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Explaining surgery to kids Explaining surgery to kids

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Unread 09-24-2004, 12:27 PM
Explaining surgery to kids

I have 4 chldren...
DS8, DS6, and twin girls 5. We kinda explained to them last nite. That all the pain momma has is supposed to go away. But they have to take it out of my tummy. My oldest asked the names...so we told him medical names. They made owchie faces, and then asked for a popsicle. So don't know it they are understanding or not. Although DS8 did ask me this morning if he could see the staples. So thanks for any and all hints....both good and bad reports.
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Unread 09-24-2004, 01:19 PM
Explaining surgery to kids

I am dealing with "telling the kids" issues as well.

My DD(7) gets it - we have always been very open about anatomy and bleeding, etc. But she's not handling it well. I won't have the staples you will as I am having a TVH, so for that I am grateful. But she's so scared for me. I'm not sure what to do for her. My TVH is Monday.

My DS(3) has no clue and will simply have to understand that mommy will be back soon and will be oh so less hurried and crazy. I think he will really enjoy all of the cuddling in bed that's about to come!

I guess all that's important is that they understand that the docs are going to fix us and that we'll need to rest (like they do when they're sick) and that we'll be much better soon.

Does anyone have any suggestions for the fear of mommy going and the where is mommy issues? My kids are so tense about separation... (not that I really mind it!)
Unread 09-24-2004, 08:44 PM
Explaining surgery to kids

I'm very open w/ my son 8yrs old. He knows mommy has been in pain for a long time now & this will fix it. Than goodness he's not afraid. He is also aware I'll need his help when I get out w/ the baby. He's very happy to help.
Just try to bring it up in the daytime (my son gets emotional at night). Also try to make it sound as positive as possible.

Good Luck,


LAVH SCHED 10/3/04
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Unread 09-24-2004, 10:20 PM
Explaining surgery to kids

I explained it to my 5 daughters. My youngest was the most worried, asked why but was more excited that I would be home for 2 months with her! She then thought I would be there to bring her to and from school. Ummmm no. So then she was dissapointed. The middle three were curious and asked how come, but the oldest that is 13 will be 14 in December said "Okay, surgery, gross, don't go into details!" She is just like her father. He said almost the same reply!!! "I don't like talking about surgeries!" And left for the day.

They will probably pick up more along the way when you are actually back and recovering at home. It will be nice to have them take care of you!!!
Unread 09-25-2004, 07:26 AM
Explaining surgery to kids

Hey Ladies,
My son is a bit older so it was easier. He actually told me what was going to happen, I only had to add a bit. I would sit down with them, and draw happy pictures of things "we can do after I get home" or take them for a tour of the hospital, kids wing preferably, and show them it is not a scary place. I was lucky in the fact my son had his tonsils out and could remember how nice the nurses where, they had done a huge tour with him, he met 'the nice nurses' who would be with him...Actually they werent the same but dont think he knew or cared. Get them to make things for you to take and decorate your room. Let them know you will miss them and need a 'piece of their hearts' to take with you. Have them decorate your recovery room at home. If they know that you value those precious drawings of thiers, it gives them a very important job to do to make mommy better. You will be amazed at how well they get that concept. While you are laying in bed, it gives them some focus other than must be very careful with mommy, she might break. I also used a guilt concept with my son and almost got to take the precious teddy, but then my DS got concerned teddy might not like to see me get cut open...rofl So he got left at home....DH bought me one first time he came to see me so DS was ok after that, I had a 'friend' to hug....

Unread 09-25-2004, 09:45 AM
Explaining surgery to kids

I've found that kids pick up on your fear, so I've done my best to keep a really positive outlook. I've saved my nervous talks with DH until well after bedtime. My kids are 5 and 2. I've also learned to watch what I saw when I'm on the phone with friends or family about the surgery. Even when you don't think they're listening, they are!!!

I have told them that mommy is going to the hospital to have the doctor fix her tummy. That's it. They love their pediatrician, so I explained that my doctor will take care of me the same way Dr. K takes care of them (I don't suggest this if your child happens to hate the doctor, though). I am also fortunate to work at the hospital that I will have the surgery at, so they are familiar and comfortable running around there. You could take them to do the preadmission paperwork and show them around. I like to take them up to see the babies if your hospital has a nursery with windows. I also take them to the pediatric waiting room...they always have fun toys. We have lunch in the cafeteria with all the doctors and nurses. The hospital is a "fun" place to them, and they are comfortable there.

The other thing that I do is take a small gift for them in my bag. If they get scared at the hospital (or more likely, bored!!!) I give them the present and it distracts them, and buys me a little more time to visit with whomever brought them up to the hospital to visit.

As for what to expect when you get home, you can tell your older kids that you will have an owie on your tummy and they have to be careful when they hug your for a while. I have told my five year old that just once. She will probably forget and DH can remind her, but no sense on dwelling on that right now. You can work on it after the fact and not get them freaked out before the surgery. As for my two year old, that will be an ongoing battle, but we'll make it.

Most of all, try to keep a happy positive outlook on the whole thing, even if you're scared out of your mind, which we all are at some point. Kids are unbelievably smart and perceptive, and when we worry, they worry. So my advice would be to put on a happy face while the kids are around, but still visit this website to talk about your fears, and talk to DH or SO or whomever gives you support when the kids aren't able to overhear it.

Best of luck...and don't worry...kids are remarkably resilient! You know your kids best and you know what will work best for them, so my ideas are just ideas and experiences that work for me...
Unread 09-25-2004, 03:06 PM
Explaining surgery to kids

WOW! Great advice ladies!

I did think of one thing to add - that I did, and others might consider doing as well. I advised my daughter's teacher and her school counselor of my surgery. That way, if she's really upset in school, her teacher understands and can send her to the counselor - who also knows what's going on. I also advised them of the name and number of the friend who will be caring for my preschooler. That way, if the couselor feels my daughter should leave school, they know who to contact!

It gives me great peace to know that if my daughter needs comfort when I am away, that I have done my best to assure that she gets it!

Unread 09-25-2004, 03:15 PM
beneficial distraction

If they seem too preoccupied or worried change gears and drag them into the kitchen to "mega-cook" with you. Spagetti with meat and sauce from the jar is easy to assemble with kids, it freezes well, and then just dump the bag in the slowcooker with a little water for a easy meal during recovery. Also baking is a good distraction that usually freezes well. (if you feel like it now)
Or soups (not milk based) or chilli.
Unread 10-03-2004, 09:42 PM
kids excited...little punks :)

Well, we showed the kids the www.pelvicfloor.com images. They were simply amazed. They had to look at my tummy, then smoosh it to feel the insides. They wanted to see it again and again. They are counting down with me now. I think they are more excited about dad being home and probably eating at Taco Bell often. My kids discussing a hysterectomy with strangers at Walmart is a bit much. But it makes me smile.

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