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L.I.W. worse part of this L.I.W. worse part of this

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Unread 02-06-2001, 03:27 PM
L.I.W. worse part of this

Hi, first I would like to say thanks for this place, the shared stories and information. I have read and re-read most of the pull-downs and many posts. I am so greatful that there is a place like this for us nervous, need information types.

I am scheduled for a TAH (doc hopes to leave at least one ovary but not sure until gets in there)March 26 at 7:30am so about seven weeks of just waiting and thinking. I'm not that nervous about the actual surgery, yet, give me a few more weeks for that.

I am 40yo and have spent approx the last 10 years in pain about 5 out of 7 days every week. Have always had problems, been on hormones for years after years. I am glad that surgery is finally going to be done. I have wanted this for a long time. But I haven't seen a doctor on a regular basis, more like only every 3 or 4 years. They always gave me enough hormones for about that much time. And I have a major fear of going to doctors esp gyn.

I know this sounds childish for a 40yo woman but I just fall to pieces being exposed and touched in private areas. And haven't had good experiences with doctors in the past, they just acted like I was over emotional.
Fortunately, this new doctor is GREAT!!! She is so understanding, patient, and gentle. She actually wanted to talk first, imagine that.

I have to go for one more exam and pre-op which the exam terrifies me more than the surgery. So right now I am more freaking out about all the exposure and touching before, during and after surgery. My doctor understands why but I don't know how the hospital staff will be. Will they be as gentle and understanding as my doctor? I am trying to think of ways to decrease this fear and reminding myself this is for medical reasons only. I am so afraid I may react and fall apart with the staff and then be so embarrassed reacting like a 2 yo.

So maybe this isn't the thing to post here, I don't really have any questions today, thanks to all the info on this site and the doc and scheduling nurse have told me what will happen surgery morning step by step. But I am sure I will have more questions as time goes on and closer to the date.

Guess just needing to vent some of what really feeling. I mean people usually understand the anxiety someone has about having surgery but for now my anixety is not that but more emotional inside stuff. Should staff be told about my anxieties? But I do then they may just think I am being overly-emotional. This is the first doctor to ever treat my fears as real and wanted to understand before even starting an exam. But staff don't always have time to "understand" they have a job to do and need to do it in a timely manner to get on seeing all the other patients. Wish could just have surgery with doc and go straight home, ok wishful thinking. A lady can dream can't she?

Ok, probably gone on too much. Thanks for this place.

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Unread 02-06-2001, 03:42 PM
L.I.W. worse part of this

Dear Rose,

Ask your doc for something to help you sleep the last coupla nites pre-surgery... and ask for something to calm you when you get to the surgery prep area the day of surgery. In my case, they put some *goof juice* in my IV before I was wheeled down the hall to OR.

As for lottsa people looking over my private parts, there was none of that in the surgery prep area, only the IV & such being taken care of. And of course, I was sleeping during the actual surgery.

Same for recovery room: they were mostly fussing with my BP cuff & other attached accessories. It seemed like it was all happeneing to someone else... like I wasn't really *there*.

Hope this answers some of your questions... sending huge cyberhugs
Unread 02-06-2001, 04:29 PM
Don't you just wonder??

hi. Don't you just wonder why God makes a person have fears and anxieties over being touched/examined in private areas, and then gives them gynocological problems? I can't figure, but I do know that He is infinitely wise, and that there can come good out of your trials. I am glad you have found a great doctor that took the time to understand your feelings. Just remember, your feelings are just as good and valid as anyones, regardless if they are less common, and more importantly feelings are not something we choose, rather, they just come. We can however, learn how to master our responses to our feelings, with practice. For instance, in your case, you would begin by knowing you b/c anxious with an exam, allowing the feeling to come while being examined, and attempt to breath deeply and use meditation techniques (praying falls into this category)during your exam. In time, if repeated exams were to occur, you would inevitably master calmness to your anxieties, with practice. I, and I am sure many of your sisters here, can empathize with you. My prayers are with you. Sharon

I will ask God to give you calm, peace and insight into how good can derived from what your going through.
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Unread 02-06-2001, 04:35 PM
L.I.W. worse part of this

Hi Rose:

Twyla is right - there wasn't as much touching and looking as I might have expected when I had my surgery. Pre-op, I changed myself into the backless wonder robes (oh so spiffy) and the anesthesiologist gave me my IV in my hand. I talked with my doctor before being wheeled in to the OR but she didn't check me out in any way. In the OR I got myself onto the surgical bed while they fussed with getting my arms set on the boards. After that I was asleep. In post-op they were concerned with managing my pain. No one looked at my incision or catheter at all. Once I got to my room the nurses checked my catheter (a foley) 3 or 4 times over the next day to make sure it was alright but then it came out and I was on my own. When they checked my catheter they basically just looked at it and didn't touch me. The doctor came twice and looked at my incision before sending me home. Everyone was most professional and it was over quickly. Even when I had to have assistance to the bathroom, the nurse walked me in and positioned me and then left and stood outside my door and let me do things by myself. They were very considerate that way. Even got everything ready for a sponge bath the first day, put me in a chair and then left while I bathed myself and came back to help me put on my socks and get back in bed. The staff will be very sensitive to your needs if you just let them know. Your doctor can put a note in your file so that the staff knows about your anxieties as well. Usually when a new nursing staff comes on duty, your assigned nurse will come in and introduce themselves so you'll have an opportunity to let them know at that time too.

Sending you positive thoughts for an uneventful surgery and speedy recovery. Let us know if you have other questions or concerns and we'll be glad to help.

Unread 02-06-2001, 06:21 PM

Glad you found a doctor who understands and who will very probably inform the hospital staff that you are bothered by touching. However, my experience was like the others - basically no touching during my hospital stay. My incision was cleaned the first few days very gently and only on my tummy when I got a sponge bath. People may LOOK at your stitches just to make sure they are healing properly, but there is really no other reason for you to be touched.

Hope all goes well . . .

Unread 02-06-2001, 06:42 PM
L.I.W. worse part of this

somehow my post was posted twice so i just edited this one. But again Thanks!!!!!!!

[Edited by rosepoem on 02-06-2001]
Unread 02-06-2001, 06:44 PM
L.I.W. worse part of this

I just want to say thanks for all your responses and words of encouragement. I know its sound ridiculous to have the fears and anxeities I have. Even the thought of wearing nothing but their stylish gown, I feel so exposed. I am thinking that the day after I will be able to wear my own gown and at least a sports bra, I hope. At least that way I will feel a little more covered. Ok, question, I was encourage to get some undies about 2 sizes too big so not to rub againist the incision, does this really work? And do most ppl donate their own blood before surgery in case needed?

Again, tho, thanks to all of you that replied so quickly.
And I do feel that God sent me to this doc for a reason, one for taking action needed and one for her ability and experience in dealing with women that have the type of issues/anxieties like I have.
Unread 02-06-2001, 08:44 PM
Donating blood...

Hi Rose,
I am donating my own blood pre-op (one pint today, one pint Sat) for my TAH (leaving ovaries) on 2/14. However, I have a blood disorder (I am a bleeder) so this is a "just in case" my clotting agent doesn't take. I did learn (that in San Diego, anyhow) that your insurance can be billed $200.00 PER PINT if you donate your own blood....don't ask me why--the blood bank says it's "for processing". However, I don't have to pay because my husband has donated almost 2 gallons of blood over the last 15 years so I am covered under the blood bank's "gallon club" guidelines. My doctor wrote me an order to donate ahead of time. If you don't have a clotting disorder, ask your doctor what she thinks. Again, I'm doing it because of my blood disorder--I feel that if I do need a transfusion, I'd rather have my own faulty blood. A helpful hint--the nurses at the blood bank told me to take iron supps three times a day until surgery. This builds up your iron levels. I'm going to try it. I don't like the waiting much either, but looking forward to getting my crown!!!!!

Best, HD Sunny
Unread 02-07-2001, 06:46 AM
Undies and blood donation


Many women report that roomy underwear is what they needed. I wear roomy undies anyway and didn't need anything more at all. At home I'm still going sans undies anyway!!

Donating your own blood can be a good idea if it is not too close to your surgery date. My doctor advised me not to because I am chronically ill and it would have weakened me just before surgery.

Unread 02-07-2001, 01:03 PM
L.I.W. worse part of this

Dear Rosepoem

Had to write and let you know that your letter really spoke to me. I too hated the thought that the operating staff would be able to see me in birthday suit and well see everything but I too found a wonderful female doctor (had 5 opinions) that I truly trusted. My surgery was in a teaching hospital so, I had several residents also involved in the surgery - only one male resident and he turned out to be the most sympathetic and kind of them all. He would visit twice a day and looked only at the incision and talked. Once you put on your own underwear - the incision is all they need to see - plus I ask if I could remove the dressing myself and they said "sure no problem." So, that eliminated that exposure. As far as touching - no one did! I hope these posts reassure you. I am Catholic and took my rosary and had to slip it thru my watch so it wouldn't fall and whenever I became fearful or afraid I would say the rosary or at least begin it and the fear would lessen. Maybe you have something that comforts you that you can take or a special prayer or poem you could think about.

I wish you comfort. Denise

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