The Scar

Last updated: August 2019

My stomach looks like I have been through a war. If you saw me walking down the beach, would say to yourself: Wow, what happened to that guy. I wrote in an earlier article that I would have fun with people and tell them an awesome story that I was surfing in the Pacific Ocean and I got bit by a shark. That sounded so much cooler than having eleven stomach surgeries because of complications due to Crohn’s.

Getting used to the scar

I really have become comfortable with my scar. For many years, I hated taking off my shirt at the pool, and being around my friends was hard as well. I know that I will never be able to have abs, and my belly button is slightly off centered, but hey, its better than having a fistula, correct?

I don’t have any feeling down the center of my scar. Because it is fake skin, it has no nerve endings. Also, no hair grows there, which can look weird at times. I can literally pinch my scar as hard as I can, and I don’t feel a thing. I will tell you that it makes a great show for my campers! Comon, you have to have some fun right?

I often think about the times before I had my surgeries. My stomach looked like everyone else’s, normal. But that was the hand I was dealt, so I learned to deal with it.

Scared that something is going to tear

My scar doesn’t really bother me much. Under my scar is metal mesh, that I can feel if I push on it. It is interesting. I can feel the sun beat down on the metal if I am laying on the beach. I always get the sense that something is going to tear inside. For that reason, I refuse to do any type of ab exercise. When playing basketball, I notice that my range of motion is limited because of the mesh beneath the scar. Before my surgeries I was able to jump higher and shoot three pointers. Now, I can’t jump as high, and literally have to push the ball out of my hands if I want to shoot a long distance shot. Wow, times have changed!

Scars can be itchy

My scar often itches. It’s weird, because like I stated earlier, I have no nerve endings. So I can’t feel that I am scratching it, and it doesn’t turn red. I asked my plastic surgeon one day what causes the itching. He stated that, “It is because the nerve endings around the scar tissue (not inside), are stimulated." I would have more itching shortly after surgery as a sign of itching. He also said, “It could be in my head as well.”

My scar is me

I only had one issue with my scar. A stitch from one of the surgeries came loose. It actually started to poke through my skin, and I became worried that my fistula would reappear. I made an appointment with my surgeon, who saw it as not a big deal. Just to be safe, he put me under a “twilight” anesthesia, to complete the eight minute procedure. I awoke with nothing more than a dissolvable stitch and a band aid. My scar is who I am, my scar is… me.

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