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desperately seeking answers to unwanted questions desperately seeking answers to unwanted questions

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Unread 09-26-2004, 09:36 PM
desperately seeking answers to unwanted questions

Dear Sisters,
Recently a busybody pushed me to discuss my surgery and I just didn't want to. I return to work next week and fear the same thing from others. Can you help me with polite strategies to contend with such questioners? I see this site as a safe place to get intelligent advice. I've read tons of helpful information so far and now I need something on this.
You see I've only discussed this surgery with my closest family and friends. (It is painful for me since for many reasons, (all sad,) I've never had children and now that I officially can't -- I'm stll sad and uncomfortable with it - and I really don't wish to announce my new condition - nor do I think I should have to.) I mean I'm grateful for this surgery because I have so far rectified enormous problems that my body had grown into (from fibroids). However like I've read others to write, for me I too am still emotionally hurting that this harsh invasive approach had become my best option for relief. (And my medical journey has been a long one -- not quick, nor easy.) But I'm 47 and my "baby options" were not good and this was best. And adoption is an option... but still ...

The subject is so private to me - so raw, so tough. I don't WANT to be all paranoid and uncomfortable ... but perhaps it's the loss, and all the baggage or a fear of time passing me by now even more quickly or an even quieter reality sinking in now too that's STILL hard for me to process -- and something I certainly don't wish to speak about with people who've never seemed to care about my feelings anyway. My husband is wonderful but he doesn't truly understand how kind of "displaced" I feel about this and how I feel (at least for now) I need to work that out so very privately. I don't want to let my feelings of vulnerability about this be known to anyone I'm not close to (except for my unique hystersisters ). -- But in fact I prefer not even to say "hysterectomy" to most people -- but rather to say I had the fibroids out - or "female surgery" or just surgery. Or...........I don't know - but less is best. (Tho some people guess it anyway.)
But no matter -- if I don't think it to pieces I am fine -- but when pushed to -- it just hurts and I'm at a loss for the right words. PLEASE HELP!!

Your thoughtful words of wisdom on this subject will be appreciated. I am praying my way through and know God doesn't let me down - but boy I'd love some strategies on this leg of the journey if you have them.
Thank you and God Bless.
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Unread 09-26-2004, 10:13 PM
desperately seeking answers to unwanted questions

Hey, Ros7a

I know where you're coming from. I had to have the hyster because of pre-cancerous tumors and I can barely deal with that since cancer has never been in our family. I have many clients because I work in public health, so sometimes there have been questions about my weight loss, sometimes about my month long absence. Some women I've found I can talk about it to, some I can't, depending on how long I've known the client.

First, don't volunteer anything, which I'm sure you haven't.
Second, If anyone asks anything, I see nothing wrong with simply replying that you don't feel like talking about it. I know about nosy ones. I work with one. However, I'm comfortable enough with her, to tell her some things, and I had lots of support with the other ladies in the office so it doesn't bother me so much, but it sounds like you don't have the luxury. If anyone gets pushy, tell them "Thank you for your concern, and I'd appreciate your prayers in my behalf (if you think they are of the praying kind) but really, I'd rather not discuss my recent health issues with anyone." Anyone who persists after that does not deserve anything else but the cold shoulder. Just turn around and walk off.

I too never had children and now never will, but I didn't even relize I had such a serious health issue until two weeks before my procedure. I'm just now getting over the shock myself and like you don't like to use the term "hysterectomy" in relation to myself. I can barely use it on this site. Mosty I just tell people I had to have tumors removed, and if anything else needs to be explained, I just say "now I can't have children". I'm sorry for your loss as much as I mine. I too know that adoption is an option, but......

Give yourself time to mourn. We are here for you.

God bless you.

Unread 09-27-2004, 02:25 AM
desperately seeking answers to unwanted questions

I agree with Moonmab, you don't want to or need to be talking about this at all if you choose not to - and I can well understand not wanting to - there are a lot of people you would normally have on your "keep informed list" that I've not told ANYTHING about my surgery -- it is just too personal.

You are hurting and grieving right now, and you have a right to keep this to yourself if that is what you want and need to do.

If anyone asks just look them straight in the eye and say "I really do not wish to discuss this" practice in the mirror, be firm - you are not obliged to tell a thing.

good luck!
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Unread 09-27-2004, 04:28 AM
desperately seeking answers to unwanted questions

Dear Rosa:

Humans are a curious bunch, aren't they? Most are well meaning and many don't realize the personal pain that can accompany a procedure such as a hysterectomy. Since I had to offer some reason for suddenly leaving work for 6-8 weeks, I simply told people I had to have some surgery...PERIOD. Most accept that and sometimes followed with a leading question, such as "I hope everything is all right or are you all right" to which I reply, I am fine.

One woman I work with looked me in the eye and said if you are going to be out for 6 weeks you MUST be having a hysterectomy. You know that's unnecessary surgery...

I am proud to say I resisted my first instinct which was to bop her over the head and place her body in the dumpster and just smiled and walked away. Sometime I will have to ask her where she received her medical degree!

I try to remember that most people are genuine in their concern and will accept a simple reply with as much or as little detail as I wish to provide.

Take good care of yourself and don't worry about whether anyone else gets the scoop they are looking for.

Unread 09-27-2004, 06:07 AM
desperately seeking answers to unwanted questions

There are some nosy people who can't resist questioning others but I think a lot of people feel they HAVE to ask or you might think they don't care. So I think if you just say that you don't feel like discussing it or that this is just very personal and would rather not talk about it, I think most people will gladly back off and respect your wishes. Some might even be relieved. At least those who are asking out of genuine concern that is. They will respect your feelings. Those who don't respect your wishes, do not genuinely care and in those cases, just be firm and don't worry about their feelings.

Of course, no matter how you look at this, it's at the very least annoying because these people will probably approach you one at a time and until you get through dealing with each individual, it's going to be a nuisance. And perhaps it won't be so bad if all anyone asks is "how are you feeling?" And your answer will be "fine thank you." And that's it, just walk away or start doing something and they should get the point that the conversation is over.

I wish you luck. And I hope you get to feeling better soon.

- Karen
Unread 09-27-2004, 07:02 AM
desperately seeking answers to unwanted questions

Hi rosa I'm so sorry that you have to deal with unwanted questions while your dealing with recovery and loss. It just adds to the pain. I sense that you are a very kind woman and are looking for kind words that will not offend , stop the conversation but not add to curiosity. You could be honest and say, "I had a large fibroid that had to be removed". Someone is bound to ask if you had a hyst. and you can smile and say, "why would you think that?"
My prayer for you is that God grants you the wisdom to choose the right words that will not cause you pain and will stop the questions.

You'll be in my thoughts and
Unread 09-27-2004, 07:52 AM
desperately seeking answers to unwanted questions

How about "Thanks for asking, we really should be focusing on getting our work done right now."
Unread 09-27-2004, 12:02 PM
desperately seeking answers to unwanted questions

Thanks for all the great support here. I really appreciate it. (You just automatically make me feel so much better!)
Unread 09-27-2004, 05:41 PM
desperately seeking answers to unwanted questions


I can understand not wanting to tell curious people what kind of surgery you had. It is personal, and I like to pick and choose who I tell.

I was working in a middle school at the front desk and the male student who was an office aide overheard me say something about being out for surgery. It took me by surprise when he asked me what kind of surgery. I know I sure didn't want to tell him I was having a hysterectomy or any kind of female type of surgery, so I said "abdominal" and that satisfied him and no more discussion.

Take care and we are here for you.

Unread 09-27-2004, 05:50 PM
desperately seeking answers to unwanted questions

Hi I work at a Kindy and a notice to parents was put out 1 wek before op saying I would be away for 6-8weeks and who would fill in ,I was suprised at the number of parents who asked me "So what exotic destinations I was going to " it was quite amusing to tell them but was happy they were all so concerned and wished me well ,I know it is up to yourself who you tell but sometimes reaction from people that aren't close can be a ver pleasany suprise!!!

TAH/BSO 9/10/04

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