Guess what? I’ve had a nose job. I can honestly claim that I have had plastic surgery.
Before you go jumping to conclusions, it wasn’t an elective procedure. And those of you who actually know me, have probably never even known me with my “previous” nose. It’s not something that I usually tell people about, but it is kind of an interesting situation and it is part of my past. For some reason, I feel compelled to document the experience on here.
When I was 10-years-old, I was in Salt Lake City visiting my grandmother. She had a screened-in patio at the back of her house and on this particular day my brother and cousin were playing back there and I decided to go see what they were doing. I walked toward the door and I guess I must not have realized that the door between the house and the patio was closed. Because I ran into the door. A sliding glass door. And somehow I must have found the sweet spot (or I guess it would probably be the not-so-sweet spot) because when I hit the door, the glass shattered.
This is the point at which my memories become pretty fuzzy and I have to rely on what others have told me. I’m pretty sure I screamed. My mother looked at me and then immediately started yelling for my dad while she ran to grab some towels. My dad was upstairs brushing his teeth and when he came out I think he muttered, “Oh shit…” and ran back upstairs to get some shoes. A towel was smashed on my face and one on my arm. I do know that my brother and cousin were on the other side of the now-broken door from me, but I don’t know if they’ve blocked any visuals of this experience out of their memories. I would if I had witnessed this event.
I was hustled into our truck. I’m not sure why we had a truck there instead of a car, but we did, so my mom, dad and I squished into the cab of the truck and proceeded to the nearest hospital. We got to the hospital; a nurse gave me a shot of Demerol in my thigh and left my parents with me, each of them holding a towel. Finally a doctor came and peeled the towel from my face back and folded it back down and said, “We can’t help you here.” After a few phone calls were made, it was determined that we needed to go to a different hospital on the other side of town where they had a plastic surgeon that could help me.
So we got back into the truck. Looking back on this it seems incredibly odd to send some people with a bleeding kid all over town, but I wasn’t aware of a whole lot at this point. I do remember this next thing pretty vividly though… as we were driving I threw up all over my mom. Sorry Mom!
We got to the second hospital and were taken in to see the plastic surgeon. My mom said he was very calm and collected which helped soothe her nerves. The first order of business was my arm. When the glass came down, it cut an artery in my left arm. If the towel was removed, my arm would spurt blood. The surgeon was a little irritated that the first hospital hadn’t at least taken care of that problem. The wound was cauterized and sewn shut. The only remnant of this injury is a big nasty scar on my forearm.
Then it came time to look at my nose. The glass really did a number on this one, basically it came down and cut my nose entirely off. It was just a flap of skin held on by a small sliver of skin on the left side. The doctor set about numbing my face. Again, most of this is fuzzy but I do remember receiving a shot right between my eyes, on the bridge of my nose. It hurt like hell.
My dad stayed with me the whole time I had my nose reattached; he even held my hand. I didn’t realize this at the time but I later learned that he was facing away from me throughout the procedure. Can’t say that I blame him, but it was very comforting to have him with me.
Over 200 stitches, inside and outside, my nose was reconstructed. The stitches on the inside dissolved as the wound healed and the stitches on the outside were removed a few weeks later. My nose was swollen and red for an entire year after the incident.
To this day, if I get too much sun, my nose burns, puffs up and gets really tight and painful. My right nostril is a little different from my left. The shape of my nose is slightly different from the shape it was before. Sometimes I get sad while looking at my nose, thinking it is ugly and awkward. But then I remember that I am damn lucky to even have a nose. Fortunately, most people don’t even notice the scar or the shape of my nose.
I’ve seen a few memes on the web where the question is posed, “Have you had plastic surgery?” Well, I have. And I am certainly glad that the field exists.
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