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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Scars

Lately I've become obsessed with this Basement Jaxx song:


And lord knows there's nothing like a good song to get my brain churning and bubbling like a cauldron of noxious chemicals.


     I have a series of scars all over my body.  Each of these have come to mean something to me later in life that I would never have thought of when I got them.

     Let's start at the top.  First there is the 1/2 inch scar on my forehead that was the result of my 3-year-old playtime in a big, empty box which tipped over when I tried to "make it bigger" so that my Grandpa could come into the box with me. It sent me crashing into my parents' fireplace and earned me 3 stitches.
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     This scar can represent several different things for me depending on how deeply I want to analyze it.  The super-deep meaning: When you are looking for fun in things that are empty, you can waste a lot of time trying to make them more than they are and end up with nothing more than a headache.
The not-so-deep meaning:  I'm glad I have a thick skull.

Then there is the scar on my hand.
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     This is actually from when I was only a day or two old - I was put into the NICU and the nurse who did my IV did a bad job of putting the needle into the vein.  My whole hand swelled up with fluid and had to be sliced open to relieve the pressure.

     This scar didn't have a meaning to me until the year 2001 when I read Fight Club for the first time.  The book quite honestly changed my life and gave words to frustrations that I didn't know how to express - frustrations about rampant materialism, the feminization of our culture and the meaninglessness of wanting to buy pillows to decorate a bed I never made.  There is a scene in the book where Tyler Durden kisses the back of the narrator's hand, then pours lye on it to give him a chemical burn and force the narrator to realize, "[Y]ou have to that someday, you are going to die.  Until you know that, you will be useless."  Ever since the first time I read that I started looking at the scar on my hand as if it were Tyler Durden's kiss, there to remind me that things will never make me truly happy.  It's a lesson I have re-learn every time I walk into a store like Bed, Bath and Beyond needing a salt shaker and coming out with 5 beach towels, 3 scented candles and a gadget to separate egg whites for me (forgetting the salt shaker.) 

There's the scars on my knees from my bike accident and surgery in 2007:


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There are two lessons to be learned from these scars.  1 - Don't ride your bike next to a skateboarder.
2- Don't abide by doctors who prescribe you Vicodin within the first 30 seconds of you telling them what's wrong.  My first two visits to urgent care for this knee injury resulted only in the same doctor telling me the to ice it, elevate it, and take the pain pills like a good little girl even though after 1 1/2 weeks it still wasn't getting any better.  Had this doctor told me then to go to physical therapy I probably could have avoided surgery, but because the injury healed wrong I had to go under the laser. 

Then we get down to the nastiest looking scar of them all: my c-section scar.
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This was definitely my most well-earned scar.  41 hours of labor all to have her extricated from me by someone with a scalpel.
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     It was definitely worth it.  :)

     What did I learn from this scar?  I am damned glad that we live in the age of technology.  All throughout my pregnancy I would picture myself having to work as a pregnant farm-woman back in the 1700s: having to quite literally hoe for my life and kill chickens to eat and only stopping to pop a squat in the field for a few hours to have the baby.  Now, of course, I know that I would have been one of those women who died in childbirth back then, but at the time I was pregnant it was the thought of my foremothers squatting in fields that made me get out of bed in the morning without coffee and stop complaining about my sciatica to anyone that would listen - if they could do it, so could I!
     Um, not quite.
     So thank god for modern medicine, because it allowed me to actually become a mother instead of a dead person.

     Thus concludes our tour of my scar tissue and my mind.  I hope you've enjoyed seeing this grossness.  :)

2 comments:

  1. Love you and love your blog :)

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  2. Abby!! This cracked me up several times! I especially love the one about your c-section scar! :)

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