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"elective surgery" venting "elective surgery" venting

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Unread 01-27-2005, 02:38 PM
"elective surgery" venting

I am feeling that some people view hysterectomy is elective surgery. Like choosing to have plastic surgery to reduce wrinkles or breast implants to increase size. I have recieved several comments from some of my coworkers that are making me feel upset. One is a Nurse. When I told a few coworker what kind of surgery I was having she said "your going to have surgery this summer for that?." ( I work at a school and have summers off.) She recently said "the Human resources Department is probably sending you all of the forms to fill out because you had elective surgery."
I had this surgery after I tried several other treatments. My Doc felt we had exhausted all treatments that I could do. I couldn't go on bleeding for 3/4 of every month and the anemia that was making me feel exhausted. I know my condition was not life treatening but very life altering and painful. What should I say to her? Or am I being overly sensitive? and try to forget it? Thank you all for giving me a place to vent!
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Unread 01-27-2005, 02:48 PM
"elective surgery" venting

Hi Nancy,

I had a LSH also and I did not view it as elective. I viewed as getting my health and my life back.

If your co-worker does not understand your reasons for surgery, it is because she does not understand all the facts. It is easy to judge quickly when we do not fully understand something.

Sounds like she may never fully understand and if that happens, let it go. I am 10 months post-op from my LSH and even today a hyst conversation can cause uncomfortableness with family members when I talk about it.

Best wishes. We Hyster Sisters are here to help if we can. We can "relate" to what is going on with you.

Unread 01-27-2005, 03:30 PM
"elective surgery" venting

I also experienced the same type of response from my employer. When I submitted my requests for time off and short term disability payments, my employer "stalled" my requests by simply not approving them. My boss actually stated that this "little" surgery was just goofing around and he didn't see the need for me to have it or if I "just had to have it" why I needed to be off work for 6 to 8 weeks.

I got so stressed out that I went against medical advice and delayed my surgery from July of 2004. That was a terrible mistake that almost cost me my life. In September, I experienced a period that was so bad I had to be transported to the hospital. I was given two transfusion and my heart tried to stop. Because I was so anemic (my blood count was 5) and weak, my doctor decided not to do the surgery but I was in the hospital for several days while my heart and lungs were monitored.

After that experience, I finally told my doctor about my trouble with my employer. My doctor really gave me a strongly worded letter and documentation to finally silence all the critics and it did the trick. All the paper work was signed in a matter of minutes where I had waited months for this to be done prior the my doctor's letter.

I'll never let my health suffer again for the sake of job again.
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Unread 01-27-2005, 03:38 PM
"elective surgery" venting


I cannot believe your boss told you he didn't see why you needed to have it!!!! I cannot believe that!!! <Please > He should be ashamed of himself.
Unread 01-27-2005, 03:43 PM
"elective surgery" venting

Hysterectomy is considered "elective" in most cases because it is usually not an emergency (though sometimes it is). Therefore, we usually get to choose our timing depending on how long we want to continue to bleed to death!

It is just insurance-ese for non emergency. My co-worker is waiting for me to come back so she can have "elective" surgery. She has to have her kidney removed.

Hope that helps.
Unread 01-27-2005, 03:50 PM
"elective surgery" venting

I didn't have problems with work or my family but really did kind of wonder if I was just "electing" to do this. I had dealt with heavy periods for years and anemia. I tried to do an ablation but dr didnt want me to do it since I had 3 c-sections. My only other option was a mirena IUD. I just didnt want to deal with that and chose the TAH. I felt guilty for chosing this in the respect that I should just deal with it. After all, how bad is it that I get up 4 times a night to change a SUPER pad and tampon? One thing that added to my guilt was the feeling of being taken care of after surgery when I was the caregiver.
BUT....... you know what... I am now so glad I decided for my health and well being to just bite the bullet and do it. Now I can sleep all the night through. I can actually leave my house without taking a huge supply of tampons with me.

As for the comments people are making just advise them that its a lifestyle change and if they were in your situation then they would be doing it too. Maybe they are jealous of now periods? Also, if the comments hurt you, then it might be a good idea to quit telling people until its done. You don't need the guilt.

Take back your life sister!!
Unread 01-27-2005, 06:23 PM
"elective surgery" venting

Susan is correct. Any surgery that is beneficial to the patient yet not immediately life threatening is considered elective surgery. Most hysterectomies fall into the category of elective surgery.

I think that if I hadn't had my hysterectomy I probably wouldn't be here today; however, because we scheduled it ahead of time, it was considered elective.
Unread 01-27-2005, 06:30 PM
"elective surgery" venting

As Susan and Catherine have already stated, yes, a hysterectomy is considered an "elective" surgery. Unless it is an emergency or an absolute case of life or death any surgery is "elective".

So as far as disability paperwork is concerned, yes it's elective. That's one reason health insurance companies insist that other treatments be tried before the drastic step of a hyst.

No, others who haven't been in your shoes don't understand, they aren't being deliberately insensitive, just ignorant of how much you've suffered and how important it is to get your quality of life back. Rather than trying to justify yourself to them the best course of action is simply to ignore their comments.

S and best wishes.
Unread 01-27-2005, 06:59 PM
"elective surgery" venting

OK...say this;

You know you're right! It's not an emergency, that's why it's not being done now. However, my diagnosis is: Severe menorrhagia, anemia, uterine fibroids, endometriosis...etc

And if I'm lucky, I can hold off till summer! Then... make sure you smile

Unread 01-27-2005, 07:46 PM
"elective surgery" venting

Whether it elective or not if anyone made any rude comments to me about having hyst I would tell them "you bleed 253 days between Jan 1 & Nov 22 and see what you do about it" and if they are female that shuts them up in a hurry, men don't know what to say.

But now that it is done and over with most people tell me I'm like a new person.

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