The past week has been a whirlwind and last Thursday marked the end of a long and painful saga that began when I was very young. I have come a long way, but have a lot more healing to do.
When I was 13 and working as part of a youth volunteer program at my local YMCA, I was put in charge of the moon bounce/bouncing castle.. I was alone for a while and decided to jump around. I crushed my nose with my knee during a flip and became Voldemort’s long lost twin.
In middle school, surgeon number one operated once and later attempted to open me up in his office to make an alteration that never should have been attempted in an office setting.
Horrified and very disappointed, my mother started doing her homework and found a truly wonderful ENT who also happened to be a Plastic Surgeon.
In high school, wonderful surgeon number 2 repaired my sinuses and my nose and the procedures went very well and we expected a spectacular outcome. One week after surgery I became light headed and passed out. I fell out of a chair in my bathroom and hit my nose against the bathtub on the way down. I was rushed in for emergency surgery that day and the surgeon did what he could knowing that ultimately I would need to come back for another round.
Now, a decade later, I finally bit the bullet and decided to put this mess to rest. I returned to wonderful surgeon number 2 and the moment he stepped in to the exam room he could see I couldn’t breathe. Significant scar tissue had developed and my nostrils had collapsed. I just couldn’t breathe through my nose and all of the mouth breathing had made my teeth very sensitive. We booked a date in January for surgery but due to the devastation in Puerto Rico, certain products and tools he needed to operate were in short supply and we had to push the date.
March 22nd became the big day. My surgery ended up being more difficult than expected due to the scar tissue that had developed over a decade since crush injury #2. My nose was such a mess, surgery took an hour longer than expected. Thanks to an organ donor, my surgeon had the best and strongest spare parts (that’s what I’m calling them) he needed to reinforce my nose and complete this final repair.
It’s not going to be a perfect looking nose. Given how much this honker has been through, it’s just not a realistic expectation to achieve the aesthetic ideal. It will, however, be FULLY FUNCTIONAL and I am so grateful that I would cry if it didn’t hurt to do so right now.
I will look a bit different when everything heals and it will take some getting used to. I will certainly be doing my fair share of staring at it so don’t feel bad if you catch yourself staring too. Given how many times I have had my nose worked on, I’m no stranger to close inspection. In fact, after how much time, effort and money has gone in to this bad boy, staring is encouraged. Get a good look everybody. This nose is the finished product and it’s here to stay!