9 months post-op! A quick picture update!

I am 24 years old and I’ll be getting a new nose...

I am 24 years old and I’ll be getting a new nose on August 1st! I have really loved reading through the many positive reviews and experiences on this website. Since the posts of others have been such an immense help to me, I decided to share my own experience as well. My hope is that this blog will help someone who is considering the surgery and connect people who are also having the procedure soon.

What I hate about my nose for cosmetic reasons is obvious; I have a really large dorsal hump and it projects too far from my face. The tip is droopy, especially when I smile, which makes the hump look even worse. From the front, you can also see how there is no definition and that the nose deviates to the left. This has caused breathing issues (I always wind up breathing through my mouth at night) and sinus problems (post nasal drip, infections, and stubborn headaches). In the past year, I have been on antibiotics more times than I can count because of sinusitis, which was recently confirmed through a CT scan. The cosmetic and functional issues will all be fixed by Dr. Guida through rhinoplasty, septoplasty, and endoscopic sinus surgery – and honestly, words can’t express how ready or excited I am to be having this procedure!!! It really is a dream come true to know that soon, I will improve the quality of my health, be able to breathe through my nose, and finally put years of self-consciousness behind me.

I have wanted a nosejob for an extremely long time. As far back as the fifth grade, I have memories of being teased because of the shape of my nose. There was one boy in particular, that would relentlessly make comments about it every day. By sixth grade, it had really gotten to me. Of course, when middle school came around, people became more into looks and having a big nose became even more of a problem for me. I stopped participating in classes and was generally very quiet in school, just so that I wouldn’t attract attention to myself. Throughout my high school and college years, I can remember specific instances where I was embarrassed because of my nose: a time in the locker room, a time when a friend made a mean remark about someone else's nose which was a lot like mine, and countless times where I simply felt unattractive and extremely self-conscious.

Over the years, my self-consciousness has grown to the point where I feel that I can’t wear my hair up because it puts my profile on display. I really wanted bangs in high school but never got them for that same reason. I feel the need to turn away from the car next to me when I’m at a red light, just because I am convinced the driver will look at my nose. It is something that I always think about and always think people are staring at, especially when I meet new people or am in a very social setting. I have never been able to truly accept a compliment - and I hate to say something like that because it sounds dramatic and the truth is, I’m a really happy person. But no matter what, even when I get dressed up in a pretty dress for a special occasion, there is always a nagging voice in my head that says “but your nose is still big.”

Day to day, I am afraid of someone making a comment about my nose. I used to work as a preschool teacher and am now a substitute teacher for the elementary grades, so I spend a lot of time around kids that have no filter and say exactly what they are thinking. A few times, a young child has innocently asked me a question along the lines of, “Why is your nose like that?” And even though it’s coming from a little kid, my stomach turns and I flashback to all of the school memories I want to forget about. It’s exhausting to think about my nose so much.

This is the one thing that I want to change about myself. After so many years of wanting this surgery, I feel so lucky that I’ll be having the procedure on August 1st with Dr. Guida. I still can’t wrap my mind around the fact that this is actually going to happen – but it is!!!

Before pictures

One week to go!!!

MY SURGERY IS ONE WEEK FROM TODAY!!!!!

Whoa. It’s so crazy saying that… IS IT REALLY NEXT WEEK?!?!

I have to admit, the nerves have kicked in. I am still SUPER excited more than anything, but I have moments where I freak out and worry about certain things: what my swelling/bruising will be like for those first few days, the IV, and if I’ll throw up afterwards. I haven’t had any kind of surgery since I was really little, so I also have the typical concerns about anesthesia. I seem to think that I have some sort of superpower where I’ll mentally fight the anesthesia off and it won’t work on me – that I’ll never “fall asleep” - or that I’ll wake up in the middle of surgery (OH BOY…). I know that a lot of people experience nerves like this beforehand, so I just keep telling myself “If they can do it, so can I!”

This past Friday, I received a packet in the mail with an informational booklet and my prescriptions - one was for bloodwork. I went in for that on Monday and typically hate getting blood tests. This one was no exception but I had a more positive mentality than usual because I kept thinking “pretty nose, pretty nose, pretty nose” – Haha! I will be getting the results back tomorrow so I’ll have my official medical clearance then. I think that’s contributing to my nervous energy because after that, all that’s left is going to my pre-op appointment this Monday… And then it’s the big day!!!

Seriously, I know I’d be bugging out WAY more if I didn’t trust my doctor as much as I do. In the past few months, I have chatted with some of his patients online and they all had such reassuring and positive experiences to share! My mom’s friend also personally recommended him to me because her son had septo-rhinoplasty surgery with him. I know that Dr. Guida is an excellent surgeon (he was always my first choice for this procedure!) and I know that I'm in great hands. That fact is REALLY helping put my mind a bit more at ease when I have my nervous-wreck moments... I just have to focus on keeping everything in perspective these next few days!!!

MY NEW NOSE... ONLY ONE WEEK AWAY!!!

It's TOMORROW!!!

When I woke up this morning, the first thing I thought within seconds was "I GET A NEW NOSE TOMORROW!!! (Is this real life?!?!)" I’m in a really great mood right now and feeling totally at ease! I had my pre-op appointment on Monday and that's what calmed a lot of the nerves I mentioned in my last post. We’ll see how I feel as the day progresses because the emotional rollercoaster might kick in again at some point, but I know I’m as ready for this as I’ll ever be. It’s so unreal to think that soon, I won’t need to be self-conscious about my nose anymore! I have no doubt that this is going to be a life-changing thing for me and I am SO thankful and excited!!! I wish I could fast forward through today and get to tomorrow morning!

Last night, I saw my amazing best friend and she surprised me with lots of little presents! My favorite thing is a frame with a post-it attached to it that says: “For our first picture with your new nose!” Combined with her incredibly sweet card, I almost started to cry. It was such a nice gesture and it made me feel really lucky to have the support of my closest family members, my boyfriend, and my best friends. I’m definitely going to put the card and frame on display in my room!

I have been preparing for the surgery by taking 1,000 mg. of Vitamin C every morning and night for all of July, and I started taking the arnica tablets on Sunday night: 3 at a time, 4 times a day. I find it weird how fast those tablets dissolve into nothing! I was prescribed Vitamin K to take once a day since Monday, an antibiotic that I started this morning, and an anti-nausea medicine to take 1 hr. before surgery and two times after. I was also prescribed Percocet as a painkiller, in case I need it. I bought arnica gel for bruising and Biotene mouthspray to deal with dry mouth. I got frozen peas to use as ice packs and a pack of baby washcloths so the ice won’t be directly on my face. Today, I’m going to finish up some soft foods shopping and I need to buy straws and cough drops.

Since I’m a side sleeper and I know that won’t be happening for a while, I went on an online shopping spree for pillows a few weeks ago… seriously. I now have a “husband” backrest pillow (in a fun zebra print – yay!), a memory foam travel pillow for my neck, and a wedge pillow. I think I’m set as far as lounging around options are concerned… haha! I signed up for Netflix so I have endless TV shows to watch, and I also have a stack of books to read and magazines to browse. I’m actually looking forward to being a couch-potato for a few days…

I DID IT AND FEEL GREAT!!!

Hi guys!!! I just got home a little while and am feeling so happy! I DID IT!!! Everything went really well and I only got nervous for a little bit, when they started the anesthesia. But that turned out to be a breeze!!! I don't even remember falling asleep! I'll update again tomorrow but I just wanted you all to know I'm doing well!! Dr. Guida doesn't use packing so my nose is bleeding quite a bit right now but they gave me gauze and tape, and it's no biggie!! Thanks so much for all your well wishes! They were great to read through this morning right before surgery!!

Post-op recovery pictures

Had some room temperature soup last night and took my antibiotic, anti-nausea med (done with that - took the third and last one in the middle of the night), and arnica. I took a Percocet just be on the safe side on the first night but I had no pain, and didn't bother taking another after 4 hours. I've been staying in bed and icing/napping as much as possible. I woke up around every hour with a dry mouth last night, just like everyone always mentions. So I feel thirsty a lot. I've been drinking small sips of water and also had two ice pops. I chopped it up in a cup and had it with a spoon, so it was like a slushy. I had some jello this morning and took Vitamin C and antibiotic. No painkiller because I still have no pain at all! The dripping of blood has stopped for the most part. I only put a small gauze because that way I don't have to keep dabbing at my nose. The worst part right now is definitely the congestion. I didn't feel this congested until about 8 hours after the surgery (I had been able to feel my nose run, especially from the right side), but now my nose is completely stuffy.

Day 2: pictures.

Just some updated pics for now.

Day 3!

Hi guys! I'm feeling good today! I've already noticed such a big difference in the amount of swelling! My cheeks are still chipmunk cheeks but my eyes have improved a lot. Yay for that! Today's the first day I feel like watching TV, so that's what my plan is for the day: just lounging around and watching some shows!

I'm already AMAZED when I look at my nose in the mirror. Even with the splint on, it's just so incredible and unreal! Dr Guida is THE BEST!!!

Day 4: pictures!

Day 5 - last day with the splint!

Counting down until splint removal!!!!!

DR GUIDA IS THE BEST SURGEON EVER!!!!!!!

MY NEW NOSE IS PERFECT!!!!! I LOVE IT, I LOVE IT, I LOVE IT!!! Getting my splint taken off today was such an emotional experience! After having my nose cleaned out, I noticed that I could actually breathe through my right nostril! (Something I had never been able to do before!) And then, when the splint was off… and I was given the mirror to see my new nose… I was in total awe! A GORGEOUS NOSE from every angle!!! I couldn't believe it was ME!!! My new nose is a million times better than I could have ever wished for or imagined. I keep looking in the mirror and I actually feel BEAUTIFUL!! More than anything, I feel so liberated knowing that from this moment on, I can just be ME without the constant worrying and nagging feeling about my nose. Now I LOVE my nose!!! Dr. Guida is the absolute best surgeon EVER and even with my splint on, I knew that he had completely changed my life. This is a total dream come true.

MY NEW NOSE!!!

Profile Before/After

One week post-op!

A quick thank-you and some more pictures!

Thank you so much to everyone that has written here or sent me a private message. Your sweet comments made me even more happy! I am absolutely positively THRILLED with my result and am attaching some more pictures, as requested. I don't have my smile back yet but I'm smiling way big on the inside! When I got the splint taken off, Dr. Guida pointed out some areas to expect a little swelling in while I continue to heal - but even so, my new nose is perfect to me.

My first follow-up since splint removal.

I had my first follow-up visit with Dr. Guida yesterday. I’m healing well and he thinks my new nose looks GREAT. I completely, 100% agree. It looks natural and perfect, and I can’t wrap my mind around how he was able to do it! Major skills. According to Dr. Guida, the tip of my nose is really swollen at the moment. I did notice a day or two when my nose seemed a teensy bit more “puffy,” but it doesn’t bother me at all. I know it’s part of the healing process to experience some swelling and seriously, I think my nose looks fabulous as it is. It could stay exactly like this and I’d continue to live life in my current state of total happiness. My nose is beautiful.

Since the splint removal, my skin has gotten oily but flaky – especially on my nose – which I expected to happen. The thing is, I’m still a little squeamish about touching my nose in fear of something happening to it – LOL. So I have just been washing gently with a mild cleanser and using oil blotting sheets, which didn’t do all that much for the flaking. Thankfully, Dr. Guida cleaned my nose with a Q-tip yesterday and helped get rid of a lot of that. He also cleaned the inside again, which means I can breathe better! Not even one month post-op and still swollen, but I can breathe out of my right nostril way more than I ever could in the past. It’s amazing to actually be able to breathe in air. I can only imagine what breathing will be like when I’m fully healed!

Life with a cute nose has been amazing so far. I wake up every morning and the first thing I do is go look at my new nose in the mirror; it’s the perfect start to my day! My smile feels tight but it’s definitely on its way to being back to normal. The best thing about my new nose is that I’m never self-conscious anymore when I leave my house. Just the other day, I went out to lunch and realized I no longer need to feel paranoid that people are looking at my nose.

I don’t need to be fearful that a little kid will say my nose looks like a witch nose - and being an elementary substitute teacher (around kids ALL the time), that’s an especially big deal. All of that is behind me which feels incredible. I feel confident. I feel like a new person. I am only just beginning to see the ways that my new nose has changed my life for the better - but already, there’s no doubt this is the absolute best decision I have ever made for myself.

Note: In this post, I described my nose as natural, perfect, fabulous, beautiful, and cute. Who knew I would ever speak so highly of my nose?! Haha! :)

- Again, thanks to everyone that has continued to follow along and commented or PMed me. Means a lot.

2 months post-op!

Tomorrow is two months since my surgery and I can’t believe how fast time has gone by! I have wanted to update this but between work and grad school, I’ve only come on here to respond to PM’s! Anyway, here’s the update - no surprise here... I am still in love with my new nose and happier than ever!!! I still take a bazillion profile pictures when I'm bored, and spend a little too much time in front of the three-way mirror. I still make comments almost out of nowhere like, "Look at my nose! Isn't it so CUTE?!" I still have emotional moments where I am completely in shock that this is me. Just a few days ago, I made a before/after using the worst before picture I had. When I edited it to put it side-by-side with a current picture, I cried. Anyone who has followed my story and seen my pictures can completely understand why. It's unreal.

Over the weekend, I went to the ballet and it was the first time in my life that I actually felt elegant after dressing up. When I had a big nose, I would feel ugly no matter what I wore. I used to feel like I wasn’t good enough to wear certain things and I even avoided some stores because of my low self-esteem. I no longer feel that way and it’s incredible because I’m no longer held back in any way. I can even wear my hair in a ponytail or half-up! Seriously, that’s a really big deal for someone like me.

I always knew this would be a life-changing thing for me but I never knew to what extent. It’s something that’s hard for me to put into words. I’m just so grateful every single day to have had this surgery, and to have such an amazing outcome.

9 month update!

Yesterday was 9 months post-op and I can't believe how much time has gone by since my surgery! I have been logging-in to RealSelf to respond to private messages but haven't gotten around to a public update. A few members have recently requested updated pictures, so here they are. :)

Hoping to do a longer update once my last semester of graduate school is over!
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