We all have them. Some are visible. Some are not.
THIS IS MINE.
No, I didn’t get my boobs done! And I challenge FB to leave this up because scars are NOT offensive. They are part of life.
So anyway…. today is my birthday.
It’s been 9 years today since I had open heart surgery to repair a genetic fault. I was out of intensive care by Xmas but spent much of December in hospital. I had my aortic valve replaced with titanium & my entire ascending aorta replaced with a dacron graft.
If you stand in the same room as me you can actually hear me ticking. My basic recovery took me 6 months of the most excruciating, traumatic experience of my life. My full recovery took me closer to 2 years.
My birthday is very special to me and I’m grateful for every year I get to age and that I am still here. (42 today woohoo!) Without heart surgery my life expectancy was mid to late 30’s.
Open heart sugery was like a birth. A new beginning. A new normal. You can never be the same when you have been through something so huge. Everything is different for me now – especially my relationship with death.
Most people who have heart surgery have a vertical scar from neck to navel but I pleaded with my surgeon for this one under my boobs because at the time the idea of a huge scar was mortifying and I didn’t want people to notice it and me spend the rest of my life explaining what had happened to me.
My surgeon did not want to do this incision under my breasts as he’d only ever done this for heart/lung transplant patients and initally said NO but I insisted (begged and cried) despite an increased risk to my life. Ridiculous now I think about it and a decision made mainly out of vanity at the time.
The night before my operation he came and drew on my body in black pen to show himself where he would do the incision. Unfortunately, he did not use permanent marker and I was so nervous and sweaty that it all began to rub off after he left!
The nurses frantically tried to find a permanent marker and redrew it!! He cut my skin horizontally then cut my sternum vertically. I have large bolts that now hold my sternum together. I live with a constant ticking that often makes it impossible to sleep. (Actually it used to be awesome for getting my babies to sleep!)
Now 8 years has passed I am far more at peace with having a big scar and think I would have been okay if it was all the way from my neck to my bellybutton.
Nobody sees my scar and new people who meet me have no idea what sits just beneath my skin.
Unless the room goes quiet and nobody can understand where the ticking is coming from.
SCARS IN LIFE ARE AN INCREDIBLE GIFT.
This is what I have learnt from mine:
1 – My scar reminds me where I have been – but it does not dictate where I am going.
2 – My scar is like my battle wound – it reminds me how strong I have been and what I have survived and every time I see it I am reminded what I have overcome.
3 – My scar in many ways is the inspiration for this page, my website and my 8 years of nutritional medicine study – to treasure my body, feed it well and nourish it from the inside and be the healthiest I can be with the difficult body & shitty genes I have been given in this lifetime.
One thing I know for sure is that good health is not a given. It’s something I work hard at every single day.
We ALL have scars. Some physical. Some emotional. From every wound there is a scar and from every scar there is a story.
When I meet people now I am interested in their scars & stories – especially the invisible ones.
I am not uncomfortable with the scars of others because I now no longer ashamed of my own.
We all have them and it’s not necessary to always keep them hidden.
Well here is mine out in the open…:-) It’s soooo ironic that I went through hell to have a scar I could hide – only to learn that our scars need to be seen and not always hidden!
May we EMBRACE our scars and be THANKFUL for all they teach us.
It is tradition on my birthday to have a margarita at the ocean and make a toast. This will be mine tonight..
‘I raise my glass to my incredible cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. David Andrews for giving me my beautiful scar and the life I have today. Thank you David. Woooohoo! 9 years post Open Heart Surgery and a mum to my gorgeous twin boys! So blessed’ Cheers!
#scars #warrior #survivor #blessed #birthday #123nourishme