Contracture - A boring story I feel compelled to tell.
This could never happen to anyone else because everyone always goes to the most experienced and skilled scarification artist around. And no one ever pushes an artist to do something a little more than they thought best. Just me.
Actually my artist may only have about two years cutting professionally(and 8 piercing) but he is skilled. So it was the "me" part that led to this little problem I am having. And in the long run it will be just a little problem I am sure but for right now it is a bitch.
When I said I wanted my inner forearm cut wrist to elbow the artist gave me a list of possible problems. Bloody wet death being foremost but followed not too far by painful healing compounded by the constant mobility of the area and lack of comprehension and misunderstandings of my motive for doing this. I felt confident that he could avoid the slasher film death scene. I had been cut by this person a number of times already and saw his level of control. And I have cut my own wrist for bloodletting more times than I could count. Actually, since the scars are still there albeit pale now as this was many years ago I could count. But I don't want to. My point is I know how deep the veins are. Also I spent years as a Vet. Tech. assisting in surgery and specializing in treating wicked wounds. Jesus the things I have seen. A cat caught in a car engine and ripped to shreds and not found for days. She came to us reeking of death. We had to cut off her tail. Her front leg was skinned to the bone in spots. But the worst was an eight inch gaping gash that ran up the inside of her leg up across her abdomen.The edges were necrotic. It took a year to close her up. Stitches and ointments and powders and bandages and experimental gel pads and on and on. I kept this cat for 17 years and watched her scars. And saw her battle the dreaded "contracture" for real. She died just before I had my second cutting done. Peacefully in her sleep.
Scarification in most cases I am sure causes no change in mobility. I have five and none of the others have caused any changes after healing. I have seen some inner arm cuts and try to think why mine is giving me this much trouble. Maybe its the continuity of the line. The central line is eight inches. Maybe the cut got a bit too deep in the middle where he had to bust thru an old scar. He did'nt like this idea over much but I assumed all responsability. I really wanted this and just this way. I have alot of reasons.
The design looks just how I wanted. The guy who did it has since said he's glad he did it because it came out like I envisioned.(And no one bled to death.) I have told him about the boa constrictor tightening and the steps I take to ease it. I am glad I did it too but I have come to take it much more seriously than I did at first. Emotionally and physically.
It started on the third day after the cut was made. I got a phone call from home saying an(other) old friend had died. Heroin overdose. Needles. There have been many bad deaths in my very small home town lately. This is the kind of place where everyone knows everyone and always has. My brother is a heroin addict there.
I got the news and stared at my arm feeling ashamed.But I am alive. I am not a heroin addict. My ways of coping may have been extreme in some eyes but I am alright. I work, I raise my son, I volunteer at the zoo and with autistic children. I am not insane. I am not sick.I am healthier now than I ever thought I would be. But I had to comtemplate attending a funeral with a slit wrist. Irony. I think my friend who died would have gotten a kick out of it though. I'll miss him much.
Then the cut got a rash. Prickly heat I know but I have sensitive skin and it went wild. None of the other cuts had this at all.
I wanted this one closed and healed but I was also afraid that the more delicate lines would not scar so I put medicated powder in the trench of the long line(I have always found powders close things quicker that ointments) and irritated the hell out of the little lines. Three weeks and all was sealed up and healed. Sort of.
The constriction started to become more apparent. If I was on the phone and held my arm bent for too long it did'nt want to unbend. When I sleep I tend to fold my arm around the pillow. Not anymore. Waking up pain was worse than the cutting was. Much and over and over again.
I started trying to lubricate it and that helped some but I had to admit something a bit serious was happening and figure what to do.I asked a BME staff member after he posted a pic of a wrist cut on his IAM page and he banned me from his sight. I said "Wow". I decided IAM:NOT.
As always a little research proves helpfull though. I read up on scar management and - CONTRACTURE.
I now massage the line with circular motions using lotions and as much pressure as possible. Apparently this is done to force fluid out of the tissue. Then I stretch the scar along its length. Then wrap it in an ACE bandage for pressure. Also I do some range of motion exercises. This is helping alot but I can see this will take a while. Its okay but very different from the other scars I have had done.
Well like I said it was boring and it will never happen to you because
you would do everything right or not at all.
I stand by my decision to have this done and done this way though. It means alot to me. Even more now than before.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 10 July 2007