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January 20, 2013 / Brittany Hendrick

I got a new nose, I got it good!

 

So I learned very quickly that working on the blog while laid up after nose surgery would not be happening! Yet the blog title had been on my mind for a while and I was anxious to get it out. It’s a play on The Damned song “New Rose”, which reminds me of Duff McKagan’s cover version on GnR’s The Spaghetti Incident? which reminds me that I neglected to continue my tale, which reminds me of nothing else… because I have no idea where I was going with it.

Of course, I know the end-end-end result I intended. But there were a couple tangents I had mapped out in my head, including the impetus for even writing, that are now lost. Not the first time it’s happened around here. Maybe I’ll revisit the story, maybe I won’t.

As suspected, recovery from surgery was hell, but not in the way I anticipated. Despite being sliced, peeled, prodded, shaved, straightened, stitched, splinted and set, my nose never once felt painful.

Goodness! What did you have done, Brittany?

Oh, you know. The usual things people have done when they’ve reached their out-of-pocket expenses on health insurance: septoplasty.

For years now, I’ve complained about not being able to breathe deeply and normally, and that my brain lacked oxygen, in turn diminishing my IQ to a modest 26. Sure enough, I had a deviated septum–on top of narrow nasal passages and over-compensating turbinates.

But that’s not all! The outside of my nose veered to the right slightly, with a bump (depending on which side you looked at). My nose was not broken, but it had taken a beating from my niece and nephews’ floppy baby heads and Levin spazzing in my face.

So, I underwent rhinoplasty, too.

Fundamentally, I never viewed my nose as a dysmorphic eyesore that held me back in life–or I would’ve rectified that 15 years ago. In fact, I required specific rules to ensure that I largely remain “myself”: do not make the bridge look scooped-out, and do not make the tip resemble that of a sow’s snout–I like the head-on view of my nose.

“Just don’t make me look stupid,” I told the doctor. I wasn’t aiming to overhaul my visage.

Choosing the right ENT involved two criteria: his rhinoplasty “style”  must reflect normal-looking noses, and he can’t ooze crazy. You know how some cosmetic surgeons have the crazy eyes that suggest they may be scalpel-happy? Yeah. Not my surgeon; he looks sane. Naturally, I revealed my unique Boolean system to him.

The doctor laughed like no doctor has ever laughed before. I think it’s the first time in history a doctor has laughed.

My decision to have septo-rhinoplasty (or is it rhino-septoplasty?) was made without hesitation. Horror stories of “what could go wrong” were effective deterrents in the past, when I lightly trod into research while still in my 20s. That and the fact that even deep-pocketed celebrities who can afford the best cosmetic surgeons in Hollywood still manage to end up with the mangled “bad nose job”–some of them look weird!

However, possibilities of permanent loss of smell, loss of sensation, screwed-up sinuses, neverending nosebleeds, the onset of snoring, and a generally fucked-up nose were non-issues this go-round. Maybe because I’m older, braver and… why not fix the outside in tandem with the inside!

Besides, people I know who have had a septoplasty say it’s the best thing they’ve ever done. I’m in agreement.

The hellish bits of the healing process were flaming-on-fire sinuses, 100% blockage forcing me to breathe through my mouth, non-existent senses of taste and smell, black-and-blue and swollen eyes, and immense agitation. The week went like this:

Check back in a year

So pretty! I mean–check back in a year.

Day 1: Jolly and able to breathe a little through nostrils. Anesthesia still in effect. Fun Fact #1: my last statement before going under was “Goodnight!” Fun Fact #2: while in post-op recovery, I am a lucid, alert and witty stand-up comedian.
Day 2: Minor irritation sets in when stuffiness consumes my head; appetite vanishes.
Day 3: Irritation escalates along with drug-talking. I tell my mom she “[isn’t] taking very good care of me.” Whoops.
Day 4: I’m ready to rip out/off everything and make a delusional medical decision to declare the healed results thus far “good enough.”
Day 5: I don’t care if I stop breathing and die in my sleep.
Day 6: Splint and cast removal = relief!

It’s only been three weeks since the surgery, so my nose looks nowhere near what it will finally settle into–it’ll take a year. Yet I’m extremely pleased with the progress so far. I have not experienced a single issue that would back up the horror stories. The tip is still numb and slightly turned-up (this is normal and will go down over time), the bridge is a tad black-and-blue, and the top and sides are only mildly swollen.

The worst part is that I cannot blow my nose yet, so… at times, it feels like I have shag carpeting in my nostrils. Also, my contact lenses weren’t being friendly with eyes, and my nose kept getting in the way, forcing me to wear my glasses. Since they cannot rest on the bridge, they are suspended by tape on my forehead for a few weeks. That’s a lot of “hat days” while in public.

The best part is that I can breathe again, feeling the air move freely into my sinuses! Mental clarity! Straight nose! No more odd air bubble noises while inhaling, no more obstructions, no more “trick nostril”. And I still look like myself, not like a Hollywood freak. Too bad I don’t have the Hollywood bank account. I’ll be paying on this for a year.

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2 Comments

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  1. Design and Polish Blog / Aug 16 2013 8:55 am

    haha oh my gosh, I don’t mean to laugh but you had me in stitches not literal. Happy recovery!

    Like

    • Brittany Hendrick / Aug 16 2013 4:46 pm

      Haha, good, I’m glad! I have a sense of humor about most things. Yes, recovery has been coming along well, thanks! I sleep much better now — only one episode of sleep paralysis this year, opposed to several each month.

      Like

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