My body is punctuated with scars.
- The one on my left eyelid (about 2 cm); where I ran into a table as a toddler
- The one on my right inner thigh (about 15 cm); where I stood on a stool with a plastic lid and metal pipes with no stoppers on top, in the maid’s room (I was in the Philippines); which I had been told numerous times not to stand on, at about three. Cue lots of blood, a trip to the docs and lots of stitches.
- The BCG scar on my left shoulder (about 1/2 cm in diameter); I had forgotten about this one, it’s just been there so long, since I was twelve I think
- The one on my right pinky (about 1 cm); when my finger was skated over at an ice rink, pre teen. I was told that I should have made a fist with my hands when I fell, it was my first time on the ice! That only needed butterfly tape.
- The one on the inside of my mouth, just below my teeth on the left hand side (about 2 cm); That required a general aesthetic and an overnight stay in hospital, was my first operation. I was eighteen, just after I started university, I was sent back not long after as I apparently was a pain on the post opp drugs.
- The two scars on the inside of my left arm (about 1 cm); removal scars of my implanol, pre and post babies. Freaked the doctor out a bit as they had settled quite deep in my arm so I found them and poked the end out so he could cut my arm to remove them.
- The two scars on my bikini line, the first a bit wonky, the second straight as a pin (about 50 cm) ; the scars where my babies were removed, one at 30, the other at 31, the first awake with an epidural, the second under general aesthetic as they couldn’t get the epi to work. Cue a hideous reaction to the drugs, sats dropping dangerously low and three days hooked up to oxygen. Which I truly believe speeded the healing process up, though I have no true empirical evidence.
Then there are the changes to my body. Mainly due to pregnancy and childbirth, but also due to many years of being poisoned by prescribed drugs.
- The darkened areola
- The saggy breasts; of course as they ballooned when they were being used, as designed, to feed babies; pretty much constantly for two years. That will teach me to have two children so close together
- The stretch marks; quite faint; but greater in number since losing weight
- The saggy stomach; I’m sure it has a name, but I have to remind myself constantly that this is because I am a Mama, I have to learn to live with it as the only way to remove it is with expensive surgery
There are more scars, far more painful scars; the ones to my brain; the ones that have no physical reminders, the locked away memories, for very few to see. The ones that rear their ugly head, some forgiven, some so painful I dare not think of. The ones that create uncontrollable tears, though have systems in place to manage.
But as I look at my body I see life, life lived and life created. Each day I endeavour to see beauty and accept that this is me.