Three years ago today, I was undergoing around 7 hours of surgery on my face. I don't remember much about that day, my last clear thoughts were of sitting in a chair and taking a pill to calm me down, but not a day has since gone by that I haven't thought of it. At the time, my Mother and I were totally convinced that we were doing the right thing and that it would be money well spent. We had confidence in Dr. Zukowski and believed that we had very realistic expectation so of how things would turn out. In short, it was a life changing event and for the better. Or so we thought.
Three years later, it remains the single biggest regret and mistake of my life. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about what a horrible mistake I made that sunny June afternoon. When Mom and I drove north to Chicago two days earlier, we were both a bit nervous but also pretty excited. I honestly had no illusions of greatness and to this day, I stand by my conviction that I had realistic expectations. I had viewed countless photographs of previous patients, talked to as many former patients as possible and done as much research as was humanly possible. I knew what I was getting into and what to expect.
Only what happened was as far from what I expected as could possibly be. Do I look different? Sure I do and if there has been one benefit it is that I do look younger, but the bad things have far outweighed the good. Three years out I'm still in a bit of pain, nothing severe, but a constant dull ached that reminds me of what happened. My nose drips continuously in the winter and stays clogged in the summer. I get nosebleeds for no apparent reason. My forehead feels tight and plastic. I still have damaged tissue lumps under my chin and jaw. The scar from my trachea shave looks horrible and it's almost impossible to smile.
As if that weren't enough, the whole point of the surgery was to make my face appear more feminine, something it hasn't done. When I look at pictures of some of his other patients, friends I have made online, I just want to cry as I don't understand what happened with me. Several of them are quite stunning and my results are in no way comparable to what they got.
It's all enough to make me wonder what the hell happened. By all accounts, the surgery went well and I made a pretty good recovery. Mom and I followed all of the post-surgery instructions and I've been back for several small touch ups and revisions. Still, for whatever reason, it just didn't work. I could live with that if that were the only concern, but the physical discomfort and pain have simply been too much to bear.
There isn't a day that goes by that I don't wish I could undo all of this, go back in time and not have this surgery. I so badly want my old face back, the sensation of being able to smile, move my skin and be free of pain. When I look in the mirror, all I want to do is smash it to pieces, so filled with rage to I become. I hate Dr. Z for what he did to me and I hate myself even more for what I did. There are often times when I wish that I had died on that operating table, so miserable has this all made me. Alas, I did survive and now I must live with what I have wrought.