So, I decided to join this community to share my...
Deep down, I know everything will be fine and I will be satisfied with the results. I don't expect a perfect nose, just a much improved one. Just hoping to receive some kind words of encouragement from those who have been in my situation before, or who are going through the same thing at this very moment.
I will post some "before" photos soon.
4 good nights of sleep, and then it's showtime!
Thank you all.
phone call relief
Anybody have any suggestions on how to overcome this anxiety... other than xanax. Lots and lots of xanax :-)
Some more pre-op photos...
Feeling a little stuffy
Distraction - hunger games
Bed Time Night Before
the day is finally here!
Thank you all for your kind words, wishes, and support. I'll try to take and upload some post-op photos asap.
Good bye old nose...
All done, and relaxing at home!
Just a quick update - I'll post a more detailed update when I'm not so medicated lol. The procedure was a breeze… and a truly amazing experience. From the moment I walked into the medical center to the moment I was wheeled out, everybody was so awesome and incredibly sweet. Anesthesiologist - Dr. Radhika Annadata (MAC). Wow, I loved her - she answered all my questions, helped keep me super calm, and was overall a very wonderful woman. I knew I was in good hands. In fact, while in recovery, I was told that I proposed to her at one point, but I honestly don't remember. Like everybody said - you're awake, you fall asleep, you wake up again in recovery. Very weird, but amazing feeling. Here's the BEST part. I asked the staff to do me a favor, and they happily agreed. I asked them to play "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke on the sound system in the OR. Then, I asked them to play the same song as I was waking up in recovery (I made these two requests before any medication had been given). I remember moving to the operating table and hearing the song playing…then, out like a light... next thing I know, I was opening my eyes to the chorus. IT WAS REALLY COOL!!!! Thought I'd share that fun story.
No packing, which is nice. Just a hard cast to protect my new nose, and some gauze for the first 24 hours to catch any bleeding - there hasn't been much. I can actually breath perfectly through my nose right now. Again, we'll see how long that holds up.
Oh, the tiny bandaids on my forehead and eye… I had a few moles removed as well. No extra charge. My doc is awesome!
Obviously too early to report any results, but the overall experience was a piece of cake. No nausea or pain upon waking (it is only day one, so we'll see how I feel over the next few days). I'm home watching Netflix and eating some broccoli and cheddar soup from Panera. Good times!
I'll keep posting as I work through recovery. Oh, my first post-procedure meal… Krispy Kreme donut (see photo). Figured I'd reward myself :)
Follow Up Phone Call
1 Day Post-op Update
I don't remember much about the drive home. My eyes were covered with ice packs and I was resting. Never fell asleep, just relaxing. I got home and started to get a headache. Again, VERY SLIGHT discomfort from the headache. Took a Vicodin and have had zero discomfort since.
Like most people, I had a rough time sleeping last night. Not so much from the inclined positions, but more from the severe dry mouth. My goodness! It's like the Sahara desert. I woke up every hour just to drink some water and moisten my lips with vaseline. My nurses recommended vaseline over chap stick, as it seems to keep your lips moisturized for a much longer period of time.
Today has been pretty easy. Being very disciplined about my medication. Eating normal food, although the congestion in my nose makes it difficult to chew for very long before opening my mouth, still full of food, for more oxygen. Sorry for the visual. Replacing the drip gauze under my nose every couple of hours and cleaning inside my nostrils with a q-tip and 1/2 water 1/2 hydrogen peroxide. The drainage has pretty much stopped. My congestions is pretty bad from all the dried blood, but it's no worse than having a head cold, sinus infections, really stuffed up nose, etc. If you can handle that, you can handle this congestion.
Unfortunately, I can NOT use my humidifier… which would help immensely with the severe dry mouth at night. I have so many bandages on my face (holding numerous stents in place to correctly shape my nose throughout the healing process), and I can't get them damp at all.
That's it for now. I'll post a photo soon, although you can't see much of the bruising with the tape all over my face.
I'll update soon.
easy dry mouth fix
Discovered an easy fix for my dry mouth. Before I went to bed last night, I smothered a pretty thick layer of Vaseline around my lips. My thought - it would help keep my lips moisturizer and somehow moisturize the dry air that I was breathing into my mouth. Just an experiment... and success. It totally worked. Woke up around 3am with a mildly dry mouth, replied vaseline, and went back to sleep. Woke up this morning feeling much better than yesterday morning, as far as dry mouth is concerned.
Hope that helps a bit.
Have a good day, realselfers.
Damon auto correct.
- Arnica* and Bromelain (30 min apart)
- Vaseline kept my lips moisturized*
- re applied* vaseline at 3am
That update should make more sense now... I swear it was the auto correct and not the meds ;-)
Excited about post-op follow up
Update - 4 days post-op
photo update - 3 days post
Regimented supplement and medication intake
7:30 AM - BROMELAIN - 2 pills on empty stomach
8:00 AM - KEFLEX/CEPHALEXIN antibiotic - 1 pill w/ light food, banana
8:30 AM - VitaMedica MORNING supplement - 3 pills w/ full breakfast
11:30 AM - BROMELAIN - 2 pills on empty stomach
3:00 PM - ARNICA - 3 pills dissolved under tongue
3:30 PM - BROMELAIN - 2 pills on empty stomach
8:00 PM - KEFLEX/CEPHALEXIN antibiotic - 1 pill before dinner
8:30 AM - VitaMedica EVENING supplement - 3 pills after dinner
11:00 PM - ARNICA - 3 pills dissolved under tongue
The timing for each individual person will be different, based on your wake/sleep and eating schedule, but this is what seems to have worked for me to speed up recovery and greatly reduce bruising, swelling, discomfort, etc.
Happy to answer any questions over private message.
Cleaning and maintenance process
3-4 times per day
What you need:
A LOT of Q-tips
1/2 water 1/2 hydrogen peroxide mix
nasal spray (my doc recommended Afrin)
Step 1: wash hands vigorously with Hibiclens, heavy soap, or whatever pre-surgical wash your doctor may have prescribed to you. Your hands are going to be all over the surgical site, so best to have them super clean before you touch anything
Step 2: Soak one end of q-tip in water/HP mixture. Use this end of q-tip to clean one nostril. Be very gentle with this. Avoid the area if you feel discomfort or tenderness. If you feel heavy resistance (most likely from clotted blood), be very gentle and rub the q-tip around the area to help break up whatever is causing the buildup. Soak the other end of the q-tip in water/HP mixture and repeat in other nostril.
Step 3: This step is completely optional, and get approval from your doctor before doing this… but I've found it helps A LOT with congestion. I'll soak a piece of gauze in the water/HP mix, twist it up to form a tight long gauze strip, and gently insert into my nose - NOT DEEP at all, only as far as comfortable. I'll do a soaked gauze strip in both nostrils and let them sit there for approx 5 minutes. I'll then gently and slowly remove the strips - I've noticed this clears up a lot of blood, built up mucus, and large clots. You'd be amazed how many gross things get soaked up and pulled out by the gauze. Makes you realize very quickly why you were having such a hard time breathing. I would have taken photos of some of my gauze strips, but everybody would have been completely grossed out… so I spared you the horrific sight. You're welcome! Again, make sure your doc is okay with this before doing it. Essentially, you are temporarily packing the nose, so you obviously want to skip this step if you already have packing or stints or anything else up there that was put there by your doctor to serve a specific post-op purpose.
Step 4: Use nasal spray in each nostril. I will gently breath in as I spray, and then very gently breath out to push any excess blood, mucus, buildup out of my nose. This gentle breathing should be no more than just that - a natural pushing of air out through your nasal passage. No vigorous breathing like blowing your nose… gentle.
Step 5: You may need additional gauze or tissue to clean up any remaining blood, mucus, etc. that may be resting on the tip of your nose, upper lip, or just inside the nostrils. I do this by gently dabbing the gauze or using another q-tip to gently gather the buildup.
Step 6: Use q-tip and water/HP mix to gently clean the incision area.
Step 7: Use q-tip to apply vaseline around incision area. I apply a very generous layer.
With this process, I'm at about 80-85% nasal breathing as opposed to mouth breathing.
Again, happy to answer any questions over private message or in the comments section.
Cast Removal - still very bruised and swollen
Sorry for the delay in posting my cast removal update. I've been really busy at work the past couple of days (that's right, I've been going to work despite my bruised and battered appearance), but I've finally made some time to sit down and write an update. Had my cast, stitch and tape removal yesterday. Interesting process the way they remove the tape and cast… very slow process. Took almost 20 minutes. Then the stitches - certainly an eye watering experience. Not painful, just uncomfortable. Imagine plucking out a nose hair. Now imagine plucking out about 10 of them. Not fun times at all, but I made it through. After everything was removed, they told me to look in the mirror. I was excited to see the new me. Then I looked in the mirror. I was a extremely shocked when I first glanced at my face. I didn't recognize myself at all - and I don't mean that in a good way. I was WAY more bruised and swollen than I thought. All the tape on my face hid the extent to which my face and nose had blown up. I literally looked like Rocky Balboa during round 15 of his epic battle with Apollo Creed… Clubber Lang… Ivan Drago… take your pick! I mean, I was a mess. The doctor explained to me that the swelling would go down over the next 2 weeks, and my nose would begin to take shape. I can already see that the structure is significantly better than it was before. No more downward slope. I have a HUGE hump of swelling and bruising on the bridge of my nose. The tip looks nice - no more hook to it. Despite the major swelling, I'll still take my current nose over my previous one. I know it's a waiting game, and things will get better over the next few weeks, months, years. I will remain patient. One weird thing is the suture/stitch line. There is a noticeable difference between the skin above and below the stitch line. The skin below is quite normal. The skin above is very tough, tender (almost numb) to the touch, and swollen. Again, this will improve over the next few weeks, and I need to apply vaseline to the stitch line and tip of my nose 2-3 times a day. Still cleaning the inside of my nostrils with the water/hydrogen peroxide mix. Icing every hour or two for 10-20 minutes. I have seen some improvement over the past 24 hours. Hoping I look somewhat normal in time for New Years Eve. The tip of my nose is quite bulbous right now. My doctor explained it to me like this: You know how the swelling in your face starts around your forehead and eyes, then works it's way down your cheeks and eventually works it's way "out" through your jawline? Your nose works the same way. Swelling and bruising starts at the top of the bridge, works its way down, and eventually exits through the tip. So, the tip will be round and swollen longer than any other area of the nose. Ahhh, gravity… you're a cruel SOB! All-in-all, still happy I went through with it. Nothing else to do at this point but wait and see how things develop. I know my doc does amazing work, so I'm sure I will be pleased with the results.
Oh, another thing I am experiencing that I've read about quite often on this site - I've lost my smile. Apparently, the fibers that connect the nose to the upper lip are torn or damaged during the procedure (or so I read in some of the doctor responses to questions regarding this subject), and it takes some time for those fibers to rebuild and bring your smile back to normal. Again, this could take 4-6 weeks or longer depending on the individual and the procedure. My smile looks fake, and all my top teeth are hidden. It's like my stupid lip refuses to peel back and reveal my pearly whites. Just need to remain calm, stay patient, and wait for progress.
My coworkers say I don't look too bad, but they are just being nice. When my father first saw me after the cast removal, he asked "does your face hurt?" I said no. He replied, "Well, it's killing me. You should have kept it covered up!" Gotta love his honesty. :-)
That's all for now. I will post some photos in a minute, and update every couple of days. Happy reading!
photos after cast removal - 5 days post op
Nothing major to report yet. I did my research, and Dr. Stompro does some amazing work. He's very friendly, knowledgeable, and experienced... and such a calm, professional demeanor. I know I am in good hands... literally. His office staff is truly amazing - very helpful and accommodating, very prompt at returning calls and answering my questions, and, most importantly, great at helping ease some of my pre-operative anxiety. So far, so good. Will add more information after the procedure.