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Convincing people this is MAJOR SURGERY Convincing people this is MAJOR SURGERY

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Unread 12-17-2010, 04:25 PM
Convincing people this is MAJOR SURGERY

I'm trying to figure out how to convince people that this is major surgery I'm having....particularly my husband and step-daughters.
My husband in his own way knows it's a huge deal but he keeps making offhanded comments like, "You're probably only going to have to stay in the hospital overnight" and "Well, in four weeks you'll be fine".....(Can someone make a facepalm smiley? We need one) *FACEPALM*
I think he's just being optimistic but I also know him well enough to know that he's the type that will try to push me thinking that it will help me. You know the whole, "Well if you get up and move around more you'll recover faster" mentality. I also need to somehow make my stepdaughters understand this because my husband's going to be on travel 3 of the 4 weeks I'm recovering and so they're going to be taking care of me as it were.

My first thought was having my doctor scare the bejeezus out of my DH somehow at my pre-op appointment. Then I saw someone on the post op board talk about having pictures of women who overdid it and broke their stitches and I thought, "Wow that'd be great" - not that I'm morbid, but when you're a professional trainer you start loving visual aids.

I don't know if words are going to be enough to get through to them...does anybody have some good suggestions? Charts? Graphs? Horrifying shock videos? (well maybe not) I think I'm going to need help with this one.
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Unread 12-17-2010, 06:42 PM
Re: Convincing people this is MAJOR SURGERY

It is sad so many of our loved ones are unsympathetic.

*My suggestion is to clean your house well before surgery.
*Post the post op limitations from this site on the fridge
*Freeze dinners and/or accept all offers for dinners
*Wear pajamas for two weeks, do not clean or pick up or do anything
*Next two weeks continue to take it easy and learn to love dust bunnies and dirt and mess
*After that IF you feel ok can start doing light housework

The loved ones don't get it for whatever reason, so us sisters have to learn to ignore, let go, don't try to be a superwomen.

Just about EVERYONE on this site would agree you only have one time to heal and this is your time to be selfish.

Hugs and good luck with surgery!
Unread 12-17-2010, 06:45 PM
Re: Convincing people this is MAJOR SURGERY

I think your idea of talking to your doctor before your pre-op appointment is a good idea. Ask him to stress to both of you the importance of what needs to be done post-op to assure you the best possible recovery. Maybe hearing it from the doctor will show him the seriousness of your following his instructions, one of which is NOT RUNNING THE VACUUM CLEANER. I believe this would be for at least six weeks. You will be told how long you cannot drive. I was told six weeks. Even though you can't see them, you will have many internal stitches and they could pull while using the vacuum or driving and even walking a dog.
Your stepchildren should be informed of the instructions also so that they are aware of the seriousness. If you overdo, it could put you back into the hospital and none of them would want that to happen. If you have pets, you may want to make sure they are not able to jump onto your lap, etc.
I wish you well and hope that your family takes good care of you post-op.
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Unread 12-17-2010, 08:11 PM
Re: Convincing people this is MAJOR SURGERY

I held a family meeting with my husband and my sons, 3 and 6. I used a needle, black thread and white cloth. I asked them to touch the needle. Then I asked if they wanted me to touch their penis or anus with it. I told them that's exactly what was going to happen to me. I made some stitches in the cloth.

I explained Dr. Jimmy is great and we trust him. I explained in kiddo terms TVH and that I may not have any scars they can see but I'll have 100's of stitchs inside. I said I could be home before they go to bed or before they get up the next morning. Then I explained I may have a abdominal incision and I may have to be in the hospital for a few days. I told them what they are going to have to do for themselves because I can't.

Then I explained what could happen if I did do those things and then I ripped the stitches I made in the cloth.

It's slowly sinking in and they are talking about it. My husband doesn't want to hear anything graphic. He kinda ticked me off with his reaction but I think he's worried. So, I give him a break and find other people to talk to about it..

It seems I announced surgery a month ago but it's just starting to sink in and people are starting to react. I think most people simply don't know how to. We're still young. People have different opinions about hysterectomy's.

Yeah, getting up and WALKING around is a good thing. But doing most anything else probably isn't. Hopefully they will see that in time.

There are SOOOO many people here on your side. Don't discount it!!
Unread 12-17-2010, 08:36 PM
Re: Convincing people this is MAJOR SURGERY

My hubs really never accepted how major it was, but he did get that I wasn't supposed to do certain "stuff" because my surgeon told him. Not once. Not twice. But four times. I didn't ask him to do that. He just did. There's also the magic word "no." You don't need to convince know how serious it is :-) and yeah, facepalm icon is needed!
Unread 12-17-2010, 08:39 PM
Re: Convincing people this is MAJOR SURGERY

osothrilled - you rock. Best description I have seen of letting men know what is happening to you. You win the Grammy, Emmy and Hysteremmy. LOL!
Unread 12-17-2010, 08:47 PM
Re: Convincing people this is MAJOR SURGERY

Don't know if this would help, but there are videos on the internet that show the surgery. I watched them because they made me feel better- I liked knowing what would be done to my body. If I showed one to my hubby, he'd pass out, but he's been good.
Unread 12-17-2010, 08:49 PM
Re: Convincing people this is MAJOR SURGERY

This is a tough one and I wish you the best. I think it's hard because people have various types of other surgery and show right back up at work. But this is major surgery.

Before my surgery I remember saying several times: "this is major surgery" and "this is a big deal." I was worried my husband wouldn't understand . . . but he does understand to the extent he can without going through it. I found it helpful to just be honest about my fears. ("I'm afraid you'll be disappointed if I'm not doing x after y amount of time.")

Honestly, I have stayed away from any friends who I thought would not be good for me. Said "I'll call you after Christmas." I'm talking about people who know it all about everything but have never experienced it and would not hesitate to say "well, so and so was mowing the lawn 2 days after surgery."

It does seem like a good idea to bring DH to the pre-op appointment. Wouldn't hurt.

Good luck!
Unread 12-17-2010, 08:54 PM
Re: Convincing people this is MAJOR SURGERY

One more thing. I expected my husband to anticipate my every need and he doesn't. That said, he does what ever I ask and gladly. When I thank him for all he's done for me, he says he has hardly done anything. So, I needed to accept that I had to ask for stuff. The fact that he didn't do it before I asked means nothing. He does it gladly, that's just how he rolls.
Unread 12-17-2010, 08:57 PM
Re: Convincing people this is MAJOR SURGERY

Oso for the win. What a clever idea!!!

My problem is everyone including work originally thought I should be healed in TWO weeks. I told them I HAD to take a third week off. I am scheduled to return to my (sitting) job next Tuesday, day 22.

My DH works three nights a week. He has been great about doing all the lifting chores before he left like pouring the dogs food, moving the heavy bird perch off the top of their cage, and pulling the heavy quilts to the top of the bed.

He left tonight, without doing ANY of these things. Hoping he just forgot and not that he thinks I am back to normal.

No one can see the stitches. I look normal. But, I don't feel normal.

I loved Oso's visual analogy for her family.

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