I saw my surgeon on Friday. When I started this blog in May , I was sitting in this chair, typing on this keyboard with a nose cast, several dozen stitches inside the nose, a few on the base of my septum and a couple dozen behind my right ear. The stitches have been removed and my nose is much better, although a little sore and still too fat. My ear is freakishly sensitive. I didn't know before I agreed to the surgery that my ear would basically be removed and reattached to my head [exaggerating, but only a little].
The surgeon said he can't believe how beautiful my nasal anatomy is on the inside, and that due to the complexity of the surgery, swelling might not resolve entirely for 12 months. That means May of 2009. No family photos for the Christmas card this year.
I've always had a strong nose with a bulbous tip. Not my most attractive feature, but it was mine and I'd mostly accepted it. Mostly. Two years ago I was convinced the bulbous tip looked much larger than usual. To make this story short and blog readable, I wasn't imagining it. Turns out I had a long, fancy name for something like "hair lip" of the nose. My bulbous tip was growing and it was affecting my breathing. [Note to my friend T: Yes T, I was motivated because of aesthetics, but I had a legitimate medical condition. So there.]
I decided to have the nearly six-hour surgery. I wanted my nose to look softer, but not alter my basic appearance. I also wanted to sleep on more than my right side - the only side that allowed me to breathe.
Mother said, "Now you know... you must refer to this as a sinus surgery in front of the boys, or the entire school and neighborhood - the world really - will know you're having a nose job." She was right.
"Yea.Yea. You're right. Good thinking Mom."
She emphasized the importance of not using the words "nose" or "job" ever! while referring to this surgery in front of the boys. She's so smart, I thought. But, it wasn't really a sinus surgery...
While visiting the surgeon for pre-op, all of his nurses and surgery coordinator people kept referring to me as the "nasal surgery" patient. Perfect!
"Boys. Mom will be having a nasal surgery to help her breathe better next week. I might look bad, and I'll be in bed a few days, but I'll be just fine, so don't worry. Any questions?"
Oldest Boys asked, "Will they make that ball on the end of your nose smaller?"
The surgery went fine. [Reality: the most painful, nightmarish experience of my life.] Chris was a very good nurse, and the boys didn't seem phased. Toddler Child kept saying, "You hurt you nose? You hurt you ear?" A large piece of cartilage from my right ear was removed and grafted to my nostrils and septum - a detail that was greatly downplayed during consults.
Someday, when there's no fragility attached to the experience, I might post some photos. I call the initial post-op pictures the Nick Nolte mug shots. They're real pretty.
Most people who love me have pacified me with the term "nasal surgery". Except my friend T.
When Chris' grandparents were here only four weeks after my surgery - T called after the visit. "So. Did the grandparents know about your nose job? How did you hide it?"
I said, "It was a NASAL SURGERY. Yes, they knew... and I look fine, no hiding necessary."
I'm going to visit T soon in New York - I can't wait to see him. T can't wait to see my "nose job". This Dorothy surrenders.