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No one to help me after TAH. No one to help me after TAH.

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  #1  
Unread 02-26-2002, 11:51 AM
No one to help me after TAH.

I just realized that, sadly, I have no one to help me with the kids at the time of the surgery and after. My DH will be here in the evenings but that is it. Usually he can take two weeks off from work but he is in the middle of a crunch at work. The one neighbor had been able to watch the twins in the past has recently moved away and I don't use a sitter/daycare for the twins. We are military and both of our families are too far away to help. I would rather be alone in the hospital than to have my little ones with strangers. That is probably how I will end up... :cry: Alone. As far as house work goes, I can hire a housekeeper for a few weeks. Life chasing 2-3 yr olds is going to be a challenge for a while.

JoAnn
TAH 3/13
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  #2  
Unread 02-26-2002, 12:57 PM
No one to help me after TAH.

Military spouse here! This moving about stinks, esp when you need family around to help out. We've been in for almost 20...seeing a slow erosion of the support network that was such a godsend to the spouses in times of crisis.
Have you spoken to anyone about your surgery? Our dept makes sure the families are cared for- seems we're always getting calls to make casseroles, help watch small children if mom is ill or recovering. This rule goes for both officers and enlisted- the dept covers everybody. Has your husband talked to his supervisor- I know manning is tight right now, but one guy was allowed half days so he could care for his bedridden wife during a very difficult pregnancy.
Are you on base? Let me know. Been there so many times and it's easy to get jealous of women whose families are "just around the corner" to help out. Scrambling for childcare just shouldn't have to be...
Another possibility- could you go home for surgery, using Tricare? What about your husband taking leave?
Keep me posted- remember you aren't alone in this...
Artgirl, the military spouse.
  #3  
Unread 02-26-2002, 03:39 PM
No one to help me after TAH.

How wonderful to have a fellow military person here. You can understand Tricare and everything else! No, I can't go home though I wish I could. We do live on base but I'm not a "pilot's wife" which seems to be a big closed group of women around here so I am largely excluded from everything that goes on. My DHs department consists of 4 young single people and 1 married guy with 5 kids and a wife who does home-daycare. My husband is TDY now and hasn't talked to his commander yet but his commander canceled DH's Christmas leave so I don't think his heart is too big. HEHE I'm not counting on DH getting leave. It's a unique situation I suppose. Thank you for your support!

JoAnn
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  #4  
Unread 02-27-2002, 07:00 AM
No one to help me after TAH.

Geez, I see the situation at your DH's office- don't think single people working there would have much comprehension as to what you'd be going through...
But you can't watch two little ones and recover from major surgery. No way. I can think of a dozen situations in which you'd need to lift a toddler- ow. Not good for you. I was always leery of putting my children in care while small, so I understand why you'd be cautious. Childcare is hard to find, esp. short term.
Can the surgery be postponed? Have you gotten a second opinion (hahaha! I know we are in the land of "take it or leave it" care!) Any alternatives? What's the "only option" at one base might not be at another- depends on who is assigned to that base and what their skill level is.
This situation reminds me of what occurred years ago to me- I was going through a difficult pregnancy at the same time as another military spouse ("Miss M"). What a drama queen she was! And oh boy, the casseroles that came up her sidewalk and the offers of childcare for her toddler. She could lose the baby!
There was no family, poor her! Prayer requests, please! And, why don't they make size 4 maternity clothes???(she was dieting throughout the pregnancy, good night!).
Okay...back to me- I was on the sofa trying to stop preterm labor as well. Kept to myself, husband helped a bit in the evenings...but my little one was pretty much roaming about the house, not a bad little toddler, but got into things. She once used a five pound bag of flour to powder our tiny living room.
The point is- I was being nice and didn't get doodle. I'm not one to go to dramatics to get my way, but maybe, it's not such a bad thing in a critical time, looking back on all that Miss M re'd.
Her church had a committee set up to help her out. And heck, a few months after the baby was born, they moved. No chance to reciprocate the kindness of their church group.
If you are having surgery, sound the horns. Are you involved in any activities on base? If not, join now. Put the word out (this is probably so alien to you if you are the typically self-reliant military spouse). If there's a base chapel study group, raise your hand and say, "Put me on the prayer request, PLEASE, because...
And have your husband check with his boss. If he is married, chances are good he's seen problems like this at home. You might be surprised. My husband was gone 360 days out of the first 18 months of our last assignment. Critical missions. Our daughter became ill. As her condition grew worse over the next few months, we needed him. No spouse support on that base (I sure sympathize with you for your current situation) and finally, he asked to be moved to another job within the building. And, it was granted.
Make a stink! You have every right to do so! And what is it with the pilot wife stuff??? I thought that type of clique was gone years ago! Every base is different, I guess. Right now, everyone rallies for any spouse that is down. Let me know- do you belong to any sort of group?
Let me know. Thinking about you. There's got to be a better answer for you! Nina (artgirl)
  #5  
Unread 02-27-2002, 07:33 AM
No one to help me after TAH.

Another military spouse here.....

I have to agree....the one thing I learned from the military is that you don't ask for something.....you DEMAND it.

When it comes down to the wire....you need help.

Call community services, the chaplain (he can do many many things that the commander won't or can't do), remember that only your hubby has a chain of command. It is respectful for you to use it, but you can go over anyone's head.

If your hubby is TDY, there is no rule about you calling his chain of command. Let them know what is going on, ask if him taking off is a problem. Have your doc sign a note stating that you need at home care.

Utilize the Family Readiness Groups, or Family Support Group, whatever they are called these days.. That's another thing they are there for too.

There are ways of getting help. But you can't ask nicely for it. You have to demand it and not take no for an answer. I have learned that the hard way. Don't make that mistake.

Just remember that it is for your kids. You need someone looking out for them. That's what is important.

I hope you find some help, but if you need anything feel free to email me.
  #6  
Unread 02-27-2002, 07:33 AM
I'm another military wife....

and boy oh boy... the chain of command can really be full of stinkers.. and often are. We have spousal support groups here (called FRG), at Ft. Riley, KS. I have never attended a meeting, and for a lot of good reasons.. too many to list here. My husband is an NCO, and I'm sorry to say that unless you are an Officer, you get NO special treatment .. not even your spouse being allowed to work half days or take some time off to help. Before my last surgery, I had my doc give me a written statement saying I needed help the day of surgery and the day after. Keep in mind that the unit has NO right to ask what type of surgery you are having (my GYN told me this..she's a Major). She got really mad when I told her they wanted to know exactly what I was going in for. I was mad as well, but blew them off like I always do. It's been my experience (13 years in service), that if you want anything to happen, you need to chase some people down and make the understand what the deal is. This is off topic, but here goes anyways: talk to the commander yourself. Your hubby has to use the chain of command, and they can and sometimes "fart around" when it comes to getting to the C.O. As long as you don't curse at him or get angry, they will usually work with you on it. I don't know what branch you are, but going to IG will not solve anything.. all they do is call the Commander. I am sorry you won't have anyone to help you. Try talking to your doc and ask him / her for a note saying you REQUIRE help with the children. And it's not just the children you will need help with either. It is almost always a must to have someone with you for at least the first 48 hours after any surgery. I wish you all the best. Hang in there... you are not alone in this by any means. Keep your head up and try my suggestions. Let us know what happens. :Hug:
  #7  
Unread 02-27-2002, 08:44 AM
No one to help me after TAH.

Ladies...
I think we need a hys forum for military people. The fact we move about so much- rarely see the same caregiver twice, the difficulty getting second opinions- my goodness this just complicates a not so easy situation.
My DH and I were discussing the topic of rank last night- did it make a difference in care? He's been in 20- both enlisted and officer, and we don't think so.. seems as if everyone gets hit-or-miss care (some great doctors out there, but we have no choice)-but we do wonder. I was used as "practice meat" years ago when I had baby #2 and recall how snotty the office staff was when I complained about the fact that all my prenatal care was conducted by med students (not residents, not OBs, not midwives). How in heaven's name could they not declare me pregnant until my 18th week??? If my husband had been a higher rank at that time, would it have made a difference? Not sure.
I think the indiffence to the spouse's needs needs to be addressed at a base/post level. At this assignment, the dept head recently retired. Before he did, he had a meeting with all the spouses. He left us with strong words- Take care of one another, officer or enlisted made no difference. If we were getting crummy care, see him or the new commander immediately. His own wife had suffered through breast and bone cancer and if anyone was being denied proper care, he SAW to it that that spouse got the mammogram, biopsy, second opinion, etc. He got results with a few phone calls.
Maybe higher ranks do get more attention- but I have seen those in charge use it for the good of their people.
I agree- check with the base chaplain. Poor you- I found another of your messages and read all that you are suffering with day by day. And caring for twins to boot. Sorry we gals aren't closer...
Please don't let rank impede you- everyone is entitled to quality care and a recovery free of the burden of caring for others whilst caring for yourself. Keep using the words, MAJOR SURGERY to any and all that are in a position to help.
Let us know what solutions work! Hugs, Artgirl nina
  #8  
Unread 02-27-2002, 11:47 AM
No one to help me after TAH.

I can't thank you all enough for the support you have shown. It is sad though that I got more support from a few strangers than I have had from my neighbors of 3 years. You have all offered excellent advice and I promise you I will exhaust all the options you have suggested. And I also have to agree that the military situation is not good at all. I have seen over 12 doctors in the past few years for this. No wonder I am suffering for so long. Everytime I go to the clinic there is someone new. It is a civilian doctor that is now helping me and I want him to continue treating me until we move this summer. He has been the only constant in this whole entire mess, he has been the one to go the distance to find out why I was having problems. It was not the military care, that is for sure. I just went back to our clinic to get yet another extension of my GYN referral today.

You are the best! I am so glad I found this site!

JoAnn
  #9  
Unread 02-27-2002, 12:12 PM
No one to help me after TAH.

Does your DH have orders yet? Do you know where you are headed? Maybe you can be stationed by one of us Wouldn't that be great!
Don't blame you for wanting the surgery now, if you are seeing the same MD on a regular basis (glory be, that sure doesn't happen very often) and you are happy with the care- sounds like he was able to ID the problem. Sad, isn't it, the way we have to wait and wait and wait for care?
I just re'd permission to see an MD two weeks ago- first time in 3 years. Woo-hoo. Problem has been there the whole time and the nurse kept saying, Take Motrin,Take Motrin. Massive periods- sitting here in the anemia daze...9 days until the next bout and waiting for the referral to Denver for a UAE.
I worry about post-op care as well, but feel fortunate that my kids are older (though the teenage DD couldn't give a rip about cooking).
Could ANY family fly out to be with you??? Sometimes, they just more bother, LOL. But it sure would help.
Take care. Off to see what my homeschooled son is doing. This kid is from another planet- a George Carlin type, not the sort that teachers dream of having in one of their desks...worry about how he'd do if I had a hys. I'd not be up to teaching, that's for sure.
Thinking about you- you sound rather down and discouraged.
Are you doing anything special for yourself? Anything you look forward to doing? (and I don't mean the hys!). It's so important to be good to yourself, as you are giving a lot of yourself right now as a military spouse and mom to busy little ones!
Hugs, Nina
  #10  
Unread 02-27-2002, 12:51 PM
No one to help me after TAH.

JoAnn,
I am so sorry that you are feeling so alone right now. I hope its ok if I pray for you.... I don't know where you are, but I do know that church and chaplens are a great place to start. I was a military wife for only four years (27 years ago) and know that there are hassles, but they can be overcome. I had breast surgery and an appendectomy during our military years.

I never lived on base, but we had an informal group in our apt complex..... it worked well and there was a doc who lived in the complex who was very helpful and his wife was an advocate for those of us who didnt know what to do or how to manage the system.....

There might well be volunteers available to be in your home with your kids (you can still see and hear what is going on) and often schools have students available for those situations also.

The hospital social service staff may have some options for you also.

I pray all will go well for you and that you will get the help you so need right now.

God Bless,
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