I’m Surprisingly Not Really Bothered by This Giant Hole in My Abdomen

i'm surprisingly not really bothered by this giant hole in my abdomen

 

I remember coming out of anesthesia a couple of weeks ago after my surgery, and being told immediately that I’d gotten a little more than I’d expected. I was supposed to get a laparascopic surgery, which was going to leave me with a couple small cuts in my abdomen. Instead, while I was under, they realized they were going to have to instead cut a six-inch long incision in my stomach.

Ow.

Interestingly enough, one of the first things my family and boyfriend reassured me about was the scar. “It will fade,” they said. “Don’t worry, it could be worse,” they said. They know I tend to be a bit of a diva when it comes to my appearance, and so I think they automatically assumed I’d be devastated at the idea of a giant scar.

At first, I was a little upset. It’s a weird feeling to go under anesthesia and wake up and find that things happened to your body that you didn’t expect. It’s kind of like your body isn’t your own anymore. As I looked down at the giant row of staples along my stomach for the first time, I was like, “Well, crap. This was unexpected.”

And then soon after, I totally surprised myself by not really caring.

I read a post recently from one of my favorite people, Becky Rosty, about her struggle with how pregnancy had changed her body. She talked about how at first the stretch marks and other marks of pregnancy bothered her, but that she had come to terms with them and realized that they were not imperfections but beautiful marks of becoming a mother.

Although there is no beautiful, life-changing event that comes with getting your gall bladder removed, I think that when I looked down at that unexpected row of staples across my stomach, her writing was somewhere in the back of my mind.

My body is never going to be perfect. It’s too late for that. I can’t undo the scars on my knees from childhood falls (and recent falls, I fall a lot) or the scar on my hand from where I burned myself with my flat iron. I can’t undo years of sunburns, awful teenage acne, or any of the other things that have altered my body.

So why care about a stupid stomach scar?

My body is only a super-small part of who I am, and I’m certainly not perfect. I don’t really go around baring my stomach often, but even if I were to, what would be the matter with it being imperfect?

Imperfections only come with living life. I would probably have perfect skin if I locked myself in a padded room 24/7 and drank 12 glasses of water a day. All of the wrinkles and bumps and bruises have come from experiences: from hiking in Costa Rica, from getting too much sun at the lake with my family, and from the random occurrence that was having to get my gallbladder removed.

My body is not separate from who I am; it is a testament to where I’ve been and what I’ve done. And if that involves a bump or two along the road, so be it.

So as I look down at my sad stomach, I’m not one bit sad. I’m mainly just thankful for modern medicine…and the fact I can now eat french fries again. Those french-fry-less weeks were dark, dark times.

Have you had surgery or anything else body-altering? How did it change how you felt about your body?

Xoxo, Taylor

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5 thoughts on “I’m Surprisingly Not Really Bothered by This Giant Hole in My Abdomen

  1. I have never had any surgeries other than dental surgery, but I have a few scars from wipeouts that required sutures (July 21, 2008 and July 28, 2011. Uh-oh… I better watch out on August 4, 2014 :p …)

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  2. Pingback: [M.M.X.I.V. 181] Pedestrians are my downfall | Never A Worry

  3. A couple years ago I got surgery to remove two cysts near my ovaries. One was about 10 cm and the other one 14 cm. I didn’t notice the pain until I went for a run one day and couldn’t finish my usual route so it was pretty shocking to find out that they had gotten so big. After going to the ER, I was scheduled to go in for surgery the following day. My doctor had told me that they would be performing a keyhole surgery to minimize scarring but I ended up returning to the ER that night because the pain was so unbearable. I was immediately rushed into surgery with no time for them to prepare so instead they had to make a full incision. It’s about 10 cm and the scar is on my lower abdomen so if I wore bikini bottoms it still wouldn’t be clearly visible.

    I was also surprisingly not as bothered by it as I thought I would be. It turned out that if I hadn’t gone in for surgery that night I could’ve possibly lost an ovary and that would have been a million times more devastating and harder to operate on. I’ve always been pretty self conscious about my body so I definitely surprised myself when I was more grateful to have had the surgery as opposed to feeling upset about eventually getting a scar.

    Along with another scar I got as a kid, I feel like my body tells a story and marks moments of my life like a visible timeline. Perfect, airbrushed bodies may be considered beautiful in the media but we all have a period in our lives where we’ve had to struggle. Scars (literally and figuratively) just show that we survived as fighters.

    Hope you’re recovering well!

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    • Wow, it sounds like we had similar experiences in that we both ended up getting more than we bargained for in terms of surgery. I’m so glad to hear that it all worked out for you and that you were able to get the surgery in time. I really like how you say that “scars just show that we survived as fighters.” I think it is true! I know having surgery was one of the most physically testing experiences I’ve had and my scar is just a reminder that I did okay, even if at times I was over the whole thing.

      I’m recovering great, thanks for the well wishes! Thanks for reading and leaving such a thoughtful comment!

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