Day 2 – January 8th, 2014
Today is the second day of my revision rhinoplasty recovery and I feel like time is going by sooo slowly. Around five in the morning, I woke up feeling extremely thirsty. Despite having just woken up from sleep, I was also feeling exhausted. I drank some water and then went back to sleep. I woke up again three hours later at 8 a.m. I was feeling thirsty again so I drank some water, but after this I could not go back to sleep anymore. Even though I was already awake, it was hard to get out of bed. I had a throbbing headache and I still felt really weak and tired. So after I drank some water, I decided to make myself a power smoothie for energy, then cleaned my nose, and took my medications. Aside from the fact that I felt awful, I could barely look at my face in the mirror since I could hardly recognize myself from all the swelling and bruising. I tried to cheer myself up by telling myself that it was only Day 2 of my recovery (although I felt like it was already Day 12 haha). Everything I was experiencing, I knew was quite normal for the healing process, so took it all in stride.
Late this morning I gave Dr. Shah a call but he was in surgery. So instead, I got to talk to Dr. Shah’s assistant, Mia. Instead of simply telling me that Dr. Shah was unavailable, Mia chatted with me and asked how I was doing. Have I mentioned that Dr. Shah’s staff members are so incredibly friendly and warm? Because they certainly are! An hour and a half later, I got a call from Dr. Shah himself. It never ceases to amaze me when I think about the personal time and attention Dr. Shah devotes to his patients. As one of the top rhinoplasty surgeons in the country, Dr. Shah performs hundreds of procedures per year. And yet he never fails to treat each of his patients as though he or she is the only patient he has. I don’t want to sound cheesy, but I really feel like if you’re a patient of Dr. Shah, you can rest assured that he’s there for you. After all, how many top rhinoplasty surgeons will actually take the time off from their busy schedule to check in with their patients after the procedure? My primary rhinoplasty surgeon certainly wasn’t one of them!
Since I was in paid meds, I can’t clearly remember what we discussed on the phone. But what I do remember was Dr. Shah being really excited that the surgery went so well.
I then spent most of today in my recliner chair, icing my nose every 20 minutes. In between icing sessions, I changed my drip pads and cleaned my nose. That’s pretty much all I did today. Based on my research and past experience, Day 3 is always the toughest so I’m planning to get plenty of rest tonight to prepare myself mentally and physically for tomorrow!
Day 3 – January 9th, 2014
This morning I woke up again at 5 a.m, because of the terrible pounding and throbbing in my head. I took some pain medications but I couldn’t get back to sleep anymore. I knew that I had a headache and I had some pain, but I was also feeling off like something wasn’t right. I assumed it was because I did not eat anything with my meds like I typically do, so I had a superfood protein shake. I think it worked because an hour later, I no longer had that odd sensation and the throbbing in my head was nearly gone. A slight headache did come back around noon, but I easily vanquished it with a Tylenol extra strength which seemed to have an effect the whole day.
So despite a rough morning, I actually did great today pain-wise—definitely much better than I expected for Day 3! Wish I could say the same for the swelling though. The swelling seems to have spread down to the lower part of my face today. The space between my nose and upper lip is around twice the size from all the swelling, making me look like some kind of fish! I’ve been constantly taking the arnica pills and traumeel gel and I did my icing sessions religiously like always. I’m really not that worried since I know that Day 3 is when the bruising and swelling are at their worst.
I guess the only good news today is that my nose finally stopped bleeding. Also, there are only three and a half more days to go before the cast is removed. Woohoo!
I almost forgot to mention: Mia (Dr. Shah’s assistant) called me today. Another pleasant surprise since I wasn’t expecting to hear from Dr. Shah’s office so often after the surgery. But I guess they wanted to check in on me again knowing that Day 3 is supposedly the most difficult day. I gave Mia an update of my day and she assured me that I was recovering at a normal pace. 🙂
Day 4 – January 10th, 2014
The bruising under my right eye is looking pretty terrible today but guest what—I don’t even mind! I am actually feeling good today and am in hardly in any pain. In fact, I’m enjoying the nice change of pace since I tend to be a workaholic and it’s nice to just spend the day vegging out without feeling any guilt. 🙂
I also received my daily call from Dr. Shah’s office to see how I was doing. Since I’m no longer under pain meds, today is the first day that I am finally thinking clearly since my operation. And since I got my wits back, I told Mia that I couldn’t remember my last conversation with Dr. Shah since I was all drugged up. I knew that the surgery went well, but I was dying to know the specific details! Prior to the surgery, Dr. Shah and I agreed on three morphs or possible images which my nose could possibly look like after the surgery. Dr. Shah explained that since this was my second rhinoplasty, he was dealing with some limitations. The outcome of the revision rhinoplasty depended on how badly the first rhinoplasty screwed up my nose. In a nutshell, Morph 1 was the worst case scenario (but still looked like a nose that I can definitely be happy about), with Morph 3 being the actual nose I’ve always dreamed of.
Two hours later, Dr. Shah finally called me. Needless to say, I was giddy with excitement and nervousness. Until then, I had my cellphone right beside me and I picked up right away after the first ring. Dr. Shah greeted me with his usual energetic hello and asked how I was doing. As always, I was amazed at his concern for me, but I was also ready to jump out of my skin from anticipation. I could barely think straight and I wanted to hear how the surgery turnout out ASAP! Dr. Shah sensed my anticipation so he quickly filled me in on the details. As he already mentioned during our pre-surgery consultations, he won’t know what he will be dealing with until I’m on the operating table. One of his biggest concerns was how much cartilage I had left and how much was already scar tissue. Once he opened up my nose, he was quite surprised to see that not only did I still have enough nose cartilage but it was actually more than what he was expecting. It seems that my primary rhinoplasty surgeon committed a common “error” during my procedure—he shaved down the unattractive bump on the bridge of my nose but did not remove the extra cartilage, which resulted to a beak-like appearance in my nose. The technical term for this complication is Pollybeak Deformity.
If there had been too little cartilage, Dr. Shah would have had to take the cartilage from my rib or ear. And so the incompetence of my first rhinoplasty surgeon (which devastated me for years) in fact made it possible for Dr. Shah to give me the nose I wanted. I definitely was not expecting this interesting twist of fate, and the good news it would bring!
So since I had plenty of cartilage left, Dr. Shah was able to fix my nasal tip. And he was also able to do something that my first surgeon forgot (or was not skilled enough) to do: deprojection. When my first surgeon removed the bump on my nose, the tip started to look disproportionately long and too far from my face. Deprojection refers to the process of bringing it back closer to the face. Apparently, this is a very advanced technique and not many surgeons attempt to try it. Not only was Dr. Shah able to deproject my nose, but he also straightened my nose bridge which tended to curve to the right. As though all these good news weren’t enough, Dr. Shah also provided me with a supratip. I’ve never heard of this term before, but it turns out to be a very subtle shaping of the nose’s tip to give me that soft and attractive feminine profile. After learning from Dr. Shah that my surgery resulted in the best case scenario (and then some), I was ready to jump with joy. Sure, I looked like a bruised tomato on the outside today—but inside, I couldn’t possibly be any happier!
Day 5 – January 11th 2014
TGIF! I always love Fridays and today was no exception—even though I still can’t work and my weekend plans mainly consist of vegging out in the house. The day didn’t start out so well though. I hardly had any sleep last night because my back felt sore. This isn’t exactly due to the surgery since I’ve never been a back sleeper. Since I barely had any sleep, I made myself a big delicious breakfast to boost my energy and get my day off to a good start. And it definitely worked! I felt much better during the rest of the day.
I passed the time by watching this great TV series called The Good Wife. This is definitely a major change of pace since I barely have the time to watch TV in my “regular” life. That’s because I’m always on the go so it’s really nice to spend the weekend doing nothing and just watch TV. Even the commercials looked pretty entertaining to me!
The bruising on my left eye has gone down, but the one under my right eye is still pretty bad. Fortunately, the overall swelling in my face is gradually going down. I’m starting to feel quite dirty though. I realized I haven’t taken a shower for several days now since the operation. At least I’m saving on my water bills. Lol! Will definitely do a body wash tomorrow though.
Not much to report on this day. Of course, I did get my daily call from Dr. Shah’s office. They have literally called me every day of this week since my surgery. The personal attention and genuine care Dr. Shah and his staff have for their patients always overwhelm me. Even though I have an appointment for Monday to get my cast removed, they wanted to make sure I was okay before the weekend. 🙂
Only two more days to go and it’s “Goodbye, Cast. Hello, new nose!”.
Day 6 – January 12th, 2014
Today was another day spent at home but I was determined to make the best of my time today. Even though I didn’t sleep too hot again last night, I compensated for it by making another big breakfast to keep my energy and system going. At lunch, I had a light and healthy meal, followed by a power smoothie in the afternoon. To ensure the best recovery possible, I am trying to adapt a healthy diet and make sure that I eat nutritious foods. I am also taking my vitamins regularly.
I hardly notice any swelling on my face anymore and the bruising has significantly gone down. Since the skin under my eyes are quite thin and delicate, it’s really no surprise that I bruise very badly in these areas. Same thing happened during my first rhinoplasty. Thank goodness for makeup!
My nose seems to be in pretty good condition in the sense that there has been no bleeding today. It still feels pretty stuffy and there are times when my nose feels like it’s under heavy pressure. I also got several headaches today which did not disappear even after I took Tylenol. However, all these didn’t really bother me since I am too busy looking forward to Monday. Only two more nights to go and I will be free from the cast. Not only will I finally have freedom from the cast, but I will also have freedom to take a shower! Freedom to sleep comfortably on my side! Freedom to rejoin the outside world and see the sun! I am sooo excited at the thought of finally getting a good night’s sleep after a nice long shower. I can hardly wait!