December 10, 2007-January 1, 2008
My nose did not feel a part of my face. When I smiled, the skin wrinkling over the bridge of my nose felt foreign and grotesque. I felt the same foreignness where my nose attached under the nostrils, and at the sides. Later, I would read, in the surgery report, that Dr. S. had had my nose detached beneath the skin during the surgery: “An osseous [boney]-cartilaginous incision with the nose attached to the face was done…” I now had pain on the nose bones and the bones under my eyes. My face had been drastically changed by this. I looked fifteen years older. Some of the structure of my face had been removed, causing my skin to sag. I now had eye bags, jowls, and wrinkles. At fifty-five, I had looked forty. Now I looked old. And sick.
The pain was excruciating. I paced around my apartment, sobbing, and pounding a fist into a palm. I researched assisted suicide on the Internet. I did not have the strength to live like this indefinitely.
In late December, I began having trouble with my eyes. I am an avid reader and writer. Suddenly, I could not read comfortably. I felt stabbing pains in the backs of my eyes. I could feel the two round eyeballs in my head, aching and throbbing. I was unable to read the print in a book, and everything appeared dim. I put cucumber slices over my eyes and rested them frequently.
My eyes became sunken and dark. The irises drooped. In my eyes, I looked like I was dying. I was so fatigued, I could barely function. The antibiotic was done, and blood and infection kept coming out of my nose. I did not have another appointment with Dr. F. until late January, weeks away.