Dealing with My Scars
I had my first surgical procedure in 1988, which left a large, unclosed wound on my forearm. Since that time, I had another biopsy ON THE SCAR and numerous other biopsies and procedure that have left their marks. Here are ways that I have dealt with them.
I have landed in a place of acceptance and am comfortable with myself and this journey. I use people’s questions as an opportunity to make them aware of the dangers of the sun and help them understand how to protect themselves. This has been a process. At first, I made jokes about how I was in a knife fight and “you should see what happened to the other guy.” I hid my scars by covering them with clothing or folding my arms. You might notice that same behavior in someone who has braces. They might not smile as much. As time rolled on and as awareness about skin cancer grew, I became more open and transparent about my condition. This has helped me deal with my scars. I now use them as conversation points to help others. This actually help me now in my ministry life. People are more open to share after I share.
After surgeries, I have made sure to limit my activity in the affected area, which is hard for me. I am very active and the healing wound seems to do better when I am not stressing the skin. Initially, I kept the wound moist and well cleaned. Over the years, I used over the counter ointments and Vitamin E oil and have had varying degrees of success. Lifestyle is very important. Exercise, good eating habits, getting enough sleep, and not smoking seems to have helped me. I have other family and friends who have similar surgeries. Their scars have not healed as well and it may have something to do with those factors. The most important thing that I try to do is stay out of the sun and put extra amounts of sun screen on my scars. My left forearm has a large scar and I make it a point to not leave it hanging out my driver’s side window when I drive.
I have had procedures done on my face and at times I need to hide those for professional reasons. I might put a little cover up make up on and blend it in. I am ok with this. Another great invention is what production companies can do post production; airbrushing! The reality is that even the most popular super model has imperfections. We all do! Every movie set has an entire department dedicated to hair and makeup. What we see on television is not a true representation. It has helped me with deal with my scars knowing that many Hollywood stars have their own as well.
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