scars surgery women

Scars. Body image. And not really dealing with it. 

It’s been a couple of weeks since my last op and slowly, my wounds and scars are healing.  It’s yet another big scar, though it has gone through the scar site of previous surgeries.

Just a warning that there will be some graphic images of my wounds in this post, so if you have problems with that, perhaps click away now.

Part of my scar opened up after having the staples removed and so I’m cleaning it daily and trying to encourage to to heal from the inside out.  This means I have a little hole in my tummy just above my belly button. Inside my belly button is also very slow to heal, so it’s a case of keeping both wounds clean and dry and letting time take its course.

Cleaning the sites is a little tricky as I can’t quite see, so I am doing it in the mirror. I have this magnifying make up mirror on my dressing table and that helps for me to see inside the wounds as I wash them.

Unfortunately it also gives me this close up, well lit, view of my stomach and all it’s many scars, marks and bruises. This morning, it all got a bit much and I got really upset looking at the state of my body.  I have always dealt with my scars quite well, I see them as war wounds and have always been quite proud of them.

Yet after surgery number 5, it is getting harder and harder to see the bright side. My stomach is covered in scars, my ostomy bag and currently lots of little marks and bruises as I’m injecting myself with blood thinners to counteract DVT and blood clots. (I’m not very good at it and keep hitting blood vessels!!)

I have to admit that I’ve sat and had a big cry. I just felt so sorry for myself and I hate that I’m moping but fucking hell, my body is a mess!  I saw myself with fresh eyes today and recognised just how battered my stomach looks.  It made me wonder how Timm could ever find me attractive again?! He’s loving and sweet and I know he’d never say anything unkind to me, but it must be tough for him to see how awful my body looks right now.

I’m sorry this is such a ‘woe is me’ post, I know I’m usually banging on about empowerment and loving your body but right now, I’m finding it tough.

Saying that, I still do respect my body and think I’m a total badass! I love that I’m still standing (well mostly sitting or laying) after everything that’s been thrown at me. I’m in awe that my body is doing such a great job of healing itself after surgery.  I feel tough and strong knowing that I’ve been through a lot and I’m here.

But I think I’m allowed a whinge. I’m allowed to feel shit. I’m allowed to complain and cry. So here it is.

It’s not fucking fair. This isn’t fair, I don’t want this, I’m sick of having operations, I’m so fucking fed up of not being well and ok. I hate looking in the mirror at my scars, these open wounds make me feel queasy.  I am fed up, angry and heartbroken that 3 years after the first surgery that I thought would solve all my problems that I’m still struggling.

I feel hopeless. And that’s the hardest feeling. It’s like I can’t feel optimistic because optimism hasn’t faired me well so far. There’s no point in believing this will be my last surgery as I’ve thought that every time and it got me nowhere but disappointed. So it’s probably easier to assume the worst and then at least I’ll be proved right.

Fuck, I hate that I’ve just written all of that. I read it back and it’s not me. I’m not a pessimist, I should be sticking rhinestones on myself and celebrating the silver linings but right now I just can’t.

I read back at my older posts and wonder what has changed. Why don’t I feel hopeful and optimistic now when I have in the past?  I’m now aware just how annoying it must have been to read my jolly posts whilst you were struggling.  Sorry about that!

People say I’ve inspired them. I find that hard to say because it sounds big headed. But I am proud that in sharing my journey that I have helped people. I just hope people can find comfort in the rough posts too. I’m sorry I can’t be rainbows and kittens for you today, but I hope anyone who is having a tough time can read this and know they aren’t alone.

Sam XX

6 replies
  1. Rhonda
    Rhonda says:

    Truth is life is not all kittens and rainbows. My stomach looks like the pills bury dough boy along with the Michelin tire man. I have loads of concave looking holes along with my pouch. Not pretty looking and it is sort of deformed looking. No – it is deformed looking. But I need to not dwell on it and so try focus on other things. Like how lucky I am to be alive. It is 6 weeks today that I had my permanent due to cancer and crohns complication permanent ileostomy surgery. I am trying to take on day at a time. You have been so helpful with all your posts. Life is not easy – we are human with emotions. Everyone has better days than others. Believe me when I say you are truly BEAUTIFUL inside and out.

  2. Laura Lewis
    Laura Lewis says:

    You’re allowed to have a bloody good old whinge. I cry and bitch about much less! And that’s ok too!
    Life isn’t all kittens and rainbows and it’s time we admitted it and shared when we feel shit.
    I think it’s important to admit when times are hard because frankly I’m sick of seeing people struggling who just seem to have it together. Makes me feel weak for not coping and being positive all the time.
    I do hope you feel better soon. I know what you mean about optimism. I don’t think the message about a positive one actually. Because it insinuates that if we get Ill it’s because we didn’t want it enough and worried or had negative thoughts.
    This too will pass x

  3. Dave Pawson
    Dave Pawson says:

    Oh shit. Lifes not fair Sam. So catch up with the rest of us. Moan away, you’ve a right to.
    Sadly, we (I do hope I speak for more than myself.. perhaps even Timm) don’t see you as a bunch of scars,
    rather the bright spark that’s a good writer, probably a good mum (ask your offspring) and likely a fair
    to middling partner (Timm?).
    Yes, have your down periods – we do. Just look forward to a bit of fun… sorry, bit more fun.

  4. Pam davies
    Pam davies says:

    Sam, I was so surprised at how quickly your staples were removed after your op…mine were in for over 3 weeks and I also had 10 deep sutures across my 18 inch wound (as it reopened 4 days after my laparomy and resulting ileostomy. These weren’t removed for another 2 weeks.
    Sadly the deep sutures have led to an incisional hernia under my wound so will have the joy like you of going back into hospital at some point to get that fixed.
    We are strong women and we are survivors but we also have good and bad days…. You are amazing and will get through this missus!
    Sending you big hugs xxxx

  5. Wendy Tully
    Wendy Tully says:

    This is you allowing you to be unhappy, Sad, moan, cry…. you are you and you are unique in yourself. Life takes shit and throws it at you whether you are ready or not. If you didn’t feel how you feel you’d not be human. Sam we see ourselves from our point of view and we look at ourselves from our own eyes and when we don’t like what we see, we are our own worst enemy. Timm loves you for you and all that is you; including your scars and surgery and everything that comes with it. If he didn’t he wouldn’t be at your side each time and he’d have long gone and shut the door behind him. But he is at your side. You are a KICK ASS WOMAN and we BELIEVE IN YOU! You are a BRAVE individual who has taken on the public and to educate them about what it is to be a woman with this condition. you are AMAZING in how you have dealt with things and STILL go on to EDUCATE us public… your scars are unique just like you are a UNIQUE WOMAN, Sam. We love you don’t ever forget that xxxxxxxxxxxx

  6. Caz
    Caz says:

    I can find positive posts quite difficult to read sometimes, because rather than inspire me they can feel like pressure when I’m struggling; why don’t I feel like that, why aren’t I less pessimistic, why can’t I cope so well? I think this is a very honest, touching post, and of course everyone will agree that you of course have every right to feel the way you do. I have more down days than up, but it’s always swings and roundabouts. You’ll get your rainbows & kittens back soon enough, but until then take it easy, don’t be so hard on yourself, give yourself the chance to feel miserable or down or simply shattered and fed up. It’s okay. Your strength lies in your ability to get back up, which you always will. xx


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