post some photos. My nose is very very swollen due to my thick skin and does not have a lot of definition yet but so far so good! Dr Imani said he deprojected my nose by 4mm which is great and I'm loving the change in projection already. The only two little things I have noticed is that my bridge is looking rather high when I had sort of pictured a bit of a slope and my nose still looks as if it goes to the left (from underneath at least) which was the first thing my family pointed out when I got home. Again both of these things are likely due to swelling and I'm certainly not making any judgements yet. So far I am very happy with how good it looks at one week and Dr Imani has done a fantastic job as I knew he would :)
Surgery was 2 weeks ago today
Today I took the tape off my nose and ventured back to work. I didn't realise the difficulty that getting the tape off would cause me and I wish I had gotten up a bit earlier. I used a wet q tip to gently lift the wet tape off my nose and OMG the blackheads and whiteheads and stickiness that awaited me was not pleasant. I almost thought I was going to have to call into work sick thanks to the horrible mess on my nose. I did my very best to gently ease the dirt away but it wasn't coming clean. At a loss for what else to do I put my usual thick liquid foundation on just to see if it looked any better and it looked ten times worse. I then grabbed some make-up wipes and as I gently cleaned off the foundation all the other gunk on my nose came away with it, it had gotten stuck to the foundation! I could then put a thin layer of foundation over my nose which looked acceptable for work.
Anyway now onto the important stuff, the nose itself! So far so good. It is much more feminine and cute and by the end of the day I honestly felt like I had this nose my entire life and had to look back on photos from a month ago to remember exactly how it looked. At work I got asked how my holiday was by people who didn't know and the people who did know told me I looked great (but not too different which was good). One colleague even told me I look a lot younger with this nose, as young as 17! This was interesting as Dr Imani had told me my old nose was ageing me a bit prematurely which I already knew as the bump and droop don't usually happen much later than 21.
My nose is still very swollen and I'm desperately hoping that the tip doesn't drop as I'm loving the upturn. My smile hasn't returned fully yet but is on it's way, it will be interesting to see how my nose looks when I smile now. My breathing is fantastic and far better than ever before. So far so good :)
Yesterday marks 1 month since my surgery. I had my appointment with my surgeon and I asked him if it was ok to do a pore strip now an he said yes thank god! so all the gunk is now off my nose :) :) He also said I'm ok to wear glasses again in another 2 weeks time. I'll write more about my feelings on things in the next update I post. Feel free to let me know what you think!
Another picture update
29 Mar 2014
2 months post
Life with my new nose has been pretty great I'm not gona lie haha. The increase in confidence alone has made it worth it. There have definitely been ups and downs but no regrets on the whole so I'm gona go right ahead and click the worth it button :)
Now to the technical details, I have found a small bump appear on my nose which caused me a fair bit of stress as it was becoming visible from one side and i could no longer rub my fingers along the bridge and have it feel smooth. I saw my surgeon about it and he assured me that it's just tissue swelling and encouraged me to keep doing the massaging. I have had the bump for nearly 3 weeks now so i'm just going to be patient and hope it goes away soon. I also have some problems with the asymmetry with my nose still appearing to go to the left just as much as, possibly even slightly more than, before. My surgeon said I could get a revision for this if it really annoys me but would have to wait a full year and the improvement to the asymmetry even with the revision isn't guaranteed to be permanent so i don't think a revision is worth it as I'm plenty happy with everything else about my nose now and hey nobody is perfect!
The best advice i can give is don't tell many people about the surgery unless you have to as next to nobody will notice. I myself even forget at this point sometimes haha. My own mum says she can't even see the difference but to you it will be a big difference so is definitely worth it. No need to worry about what others will think because they honestly will not be able to tell unless you point it out, even people who i told about it forgot haha.
Good luck to everybody about to go through with this operation! I will try to post more regular updates :)
27 Jul 2014
6 months post
So I failed at posting more regular updates whoops! :/
Tomorrow marks 6 months to the date since my surgery and things are coming along nicely :) I feel more confident than ever before now that I don't have a feature about myself that I actively hate and I also feel mentally healthier.
There has been ups and downs which is due to the fact that you tend to analyse the surgery area for imperfections after going through something like this. My nose does still have asymmetry, but I have learnt to live with it. The 'bump' that was worrying me, Dr Imani informed me is no longer swelling but rather is a graft that he placed there and so it will not go away it's there to stay. When I run my finger along the bridge it sort of feels the same as before as I can feel the graft bump, but it is hardly visible at all to me so I'm sure others don't notice it at all. I asked Dr Imani about what happens if it becomes more visible than it is now and he said then we use filler injections which I'm not too keen about but it's not something I have to think about for a long time. It won't become visible until I age and the skin thins so I'm hardly concerned.
I began this journey knowing not to expect perfection and I lost sight of that somewhere along the way post surgery but I have now regained some perspective. My nose honestly does look amazing. It's perfect for my face and I would definitely make this decision a hundred times over and encourage others who are unsure if they should go through with it to not overthink it. Just decide am I ever going to stop hating this feature and if not then its something that is definitely worth considering seriously. At my age it literally cost me my lifes savings and I think I could have bought years and years worth of clothing (I do like to shop, or I did pre surgery haha) for what it cost but no amount of clothing would make me look or feel as good as I do now :)