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How can you make people understand?? How can you make people understand??

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Unread 06-12-2003, 01:08 PM
How can you make people understand??

I'm finding it difficult and frustrating that people just don't understand what a hysterectomy is about. They think that at 6 wks, you are back to work and at 100%. They look at me like I'm a big sissy everytime I mention that I still have pains, or that I cry easily.

It's really making me uncomfortable here at work. This is just my second day. I work with mostly guys, so for the most part they don't really care about it anyway.

But the more I try to explain, the worse it sounds, ya know?
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Unread 06-12-2003, 01:21 PM
How can you make people understand??

Hi Beth

Yes, I know how hard it is for people to understand what you have and are going through. They just don't get it. A good book to get and maybe have people look at is a book by Dr. Catheraine Northrup called "The Wisdom of Menopause". It might give you some good things to say to people who just don't get it.

I've shown mine to quite a few people who now understand a little better about hysterectomies

I say a lot of comments like, "I've just been through major surgery" and they accept it. People who are a little more nosey I tell them a little of what I've been through, but I keep it short because when I try to go into details I usually get bugged eyes looking back at me!!!!!!!!!!

Hope this helps!!

Sending you a big

Unread 06-12-2003, 02:01 PM

It's really hard to convey how this surgery makes us feel physically and emotionally to anyone else if they haven't been through it. Of all of my friends and family, only one had a clue and she'd had a hysterectomy when she was 25.

One thing that you might want to tell those who need to know is that while initial recovery from this surgery is 4 to 8 weeks, depending on the procedure, full recovery takes anywhere from 6 months to a year. During that time, you still have a lot of internal healing going on that can cause all types of aches and pains and odd sensations, not to mention the hormonal adjustments that occur, even if you keep your ovaries. And if they don't get that, then they just don't get it, and explaining it to them isn't going to help anyway. It's one of those "walk a mile in my shoes" kind of things.

But we, your hystersisters, understand! So, feel free to vent here as much as you need to. We've all been in your shoes.


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Unread 06-13-2003, 09:45 AM
How can you make people understand??

Just today MY OWN SISTER made a comment on how she's talked to a lot of women who have had hysts and said it was no big deal. Some women do have an easier time of it than others, but then others have problems like I did that made recovery difficult. I had leg pain from the way I was positioned, plus I was on 6 rounds of antibiotics before the infection finally feels like it's gone. The important thing is for YOU to know what you went through and give yourself a pat on the back for recovering. Sometimes we get the encouragement we need from others -- this web site is a great example -- but other times we just have to realize that the strength and approval we need comes from inside ourselves. Best wishes to you, Aunt May
Unread 06-13-2003, 10:19 AM
How can you make people understand??

I think it is very irritating and hurtful. Yesterday my best friend, we have a long distance relationship, said I was being totally self-centered. She said a lot of hurtful things, "it's not all about me, she doesn't want to hear about the pain... etc. I cried and cried. Part of what she said was true, and I owned up to it, but I'm still very hurt. I don't need to be telling everyone about everything little thing, and maybe I've been doing that a little too much. And right now I am being little self-center. (I'm not normally that way. I'm a caretaker. But **** it, everybody else get's to be that way. Poo... I know God doesn't want me to be that way.) It's a very hard fine line to walk, because I don't want to be self-centered, but I don't want to be pushed into doing things I'm not ready to do. I'm only on week three, and God is teaching me so much. Some of my lessons have been very hard coming. And I do have issues with the lack of setting good firm boundaries without over-explaining or feeling guilty about every little thing. Really sometimes I just want to tell people to get @#$&*^%! (sorry ladies. I think I have some anger issues too!) =0)
Unread 06-13-2003, 01:10 PM
How can you make people understand??

Dont feel bad, I lost it with my family members and screamed to them to just get out!!!I was 6 days post op and told I was a baby, moaning for attention,[in my sleep], and just having a pity party...I also screamed that this is about me, not them and if they could not be around a sick person that maybe they should go elsewhere...needless to say after my sisters and mom came over to care for me, suddenly these males I live with got older sister had same thing,[mom too] and described in detail what was done to me...I think if they could just see the internal stitches they would be more compassionate!!
Unread 06-13-2003, 02:51 PM
How can you make people understand??

I feel so grateful that all of my friends and family DO get it. Even my boss and his wife get it. However, I have the answer I initially had to give my boyfriend to help him get it:

Imagine having prostate surgery honey!

Hang in there. At least we understand.

Unread 06-13-2003, 05:29 PM
How do I...

Well, it sounds like everyone sure knew what I was talking about when I started this thread!

I have the same outcome--most women understand it (even if they haven't had a hyst) but the men really don't get it. Most have them have been pretty sympathetic, though.

I thought it was funny when one of you was talking about how people said that you felt it "was all about you," etc. You are right! It IS all about you! We have been through quite a trauma, and I think we have the right to be a bit self-centered. The problem I have had is that my mother had her entire left lung removed one week before my surgery. Sure, her surgery was very very major and very serious. But as soon as my daughter went back to work and couldn't stay home with us anymore) Mom thought I should be at 100% so I could take care of her. It just didn't work that way. I did what I could, but nothing more.
Unread 06-13-2003, 06:42 PM
how can you make people understand?


Yesterday I had a bit of an 'ah hah' about this issue. I was feeling a bit hurt that someone I know had taken the time to do something for someone else that had problems with her ankle but had not taken the time to do anything for me.

After I got over my pity party, it struck me that what is different about this surgery is that there is no evidence for anyone to see that we have even had surgery! When I walk around in the neighborhood I realize that noone would have a clue that I have even had surgery unless I told them.

So, maybe some of it is that if there is nothing visible, it's hard for people to remember that you are struggling with recovery. If you had a cast on your arm, people would continually be asking how you are doing, is it healing, etc? But since there is no obvious reminder, people just tend to forget.

Anyway, this helped me understand why people may look at me and expect me to be back to normal.

Unread 06-13-2003, 10:09 PM
How can you make people understand??

Good point! Maybe we should walk around with blankets, our fleet enema bags, our prune juice, our bottle of pain meds, heating pads, with no underwear on, with our stitches falling out on the sidewalk! (teasing of course!! Or am I?) Nah, I'm just being self-centered. It's bad when your own spoiled DD defend you, saying, gee mom you just had MAJOR surgery. Sometimes I have to remind them, "Hay guys, I just had MAJOR surgery will you do this, or do that?" I did a no no today and stood on a chair. (Don't know what the heck I was thinking. Oh yeah! Actually I was looking for laxitives high up where I hide them. For further info keep them in the bathroom where they belong!) My youngest yelled at me saying, "Mom, your bladder might fall out if you do that." Made me laugh... cuz you know, if my bladder fell right there on the chair, then people would know that I had MAJOR surgery, huh?

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