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

Day 7:

Today is the day I get my cast off and get to see my nose!  I’m excited but very nervous.  I have watched quite a few YouTube videos with patients that cry when they look in the mirror for the first time.  Some of them are happy and some of them hate their new nose.  I’ve learned that almost everyone eventually comes around and loves their result with sufficient time.  Rhinoplasty seems to demand patience which is tough since I like instant gratification.  However, when I made the decision to do this surgery, I also promised myself that I would trust the process.

Anyway, it’s the first day I’ve had to get ready for work in a week.  I’m getting the cast off and returning right to the office.  I’m much slower than normal and everything feels a little tougher than usual.  When I’ve been home, I do something and typically rest shortly after.  That won’t be the case with today since I have a full day.  I probably should have started with a half day or a lighter day but unfortunately, I didn’t plan it that way.

One part of this is my energy.  With my sense of smell being off, I just don’t have a big appetite and not everything tastes right.  I ate bread the other day that just tasted off which is weird because it’s bread.  It’s as basic as it comes.  I just didn’t enjoy it.  So, I’m having a hard time consuming enough to give me the energy I need.

When I went into the office, I went in through the side/private entrance so I could go right back into a treatment room.  That privacy door is nice so you don’t have to see a bunch of other people in the waiting room. The nurses came in and started my intake.  They quickly started the process of removing the cast which simply involved using some type of solution and rocking the cast back and forth until it came off.   There was no pain whatsoever.  It felt so good to have it off but I knew the next step was seeing it which was nerve-wracking. They handed me the mirror and the first thing that came to mind was that I just looked different.  It was just unusual to see the change.  However, as I continued to look, I realized how much I loved the change.  There was a lot of swelling and parts of my nose actually felt bigger than my pre-surgical nose.  I could see where Dr. Quatela made changes and I got a glimpse into what to expect and I couldn’t be more excited. This gave me a huge sense of relief that I did the right thing and that I will get the result I was hoping to achieve.

I sent pictures to some of my friends and family and everyone thought that it already looked amazing.  It was reassuring that everyone was just as excited as I was.

After my appointment, I went up to the spa and had my camouflage makeup appointment. They use Jane Iredale corrective colors and I couldn’t believe how well it hid my bruising.  My bruising isn’t terrible but the bruises that are there are very dark.  It was hard for me to cover up with my regular makeup from home.  They recommend applying a powder, then the concealer and then more makeup. Typically, you never apply powder first but in this case you do. I strongly encourage getting this makeup palette.  It was a life saver for me.

Work was tough in the sense that I didn’t have a ton of energy and I had a lot of work today.  I just felt a little run down.  My co-workers were all amazing. Some of them knew what I did and were very supportive and happy for me.  The ones that I didn’t tell didn’t notice any difference (or at least they didn’t mention it to me). I honestly don’t think it’s that noticeable of a change at this point for anyone to pinpoint what I did.

Overall, today has been a good day.  I’m just pretty spent and definitely can sense that my body is tired.  It’s the most activity I have had since surgery so I guess it is to be expected.  It feels nice to be back to my normal routine rather than laying around the house all day.

Day 8:

I’m not going to bore you with too many details but instead just a few things I have learned from this process.

First, I didn’t use my saline spray at work yesterday and I was very congested by the end of the day because of it.  I used it hourly today and it made a HUGE difference in my ability to breath.  I can’t stress this enough.

Second, I used Arnica gel last night and I swear it helped immensely. I applied a large glob on the bruised area instead of the thin layer I was applying. I will continue to do this at nighttime because I think it is speeding everything along.

My sense of smell is starting to come back but in an unusual way.  I can’t eat food that is spicy or that is very flavorful because my senses almost can’t handle it. It’s very hard to describe but I have found that bland foods are still my go-to.  I’ve also been eating lots of little meals throughout the day and that has helped with my energy levels.  I don’t feel nearly as tired and sluggish.

Dr. Quatela told me that I could switch to Advil.  That has helped with any discomfort I’ve had as I haven’t used pain pills in a while. My swelling has also increased noticeably now that the cast is off.  I can feel the pressure in my face.  It’s not painful but I’m certainly aware of it especially as the day progresses.

Besides that, all is well.  I feel much better today and I feel like I have turned a corner in my recovery.  The hardest part is behind me and now it’s just getting back into the swing of everything.  I couldn’t be happier!

Part I

Part II

Part III

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

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