My recent posts have been a little off topic so I’m bringing it back to talk a little about one of the main concerns I had before my spinal fusion surgery: the scar.
I will start by saying that from my experience, this has turned out to be such an insignificant part of my life and that all those weeks and months of worrying have turned out to be a total waste of time. Sounds quite blunt but in my eyes, it’s was going to be a pretty big scar to have on relatively small body, at only 5″3. I don’t have any pictures to share of my scar, but it runs from between my shoulder blades to about 3/4 inches above my coccyx (yes, I just Googled how to spell it haha!).
Before the surgery, I was worried that people would bombard me with questions as soon as they saw it or that people would look at me differently. I was worried that a future boyfriend would be grossed out or that I’d have to wear a t-shirt to the beach to hide it. None of these things have ever happened to me, and even if they did, I think I would be able to handle it with honesty. I almost feel somewhat ashamed that I was so concerned about what my body would look like after surgery, when my focus should really have been on how the countless positive affects this would have on my health and quality of life. Especially now, as I read books and blogs from body-positive writers that have helped me feel more proud of my body than embarrassed.
Of course these worries didn’t just disappear overnight. Immediately after the dressings were removed, and for weeks and months after, I would check my scar almost daily to make sure the redness was going down. After about a year the scar was totally white and so neat that you almost can’t notice it unless you know it’s there.
It’s been strange to look back on my feelings from before surgery to find that they really didn’t need to exist. I guess that’s all a part of the process after any type of surgery, or even some major life events. I have titled this post “A sign of strength” because underneath the scar is two metal rods supported by pins. It is this structure that is holding my upright and I think that is quite an amazing thing, a thing that makes me stand up strong even in my weakest times. Cheesy? Yes. Meaningful? To me.
If you’re having similar thoughts to mine before any surgery, please know that the benefits from having surgery usually far outweigh the possibility of having a large or visible scar. Surgeons do such an amazing job at keeping scars as neat as possible that some can even look like a natural line in the skin! Try not to waste time thinking about appearances or what other people might say, instead try focusing on health, happiness and what nibbles you’d like your loved ones to bring when they visit you afterwards.