To begin my week of personal stories I am going to start with the tale that saw me create The Plastic Diaries beauty blog. Many of you probably wouldn’t realise that’s where this blog started and that the name “The Plastic Diaries” was chosen because I created the blog as a way to keep a diary of my experience with plastic surgery. I also think I may have been watching The Princess Diaries at the time and it seemed a cute play on a classic chick flick ….. hence, The Plastic Diaries.

A Nose Job …. Why?

When I started this blog, back in June 2008, I had only imagined it would be seen by a few close friends and family, if that. Like most bloggers, I started the blog for myself. I wanted to record a journey and have it on file so I could look back at it in the future. Unfortunately, my “blogging” skills back then weren’t very good so I don’t think I did a good job at explaining the back story. Hopefully I can do that better for you today.

I had always been a self-conscious child. I was chubby, I was short, I hated sport, I had big eyes and big cheeks. I was very dark skinned (yay, 1 win!) but I was NOT the cutest kid in my opinion. I grew to be a chubby pre-teen and then an even chubbier teenager. My body was definitely something that annoyed me but it was not my biggest concern. In my eyes, my nose was target number one. It was hideous. I hated it. When I looked in a mirror or any glass with a strong enough reflection, I would just stare at my nose. I would spend hours staring in the mirror trying to work out how I could position my face in photos so that my nose didn’t look so ugly. I never quite worked it out so whenever I look back at photos from before my rhinoplasty I just notice that wonky thing in the middle of my face.

I have always believed that if you don’t like something, change it, and it was time to apply that theory to my nose.

Not a great photo but it highlights how wonky my nose really was.

Making The Decision

In 2006 I started to really voice my disapproval of my nose. I had was soon to be my 20th birthday and I didn’t want to be one of those woman who wait until they are submitted to Extreme Makeover before something is done. I had known since I could walk that my mother had been through a rhinoplasty procedure, and even though her doctor didn’t do a great job she was supportive of my decision to take some action. It was then that I really made my decision to start researching rhinoplasty.

I am the sort of person who likes to know as much about something as possible. I like to call it being an informed consumer. I will ask a million questions before ordering a meal I have never had before, so you can imagine the amount of questions I had about rhinoplasty. I started by Googling ‘rhinoplasty’ and looking up as many reference sites as I could. I tried to find real stories of people who had actually had the surgery. I wanted a real life account of the process, not just a 2 sentence testimonial on how someone was glad they had the surgery. I looked up illustrations and diagrams of the procedure, and that helped me understand a lot. I was able to compile a list of my top 50 questions. Everything from how long the healing process would take through to when I could dye my hair again? To call me anal would be an understatement.

My handy question sheet

Then I moved on to looking up doctors who specialised in rhinoplasty, mostly using the ASPS and CPSA websites because I wanted someone who was completely accredited and trustworthy. I compiled an Excel document of the doctors I wanted to book a consult with. There were 16.

I love making spreadsheets

Picking The Doctor

Working through my hit list of plastic surgeons, I booked in consults and started meeting them one by one. It was a painful and expensive process (most consults on average cost $250 each). It is hard to explain what I didn’t like about most of them, especially now as my memory is terrible, but I knew from the minute I walked into Dr Jeremy Hunt‘s office that he would be the surgeon for me. It was mostly a gut reaction but his answers put me at ease, he took the time to go through all 50 questions with me, and he was happy to factor in all my little nuances. Another reason I liked him was that he had lots of before and after shots of people who only needed minor refinement, like I was hoping for. When you have looked through 16 before/after galleries and all you see is big hook noses turned into petite straight noses than of course you are going to think they are a good surgeon, but truthfully it is the ones who can do the tiniest of changes that I was impressed by.

During the consult Dr Hunt took a few snaps of my face and sent me on my way with some information to read up on. This was August 2006 and my decision was made. An official quote came through to me within a couple of days and from there I booked in my surgery for a couple months later. I had just started a new job at Australia’s biggest radio network and I was excited to announce my latest purchase.

Pre-Op Rhinoplasty photos from 2006

Pre-Op Rhinoplasty photos from 2006

The Delay and Opinions

For the life of me I cannot remember what exactly happened at this time but I had to postpone my surgery. The $10k I was going to spend on my nose needed to be used elsewhere and before I knew it almost 2 years had passed before I could finally lock in my surgery again.

During those 2 years I did not stop talking about this procedure I was eventually going to have, and it became clear that everyone had a different opinion on plastic surgery. The majority of people thought I was insane and was wasting an obscene amount of money on something that would have no actual effect on my life. BUT, a small percentage of people often whispered back that they thought I was brave for doing it and for being so public about it. These were people who also wanted to change something about themselves but felt the judgement by others wouldn’t be worth it.

By August 2008 I was living in Melbourne, away from my hometown of Sydney and away from the plastic surgeon I had decided on. I made the decision to take a few weeks off work, return to Sydney and have the surgery. I also made the decision that for myself and perhaps those people who mentioned to me that they too were interested in plastic surgery, I was going to document the process online. I also liked the idea that there may be others in the future who will do the research I painstakingly did and they will come across my blog to see a real persons account of plastic surgery, just like I had hoped to find (but never did!).

Pre-Op Rhinoplasty photos 18 August 2008

Pre-Op Rhinoplasty photos 18 August 2008

Pre-Op Rhinoplasty photos 18 August 2008

The Surgery

It eventually rolled around to August 2008 and I was on my way to Sydney for my first plastic surgery procedure. You can see some of my raw emotion in my bad writing by following the posts starting from here. To sum it all up, I was nervous as hell leading up to it. I didn’t sleep the night before and the morning of the surgery I was feeling so sick with nervous I looked drugged. In fact, I had to drug myself with a few Valium’s just to get me in the door of the hospital. I wanted to run!

My final mug shot taken at the hospital, 19 Aug 2008

I was extremely nervous right up until they rolled me into the operating room, but I took one breathe of the gas mask and I was out like a light. What felt like a split second later a nurse was yelling at me to wake up (I hate that part!) and all I remember was seeing mom snapping her camera in my face, which I had instructed her to do to many times before I went in.

Before getting rolled into the operating room.

After I had just come out of surgery.

A close up of my face post-op before I was even awake.

Everything was a piece of cake after that. I spent the night in hospital just to make sure I didn’t fall flat on my face the first chance I got, then I was home and on bed rest for two weeks. As you will see in the following photos, I had no bruising or swelling, I was up and wanting to visit friends within a couple of days and I had no pain thanks to the pain meds.

For me, some complications came in the form of a sore back/neck because you HAVE to sleep on your back (which I hate), the pain medication left me with a bad tummy for a while but that is normal, and I discovered I was allergic to Nose Spray after my throat swelled shut on the first spray. Minor complications and in the grand scheme of things they were hardly memorable.

Home after surgery, 20 August 2008.

Close-up of my nose stitches.

As bad as my bruising got, 25 August 2008.

Aftermarth

After the surgery I had to return to Dr Hunt a couple of times to have stitches removed and a final check over. It was in that final check up I found out about my Skin Cancer but that will be the next story!

Stitches out on 26 August 2008.

After the two weeks of heal time were over, I was able to fly again so I went back to my regular life in Melbourne with a nose I was very happy with. I stopped writing on The Plastic Diaries for over a year before I looked at it again … but that is a story for another time. What I did learn was that I made a great decision to have my nose done. It has now been a few years and yes, I would like to get a little bit of a touch up but that is more than normal for rhinoplasty patients.

Plastic Surgery is addictive and I know very well that if I had the money I would probably resemble Barbie by now. A girl can dream!

What do you think of my Rhinoplasty story? Did you know that was how The Plastic Diaries started? Let me know by commenting below!

My nose a year later in 2009.

Asking Dr Hunt more questions after stitches were removed.

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