THE RHINOPLASTY DIARIES: AN INSIDE LOOK AT ONE PATIENT’S SURGICAL PROCESS | PART II

When researching a procedure or treatment, one of the most comforting pieces of information that you can find is a candid, real experience from someone who has been through it.  Lauren recently had a rhinoplasty surgery with Dr. Quatela and wanted to share what the experience was like for her so that people who are thinking about rhinoplasty surgery can have a better idea of the overall experience.  Each patient’s results, experience, and recovery process are individual to their specific situation, however hearing from others on their journey is a valuable piece of the process.  Join us over the course of a multi-post series as Lauren recounts the day of surgery and her recovery after, as well as her experience leading up to the procedure and why she chose to have nose surgery.

Day One:

I was up a lot last night.  Since there is packing in my nose, I basically can’t use my nose to breathe so I have to breathe through my mouth.  That equates to dry mouth and very dry lips.  I have a few bottles of water on my nightstand along with a jar of Aquaphor that I apply several times an hour to my lips.  I also drank almost all of my water.  It may seem like overkill but I assure you it’s not.  I also have a humidifier by my bed to help with the moisture in the air.

When I woke up, I took a pain pill as instructed by the nurses since I am having my packing out today.  I have heard horror stories about this so I’m kind of nervous about it.

After the Day One Appointment:

The appointment actually went really well.  When I met with the Nurse Practitioner, Julie, she was so sweet to me.  She asked me where my pain was on a scale of 1-10, I said a 2.  It’s less about pain and more about discomfort from the pressure in my nose and face.

She walked me through what she was going to do with removing the packing in a step-by-step fashion.  This helped me a lot.  She then told me when to breathe and then all of a sudden, the packing came out.  It was a very weird sensation but nothing like the pain I was expecting.  It’s a feeling unlike anything that you have ever experienced and is just so unusual.  Perhaps the pain pill before helped keep any discomfort at bay but as soon as it is out, you get an instant sense of relief because you can breathe through your nose.  It felt nothing short of amazing.  Julie then did the other side and I was loving life because I could fully breathe through my nose.  She told me it was my “honeymoon” period and that it would become congested again as the day went on.

After the appointment was done, I went back to home base.  My fiancé helped me set up a little station with all of my medications, a cooler with ice packs and lots of fluids.  Again, I still don’t have much of an appetite.  My front teeth feel a little numb and sore, so chewing doesn’t sound too appealing.

I have been drinking pineapple smoothies consistently.  I use a combination of fresh pineapple, vanilla Greek yogurt and vanilla almond milk.  The pineapple has a special enzyme that is supposed to help with healing so I’m hoping that will move my recovery process along.  I’ve also been using my Arnica and Vitamin C as instructed by the nursing team.

My face is definitely more swollen today and the bruising has expanded on my face to the cheek area.  I’m just trying to ice as much as possible to help decrease the swelling.

I’ve also started using my saline spray since my packing is out.  It helps to flush everything out which gives you a sense of relief.  I’ve done this almost every hour that I’m awake just to try to keep everything clean since I can’t blow my nose or try to clean it out on my own.

That’s about it for now.  I have been pleasantly surprised by this process and I’m not nearly as miserable as I thought I would be.  I still have a long road ahead of me but I’m just going to take it one day at a time for now.

Day Two:

I actually slept quite well last night.  Again, my travel neck pillow is amazing and I basically keep it on 24/7.  I’m typically a side sleeper and I swear this has kept me on my back through the night.

The bruising and swelling are a little worse today.  I do feel quite a bit of pressure in my face from the swelling but I find that laying down, tilting my head back and icing my face helps immensely.  When it feels like the pressure is getting bothersome, I take a pain pill to help with the discomfort.  I’ve only taken a few so far because there just isn’t that much pain.

I’m tinkering around the house today doing little things which feels nice.  I actually had a few things going on at work that I wanted to take care of so I jumped on my laptop and did some work.  I didn’t plan on doing any work for the week following surgery but I feel so good that I don’t see it as being an issue.  I’m just listening to my body and if I get tired, I will stop and relax.

I took a bath today which was fabulous.  It made me feel a million times better.  I was able to get some help with washing my hair from my fiancé so that was great.  I kept my cast dry which was the one thing I had to be careful about and that was not a problem.

That’s about it for now.  I’ll write more soon!

Part I

*Experience and opinion is that of this particular patient.  Individual results vary.

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