October 09, 2013

belly wounds:: healing from the inside out.

Warning:::  This post has very graphic pictures.  
Please be careful if you are reading this blog with young children around.
I'm showing you some pretty REAL pictures so be careful.
Sorry if I shouldn't be posting them.

I have skin that heals well.
7 kids and no stretch marks.
This major surgery has given me some pretty intense scars.
My closest friends and relatives are most interested in my tummy scar.
And, since you are my second closest friends... I'll share it with you.
It looks like I have a bum on my tummy.

The whole time I was preparing for my surgery I wanted to see someone else's scar so I knew what to expect.
I did have two c-sections prior to this surgery and one other surgery on my intestines.  All three of those were horizontal incisions and when they healed you couldn't even see them.
This scar is bad because they had to cut vertically and because I was open for three days and because they had to remove my wound vac and let me heal from the inside out (due to infection).
This is a pretty great looking, very intense scar.  I am scarred and ALIVE.
I remember the resident using a ruler to mark a straight line down my abdomen.
I'm grateful for them every time I see my scar.
It is so neat how the human body works to heal itself.
Don't look at this if it will gross you out... It's pretty tough to see.

I am humble.  I think my scar is awful.  Awful and amazing at the same time.  I feel humbled and so grateful and a little bit scared when I see it.  It is harder for me to see than it should be.  I hope that once things are cleaned out on the inside, I won't be so afraid of the outside.

Today, my scar is doing weird things around my belly button and I'm afraid I might have a hernia.
I don't really know what a hernia is.  :)
[update-- I really do have a hernia at my belly button.  Blah.  They are going to fix it when they fix my kidney.  So fun!]

Seriously, I know these are gross and getting grosser.
You really do not want to see these pictures, even if you think you do.
If you think of me as a turkey they are not as hard to look at.  :)
I honestly felt like a stuffed thanksgiving turkey.

My belly looks speckled around the edges of my scar.  That is from the big stitches they put in to pull my stomach as closed as they could get it while they were waiting to do more surgery.
You also should know that in these pictures, the inside layers of my abdomen are stitched up, just the outside layers are open.
They let me heal from the inside out (meaning they didn't stitch me closed) because they didn't want infection puss pockets to form.
I know it sounds odd... and it was pretty gross... but, I guess that is how they do it sometimes.

At the hospital.
With the wound vac, literally they filled me with sponges and attached a machine that vacuumed my wound closed-
see that TAPE?!!!
They had to change the sponges in my belly DAILY.
Tearing off that tape was TORTURE.
just saying.
In this picture you can see the drain they had in me to drain out the stuff in my abdomen.
I know you always wanted to see a belly drain.
In the hospital, when they had to remove the wound vac (because it kept getting infected)-
The first day my home health care nurse came (1 month after my surgery) and the last day she was with me (about 2 and a half months after my surgery)...
This is a before/after shot... the after on the left shows some stuff that isn't good.
The inside was healing too much (can you see the puffy red parts?) so they had to cauterize the red parts again to slow down that extra growth.
The black thing is a vein that they cauterized.
The yellowish stuff is dead skin that they would have to scrape off or use special ointment on.

About 3 months after my surgery...
 Lovely pictures for your day.
I am really grateful for my body.
Bodies are a gift from God.  They are amazing.
I don't love my scar, but I am grateful for it.
I'm proud of my scars and I'm proud of my life.
And... I would choose this again.
Because my littlest baby is worth a tummy scar.

 Have a great day!!
Perhaps now you are in the mood for a turkey sandwich?  :)


Elicia Gregg said...

Dear Jenifer,

Thank you for being so honest, and sharing so much of your journey with those of us who follow your blog. I look forward to you healing and you being able to write about not only your healing, but your children too. (Can you tell that I miss those stories?) You are truly an inspiration as is your whole family who went on this journey with you.

jenifer said...

Thanks for your comment Elicia! I have a whole camera full of recent pics and more normal life posts to write. I'm with you- ready to return to regular everyday life! I just can't find the cord to download my camera to my computer. I'm sure it's in one of those last boxes in my office that I still need to unpack. Thanks for reading and commenting and wanting to hear about my kiddos. (Mothering is my favorite topic.)

Heather said...

Wow! Jen! You are so strong! So great! So hard... You are totally going to make it! Keep a goin'! Your life is a miracle and I'm so glad you are here with your family! One of these days, maybe if we ever move to Virginia, we'll come up to New York and say hi to your cute family! Thanks for sharing this hard part of your life. It encourages me to fight through the hard times!

Chocolate on my Cranium said...

I found the pictures fascinating. It is truly amazing how God designed the human body to heal itself.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Thanks for the warning to keep the kids away! Those pictures are truly amazing. It's amazing how well you have healed considering where you started. Thank you for sharing this journey you are on with us.

kristine barr said...

The scar does look like a bum on your tummy but it is healed. Is it protruding around the belly button area? Or does it tingle , hurt or itch? If the latter it just might be nerves healing. How are the kidneys? Do your legs and feet hurt less? Your baby is a cute little dumpling.

Marie said...

What mommas go through for our babies!!! You are one AMAZING woman, Jen... Seriously. Thank you for sharing your journey with us and for teaching us life changing lessons each and every day. Praying for your continuing healing and blessings beyond compare in your new home! ❤️

jenifer said...

I feel like my scar is spreading by my belly button. It feels like a balloon underneath the skin. It only hurts when I'm holding a baby. I think something is weird under there.

My kidney is ok. My urologist is looking for a surgeon. They might have to take out my left kidney but hopefully will only remove a couple inches of my ureter. :(

My right leg is numb and my left thigh. I get Charlie horses if I bend down... BUT my legs are not painful all the time like they used to be!!! Thank goodness!!!!!

Yes, he really is a darling dumpling. Thank you!!

jenifer said...

You're welcome. :)

jenifer said...

Just found the package you sent me in the hospital. It was soo kind. I loved looking through it today as much as I loved it then. Thank You!!9

jenifer said...

That is exactly what I think when I see them!! A.Ma.Zing!

jenifer said...

Thanks Marie! I feel honored to be on your prayer list!!

Christine Suldinger said...

Amazing how you have healed. I have seen a lot of those kinds of wounds since I am a nurse and I'm always amazed when peoples stomach close up.
Great healing job :)

bjahlstrom said...

Ha! A bum on your tummy!

Amber said...

Wow! That is amazing! And your baby is super cute! Wow, again, I wish you continued healing! Again, thanks for sharing!

SuburbanZoo said...

Well, you may find me strange or annoying, but I think your scar is beautiful. Honestly, just beautiful.

Katie E

jenifer said...

Thanks Katie... My husband says the same thing. Thank you. I think it is amazing!! (But not quite beautiful.)

jenifer said...

I may just choose to be a nurse in my next life. I love nurses. You must see some pretty amazing stuff...

Kristen said...

Wow, thank you for sharing. How wonderous God has made our bodies! Your scar is amazing! And Ben is edible, his hair and chub is so awesome.

jenifer said...

People kept asking what my tummy looked like. I'm glad it wasn't too much for you. (It's too much for me to look at.). Bleh.

jenifer said...

:) it's true...

jenifer said...

Yes. I eat him daily. :)

Anwar Ahmed said...

You are strong thank god i found your bloog when i was daignosed with accreta i have the virtical scar my little boy thinks that i got a front bomp

lydia largaespada said...

thank you for sharing. was this a complication from a csection?

lydia largaespada said...

thank you for sharing. was this a complication from a csection?

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