Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Rhinoplasty, chin augmentation day 13..swelling, tingles and worries!

I am going to be as honest as I can in this post. The last few days have been quite difficult and I wanted to give it time to settle before I commented. Now for those of you considering these procedures please bare in mind that this is my experience only, you may sail through your recovery so please don't let me influence your decision too much. This post is more for those who, like me, have had the procedure or procedures and are struggling with what is normal and what is not.

So as far as bruising goes I still have some very slight discolouration in stripes under my eyes and along the bridge and tip of my nose, nothing too obvious as easy to cover with makeup.

Swelling has been my major issue. I went into quite a low after cast removal as to me my face was unrecognisable. My nose was (still is) swollen at the bridge between my eyes which to me made my eyes look smaller and shrunken into my head. My nose then gets wider and wider as it moves toward the tip like a fat plasticine blob really. I kept thinking that I had made a major mistake and had to really calm myself down allot, my heart would kind of drop everytime I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.

Every day the swelling has started to improve in small degrees. My bridge has narrowed so my eyes don't look quite so bizarre and I can see tiny details emerge on the rest of my nose too such as nostril shape and a small scar I had is becoming visible again. When I lightly touch my face I can feel probably more then see the improvements and it is most noticeable when I first wake up. I dare say the swelling is worse in the morning then throughout the day but for whatever reason it's when I notice the most change. I am still sleeping with my head raised and on my back I start off with three pillows but often get rid of one at some time during the night! I have noticed that my nose is starting to look slightly assymetrical, this is positive for me as swelling will typically decrease more in one side faster so its visible proof that healing is occurring. Overall I am STARTING to feel more positive about my nose.

My chin is causing me more frustration. I can definitely see that the swelling is reducing again more on one side then the other but the shape is very nice and I think I will be thrilled once all of this has settled. The biggest issue (and its a huge one for me) is that I cannot eat or talk normally yet. My lower lip is completely numb and still seems very swollen. I do wonder if my lip is due to the dermal filler I had injected although this was about 2 years ago I seem to hold onto it for longer and it may be exacerbating the issue. I have a fair amount of tingles in my chin and lip, like the feeling after your leg going to sleep which is apparently positive as its an indication that the nerves are repairing. Right now when I talk I kind of look as though I've had a bad experience with dermal fillers and Botox..not good! There is still some swelling under my chin too which is a bit double chinney but I can see that resolving.

I am on the conference for work so all of this makes life a bit difficult. I have had to restart on the steroidal anti inflamitory to try and help the swelling along a bit. I also read green tea helps so am going crazy on the caffeinated and decaf types! I miss coffee and am starting g to hate this bloody tea! Ive told people I fell down some stairs so no everyone probably thinks I'm being beaten by my boyfriend..

So overall slow improvements but much slower then I was expecting. Here is my advice to anyone contemplating this or going through their own recovery. Most doctors will say 10 days to 2 weeks to be work ready. I'm sure this is the case if you have had one procedure, more procedures mean more trauma so your recovery will probably be longer as in my case, try and take three weeks off at least so feel comfortable. I have a busy, demanding career which doesn't allow for extended periods of leave so this wasn't an option for me and I have found it has caused more anxiety then I would have should I have taken more time off.

Don't panic! I did in the first few days and I still do from time to time and keep trawling the Internet
 for a sense of normalcy. As I've mentioned before this can help or hinder, many people will post in the initial stages when they are scared, once things start to improve they seem to disappear as they no longer need the reassurance of strangers that everything is fine because they can see it, which largely leaves the very few who actually do have real issues continuing to post. Therefore it's easy in your own panic to start to assume that you will be like them and things will never get better, I would look at the number of people who stop posting as an indicator that things do improve as opposed to the few that continue to post to show that these issues are normal early on.

Then there is the flip side to that, the people who do amazing during the first week, have their cast off and love their new look, just love it. All of a suddenly they look like Giselle  Bundchen and are off to go eat in a five star resturant which, if you're like me, will make you a. Sit muttering "oh yeah? Well f' you" at your monitor And b. spend hours in front of the mirror wondering what the hell have you done. That really is a tough aspect of cosmetic surgery, you do this to yourself so you can really start to blame yourself for your decision.

There are many decent people out there though who have been very honest about their results and recovery and will admit that it can be hard. Healing is slow but they did get better, these posts have been very helpful to me although there aren't too many of them. So as I do get better I will keep up with the updates. I've had to take the pictures down for the time being but will put them back eventually and am happy to email if you like.

If you are scared please feel free to ask me any questions although I probably won't answer who my surgeon is right now as it wouldn't be fair to him until I see the final result. I know how scary and isolating this whole experience is so am here to help as much as I can.

Will post more in a few days!

Friday, 17 May 2013

I cannot describe how amazing it was to sleep properly last night! I'm still on my back with my head elevated but to be able to breath is heavenly.

No pain at all any more but my swelling is crazy. My speech has improved slightly overnight although my lip is still completely numb. The swelling seems to reside notably quicker on my right hand side I think it might be the way I sleep.

My nose is enormous, I look like a cross between a pug and an avatar. I think that there is the tiniest bit of definition in the end and around my nostrils compared to yesterday but this could be wishful thinking too. Essentially my nose is big, fat and has no definition. I had a slight amount of work done to reduce the bridge and allot of work on the tip of my nose including grafts and there has been allot of work done to the clomella too plus it's revision so I know to expect major swelling that will not shift too quickly but it is still getting me down. So patience will have to be my new virtue.

Putting makeup on my nose is a bit difficult mainly due to the condition of the skin. I can't use my usual Estée Lauder Double Wear as it won't absorb like it normally does so just sits heavily and uneasily on top of my skin so I'm just using a BB cream for now which kinda sucks as it doesn't cover the discolouration!

Am full of whinges and frustrations to be honest and wish I had another week to hide in the hope this resolves more. Looki g online I know I'm not alone, the biggest problem though is that so many people post during their initial feelings of fear only to disappear without further comment when they improve unless there is something drastically wrong so not too reassuraning! Hence why I am being as honest as I can here and will keep this updated as I improve :)

Anyway a couple more pictures, I will put these up less now so that changes will be more noticeable. For once the ipad camera seems to downplay blemishes so my swelling doesn't look as bad as in real life!

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Rhinoplasty and chin augmentation after cast removal..yikes!!

I will try and be as honest as I can about the removal and my emotions on seeing my nose without the cast but I'm warning you it wasn't fun so if you're trying to stay in the dark prior to your own removal consider skipping this post.

First the external cast was removed, this did not hurt a bit it felt a little like an octopus was stuck on my face and was being tugged away. I need to keep the cast and use it for sleeping for the next few weeks. Then came the stent removal. The stents support either side of the septum and are stitched together on two spots through the septum itself.  The stitches need to be cut to separate them first, this was the worst bit in my opinion as the stents needed to be tugged to reveal the inner stich to cut. Then the stents are tugged out one at a time, the first one was by far the worst. I will include a picture but they are HUGE about 2 inches long I have no idea how they fit up there  all I know is that I am so so so so glad they are out!they each have a tube to allow small amounts of air to get trough but I can see how easily they become blocked and they seem to go the whole way up your sinuses. In fact this was rather strange as I am not used to sensation that far up my head!  Now I can breath and it is the most amazing feeling, I can smell and I can taste I can wonder around with my mouth shut so I no longer look like the village idiot (but still not eat properly stupid lip).  The clomella stitches were the last a couple were very stingy but after having those beasts removed from my nose it was nothing.

So to my appearance. The swelling is (I hope) grotesque. My nose looks like a big fat blob stuck on my face its really quite horrific so I've stopped looking at it in the mirror as it looks WAY worse then it did before. From the side it looks pretty much the same really maybe a bit of an improvement but as most of the work was done to the tip which holds the majority of the swelling I'm not expecting to see any improvement for awhile. It's quite a let down and I am so grateful to the Internet to see that this is quite a common sentiment. My nose is now bigger then it was, which would be quite difficult to achieve without excess tissue surgically so the logical explanation it that it's the swelling. Anyways I'm now on anti imflamitories for the next five days so hopefully they make a difference.

Anyway I'm off to go see how I look like with make up on and go and buy some wine...it's been an emotional day! I will try and put up before photos soon too.

Rhinoplasty chin augmentation day 8 before cast removal

I'm just about to leave to have my cast off and more importantly the stents out!!! I know allot of people get rather worried about pain associated with the removal but I am so desperate to get rid of them I really don't care!

Swelling has gone down even more especially in my chin. It really seems to decrease noticeably at night so I see the most changes each morning. My lower lip is still swollen, numb and won't work properly though. Much of the swelling has settled in my upper neck just behind and below my chin  so makes me look like I have a bit of a double chin and my whole head still looks kinda fat but is a huge improvement to a few days ago.

Bruising is still there but I don't think it will be too hard to cover once I can put makeup on.

Here are some last photos with the cast on.

Rhinoplasty and chin augmentation day 7

I feel even better today!!

To start with pain there is none in my nose at all, if I had of just done the rhinoplasty I'd be feeling pretty great by now. My chin and lower lip are still really numb although I am starting to get a few pains on the left side of my lip which I am welcoming as its this paralysed feeling that I hate more then anything. In all honesty it's still worrying me as I cannot talk or move my mouth properly yet it's a bit scary as I kinda look like I've had a stroke. 

I have a theory on this numbness, as I need to keep my mouth open to breath I have not got my jaw closed the way it normally would so my jaw is not being supported by all of the muscles that would normally hold it in its usual position. Maybe the slackness is putting more pressure on the nerves stopping them from regenerating as quickly as they should. Anyway I'm still blaming the nasal stents for all my woes!

Bruising is still present in little stripes under my eyes and I have some slight discolouration around my jaw which should be reasonably easy to cover with makeup. 

Swelling is still there. I can see it around my nose but have read this drops once the cast is off, the tip of my nose still looks very swollen although it is hard to tell the true extent with my cast on. I still look as though I have a fat neck and double chin although its receded from yesterday I could actually feel how much it had gone down overnight when I awoke and can feel the difference more then see it.

Less then 24 hours until the cast and these stents are gone!!!! 

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Rhinoplasty and chin augmentation day 6

Things continue to improve! I think that once you get past the dreaded days 3 and 4 and see healing begin the whole process becomes much easier. I woke up this morning with my mouth closed meaning I was breathing through my nose last night! I'm stuffy again now but I don't mind too much during the day. My chin has gone down a little on the right hand side, I can see a bit of a curve or something of my chin starting to take shape. I still have a whole lot of swelling to go though so still look as though I have a fat neck and big double chin but am pretty sure it's just the swelling and seeing that tiny curve of an improvement is really exciting :)

I have a bit more sensation in my chin and lower lip, not enough for my liking yet through I can't really feel my lower lip when I touch it which is creeping me out a bit and its still huge. I don't think will really be able to test my speech until these damn splints are out of my nose. Eating is still really difficult and certainly not for public! The sensation in my lower face is best described as tingly like having pins and needles. My inability to talk and eat properly is probably what's upsetting me the most right now..that or the breathing although I'm sorta getting used to it hopefully it doesn't become a habit!

I really don't like the look of my nose with the cast on, it looks like a big hooked eagle nose with a huge bulbous tip! I'm only putting this down to show how illogical your thought process and worries about results can be during this stage as I know that he wouldn't have given me a hook nose and that the tip will be super swollen.

Anyway although I'm still tired and uncomfortable I am feeling really positive today and spent most of my day working from home. Hopefully more improvements tomorrow!

Monday, 13 May 2013

Rhinoplasty and chin augmentation day 5..jay Lenno!

I think that yesterday really was a turning point for me, my bruising has turned yellow for the most part which I have read means it is almost ready to go away for good. The swelling has dropped a bit from my upper face to my chin and mouth so that feels worse then it has before so I've restarted with my frozen peas. I had cheese on toast for breakfast today! I still struggled to eat it, I certainly  won't be eating in public in a hurry but its an improvement so I'm happy.

Pain is negligible during the day the discomfort does ramp up a bit at night though which is pretty common for me with any ailment. I still can't talk properly! I nearly hung up on my mom before when she rang to see how I was going and the first thing she said was "oh. Do you have a cold?" Gah! mothers how do they know the one thing to say that will pee you off?!  I'm not sure if my speech difficulty is the swelling now or the packing and I'm hoping that the packing is exacerbating the swelling so by some miracle on Friday I wil almost be human (I know, I know).

Two more full days to go. I know my results probably won't be apparent but I simply cannot wait to breath through my nose. I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for when the cast comes off. I know it is a huge let down for many people, especially those like me who mainly had work done to the tip of their nose as the swelling will probably make it look worse then before and also rather pig like until it drops.

I was able to take the dressing off my chin today and completely freaked out, i look like jay lenno!!! It's quite frightening but allot of people seem to have had this immediate reaction to their new look (poor jay lenno!) so am trying to be calm about it all and remind myself about swelling ect.  No photos today though cos I feel like a bit of a freak.

My biggest concern is a big conference that I have coming up next week during which I will need to contribute i.e talk like a normal person and will be making allot of first impressions and attending meals. I am a bit worried that I will appear to be some slurring pig woman who can't eat without food falling down her face. Not great!!!! I may need to invent a cover story to explain my injury....

Ok! I went and looked at some other websites and got some comfort in seeing the day 5 pics of other people compared to a week after that. I know the swelling is normal and distorts results but its hard to be logical when it's you! Anyway I remembered why I'm doing this blog in the first place is to minimise similar worries in others going through it so have decided to put pictures up double chin, freaky lips and all!

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Rhinoplasty and chin augmentation day 4 hump day

I woke up again in the middle of the night in pain and with that weird worry that i somehow rolled onto my nose in my sleep without realising it I ended up putting ice packs on either side if my face again which seems to settle me. I've taken the lasted my prescribed painkillers so am now onto mersyndol to help me sleep which works but makes me feel groggy which I hate.

Pain is a funny one today, my chin hurts a little more then it did yesterday and my top teeth hurt a bit which I'm taking as a good sign that things are improving. I seem to get a fair amount of pain in my nose a night though. There is some tingling in my lower lip but it is still pretty much swollen, numb and un-moveable, my chin is tingly now too.

Swelling and bruising seems to be a little less although my whole face now looks kinda yellow and my eye lids look hooded.  I got into a bit of a panic (do you see a theme here?!) when i first woke up because I can feel something flapping around in my right nostril and I decided it must be that my graft had come loose.sensibility has kicked in I'm pretty sure it's either a stitch or I can feel the stent now as my internal swelling is residing.

I think I reached a turning point about lunchtime. I forced myself to eat a proper meal for the first time as I have lost quite a bit of weight (except for my face!)I remembered the time that one of my friends and I tried a soup diet I lasted about two days and felt terrible until I went and ate a hotdog  so figured my lack of substantial nutrients could be part of my problem. It wasn't easy as my lower lip still won't work so had to be soft food but I do feel a bit better for it. I took a 20 min walk around my neighbourhood. I also washed my hair! I just lay back in the bath and had a towel handy for any drips it's not the best job but definitely an improvement, I probably won't try again though until Friday just before I go in for cast removal. Only 3 more full days to go!! I think that thought more then anything else really turned my mood around today.

Overall today was still a little tough but am looking forward to tomorrow as I think i have probably reached the point that things start to improve quickly  now. I hope my posts aren't turning anyone off having these procedures I'm trying to be as honest as possible as if you're anything like me and have had the op you will start reading all these blogs of people just sailing through recovery and start to wonder what is wrong with you.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Rhinoplasty chin augmentation Day 3..the rodent

Well! The title pretty much says it all, I look like a rat.

I'm not sure if its because the swelling has now peaked (please don't let it get any bigger!) or if the swelling has started to reside from my outer face which has left the area around my eyes, nose and mouth looking disproportionately worse. I probably won't put photos up today as I can't notice a difference and its depressing me.

I woke up at 0200 in a fair amount of pain, I had decided to sleep on the couch to stop me rolling over, I don't think I turned onto my left side but definitely had my head dropping to the left which caused me to go into a panic thinking I may have rolled onto my nose in my sleep and not noticed cos of the drugs, I'm pretty sure I didn't but am still feeling uneasy about it.

Today has definitely been better the yesterday, my pain is the same and while my sleep isn't perfect I am sleeping. I haven't taken a pain pill yet but probably will soon as its early evening and I find I sleep better if I'm more relaxed at night, during the day I will try and go without meds now. I'm using my saline spray frequently and it is helping a bit as I have (warning this is gross) had a few blood
clots run down the back of my throat for me to spit out. The saline means that I have drips happening still so I've kept a dressing under my nose as I find the dripping really irritating. One thing that has surprised me is that my eyes get really sore, I guess the swelling is stopping the tear ducts from working properly so my tip is to stock up on some eye drops before hand.

 My bruising has now turned red and is just under my eyes, my lower lip is still ridiculous and I can't
feel it at all, the chin implant looks non existent to me which I guess is due to the swelling surrounding it. Sensation around my chin isn't too bad I can't feel the tip of it but can feel around it. I think I will start to notice my chin a bit more once the stents and cast are out of my nose, at the moment the discomfort I get from them takes up most of my headspace. I can feel discomfort when I try to open my mouth and when I talk which I think may have increased so maybe the nerves are starting to wake up again.
I'm still having a hard time eating so have stuck with fluids today so far. Not much else to report, it's Monday tomorrow so as most of my neighbourhood will be at work I will probably put on a cap and go for a short walk to get out of the house. I haven't told anyone about this so am worried about being recognised!ive just remembered its bin night tonight too so will have to sneak up and put em out without the neighbours seeing me.
It's later on at night, I'm having a minor freak out over my inability to eat and talk properly yet, I'm hoping this is normal but I am suddenly terrified I have made a huge mistake.. I just tried to have something soft for dinner and made a huge mess of it!. I know that depression/fear are normal at this stage in the healing process and is made worse by my decision to totally isolate myself (only my mom, step dad and sister know). I also just made the brilliant decision to start researching everything that could go wrong online which surprisingly has not helped calm me. Anyway here are a couple of photos, looking at them has made me feel a bit better as it seems the swelling really may have gone
down a bit.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Rhinoplasty chin augmentation Day 2

Today has been tough! My swelling has increased which is to be expected, I have to say I think I was a bit arrogant in believing that as I'm usually fit and active with a high pain threshold I would breeze through this. Revision is apparently a much harder operation to recover from then primary, also is the fact that the swelling from my nose is colliding with the swelling from my chin so I'm expecting my lower face to worsen as the swelling starts to drop.

I felt terrible this morning and didnt get up until about 11. I forced myself out of bed to have a bath and carefully cleaned my nose. I cleansed, toned and moisturised my exposed skin and got dressed and feel a bit more human now. Mom has had to go home so I'm on my own now! I'm now sitting on the couch watching true crime shows so clearly putting my free time to good use.

Pain itself is minimal, it's just really uncomfortable as I can't breath out of my nose and I have a congestion headache. My chin is probably more uncomfortable as it is very very swollen and numb. My lower lip is huge and I can't feel or move it at all and it's not too easy to close my mouth which goes with my mouth breathing thankfully, I hope this resolves soon as it will probably make me look a bit simple!

My bruising under my eyes has started to turn dark but it really isn't that bad at all the swelling as I've mentioned is the issue. I can tell that the tip of my nose that is sticking out from the plaster is HUGE! It spreads out over my cheeks and then down to my chin my whole lower face is very, very puffy which seems to make my chin look really small and receeding which is a bit concerning!

I still can't eat, I tried last night to eat some soft food with a teaspoon but can't move my mouth properly so am still on liquids, mom made me some vegetable soup which she puréed so I can drink it through a straw so it's that and protein shakes for now. Brushing my teeth is hard i would recommend an electric toothbrush to anyone who is planning this procedure.

Sleeping is tough, I'm having to sleep on my back propped up on allot of pillows to help reduce swelling  which is not my usual sleeping position plus I can't breath through my nose so my mouth gets dry and sore.

Now that I've been sitting up for a few hours I'm starting to get a funny tingling feeling in my face, mainly my nose and lower lip, I'm hoping that this is the swelling starting to recede rather then continuing to balloon up, surely my head can't get much bigger!!!

I sound like I'm full of complaints today, which I guess I am as I am feeling pretty down so will put up a couple of photos and stop my whinging.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Rhinoplasty chin augmentation Day 1 pumpkin head

I will add some photos in a sec which really do not do justice to how swollen I have become! My lower face is by far the worst, bruising doesn't seem too bad yet. I can't really open my mouth properly, I haven't tried talking yet but as my mom is staying with me I'd better go say good morning soon! My lips feel really weird as they are even swollen and numb inside my mouth so even taking my pills is hard so will be sticking with protein shakes, thank goodness I bought straws there's no way I could drink without them. Mom keeps trying to force food on me as mothers do!

Pain is minimal to be honest it's just uncomfortable like my nose is blocked and full of huge boogers (dried blood) and the tightness/swelling in the rest of my face. I have a mild headache but that's probably the worst of it. I can't feel too sorry for myself, it's all self inflicted!

Sleeping wasn't too good I put the gauze back under my nose as it was oozing a fair bit and figured it wold act as a humidifier of sorts. At about 3 am I got up and did some external cleaning with saline and grabbed my peas which I propped against my checks on my pillow. I was able to breath through my nose at that point so left off the gauze for a bit and was finally able to sleep for a few hours. The surgery ended up being open and I have internal splints in addition to my cast which will be taken out in 9 days so I'm surprised I can breathe at all.

The swelling and bruising doesn't look too bad in the frontal photo but you can really tell how puffy I have become from the profile shot, I look like I've gained 20 kilos!!! 

Photos night of surgery

Night of the surgery. Don't worry the freaky eyes aren't mine nor is the pink hair!!!!

Rhinoplasty chin augmentation Surgery day

Uugh, no coffee does bad things to me! I'm at the hospital and have been sitting in the waiting room for an hour now and am starting to feel quite edgy. My mother is here with me and I'm trying hard to keep my irritation in check..it's always the ones you love that you hit out at!


Well it's done! I look and feel like hell my swelling is already crazy, definitely elephant lady or maybe pumpkin head I'm not sure yet. The rhino ended up being more extensive then I though which I'm glad about clearly the conservative approach didn't work too well last time!

So at the hospital I got changed into a lovely gown and saw my surgeon again where we discussed the possibility for a cartilage graft from my ear which didn't end up being needed he used the nose cartilage instead. I then met the anaesthetist and nursing team who were lovely. They popped my cannula in and said I was get something to relax my butterflies I started to feel fuzzy then woke up in recovery. I remember feeling really tired and asking the nurse if I said anything weird which she assured m I did not!

 My chin looks freaky kind of like a guy I dated a few times last year but as I said massive swelling and I have a big plaster on it. My lips feel funny! All rubbery so I'm talking funny, the weird thing is that I can still breath through my nose for now though its like a bad cold, I have a feeling it will get worse as I go from pumpkin head to an exta off  "attack of the killer tomatoes" I have taken the bolster off under my nose to catch drips and it was making me feel claustrophobic the dripping isn't too annoying I'm just dabbing  it away. I'm starting to get some pain now as the intraoperative drugs  drugs are  wearing off. My local pharmacist ran out of my pain pills! he is very kindly getting them in and dropping them off on his way home tonight. My frozen peas are feeling nice on my face though.

Alright well I'm going to take my enormous head to go stare in the mirror for a bit, tomorrow I will probably cover them like some demented miss havisham. Once i work out how to post photos I will pop some on. Is it just me or is blogger unnecessarily complicated?

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Fear! One day to go

One more sleep! I'm not feeling nervous yet so hopefully I will sleep tonight. I have to be at the hospital early so at least there won't be too anxious a wait tomorrow.

I started taking arnica yesterday to minimise bruising and swelling hopefully I won't end up looking like elephant woman.

I have been watching Nip Tuck, I'm up to season 3 and wish I'd stopped watching! The episode I watched yesterday had a woman who was awake but paralysed during her surgery so she couldn't move to let the doctors know she could see/feel what was happening to her. I looked it up online it's called anaesthesia awareness and apparently has a fairly high incidence. Now I'm terrified it will happen to me!!!