What a transformation – the nose looked like a nose; it was straighter and built up like how a real nose looks. Mr Rowe-Jones really did under promise but OVER delivered…
Sometime in my early years (around 1 and a half years old) I was put up for fostering. By the age of 6, I had been in 5 foster homes & 2 children’s homes. In one of the earlier foster homes I contracted impetigo around my nose & had been beaten around the head which gave me ‘cauliflower’ ears.
Back in the late sixties/early seventies the social services were a lot more relaxed than they are today, so the impetigo went unnoticed by the social services and untreated, in turn destroying the septum. I met my “parents to be” by this time, who decided to do something about the way my nose looked and its function. By aged 8, I had 4 operations, but still could not breathe that well through the nose. All throughout the school years I was taunted and bullied. So much so, that I left school at 15 with no qualifications. I became very self-conscious, withdrawn & wouldn’t go out.
In 2009 I went to the GP for an annual check-up. The GP on duty was new to the practice. We started chatting about my history & they asked if I wanted to do something with my nose, as they could see that it was bothering me. They took photos (which was difficult for me to accept, as never liked photos being taken).
The first step
After a few months, I had a letter inviting me to see a consultant. This consultant asked loads of questions & inspected my nose inside out. Over the next few months I saw a psychiatrist (to see if this would be done for the right reasons) and 2 different consultants (both of which would not take on the work) so I was then referred to Mr Rowe-Jones.
I eventually saw Mr Rowe-Jones. Right from the start you could see he had compassion and a positive attitude that he could do something for me. What pleased me the most was the fact he did not promise the world, just he would do the best he can with what he had to work with, and explained what the procedure involved. By now I was overwhelmed that someone would and could do something to help me. We did have to wait sometime for the operation date, as it would take a fair few hours to complete. I think they had to book the theatre for most of the day.
As the septum (a skin graft was taken from my arm to build the septum in early 70’s the first op’s) would need to be cut to access the main area to be worked on, there could be a chance that it would not retake and die, so he saved some of the cartilage from my rib that he used to build up the inside the nose. This was/is stored just under the skin on the side of my head. “Genius”, although it didn’t need to be used, as the septum did take.
After the procedure, I had little to no pain in the nose, but did have a fair amount in the rib where the cartilage was taken, although it did last too long. I was given drops to put in the nose and I followed all the direction that he gave me to the letter. I had a splint covering the nose for a few weeks and within a short time I could breathe through the nose. Finally the splint and stitches were out. I took a look in the mirror. (Really don’t like mirrors, reminds me of the past) I cried with joy! WOW – what a transformation. The nose looked like a nose; it was straighter and built up like how a real nose looks. Mr Rowe-Jones really did under promise but OVER delivered.
Over the next 18 months we had a few follow up appointments. During this time we looked at one of my ears to see if this could be pinned back. As that ear had so much trauma, it is very thick because the cartilage had swollen so much, which made it poke out a long way. I would wake up in the morning with pain in the ear, this was because the ear would bend forward as I turned over in my sleep. Unfortunately Mr Rowe-Jones was unable to perform that operation, but one of his registrars completed that op. Again I was more than pleased with the results. (The whole of his team are great).
After another meeting with Mr Rowe-Jones, he decided that he could improve the airflow in the right nasal passage further and this was 18 months after the initial op. This went ahead with great results. He will now perform one more operation to the ear to re-sculpt and reduce the swelling of the cartilage.
You might ask “How has he changed my life”?
- Breathe easier
- Keener smell
- Healthier teeth
- Stopped and stayed smoke free
The benefits far outweigh the procedures and a little discomfort.
I had to learn how to breathe through my nose, with the added benefit of being able to smell more (which I found very strange at first). This in turn can make you breathe deeper & slower, therefore relax more. When meeting people for the first time, you tend to look at the face first. Since the op I don’t have people (big or small) staring at me, making inappropriate comments or making fun. (Most people won’t know how debilitating this can be.) I’m not afraid to go out, mix with new people and hold my head up high. I have a much more positive outlook on the world outside my home.
Also, believe it or not, my teeth are much healthier. I’m able to brush them and breathe through my nose at the same time (try holding your breath and brush for 2+ minutes).
In order to have these operations, I had to stop smoking, as smoking would have reduced or even stopped the healing process. Although nothing else had worked before, the importance of these ops to me, gave me the willpower to give up and I’ve stayed smoked free to date.
If you are in any doubt, talk to him, listen and take note. He will advise you the best cause of action. He might not be a miracle worker, but definitely the next best thing.
I will be forever grateful to Mr Rowe-Jones, who gave me my life back!