Wednesday, 7 September 2011

It's Been a Bad Body Image Day

I had a moment this morning that has stuck with me all day, and I just can't seem to shake it.

I was up bright and early this morning, and everything was pretty much status-quo. I took the dog for his early morning walk, had my regular jug of coffee, a bowl of cereal, and my usual shower. It was while I was getting dressed this morning and my husband gave me that "Hey, How you doing?"-Look that things changed. Normally you would probably think that this would be a good thing. And as a caveat I would like to say that under all normal circumstances my husband regularly makes me feel like I am the most beautiful creature to ever rock his world, bless his heart. But this morning all I could think was that in a couple months this will no longer be what my body looks likes. And what if once everything is said and done we NEVER have another moment like this again, because I am just horrible, disfigured mess?! I had visions of my garish looking scars, my lack of nipples, and the look of my foreign implants - and felt hopelessly hideous.

I admit a positive body image is already a struggle, and has been ever since the diagnosis of my original Darwinian Failure. When I look in the mirror I see a body that has let me down and my eyes are still immediately drawn to my already plentiful Genetic Battle Wounds. A thick pink scar marks the left side of my chest and the implantation site of my ICD. If angled the right way you can see the outline of the metal box that is my ICD protruding from my chest. I have the faint remnants of stretch marks on my hips left behind from my most severe allergic reactions to the beta-blockers I was prescribed during my early treatment stages. And I regularly feel compelled to cover up my "Fat Arm" which is perpetually swollen from a blood clot that formed around one of my pacemaker wires after one my surgeries. The thought of adding more scars is depressing.  And the idea of effectively changing the shape my entire body is a troubling notion.

 I know from a health perspective that proceeding with this surgery is 100% the right choice, but from a body image perspective this option is less than ideal. Health obviously trumps beauty every time. But I am 26, slightly vain, and today I wish I didn't have to choose. It was easier to make light of my soon-to-be Franken-titty status when it felt more like a distant possibility rather than an impending reality. As my surgery date creeps closer I am beginning to realize that my biggest challenge won't be the surgery itself. It will be my ability to accept the aesthetic changes to my body and maintain a positive body image throughout this process.

Wish me luck and send me positive body vibes as I begin this next challenge.
Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,