Saturday, February 18, 2012

Day 212 - Complications and Frustration

Hi all! It's been a while since my last post. I didn't plan on posting again until the seven month mark, which is this Tuesday, but I've just recently got some frustrating news.

I'm of course back at school still, and as mothers will, they miss their children dearly. My mother really wanted a photo of me, and after asking for a couple of weeks I finally got one to her. She showed it to my surgeon and he was not pleased.

Let me rewind a bit. About three weeks following my last surgery I started to get a really foul smell in my nose. It smelled like a mix of feet and dirty belly button (sorry I know it's really gross). After seeing online that this was very common following a rhinoplasty I didn't really let it concern me too much. In the event of an infection I smeared triple antibiotic ointment in my nose  every day, which seemed to help. Then I got a cold... of the sinus variety.

Fast forward to now. I still have a cold and I've been blowing my nose for weeks. Because of this I've thought nothing of the swelling and apparent re-widening of my nose. I figured that it was from the constant blowing and perhaps I'd snapped my alar cinch. Since there could be worse things in the world than an imperfect nose I decided to swallow my frustration and love what I have.

Then my doctor saw the photo, and asked my mother if it was for real. My nose should definitely NOT be as swollen as it is. It seems that I've had a reaction to one of the grafts they put in my nose and it's become infected. Mom's coming to my school today to drop off some antibiotics, but this isn't something that a little pill can really fix.

Dr A needs to get me into the OR again to remove the graft and fix anything that the infection may have ruined. Oh joy, more surgery. It isn't the end of the world by any means, but it's frustrating that after being in and out of surgery and recovery and appointments since January 2011, I really was hoping I was done with everything.

Oh well, life goes on.

Aside from the nose  woes, my jaw isn't too bad. Things have really solidified and I've noticed that my chin seems totally healed now. The only annoying bit is that crunching is returning even more to the left TMJ. It's still not a voluntary action, which is good, but it's still totally annoying. Time to get back to physical therapy. I haven't seen her since December because of the winter break. My bite is also horribly off again, braces are a must. Better get on that asap...

I'm sorry this post is so dreary and filled with bad news, but I hope that the rest of you are doing well. I've been keeping my eye on those of you in recovery and you look wonderful! Be well, everyone, you're the best!

Nose is clearly still very swollen :'(


  1. I am sorry to hear about these frustrating setbacks. I admire and respect your perseverance and your "rolling with the punches."

    If I recall, correctly, you mentioned that your surgeon is not a plastic surgeon, but an oral surgeon. In light of your current complications, I would urge you to get a second, maybe even a third opinion with an experienced board certified facial plastic surgeon. New York City should have a slew of impeccably qualified and experienced nasal surgeons (surgeons specializing in revision nasal surgery would be even better).

    I realize you have loyalty and trust with your current oral surgeon, and that the thought of treatment with a surgeon you don't know well, may
    be the last thing you want.

    All that said, the last thing you need is additional complications--if your doctor is not a a board certified facial plastic surgeon (an MD not a DDS--although there are oral surgeons who have dental and medical degrees (as my surgeon does), I would seriously consider transferring out of his surgical practice (although there is also a good chance that your surgeon did a great job, and that it is the infection that may be undermining what would have been an amazing result).

    Nora, you have been through so much, and you have been such a trooper. You deserve the absolutely best esthetic outcome possible....please don't let your loyalty to your current surgeon prevent you from seeking out the best revision nasal surgery specialist money can buy.

    I apologize for being such a busy body, and for putting in my unsolicited two cents. I have been following your blog for many months, and I have been so impressed with your honesty, steadfastness, and courage.

    Nora, I know from personal experience, that going through jaw surgery can be emotionally intense, and that ones relationship with ones surgeon can feel more intense than it does with other physicians and dentists.

    I know I grew very fond of my surgeon as I progressed from pre op to post op, and that at times I tended to put my surgeon on a pedestal. Fortunately, I have not needed to go under the knife again, but I know I worried (especially before surgery) about how my loyalty and affection for my surgeon might impact how I viewed the final surgical result. I also worried about ability to extricate myself from my surgeon's care, if the surgical result was disappointing. I am a trusting and loyal person, and I worried (before surgery) about these personal qualities clouding my judgement.

    Nora, thank you for reading this lengthy and unsolicited commentary. Will look forward to future blog updates from you.
    Take care,

  2. Julie,

    Unsolicited, yes, but certainly not unwelcome. Thankfully my surgeon is also qualified for "plastic" and cosmetic procedures. What's happening now is due to no fault of anyone - I'm simply allergic to the graft material (it seems to run in the family and is unsurprising as I am also allergic to dissolvable sutures).

    While in this case I'm comfortable continuing with my surgeon for this procedure, you bring up an excellent point that everyone should think about. Just because a surgeon is wonderful at one thing does not mean that they are wonderful for everything.

    Make sure that your surgeon is qualified for any other things you may want done. A trust relationship is built after something like orthognathic surgery, but as Julie stated it is important not to let this get in the way of making the best decision for your health and safety. If there is someone more qualified, go to them! Any surgeon worth their salt will recognize when they are less capable of something than another.

  3. You still look pretty great!