I Owe It to my Self After All I've Been Through! - Leawood, KS

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I have taken the money from my savings this...

I have taken the money from my savings this morning, and had my pre-op appt and all thats left is wait for Nov 5! How did I get to this point? Well for one I'm twice the age of most of you but have had the same feelings of my nose over the span of my 40 something years. It never really affected my outward confidence at least not in the traditional ways (careers, relationships) But inside - I felt invisible. Not to mention that I have considered my nose with every haircut, what I wear, make up, where I sit at social gatherings and various other neurotic afflictions... most importantly I DIDN'T LIKE MYSELF.

In 2008 I was suddenly widowed to unforeseen medical issue - My husband and I were young, active & healthy yet in 2 weeks time his heart stopped with our kids watching the whole thing at the park and I had a stoke at his funeral a total tragedy.

3 years later I found that I had breast cancer, had double mastectomy and reconstruction as well as chemo and radiation...

Now-- I want the nose I want. I have been through all of this and I deserve to have this one thing that I've secretly dreamed about since I was 14.

I have been reading all of your stories for months, some of you agonizing your decision because of what others may say. DONT hesitate. life is short and you dont know what tomorrow will bring. If a lovely nose will help you feel better than have it! I wish I would have done this years ago... at least thrown the dice on it! I don't know how this will play out I hope and pray it will go wonderful I am steeling myself for a wretched recovery- that way it can only be better than my expectations. I am no stranger to pain so I hopefully that will help.

thank you for reading this and coming along on this journey with me.


some pictures of me now (before) :)

I like selfies because if I can control the angle of the picture when its taken I can make my nose look decent. Otherwise the truth is not so kind. here are two pictures taken at a brutally honest angel yikes! I'll dig up a few more...

talking to myself today...

First of all- THANK YOU ALL FOR THE RESPONSES!! it means so much to have the support!
well, I've been thinking about that last post- about selfies and not only how I take pictures to make myself look a certain way but how I have over time convinced myself that my nose doesn't look that bad based on those pictures! I know it's crazy but I have done that to survive my own insecurities as well as the losses I've faced with my stroke and the cancer.

Here are two pictures taken this weekend. One by my friend - she caught me off guard and the other a selfie I took for instagram.

When I look at them I think of one of them as a bad picture of me and the other a normal picture of me. Yet I now this is probably not true... so I asked my 9 year old which one looks more like me ( kids are so honest) and he pointed at the "bad picture of me". OUCH. I knew it- I mean I am sitting here two weeks out from my rhinoplasty but yet I had been kind of thinking my nose is not that bad. I don't think I need to revisit this with myself again. My nose is far from the dainty chiseled nose of my fantasies...I'll stay away from instagram for the next two weeks!

;) ~Laura

two weeks from today!!

My 9 year old doesn't know the actual procedure I'm having or reason for it but he knows that I'm going to have my nose fixed- that I will be able to breathe better and in the process it will be broken and will look different afterward. I chose to deal with it this way with him because he doesn't do 'change' Since my late husband passed away when he was 4 he likes things to stay just as they are. He brought it up today by saying I want you to stay the same as you were born mom. I reminded him about my other surgery that 'changed' part of me (my reconstructed breasts). He said "that doesn't count mom- nobody sees that!" Thanks son!

I'm staying focused on the prize. Although my nerves get the best of me. I had the best PS do my reconstruction and it was his staff - Doc Dillows nurses that recommended I see Dr Leahy because he does beautiful noses and lots of them! I really trust those ladies - I worked closely with them during a very difficult time so we became pretty close.
I already know this practice (Monarch Plastic Surgery) and they have nothing but top notch doctors and the staff is fantastic, after meeting with Dr Leahy he and I were able to communicate easily and he was able to see the same concerns that I have with my nose which was a tremendous validation to me.

Thats how I found my doctor.


my mothers daughter

I've been feeling a bit sad about saying goodbye to my old nose -- although I don't want to keep the old nose. this is a very precarious spot to be in ; / Truth be told- it is my mothers nose and she passed away when I was in high school. I remember the day that I forgot her voice- that day was awful- because those things do leave your memory. But the nose- her family nose is on my face and I haven't forgotten that.

My mom was not the most secure woman and in retrospect I guess that part of it was the Spanish nose she was blessed/cursed with. When the guilt of erasing the strongest physical trait of her from myself hits me I decide to go forward for both of us- and achieve the confidence that she was never able to enjoy...

Do you think its crazy of me to be mourning something that has made (at least) two generations of us unhappy?


Doc as my contractor

Ok I spent way more time with the man who custom made my kitchen table. It feels strange to have relatively little time explaining what I want on MY FACE to my doctor!

In reality, I don't know what else I would say to Dr Leahy - I've explained the dorsal hump removed, the bulbous tip refined and raised. He in fact saw all all of those things before I even read them off of my list. Somehow though I'm craving a blueprint, a daily meeting to discuss my 'project' like you have with a contractor who is doing a major remodel. Last minute jitters making me neurotic... :-/

last minute details and a solution for Glasses!

Only 2 more sleeps until Nose Day....I'm actually worried that my doctor won't change my nose enough- I may still feel all of those roller coaster feelings about looking in the mirror- but that IS what I signed up for and paid for. If I wake up and find my nose just a tad bit different, something I could have done with makeup shading techniques I will be disappointed.

I have gathered all of my supplies- with the exception of the humidifier - I swear I thought they were 25 or 30 bucks and I saw them at cvs for 80 dollars what is going on??? I have set up the guest room upstairs for myself where the dogs are not able to get to and only the kitties venture to. This way I can avoid them jumping in bed with me and hurting my nose. I stocked the fridge with stuff for smoothies. Grandpa staying to help with the little man, PLUS I found a solution to my GLASSES! I was told that if I attach a sports tether to my glasses I can hold them off of my nose - the trick is to pull them tight on the back of my head holding off of my nose. It really works! thank goodness, because I was dreading being blind for a month.

Thats it for now- oh yes I have been taking the vit C and I have arnica and Prep H as instructed.

12 hours and counting

this is it!!! next time I update I will have a new nose! I feel like I'm diving off of the high dive exciting but scary!!

On the other side of surgery

I made it everyone!! It was a long day yesterday but all in all I have nothing but positive things to say about my experience, about my doctor, and about the way I ended up feeling after my surgery.

I spent an okay night, sleeping as well as you can propped up at a 45 degree angle. But I have not lost breathing through my nose (yay!!) and my pain level is very manageable. I have a day after appt with Doc Leahy at noon today. I have quite a bit of swelling and my biggest question to him is about my cast. I have a cast that is hard plastic that he molds to my nose and is actually the kind that you can take a shower with. when I look at it, it appears a bit lopsided as if when he put it on he didn't make it evenly coming over the bridge. Thank god I see him today so that I don't obsess over it for a week!

Shawnee Mission Surgery Center was wonderful, I wish I could remember names but my nurse, the anesthesiologist and his nurse and my surgeon were all caring, compassionate and highly competent. The real proof is in the pudding though- can't wait to see how my nose turns out!!


Day 3

I never developed the black eyes that I was expecting. But my face has pressure and it is very tender if touched. The hardest part right now is not wearing my glasses. I've been too scared to try my sports tether. I'm relying on the voice to text app to post this and to send texts.

Pictures from today

Day 4

Can't wait to wear make-up and rub my eyes! :)

Oops my cast fell off!

Just got out of the shower where my cast fell off! My appt wit Dr Leahy to remove it and the stitches is Wednesday but he assured me that it was fine if the cast fell off before then. Just a bit anticlimactic to get out and see myself in the mirror that kept steaming over! Nevertheless - I am very pleased!! :)

Even with all of the swelling and the discoloration under my eyes- II teared up! I am so happy.

Stitches out today

OUCH! Thank goodness it only took a few minutes - that hurts! Dr Leahy said that I can use hydrogen peroxide with a q tip in the nostrils. Also I'm cleared to use my glasses in a week. That seems way to soon to me so I'm going to hold off for the standard 30 days just to be safe... or paranoid lol.

He said the tip is rather swollen but to start using the Prep H. Daily for the next month to help pull some of the inflammation out. (This goes under alternative treatments/suggestions) more pics tomorrow!

ssshhhhh I'm not telling!

I'd say yippee! Most people are going to recognize me but what happened yesterday was profoundly validating to me and my choice to do this. I hadn't ventured out in the whole week since my surgery but since I went to my doc appt for stitches removal I went ahead and did a couple of light errands as well. One of which was stopping at the pet food boutique where I go to at least 2 or 3 times a week ( I have 4 dogs and 2 cats- I spoil them rotten). The lady who runs it is so sweet, I have done many little things for her over the last couple of years because I appreciate her (flowers on her birthday, cookies at christmas etc.)

Yesterday I walk in and she was standing 15 ft from the front door and she said "hi can I help you find something" She obviously didn't recognize me. I said "Oh Teri- you know I could probable stock the shelves in here myself!" And she was so shocked- "Oh Laura - I didn't recognize you - I must be really tired!" We chatted while I found the items I came there to get and all the while she is looking at me so strangely.

When I was all rung up and leaving she told me "you look so cute today!" I said "oh thank you Teri" and left there feeling joy, amusement and a tinge of guilt for not telling her what it was she couldn't put her finger on.

I'm back! :)

I had "life" happen - so had to tend to it. :). The only good thing that it did make time fly by! Here are some new pictures at the 5 week mark. I can finally breathe better and gently blow my nose! Happy Healing everyone!

Oops forgot the pics!

At 5 weeks

One more

picture from 1/5- 60 post

So far I've been very happy with the results. It's given me the confidence I've searched for.

Yet... Wow it sure is easy to nit pick the results! I used to be rather naive about that kind of "complaining" after the surgeries. I'd look at the pictures and think "I WOULD BE THRILLED!" But I see how quickly I've been to see new imperfections in my new nose. In spite of the fact that I am happy with my results!

I just thought I would throw that out there- because it's surprised the heck out of me!


3 months post op update

Feeling good today, got my hair cut- with bangs! I could never do this before!

picture update

here is a pic of me 13 months after my surgery. after all of the swelling has gone down I have found that I am both very happy and newly critical. yes, critical- after over a year of looking closely at my nose I can both see the improvements and the details that I wish would have turned out differently. so try and not to think too hard about it- If you like the result try to stop thinking as someone in the market for a revision- thats what I am trying to do- enjoy my new "improved imperfect" self! thanks for checking in on me!
Leawood Plastic Surgeon

Dr Leahy listened to me, took his time with his consult and ultimately showed that when I woke up and had the nose I had desired and discussed with him. Monarch Plastic Surgery has an excellent staff- the whole experience with them was very positive.!

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
4 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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