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Farm wife feeling guilty Farm wife feeling guilty

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Unread 04-26-2002, 09:01 AM
Farm wife feeling guilty

Hi! I'm new to this board, so please bear with me. I have my surgery date for June 3rd for a TVH for a 4+ uterine prolapse. They grade a prolapse and my is off the charts because it hangs out so far. Being a farm wife, I have many chores that are expected of me on a daily basis. I've had this condition for more than a year now and let me tell you how painful it is when I constantly have to bend over, carry buckets of milk and bales of hay and milk the cows. Because my husband and I have an enormous debt we rarely have any hired help. We milk 3 times a day, 76 cows. DH has known about my condition since last summer so now he tries to do most of the milking but I still do all the other chores. There's just so much work here that he gets very little rest so I feel guilty if I'm not out there helping.
I'm having second thoughts about the surgery now because I will be laid up without being able to do much of anything for awhile. I don't want my husband to carry the whole load himself. We do have disability insurance that will cover us for awhile if we could find someone willing to do this kind of work, but my doctor says I need to find a different life style after the surgery. How can I live on a farm and not do chores?
Should I just live with my pain and keep going as long as possible? Was wondering if there were any other women in farming with their husbands and what they did while they were laid up. I'm having a really hard time with the guilt I am feeling. Thanks for listening! Sorry so lengthy.
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Unread 04-26-2002, 09:11 AM
Oh, dear


You sound like your guilt puts you at great risk for overdoing it. Just think how much more useless you would be to dh and the farm in the long run if you DIDN'T take care of yourself.

It sounds like you have already put this off for long enough. Lucky for you, your dh is understanding and trying to make less work for you.

Certainly running a farm requires more out of you, physically than those of us who work in an office, but you simply have to take care of yourself.

I am praying that a solution for some farm help comes to you soon. If your surgery is not until next month, is there a chance that local high school students would be out of school before long (our school lets out around June 10) and you could hire some teenagers? Maybe a call to the local high school guidance office could help you connect with someone.

Please take care of yourself. I know the farm is important, but I just want to remind you that your own health is Number One Priority.

Unread 04-26-2002, 09:16 AM
Farm wife feeling guilty

Hi Marielle and welcome to Hyster Sisters!

I can understand up to a point about doing chores. I don't live on a farm, but I do have a house with way too much room in it, a yard and a family. I don't want you to feel guilty for one second about having surgery. You and your hubby sound like you can communicate really well, so I want you to take him to the doctor the next time you go and have him listen to what the doctor is saying. I understand about your responsibilities to do chores, etc. The recovery time is 6-8 weeks depending on you. I would strongly suggest getting someone in during that time to help your hubby with the load. Maybe a church in town has someone that could help? Or there have to be neighbors with kids that wouldn't mind making some money for a few weeks. Doesn't school get out around the time you are having surgery? I'm sure there is someone that will help your hubby out during the time of your recovery. What you are living with right now isn't something I personally have had to deal with, but, I have been in pain and I can relate to that.

Please, please, know that you aren't doing anything wrong by improving your way of life with a hysterectomy that you have been told to get done. Sometimes we feel guilty because we want it all just to go away and it seems all on our shoulders. I know about that and about the financial things too. I can relate, you aren't the only one in the world, girlie, trust me. I'm sure there will be posts after mine telling you the exact same things.

Please don't hesitate to email me if you want to.

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Unread 04-26-2002, 10:26 AM

My Mom was raised on a farm and I remember just from what she had told us, as well as visiting as a small child how much work is involved!
My husband was also raised on a ranch...tons of extremely demanding physical labor! :hair:
As the other ladies have told you...Don't, I repeat, Don't feel guilty hon!! You didn't ask for your body to do this!
Your DH sounds like a gem! As suggested before, check with the schools in the area, junior high schools (middle schools) and high schools have two programs here. One is F.F.A. (Future Farmers of America) and the other is 4H...I would call the local chapters and ask them if any of the youngsters would want the experience.
Out here the kids get a calf, then raise and show it....maybe for the work you could donate a calf to a youngster?? In return they could help you out plus gain valuable knowledge from you Husband!!
Maybe the local church could help as well?
Wishing you the best hon! s to you and keep us posted!
Unread 04-26-2002, 12:51 PM
Farm wife feeling guilty

Wow, I feel so welcomed here. Thanks so much for caring. I cried when I read your replies. I'll keep you posted but have tried hired help in the past with disastrous results. The cattle have to be taken care of no matter what. I guess that's what it always come back to, trying to stay in the house when you know things aren't getting done that need to be done! At least I know I can come here and vent a little. Thanks so much!
Unread 04-26-2002, 02:33 PM
You must !

Hi there Hyster Sister....You have got to put yourself first just this once know. Keep working on have a little time. Every thing will "Come out in the wash" as they say. Don't be scared to ask for help either. Your husband will be alright too. And so will those cows . I just know if both of you work a farm , then you are both strong. My dear you must take care of yourself so you can continue on. Are there other farms nearby that you could ask for help? You pray about this thing and it Will work out. OK! Hang in there!
Unread 04-26-2002, 04:06 PM
Hi, Marielle

My husband was raised on a dairy farm and I live in the country in a farming county in Ohio. I have at least an idea of what your responsibilities are, but then again, not really.

I do know that I've always wanted to be a farm wife. Such a noble profession.

Now, having said that...I am sure your husband wants you around for a very long time to come in as good a shape as you can be, and it sounds like there's no problem there. Many of the ladies have already given suggestions on your immediate concern of needing help while you're recovering.

But then your Dr. recommended a life-style change. I imagine that feels just kind of like it's hanging over your head, huh? Could you work part-time in town and then help on the farm a little? I know several farm wives around here work at offices that support farming (like financial places), the Extension Office (helps the farmers plus does 4-H, ASC - I forget what this stands for but it's one of the programs that pays the farmer for using land in different ways.

I wish I really knew what I was talking about. I feel for you. I hope you know in your heart that you must really take care of yourself, your health.

Please take care and I wish you the best in finding good choices to help you out. Keep us informed
Unread 04-26-2002, 05:50 PM
Farm wife feeling guilty

I have a horse and two donkeys... does that count?

Seriously, your future "utility and soundness" depend on having surgery and recovering fully from it. If you had a good working horse that was ill or injured, you would get it the best vet care, keep it on stall rest, carefully hand-walk it a little at a time, keep its legs bandaged, etc., and very slowly bring it back into work, following the vet's instructions. You know that if you didn't, you'd risk having a chronically useless, lame, or unthrifty animal, and no farm can afford that.

Not to insult you, but if you look at your position in your farm's economy the same way, it's obvious that in order for you to be a contributing, profitable part of things, you are going to need some down time. Just like with a work horse, if you rush yourself back into heavy work, you will get hurt, and your recovery will be longer - or you might risk permanent injury.

Talk to your doctor about exactly what he meant by "lifestyle change". Did he mean for a while, during your recovery? Or permanently? (and if permanently, why?) I don't know what-all you're having done, but I can tell you I am stronger, (much) healthier, and able to work harder and get more done that I was for years before my hyst. For a while, yes, I was wiped out. It was at least a month before I was useful for light work (pruning, weeding, feeding horses), but maybe 3 months before I felt really safe lifting bales (ours are 120# here!), rototilling, etc. It was probably 6 months before I really felt "strong as an ox". I never felt *bad* the whole time, just not back to 100% for a long time. Now, at 16 months, I'm working out, and working my butt off, and feeling great.

If the "change of lifestyle" is due the prolapse, and weakened pelvic floor, ask if there is anything (exercises?) you can do to strengthen it. Also, consider alternatives to lifting wherever possible - like using a wagon or cart to "carry" things from here to there. (Check the Northern Equipment catalog - I'm sure you get it!) S'pose your medical insurance would cover a Gator? But seriously, insurance can cover some things that people require to continue in their work, like a wheelchair, van, or special computer that "talks" - maybe yours covers things you need to stay "on the job" too.

If you are looking at the effect of your hyst on your being able to contribute to work on the farm, be sure to compare it against *not* having a hyst. I figured I was pretty well out of commission for 10 days each month, with cramps, bleeding, and generally feeling weak and tired. Over the years between my hyst and when I guess I will reach menopause, it would have totalled (assuming things didn't get worse, and they *were* getting worse) over 3 YEARS of "bad days". Compared to a couple of months of hyst recovery, 3+ years is a very long time. Think of the load your husband will have to carry if you *don't* have a hyst. Not to mention that you might get worse, become anemic, etc. which will make you even less useful.

Sorry to be mercenary. It's the tone in which you asked the question, so I hope you don't mind my answering in those terms. On the personal side, imagine what life would be like without pain when you bend or lift. Think of how things might be different if you felt good all the time (and felt sure that you would also feel good tomorrow, and next week, and next year). In the long run, a hyst, and the time you'd need to fully recover, will be a good "investment" for you personally, and for your farm.

One more thing - where to find help... Is it possible that you could find someone who is considering going into the dairy business, who would like some experience before diving in on their own? Maybe you could find someone through an ag school? How about a vet specializing in dairy cattle, doing a sort of "field internship" with you? The experience would be priceless for them, and you'd probably get better help that if you just found a "hired hand". Are there any dairies in your area closing down (sold to developers), or reducing their herds? They must have good people they've had to let go, and could give you a referral. Could the County Ag Agent, local bovine vet, feed store, or someone else in the business help you find someone? Be creative - I'm sure there's decent help out there somewhere.
Unread 04-26-2002, 07:59 PM
Farm wife feeling guilty

I echo what the other good ladies in here have advised..just curious, though..why would you have to have a different lifestyle after the surgery?

My mother in law had a vaginal hyst last April, she said her uterus was out so far she literally had to stuff it back in at something else going on with you?

I can't think of a reason you could not continue your lifestyle postop, once you have thoroughly healed, of course. I certainly do not intend to pry, just trying to get a handle on things.

Did your doc mean change of lifestyle UNTIL you healed??

Unread 04-27-2002, 01:45 AM
Farm wife feeling guilty

I agree with what all the other sisters have said, and I'm also curious about the 'lifestyle change' thing your doctor mentioned. Did he tell you why? And for how long? Just curious I guess, enquiring minds want to know!

Please don't let your guilt feelings make you put off your surgery. Believe me, the eight weeks or so of recovery time if you have your surgery now is a lot better than what you will go through if you keep putting it off. I postponed my hyst for a number of reasons, some my own decision and some out of my control. As a result my problems became life-threatening by the time I finally had the surgery, and my recovery seems to be going slower than it probably would have if I had taken care of things many years ago.

Everyone will survive during the time you are recuperating, and I'm sure you and hubby will figure things out. Your health is the most important thing to consider right now, and the long-term benefits will be well worth the short time you won't be able to do it all.

Keep us posted.


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