Wednesday, 9 November 2011


Reality = lots of drugs

When I was told I was going to have to have a liver transplant my first thoughts were about how I was going to have an organ from a dead person put inside me.  Charming way to put it I know, but that's where my head went.  I have a bit of an issue with dead things, they freak me out quite a lot.  So the thought of someone else's liver becoming mine took a fair amount of processing to get used to.  (I have complete and total respect to the person who I received it from and their family, thank you wherever you are - without your amazing generosity I would not be here right now) I still haven't 100% come to terms with it, it all happened incredibly fast and there was not a lot of time for processing of any information.  Even less so because I was also suffering from hepatic encephalopathy which basically means the toxins in my body that my liver would normally process were floating around everywhere including in my brain, making me very confused and quite a bit crazy. (A whole other post worth of craziness, believe me)

So when my sister came in to visit and I told her I was going to have to have a dead person's liver (I have since been banned from referring to it in that way, not helpful for me to adjust and disrespectful to my liver donor), her first comment was 'You're going to have a big scar!'  Now weirdly enough, or perhaps not given my state of confusion, I had not even thought about this part of the process.  But she was right.  I have got a scar. A really, really, really big one. And I really do not like it at all.

MR has been amazing.  Like, truly unbelievably wonderously amazing.  Through it all.  There is no way I can express how lucky I am to have him in my life.  I have had a bit of a cry to him about it and feeling unattractive and being worried that he will find it gross and unattractive also.  He assures me this is not the case and most of the time it is as if he doesn't even notice it.  The only times he does is to comment on how well it is healing (really well, all healed over now apart from one small bit).  To be entirely honest, when I have my top off to put the Bio Oil on he is much more interested in what else is on display (as you can imagine, it's been a while!) 

I know I should be proud of it.  It is a badge of honour of what I have been through.  But since getting the last of the staples out on Monday (Yay!) and being able to see it properly without any metal things hiding it, I have become a bit obsessed with it.  I religiously Bio Oil it twice a day, very gently massaging it each time.  I look at it in the mirror and try to associate it with being a part of me.  It doesn't seem like it belongs there. I had a normal looking tummy one day and the next a giant upside down T in its place.  I want my old tummy back.  It was a bit on the pudgey side and I wasn't really keen on it but in hindsight, oh it seems so perfect!  (This new me has also lost 8kg.  I haven't been this weight since I was about 19.  Small silver linings are shining through.)

So, I've decided to be brave, and perhaps a little bit out there (in more ways than one) and show you a photo of it.  Not because I want you to say 'Wow it looks great, you can barely notice it' or anything like that because that would just be a big fat lie.  More because I need to come to terms with it being a part of me.

(Apologies if you're squeamish, perhaps just close the screen now without scrolling further!)

Some background information...

Apparently the liver is the largest organ in the body, something I certainly wasn't aware of before now.  It lives up under the ribs on the right hand side which explains why they had to make such a big cut.

The two half healed holes below the scar are where the drains were after the surgery.  The one on my right was stitched up but the one on my left wasn't so once it heals I'll have quite a thick scar.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask...


Wendy Sice said...

Oh gosh, that really is a big scar. Oh, dear, I was thinking you were exaggerating, but you really weren't. Gosh.

Amazingly flat tummy though. And no saggy boobs.

Well, I'm sure time will heal. And hey, I've learned this past week just how sacred life is, so you have to be thankful for that.:)

CurlyPops said...

Thanks so much for showing it like it really is.
I've been warned about the giant box of pills, but have never seen it.
I've been thinking about the scarring but I like how you're going to use it as a badge of honour!

Michelle said...

Hon I really feel for you. I can hear what your saying about the death thing but Im sure you'll see in time that the liver is now yours its become part of you and it may take months, a year, but eventually one day I hope you you'll be ok with it. Its the opposite of death - its given you life. Very brave of you to show your scar it will heal, bio oil works really well I've tried it before. Give yourself time, and a hug, and let that Mr of yours love you to bits. x

sarah said...

Ouch! The first thing I think of is how itchy it will be- or may already be- when it is healing?!

I didn't realise how big the liver was either. I like that you are wearing it as a badge of honour too!

Baa-Me Kniits said...

You are right it is a big scar but it is healing beautifully. That bio-oil is good stuff. I don't know if my comment will help because I am a veterinary nurse and have only ever seen scars that big on animals but your surgeon did an amazingly neat job ;-)

PS My hubby said you could get some neat tattoos to dress it up a bit, he also said to tell you he is a big wanker. Seriously he was in awe of your braveness and guts (scuse the pun) at showing your scar to us.

Your Mr is right he doesn't see it and neither will you after a time.

Big hugs to you brave girl, goodness I hate taking tablets, your lot is a bit of a mouthful isn't it! xx

Fruitful Fusion said...

Wow! I think you've been through so much, it's amazing, the confidence you have in posting this. Amazing!

E. said...

I think you are very brave so showing us. Thank you for showing us your reality.

I'm impressed with you thinking of it as a badge of honour because it really is.

Like Fruitful Fusion, I think you are amazing.

Sally said...

F*ck (again) That sure is a big scar. Oh my. That will take some getting used to for sure. Probably by the time you come to terms with the scar it will have already started to fade. I had no idea how big the liver was... very tempted to go on a liver cleansing regime - just found a new respect for my own liver. Geez. Who knew?
It sure is a badge of honour. A reminder of just how lucky you are to be alive.
This unexpected journey of yours really has only just begun.
Take care and go slow.

... and typical men!
(sounds like you've got a good one though with all the taking care of you stuff - you deserve to be wrapped in cotton wool for a long time to come yet)

2paw said...

It's a doozy all right, but I think you have a very healthy attitude, a mixture of crossness, resignation and acceptance!!! I have a few scars but none as big as yours, though one is right across my neck, as if my throat has been cut. The surgeon said many women wore a light scarf for a few months to disguise it. I decided, like you, that without the scar I probably wouldn't be here, so it is a kind of Red Badge of Courage.
Yes, Men, they are so easily distracted aren't they??
So glad you have all the good people supporting you and organ donors save lives. It is the best gift you can give.