The Dangers of Plastic Surgery

Medicine is a field that is still growing rapidly. Technology has augmented this field as much as many others. Today we have advances in medicine that would have been considered science fiction 50 years ago. Even though we still do not have a cure for cancer we can now change our appearance drastically thanks to medicine.

Do not get me wrong, I am not here to demonize plastic surgery or medicine, I am just going to rant about how I think our society is really taking a step in the wrong direction.

I don’t watch much TV anymore. Since I started using TiVo, I select the shows that I want to watch and when I get a chance I catch up on TV. It is somewhat alarming the amount of TV now dedicated to Plastic Surgery. Just from what I have heard in the commercials I watch we have Doctor 90210, Nip and Tuck, Extreme Makeover… and I am sure that the list goes on.

I am all for people wanting to look their best, but there has to be a line that is drawn. Where does self-improvement end and self-mutilation begin? We have plenty of extreme cases to illustrate, like Michael Jackson and The Tigress. People that have gone so far with their plastic surgery that they do not even look human anymore. Now, I do respect the people that do it because it is their goal to not look human anymore, like lizard man and some other extreme body modification enthusiasts.

I am talking about the people that want to look younger, or thinner or sexier. I am talking about your regular people out there, that I feel, are being pressured by society to feel uncomfortable in their own skin. It saddens me to see that people go to such lengths just to have others see them as “beautiful”.

I know some people would think I am full of it when I say that beauty comes from within, but I truly believe it does. I think that people that are beautiful on the inside will radiate a lot more beauty than people that just have it in the outside.

I remember an episode of a reality-based show on MTV where an amateur body builder wanted to get calf implants. This is a case where I believe even one surgery is too much. Are we that shallow that we have to look perfect in this world down to every single muscle to really be appreciated or made to feel complete and beautiful?

If that is true, then it is a shame that we live in a society so focused on physical appearance. I am not against looking good; I am even trying to lose weight myself. If I had the means I would even consider liposuction to see that six pack that I know is hiding under that belly of mine. So maybe even I have fallen prey to society’s way of thinking.

Now that I have rambled on quite a bit I come to my point and it is the danger involved with plastic surgery. I am not sure if most people that are using this method to better their appearance are misinformed or just choose to ignore the risks associated with it. It is not a safe practice to go under the knife, and some of these procedures are a lot riskier than they may seem at first. Someone related to a coworker passed away in the middle of gastric bypass surgery. The person needed the procedure for several medical reasons, but nonetheless they did not survive the operation. Watching the doctor Phil show I saw a woman that wanted to get butt implants. This procedure put her at risk because of a pre-existing medical condition. Even worse than that, the operation was risky because of how close to the sciatic nerve they would have to get. If damaged you can become paralyzed.

I just want to say to people, please be careful. If you are set on getting plastic surgery or any kind of intrusive procedure, please research. The Internet has a wealth of information that can be easily tapped. Also make sure that you are going to a Board Certified Physician or someone that can be trusted. I am not saying that a certification buys peace of mind, but at least it is a start. Look at the risks involved, and think of the health factor first. What is the point of looking good if you cannot walk anymore?

I wanted to close the post with links to websites that explained the risks, but all I could find was extremes. The surgeons say its no big deal, the people that have had bad experiences say is the worse thing is life. I guess I leave the surfing as your homework.

Giving back to the community

An hour every other week I spend an hour helping 1st graders read. It is part of a program that is supported by my company and it helps local schools with the kid’s motivation. Many kids from these schools do not read at home or are not encouraged by adults (besides their teachers) to read. The program centers on making reading a fun thing and not just a school thing. I am not posting here to get a (great job Logtar) or anything like that… but to point out a cool little perk that we got thanks to this program.

They host a dinner every year for all the volunteers and I get to participate :)

White Smoke

We have a new Pope, Joseph Ratzinger, elected as the 265th pope of the Catholic Church. He will now be known as Benedict the XVI. This conclave that first had two failed votes marked by black smoke. Conclave is a latin word meaning “with key.” A neat thing about this too is that Clave is not key in Spanish, but password.

Now my first question was, why does the Pope get a new name? Here is the answer. After the new Pope is electe he is then asked by what name he wants to be called. The first pope to change his name was John II in 533. His given name, Mercury, was considered inappropriate since it was the name of a pagan god. Another pope in 983 took the name John XIV because his given name was Peter. Reverence for the first pope precluded his becoming Peter II. At the end of the first millennium a couple of non-Italian popes changed their names to ones that their people could more easily pronounce. The custom of changing one’s name became common around the year 1009. The last pope to keep his own name was Marcellus II, elected in 1555.

This Pope from Germany worked closely with John Paul II as a cardinal and in many issues played the bad cop, good cop routine. His first mass this morning however seemed a lot more scaled back and he seems to have taken a softer position on many issues. From his age I see this Pope as a transitional Pope, but who knows, he might be with us for many years to come. The election of this new Pope, in my eyes, has fueled a Catholic comeback in many ways. I think that people coming back to Faith is an important thing. I do pray to God that he leads this man to do great work and to continue the wonderful legacy of John Paul II.

Tender Warmth

The lining of my hands
Frozen by the morning dew
The rest of my body stands
To grow icicles a few

Then hope is near
But not yet in sight
The drumbeat I hear
Might come with some light

Movement is slow
The air is still
But a faint glow
The room begins to fill

The gates to my soul
Are slowly cracking
The water begins to flow
The waves are now crashing

Movement is regained
The frost begins to give
No longer restrained
My body begins to live

Tender warmth that can melt
All the cold around
This is how I felt
Waking next to you