No Hope?

In Diet and Weight, Family Doctor, Self Image on December 13, 2013 at 2:23 pm

I was performing minor surgery on a pretty young lady’s upper arm recently.  As always, I warned her about her chances of having a scar from the procedure and offered to send her to a dermatologist who could probably make a prettier scar than I could.

She said without pausing to think about it,” Oh, don’t worry, I never wear short sleeves anyway.  I hate my arms.”

I said “Ok,” and finished the procedure.  I told her how to care for the wound and when to come back to have the stitches removed.  We parted ways and I went on to my next patient.  That brief conversation really stuck with me though.  I thought about it the rest of the day.

She is a pretty, healthy, 31-year-old mother and wife that has gotten so used to being overweight that she never shows her arms and never plans to.  That just kills me to hear, giving up on health at 31.  Throwing in the towel and surrendering to a weight which will ultimately rob her of health and seems to have already taken her self-respect — it’s a terrible thing.

I wish I knew how to give her some hope again.  I certainly want to help those who haven’t lost all hope push ahead and reclaim their health.

Any ideas out there on how to re-kindle hope for her?

  1. I have learned that by having people support me with “you can do it” type messages make a difference because one day after hearing them a million times you start to believe it. The reality is, she won’t change until she believes she can. Then she has to be willing to put the work in. It is hard and I struggle daily. 3 years ago I was 100lbs heavier and lead a sedentary lifestyle. Today i run half marathons and work in the fitness industry. NEVER EVER would I have imagined this life for myself. Faith in yourself is the greatest gift you to you.

  2. Like Edmonton Tourist, 3 years ago, I was (more than) 100lbs heavier, living a sedentary life of denial, and didn’t have a lot of self-esteem. Once I found my start, I found an amazing thing happen – people whom I didn’t think noticed or cared were there to encourage and support me, and in my journey to the active and fit woman I am today, I found my self-esteem and self-love that I thought didn’t exist.

    It’s too bad that people think scars are something to be ashamed of, or hidden, let alone arms that don’t fit someone’s idea of beauty. Those arms you refer to are the arms of a mother, designed to give great hugs, provide amazing support to her kids and husband, and adorn a wonderful woman.

    I have plenty of scars, some small and unnoticable, some pretty substantial and quite obvious. When I got a number of them this past summer, all the doctors who treated me offered the same “you can go to a plastic surgeon and have them fixed” advice. To each and every one of them, my response was, and remains “they’re mine, I earned them, and I will keep them!”

    Scars are life’s way of saying that you lived, you didn’t sit on the sidelines waiting for something to happen.

    • Great thoughts on scars! Proof that we have lived is valuable and shouldn’t be lightly dismissed.
      It is very encouraging for this family doctor to hear another great story of a personal health triumph – go Lizz!

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