When I was about 16-years-old, I broke my jaw quite badly. Ever since then I’ve had a very lopsided smile. It’s the ‘thing’ that I always see in photos, it’s the trait that I wish wasn’t there.
Just before my wedding, I decided to see a plastic surgeon on the advice of a friend. I knew I didn’t want anything drastic done but I was very self conscious about my smile and didn’t want to spend the rest of my life looking back on wedding photos of myself that I hated.
I made an appointment with a well known cosmetic surgeon and went to discuss what my options were.
Looking at my face, it was clear that she could see immediately what I was talking about. In one way this made me feel like I had a valid reason for making the appointment and in another way, it made me wonder if my issue was worse than I thought. I put my insecurities aside and listened as she explained that a lip plumper may be the answer to making my smile seem a little more even.
She walked me through the risks and I nodded along in the way that you do when you know you should listen but think, "the risk is so small, I'll be fine". I was wrong. (Post continues after gallery.)
The thing that stands out the most for me was how much those things friggin' hurt. I have a pretty high pain tolerance but the tears rolled down my cheeks as she worked her needle up through my lips and into the right spot. All I wanted was for it to stop, it was such an intense sting that it still makes me cringe.
It was over soon though and I walked out of her office sheepily to my car, hoping that I didn't run into anyone I knew. I was already a little bit swollen from, you know, having a needle shoved under my skin but I was assured all minor swelling was completely normal and nothing that I should be concerned about.
I was told to spend the night massaging the area to prevent lumps and so, thats what I did. I felt my lips grow hot and swollen over the course of the next few hours but I was told that this was a normal reaction and that all would soon settle down.
I watched in horror as my lips began to rival Lisa Rinna's after a smack to the face. They were huge. They hurt and they were getting worse. I contacted the doctor several times and although she played down my condition she finally requested that I sent a picture of my lips to her phone.
Within minutes she called me back. "I'm really sorry but I think you're having a reaction to the product. You need to go to the hospital," she replied.
My husband to be happened to be away that weekend so, ice pack in hand, I took myself to the local E.R. to explain myself. I was so humiliated but more than anything, I just wanted the pain and swelling to stop. I spent several hours hooked up to some hard core antihistamine and eventually, I started to look like a very sore and sorry version of myself again.
I'm sure the nurses had a good laugh when I told them the reason for my presentation to emergency but they didn't let on. Instead, one of the nurses told me that a reaction like mine was not uncommon. With more and more people trying out a little cosmetic surgery, hospital waiting rooms are filling up with those who perhaps shouldn't have.
I was lucky, the procedure I had was temporary and went away with plenty of time before my wedding. My photos turned out fine, crooked smile and all and I've promised myself that I'll never try any form of plastic surgery again.