45 - Rhino, Lower Bleph, and Platysmaplasty - Charlotte, NC

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I went to my pre-op visit two days ago and my...

I went to my pre-op visit two days ago and my nerves are starting to mount. My surgery is on Jan 28, and the lovely Nurse Jean at Dr. Freeman's guided me through all the pre-/post-op instructions at my visit. I'm starting my review because I have seen the power of a supportive community in others' posts about their journeys. I hope to benefit from that support as well, and feed back into it for someone else down the line. I'll post pictures in a day or two so you can see the starting point of my journey.

Before Pics

Okay, here are my before pics. I have never been very in love with my features, and worse, they make me look so like my dad, which just made already wretched relations with my mom worse than they may have been otherwise. I know ideally I should just accept myself as I am, but after many years of working hard to convince myself of this, I am dropping the charade. I wanted to wait until I saw what my daughters' noses would look like first, then saw that one has her own very unique nose and the other has her dad's quite nice one. Seriously, I don't know where the older one gets her sweet nose--DNA is beyond amazing.

Anywho, I blotted out my eyes as little as possible because I am in total getting a lower bleph with SOOF lift, rhino, and medial platysmaplasty as well as CO2 laser under my eyes and around my super-wrinkly lips (no smoking, just too much whistling), and I thought it would be helpful if others could see the before and after on all areas. Yeah, I'll be a hot mess for awhile after this.

I'm getting my procedures done on a Thursday, and taking that Thursday and Friday off work. I'm hoping that, between the weekend and those two days, I'll have enough time to return to lucidity before returning to work. I work full time from home, so I have the flexibility to show up greatly less than esthetically pleasing. ;-)

I've submitted my prescriptions already so I could shop the prices without being in a rush (check GoodRX.com if you want to compare prices to your current coverage or if you're filling for an uninsured pet, etc.). Tomorrow I'm shopping my list of supplies that I've culled from other reviews and the nurse's recommendations.

Happy healing to all of you already on your journey!

Alar Base Reduction

I forgot to mention that I'm also getting an alar base reduction to bring down the size of my nostrils. However, Dr F says he won't do this until he sees how my nose heals, since it's not something that he feels can be reliably predicted. That will take place 2-3 months after my initial rhino under local anesthetic. Not looking forward to a second procedure, but I trust his opinion and want it done right, of course. Because of this, I'm afraid I will look worse before I look better, although I suppose I would have gone through that anyway with all the healing, right? It's just that now I'll have to heal twice, and stay out of view twice. I'm not sharing far and wide about this (oh, the irony of posting that here!)--just my husband, RN-mom-like friend, and BF-since-second-grade-already-had-rhino friend. I'm so concerned about nose issues that I'm not really paying attention to my eyelid stuff, but that seems more straightforward.

I got my supplies and will be picking up my prescriptions today. I also picked up a few button-down shirts...oddly, I had exactly zero in my closet. Another friend who had rhino was very definite in her opinion to me that I would want those after surgery. Another girlfriend is an RN, and she has agreed to care for me at her house for a couple of days so I can be relieved of family duty. From there, my next task is to avoid neighbors, which hopefully won't be too hard with the cold weather. We tend to send the kids out to play ("it's not THAT cold, mom"--55F!), and use them as carrier pigeons to relay stuff to any neighbors that need to borrow something.

I have so much work, I can barely think about the surgery! And now to return to the grind...

One Week Left!

Well, I'm back from a work trip that I scheduled these procedures around and my OCD has kicked in. I am making a spreadsheet of a timeline for each procedure with the dos and don'ts of each so I have a one-stop reference as the days go. There are so many nit picky little things to remember and I get distracted and forgetful too easily. Plus, I'm old(ish). There, I said it. Things just cannot be trusted too well to my memory these days, LOL. Plus, I figure I'll be tired and out of it, and my husband (to whom I will be released after the first 48 hours with my GF) is not the most natural caregiver.

I thought I should add the underside view of my nose so we can see how it changes over time. Just another detested view of what I cannot wait to change, although I fear this won't change until I have the alar base reduction in a few months.

Only one more week! Surgery is 7:30AM on 1/28. Officially getting anxious now...I guess I'd better be sure I have all my prescriptions taken care of this weekend--still haven't picked them up. :-)

Kids, Neighbors, and Just What Will the Doctor DO?

Well, it's 1:05 AM and I should be sleeping but instead my mind is buzzing over Thursday morning and what changes it will bring me. I'm starting to want to know the more technical nature of just how deprojection is achieved. Needless to say, I feel like I have been all over the Internet in search of answers. I found a slideshow by a Dutch doctor that had diagrams and actual surgery pics treating deprojection. He warns that they could be "shocking", but I felt that I would be fine with my little bit of veterinary surgery experience and forged on.

Shocking was a great word. Not for the faint of heart, but what did I expect? I will have the internal structure of my nose surgically altered, after all! In the final analysis, though, I will be oblivious to it all, so I'm not concerned.

I have found two great apps during my internet wanderings. One is Edit Lab, which has LOTS of cool photo editing features, the least of which is drawing creepy white lines over my eyes. The other is Face Touch Up, which I used to morph my profile into something more acceptable, although I'm trusting my Dr. to really make it look right. Both are free.

I am going to try to sneak in one more consult before the surgery to ask the questions that came up while I was building my pre- and post-operative care timeline. I was doing it for my own sanity, since I figure I will be fuzzy for a few days, but it should also help the hubs, since it turns out my GF will not be able to put me up those first two days, although she is still taking me there and back. Disappointing, but life intervenes sometimes, and I can adapt.

So I haven't told my two daughters anything yet, so that's another area of study in my internet travels. They are 8 and 12. The little one cannot keep her mouth shut for anything, and she is friends with the daughter of a slightly snarky and gossipy neighbor. The big one is a bit drama-prone. Whatever I tell them will come on Wednesday night. And will no doubt be repeated. Any ideas? Family discussions seem to be some of the stickiest. Sigh! I'm afraid this will be the toughest part, and I'm not sure what level of detail they will ask for. I can embellish a bit regarding my nose--that I'm doing it because I have a deviated septum (true, but not the actual reason I'm doing this). I can say I slipped and nailed my chin for my platysmaplasty suture line and bandage, but I'm afraid our recent ice will be all gone by Thursday, so it's less plausible than if it had happened today. I'm hoping that the bruising with my lower bleph can just be blamed the rhino. As for the laser under my eyes and on/around my lips, I'm note even sure what to expect regarding appearance. All I know is that it will feel like a bad sunburn. Ah, more research.

Good night, my RS friends! Happy healing and anticipating!

Two More Days

Two more days! Can't believe it's nearly here after so long anticipating. I'm ready for the roller coaster ride of "Love it! What have I done? Hate it! Love it!" I hope that I am dreading that more than I need to and that I'll be relatively okay after. No matter what, I'll be trying to stay away from the mirror for as long as possible after clean up subsides a little. One thing I am looking forward to is lots of snuggle time with my cats, especially my super-lovey orange tabby office assistant. I work from home so he sleeps on my lap (and gets kicked off) quite frequently when I'm at my desk.

Two more days!! Ack! :-)


Bah! Can this be happening? 24 hours until my scheduled surgery and I have awakened with a sore throat. My girlfriend who is taking me back and forth to surgery called me last night--from the hospital where she'd been admitted for cardiac issues. Just scrambling trying to figure this one out.

Hello From the Other Side

Well, I made it. Having a personable team of professionals sure made stripping down in to my gown a bit more bearable yesterday morning. But the lights were out quickly enough and I woke up not knowing much. Somehow, nurse Linda had me dressed (and did a fine job getting my jeans back into my boots, LOL). Didn't remember getting dressed, getting into the car (could have gone home with anyone for all I knew!), or really even getting out of it at home. My hubs, earlier described as "not the most natural caretaker", has achieved rock-star status for getting me set up and attended to me the rest of the afternoon.

My eyes are so puffy right now, I can barely see. The pictures are from yesterday, so hopefully some of the worst as regards swelling. Not a lot to say right now except I wish, with all the sitting I did yesterday and no recliner, that I had worked my ankles a bit, as they have some puff factor, as well. Well, I'm doing it now and have felt pretty good this morning, able to resume the critter-feeding duties and lunch-making. Oh, my girlfriend recommended putting the Aquaphor in the fridge for my lasered skin...beautiful! More to come when I can see from both eyes. :-)

Day +2

Well, I've had my first shower and fun times soaking the lymph off of my lasered skin with cool water and Cetaphil. It looks like there is still skin peeling off, so I left that alone. The one place that I was a little aggressive with it stung pretty badly until I Aquaphored it into submission. I am basically a slimy, oozy mess! My nose is stuffy but I don't know how much of that is from getting this stupid cold or from the rhino. My lower eyelids are puffy like nobody's business, but they are slightly better from the last two days. My chin sutures are fine until I need to cough (which is frequently), so I've learned to support them with the back of my hand when that happens. Oh, and I'm bored! My attention span is short and I'm slightly irritable. Not helping that I cannot see--I wear glasses all the time, and there's no chance of getting contacts in or back out at this point. I'm usually pretty laid back, so this change in myself irritates me. I'm just trying to get through my day occupying myself until I can sleep again. My friend told me she feels like day 3 is the worst, so I wonder if that will be the same for me?

Day 3 Update and Picture

Well, day 3 post-op has been uneventful, which I suppose is good. I woke up feeling like my lower eyelids were not quite as puffy as they were yesterday. I'm so early into my healing, I'm really looking for any small signs of improvement at this point.

Sleeping is strange so far. My husband puts in my antibiotic eye ointment before he wanders off upstairs and I am left on the couch with puffy eyelids and ointment holding back regular tears. So occasionally during the night, I will feel and escaped tear trickling down my face. I have a box of tissues deployed and at the ready next to me on the couch, which has been handy. The eye ointment is my least favorite part of this because of my lashes constantly feeling gummed up...either with Aquaphor during the day or the AB ointment at night. Then, I'll sleep for 2-3 hours, wake up for an hour or so, then drift back off (only by forcing myself to sit there with my eyes closed and turning off my brain) until the clattering begins in the morning.

Poor me, right?! Ha! I was reading a review by a woman who said her husband couldn't understand why she would want to put herself through this, and I totally understand that. Well, nobody forced me to do this, so I've been fighting off my internal whining with the reminder that I really wanted to do this. I saw some pictures today of me with my niece from my vacation last summer, and was reminded just HOW long and hooked down my nose could look. They were just terrible, so I'm comforting myself with the memory of those awful pictures.

I don't show much improvement today. I did discontinue the drip pad, which is nice, but am still wearing my chin strap for my platysmaplasty. That is to be worn "as much as I can stand it", per the Dr., so I've been trying to be really good about it. I did wind up taking it off for a few hours today since it felt like all the swelling in my face was making it protrude forward out of the strap. But it's back on now. I don't want to spend all this money and go through all this discomfort just to neglect my post care, LOL.

Cleaning the lymph and bits of blood from my lasered areas takes quite awhile, as there is no rubbing. I use Cetaphil with my fingertips after I get the area wet (which I'm not sure works, as there is always a slick of Aquaphor there), and gently stroke circles on one area at a time: under each eye, my chin/lower lip and upper lip. Then I reapply the Aquaphor (which I've abandoned refrigerating, but which is still cooling and lovely), and set to work on my nose.

The nose gets however many Q-Tips of hydrogen peroxide until I don't have blood and yellow stuff coming off, then gets an internal swab of antibiotic ointment. I can still barely breathe out either side of my nose. :-( I'm looking forward to that changing.

Last comes my chin, which gets a light pressing with water and Cetaphil, a rinse, and then ointment on the sutures. The whole underside is rather sore. I believe this is because the muscles in it were tightened up and are still protesting such terrible treatment.

I am only taking acyclovir and cephalexin, plus some occasional Tylenol (OTC). I am not so much in pain as I am sort of uncomfortable, like a bad head cold, replete with swollen, dry lips that constantly scream for balm and a scratchy throat from breathing through my mouth all the time. I feel a little down emotionally, partly from boredom and partly from missing a beautiful sunny weekend outside. Soon enough!!

That's All

Cannot wait to blow my nose again, that's all. Peace out!

Day 4 Mug Shots and Update

Another day, another mug shot. These are so attractive! For today's viewing pleasure, I am attaching a shot of the bruising on my neck...I still haven't figured out why I even have that. It probably looks a tad worse than reality because I had just removed my chin strap in this picture and that accounts for some of the middle line. The top line is my suture line on my chin, and the bottom is the lowest band of affront to my neck area, now turning a nice yellow-ish. I am using Arnicare gel provided to me by my dr. for the bruising, but I cannot honestly say it is resolving bruising any more quickly than my body would have on its own. But I'll use it anyway! The second is just a comparison shot for today's update. The swelling in my lower eyelids has definitely reduced some more, and my cheeks are definitely not able to get any puffier, I think. I'm trying to smile and move my face a little just to keep it all moving and hopefully get the swelling down a little sooner.

So, I have what look to be a couple dozen or more little white bumps all over my chin and upper lip that I guessed to be cysts that had been exposed, as I regularly have trouble in this area with pimples and cysts. However, one dislodged and it appeared to be no more than a small pocket of skin, nothing more. After dislodging, it bled a bit, then quickly dried up. Does anyone have any idea what these are? This is on my list to ask the dr. I did not count on my skin looking worse in this particular way after laser.

I have been reading others' reviews to keep up my courage and fortitude, and it seems I have greatly overestimated my ability to bounce back quickly from these procedures. The consensus out there seems to be that laser recovery is no walk in the park. Someone described it as a walk through hell. I'm not there yet, but I get her point.

I am still resting, napping if possible, hydrating with water, and eating what I can. With my nose a little blocked and my jaw somewhat sore, this means applesauce, Boost protein drinks, sliced banana, small-sliced pineapple, and last night I really ventured out and had a bowl of peas. No salt, no butter. {cringe} I am a bit of a garbage gut and am having to watch my every bite to avoid putting any swelling agents in my body. Even though I normally drink decaf, I'm afraid to try that, too. Does anyone know what effect just one cuppa would have on the swelling? I tossed out half a bottle of red wine (it will be vinegar before I try it again), and look at my pantry and fridge contents in a whole new light. Any eating suggestions would be greatly appreciated! In the meantime, I have found a green smoothie recipes for first-timers. That's me!

Happy healing and researching to my RS friends. I hope your day is as lovely as the one I see going by me outside right now! ;-)

Parting Thought for Day 4

Tonight's late-night thought to close the day is: Aquaphor users, buy tissues. Lots of tissues. Make the other shoppers stare at the number of tissue boxes on your cart, and have your excuse for such a large purchase of a single item handy. The stuff gets EVERYwhere otherwise. I have gone through probably two boxes so far. It's Day 4.

That's all. Peace out!

Aquaphor Allergy

Just headed back from the dr. It's only Day 5, and I am not due back in for a follow up until tomorrow, BUT I could not stand my red, itchy upper eyelids any longer. They were not lasered, but I assumed I would have some redness and bruising from the other procedures, so wasn't alarmed when I saw it. However, when the itch set in, and the whites of my eyes refused to clear up their red watery quality, I started thinking maybe I was having another herpetic outbreak. I had one on my eyelids years ago and it was an itchy, miserable mess that wouldn't stop. So I was able to squeeze in a quick look-see this afternoon and the dr. decided I might be allergic to the Aquaphor.

What?! The stuff I've been smearing all over my face and under my eyes? Yah. That stuff. Remedy? Crisco. Kid you not. Well, here's hoping this works! I can't be miserable like this any longer. My awesome husband just ran into the store and had me wait in the car so he could get me my relief. Ahhhh...I'll post how it works out.

Day 5: Why yes, I DO use Crisco on my face!

So, now I am all Crisco-ed up since 3:00 this afternoon. It has been a little over 3 1/2 hours without Aquaphor and my eyes have started to calm down a little bit. Still some watering, but nothing like before. Still a little eyelid itching, which I am going to see how I can address tomorrow at my Day 6 follow up appt. I'm 99.9% sure that tomorrow I'll get my splint off. No promises were actually made, but my post-op care sheet vouched for "day 6 or 7". Fingers crossed.

One thing I am happy to see when I apply the AB ointment to my chin suture line is that my nostrils look even, as opposed to how they were sort of pinched off to one side earlier. I can see this because I am that girl who has to hold a mirror under her chin to know where to put the stuff. In all fairness, I am pretty numb everywhere I was cut, so whatevs.

I went back to work today, which means I brought my computer downstairs and curled up on the couch with it on my lap--this is partly because I can't see a thing from my chair at my desk, and partly because I kind of like my new digs. My boss wanted to talk to me first thing to see how I was and then informed me that his boss had shuffled a meeting around to ensure I could be there. So much for all my good intentions to take off another day or two!

It was good to be back, though. I think shifting my focus onto something other than my own self-inflicted misery and suffering has boosted my spirits a bit. I have even managed a bit of a smile through my large puffy lips, because I feel sort of good enough for the first time since the surgery.

Milestone Achieved!

I just returned from the PS and had my chin sutures, nose tip sutures, and splint ALL REMOVED! Yeeeessss! Sweet freedom, even with my eyelids still a bit puffy. I started a review this morning covering just the lasered skin, since I think that may be of value given all my issues.

So, I get to quit the AB ointment in my eyes, switch from Crisco to a topical 1% hydrocortisone cream on Sunday, start Benadryl and Loratidine for the itchy eyelids, steroid/AB eye drops, and continue with the nose swabbing--hydrogen peroxide and some kind of ointment...dr said Crisco was fine for this application, too, LOL.

So, friends--because you are my friends, and I would never withhold this type of info from a friend: when you go in for suture removal, PRE-MEDICATE! The nose splint removal was done gently and smoothly. The sutures were also removed expertly--dr. wore two loupes on his glasses to get precisely behind the knot but the pulling of those stiff stitches through my skin was slightly torturous, even having taken the oxycodone in advance. The tip of my nose had 5 stitches, each one with its own brand of torment. The worst by FAR, however, was the buried stitch. Know what you do with something buried? You dig it out. So, my friends--pre-medicate for the love of all that is holy.

I left with tape on my nose and a smile on my face. My lips are decreasing significantly in swelling and I am enjoying a nice uptick in my energy level. I will continue to attend to those last stubborn milia in my chin with some warm water per instruction. I hadn't planned to show my face on Super Bowl Sunday, but I sure would like to if I'm not looking too shabby. We'll see.

My New Profile

Hello, my RS friends and stalkers!

Here is the short and sweet of it: my new profile pic. I'm happy with what I see from the side RIGHT NOW, so am concerned about how much that will change as the swelling subsides. However, this was initially planned as a two-step procedure, where my alar base would be reduced slightly only after the rhino started to show its true colors in healing. So I may find myself ready for that when the time comes. For the moment, I feel like my worries are few! Just need to clear up my poor red eyes (drops start tomorrow) and continue Crisco-vigilance on my skin. I'm so happy/relieved at this point! :-) More to come when anything changes.

Peace out!

Day 7: Returning to Real Life

Hello, RS Friends!

Day 7 has been kind. Body-wise, I feel like I'm nearly back to myself. Sleeping is still a bit tough. I am not breathing very clearly out of my left nostril. This is the same side where I had the buried stitch, so there is extra inflammation at the tip on that side. However, even further up I feel some loose membrane...I think. Whatever it is, it keeps me from breathing exactly clearly. I will ask about this on my next follow up visit next Wednesday. Hopefully, it is just inflammation that will resolve on its own. I still sleep in the corner of the couch, mostly upright, where I expect I will be some weeks longer. Not only am I concerned about swelling, but I also have a lot of tightness in my neck, and it's quite uncomfortable to allow it to much more than be cradled back at a 45-degree angle. I found out at my follow up that my big bruise across the bottom of my neck represented how far down the PS had done work. So, naturally, I'm a little stiff there.

I started the steroid/AB drops in my eyes to counter that redness. After only one use, much of the red has already cleared. I put them in 5x/day for 5 days, and by then hopefully I look like my old self again. We'll see.

Sunday, Day 10, is my next milestone, when I can de-Crisco my face in the morning for the last time and switch to cortisone cream. Just in time for the neighborhood Super Bowl party. Maybe.

If these darned milia on my chin and lip don't go away, I'll not want to show my face in public. They are like acne, only worse, because each little lump is the hugest thing I've ever seen on my face! To help get these out, the PS recommended warm water baths, but no rubbing. Of course. They'll scar if not simply heated into extinction. And there are not one or two. It's moe like a dozen on my chin and another half on my upper lip. So, now I cleanse my face quite often, still with Cetaphil. I think I have read on other posts that Retin-A can counteract those little things. I also see that some have ongoing issues with this after laser, and I wonder if I will too?

I actually got some work done today and get good about that. My ability to concentrate was much improved over what it has been the past couple of days when I thought I might be able to work a little.

This is not the most exciting post, but I guess it's all anti-climax from here. I'm hoping for small wins from here on out, but I am expecting some setbacks too. We'll see. I must stay flexible!

Day 9's Uneventful Update

Day 9 means not a lotta to report. I spent my day trimming dog nails, turtle aquarium cleaning, turning through a couple loads of laundry, herding girls around to clean their rooms, etc. I actually had to sit down and rest for awhile just from regular Saturday chores. I'm glad I did. It's easy to overestimate your ability to do things, and I'd like to not feel terrible for the Super Bowl tomorrow (go Panthers!) . We are having just a couple of friends over, so this will be my first non-family viewing. I'm a little nervous, as I haven't told these friends what I've been up to. At least these darned milia are calming down. They aren't coming through the skin, but seem to be receding instead. I'll take what I can get.

My upper eyelids are calming down with regard to bruising, although they are a bit rough still in places for all the scratching I did. The swelling is now mostly in my lower jaw and jowls. I'm still numb behind my chin from the platysmaplasty, and a little bruisy on my neck. My eyes are almost devoid of the redness they previously had, and I think might look slightly whiter than they did before...is that even possible? I'm happy to say that tonight I put my last schmear of Crisco on my face. Tomorrow it gets cleaned off and replaced with the hydrocortisone cream. Regarding my nose and its healing, I'm concerned a little about what seems to be a small scar that has formed where I had the buried stitch on the left side of my nose. The left side is just not healing as quickly as the right. The bruising is still under my left eye, the bruising is not as resolved on the left side of my neck as it is on the right, and it was the left side of my nose tip that got so inflamed on the inside. It had actually been so inflamed that I could barely get the QTip with hydrogen peroxide on it up there to clean. Even now it is still quite red on the inside and tender to the touch. I hope it heals well like the right and doesn't present any other issues.

The best thing about days 8 and 9 is definitely the return to REAL FOOD. Itty bitty teeny tiny bites of real food, since I can't open my mouth very much from the platysmaplasty, but real food nonetheless. Last night I was able to make some chicken and veggies (no salt for once in my life), and I ate every last bite. I ate pizza tonight, and I know cheese has salt, so we'll see what the swelling is like tomorrow. Oh, and I probably ate a dozen of those tiny pretzel sticks. Tsk! I may pay for this tomorrow with swelling. We'll see.

I am resisting posting pictures today since my nose is still taped up, and there are no significant otherwise.

Day 14 Update

I went to the dr. yesterday and got my tape removed, so now I'm living with my new and changing nose. So far, even its swollen state, I really like it. I am also happy to report that Dr, Freeman patiently went over every single procedure he did to my nose upon my request. There is no possible way I could repeat them all, but there must have been 7-8 discrete things he did, including osteotomies and reducing the tip. Even he said it was a lot.

My new challenge is to keep it clear. I have fortunately not been bothered with pimples on my nose from two weeks of being under wraps, however there was a lot of dead skin that came off last night when I washed. So keeping it clear on the inside involves many QTips several times a day swabbing out my raw nose with hydrogen peroxide then following it up with a generous swab of Crisco or ointment. The left side of my tip, where it got so inordinately swollen, is particularly raw and ouchy. I still feel like there is something partially blocking my nose, but it is apparently "crusties" that I cannot quite clear all at once. Although I can breathe through both nostrils now, this is still annoying. So, I am working on being patient with this and staying hydrated, clean, etc.

I have to massage my nose to help alleviate the swelling. I start just above the tip (the supra tip) and stroke upward several times with one finger on the top of my nose, then using the same seeing motion, using two fingers just on either side of that median. I am supposed to do this several times a day until I am sore, per the dr's words. I guess that is better than my chin scar, which, starting at 4 weeks, will have to be massaged until it hurts, also the dr's words. Well, I trust him--he's brought me this far in fine shape, so I will do my duty, LOL. I don't go back for 6 weeks, so I am going to miss everyone at his office...they have all been so nice. :-)

As for numbness, my upper lip is still stiff and numb, so my smile isn't quite my normal one. Pretty far from it, actually. My lips are kind of stiff too, and I notice it's a little difficult to open my mouth too wide to eat. I am keeping lots of lip balm on them and using moisturizer generously around my mouth to help this, and it seems to make a difference. My eyes are still stiff, presumably from the lower bleph incisions, and rather puffy and bruisy even still...particularly the left one. I still have swelling in my jowls that may be platysmaplasty and may be just from everything else...who knows?! Everything seems to improve every few days, however, so I cannot complain. Patience is really the key to getting through the recovery, and I'm glad I have work to distract me.

That is all the news from Lake Wobegon for now. I will post again next week if I have enough time to obsess and see anything of note. ;-) Happy healing, friends!

Day 21 Update and Photos

I have not updated since last week, and it seems like the most drastic changes are behind me at this point. I still have a small bit of swelling, tenderness, and bruising beneath my left eye. There is slight discoloration beneath my right eye where the laser was done. I assume it's under the left eye, as well, but it's hard to tell for the bruise. The discoloration is super faint and beats the bluish nonsense I had going for me previously.
The swelling in my nose has diminished somewhat, but I fear I've read too many rhino stories from patients that are under 25. Everyone else seems to look and feel healed up by week 3, and here I am with my shiner! Well, two days ago I woke up and felt certain my swelling did not feel as bad, and I think I saw a tiny bit less inflammation in the mirror. I did not realize going into this that the swelling is not just on the outside, but the also the delicate inside of my nose (well, duh, but it just didn't occur to me). The left side of the tip has been so badly swollen both inside and out that it's been rather visible, making my nose look uneven. The inside, to boot, was red and angry looking. Putting greasy stuff on it just seemed to call more attention to it. Have I mentioned how happy I am I work from home? :-)
I am going in for an unscheduled visit to the dr. tomorrow because of a few concerns. One is the sheer amount of swelling on the left side of the tip, as there are three lumpy masses of tissue that are actually impeding my breathing. Another is I believe I may have an internal stitch trying to break through my columella and make a getaway. Finally, since I had the platysmaplasty, my neck and underside of my chin are rather tight. I am afraid to cause damage by leaning my head back into a shampoo bowl at my hair appt next week. So, I may just have to live with the greys for now. Dang it. ;-)
I'll post again when I know anything.

Day 22 at the doctor

Hi, RealSelf friends!

I am SO glad I went in to the doctor. He looked at my left inside tissue and, after giving my nasal insides a fairly decent pinch, said I definitely have a tiny little infection. Apparently, this is not uncommon, although I've never had one, because the nose tends to have "bugs". So 10 days of twice daily Bactroban and I'm to call back to report on my progress. I'm hoping this swelling will be a distant memory by that time. That pinch hurt! Probably because of the infection, because the right side was just fine.

He also removed the little floater bit of suture material that was rearing itself on my columella. Totally painless. And I have clearance to lean my head back into the shampoo bowl late next week at my hair appointment. Yippee!

Week 4 Comparison Shots and Update

I am attaching before and afters today for side by side comparisons. I am not seeing the rapid changes I previously did, so I don't feel there is terribly much to report this week.
I do have the tiny infected pocket on the inside of my left nostril that is being treated with Bactroban. I am 7 days into treating that and haven't seen much change. I did get impatient and cleaned up a safety pin with alcohol last night and lanced it. I was able to express a little bit of pus, but not all the swelling has gone down. At least it's better. You can see the bump inside my nose from this in the week 4 pictures. Now that I have poked it, I feel I need to be extra generous and frequent with the antibiotic ointment swabbing.
I also still have the most stubborn bruise ever lingering beneath my left eye, replete with swelling. Can't wait for that to go away, as it is tender. This week is week 4, so I am clear for the dentist, getting my hair done, and starting scar remediation on my chin from the platysmaplasty. So, I did all three. ;-) not sure right now when I will update again, as I don't go back to the doctor until March 28, unless this infection won't go away.

Here we go again!

Well, here I am in round two of Dr, Freeman vs. my nose, LOL! I can’t believe I didn’t post anything past week 4 on the first surgery, and I apologize for that. I will find some pictures that show my new nose before this past surgery today so you can all see the progress. Meanwhile, for today, I want to make it abundantly clear that this was NOT a revision, but a planned second step in addressing my many issues with my nose.

So today, on the menu was alar rim reduction (YAY!) (more on the right than the left), scar tissue remediation on the inside of my left nostril (YAY!), slight tip defatting (YAY!), and possible medial crura placation (his professional recommendation, so we’ll have to revisit my enthusiasm on that one). One thing I like about my Dr. is that he evaluates what’s going on in my nose as he gets there. Obviously, it is impossible to know everything that is going on up there while I’m conscious and my nose hasn’t been flipped inside out. His promise to me is that he will take care of what needs caring for when he sees it, understanding all the while what I would like to see (or never again see!) on the outside.

I am posting my ugly pictures today to encourage all of us out there with stuffy, blocked nostrils, saturated drip pads, and high hopes. Happy healing, and keep up with the lip balm—Burt’s Bees forever!

Creating a new review

Well, after giving it a bit of a think, I have decided that I am going to create a new review for this latest round of adjustments to my nose. It just seems like it might be more helpful for timeline purposes, although this journey to my new nose really began nearly two years ago. Okay, see you out there, friends!

Two Years After

Well, since I really should wrap up this review (after making a couple of stupid posts, LOL), I thought I should at least give some shots of the before and after.

Overall, I am very pleased with my outcome and feel that Dr. Freeman delivered. My nose is definitely not so very long and drooping as it was in my before pics. However, I wish it had the slightest more upward rotation, and would not have cried over a slight slope. However, it is straight, and that is nice. My nostrils still flare to the side when I smile in the pictures above, but we knew that would be the case. Dr. Freeman did not want to make those smaller until he saw how my nose responded and healed to the initial procedures, which were significant, including straightening a curve and shortening my nose via osteotomy and about five or six other discrete procedures he enumerated for me when I asked.

I am glad for this conservative course of action. Dr. Freeman, with his experience, reminds me from time to time that the enemy of good is perfect, and I understand he means to keep me from ruining something I like well enough by pursuing the possibly unachievable. The unfortunate thing is that we cannot predict precisely how we will heal, or what complications may beset us that might affect outcomes.

As for Dr. Freeman himself, at first I was uncertain about his overall demeanor, although he always conducted himself professionally and in a pleasant manner with me. There was just something else...maybe because he was not trying to oversell himself? In the end, I chose him for his experience most of all. Over the year since my surgery, he saw me multiple times as part of my follow-up plan, injected Kenalog when he felt it necessary, listened to my concerns, and it truly felt like he was my friend and my sherpa through the journey.
Charlotte Facial Plastic Surgeon