My tips for before and after rhinoplasty:
1) Plan, plan, plan: Write down in bullet points everything you need to do. Some of mine were:
*Save £10,500 by 17th April (Two weeks before surgery, when I had to pay.)
*Rent flat by March. (So I could recover alone and not at university where people would be in and out of my room.)
*Buy all groceries, toiletries, paracetamol, vitamin tablets before surgery. (I'll admit, I didn't bother with vitamins in the end and I don't think it made any difference me not taking arnica or vitamin C)
*Plan travel: My friend drove me to Weymouth hospital, although they got charged congestion charge. (oops.) On the way back after my surgery, I booked and paid for a taxi using an app, so when the taxi came, all I had to do was run in, hope no one could see me and go home. The taxi driver kept glancing at me from his rearview mirror but by that point I didn't care how I looked, I just wanted to sleep. When I got to my flat, I ran out the taxi and straight into bed.
2)Prepare for unexpected changes to said plan: I'd planned to get rhinoplasty and a chin implant for £10,500 and I'd saved the exact right amount of money for it. When my surgeon sent me the invoice, it turned out the hospital fee had been bumped up and so I could no longer afford to get both procedures. (Wah!)
3)Distractions=happiness: You will get very, very bored at home, especially if you don't have someone to look after you, like in my case. Netflix, books, films, whatever you like, just stack up and spend the next few weeks in chill mode.
4)Ice cream is your best friend: Ice cream is always your best friend, but especially when you have rhino. Mostly because I couldn't be bothered to cook, but it's easier to get down in the first day.
5)Tell people: I only told one person about my rhino and only so they would drive me to appointments. (hehe) I didn't tell my parents, because even though I was 21 and an adult, I just knew they would be so against it. This meant I had to get surgery alone, I had to look after myself after surgery etc and it was all very lonely and annoying. (In hindsight, I should have told them and my mom ended up finding out anyway because she 'accidentally' opened my bank statement. -_-)
6)Order what you want from the menu: It's free, don't waste your order on a measly smoothie. They'll recommend you to order something smooth, like ice cream or liquids, but I ordered an omelette and it was the best omelette I've ever eaten. I was starving when I woke up from surgery and I had no trouble swallowing or eating, so I wolfed it down, along with some tea. Just make sure everything's cooled down a bit before you eat them and you'll be fine.
7) Don't freak out: Okay, it's natural to freak out, but don't. There's no point worrying about something that may or may not happen. I worried a lot during my wait in the hospital bed for my surgery, but after, I realised all my worries had been for nothing. If you just stay prepared and have everything arranged beforehand, you'll be fine.
8) Wear something easy to put on after surgery: Self explanatory. You don't want any nose caught in clothes incidents.
9) Speak up: If you're uncomfortable with something, or something's wrong, speak up. Even if you're on the operating table about to be put under, speak up. I didn't have any problems except for just before they put you under, they go through your details. Someone had put my birthday down as 1954! And they also still had me down for a chin implant as well. Make sure they have all the correct details about you before the op.
10) They charge you for the drugs they prescribe you: I'm probably stupid for not knowing this, but I didn't. I was also pretty much broke by this point but I paid for the drugs they gave me, (can't remember how much)
11) The drugs they prescribe could make you ill: My prescribed drug had the worst side affects. I wasn't even in any pain, but I took them routinely as recommended to keep on top of the pain. These tablets made me feel so sick and the room would constantly feel like it was spinning. This was the worse part of the whole thing. I actually thought I was dying, which is really scary when you're recovering alone. I soon realised it was the drugs and not due to the procedure and as soon as I came off them, I felt great. I didn't even need much painkiller, but if I felt a little uncomfortable at times, I just took paracetamol and it did the trick.
12) Cleaning your nose can be gross and scary: I tried cleaning with my eyes closed, but that didn't work out too well. To clean, I had to take the drip pad off and use some cotton buds and ointment around the incisions. It looked a bit scary with the cuts and the black stitches poking out. They give you your own tape and bandage to make another drip pad after you've cleaned. As soon as I took my drip pad off, I knew I loved the bottom part of my nose. I'd been worried about piggy nostrils, but my nostrils were perfect, my columella raised and so from then, I stopped worrying about cast off and went back into chill mode.
13) Your nose will run. A lot: I could breathe perfectly pretty much straight after my procedure, which I was so happy about. However, my nose ran A LOT. Not with blood or anything, but with, you know, goo. I was too scared to sniff too and I wouldn't recommend doing that anyway, so I just had to constantly change my drip pads and clean it up best I could. Still, ew.
14) Your skin will get messed up: Well, maybe not yours, but mine certainly did. I usually have good skin, no spots etc. The day after surgery, I woke up and my face was super oily, super bumpy with these little raised bumps and generally just felt like melting sandpaper. To combat this, I washed twice daily with clean and clear face wash, used a gentle face toner and then serum and lots and lots of gentle moisturiser. My skin went back to normal about 1.5-2 weeks after surgery, although remained very oily for a month or two after. Sometimes in the mornings I would wake up and my face would feel like I'd doused myself in olive oil.
15) Look forward to cast off!: Don't dread the day, you'll be fine. Once they've taken those pesky stitches and padding out and cleaned it up, you're going to feel so much better. It doesn't hurt, but it's a little uncomfortable and then they'll show you your new nose with a mirror. I loved my nose at cast off, I could really see the difference from the front, my nostrils were much narrower, giving my nose a more streamlined look from the front. Now I don't see much difference from the front because I've gotten so used to it, but when I look at old pics I can tell. Got home on cast off and checked nose from the side, saw a little difference but not much at the time but not much and don't see much now either.
16) Be prepared for family and friends not to notice: Okay, my case might be a little difference, as I only had tip work done and I feel my surgeon didn't do enough to my profile. I had no hump or anything like that, I just had a bulbous, long tip and slightly wide nostrils from the front. I myself could see a difference from the front, but no one else noticed at all, which didn't bother me, because I noticed. No one noticed a thing from my side really and I thought I did notice a little difference when I first got it done, but looking at it now, it's still too long for my face. Still, people probably won't notice, regardless.
17) You don't think you have swelling? You do: Seriously. I thought that a week after rhino, my swelling had gone. Then, month after month, my nose would look thinner, swelling would go down and I'd think, hey, maybe I did have swelling. My point is, be patient. People say you have swelling up to a year but to be honest, my nose has looked the same since around the five or six months mark. However, my swelling comes and goes. Some days it will look more puffy than usual but by the next day, it goes back to normal. I think this is what they mean by swelling after six months. My actual nose has stayed the same shape from six months until now, I just have swelling flareups where it looks bigger at times. I did keep thinking that maybe my nose looked the same from the side because of swelling, but it's obvious now that, that isn't the case.
18) Treat your scars well: Your scar will scab over in a couple of weeks, but be sure to keep adding the cream your doctor prescribed or buy some bio oil or scar cream. Try not to put make up on it unless you really have to. To be honest, when it's still a scab and not completely flat, it just ends up looking crusty with makeup anyway.
19) Tip work might make your tip numb: The tip of my nose felt weird for ages, like really numb. I can't remember how long it lasted, maybe until at six months. Now if I run my finger over the tip of my nose, I still get this slightly tingly sensation, so I know it still must not be one hundred percent healed.
20) Take pics: Before, after, during. (Of your nose, obviously.) It really helps you to see your progress. Like I said, you don't realise how much swelling you have until you compare previous pics.
21) Drink water: Water, like ice cream, is your best friend, but more so. Drink like your life depends on it. (It kind of does.)
22) Clean, clean, clean: You were given ointment for a reason. Use it to clean inside your nose. There's incisions or scabs in there that need to be tended. I thought I had a massive lump in one of my nostrils for ages and it turns out, it was a big scab that eventually fell out. (Ew.) Sometimes they harden up in there if you become lenient on your cleaning. (Lesson learnt.)