Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Katie, Katie, Deformed Lady

If you know my husband at all, you probably know that he is very blunt. He will call a spade a spade. He will also call a fat spade a fat spade. He has no concern for certain cultural expectations, especially in the US, that make comments on another person's body shape, size or other attributes taboo. For the first four years of our marriage, I would get really offended when he would comment on the largeness of my belly roll. I tried very hard to explain to him that it "hurt my feelings" (a concept that does not translate well) when he said that. In his point of view, he was telling the truth, so why should he sugar coat it? In my opinion, why does it need to be brought up at all?

I finally got some enlightenment on this issue while in Bangladesh. My nieces were commenting on my "fatty" nature, and I said I felt sad when they called me fatty. They asked why it made me sad. I said, "Well, wouldn't you feel sad if someone said you were ugly?" and they said, "Yes, but calling you fat has nothing to do with how pretty or ugly you are." We then had a conversation about how a person is always pretty or ugly no matter how skinny or fat they get. They even said that fat people are more attractive, nice and soft and round. Ahhh, this is a concept I could latch on to!

Anyways, back to the original point of my post...
Masud has always called me "deformed". He has several points.

1) When I was young, I had a tumor the size of a golf ball on my index finger. It was gross. I had it removed in a painful surgery involving replacing missing bone in my finger with bone marrow from my pelvis when I was eleven. Yowch.
2) In the pictures of me as a young girl, the first thing a viewer will notice is my HUGE front teeth, protruding from my face like a lighthouse beacon. Thanks Gramma for paying for my braces.
3) Speaking of teeth, I have these hereditary white calcium deposits on them, which makes it look like my teeth are really yellow in comparison. The only way to get rid of them is to get expensive veneers, so I choose to say that they give my smile "personality".
4) My fingernails and toenails are tiny, oddly shaped, and paper thin. They never grow past my fingertips without tearing in an excruciating accidental brush with anything harder than a marshmallow.
5) My ears stick out. This is combined with the unfortunate physical reaction I have to nervousness, tiredness, and alcohol - they turn purple.
6) I have this "swirl" of hair at the base of my neck, so that when my hair is cut short, my hairline looks like a mullet gone awry.
7) And speaking of hair, I have more body hair than Masud does. Ahem.
8) I have these gross lumps all over my body. My mom and brother have them, too. Some of them are just "fatty cysts", but I have some special ones called "ganglion" cysts on my wrist (see picture). They have roots, and one of them is rooted in my wrist joint, causing considerable pain. The other one is wound around an artery, causing occasional numbness.

Soooo, this Friday I am going to have them whacked off in an outpatient procedure. I'll be sleeping as much as possible, and waiting very, very long before I get the bandages removed, so there will be no dish washing for me. Yay, ganglion cysts!

I guess a little deformity pays off now and then. (Feminist side note: It's really shitty that in order to get a vaycay from doing dishes I have to undergo surgery.)


TKP said...


Oh my gosh, I hope it goes okay! Get plenty of rest, don't let the pain killers make you think you are OK when you're really not (they mess with your brain). Let me know how it turns out. I'm rootin' for ya...

Anna said...

yeah I know I'm referring commonplaces now, anyway: the stereotype of beauty favoured by the media has, researched by communication psychologists, nothing to do with REAL beauty in fact (for example: almost nobody really can recall the faces of most of the supermodels without looking at them - but isn't somebody beautiful someone whom you cannot forget?!). that one - real beauty - as well as whether someone is attractive or not is rather determined by your communication, mimic, gestic etc. that basically results from your attitude towards life, by little "unusualnesses" in someone's appearance, etc. I wouldn't be reading your blog if your communication was bad or boring, by the way. ;-) nor did I find anything not beautiful in your pictures so far.

what made me really delighted recently:

Beauty indeed does have nothing to do with "perfect forms". look at the "venus de Milo", that aphrodite statue known as an example of extraordinary beauty. ever noticed that she's missing both arms and legs?! so, what does being "deformed" mean and does it really determinate someone's beauty?

Surgeries are ugly - I hope it goes well. Bhalo theko...!


Maddie's Nannie said...

Hoping all goes well with the surgery, Katie. Are we related?...I have those crappy finger nails too!

Now we want to see a childhood photo of you with your wonderful light house beacon shining brightly:-)

Katie said...

Thanks for the well wishes! Frankly, I'm not nearly as concerned about the surgery as I was about heading up the first coalition meeting today - my first BIG job responsibility! It went well, and now I can relax just enough to get nervous about Friday's procedure. I hope I get good, fun painkillers (this from the county substance abuse prevention coordinator!)

I'd love to post pictures of me in my younger days, but I don't have access to a scanner at the moment. Perhaps in the days to come...

Lori said...

Good luck Katie!

Zeenat said...

Good luck with the surgery. Can you bring those cysts home with you and keep them in a jar somewhere??! That would be a cool icebreaker! ;-)

Maddie's Nannie said...

I heard today that 'Captain Kirt' is selling his kidney stone on Ebay and expects to get $25000 for it, which he will donate to a charity. How much do you think your blog fans would pay for one of your cysts? Maybe you could pay for Isaac's college that way???

Katie said...

I know this is so gross but when I had my gallbladder removed I begged the doctor to let me see it once I woke up. They have to process any "removed tissue" right away and send it to pathology, but I said PLEASE this is a chunk of my body and I want to see it! So we'll see if they let me take a peek at these bad boys. I have a gross polaroid of my index finger tumor after they made the incision. I loved that picture when I they gave it to me!

I'm really not too worried, though. I'll be glad to have the buggers out of my wrist!!!

Anonymous said...

my wife had the same bump on her wrist and she put a quarter on it and tied it semi tightly for about a week before going to bed and it went away. It popped up when she was doing weights at the gym and she must have stressed her gym.
Maybe you can ask the good doctor if you can try the same thing - I guess the mechanism is that the pressure on the bump disperses the fluid build up.

Geoff said...

I just (8weeks ago today) had my ganglion removed from my left wrist, I had been ignoring it for 20yrs. It would come and go. I had one on right wrist but it went away. But the left this year got worse and worse, and it was time to do something when could hardley bend my wrist and it pained all the time.
It is still hurting after 8 weeks , and I can’t load my wrist at all, but the movement is better.
You can see my story at www.geoffreysweeney.com/wrist-ganglion-removed