I'm turning 30 this year, recently moved to...
I'm turning 30 this year, recently moved to Pittsburgh and getting married in 2015 to a wonderful guy who thinks I'm beautiful just the way I am. No one knows I'm considering rhinoplasty though I've been self-conscious of my nose since I was a teenager. As a child, I was clumsy, constantly falling and bumping my nose into things. In elementary school, a basketball flew into my face and I think broke my nose though no one took me to the hospital to get it checked out. As I got older, it grew more and more crooked. Fortunately I was spared the relentless teasing a lot of other people experience. I only had to field the occasional comment about whether my nose had been broken or would I ever consider plastic surgery. I guess I've been lucky that people have been generally tactful, however despite what other people's perceptions are, I'm constantly aware of my prominent nose. I'm nervous in job interviews and when meeting new people. My confidence is suffering more and more because of it. I have a bump, deviated septum so my nose curves to the side, and a large bulbous tip. Overall, my nose is too big for my face. As a yoga practitioner, I'm very aware that I don't breathe equally through both of my nostrils and I know I breathe loudly at night. I have chronic allergic rhinitis, congestion and sinus headaches which I'm hoping this surgery can alleviate.
I have done a lot of research and scheduled 3 upcoming consultations with well-qualified surgeons in Pittsburgh. I'm nervous about telling my family and my fiance that I'm planning to do this this year. It sounds silly, but I've always been known as the one in my family who doesn't care much about appearances, not into fashion or make-up- I'm the hippy, nature-loving, yoga-practicing vegetarian of the family. I used to think plastic surgery was a shallow or insecure thing to do- now after finding the RealSelf community, I've come to realize that that's completely wrong, plastic surgery is for people just like me. It's not about being superficial, but correcting something that isn't how it's supposed to be which can change your life in so many positive and beneficial ways. I realize how silly it sounds that I was afraid that taking this step would ruin my 'image' of being 'someone who doesn't care about images'. This is not the nose nature intended and there's nothing wrong with taking steps to correct it.
Everyone has the right to feel confident and beautiful, especially on their wedding day. Now is the right time for me. I'm in a transition period as I approach my wedding and my 30s, I'm ready for a change and I'm hoping a new nose will help me go forward in my career and have the confidence to make new friends.
Of course I have plenty of reservations - what if things go wrong? What if the outcome is worse than the nose I have now? What if I permanently lose my smile that most people say is my best feature? Is this is an insane amount of money to spend on myself when I'm of very limited resources, my car is ancient and falling apart, and I have a wedding to pay for? I can scrape together the money for an initial septo-rhinoplasty, but a revision rhinoplasty would be beyond my means.
Despite these concerns, I'm eagerly awaiting my consultations and I know in my heart this is something I want and need and those close to me will understand once I break the news!
2 weeks till my first consult
Nothing much new to report except I did tell my fiance this week that I was considering having this done. It went about as well as I expected, he told me there was NO WAY I was going to change my nose because he loves my nose just the way it is and there is nothing wrong with it. He never even noticed it was crooked! Could it be that all this time he's known me, especially the TWO years we've lived together where he's surely seen my nose from every possible angle, that he never noticed anything was off about it? I'm sure I scrutinize my schnoz more than anyone around me, but it's an objective fact that my nose deviates to the side and it's glaringly obvious when talking to me or seeing me in photos. Then again, love is blind and he did put a ring on my finger with this nose on my face so presumably he was willing to take the whole package on an as-is basis.
He said that I can't change it because it's MY nose. I have a hard time understanding this logic because any nose that I would have in the future would still be MY nose, I'm not going to all of a sudden have someone else's nose, just an improved version of my own nose. Also, the nose I have now is probably not the nose I would have had had it not experienced all that trauma in my youth. If nothing had ever interfered with it, I would likely have inherited my dad's nose - large, but straight.
I am not deterred because I know he will come around, he's open-minded and supportive, it will just take him a little while to get used to the idea. Next time I bring it up I will be armed with computer generated images of my potentially new nose!
First consult down! So far so good
I had my first consult today with Dr. Leong and he is as wonderful as all the reviews say. We had a huge snowstorm hit this morning, so getting to the appointment was extremely stressful, none of the roads were plowed and I barely made it out of my street, but I got there right on time at 8:15. Because of the weather, he was running a bit behind and I had to wait about a half hour to see him, but it was well worth it since he spent a good hour and a half with me. He made me feel very comfortable and he was extremely thorough, went into great detail about the anatomy of the nose and different techniques and options for rhinoplasty. He took a lot of pictures, which was probably the most nerve-wracking part since those are the angles those of us with bad noses AVOID like the plague, but it was a necessary evil. He also did a thorough exam of the interior of my nose. The initial consult was a $100 charge and all follow ups after that, prior to the surgery, are free. So I scheduled a follow up for a month from now which gives me plenty of time to mull things over. At that appointment, he will go into more detail about the surgery and the specific refinements he will make to my nose since I have a couple of options there. At that point he will also print out my pictures and show me what the potential results could look like. I'm really happy with his before/after pictures as his results are very natural and never look 'done'.
Also found out that my septum is not that deviated and isn't really causing most of the crookedness to my nose. That was pretty surprising and also means this is more of a cosmetic than functional rhinoplasty and therefore pursuing the insurance angle might not be a worthwhile option. The cost of the surgery is more than the budget I originally set, so for this to be feasible, I will need to finance it, probably for 12-24 months. I plan on applying for the Care Credit card once I've made my final decision.
My fiance is being really supportive. The only thing he's hesitant about (and with good reason) is the cost, since we have our wedding to pay for. He asked me if I just wanted to wait until after the wedding for the surgery but I told him there is just no way this nose will be joining us in matrimony. His reply, which was perfect: "It can be your something new!" Yep, he's pretty much the best fiance ever.
I still have my consults with the other two surgeons coming up in the next couple weeks, so until then I will do my best to not spend every waking moment obsessing about this. :)
First Consult, Round 2
I had my consult with Dr. Gillman Monday. I had decided to take the whole day off work and glad I did since it was about an hour wait, which he profusely apologized for. But that's pretty par for the course with any doctor's office these days. He's a practicing ENT physician so he's not just seeing patients for rhinoplasty all day. I was a little nervous that he was going to be somewhat brusque or wasn't going to have a warm bedside manner since I'd read a review online from an angry mother who said that he made her daughter cry and was not the surgeon for cleft palate surgery. Whoa! Fortunately, I did not find that to be the case at my consult. He was very kind and made me feel at ease, but he also knows his stuff since he's being doing noses for decades. I really liked all of his before/after photos; the results were natural and elegant, he really achieves harmony with the rest of a person's features. He's been consistently voted one of the top physicians in the country and one of the best for women.
He mentioned doing some kind of cartilage grafting in my nose to create more balance. I'd never really considered anything like that before since I was mainly focused on reduction, not adding to or repositioning the cartilage in my nose. But since this was a first consult, he didn't go into great detail about how that would work. He took photos and said he would do some imaging on them and call me back in a few days. Haven't heard from him since but I hope he'll call me this week to set up our 2nd meeting.
I canceled the first consult with Dr. Chiu. A few reasons - I read the negative review on here from someone who had a rhinoplasty with him, wasn't happy with the results and said he was unwilling to perform revision or listen to her concerns. It's a bad sign for me, I want a doctor who is willing to make me happy no matter what, especially since surgery with him is on the high end - $10,000+ and the initial consult is $150. Also I got a bad vibe from his office manager, there is only one girl working in the office who manages everything - taking calls, responding to inquiries, coordination, etc. I found her to be unprofessional, disorganized and unresponsive. She took 3 weeks to respond to an email, and I had to email twice to get answer, which doesn't bode well in case I were to have surgery with them and needed a response quickly. She also confused me with another patient and accidentally called and left me a voicemail which was not intended for me, then explained she gets so many inquiries every day it's hard to keep them all straight. I just wasn't getting a good feeling and I think it's important to trust your gut.
So I know I'm rambling a lot but I've been doing so much reflecting this week. It's strange to finally be "out" with my big secret (even though I haven't told the fam yet). This insecurity that I've been hiding from the world for so long, I'm now openly calling attention to, I'm letting doctors touch and closely examine my nose, I'm not hiding behind my hair and pretending my nose isn't an issue. It's very strange - I feel exposed! I also want to make sure I'm doing this for the absolute right reasons. There have been periods of my life where I haven't obsessed about my nose (for instance when I was backpacking across Europe I wasn't thinking twice about it). Since moving to Pittsburgh, I've been isolated, I have this demoralizing, dead-end job and no friends despite my best efforts to make them, I am now wondering if my nose has become a scapegoat for all my problems! But when I start asking myself these questions, the truth is this issue is going to persist the rest of my life until I get it fixed and I'm not looking for surgery to give me self-esteem. I think some people do fall into that trap with plastic surgery. Ultimately a sense of self-worth comes from within! but it's just going to give me that extra boost I need. :) So bottom line, I think I would want this regardless of other circumstances in my life.
If I'm not 100 percent sure after the second consults in March, I'm either going to expand the search to Cleveland and Philadelphia, or put the whole thing on the backburner.
2nd Consults Down, Decision Made
This week I had my second consultations with both Dr. Gillman and Dr. Leong. Both are fabulous doctors and I have no doubt that either one would have been a great choice, but after a lot of deliberation I scheduled my surgery with Dr. Gillman. So now I have about 100 days to prepare myself for surgery. Will post again as the date approaches!
2 months to go
So it's been a month since I made my decision and booked surgery. This month has flown by so I'm hoping the next 2 will do the same. I'm telling my family in person next week when I go back home for a visit. Keep in mind I've kept this a secret for about 15 years so I'm anxiously awaiting their reactions! I'm sure they knew I was self-conscious of my nose but never wanted to say anything to make me feel bad since I could never afford to do anything about it, so I imagine when I tell them, they will respond with variations of "It's about time! we always thought you needed a nose job!"
Will post more pics of my hideous nose soon so we can all bid it a fond farewell. ;)
Chickened Out On Telling The Fam
So I flew home this weekend to do some wedding stuff and my plan was to tell my family in person about my upcoming surgery...and well, with all the running around and wedding planning and meeting my little baby niece just born 2 months ago, there was never a good moment to bring it up. Or maybe I just chickened out?
some pics of my nose today
My cubicle seems to be the best place to snap some nose selfies. Really cant hide any flaws under these awful florescent lights
my time off was denied
So I requested July 3 through 15 off and my boss said I can't have the 3rd off for sure but maybe the other days, she will have to see. Um seriously? That is no good ad my surgery is scheduled for july 3! And there was no good reason for denying that day off. I may have mentioned before that i have a really demoralizing job with fascist management. So now I'm super bummed. I have no choice but to try and reschedule my surgery. Will be calling my doctor.
rescheduled for june 19
After playing phone tag all day yesterday with Dr. Gillman's surgery schedule, Heather, who is amazing by the way, and a sleepless night full of fretting, I finally got her on the phone this morning. I was able to move my surgery date up by 2 weeks which makes me really happy. The sooner the better! I submitted a new PTO request for june 19-june 27, returning to work monday, june 30, and it was approved! Hopefully that's enough time for me to recovery and not look like a raccoon...
Sometimes less is more...
I had a long chat with Dr. Gillman today because I had a few more questions about the surgery to go over with him, he was very patient answering all of my silly questions and I couldn't be happier with my decision to choose him. We are completely on the same page with the desired changes and I feel like he just really gets me and what I'm after. I completely trust his aesthetics, skill level and expertise. Some people would only trust their face with someone who does 500 rhinoplasties a year, which I totally get (hey, practice makes perfect!). But for me, it's quality over quantity and I'd rather have a doctor who does fewer surgeries and is going to take his time really getting to know each patient and their desired outcome. I think he's not afraid to tell a patient that he may not be the right fit for what they're looking for. He's not into noses that look done, or have that worked-on look. He creates noses that have elegance, harmony and longevity (no breathing problems down the line). So our goals are completely aligned.
Choosing a surgeon is such a subjective, deeply personal decision. And I also think it's about getting a good gut feeling about your doctor. I've read so many stories where people push past red flags and icky feelings and then are horrified with their results. Well yeah, your intuition is there for a reason. Then I've also read stories where people go to the most well-regarded top surgeon in their field, were so confident that they were going to get the best, and then they end up with botched results. I've toyed with the idea of getting my under-eye bags removed, then I read the horror stories (there are some on here) of people who went to the best ocular plastic surgeon in the country and he ruined their eyes. So you just never know. So much is out of your control, all you can do is make the most educated decision possible and full steam ahead.
pics coming down temporarily
Just a little paranoid about being recognized by someone from work, so pix coming down until after surgery
I told my family!
My family now knows about my procedure and they are all being really supportive. My sisters and dad said they never noticed my nose was crooked, my mom said she noticed my bridge was getting more prominent and she can see where it gets narrower and more constricted just beneath the hump on my bridge. But they definitely all remembered how I was constantly getting hit in the face with balls as a kid and always had nosebleeds. My parents both have sleep apnea and have to sleep with breathing machines, so they were glad that this surgery should prevent me from having to deal with that when I get older. Especially my dad who has been to a lot of ENT's himself but was always advised surgery probably wouldn't help his case. As for the cosmetic part of the surgery, my mom said she thinks my nose is elegant the way it is and if anything, the surgery will just make me more beautiful. Which, of course, moms have to say but it still meant a lot to me!
I'm feeling really good with the family support behind me but am starting to get a lot of nerves about the actual surgery and recovery - anesthesia, pain, discomfort, what if I don't like the way it looks afterwards and miss my quirky Roman nose? And should I tell my coworkers the truth, or use some kind of 'cover story' ? Any one reading this who has been through the surgery or about to go through with it - what did you tell your work?
Surgery Recovery Survival Kit
I've been working on my rhino-recovery stockpile for months now. Two weeks to go and I think I've amassed most of the supplies I'll need:
-Vitamin C (started my dosage today, doc has me taking 1000mg twice daily for 2 weeks)
-Arnica tablets (will start taking the day before surgery)
-Bromelain (will start taking after surgery)
-Lots of ice packs (ordered some items from Therapearl)
-NeilMed sinus rinse recommended by doc
-Afrin nasal spray
-facial cleansing wipes, since I won't be able to wash my face
-dry shampoo since my hair is going to be NASTY after not washing it for a couple days
-bandanas for tying back said nasty hair
-my favorite sunscreen from Sephora for when I do have to go outside (MDSolarSciences broad spectrum SPF 50 - this stuff is amazing, feels like velvet on my skin)
Foods I plan to eat
-smoothies and fresh juice from my juicer
-lots of pineapple and other fruits
-popsicles and ice cream
-unsalted crackers for taking meds
-soup (planning on making a big batch of gazpacho ahead of time. yay for cold soup!)
Any other suggestions?
Surgery Paid for!
So there goes my life savings. Easy come, easy go, eh? Well not so easy come, but pretty easy go.. Still, it's a small price to pay for spending the rest of my life with a nose I'm not ashamed of. Here's the breakdown: Dr Gillman's fee: $5,000. Hospital Fee: $702.00. Anesthesia: $306.50. For a grand total of $6,008.50. My original budget was $6,000. So not bad that I only went over by $8.50.
Dr. Gillman's office takes credit cards, cashier's checks, and cash, and just requires that you pay in full at some point before your surgery date. I didn't ask whether they accept CareCredit since I decided to just use my savings and work as many hours as possible the last few months. I am living proof that plastic surgery is within reach for someone living on a very tight budget and not making much money, if you're willing to be frugal and thrifty for as long as it takes. It's possible!
Picked up a few more things - dry mouth spray, latex gloves (to make ice packs, saw it on someone else's blog), antibacterial soap, "real" ginger ale from whole foods and gatorade (I'm not a big fan of gatorade, but my recovery info packet says it's a good thing to have around, so just in case I'm in the mood for it).
Had one little anxiety attack on Thursday, sitting in a doctor's office for my annual pap exam, it all of a sudden hit me that I was going to be in a hospital undergoing a serious medical procedure in a few days. Almost like it hadn't really sunk in before then? Then I couldn't sleep all night that night, tossing and turning. Spent the weekend deep cleaning and disinfecting my house and felt a lot better about things. Did a really intense workout and rubbed arnica gel on my muscles afterwards and dissolved 3 arnica tablets under my tongue - and the next day, I had none of the soreness that I normally get, so I'm totally convinced this stuff works!
Now going into this with a positive, peaceful frame of mind, visualizing a smooth recovery and complication-free healing.
Night before surgery
Just got out of the shower and took a few before pics...fresh faced, no makeup, on my last night with this nose!
Yesterday the hospital called to take a detailed medical history, then today Dr. Gillman called to check in and see how I was feeling, if I had any more questions. I pretty much just wanted to know if I'd have packing or splints that I could breathe through, and he said I'd have the hollow splints so I should be able to breathe afterwards, other than the stuffy congested feeling. Yay. I was really worried about that. I also asked some dumb questions, like after I wash my face in the morning, can I put on moisturizer? I'm religious with moisturizing! He's so kind though, he didn't make me like any of my questions were dumb.
Around noon the ambulatory surgery center called to let me know my surgery time. It's at 9 am and they want me there at 7 am. Fantastic! Just eating a light dinner now and then relaxing until it's time for a good night's rest.
Pics not uploading with review?
Here are the pics I just took
yep something screwy going on with real self
It posted my same update like 4 or 5 times and then wouldn't post my pics?? Anyway sorry about that.
I just wrote my whole update and then real self froze so I'm starting over.
Ok, so I made it! I got to the hospital at 7, went through the full intake, answered a lot of questions, changed into a gown, took a pregnancy test (though I got my period on Wednesday), met with the anesthesiologist and Dr. Gillman to go over the surgery plan. They wheeled me back, started taping monitors to my chest and that's the last thing I remember.
I woke up in recovery in a lot of pain and discomfort. They pumped me full of pain meds which made me woozy. I was talking a little crazy and I had to pee but couldn't walk, so I had to pee in a bed pan. Honestly when you're in that situation, you don't even feel any sense of shame or embarrassment! I also threw up a little blood. I stayed in recovery a couple hours until I felt well enough to be transported to the car. I'm glad I live so close to the hospital because I just wanted to be in my home.
The swelling started immediately, much worse on the left side. The nurse told me not to ice...which was surprising...? I am taking arnica, bromelien and putting the arnica gel on. Not sure if it's working. My eyes are almost completely swollen shut. Basically I've just been sleeping about an hour at a time, then getting up, trying to drink some fluids, and clean my stitches and do the nasal rinse, take meds. But what I can see of my nose, it looks straight and the tip is cute. So all of this is definitely worth it!
well this is no picnic
As comfortable as possible in my little nest on the couch. The bruises around my eyes are dark purple, and I have this giant puffy bruise on my forehead. I look like a Klingon from star trek! My upper lip is stiff and numb which makes it weird to eat. I'm taking a pain pill every 3 hours because by the end of the 3rd hour, the headache and nasal pressure are pretty unbearable. Moving around makes it worse. Seems like I've got a long road ahead of me. Hoping I'll feel up to watching some movies tomorrow, but for now it just hurts to keep my eyes open.
Just rolling with the punches
At this point...
Taped my glasses to my forehead so I could at least write an update. Thanks everyone for your tips and advice.
Feel like that episode of Seinfeld where Kramer decides to only sleep in half-hour increments around the clock. Except it really sucks. Wish I could get a few hours of deep rest in. My day has consisted of icing, applying arnica gel, cleaning the weeping from my eyes, cleaning stitches, and popping pills. I haven't had much of an appetite but have enjoyed some ice cream, popsicles and smoothie today. I'm really really looking forward to the part where the swelling moves down. Come on, gravity!
3rd night after surgery
Stiff, numb upper lip and zero sense of taste or smell. Normal?
Migrated to my bedroom for a change of scenery. Still not sleeping. Was getting sweats and chills the last 2 nights resulting in shivering and teeth chattering and having to bundle up. Took my temperature today and i have a slight fever. Odd because I'm taking antibiotics and pain pill with tylenol as directed. Wondering if it could be a sinus infection because i have so much pain and pressure in my head. My body feels strange and I'm often disoriented, half awake but in a dreaming state. Going to call the doctor tomorrow if this doesn't improve.
The only good news is the bruising is turning yellowish under my eyes. Just kinda looks like sad clown make-up now. My fiance said my surgery was 4 hours long and it just seems like it was too much for my body. I'm a petite girl and this has been a lot to go through.
I've taken stool softeners but still no luck in that department...
Raccoon to Chipmunk: An Evolution in Bruising
The swelling is moving down my face which is fantastic. I think I've finally turned a corner. Still not sleeping more than a hour at a time, but that's an improvement over what it's been.
There were a lot of aspects of my recovery which turned out to be worse than I was expecting, but then, there were a few things I'd thought would really bother me and they didn't, such as not being able to wash my face or hair. Just don't care! Those items are really far from my 'things i give a s--t about right now' list. Very liberating!
And I like my new nose. I pretty much promised myself though no matter what it looks like when the cast comes off, I never want to go through this again, so I'm keeping it.
Just a quick request please to be nice on my blog
I'm going through some trying times here and I'm just going to make a pre-emptive statement..if you don't have anything nice to say, please don't say anything at all. A lesson that we all learned as children, but doesn't hurt to have a gentle reminder.
Constructive comments, tips and words of encouragement from people who are in the process of rhinoplasty and/or septoplasty are welcome, but please don't use my blog as a forum or platform for debate about plastic surgery. So far everyone who has posted on my blog has respected this, but that's not the case for all the blogs I follow, and that is unfortunate. Let's try to uplift and support each other. When you have a choice between being "right" and being kind, always choose to be kind. Doing otherwise just puts more negative, ego-driven energy into the universe, and hurts you to boot.
Really, at the end of the day, is it worth it? As Randall said in the movie, Clerks, "I hope it feels so good to be right. there is nothing more exhilarating than pointing out the shortcomings of others, is there?"
Those of us in the thick of recovery don't need to deal with the internet trolling and overly opinionated commenters. Just kindness and kid gloves, please. :)
The only way out is through
Lots of drainage today, good signs of healing and progress. It's getting easier though the last few days have certainly been a roller coaster. I've had moments of emotional despair where I really questioned what I had gotten myself into, why I couldn't have just accepted my funny nose and gotten on with my life and spent that $6,000 on the honeymoon of a lifetime. Moments where moving my head a fraction of an inch caused tremendous pain that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, and I couldn't bear any sounds or sights for hours. But then, maybe I'm just a wimp and have a low pain tolerance..
Anyhow, I was thinking back to this intense and grueling backpacking trip I took. It was a week of walking, the trail was almost a hundred miles, it was brutal and after day 3, blistered and bruised, I wanted to give up and turn back. BUT I didn't. I'd made a commitment and I had a destination to reach. I pushed on because sometimes, the only way out of something is through it. Of course, on that hike, I could have quit and taken the easy route back to civilization, whereas plastic surgery you can't just undo... But my point today is about perseverance. I'm tougher than I think and I can do this! No matter what, no regrets, everything is a learning experience. Everything can be transmuted into personal evolution. So, sorry for the philosophical diatribes. Writing this is a lot like journalling for myself, so if my little lessons and breakthroughs are boring for you, I apologize. Here's a picture of me eating chocolate ice cream, which is my bliss for the day.
And on a more practical note - Oh my god, the lowly Q-tip has become my best friend. I've easily used more Q-tips in the last 5 days than I typically use in a whole year. Q-tips, along with hydrogen peroxide and nerosporin are absolutely indispensable.
I soaked cotton rounds in witch hazel and held those to my eyes for a little while, supposed to help the bruising resolve quicker. A lot of the skin around my eyes is peeling and flaking off. Especially on my eyelids.
Looking forward to getting the cast off tomorrow as it drives me nuts when my nose starts itching underneath and I can't scratch it. But then also nervous - what if the grafts in my nose look all swollen and weird? And once the cast comes off, is my nose going to throb more? Time will tell. I've kept my stitches really clean so hopefully it won't hurt when those come out.
Dr. Gillman has been great about calling and checking up on me. I took the high dosage of antibiotics last night. I think I slept a little better but woke up with a really sore throat and dry mouth, even worse than what has become normal. I really love the minty dry mouth spray I got at CVS. I can actually taste the mint flavor a bit so that's a good sign. Still having the sweats and chills at night.
I've been taking cat baths in front of my sink, I just haven't felt up to a real shower or bath, but I do have a hot date tonight with my fiance for my first hair washing. He's been amazing this whole time, I have relied on him for a lot of help. What can I do to make this up to him?
Day 6 - cast off day!
Last couple hours with cast, splints and stitches...
I keep getting shooting pains in the sides of my nose :(
Going to take some extra strength tylenol before going.
It was the best night's sleep I had so far in that I had the least amount of sweats/chills and probably only got up about 4-5 times. Glad I'm on taking the stronger antibiotics, I'm starting to feel more like myself.
Cast off! Over the Moon!
I'm so happy right now. Ok, the splints coming out hurt like a b---, but then we all know I'm kind of a baby. I had no idea how big they actually are, I didn't think something that huge could come out of my nose! He also did a little suctioning of junk which was very uncomfortable. But he said I did a good job keeping everything clean and flushed out so the suctioning was probably less than a minute.
The stitches coming out was not painful at all and he was very slow and gentle with taking the cast off, it was just a little tender.
And voila! Here is the big reveal. I am so happy. Sure, it's puffy, swollen and a little strange looking, but it has a level of symmetry and normalcy that my nose has never had! I can't even describe how good it feels to like what I see in the mirror. I LOVE my profile now! And I'm only 6 days out, it's just going to keep getting better.
The only issue is there is this tiny little piece of skin hanging down from where one of the stitches was, I don't know if it's going to turn into a scar, it might have to be cut off down the road. I think it might be the only giveaway that I had an operation, but it's so tiny maybe only I can notice it.
I go back in a month for another follow up so we'll see then.
One week post
It's been exactly one week since the day of my surgery and I've made so much progress, considering where I was a few days ago. This morning was like Christmas - I couldn't wait to wake up and go look at my nose in the mirror! My sense of smell/taste is starting to return. I juiced carrots, celery, apples, ginger and parsley and could definitely taste the pungency of the ginger and parsley. Did some cleaning and household chores and could smell the cleaners, so that's a good sign. I'm still weak and trying not to over do it with all the bending down and standing up.
Took my first shower since surgery and it was amazing. Still some lingering bruising but I'm not in the mood to put on any makeup.
Day 9 - Feel like a million bucks
Today was my nose's first real debut into the world, other than my post-op appointment and a short trip to the grocery store last night.
So I put on makeup for the first time, got a haircut, and my fiance and I went out for dinner and a movie, which we really needed. Some of the hardest parts of this recovery are that we've had to sleep separately since I get up so many times in the night, we can't snuggle up with each other freely like we used to do for fear of bumping my nose, and I still can't pucker my lips enough to even kiss him properly. Another really difficult part has been trying not to smile too big or laugh because it pulls the muscles/tissues in my nose and really hurts! I love comedy, I love to laugh, and my fiance makes me laugh every day without even trying. I can't even look at his face without smiling (I know, it's sickening how in love with are). So anyway I haven't been able to keep myself from laughing though I try to restrain it. From what I read though, this shouldn't damage my end results. I'm just going to try to keep it at a minimum.
Still tender and swollen but really happy with the way it's looking so far. It's exactly what I wanted and always dreamed of, a nose that just looks normal, not deformed or out of the ordinary, and not a tiny little pinched up Kiera Knightley nose (that was like my worst nightmare). I finally feel like now when people look at me, they won't be staring at my nose, wondering what happened to it...they'll just be looking at me and hearing what I have to say. That's an amazing feeling.
16 Aug 2014
2 months post
So it's been 2 months since my surgery and I haven't updated in a while, because not much has changed. There has been a slight reduction in swelling in the bridge, but I feel my tip is still very swollen. There are a few factors for this...after I returned to work on day 11 post-surgery, I started working a lot of hours, not taking breaks, not sleeping well at night (due to trying to sleep propped up), so after a few weeks of that stress, I came down with one of the many viruses going around the office. This cold just kept getting worse and wouldn't go away, eventually turning into a sinus infection. So for about 3 weeks I was constantly blowing my nose and I think this contributed to the swelling getting worse or at least not getting better. Eventually antibiotics cleared it up and I am now well. At my 6 week follow up with Dr. Gillman, I was concerned that all that nose blowing caused permanent damage but he doesn't seem to think so. He says I will continue to see refinement over the coming months, even years. So for now, I'll post some before/afters for everybody.
And one of my scar
16 Aug 2014
2 months post
My incision site was very red and swollen for a while. I started putting a mixture of olive oil, hemp seed oil, jojoba oil and shea butter on it twice a day and it's fading nicely. I'm not putting any make up on it, but I do apply sunscreen.
5-1/2 months post - not happy
My nose is going crooked again - a bump started forming on the left side pushing it in the other direction. I noticed it early on but trusted the doc and tried to not focus on it until the 12 month mark, but every day it gets worse and the lean is so pronounced. Since my nose was crooked before, the doctor had to do different techniques on each side, so I think that's why this is happening. He didn't think the cortisone shots were a good idea at this point.
My nose looks huge to me, even bigger than before but it seems like the swelling is mostly gone and this is just how it looks now. The bump is hard. I don't think it's going to soften and smooth out over time. It certainly doesn't seem like it's going to shrink by my wedding.
My next appointment is in about 6 weeks and I'm just feeling so disappointed.
One Year Update
The issues with my nose didn't resolve and it appears that the curve and crookedness are here to stay. I have had several follow ups with Dr. Gillman and he doesn't think a revision is worthwhile because of the risks involved. I'm pretty disappointed because I looked at this process as something I would go through once and if it didn't come up perfect, I would just have to deal with it. But the thing I hated most about my nose, the way it leaned to one side making a bulbous crooked tip is STILL THERE! The bumps on the bridge, though reduced are still noticeable, as well and the swelling settled down into pretty ugly unevenness along the bridge. It is only marginally better than my original nose. My left profile looks OK but the right side, front on, and every single other angle is pretty horrific.
Despite my unhappiness with my nose, I still had to get on with my wedding planning! I got married 2 weeks ago and with a little bit of contouring and a lot of false eyelashes, I felt absolutely beautiful on my wedding day.
I don't have the money to get my nose fixed, especially since I am newly unemployed and revision surgery costs so much more than a primary, so I'm going to try and accept my flaws. What gets me though is I GAVE someone all of my savings so that I wouldn't have to live with this particular flaw, and here I am staring at a weird crooked nose every day, poorer but hopefully wiser...