I’m starting to wonder if the scar on my belly will ever fade and flatten enough that it doesn’t make me think “ugly” every time I see it. All the other scars I’ve got are unobtrusive enough that I don’t notice them unless I’m paying attention because their white against my fairly pale skin doesn’t stand out and none are raised or sunk enough to really draw attention. But none of those injuries went as deep as the slice into my abdomen, so this slash down my front is new territory for me. When will it have healed as much as it’s going to? How long should I give it before I seriously start considering medical or other options to make it look better? I’ve read that new scar tissue keeps forming for up to a year at an incision site; I’ve also read that some treatments to reduce the redness of scars work best in the first few months after an injury. I wonder if I’m doing any good by continuing to use these scar healing pads or if I’m just wasting money and, by paying special attention to the scar every morning when I put the pads on, reinforcing the idea that this is a problem. Maybe it would be better to focus my attention on the good things that resulted from my surgery and leave the scar be.
It sure would be easier to leave the scar be if it weren’t glaring at me in all its contrasting red glory every morning when I see myself in the mirror as I step out of the shower, if I couldn’t feel its ropy bumpiness whenever I brush against it getting dressed. It stands out, and not in a good way. I’ve decided that if it still bothers me next summer, a year after the surgery, I’ll think about getting a tattoo to turn it into something interesting or even beautiful instead of something unsightly. I read about a woman who got flowers and vines tattooed around her mastectomy scar and how much better it made her feel about her body. Of course it didn’t say if she’d previously thought that she would never get a tattoo, which is where I was until I read about hers. I’ve never liked the idea of permanently altering my body that way, of having to live for the rest of my life with an image that might not look as good to me decades later as it did when I chose it, but now I’m wondering if just maybe it’s a solution to obsessing about this scar. I’m also wondering if it would create a new obsession about worrying if I chose the best design, which is why I’ll look into other options for addressing the scar, like lasers or steroids or microdermabrasion, first if it still bothers me next July. (Mr. Karen is emphatically not on board with the tattoo idea, so that’s another reason to explore other solutions).
If I do get something done to make the scar look better, would that open the door in my mind to getting other cosmetic procedures done? Perhaps. Maybe I’d feel so much better about how I look after taking care of the scar that I’d be inspired to get liposuction for the bulges on my hips and thighs, which is something I’ve thought about but rejected as being too expensive and too risky a solution to a problem that’s just vanity. After the lipo, maybe a nose job to address my least favorite facial feature. If I think about it too much, I can come up with a huge list of things I’d like to change. I really doubt I’ll go so far as surgery to change them, though. I don’t even want to take the time or spend the money to maintain a real hairstyle, even though I suspect I’d look better if I did. It’s just not a real priority for me. I think about things like this in moments of low self-esteem, but those moments pass and I go back to being reasonably okay with how I look. Sure, I’m never going to be able to walk down the beach in a bikini or wear skin tight clothes out in public, but that’s okay. There are so many other things I can do.
A year ago, I was again out on the slopes and not at a keyboard.
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