Thursday, November 6, 2014

How to Care For Your C-Section (But Not Really) Scar After Surgery

If somebody had told me years ago that I would stop wearing bikinis by the age of twenty-five, I would have laughed at that guy’s face. Not that I’m that mean—to laugh at someone’s face and stuff—but it’s just hard to believe, is all.

Of course, how could I have known I would get an ovary sliced out smack in the middle of my quarter-life crisis?

Yes, I had a huge three-headed Hidden Mickey cyst removed (you can read all about it HERE) two years ago, and as a result, I had to say goodbye to my tiny string swimsuits because, heaven forbid, I wouldn’t want anyone to get grossed out by the big fat scar across my belly.

Sure, I can still pull off my cute two-pieces at the beach every now and then, because hell yes, scarred people are beautiful. Still, exposing my scar can’t be all that good for it, now is it? It doesn’t help that I’m a major Keloid-former, too.

So if you’ve ever had an oophorectomy (goodbye ovary!), a C-Section, or a sorta-C-Section-but-kinda-not-really-scar-across-your-belly, here are just some tips on how to care for your wound.

*ADDITIONAL NOTE: Before your operation, when given the choice between a bikini cut or a vertical cut, never choose the bikini cut. I had the misfortune of believing it was more beneficial for me, but honestly, these is nothing advantageous with having a bikini cut rather than the aesthetic purpose it brings. Bikini cuts are more painful, heal slower, and cut across more veins which means the pain will recur every once in while even long after you’ve healed. I mean, what the hell?

1. Eat right.

For the first few days after my surgery, I had to make do with stupid bland food or else I would throw up everything because nothing ever stayed down. That’s normal. Your guts just took a beating, and they’re all jumbled up in there, so give them time to find their bearings. In the meantime, eat a lot of nutritious soft food, like Lapu-Lapu soup (this may just be an old wives’ tale, but this fish really does wonders to your healing). 

And because you’re not allowed to strain yourself on the toilet (believe me; I tried and it hurt like cray-cray), make sure you increase your fiber intake as well. Go for fruits, veggies, and natural prune juice. It’s gonna suck for a while, but once you get your appetite back, your insides will thank you for it.

2. Tread carefully.

Your core just got cut open in what probably was a horrid display of blood and goo (okay; maybe not). Naturally, you’re not supposed to put any pressure on your core. You can’t laugh too hard or bend too much; you can’t twist in weird angles and you certainly can’t walk all over the place. Bed rest is advised, but if you must MUST go anywhere inside the house, try to stay away from stairs. Bunk up on the first floor of your house while you recover, and always make sure someone’s watching over you to help you out from time to time. If you do feel the need to walk or stand for long periods of time, take small, slow steps and rest every once in a while. It’s awesome to think you’re Wonder Woman, but in real life, an Amazon warrior princess crafted by the gods you are not. So cut yourself some slack. Most people would kill for a chance to chill out like this, so welcome it.

3. Prop yourself up. 

On your bed, what actually helps speed up your recovery is you resting in a sitting position rather than lying flat on your back all the time. My husband bought me an inflatable backrest at the time, so that I could stay in bed in sitting position without straining myself. Even laughing or sneezing or coughing hurts, so it feels good to just lay back on the bed and be a bum. If you’ve got one of those tight foam stomach-binding wraps (I got one when I was discharged from the hospital), that would help with the throbbing when the painkillers wear off.

4. Wash your wound like a pro.

Your OB is going to tell you when it’s time to take the Tegaderm off and re-introduce your skin to refreshing water. When you do bathe, just let the water wash off your skin. Never rub, never pick, never scratch—resist the urge, especially if you are a Keloid-former. A Keloid scar is one that is thick, raised, dark, and irregularly shaped. It’s like a fat wriggly worm that gets fatter over time if you don’t care for it properly. This is why you can’t pick on your scar, or have it brush against tight clothing. After bathing, you can apply some scar medicine on it, then put on some loose and breathable clothes. Oh and yes, as embarrassing as it may seem, suck it up and wear some granny undies for a while. This will help keep those pesky garters away from your scar (in a bikini cut).

5. Stay productive.

I was on house arrest for two months after my surgery, and I would have gone crazy if I didn’t have my wedding plans to attend to during those grueling and extremely slow sixty days. So even though you can’t be too mobile, keep yourself productive. Here’s your chance to do all those things you’ve always wanted to do but was just too lazy to begin. You can clean up the files in your computer, send out those emails (I had a flexible remote-work arrangement with my boss), make write-ups, play video games (yay!), or in my case at the time, plan a wedding coming up in seven months. Your body is recovering, but that doesn’t mean your mind should go blank, right?

At the end of the day, what’s important is that you stay positive while recuperating. There were dark days when I was at my most miserable because I couldn’t eat and I couldn’t sleep and no matter what I did or what position I was in, the pain would just be too much and the loneliness unbearable. But keep your head, heart, and spirits afloat. Stay in touch with the outside world and keep your loved ones even closer. Have them visit you and distract you from the pain. Before you know it, you’ll be up on your feet again, ready to face the world. With a new, six-inch mark on you that says you’re a toughie and you survived, you can take on anything!  

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  1. This is a good tip for all of those who have scars because of operation or those who got sliced by Rorouni Kenshin.

    1. Hahaha that's so awesome! I am a big fan of Rurouni Kenshin. Have you watched the live-action adaptations yet? Thanks for dropping by! :)


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