Like most of you Real Self bloggers who click on that all too familiar RHINOPLASTY link, there are feelings that I too have had towards my nasal profile, that often carries a heavy ambiance. And for that, we are a different breed. I truly believe that because of all the self-consciousness, teasing and "harmless" observations from others, it has formed a certain kind of resiliency and internal grit that only belong to us. It's unique and partial to those that have experienced it. It may even be a quiet strength, but it's in there.
I joined Real Self to share what I may know and learn what it is I haven't heard yet. I signed up after the surgery itself was over, but I have just recently become aware of how long this healing process really is! I will try to add information and share experiences as I go along in the present and if it has already happened, as it comes back to me.
So,....I have daydreamed about getting a nose job since the day I found out what it could accomplish, which was probably around 10 or 11 years old. I do remember being aware of my "uniqueness" around the age of 7, because I remember looking at a snap shot of a school picture. It was back when the photographer thought that leaning on a 3 way mirror for a pose was innovative. Maybe for children with a cookie-cutter profile! Well, I took one glance at that picture and remember thinking I was ugly for the first time ever. I will never forget it. And how is it that I could forget? There was never a shortage of casual comments about how different my profile was from my family and my seemingly close friends. Often these comments were made gracefully, which would only confuse me on weather it was a good thing or a negative thing.
I was a fairly carefree child, so even though I was aware of my trademark, it didn't really drag me down until I was in my early teens...when looks started to really matter from day to day. Let me tell you, those comments made and opinions formed of me in my early adolescence were on my tail, waiting to materialize in my life. The seed of self-consciousness was sewn and the harvest would be reaped and plentiful! I have so many vivid memories on the topic. Let me know if you can relate!
As a teen, I started becoming hyper vigilant about avoiding people standing to the side of me. I would shift positions or turn my face to the front if I felt that they had a great view of my droopy tip and oh so attractive dorsal hump. I felt like I looked "witchy", especially when I smiled because the tip would droop and curve down. I even remember my senses being heightened when Disney movies with witches would come on, just waiting to hear that I resembled one. It sounds silly, but I would even be aware of those around me when I was sweeping the floor with a broom in my retail working days, hoping that a co-worker wouldn't make a comment. The people I worked with had an over abundance in the sense of humor department!
Around the age of 15, make-up became an antidote and even a security blanket for how ugly I felt inside. I remember going to visit family members on a weekend and not allowing anyone to see me until every stitch of make up was in it's proper place. It seemed sometimes that I could never put enough on. I couldn't put enough on to mask that nose....the deep insecurity I had right in the middle of my made up face. Those feelings reached far into the future, and some live on even to this day. Only recently, I would find myself obsessing over finding an angle of my nose that I could live with. The only angle I ever felt was tolerable was from the front, even though I know it lacked some definition. In front of the mirror, I would push my nose up, cradle it between my index and thumb, just so I could fantasize about what it would look like delicately turned up and feminine. I may have grown older and have become busier with life in general, but I never seemed to really grow out of wanting my nose different. I had to start being brutally honest with myself and those around me. It took a lot of courage to let my husband in on the secret that I was even self-conscious at all. What if he would look at me different? What if he thought I was vain, selfish or self-focused? Was the risk well worth it? Indeed, it was. It took both my husband and other close family members some time to grasp, but eventually they understood. My husband especially has been my "rock" and so supportive through it all.
This procedure takes a serious amount of courage physically, socially and I'm finding out, also psychologically. It takes hard-core grit to go through with what the healing process involves. And to have the conversations with your family and friends and answer endless questions and getting through those disapproving smirks and sighs. I had a few of them, but I got through it. I have been fortunate to have a mostly supportive circle of support.
When I made my mind up on what Dr I would go with, the surgery process went fairly quickly due to an up and coming vacation. I was actually scheduled to go with a facial surgeon in Rochester, NY, but the office staff although very pleasant, turned out to be very shady with how they keep me in the dark with pricing for the surgery until the last minute! I found out literally weeks before the surgery, that it wasn't going to be the price that was discussed earlier and that the figure was only a "base price"...indeed the cost could be up to $3,000 more! I was very turned off with how this place wheeled and dealed. I was aware of how fancy and prestigious this place was and they certainly knew it too! They could ask for any amount from many patients, but I wasn't one of those customers with a yacht and Summer home nestled in the Finger Lakes! The coordinator explained that if I came with cold hard cash, the Dr may be able to negotiate the price. What was this? A deal with the devil? It really turned me off.
So, I had a vacation coming up that would work perfectly with the recovery process, but I didn't have the tolerance or the money to go with the Dr who penciled me in. I nicely explained to the office that I couldn't come up the extra dough, that my loan was for the amount that it was and that was that. She refunded the 820.00 deposit, but I was so disappointed that it wouldn't work out during my time off.
That same day, I made a call to a place that I almost went with, but got put on the back burner months prior because of a few minor reasons. I liked the Dr's personality and years of experience, but it just didn't work because he required some form of health insurance that I didn't have at the time, but NOW had through my place of employment. Could it just work out?
I called the office of Dr. Mark Walker up and told them my situation. The nurse and secretary were amazing! The secretary, Michelle, did everything in her power to see this happen for me during my time off. She got back to me the day after I called with all the important info to make my final decision. She could have taken a back seat to it all, and told me it was too much to ask with the timing, but she didn't. I wasn't trying to rush anything here, but I was hoping that somehow he could see me again to go over imaging, AND maybe do a rhinoplasty in exactly 1.5 weeks? Well, that's exactly what happened! Dr. Walker had actually had to get back his block of time in the OR to schedule me for the day I said would work the best for me. He did that! He spoke with big wigs at the hospital and cleared that time. I wasn't gonna be asking too many questions about this one, I'm just gonna go with it!
My surgery was scheduled for Aug.15th,( the day after my 31st birthday) at 7:45am.The staff at Lourdes Hospital were all wonderful. I got into my fashionable, off-the-shoulder gown, peed in a cup, had my vitals taken among many other things, and kissed my husband and son goodbye. Dr. Walker came in with a stack of papers and my digital image in hand around 7:20 and we went over all the fine details. With everything confirmed, he left and his nurses bustled in, working on me as if I was a Nascar race car. As they worked, one of the nurses told me a short story about a conversation she had days before with a former rhinoplasty patient of Dr. Walkers. "I have always admired this lady's nose and never knew she had surgery done...let alone by the Dr I work for!" That was a great word of encouragement for me moments before I would be rolled into the OR to get a rhinoplasty. It was icing on the cake.
The anesthesiologists were both kind and gentle, but very serious. Their serious air somehow made me feel safe. The one gentleman started my IV and told me that I would soon become very, very relaxed. Oh....there it was! I'm golden. Less than a minute after I was being rolled down the hall and into a room with giant, UFO looking lights. "Prepare for take-off!" the anesthesiologist said. I think said "I've landed" but I'm not even sure! Next thing I know, I'm in a dark room and I see a clock. I see the numbers, but I couldn't make out the exact time, I just knew it was close to noon. I remember the first thing I asked was if I bled much and was told that I didn't. To make a long story shorter, I recovered from the anesthesia fairly quickly, was given another dose of an anti-nausea med and was sent home. I had no feelings of nausea until the 45minute ride home. The nausea was pretty minimal, but it lasted into the early evening, so I kept the patch they placed before surgery behind my ear(for nausea) on until the next morning.
Over the next few days, the swelling and bruising reached it's apex. All the research that I had done and rhinoplasty stories I read on here were becoming so true for me! Although the pain was not bad, I felt kind of helpless, unattractive and that depression was slowly creeping in. Why is my left nostril more swollen than my right? Did he make a mistake and suture it higher than the other? Why does the bridge of my nose look so high STILL? Why doesn't my first week post-op pictures look as nice as other's? Did he somehow translate my picture completely differently than what I want? WILL I LOOK THIS ALIEN FOREVER? I drove myself, and my husband nuts! I'm sure he thought that this surgery would finally shut me up, and it this point, it didn't. It was even worse!
BUT,......nothing beat the day the cast came off. In the carefully lit room at the Dr's my nose looked pretty amazing! I loved how it looked and that it was so straight! I prepared myself emotionally for the swelling and the skin to shrink and so on, so upon cast removal, I knew that the shape would only refine and there would be still a lot of swelling. Dr. Walker was so happy that I was happy, and then I left the office, drove around Binghamton, helped get my son get in and out of the car, walked the mall at a fast pace, leaned over about a dozen times for various reasons. I was on top of the world so much so that I wasn't paying attention to what I was doing and was in no way watching my activity level. I did a lot of things I shouldn't have! It was about that time to head home and find my car. Had to be back home in time to make dinner. I sat down to catch a glimpse of my beautiful nose and to my surprise, it looked like a GIANT campfire sized marshmallow! I was mortified. I rushed home and got on Real Self and Google to see if I could find post-op nose pictures that resembled mine. I really couldn't that day. None of them seemed as dreadful and swollen as mine! I had a good cry on my hubby's shoulder, obsessed for hours about the swelling and soon found a YouTube video on how to tape a nose properly. I was told that I didn't have to do it by my Dr, but I did it anyways because I wanted to see the contours of my nose again. It seemed to help the swelling as I gained my sanity and my logic back. I had to take a deep breath and remember that the swelling peaks right after cast removal and lasts many days after that until it SLOWLY refines to the shape that the Doctor perfected in the operating room. Now the rubber had to meet the road when it came to trusting in him and knowing that I would have to wait patiently for the final result that indeed should and will be beautiful!
Day 11-Post Op:
Today is day 11 of the healing process. Is it ever a process! It wasn't until about day 9 or 10, that I got to see the refining of my nose. Upon waking up today, my nose resembled a water balloon, but I have to remember it only get's better from here! I wish I could take a remote to my life and fast forward to the day that the swelling and shrinking of the skin is over!
Day 20-Post Op:
Today marks two weeks after the surgery. I must say that my nose is so different from the day of cast removal. The whole shape has really refined and the swelling is much better! I'm already feeling more comfortable in my own skin. Looks are by no means everything, but it's amazing when you have a source of self-consciousness suddenly removed from your life. It feels like my mind is finally allowed to breathe and begin the healing process in this area of my life. It doesn't keep the bills from coming in the mail, but it makes for a better attitude upon opening them up! Does that make sense?
Like most of you Real Self bloggers who click on...
Pre op picture with photo editor to dress it up. One angle I could tolerate was the front.
Post op pic
Could be better...
This week I have been a bit melancholy towards my nose. I seemed to pleased, right? Well, I feel the result could be better by now.They say to never research other people's progress too much, but the curiosity can take over when you try to predict an outcome for yourself. I like my new nose, I'm just realizing that I could be a whole lot less swollen by now! I hear 6 months to a year all the time when it comes to swelling going away and the skin to conform to the new nose, but I'm just so afraid that he maybe didn't take enough away? I feel that it's still really high in the "radix" (the bone between the eyes) and the tip is a bit pointed still. I don't know. Maybe I just need a stiff Martini? Ha ha. Maybe I'm paranoid, but ALL that I can do at this point is wait it out. I told my hubby that I hope that I will be happy with the result and he just rolls his eyes. I don't want to be that patient that will never be happy with the outcome, but I can't help but feel that there is room for improvement. I don't dare say the word revision around him! Anyways, I will talk to the doc on Tuesday. Wish me luck! XO
Approx 2 months post op.
I'm about two months post op and swelling could be better, but I'm no longer second guessing the results. I feel that my profile could have been a bit more "scooped" on the bridge, but I think maybe I am being too picky? Doctor said there was obvious swelling still and that it will only get better. Other than that, I am healing very well. Waiting for the swelling to go down has been way more challenging than the first week of healing for me! Maybe because it's all a mental game of patience and positivity? I'm so thankful to have this site to help keep these feelings in check. I will post some better pictures soon. I send some healing love to you all!
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