Army of Mom

So this is how liberty dies ... with thunderous applause.


Beware and back away slowly

I think PMS has set in. I've been feeling rather pathetic for no real good reasons. After my initial elation at the insurance-provided tummy tuck, I started getting really worked up (and not in a good way) about it last night. I started worrying about how badly my stretch marks will show if that skin isn't loosely hanging there as it does now. Then, I started suffering a bit of an identity crisis. For 10 years, I've bore the battle scars of giving birth. I've had three children since 1994 and each time, the incision scar got worse, the stretch marks bigger, etc. But, they define who I am. I'm a mother before I am anything else - a woman, a wife - those are secondary. So, does the erasure of these battle wounds change who I am? No, but they may redefine me. My breasts have been both for pleasure and to nourish these children. I've had moments when it was hard to think of them as anything but a way to feed my babies. When they had that role, they were pretty much off limits for anything else. With the lump discovered in my left breast, I re-examined the way I feel about my breasts and how much they really identify me as a woman and are part of what makes me feel sexy and truly feminine. I think my stomach is the same way. I joked with a friend about how I can start wearing mid-riff shirts without fear of scaring small children and infirm old women after this surgery. But, I'm getting scared.

Just for the record and for the scoffers who think I'm taking advantage of my insurance company, after the birth of my third child in 2002, I developed an infection in the incision as a result of the staples. It erupted and left an indentation in the scar. The worst part is that it has never truly healed. Unless you weigh 100 pounds, the belly flops over the scar. For me, this exacerbated the healing of this infection and it has never truly completely healed. Regardless of how clean it is, it will get infected with no good cause. I have been to three different gynecologists (other than the one who did the last c-section) and asked them about this. All of them pooh-poohed me about it being no big deal. That is fine for you, you're not the one with the inflamed red painful infection on your stomach every few weeks. This is so embarrassing, but I think I should tell folks about it.

I went to the plastic surgeon last month to discuss having a mole removed from my face. It isn't cancerous, but skin cancer runs in my family. I've had cancer in my face before and I just don't like the mole. So, I went to discuss its removal and Army of Dad suggested I ask him about my c-section wound. The doctor took one look at it and said "that isn't right. You should not have to live with an infection all the time." The only thing to fix it is a tummy tuck. So, voila. With one surgery, I'll have two issues tackled at the same time.

I suppose I really don't look that bad now compared to any other friend of mine who has had three kids. I just don't look like I did pre-childbirth days. I alternate going from excitement at the prospect of wearing a midriff shirt to feeling weepy worrying about pain and complications and my coworker's response to it. She is being a bit aloof since I'm taking two weeks off in the midst of our big projects. I understand to a certain degree, but still makes me sad. I was hoping she'd be happy for me. She is calling it "elective" surgery. The timing is elective, the surgery is not, to me.

Anyway. I saw an interview with Carnie Wilson about how scary it was to go from being that 311 pound blob to being a thinner person. She almost felt sad at the loss of the person she was before. It sounds stupid, but I think that is some of what I'm going through, too. I'm excited, but I'm scared, too. I hate surgery. I hate all the IVs and needles. I hate pain. I know recovery is going to be hellish. But, I also know that I'll feel so much better about myself afterwards.

I know much of this is PMS. I really do. I treated myself to a grody lunch at Pancho's today. Just me and the Star-Telegram. Flipping through and reading, I happend upon the obits. Big mistake. One was a newborn baby, complete with this angelic shot. Another was a 41-year-old mom who had fought brain cancer for years. Gees. Had I not been in the restaurant I would have blubbered like a baby, but I fought back the tears and flipped the page. Life is such a blessing and here I am feeling sorry for myself because something really good is about to happen to me. I'm going to get this ongoing health issue addressed AND look better at the same time. Hormones are so evil sometimes.


  • At 3:18 PM, April 15, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    OMG i am horrified after reading this story! I had a gastric bypass 11 months ago and have lost approx 100 pounds. This is AWESOME, and has made me feel totally one with myself (Only a truly fat person can understand the horrific feelings about yourself when you balloon out to almost 300 pounds!), i won't even get into the depression that comes with the Gastric Bypass as Carny Wilson mentioned and how depressed i got when it was over, because, no matter what anybody tells the overweight, it won't be believed, (i didn't beleive it.)although, i dont think the depression is going to quite as desperate with a tummy tuck, but who knows? Anyway, i have part of the incision that gets infected and nasty at least once a freakin month! It is so gross and so painful and it is really getting ridicoulous! But, i won't go back to the doctor because I almost died when i had my gastric bypass, Therefore, I have a totally unnatural fear of surgeries! So, Please keep us updated on this issue, as I will be reading regulary to see what happens to you....Question, Do you think that the ONE plastic surgeon, the loan guy who DID NOT stick up for the loser that left you that way, Do you think that he is really being honest and that surgery is the ONLY way that would go away???? Or, is it possible he is just trying to rape your insurance company, just because he can? It is so hard to trust a doctor these days......

  • At 5:38 PM, April 15, 2005, Blogger Army of Mom said…

    Kelley - I didn't know that you had the gastric bypass surgery. You were never big in high school at all. I hope, despite the complications, that it has gotten better for you and has been a positive thing. Fortunately, I'm not that heavy and just have a few extra pounds of padding here and there. I actually am looking forward to getting rid of the "baby" fat on my belly, I'm just a little nervous and anxious. I trust this doctor very much. I had a friend run a check on him and he has no complaints or reprimands filed on him anywhere in the U.S., so that is reassuring. I think the OB/GYNs didn't want to rat each other out, to be honest.

    And, Alli, thanks. I know it will all be good in the long run. I just hate the pain with the surgery and recovery. I know I will be happier and more confident in the end. Or the mid-section, as the case may be.

  • At 1:49 AM, April 19, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey girl! This is Dion, and I've seen your mother's stretch marks...I inherited them too. So, hey... if you can find a way for that stingy insurance company to pay for them. And...give you relief from health problems, then Go for it!!!

  • At 9:47 AM, April 19, 2005, Blogger Army of Mom said…

    Thank you very much cuz. I agree. You do know what heredity has handed me.


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