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Unread 01-13-2009, 08:00 PM
Educators Unite

HI Teachers and Principals!!

All jobs are special, but as an educator, I know our jobs are unique.
So, Hystersisters, how has your first day back in class or at school gone?
How have you explained your surgery to those that have asked?
Any funny school/hystie stories?

Principal of an AZ junior/high school
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Unread 01-13-2009, 08:27 PM
Educators Unite

Thank you for posting this. I have a split college position so will be teaching only two classes beginning January 26, but I've been wondering how things will go. I certainly have no problem tell people, including students, about my surgery, although I do wait to be asked.

How did your first day go? Or, if you haven't returned yet, when will you? Will you be able rest and put your feet up as needed, or do you need to be up and about a lot?
Unread 01-13-2009, 09:00 PM
Educators Unite

Iam the food director at my school for the last 11 years.The kids were exited to see me back but you are so right about all the questions. The first little one I saw asked me if my knee is better now so I just said yes (6 years old), everyday Iam asked what I had surgery on so the grade school kids Iam just saying that I had a problem in my stomach and had surgery to fix it but the jr. h.s. kids I justsay a hysterectomy but just leave the repairs out* of it.
The grade school staff sent me a get well card and the
principle (male) thought it was for shoulder surgery and wrote the he will most likely have the same surgery that I had soon, the teachers and I had a good laugh.
Iam 5 weeks today and I started back last Friday so Ive been back for 3 days but it seems longer Iam pretty tired after working 81/2 hrs. Best luck to everyone as you returned to work, let others help you, my cooks are watching me like hawks that I not lift anything they and all the staff have realy made my come back go pretty good.
12/9 TVH, A&P repairs,sling
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Unread 01-13-2009, 09:08 PM
Educators Unite

Hi. I am an English teacher: sophomore literature, senior Brit Lit, creative writing and mythology. I love my job and my kids, and was really hesitant to take time off for my surgery. I am the teacher who's always telling my kids to show up every day ready to work, avoid absences at all costs - and I set an example by showing up every day with well-prepared lessons!

However - the anemia was absolutely wearing me out, and the other female teachers in my hallway were probably sick of my hogging the single bathroom that we all shared!! Also, my frustration with the whole situation was really having an impact on how I approached my work.

So I decided to have the surgery, but to schedule it so that part of my time off fell during holiday break. That way, even though I have 7 weeks off, I am missing just 5 weeks of school time.

My students are shall I put this kindly...underachievers, but very creative and offbeat kids who've had pretty rough personal lives. I was very touched that, when I told the kids I would be out for several weeks because of surgery, their initial reaction was, "But you'll miss Christmas!"

I tend to have a morbid sense of humor (defense mechanism; I lost my mom when I was 4 due to breast cancer, and I grew up believing that bad news is always just around the corner!) but most of the kids looked at me with wide-eyed shock that I would even joke about surgery. Some of the kids joked back, though!

The last thing I needed was for a bunch of 16 year-old boys to get a visual of their teacher's reproductive system, so I was vague about the surgery - just said, "You know how I have really bad anemia [I bruise easily, and it's hard to hide the bruises on my hands from the iron infusions sometimes} - well, I need to have surgery that will fix the anemia, but it means I need to be out for a few weeks..." and they were ok with that.

My principal is awesome, and he offered prayers and good wishes but didn't need a lot of specifics. He was also able to get me a great long-term sub who spent 3 days with me and my classes, getting to know the drill. I have some wonderful colleagues who were super-supportive, and I told them as much as I thought they wanted to hear.

The thing is, I'm not the skinniest by any means, but with the enormous uterus, I looked six months pregnant. And I'm almost 50 and not at all shy about my age. I think some kids thought I was pregnant. One kid actually asked me what I thought about Madonna wanting to have a baby at 50.

The nicest thing, though, was a very sweet boy who waited until the rest of the class was out of the room on my last day. He asked me if I was scared about the surgery, and I said yes because I'd never had surgery before. He told me not to worry because he'd had countless surgeries (for tumors) and it was nothing. Awesome kid.

I am going back on 1/26, first day of the new semester. That's also when my grad class begins. So I should be totally exhausted by that night. I am not a sit-down teacher; I am usually up and about, except in creative writing, so we'll see what happens. I'm actually thinking that without the anemia, it may not be that bad.

Thanks for starting this thread! Teaching is a big part of who I am and it's nice to know that other people are going through some of the same issues.
Unread 01-13-2009, 09:21 PM
Educators Unite

I teach 24 beautiful 4th grade English language learners, self-contained classroom...

Emergency hysterectomy 2nd week of school. Began hemorraghing on FIRST DAY, can you believe it? (Had to step out every 1/2 hour. Simply told kids I was helping Ms. E, who is a first-year teacher.) Yeah, called my GYN at 11:00; worked in after school; sent directly to the castle; called principal from ICU - umm, I know it's the first day of school, but I sort of won't be at school for awhile, I'm having a hysterectomy.

Only told my students I had a surgery. They never asked why. I never told.

Missed a total of 6 weeks at school - two weeks prior to surgery, 4 weeks of recovery. I returned to work for 1/2 days at 4 weeks post op and full time at 6 weeks. Battled severe anemia and fatigue (I had 10 transfusions,) but did good overall. Sat a lot at first, moved slowly through the classroom (I had 24 willing helpers to assist me!), and walked fairly slowly down the hallways for awhile, but I am up to full speed now.

Jany - funny. I would like to see principal's face when he realizes what kind of surgery you really had!
Unread 01-13-2009, 09:38 PM
Educators Unite

I so LOVE hearing your stories!! One of my cute 15 yr old boys asked me today about what the surgery was and I told him it was girl surgery. I swear he turned green, waved me off and ran out of the front door. He is one of my cuties and I just love him....I doubt that he will ask about THAT again!!

On a side note, one of my "not so normal" 7th graders snuck out the side door of the school and was hiding in a ditch. One of my teachers saw her as she was leaving for lunch. This 7th grader gave true meaning to "ditching school". HAHAHA! That was on my first day back!! Gotta love em!
Unread 01-13-2009, 10:46 PM
Educators Unite

I teach 7th grade pre-algebra in CA. Before our three week winter break I told my student I might not be back right away because I was having surgery. In every class at least one student asked why and I told them it was personal. I just didn't want to get into the whole mess with 7th graders. Ya know? I had surgery the Friday before break and went back to work after three weeks. It was nice missing only one work day. It is just way to hard finding a sub that can teach math - and too much work making lesson plans. My dr. looked at me like I was crazy when I told him I wanted to go back to work. To me is is just easier that way. My principal was pretty surprised that I came back right away, but he was pleased. Our students don't do too well with subs :-)
Unread 01-13-2009, 11:36 PM
Educators Unite

I am an assistant principal at a middle school and chose to have my hysterectomy the week before Christmas to avoid missing extra time away from school also. I go back to my doctor on Thursday for my next post-op visit and we will decide then whether I can go back for half days the next two weeks.

I am ready to get out of the house but also know that I am a workaholic and will not adhere to 4 hours a day. My school has some interesting students as well and I know it will be difficult avoiding the situations that they often put me in. Lots of history but one continually tears the place apart and I spent an hour in a restraint with him the week before surgery. I can't be doing that for awhile. Another runs away during class changes and my fellow administrator and I must go out opposite school doors and chase after him "heading him off at the pass". Because of possible incidents like this, I am thinking about using the entire six weeks of leave that I had scheduled. However, I dread seeing my desk when I return!

I do miss my students, faculty and staff though. I have received many sweet emails from the teachers and assistants and notes left on my desk from the students. I do dread the questions when I get back because of the age of my students. Some knew I would be out but didn't ask questions at that time. Those will come upon return. Maybe I will use the 'girl surgery' answer and get out of any other answering!
Unread 01-13-2009, 11:55 PM
Educators Unite

I am a high school counselor in Fairbanks, Alaska. This is our 2nd week back. Last week, when school started, it was 45 below zero all week long and we were all getting pretty crabby. Today it was 5 above and life is good! I am having weekly Topotecan treatments, on Tuesday afternoons and I just tell my co-workers I am going to the "spa." They all know spa is code for the cancer treatment center and most people in the building know what's going on. Some students know, cuz we live in a fairly small town, but I usually wear a wig, so very few students notice. One funny story is about a girl who wanted to know who my hairdresser is, and I finally took off the wig and showed her my bald head. She was fine with it, and we both had a good chuckle.
Unread 01-13-2009, 11:56 PM
Educators Unite

"Girl surgery" should be enough of an explanation!

I am one of those people who can't talk without using my hands, and someone pointed out to me that whenever I mentioned my surgery, I unconsciously made this big vertical slash-motion down my stomach, much for discretion...

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