I knew by the age of nine that I wanted a nose job. When I shared my wish with my mother, she was horrified. She told me I was just going through my "awkward phase" and assured me that the rest of my face would eventually "catch up" with my nose. Oh, how I hoped she was right.
She was wrong. In fact, my nose continued to grow at what seemed like a much higher rate than the rest of me. I was extremely self-conscious about it, and the occasional taunts and comments from acquaintances as well as strangers did not help matters much. (My personal favorites were the back-handed compliments like "You're so pretty, I almost don't even notice your nose".)
At the ripe old age of eighteen, I got my first credit card, opened up the yellow pages, and called the plastic surgeon with the giant ad promising affordable rhinoplasty with financing available. Within a couple of months, I was on the operating table, drifting off into La-La land under the influence of "twilight sleep" IV sedation.
I woke up feeling incredibly nauseated and barely able to see from the swelling of my eyelids (a not-so-fun side effect of the breaking of one's nose). After my time in the recovery room, I was wheeled out into the outer lobby of the surgical center, where I promptly began to vomit blood---more than I knew I had, in fact. I've always wondered how many potential patients I scared off with that performance!
To be honest, I don't remember much about the pain involved in my recovery, as I was on some pretty powerful pain meds. The only true unpleasantness I recall was that awful feeling of being "stuffy" for about a week and a half.
Finally, the day came to get my first peek at my new nose. I was warned that post-op swelling would not allow me to see my final result just yet. In fact, I was more than a little surprised to hear that it could take up to one full year before all of the residual swelling was gone!
When my surgeon removed my splint and handed me a mirror, I was overjoyed. Even through my drug-induced haze and all the swelling, I could see the face I had always wanted to see. It was like my nose had been a distraction from all that was good about my face. Now the roadblock had been removed, and I truly felt beautiful!
Of course, having the rhinoplasty done did NOT erase all my self-doubt, nor did it launch a new career as a supermodel. Like many women, I still have my share of insecurities about my appearance. In fact, to this day every time I manage to improve anything about my looks, I tend to immediately find a new "flaw" to focus on.
Because of this, I am a nut when it comes to telling people that plastic surgery will not change your life, only your looks! However, having my nose done did have some pretty amazing fringe benefits for me:
- Being less self-conscious made me more fun to be around, and people started responding more positively to me.
- My increased confidence prompted me to start setting higher standards for the way I expected to be treated by others.
- Removing the "easy target" on my face seemed to help give me the courage to stand up for myself in just about any situation.
And now here I am with my 37 year old face and my 18 year old nose, passing on the benefit of my experience to all of you. And I can honestly say that I have never regretted trading in my old nose for a smaller, more refined version.
Have you had a positive experience with plastic surgery? If so, please help others by sharing your story.