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My Beak and Me

We all know that feeling of dread, when it’s less than 6 weeks to your holidays and you have just ordered a stuffed crust Dominos with two sides for yourself. You’re sat there thinking everyone is going to see me in a bikini and I’m nowhere near in the best shape of my life that I promised myself I would be in when I booked this god damn holiday. You want to be able to rock the 15 new bikinis you've purchased and not have to buy baggy cover-ups. So you make sure your gym gear and trainers are out, you text your gym buddy and book yourself in for the early spinning class as Operation Holiday Bod is now in progress (after you’ve eaten your pizza obvs).

December 6th, 2019 |Patient Stories

Well what if you couldn’t make that change so easily? What if you couldn't hide the thing you were unhappy about? What if it wouldn’t change if you put down the carbs and went for a run? What if the thing you were unhappy about was on your face and a permanent feature in your life - the first thing someone sees when they meet you? What if you didn’t like your nose?

Welcome to my world! I basically refer to my nose as my beak because it somewhat resembles that of a toucan - the hook-like nature it has.

My names Amy, I am a 20-something-year-old; a pretty outgoing and confident Geordie lass (and no, not the type of 'outgoing' you've witnessed on Geordie Shore) but the social type. Plenty of friends, a good job, great family but I have the side profile of a caricature.

I can’t seem to remember my nose always looking like this. A few years back I discovered other food groups that weren’t just beige in colour or covered in sugar and that I liked to run. Shedding a few pounds was great but this resulted in me having a more prominent nose. Strange I know, but apparently your nose does change when you lose or gain weight. All of this resulted in the hatred of my side profile. It's common knowledge that I am unhappy with my side profile, as it’s often discussed as a family. We don’t 100% know where it has come from or who is to blame in the family but my mam seems to think it’s similar to my great Grandma. She passed when I was really little so I am sure she won’t be offended that I don't like it. I even have a twin (he’s a boy) and his nose is nothing like mine. My friends know of my insecurities when it comes to my nose too. As much as I enjoy a selfie (front facing only) and I don’t mind my picture being taken, if anyone tries to take a picture of me from the side...it’s safe to say you will lose your camera and possibly a limb.

I am fast approaching the later stages of my 20’s, dare I say almost 30 (although I hate to admit it), and I just think, "I can’t suffer my remaining 20’s with a nose I hate and full well have the option to change with a common rhinoplasty procedure". Friends and family aren’t convinced I need it because I give off a confident bravado. But that’s on the outside and I just think you should do what makes you happy on the inside, as long as it’s for you. Plus, I spend a fortune on large sunglasses as it makes my nose look smaller when I have them on – I live in the north east of England, there isn’t a lot of call for sunnies up here so think of the money I'll save!

It’s my friend’s wedding in October 2018 and the thought of all those wedding pictures that they try and take when you’re not aware scares the hell out of me. So it’s exciting to think I will have a profile I can be proud of in time to be her braidsmaid.

But what happens now?

Well I already met my surgeon; he’s an Italian dream of a gentleman! So friendly and informative; he really understood what I was saying (both my weird descriptions and strong Geordie accent can often prove a language barrier in life). I'd imagine in his former life he was the guy that made those unbelievable Italian sculptures that you see in museums - with their abs, chiseled cheek bones and perfect noses. Anyway, he has agreed to perform and open septo rhinoplasty on me.

“The surgeon makes a small incision in the columella between the nostrils and then makes additional incisions inside the nose.”

The less I know about what he is doing when I’m asleep the better. All the reassurance I need is that he can achieve the sort of result I am after and I know my aftercare with MYA will be spot on (lots of my friends have had procedures with MYA). Like anything when it comes to your face you think, OMG what if I hate it? I've actually done enough research over the years to know I probably will hate it at first and that is normal. I’m going to be swollen for a while, potentially have bruising and everyone heals at different rates so I just need to be patient. (It can take up to a year to full settle into its final result).

So why am I telling you all of this? Well, because I want you to come on this exciting, scary and slightly strange journey with me. Follow me on Instagram to see me pre- op to op day to the cast days, my big reveal and MYA’s post-op care. Track my recovery every step of the way because I want your support and advice!

>>Click Here to follow my Instagram Journey<<

That 3-days-until-my-procedure FREAK OUT!

Yup I am in that zone. If you haven’t had a cosmetic surgery procedure or you are not at this point in your journey, the only way I can describe it is somewhere in between the first few days of your period. It's when you're emotional, have mini freak outs and love/hate life all at the same time. It could probably also be like preparing to give birth – not that I can relate to that but from how my friends act, I’m assuming so. It’s a few days before my op day and  I’ve just received my admission time and everything suddenly feels real. Like this is happening and I am actually willingly going to let a stranger put me to sleep and let another stranger cut my face open, making me look swollen, rank and bruised. All to hopefully achieve the nose I have always wanted….(can you tell I am freaking out! )

This point is also the point where everyone asks the same question “are you nervous?”. Well actually I wasn’t until you asked! “Are you sure you want it done? What if you don’t like it?”. Thanks for your input Susan but I have thought this through and it’s not like I decided this yesterday (as I hold my inner aggression in and smile politely). I know people are just trying to be nice and make conversation about my procedure because I am so open about it and maybe people just don’t know what the official etiquette is when taking to someone that is about to have a cosmetic surgery procedure. Saying that, I don’t really know the etiquette either; I suppose you don’t want to say “ OMG you really do need it”  but then again you don’t want to say “what are you having that for you don’t need it. It's personal choice and anyone but you won't know the full reasons behind it.

So just to add to my freak out stage, I have agreed that MYA and you get to join me on my procedure day live (yes I know it sounds crazy). It’s all well and good reading someone’s story and seeing pictures (which have been a massive help to me) but what if we took it one step further?  Well we have decided to share everything on our Snapchat story @myacosmetic and our Instagram story @myacosmeticsurgery. My op day is Tuesday 25th at the London MYA hospital where I will arrive for 7:30am and from there on out you will be my audience. I am apologising now for the state of my makeup-free face and anything I say due to pre-procedure nerves and post-anaesthetic mumbo jumbo. In the words of MYA “It will be an emotional but educational journey and a unique insight into the world of cosmetic surgery”. Ps. I don’t think I will be able to watch it back after but who knows?

The Day Before

Thank god for my boyfriend! It’s the evening before my procedure and he's so lush for taking time off work to drive me to London tonight. My admission time is at 7:30 am and I would have been crazy stressful getting to London for that time from Newcastle. He sourced and booked a hotel near the hospital with parking so it was perfect (London is crazy expensive but in the grand scheme of things it’s worth it to limit the stress). So I finish work the day before and call in on my friend Nikki at her salon NKbeauty (she opened for me) to help calm my nerves by fixing my brows pre procedure. Imagine no makeup for a few weeks - you at least want a nice brow! She even gave me a cute unicorn pjs pre-op prezzie too. I then headed home to collect my bags and head down to London – with my final supper being an obligatory McDonalds as it’s kind of a must for any long journey.

At this point your better half is supposed to keep you calm but I think he is ready for an emotional breakdown whereas I am just taking Snapchat selfies trying to get him into the new cat filter ( he wasn’t having any of it). So at this point I’m fine, excited just ready to get some beauty sleep.

We arrived in London a little after midnight (I had to stop eating or drinking by this point which was fine) got to room and I was out for the count! I was that tired and knew I had to be up in a few hours so there was no time to have a sleepless night.

The Day Of!

As soon as my alarm went off at 6 am that was it - full panic and freak out ensued. We got up early as it was a 10 min walk to the hospital but I didn’t want to be rushing and wanted a slow walk but I was still getting all hot and bothered putting my stuff together. Google Maps started playing up and I thought I was going to lose it. It was so weird as if every bit of anxiety was hitting me all at once. As soon as we made it to the hospital, I gave myself 5 mins outside just to calm myself as there's nothing worse than walking into something up a height. The hospital surroundings are beautiful and it was a chilly crisp bright morning so it was just nice to cool and take a breath.

Well this was when you joined me! LIVE!! I knew what I was getting into given my job and the fact that I had wanted to do it and share this full journey with you. At 7:30 am with no makeup live to MYA took me (and especially my boyfriend) sideways who hadn’t had a coffee and was more nervous that I have ever seen anyone (I think he just cares about me and fact I was having an op). I was fine after I got into the swing of things and Pamina who filmed is a close friend as well as a colleague so it was like having a friend in the room. She's the sort of friend that isn’t scared to take ugly pics of you and post them online. We initially sat in the huge MYA waiting area at the MYA clinic/Hospital in London where other ladies were stat waiting too. I had an idea I was first on the list but I was called up by one of the ward nurses really quick.

Then I was in my beautiful room over looking Fitzroy square. The whole thing flew past me and I didn’t really have time to worry about anything. Although it’s hard to wee for a pregnancy test when you are being live streamed....it was thankfully negative, much to mine and my new bf’s relief.

Once I got into my paper pants (one size fits all) and gown, I was seen by the anaesthetist, nurses and then Dr Andrea who took some pre op photos of his own. Just a heads up, don’t ask to look at them as you won’t look great and I looked like Gollum after a night out.

Then next thing I know it’s off into the lift for my op. It sounds strange but the room where they put you to sleep was so nice, in my head I thought it would be scary but it was really calming. It was cool (I am always hot) so it made me feel comfortable hopping onto the bed where the anaesthetist (who was distractedly attractive - in a man of power and knowledge kind of way) started his magic. I didn’t feel a thing. However, I was later informed that I was chatty Annie taking my mask off to ask the names of the staff in the room.

Roll on a few hours later and I am back in my room wrapped up feeling like I have the worst cold and struggling to keep me eyes open I felt that tired. It's so strange when after an operation you have no sense of time or where you are - just wanted to sleep. I didn’t have any real pain that I can remember, I remember finding it weird to swallow and just wanted to sleep. I don’t even remember Pamina filming me or my little “I’m fine speech for Snapchat”.

A few hours had past and my bf was back in the room. I remember being sick a couple of times which was caused by the anaesthetic and the blood I had swallowed during the op. I knew I would be sick as I was after my last operations. I was exactly the same even with the anti-sickness they supplied. But the funniest thing was my bf went to pass me a tray to be sick in and as he picked one up, I had already been sick in and swilled himself and half the room – I was creased but karma soon kicked in as laughing isn’t fun with stitches in your nose.

I spent the night in hospital and was regularly woken up for my blood pressure and asked if I needed anything or if I was hungry. It was lush; I felt so well looked after. I thought I would be starving as I normally eat like a pig and am highly addicted to sugar but I couldn’t think of anything worse as I just wanted to sleep. That being said, I did manage some toast for breakfast but it had to be cut into tiny bits as it was hard to chew. You have a plastic cast across your nose and another dressing under your nostrils that I would describe as tissue and tape to catch any drips that covers your top lip. Straws are therefore a Godsend and drinking out of a glass just wouldn’t slide.

I left the hospital looking rather battered as my black eyes had started to form about 9.30 am for my long journey back to Newcastle. Word of advice if you are traveling any distance in a car, get yourself a v-pillow (those pregnancy pillow things) it was the best thing.

Day by Day

Below are my brief descriptions of life for the first week following my procedure. Everyone is different so this is my personal experience:

Day 1 – I am one puffy, sick, black-eyed panda! Sleep was my friend and food was not.

Day 2  – I am one sickly panda. Waved bye bye to my rotten painkillers and the relief of packing being removed was the best. People say it’s the worst part but I disagree unless my nurse has the hands of God – shout out to Louise in Newcastle.

Day 3 – I am the post-op painkiller Pro - two every 4 hours and a thousand episodes of the Kardashians. I was still propped up in bed.

Day 4 – I am a spaced out hamster. The bruising had decided to venture south from my eyes to my cheeks and took the puffiness with it. Living off ice-lollies and apple juice.

Day 5 – I continue to sound like I am underwater and still haven't really got my appetite back. Also don’t be alarmed by the stuff dripping out of your nose, it's normal even if it is highly irritating.

Day 6 – You start getting visitors and talking. Trying to smile causes more drippage but you feel more human after a hair wash.

Day 7 – See you later cast/split - it’s been emotional. Not going to lie, I was way more scared having this off and my first lot of stitches out than the op but it was a breeze. Not the most comfortable but not bad.

Day 7 evening – I am an emotional mess!!! No one tells you this part until you speak to others that have also had their nose done. I am happy with my nose and fully prepared that I have a long way to go but for some reason you feel disconnected in your mind - nothing to do with your physical appearance. I was crying at everything, blubbering at the TV and I think it was the adverts - just a weird sense of anxiety for no reason (apparently normal). I think it’s the 'not feeling yourself' thing: unable to gym (this calms me) unable to socialise, talk normal, breathe normal and look normal. It was taking its toll on my mindset but it’s a case of trying to talk some sense into yourself or talk to others. This is where my insta rhino girls really helped me and friends I know who have also had the op (stay sane and talk to someone).

Day 8 – Your safety blanket is gone and now you just have a puffy, greasy but dry face that you still can’t wash properly or put makeup on. Fun. But you have passed the 1 week mark and you are feeling positive.

Day 9 – I’m like that kid you see that is covered in snot that sits in the corner. My nose is loving to drip but I just want to keep it clean but I can't think of anything worse than touching my nose (infection and fear) so I let it drip. Also remaining stitches look like nose hair – you just need to live with it for now.

Day 10 – I am slowly seeing my cheek bones (I think). Profile looks great, super swollen still but getting some lovely feedback from posting before and after pictures already. Roll on the next lot of sticthes being removed and putting makeup on (not yet obvs).

So stay tuned, I'm going to be writing more blogs and obviously keep updating my Insta journey so make sure you follow that! What do you think of the new nose??

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