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Belated Surgery Post

Posted by Anna Zine on February 19, 2013 at 5:20 PM Comments comments (2)




Last summer (summer 2012) I had my third facial reconstructive surgery. It occured one year after the previous, which was more major.

As I explained in the blog leading up to it, the point of the '12 procedure was to open my airways (in more simple terms) and adjust the shape of my nose one last time.


I expected to write long journals on the Cleft Cafe, recording my surgery experiences, but I faced huge technological issues, issues I did not resolve until quite recently.

So, here I am, planning to discuss what I remember about this past summer...






All in all, was this surgery worth it, I don't know.

As my doctor said, full recovery will take up to one year. But, as of now, six months or so later, I do not notice a difference. My nose breathing hardly improved; the collapse of my right nostril (as a result of two surgeries ago) is still (more or less) there. As for the size of my nose--which was supposed to decrease--I see it as it was before. [Then again, it may be one of those things where others notice a change but you don't.]

I told myself that this 2012 surgery would be the last I have on my face. I am sticking to that...The nose I currently have will be the nose that I will ALWAYS have.


From what I remember of the surgery itself, this is pretty much it:


· I was more nervous than I thought I was going to be.

· When I finally woke up, I cried. Apparently, this is normal haha.

· I spent the night. It was fairly restless, but the nurses were so so so amazing and helpful.

· It took a while to get out to the car; I felt nauseated and had to take rests.

· I did not have a full cast on my face like last time. Rather, it was a bandage on my shnocker.

· My dad took me to REI, where he ran into a friend. He introduced the man to me...I was in a housecoat with what looked like the result of a midnight gang fight haha.

· Recovery was much quicker than the previous.

· I ate loads of Popsicles!

· My mom was super worried about me (and others) bopping my nose...

· I went to the dog park with my (really dirty dirty) bandage and it got disgustingly sweaty underneath. Ugh!

And so on...


Here are some "before" photos I took:



During Recovery:


 Eyes/nose/sinus area swollen, fresh stitches, crusty nose, black eye...:(





Sorry for the bad quality of the photos...all were taken on a webcam!


Well, that's all for now, folks! I'm glad I could finally share this experience with you all!!


'Till next time!



Posted by Anna Zine on January 29, 2013 at 6:20 PM Comments comments (0)

GREAT evening, everyone!

I am very, very, very happy to announce that the site technical difficulty has been solved!

For anyone who is experiencing troubles with posting comments, entries, etc., check your internet browser. Apparently, my host site ( is not compatible with Google Chrome. Therefore issues, like not seeing a cursor when you want to type, pop up. Try switching to Mozilla Firefox.

Thank you for your patience. (**phew!**)

I really apologize for not posting (or interacting on here practically at all!). Now that the problem is over (*crossing my fingers*) I will be back up and running in no time.

(Semi-Creeping Picture of My Enthusiasm)

Lots of Love,


PS Welcome to all of our new members! Please, feel free to look around and chat often. (:

SO CUTE: Baby Bulldog with a Cleft Lip!

Posted by Anna Zine on September 17, 2012 at 1:55 AM Comments comments (0)

[Hi everyone!

Ever since my last post, I have been having a lot of technical troubles with my blogging. So, please hang in there while I figure things out! Then I will let you know about how my surgery went. Thank you for your patience!

While I am trying to solve the issue, here's a video to make you all smile!]

Off of YouTuber, MrEbos's, upload: 


"Elvis [a English Bulldog puppy] gives Patches a few choice words. Elvis was an "only puppy". He was born with a cleft lip and had a permanent sneer, hence the name Elvis. My wife bottle fed him until he was on solid food. He became a very strong, energetic, and physically active Bulldog.

We gave him to a veterinary technician who always wanted a white bulldog, and she had helped treat him from birth. Everybody won with Elvis. We were blessed to have him, his new family was thrilled to get him. What he lacked in physical perfection, he made up for in personality. As you can see." [:

You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.

Want to see more of Elvis?

Two Days, Then The Knife!

Posted by Anna Zine on August 27, 2012 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (1)

Good Afternoon, Everyone!

By now, you probably realize a few things:

1. I am really bad at updating this site,


2. I finally got around to some updating recently...

I accidently upgraded my site (don't ask me how that happened) and all of my formatting was lost. So, I started anew on creating the site; backgrounds, fonts, coloring, etc. And WHAH-LAH! here's the new and (I hope to God) improved Cleft Cafe! (*whew*) Yipee!

Since I last blogged, I'm sure a lot has happened. Honestly, though, I haven't thought of much.

Junior year ended (thank the goddesses), I quit my job (& went broke), got my first piece of Ceft Cafe fanmail, got a new haircut (astonishing!), went on a few camping and cabining trips, and the family of my dad's girlfriend moved in with us. I guess that's a bit, right?

Oh, and yes, I'm going UNDER THE KNIFE AGAIN...

In TWO days!!

AH! Lordy, lordy.

During the very beginning of this summer, I visited my plastic surgeon who did my last facial constrution surgery in 2011. The procedure had left me a non-deviated septum, a more even nose and lip, and a feminine shnoz....All amazing, spectacular miracles!

{Thank you so much, Dr. Mount & team at UW Children's Hospital!}

Unfortunately, though, my breathing did not improve for very long when my septum was straightened, because my right nostril ended up collapsing. It looks like I have an extremely thick nose-side.

For this reason, on Wednesday I will be given something like an "inner Breath-Right strip" made of cartillage inside of my nose. I will also be recieveing a smaller shnoz tip.

This time, I won't have to stay overnight in the hospital. No, this surgery is much more minor than the last.

I will, however, have to have that same bandage on my face for a week, which is coincidentally also the first week of school (both a blessing AND A CURSE).

My family seems worried about me, but there really isn't going to be anything life-threatening involved. My sister called me to tell me she's scared, and today my mother said it's making her all frazzled. As for my dad, he's keeping quiet about it.

Personally, I suppose I'm  a little nervous. I already have issues socializing at school, so I'm worried that missing the first week (when everyone is joined together again, and all the new students are introduced) will dampen (possibly ruin) my social life this year (or at least the first quarter).

And, of course, I have a little bit of panic inside my tummy about what I'm going to look like afterwards, and how my breathing will (or will not) improve. [I told myself this would be my last nose surgery, and then I should just have to accept my face.]

I have my trust in Dr. Mount, though...She's brilliant.

Are any of you planning on recieveing procedures soon?

I wish the best, if so.

Here are a few pictures I took today of my nose/lip after fully recovering from last year's surgery and before Wednesday's takes place:

Three Months Later...

Posted by Anna Zine on March 2, 2012 at 1:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Hi Everyone! I am so sorry for not being very active with my website for the last three months. 

Even though quite a few months have past, like usual, nothing very interesting has happened; I'm still in the same classes, still at my job, and so on. 

I suppose some things have happened, though not many. I have been working on making clay miniatures and thinking about selling them on, a wonderful site with equally wonderful things!

Also, I am working with a program at the Madison Children's Museum with an elderly group. We are creating sculptures...I LOVE it!


As for a surgery update, my healing is going slow but fairly well. Over six months have passed, I believe, yet my nostrils are still thick (a strange descriptive word...) and small. Breathing has not improved, but I hope that all it takes now is a little time before it does. I feel better about my face's symmetry now, though, which I had been very, very self-concious of.


I encourage you all to write to the site! I'd love to hear more about you.


I am hoping to update the site soon with at least new photos, if not new graphics.


Adios, my Cleft Cafe members! :)


Posted by Anna Zine on January 2, 2012 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Happy New Year, everyone! Like usual, sorry for the lack of blogging and such...I'm keeping busy!

I hope you all had a wonderful 2011 and an even better 2012. May the best days of your past be the worst days of your future. (:

My sister came and went for the holidays...I miss her! I am currently on winter break for school, which does not resume until a week from today, which is nice. I really like the down time, though I feel like I've still been buzzing around!

Christmas and New Years were family is so loving, generous, and great. I spent Christmas Eve (and Thanksgiving... which I dunno if I talked to you about....? It's been TOO long!) with my mom's side of the family. We had such a fun time eating, playing games (wooo-hoooo SCRABBLE!), laughing, and chatting.

Then on Christmas I spent my time at my Aunt's house on my dad's side of the family. It was nice seeing family, especially my cousins, who I have not seen in quite a while. We had a good time, like usual. Then my cousin, Kelsey, came back to WI with us...we had ourselves a triple sleepover! (: I LOVE spending quality time with the fam. 

On New Years Eve I got dressed up and went out to eat at Piasans (sp?). Then we celebrated with some New Years rituals, including burning hopes for the new year and eating symbolic treats. What a fun time, y'all!

As for New Years itself, I worked...which was actually nice because I got time and a half! Then I came home, took the doogies for a walk, and then ate dinner with my lovely father. We had peanut noodles w/tofu and a chocolate/mint pie (YUMMMM!!!) while watching the Marx Brothers. (: 

As for my inbetween holiday times, I read and finished a good book called "She's Come Undone" by Wally Lamb. I'm hoping to finish his other book ("I Know This Much Is True") soon. 

I also did some shopping, eating (of course...), hanging more w/loved ones (inc. Grandpa Zine and my uncle Dave who came up to WI, too), chillaxing, and so on.

I hope you all are enjoying/enjoyed the holidays...happy New Year!


Anna Z.



Past, Present, and Future

Posted by Anna Zine on November 13, 2011 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Good morning, everyone! A lot has happened since I last blogged (nearly a month ago!). Nothing too significant, but still enough to talk about. I thought I'd break everything up into three categories: my past, my present, and my future.

PAST: Happy Halloween! Halloween was really fun. I went on a haunted train ride, carved pumpkins, and handed out candy with my mom. I was (first) a mod woman from the 60s (because my other costume was not appropriate for handing out candy or for work). Then I was a victim from the horror movie "Prom Night". I had a lot of fun dressing up as this for school. I was worried, though, that if I got into a car crash on the way to school, I would look ridiculous to the outside world haha.

I started my new classes in school. They are fine. Nothing too great, nothing too horrible. I think my Ethnic Women's Study will be really interesting, though. (The other day we read an exerpt from a 1950s textbook on "How to be a Good Wife". It was insane to read those expectations for wives. No way those could pass in a textbook today!)

I also started my Hospice Care training (did I already talk about this?) classes. I decided on volunteering in the Doc Rock Cafe. I am looking forward to it! All I need now are my two TB tests.

Around the same time as my trainings, I worked at the Madison Children's Museum on the Dia de los Muertos. I created papel picado and led a workshop for families on how to do the same. It was pretty legit. Papel picado, though, is a million times harder than one would think. The tissue paper rips and does not fully cut through, not to mention the exact-o knife could slip right underneath you. My pieces were ripped and tattered haha. (Maybe I was not the best person to lead the workshop.....)

A few days ago I went out shopping with a friend. Afterwards we went to the grocery store and bought Milano Cookies and Juicy Juice. (:

Then yesterday I went for a hike with my dad and Julie (his gf). It was SO beautiful out! But we had no idea there would be snow up there, so my socks got soaked right through! (Wet socks are the worst. I understand why soldiers always keep a dry pair.) Then I went to sleep (at like 4:00) by accident. Thanks goodness I woke up in time to go out to the university's women's volleyball tournament. Ian's Pizza afterwards was a real treat, too.

Oh, also yesterday, my car official died. RIP, you curse of a car. All of the lights were on (oil, brake, check engine, battery, etc.), it would not even try to rev up, and the brake would not push down. GREAT. I don't have enough money for that car! I would have to work an extra job my whole life just to keep that thing running.

PRESENT: Right now I am blogging. That is all.

FUTURE: Today my mom and I are going to cook a full Thanksgiving meal just for the two of us. I can't wait! I am reaaaallllyyy into Thanksgiving. Nowadays I hardly spend any quality time with my mom, so this should be really groovy.

My school's Turkey Day is coming up soon. The entire school has a feast, does crafts, and participates in a talent show. In Pottery, I was joking that none of my talents are performable. (Like, take math. Who would want to see me solve an equation??) Then my teacher and my classmates suggested I recite pi as a background piece for when they dance on stage. I don't know if that will actually happen, but if it does, it'll be insane.

Talking about pottery class, we are making bowls (or cups) for Turkey Day. We will raffle them off. Yippie.

Oh! My sister is coming home in around 8 days or so. I am looking forward to seeing her. What I am most happy about is that she will be able to relax, which she hasn't done in quite a while.

So, la-ti-da and a fiddle-fum.

Take care and as always, thanks for coming to the site. :3

Workin' 9 to 5!

Posted by Anna Zine on October 21, 2011 at 5:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Workin' 9 to 5, what a way to make a livin'. 

Hola, Amigos. 'Tis I, Agnus Zeeno. 

I am in a Tutu eating (THE BEST) homemade chocolate pudding (with Annie's Bunny Grahams Chocolate) on this lovely fall afternoon. 

School is going better. I am getting to know people more and more each day and my classes are snawsnome. My favorite class is Puppet Theater, which was highly unexpected (I never liked performing in my life!). I LOVE it and LOVE the people in it! (Long story short, our play is about a murder in a theater. It incorportates fairy tales, a SVU parody, dark comedy, a re-inactment of "Thriller" by Michael Jackson, and lots of twists!)

Also, I just signed up for new classes for the upcoming quarter: (these are in no order) Math Workshop (Pre-Calc), General Chemistry 2, Mirrors of Discrimination, Clayworks, Ethnic Women Studies, and Reading/Writing Workshop. I am also taking an extra class every other Wednesday during lunch called Imagining Citizenship. So...I'm excited! Oh, and today was the last "community lunch" of the quarter. We had vegetarian chili and cheddar Indian Fry Bread...uh, hello! o:

Note: I wish I had plans for Halloween.

In other news, during my first interview (that I talked about last blog), I got the job! Toot toot! It is at a retail store on the west side of town. I cannot say much about it (for company reasons), but it is ok. I was not happy at first, but now I am fine with it (I get to meet some very interesting customers...they make my evening). I never realized how much WORK WORK is! I am seriously experiencing "the grass is always greener on the other side". But I am appreciative of it and am glad of the income...which is needed. (See below)

[My car is being a bum-hole. I love it, but it hates pocketbooks. I keep taking it back to the shop (I literally just got it back last week and now as of today it is back in). It is like a little money-sucking vaccuum (is that how you spell that word??). So I am glad that I have a job to pay for extra cash flow here!]

So, yes, diddy diddy bum bum. I am keeping busy.

Before I forget, I thought I should post pictures of my current condition (I feel as though I am healing fairly well!). I wish you all the best and the most of love. Take care! (And thanks!)

Keeping Busy!

Posted by Anna Zine on October 6, 2011 at 11:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Auugghhh! I can't believe it's been so long since I blogged on here!

Life is as hectic as ever (sort of). I have been told that I must find 3 major activities to do by the end of this month (October), or else something bad will happen (my mother did not specify haha). Either a job, volunteer work, lessons of some sort, or a club. Grrrblech! I have spent my past days sending in applications to jobs, some retail, some food related. Today is my first interview for a possible job.

I know that keeping busy is good for me...But I'm going to be a bit whiny now, when I say, "I don't WAAAANNNNAA!"

Also recently, my mother has left with her mother (my grandmother, if you did not make the connection) and her sisters to visit Emily at college. So, here I am at home with the dogs, all by myself...for the whole week! Ahhkkk! Sorta lonely (but dad is not far away) but keeping fairly busy with the cleaning, job applying, cooking, and taking care of our animals and home.

OH! HEY! We have a new member on Cleft Cafe as well! Woooohoooo! Everybody get friendly and say, "Howdy doo," to our new friend. Welcome!

PS I'm sorry to all of you if I have not been getting back to you on your comments/posts/etc. I will try to do that today. Sorry and thank you for keeping active on here!

As for news relating to clefts, I am still trying to massage my scar regularly (as perscribed by my doc) but, yes, I am still failing. I have such a bad memory....and a thick scar....): And I STILL cannot breath out of my right nostril. I am hoping it is just swelling and will go down soon. I'd like to know what it feels like to take a nice, big, deep nose-breath of air! (;

That is all for now. Ta-ta and toodle-loo. Have an awesome week!

Past Days In a Nutshell

Posted by Anna Zine on September 21, 2011 at 4:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Good afternoon. Time for a little blogging, eh?

Well, the usual is going usual. I am sick right now. Horrible, horrible migraine. I think I am going to throw-up my head, or at least I should! School is going relatively better and I'm still working towards feeling totally comfy there. At home, my mom has told me I need to do three new things by the end of October, or else. So I've been looking for jobs, volunteer work, extra curricular stuff, hobbies, yada yada yada.

My dad is leading a school trip tomorrow for my BWW class (Bears, Wolves, Wilderness) at Cherokee Creek. I am a proud, proud girl.

Bam. There you have it: my update in a nutshell!

Enjoy your night.