Out to dinner at friend’s bush home for first time since surgery…A little self-conscientious about the scars…

Nyala was thrilled we had more pellets for him.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

We don’t usually see a lot of young male bushbucks. But, this adorable fellow with his budding horns was a sight to see.

Tonight, Lynne and Mick are hosting a dinner party at their bush home for a total of eight to include; Kathy, Don, Linda, Ken and Tom, and me. This will be my first time out socializing since returning (to Marloth Park) from the hospital on Saturday, February 23, a mere 20 days ago.

When Lynne stopped by a few days ago to loan me some pajama bottoms and a few other loose-fitting clothes, she tentatively invited us to hers and Mick’s home for tonight’s dinner party.

She was tentative based on her desire to keep me from feeling obligated to join the evening’s festivities if I wasn’t quite up to it yet and that we could let her know at the last minute if I wasn’t feeling well enough to attend.  I thought for a minute and said, “No, we can commit now. We will be there!”

He and this duiker got along well while eating pellets.

This gave me a goal to work toward for a few days since there were a few factors I needed to consider, such as what I’d wear, and I could put myself together well enough to feel like being out and about?

Now, keep in mind, these are all close friends, and how I look, what I wear, and whether or not I drink wine is irrelevant to them. I know this. But, I’m “me,” and no surgery, no looking tired is going to keep me from being myself. I decided to give it a go.

Since we have a dinner reservation for Jabula for Friday night, this would be a good “trial run.” Sure, as Tom says with a smile on his face, “There’s some vanity in that equation.” I know this and accept this as who I am and who I’ve always been…a bit vain, always striving to look and feel my very best.  

He’s less shy around us now, coming close to the veranda.

I’m 71 years old. There’s no changing me now!  So, kindly keep this in mind as I continue with this very personal, revealing story. Many, if not most of you, would handle this differently. That’s great. But that’s not me. That’s OK. We’re all different, and that’s what makes us so fascinating to one another.

Thus the issues were wrapped around two things:
1.  What would I wear when all the pants I have are in the jeans category in one way or another? At this point, jeans rub against the painful incisions and cause them to bleed. I’m not a “dress” person, so I have no comfy flowing dress that would fit the bill.
2.  I don’t want the ugly scar on my chest that comes up to that little circle at the base of one’s throat. To me, it’s pretty ugly, still swollen and red.  Perhaps over time, it will improve, but I’m realistic in acknowledging that its appearance is here to stay. I can live with this…good grief. I’m alive! But, I don’t want this showing when we go out and about in the world.
3.  The oozing bleeding scars on both of my legs were running from my ankle to my upper thigh (actually two incisions) and the other on the opposite leg from ankle to knee. They look terrible right now as they struggle to heal, and the pain can be fierce and throbbing. If it weren’t for these incisions in my legs, I’d feel perfect.  The chest incision is healing rapidly at this point, four weeks today from the date of surgery.

We can’t get over how handsome he is.

Bottom line? Why don’t I want these showing when I’m out and about, often meeting new people? I don’t want people who are curious (nosey) by nature asking me, “what happened?” I don’t feel I have to get into this with people I don’t know.  Hiding the scars seems to be an excellent solution to this concern.

How do I hide my legs when all the pants I have are either short to the knee or Capri length, except for a few insect repellent safari pants?  I don’t think that the embedded repellent should be touching these open wounds at this time.  Plus, I prefer not to dress as if I’m going on a safari when I’m not.

It’s not as easy as heading to a local clothing shop and purchasing a few new items.  I’ve checked out these shops on many occasions, and all I’ve seen are clothes entirely unsuitable for my long legs and my age.

Tom broke up a raw carrot and tossed out pieces to him.  He loved it!

Fortunately, Lynne loaned me a pair of “harem” type pants which I’ll wear tonight and maybe again on Friday evening. These pants have an elasticized waistline, and thus I can adjust them for length (I’m taller than Lynne), fully covering the compression stockings (two more weeks for these) and, therefore, the leg scars.

What to wear on the top? The pants are deep red and black. I have a black tee-shirt that I love in stretchy cotton, but it’s a “v” neckline, leaving the raised red scar prominent. I considered purchasing some infinity scarves, but I’m not a scarf person as much as I’ve tried to be one. I’m terrible at tying proper knots on regular scarves.

The black tee-shirt is my only option. But I had a plan. What if I wear the tee-shirt backward, which in doing so, will entirely hide the scar? You know how, on occasion, you put a tee-shirt on backward and feel as if you’re choking? Well, I decided that if I could get used to a scarf, I could get used to wearing a backward tee-shirt.

It was beautiful to see him three out of four days.

This morning when I dressed, I put on a blue tee-shirt backward. It looked perfect, like a round neck tee-shirt instead of a “v” or scoop neck. I can do this.

Now, several hours later, I’ve already forgotten about my backward tee-shirt, and now going forward, I’ll do this when we go out, not when we’re staying in. This made me jump for joy.

One more issue I have to figure out by tonight is the “bra” thing. I only have three identical VS underwire bras, same size, exact fit. Whenever we get to the US, I replace these for three more, tossing the old ones. Amazingly, they hold up very well, showing little to no signs of wear and tear, especially since they never go into a clothes dryer (we rarely have one of these).

I haven’t tried putting on a bra yet. But I will tonight. I’m not entirely comfortable going out bra-less. I may have done this in the ’70s, but not so much since then. It’s not trendy for us older women to go bra-less in public, and I doubt it will ever be.  Right?

When he was done visiting us, he headed back to the bush to continue with his day.

I didn’t feel like giving the bra a trial run this morning, but I guess I’ll see how it goes when I dress for tonight. If the bra is not comfortable on the deep and long incision in my chest, I’ll forgo the bra. Plus, I’ve lost several kilos (pounds), and it won’t be as noticeable as it would have been a few months ago.

So, there’s my immediate and long-term plan. Of course, when purchasing new clothing in the future, I’ll simply have to see what makes me feel comfortable and like my old self depending on how the scars look by the next time we’re in the US, and I shop, sometime in November 2019.

The hair, the makeup? That’s easy. I’ve always been quick in putting myself together, especially now that I can raise my arms over my head which was difficult if not impossible a few weeks ago.

Maybe tonight I’ll be ambitious and we’ll take a few photos to share in tomorrow’s post. It’s about time we make an appearance even if it’s off from photos of a few months ago.

Be well. Be happy.

      Photo from one year ago today, March 12, 2018:

One year ago, we attended a snake-handling school. Tom is preparing to capture a puff adder. Although puff adders have a reputation for moving slowly, generally,  they won’t bite unless agitated as is the case with most venomous snakes. Often people are bitten from accidentally stepping on them or encountering them unexpectedly…or foolishly trying to handle them without proper knowledge. For more such photos, please click here.

Comments and responses Out to dinner at friend’s bush home for first time since surgery…A little self-conscientious about the scars…

  1. Anonymous Reply

    Hi Jess,
    Your pictures from one year ago are all dated 2017 (twenty-seventeen), so I think somewhere you lost a year and your age is only 70… ��

    Regards and a speedy recovery,
    Rina and Cees (in a cold and windy country)

  2. Jessica Reply

    Thanks Rina & Cees!
    I certainly appreciate the catch of my errors. Thanks for your kind wishes.
    Much love,
    Jess & Tom

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