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Is Hysterectomy a Dirty Word? Is Hysterectomy a Dirty Word?

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  #1  
Unread 12-28-2001, 07:13 AM
Is Hysterectomy a Dirty Word?

I have been letting the people I work with know that I will be out for surgery starting the 22nd of January. I mostly work with men and when they ask what surgery and I say a hysterectomy, they look at me like I said a bad word. What's the deal? What am I supposed to say? Is there a more polite way to say it? I don't like to say it is a "female problem" because that doesn't sound right to me.

Then the next question is "Why?" I don't want to get into details of my medical problems with anyone, male or female, if I don't know them that well. I just say because I need to have it done. What a silly question! Some of the ladies I work with have been through this and when they ask why, I don't really mind discussing it with them or anyone else who is really interested, but when it seems like small-talk or someone being nosey, it bugs me and I don't know what to say.

Sorry y'all. I am venting this morning. I think my ovary thinks I cancelled the surgery while I was feeling better because it hurts again. I fooled it because I didn't cancel! I any of you have any suggestions as to what I can say to these men, let me know!

Thanks!
Diane
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  #2  
Unread 12-28-2001, 08:41 AM
Is Hysterectomy a Dirty Word?

I agree with you on the not wanting to say it's a "female problem." I don't think it's a dirty word. You don't have to explain everything. If they give you a strange look you can say "well you asked but I really don't care to discuss this in any detail." That should stop further questions. One nurse assistant responded with "you are kind of young for that" after she asked what I had done. I said yes but it was necessary.
Some may just not have any idea of why women need this surgery and there are many myths that people think that are not true. One friend of mine said "oh no you'll lose your sex drive". She added with a question "will you still have periods?" since I told her I was keeping my ovaries. I decided I wasn't going to tell to many people about the surgery. The husbands may talk though as mine did. I found that I wasn't alone and some co-workers of hubby's had wives who had them and said it was the best thing she ever did. It made me feel much better If I had to say anything, I felt it was best to say I was having some surgery (like I did with my kids) to remove an organ that was causing me lots of trouble and that I would not be able to do much for several weeks.
  #3  
Unread 12-28-2001, 09:00 AM
Hi Diane!

Take heart Diane, the days when a hyst. was a bad word is almost passed. I think that the media has given it the name of being done whether you need it or not. I don't want to get on that soap box. I also had some really fine ladies who told me I would never regret it and they were so right. I am 6 months and have loved every minute of my freedom from pain and discomfort. As far as the men you work with you really don't owe them any explaination. Leave it at a hyst. Don't worry about the looks just copy some of the articles and hand it to them if they need more. I know this may sound harsh but I don't have time for any one who doesn't mind their own business. I found this site after my surgery and wished it had been before. Keep thinking I am doing this for me and my family so I can feel better and do more things with them. God bless and here are some cyber and to use when things get rough.
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  #4  
Unread 12-28-2001, 10:04 AM
Is Hysterectomy a Dirty Word?

Hi! I agree...most people (men included) don't know much about ANY surgery unless they've had firsthand experience with it. If you feel you need to go beyond a simple "I'm having some surgery", throw in "some GYNECOLOGICAL surgery." That should intimidate them sufficiently. It's good to use a powerfully loaded word to YOUR advantage. Most men with flinch when they hear that word, for some reason.

You absolutely don't have any obligation to respond beyond that. If they ask why, just smile and say "It's personal, but thanks for your interest" and walk away. You DON'T owe anyone any explanations. No need to be rude, but be firm. That goes for the women co-workers as well.

This is your own, private medical stuff. Nobody needs to be in on it. Hysterectomy is definitely NOT a dirty word...but it is a personal thing, and you don't have to explain it to anyone.

Be strong, and soon you'll be PROUD to be a Hyster Sister!!!

Karen
  #5  
Unread 12-28-2001, 10:38 AM
Is Hysterectomy a Dirty Word?

I had to giggle at this one. I've had the same response from men about it too. Maybe it's because I'm a nurse and I've worked GYN in the hospital, but the word hysterectomy doesn't sound taboo to me. They wouldn't have the same reaction if you said you were having a tonsillectomy. Maybe they just counter the thought with them having their testicles removed. But when I've gotten that response, I reminded them they asked. With a couple who wanted to know why, I filled their ears full graphically by going on about how heavy the bleeding was and the cramps were. If they wanted to ask why...they got an ear full! Hahaha...maybe they'll think first next time they want to prod.

Isn't it funny how some think you shouldn't say certain words about the body? Remember the days of "I Love Lucy" when they couldn't use the word pregnant & on all those old shows, married couples slept in separate twin beds? Maybe if more people were open about female surgeries, there'd be more educated people out there about them who wouldn't say stupid things.
  #6  
Unread 12-28-2001, 12:03 PM
Is Hysterectomy a Dirty Word?

Yeah! What they all said.

The more we say it as though it were an objective, medical term (which it plainly is), the more people will stop being shocked by it.
  #7  
Unread 12-28-2001, 12:44 PM
Is Hysterectomy a Dirty Word?

When the Dr said *H Y S T E R E C T O M Y* (that's what it looked like cept in neon and flashing ) to me, I reacted probably the same way those men at your job do, accept much more so since it was personal. The words that came to my head was frigid, old, gutted fish....ugh
And the very first website I went to after searching that dreaded word was HERS...a website that is not exactly supportive of hysterectomy. They actually referred to it as "Female *******ion." I shut off the pc and bawled gut wrenching sobs. I got the nerve to search "that word" again, and found this site. THANK GOD!!!!!!!!
I was misinformed and had many preconceptions as most people do I think.
I have to admit, I have told my husband to not tell his work what type of surgery I am having that he has requested off for. Why?
I am no longer ashamed, but I realize too that others are as ignorant to this as I once was.
I will tell anyone what procedure I am having in person however, because I want to spread the good knowledge I have obtained.
I have something to offer people in that way now.
Good luck and God Bless
  #8  
Unread 12-28-2001, 01:59 PM
Is Hysterectomy a Dirty Word?

I had a similiar experience with the HERS site...and continued on to find this wonderful place. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, and the best thing about the web is that we can CLICK if we find something we object to!

This site is about support and information, not a particular agenda. I think that's one of the main differences (that and we all truly do care about each other and it shows!).

Education is the key to combating ignorance, but when you are feeling vulnerable and anxious, it doesn't necessarily have to be your job to educate. Just shine it on, say something vague, and if you feel like enlightening them AFTER your surgery when you are feeling great, then go for it then!!

s to all...

Karen
  #9  
Unread 12-28-2001, 02:08 PM
Is Hysterectomy a Dirty Word?

I had to laugh when I read this. My boss (male of course) cringed when I would mention it , so I used to talk about it everytime I would see him so he would turn red I know I am so bad, but come on he has a wife and daughters and I think he has heard it before. I would say the word every chance I got, but I am very bad girl Best wishes to you
  #10  
Unread 12-28-2001, 03:49 PM
Is Hysterectomy a Dirty Word?

My issues with HERS was that they give one sided info. Just CONS. Otherwise, I'd not mentioned it. Just fyi.
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