Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Time Heals All Wounds

I'm 12 days post-op now, but this picture is 11 days post-op. I think the green is really starting to heal and the swelling at my ICD site is going down. The tape is still on the incisions because I was told they would come off on their own. I would never remove them and I am going to wait until they peel off naturally, but I'm starting to wonder what my incisions actually look like and what the scars might look like. My ICD scar has been thick and keloid. It's been keloid since it was a pacemaker scar, which is what I had first.
I got my first pacemaker when I was 11 years old and since it's been 12 years, I honestly don't remember my chest without it. I didn't like it, though, because it made me asymmetrical, which is funny to say now, looking at these pictures with my open-heart scar all slanted. I wasn't exactly cut right down the middle. But 12 years was a long enough time to get over my initial feelings of that scar, along with everything else that was "wrong" with my body. After the high school need to fit in and be perfect subsided, it became a real chore to hate the evidence of my survival.

And yet, I can't help but wonder if maybe this new ICD scar won't be keloid. And if both scars aren't then it will be the closest I've come to symmetry in a long time. Which was not even something that I even thought was an option. Every time I go back in to the hospital something new happens that I never even thought was possible. It never occurred to me that any lead or device or anything would be put on my right side. You'd think after 12 years and four different implantable devices I would start to expect the unexpected. I continue to be amazed every time.


  1. I for one have never noticed your lack of asymmetry. All I have ever seen as you grew up was a beautiful, stunning young lady who was and is as beautiful on the inside as the outside. You have always been a very strong girl and have met each obstacle with courage. I am proud of you and glad to know you. Best wishes always. Zena

  2. Clare,
    What beautiful writing. i especially love "it became a real chore to hate the evidence of my survival." Thank you for blogging and I look forward to hearing more. Did you get cleared to go back to work? Sending love, Kathleen