As of this post, I’m approximately 4 ½ months post op, and my recovery is still a work in progress. I knew it would be difficult, but there are still obstacles that I am overcoming. For the most part, I am no longer walking with a noticeable limp and I’ve been out of my large knee brace for about a month, meaning I no longer need to wear baggy athletic pants to work. I do however, still need to wear jeans every day. It’s amazing how quick others are to judge when you walk in to work wearing jeans on a Tuesday instead of Friday. Little do they know, I still can’t wear heels, and finding a pair of flat-ish shoes that match my nicer pants and have a decent amount of support is proving to be quite the task.
What still bothers me most about my recovery is the outward appearance of my knee. During my surgery, I had to have 2 or 3 screws inserted into my leg (I have no idea how many my doctor actually put in). With most of the swelling gone, those screws now visibly stick out of my upper shin. I have a couple of skirts I could wear to work this summer, but I find myself gravitating towards pants that hide the gross shape of my leg. Then I basically end up scolding myself for being so vain.
Then there are the ongoing issues with the surgical scar. Whenever I go to Target I find myself walking down the first aid aisle and staring at the scar treatment options. The same questions are constantly swirling in my mind: am I actually bothered by my scar? Would I be making it less difficult to look at because I want it that way, or would I be doing it for the comfort of others? By the time all of my knee issues are dealt with, I will most likely have had five surgeries total on both knees (three on the left, two probable/inevitable/upcoming ones on the right). Five surgeries mean five different sets of scars. They won’t bother me, so why am I so concerned with how others see them? I am a person who is usually relatively unconcerned with other people’s ideas of beauty, especially when it comes to the feminine body. I don’t own or wear makeup, unless my sister somehow manages to browbeat me into wearing some for special occasions, so why am I so concerned over scars on parts of my body that are covered the majority of the time? More so, why am I so concerned about other people’s comfort in regards to my body? Maybe I didn’t realize how pervasive socialization could be, even for those who are hyper-aware of it. Maybe deep down I am actually bothered by my leg’s appearance. Either way, I’ll have to keep working towards making decisions about my appearance based on what I want, not what others want.