I Still Struggle With Invisible Scars Left Behind by Cushing’s Disease
When I was younger, I was very active as a two-sport athlete. I also spent a lot of time outdoors with friends. I was constantly getting bruised and scarred. Sometimes I knew where the scars came from, while other times, I’d notice them later when someone pointed them out.
Scars are reminders of a period in our life. But there are also invisible scars that often come from a place of emotion.
One reason emotional scars are so impactful is due to the personal relationships that often are associated with them. These types of wounds heal differently than physical ones, but both go through a similar process. I’ve had a few emotional scars.
After finding out I had a pituitary tumor in late 2015, I was in shock. The little knowledge I had about tumors wasn’t good, and I always associated them with being cancerous. I was relieved to find out my tumor was benign. The surgery I had to remove it left no physical scarring. I did experience physical changes, but what haunted me most were the things no one could see.
One thing I still sometimes struggle with is the appearance of my body. Sometimes when my wife and I go out to eat, we’ll be seated in a booth, which is very uncomfortable due to the tight space. No matter how much I try to adjust to the space, it’s still unpleasant. This causes me feelings of insecurity, and I think people are looking at me. In reality, it’s all in my head. I still struggle with this, although I have been making progress in changing my thinking. It also helps to have a supportive spouse.
Another invisible scar has been adjusting to my clothing. I have a closet full of clothing I can’t wear because of the physical changes to my body due to my experience with Cushing’s disease. “Discouraging” is almost too nice of a word to describe the way I feel at times. I feel like my clothes fit me oddly now or that my body shape is odd.
These might be considered superficial feelings, but they have led to an emotional struggle I never had to experience before my diagnosis. I am still a work in progress, and I will continue to improve both physically and mentally. But it is important to acknowledge these feelings.
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