Kind of an odd week ahead...
Today I have an appointment with the surgeon to begin to talk about the when and what of the therapeutic aspects of surgery. On Friday I meet a plastic surgeon to talk about the more cosmetic aspects.
It all feel rather weird, as surgery is still some months off - hopefully late January - and actually rather unreal. I'm not really sure how I am meant to feel about it either... I'm partly curious, partly terrified and partly almost excited. How weird is that?!
Lots to think about, and lots of OPEs to negotiate en route.
The most important part, obviously, is the therapeutic surgery, and until that is undertaken any plastics options remain provisional... there will be an element of unknowing right up until the process is done. I am OK with that, at least intellectually.
It is the plastics aspect that seems to demand more attention in my thinking, not least as the odd person has felt very free to tell me precisely why it should not happen!
To be told on the same day as my diagnosis that simultaneous reconstructive surgery ought to be possible felt like a gift of grace... that despite all I would still look 'normal' at the end of this. Of course that raises questions about 'normal' and 'self esteem' and their relationship, but in that moment it was a ray of hope.
I don't think my self-esteem depends on my appearance not just because I'm not a 'girlie girl' but because I am generally 'OK' with myself as I am. If they can't reconstruct that's OK, disappointing, but not a reason to think less of myself. So is it mere vanity? I don't think so. Not everyone I know agrees.
The Bible tells us we are made in the image and likeness of God... and we tend to equate that with the body beautiful, ever youthful, fully functional. Which is a shame because Jesus, the resurrected Jesus, carries the scars of a brutal beating, thorns piercing his face, nails through his wrists and ankles, a sword plunged into his chest. A surgically altered Catriona will still bear God's image - with or without the cosmetic aspects.
The deeper I ponder, the more I am sure that the God who made me wants the very best for me - which in this case includes the possibility of plastic surgery. Whether the surgery leaves me an "unwilling Amazon" or looking relatively 'normal' won't alter how God sees me, won't alter who I really am. What matters in the meantime is that I listen carefully to the professionals and follow the path that I judge right for me whilst being gracious to those who cannot, or will not, understand.