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10-18-2010, 11:42 PM   #1
Poppysocks
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Scars

When I'm healthy and fit I usually take my shirt off whenever I'm around the water. However, I have two scars. 1 from the G- tube and one long vertical scar on my abdomen about 5 inches long from a resection I had about 8 years ago. I get asked sometimes what my scars are from. The last time somebody asked me it was in front of a big group of people. I said I got stabbed or something and laughed and nobody brought it back up.

Does anyone usually get asked about their scars? Do you make up stories? Or are you just straight up blunt about it?
10-19-2010, 12:26 AM   #2
Jennifer
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Yes I get asked about my scars and no I don't really like talking about it. I'm one of those people who tries to avoid such situations. I think its because I'm afraid people will think I had a C-section because it's horizontal but it's across my belly button which is too high for a C-section scar. That scar ruined my perfect bellybutton and I'm still not happy about it even though I got it 10 years ago. When asked, I'm honest about it and I hate the sympathy I get about it or having to talk about my illness more by them saying that they know someone who has Crohn's. I like the idea of it looking like I was stabbed my a sword, which it does. When other people see my bellybutton, they say it looks like a peace sign but when I look down at it, I see a deformed bellybutton that looks like a butt. Two little butt cheeks. I've never showed a picture of my scar on here before. I forget where the battle scar thread is. Maybe I'll do a search for it when I finally take a picture of it and then post it.

I also have a scar on my left breast from a central IV I had put in as a kid. Its right in the line of sight if I show cleavage and sometimes people notice it and ask about it. The answer to that question only leads to more questions and I can't stand it.

I think I don't like it because I'd rather there be some cool story attached to it like diving with sharks or something or some hard core bar fight defending myself or someone else. But no, I'm just sick and slowly falling apart. Sorry, I'm kind of depressed right now. Now you know why my name is Crabby.
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Diagnosis: Crohn's in 1991 at age 9
Surgeries: 1 Small Bowel Resection in 1999; Central IV in 1991-92
Meds for CD: 6MP 50mg
Things I take: Tenormin 25mg (PVCs and Tachycardia), Junel, Tylenol 3, Omeprazole 20mg 2/day, Klonopin 1mg 2/day (anxiety), Restoril 15mg (insomnia), Claritin 20mg
Currently in: REMISSION Thought it was a flare but it's just scar tissue from my resection. Dealing with a stricture. Remission from my resection, 17 years and counting.
10-19-2010, 12:38 AM   #3
Poppysocks
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Crabby,

I feel the same way. I guess I'm kind of lucky because both of my scars aren't really visible because they healed up pretty well. But if I do get asked I'm always hesitant on what I should say. I can make up a story but it would never be really good when I'm telling it because I'd know I'm lying and I'm a terribly liar. I don't like telling people the truth either, I also hate sympathy and pity. I feel like I was never wired to live so incapacitated like this. I don't think I've ever told anyone whose directly asked what my scars are the truth.

I'm depressed too at the moment, and I'm on meds. So you've got one up on me.
10-19-2010, 07:50 AM   #4
2thFairy
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Among the numerous interesting surigical scars I have, I have a vertical scar that runs the entire length of my abdomen from an emergency exploration for postop hemorrhage. I tell people it's from the alien that popped out. The truth is too boring.. and like you said, I hate the sympathy and pity that follows.
10-19-2010, 08:19 AM   #5
Babs1957
 
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Come on folks. We are survivors! We have earned our scars - they help tell our life story.

However, if people are being nosy and intrusive, you do have every right to give them a quirky story. People are curious. But wouldn't you rather they ask than stare and make conjectures behind your back?

Be careful to not confuse sympathy and pity with empathy. When people ask questions, it could be a great opportunity to educate them about CD.

With age and experiences, I've grown immune to caring what anyone else thinks about me, my scars/body and my disease.
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10-19-2010, 08:21 AM   #6
rottengut91
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I have two of my biggest scars for twenty years now, and come to think of it, I don't recall anyone asking me about them. I have never been shy about showing my abdomen, until recently because of weight gain. I have always wore a bikini, and have gone vacationing several times to Florida, Hawaii, and even the Carribean.
My longest, running vertically from pubic bone and up the side of my belly button is eight inches long. It's not very pretty, as it's been access four times now. I have a two or so inch scar to the right from my ileostomy. That scar widened about during healing because I inadvertently caused it to open by becoming overly active too soon and it got infected. I also have a scar from the two cesarean sections I've had for my two children. That's probably my best looking scar, as far as scars go anyway.
As I aged, I have gained a bit of extra fat in my abdominal region. Because of all the scarring, the fat distribution is a bit awkward looking. So as I've gotten older, well in parrticularly this past summer, wearing a bikini has been something I've shied away from. Also have gained a bit in the hip/buttocks region as well. It seems, once I hit 30, losing weight hasn't been as easy as it used to be. My metabolism is running a bit slower than before, plus I've noticed a lot more fatigue than before. If I feel well enough to exercise, it does help, but I find my mind more willing than my body lately. I am in the middle of a flare that's been going on for months now, though.
The only scar I do remember being asked about is my tiny 'x' from my three central lines. That's up close to my color bone on right side of my chest. Go figure?
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10-19-2010, 10:42 AM   #7
Jennifer
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The only scar I do remember being asked about is my tiny 'x' from my three central lines. That's up close to my color bone on right side of my chest. Go figure?
I forgot about that scar. I have only one there and I get asked about it too. It's from where they tried putting in my central IV but failed and tried again lower.

Any of your guy's scars itchy still or have pain or have lost feeling entirely? The one across my belly button lost feeling on the right side, it never came back, and it itches sometimes and hurts sometimes. My guess is phantom pain. Although my central IV scars itch sometimes and they've been there for 20 years. :/
10-19-2010, 10:53 AM   #8
2thFairy
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Many have no feeling to them at all and a few still get itchy.
10-19-2010, 11:06 AM   #9
vonfunk
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I figure after the colectomy, and hopefully the reversal. i'm saying the scar from that is a bullet wound.
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10-19-2010, 11:24 AM   #10
Guest555
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Although I have no surgical scars, I have several hundred self inflicted scars, so must always 'cover up'.
10-19-2010, 10:22 PM   #11
Zalanicht
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There's some goodies in here
http://www.crohnsforum.com/showthread.php?t=11789
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10-20-2010, 07:14 AM   #12
SwtNdSpcy
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I don't show my tummy to many people! My first resection incision got infected and had to be opened back up and packed with gauze for 6 months before it finally healed all the way, and it caused some really weird scarring next to my belly button.
Plus, I have a lot of loose skin on my tummy from 2 kids and loosing weight so fast all the time. So the scar is all flat right in the middle while my tummy on either side is not so flat. So I look like I have a butt on my stomach LOL.
10-20-2010, 03:21 PM   #13
Jennifer
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I don't show my tummy to many people! My first resection incision got infected and had to be opened back up and packed with gauze for 6 months before it finally healed all the way, and it caused some really weird scarring next to my belly button.
Same happened to me but mine took about a month to heal with gauze packing. That's how mine was misshapen too.


I forgot to add that Prednisone also chanced my body by giving me stretchmarks. I have a hard time showing off my legs for fear of people thinking I was just fat.
10-20-2010, 03:58 PM   #14
2thFairy
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Because of internal adhesions twisting my scars every which way, I now have two belly buttons. It's entertaining!
10-20-2010, 04:05 PM   #15
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I only have 2 (that can be seen by others....). First one was the appendectomy (bikini type one, straight across), then came the resection (long diagonal from bottom right corner to above my belly button...My surgeon always said he would be available to take out my gall bladder if we ever needed to ....then it would complete the Z pattern he had started....Zorro was here! Great! I have a surgeon with a sense of humor.....even it was only him that thought it was funny.
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10-20-2010, 04:28 PM   #16
Nyx
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I forgot about that scar. I have only one there and I get asked about it too. It's from where they tried putting in my central IV but failed and tried again lower.

Any of your guy's scars itchy still or have pain or have lost feeling entirely? The one across my belly button lost feeling on the right side, it never came back, and it itches sometimes and hurts sometimes. My guess is phantom pain. Although my central IV scars itch sometimes and they've been there for 20 years. :/
My scar's about 8" long and still red and angry looking even after 10 months. I have no feeling in most of it, but on occasion I get pain and itchiness. Not sure what that's about.

And in regards to the OP's question. I have a bag, so I don't show my belly off anymore so no one sees my scar. I'd be happy to show them though. It grosses people out...lol And that amuses me!
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Crohn's Diagnosis: May 2006
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"Never trust a fart." Jack Nicholson, The Bucket List

Oscar is awesome! Loving my life with my stoma (with a hint of poo)!!

10-20-2010, 04:28 PM   #17
Mountaingem
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Come on folks. We are survivors! We have earned our scars - they help tell our life story.

However, if people are being nosy and intrusive, you do have every right to give them a quirky story. People are curious. But wouldn't you rather they ask than stare and make conjectures behind your back?

Be careful to not confuse sympathy and pity with empathy. When people ask questions, it could be a great opportunity to educate them about CD.

With age and experiences, I've grown immune to caring what anyone else thinks about me, my scars/body and my disease.
I'm with you on this Babs! The worst looking scar is about 5 inches vertical from my belly button down from a hysterectomy to remove a cantaloupe-sized tumor in my uterus. It tipped my uterus backward and the tumor was laying on my kidney-OWW!

I consider my scars a battle wound in the fight against disease. Even though I'm not a bikini kind of girl (I'm Scandanavian and Nicole Kidman-white) if I reach for something and someone gets a peek, they always ask what it is. Since I live in Los Angeles sometimes I have a little fun and tell them it was a tummy tuck gone bad.
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10-20-2010, 04:30 PM   #18
Nyx
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So the scar is all flat right in the middle while my tummy on either side is not so flat. So I look like I have a butt on my stomach LOL.
I have that going on too...I hate that the most.
10-20-2010, 08:26 PM   #19
Jer's Girl
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I'm with you Mountaingem and Babs! I am really proud of my scars and also refer to them as "battle wounds". I am never embarrassed to talk about my scars, or show them off. I am not quiet about my disease and even told everyone when I had my ostomy. I just don't think that medical problems are something to be embarrassed about. I feel very proud of myself for being strong enough to survive what I have been through.
10-20-2010, 09:09 PM   #20
Jennifer
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And in regards to the OP's question. I have a bag, so I don't show my belly off anymore so no one sees my scar. I'd be happy to show them though. It grosses people out...lol And that amuses me!
When I first joined this forum there were advertisements at the top and one of them was about covers for an ostomy bag. They looked really nice and super stylish that wrapped around your waist. Just looked it up, it's called the Stealth Belt. http://www.stealthbelt.com/CUSTOMWEAR.html Dunno if you'd be into it or not but my first thought when I saw that was, "if I have to get a bag, I'm getting one of those." I don't work with the company or anything. :P I just thought they looked cool.
10-20-2010, 09:41 PM   #21
Nyx
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When I first joined this forum there were advertisements at the top and one of them was about covers for an ostomy bag. They looked really nice and super stylish that wrapped around your waist. Just looked it up, it's called the Stealth Belt. http://www.stealthbelt.com/CUSTOMWEAR.html Dunno if you'd be into it or not but my first thought when I saw that was, "if I have to get a bag, I'm getting one of those." I don't work with the company or anything. :P I just thought they looked cool.
I bought one of those! It didn't work for me, but I can see the benefit of it. The only problem I had with it was that it holds your bag sideways (it goes around your waist instead of hanging down your leg), so it doesn't really help with getting the excrement to go to the bottom of the bag (gravity is our friend!). I also found that it didn't fit quite snug enough...either that or my hips are too big...it keeps rolling up around my waist. It's a great idea though. I'm always looking for things to keep my bag in place, flatten it out, and still look good.
10-20-2010, 09:55 PM   #22
Jennifer
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Hmmm, I guess maybe it isn't meant to be worn all the time, just for if you're at the pool or something. Ah well, if I find something better I'll let you know but I bet you'll find it before me.
10-20-2010, 10:00 PM   #23
Mountaingem
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My scar's about 8" long and still red and angry looking even after 10 months. I have no feeling in most of it, but on occasion I get pain and itchiness. Not sure what that's about.

And in regards to the OP's question. When my scar was like that I kept rubbing vitamin E oil and cocoa butter on it-I had to mix them together 'cause my skin would itch with just the E oil.

I have a bag, so I don't show my belly off anymore so no one sees my scar. I'd be happy to show them though. It grosses people out...lol And that amuses me!
SWEEEET-that's so awesome! I'd love to see the look on their faces-

I used cocoa butter on my scar when it was angry and itchy-it really helped and makes it fade,too.
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