Thursday, June 5, 2008

My body tells a story.

I love telling stories. To my children, to my family, on this blog, and especially on paper. However, my body tells a story as well, and it's uniquely my story.

I have scars. Not any that seriously disfigure or stick out glaringly. Some people see scars as a blemish on their skin, an imperfection. Same with stretch marks. We women don't want them, but most of us get them with pregnancy. I read somewhere that someone called hers "badges of honor." I really, really liked that, because not only am I stuck with my stretch marks and need to make the best of it, but also because of the positive conotation that accompanies that term. Being pregnant and growing a baby inside of you is an amazing process, and we'd be crazy not to expect some sort of physical impact from that.

When I was little, I was wrestling with my sister on our couch. And, wouldn't you know it, we rolled off, and I banged my forehead into the corner of our glass coffee table, cutting my head open. This resulted in an ER visit and stiches. I have a little diagonal scar on my forehead, faded now and barely noticeable.

One summer I was bopping around on the side of the pool at our country club, where I have many, many fond memories of summers spent, and busted open my chin. I needed stitches and I have a tiny scar on my chin, faded now.

(Are you sensing a common theme here? Rhea the clumsy child who ended up in the ER more than her hyper little sister?)

As a pre-teen, I was running in circles around our pool table in the pool house, letting our crazy cocker spaniel chase me, when I decided to trick her and duck out the sliding glass door, only to discover I had closed it. So, I ended up falling through the non-safety glass and slicing open my right hand, completely severing three and a half tendons. I had to have surgery, stitches and go through physical therapy to get the use of my right hand back. I have a big scar there.

I have multiple little scars in various spots where I've had moles removed. Those moles usually come back from the lab as "atypical" which means they could eventually develop into cancer. I'm thankful they've been removed, and I treasure my life.

I have scars from surgeries. A gall bladder removed, that was quite a story in itself.

All these little marks make up me. They tell MY story. I'm sure I'll have more. My children love to ask me about them.

As much as it might be nice to look perfect, I don't.

Does your body tell a story?


CrystalChick said...

OMG, yes, my body tells a wonderfully scary or should I say scarry story!!
I have the stretch marks from 2 children and 1 grandson because I was worried and ate alot while my daughter was preggie. I have gained and lost a bunch of weight since high school and that's 25 years ago.
I have a scar on my thumb from trying to bang mud into a coke bottle when I was about 7, a trip to the ER and some stitches later I learned to not bang on glass. I have a scar on my right arm from where I flew over the pommel horse in gym class at almost compound fractured my elbow. Luckily the bone stayed inside my body 'til the surgeon could fix it with pins.
Oh then there is the gall bladder surgery I too had over 20 years ago, but back then you were cut from the middle of the chest diagonally down the stomach. A week in the hospital with stitches and STAPLES.
Add to that the skin condition melasma. In the summer I look like a combination of dark brown patches and white untanned skin.
Shall I continue.... no, I think not. You get the picture. I'm a connect the dot story from one life experience to another.

GoMommy said...

Oh, that's a nice post. Some days I treasure every laugh line and eye crinkle...other days, not so much. And while the stretch marks on my ass are not pretty, I'd rather have the evidence of pregnancy there than on my stomach!

Valarie Lea said...

Mine does tell some stories, but not as many as yours. :)

I have not had to have stitches because of an accident. Now that I have said that I better find some wood to knock on, or my next post will be my visit to the emergency room.

Angie's Spot said...

Amen sister! I treasure my 2 c-section scars because they represent the ups & downs of pregnancy and the 2 amazing miracles that I have as kids. These are just a couple of the badges of honor that I've got!

i beati said...

I was so proud that the only scar I had was from childbirth- I loved that scar and along came cancer and all I see are scars unwanted ones-- funny huh??

Chatterness said...

hysterectomy scar...
and one scar on my big toe where i fell off my bike b/c i was lugging empty glass coke bottles to the store where i was going to deposit them for a refund. remember those days? for a mere 1.00, i got a scar in return!

Andrea said...

I have a novel. I have had 5 c-sections that have wrecked havoc in the ab dimensions. I love my babies though! :). I also have a dent in my knee when I was throwing rocks with my cousin while visiting Oklahoma. I fell and had a deep gash. We didn't go to the ER since it was too far away to the nearest large town.
I also have those pesky freckles that show up when I am in the sun (those 8 weeks during the year).

Keys to the Magic Travel said... body tells the story of one too many thin mint too many bags of doritos...and too few treks up the hill to the mail box :-)

I thought about you today...with your surprise visit...while I was out and about sans children at Bath and Body works. Great sale going on!

John Deere Mom said...

Wow! You do have some stories there! My story is pretty obvious...I love carbs. And the only scar I have is tiny on my middle finger so you only see it if you make me REALLY mad. ;)

Rhea said...

Crystal Chick - Scary/scarry, either one works. lol Cute. Your body tells quite a story! I'm impressed.

Go Mommy - I forgot to mention laugh lines and eye crinkles. Stretch marks on your bum, huh? You must have had some real growth there. lol (I'm laughing with you, not at you, I promise!)

Valarie - No sharing your stories? Yes, you had better knock on wood after the no stitches statement!!

Angie - It's nice when those scars have produced something amazing. :o)

I Beati - I'm so sorry about the cancer. You can see the scars as survival scars now, right? :o)

Rhea said...

Chatti Patti - Someone else mentioned coke bottles...maybe Crystal Chick! Those were dangerous.

Andrea - 5 c-sections is a LOT! You do tell quite a novel. I have pesky freckles and moles too.

Kat - LOL about the thin mints and doritos (cheese or cool ranch?). I did get to partake of the B&B sale when I went yesterday. It was nice!

Angie - Carbs are yummy, I agree. Funny about your only scar. lol I hope I never see it. hehe

Jennifer S said...

I've always loved the stories behind scars. And scars on men are so sexy. There's a story behind every one I have.

Hey, I have one on my chin, too, also from the swimming pool! I was 4 years old, and had been told not to jump backwards off the edge of the pool. So what did I do? Yep. Had to get stitches, and I have the scar.

Love this post.

Jules said...

Hey Rhea, This was a great post and you are so right. Each scar comes with a special story. I have a couple too, but I have a feeling that if I talk about them, the Scar Fairy will come and visit me and generously gift me with many more. "Nuf said. :)

Unknown said...

Yes mine says 'not another bloddy diet'!

My tag response is up ;-)

Anonymous said...

great post idea. I cringe every time I see one of my kids get a cut on their pristeen skin, wondering
"what scars will they have?"


Great post, Rhea! :) I have a scar under my left eyebrow from falling down an entire flight of stairs (while and due to wearing ridiculous shoes), rolling down the stairs like in the cartoons (and hitting every imaginable bone, etc in the process), and then landing on my face...thanks, 4" platform wedges! I have a scar from the double hernia I had when I was 1 or 2 years old. And there's a tiny scar from chickenpox on my face. :)

Anonymous said...

We discussed this very thing a few years back when I was taking a course in semiotics (the study of "how" words mean, not "what" words mean). We talked about symbolism, and then that led us to what sorts of symbols (accidental like scars or purposeful like piercings) were on our bodies, and what others can interpret from these symbols.

I personally scar very easily. I've got several chicken pox scars (one above my left eye, one on my chest, one on my stomach just above my belly button, and one on my right side) as well as a hook-shaped scar on my thumb, just below the nail (from ripping my skin nearly off as a child -- I was a tomboy, not a prissy girly-girl, lol), another on my right foot from dropping a vase (it shattered, slicing me open -- I needed stitches, but went to church rather than the E.R.). And then I've got the piercings and tattoo, freckles (means I spend too much time out in the sun.... or that I'm Irish), my faint c-section scar.... the list goes on and on. It semiotic terms, I guess one could say I have a rather meaningful history. :o)

Rhea said...

I love everyone's responses. Thanks for sharing your stories with me!!! :o)

Utter Basketcase said...

Rhea!!! Omg I LOVE this post!!! It's GORRRGEOUS!

I have been obsessing about the whole stretch mark thing through this pregnancy... but this post really made me feel better about the whole thing!

I can't believe I never even concidered looking at it that way!

:-) and I too have scars that come with clumsy childhood stories! xx