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The Nose Job when I Was 17 - Dallas, TX

It has been years since my surgery, but I still...

It has been years since my surgery, but I still remember the change. I was born with a big nose. My parents told me that I had the “roman nose” at birth. Around 6th grade, some began telling me that I had a large nose. One kid said “hey - you’re gonna have a huge nose when you grow up!” I hear he’s in jail now. Anyway, the teasing was at it’s worst in the 8th grade. It gradually got better in high school. By them, though, I was very self-conscious. I didn’t date for the majority of high school, and I’m still rather bitter about that. In the summer before my senior year, my parents paid for the surgery that I so wanted. I couldn’t wait for it to be done. The plastic surgeon basically told me that he would maintain a masculine nose, and that I should just trust his judgment. I was warned of possible nausea and vomiting from the blood draining down my throat right after surgery. He also said that some surgeries would have to be done again if the bone structure wasn’t quite right after the healing. All of that was a non-issue.

The big day was in July. I remember looking at my nose the night before. No regrets! I remember being given a sedative before the surgery began. I felt quite relaxed. The doctor told me to count backwards from ten. 10…… then I woke up. I move my hand up towards my face. A nurse pulled my hand away from my face, and then told me the surgery was over. That was that. I felt just fine. My nose was just a bit numb.

During my week of recovery, I wore button down shirts so that I wouldn’t have to pull a shirt over my face and nose. I was watching the movie Dragnet on TV with Tom Hanks and Dan Aykroyd. I laughed so hard that I thought my broken nose was damaged! It wasn’t.

Then the day came where the doctor took the bandages off. It’s very weird to look in the mirror and see a slightly different face. It wasn’t what I would ultimately become, because my nose was quite swollen. I was pleased, though. The doctor told me that no one would notice at school. I accepted what he said, but I thought that surely couldn’t be true.

By the time my senior year started, the swelling in my nose was gone (it looked great). I remember seeing the prettiest girl at school during some kind of registration. She was one of the first classmates that I saw at the beginning of my senior year. She didn’t notice anything, but I was just a bit more confident when I talked to her. And that was the bottom line. More self-confidence. Dating followed, and it was the best year I ever had in high school. I’m an adult now, and I usually don’t even think about it. I still remember, though, how the ridge of my nose felt. I could have hung my coat on it! I wouldn’t recommend this for 17 year olds unless their nose is an obvious source of anxiety and shyness. Like I said, no one noticed all year that my nose was smaller. It was huge, and the cruel comments in junior high filled my head with self-doubt.

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