Under Construction: Post-Surgery

By: Renata Parkinson


Prior to my torso surgery, my cousin had brought me some fashion magazines to read to distract my mind. The night of my accident, I was in a fashion event. Now I could not even stand looking at anything fashion related since it challenged me to accept that my body had changed for good. Since day one the nurses had told me about the possibilities of reconstructive surgery. I had no interest in listening. No one was in my shoes. What would you do if your chest had melted away? What surgery could reconstruct THAT?

The crying was non-stop. It was exhausting. Once again, my rehabilitation doctor M. intervened and invited an ex-patient of his to tell me her story. Years ago she had been a victim of an attack by an unwanted lover. Angry that he could not have her, he broke into her house and poured acid over her body and her young infant. She told us how she and her now teenage daughter had gotten to the point where they are now in life and shared with us details about her reconstructive surgeries. Her positivity was one of the first things to mentally cure me a bit. If she could do it, then why couldn’t I?

When the pain decreased, post-torso surgery, my mood started to change bit by bit. Soon enough, however, the pain transformed into terrible itching. I became more active during training with physiotherapist M. and  communicated more than ever before with other patients. My family brought me my laptop and I started to get back into direct contact with other relatives and friends. The feedback was heartwarming. I started to think about life post-hospital. After losing my job, my apartment and half of my skin did I really want to lose my sense of self as well? Had this bulls*** not been humiliating enough already? I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror. My body was still emaciated. Two giant holes were staring back at me. Due to stress and heavy drugs (cause I LOVED me some morphine), my hair texture had changed from African hair to poor strands of silky hair. For the first time in weeks, I realized what pain was able to do to a human being. No longer did I want to look like this. F*** this bull****. I asked my family to bring me the fashion magazines and my makeup bag. Skeletor was in need of a makeover.


I asked the hospital barber for a touch up. He agreed but he had never shaved black hair before let alone of a woman who voluntarily wanted to be bald. Let’s say the end result looked a bit experimental. Either way, I started to use the brightest makeup I found in my bag. The nurses enjoyed this change. Instead of encountering an angry or crying Skeletor every morning, they would now meet a Skeletor in pink lipstick and green mascara.

Good morning, how are you? Could you tell me about reconstructive surgery please?

*** How important has makeup been for your recovery? Do you have any tips to relieve scar itchiness? Post below :)***

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