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Telling people you're going to have surgery Telling people you're going to have surgery

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Unread 04-18-2003, 06:11 PM
Telling people you're going to have surgery

OK, Guess I'm private about some things...I just don't feel like having all my family and neighbors know about my surgery. I started out with rectocele and cystocele problems and now after 3 Dr.'s opinions, also looks like a TVH.
I know I'll need help, but what is the protocol for telling others? Emily Post, where are you?
What's the coolie lingo to use?
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Unread 04-18-2003, 09:14 PM
It grows once you tell

My husband and I really debated about what to tell people. Its' not a topic that's easy to bring up, like if you were just having knee surgery. Its' a very personal surgery and can be emotionally challenging depending on the reason and how you are coping. My husband didn't want to tell anyone, even family until several weeks into my recovery. I disagreed.

Of course, ended up telling work because I needed six weeks off. Also, told a few close friends, really escalated at work after that point. People were very concerned about my health, wanted to help out, etc. My boss was very inquisitive. I finally said, I really don't want to talk about this with anyone as its' a very personal decision. People respected that. If people I didn't know well questioned why I was off work, I stated surgery. My tone basically showed them it wasn't a topic up for discussion.

We told both sets of parents two weeks prior, and informed them to not disclose to any other relatives, as we don't live near our families so they wouldn't realize I was under the weather. I told a lot of lies to my siblings and grandparents in the first weeks following surgery to cover up. I was extremely grateful to have my mom out to help with the kids.

I guess I really didn't give you a great answer, but wanted you to know that other people struggle with this issue. The support I received from friends and work was great, but I also felt some people got more information than they should have.

Good luck!

TVH 4/9/03 for adenocarcinoma in situ
Unread 04-18-2003, 09:46 PM
Hysterectomy a "personal" thing???

Never occurred to me to NOT tell. I knew so many women who already had hysterectomies years before... I mean -- It's just a hysterectomy. My mom had one, my mother-in-law had one, a bunch of women I graduated with in '72, quite a few women I work with at a hospital.

Ya just say "woman stuff" for an explanation.

Besides, once you open up, you get lots of advice, stories, "sisterhood."
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Unread 04-18-2003, 10:16 PM
Telling people you're going to have surgery

Hi Moi

I didn't have any problem telling those who needed to know. I didn't take out an advertisement mind you, but those who basically needed to be informed - were.

I had no problem telling anyone who asked because I was sooooo happy to finally be getting my hyst. But everyone is different. And it's a very personal issue for many, including you. You need to tell or not tell as YOU feel comfortable. If you don't want anyone to know than don't tell anyone. If they find out, or ask what's happened, simply tell them the truth - surgery of a personal nature, no need to give details. If they persist, state that you would not feel comfortable discussing it, and you are just fine. Unless it's work, then you have to tell the HR people in order to get your time off and disability or insurance coverage taken care of. Don't think they will let you get away with asking for six weeks of sick time without some info.

Remember, it's no one's business but your own. However may I suggest, immediately family be told if for no other reason than medical history. What experiences they have had may be valuable to you. In my family, cancer is rampent as well as gyn problems. My mother (before she died), my sisters and I keep in close touch with each other because of this - many of these things were exactly the same problems my mother had, now each of my sisters and I have been thru it - a little family medical knowledge goes a long way to helping to calm fears, know what decisions were made on how to treat it, and what perhaps didn't work for one, may perhaps work for another. Any daughters you have should know (when they are older of course) WHY you needed to have it - it may help them some day. Just a suggestion from one who knows, and as an RN I would recommend this to my patients as well.

Best of luck - let us know how you make out with your decision.
Unread 04-19-2003, 12:14 AM
Telling people you're going to have surgery

When I feel I must say something - else they will assume I'm being secretive because I'm getting a boob job or something - I say, "I'm a woman of a certain age and this needs to be done."

MANY women I'm talking to reply with, "Oh! You're getting a hysterectomy! I had one X-years ago. It was the best thing I've ever done." That usually breaks the ice.

My boss has been lovely to not ask about it. He knows I may not come back to work. I've explained I don't know if I'll need further treatments. I've tried not to say, "I don't know how long my recovery will be until the pathology results come back." However, the truth is I'm so tired now I can't even imagine going back to work. A long rest is all I can think about.
Unread 04-19-2003, 04:55 AM
Telling people you're going to have surgery

Mostly everyone I know knows the the struggles I've gone through with my Fibroids. A lot of people, guessed that I was going in for a Hyst. I didn't have a problem telling certain people. When certain indviduals asked me at work what I was surgery for, I told them I was going in for a tune-up.
Unread 04-19-2003, 07:12 AM
Telling people you're going to have surgery

Thanks everybody for all the great advice! I guess I need to start making some phone calls. I live away from my parents and many sibs right now, but we're moving back to my hometown this summer. I've given thought to postponing my surgery and having it done there, but I want to make a fresh start with work, etc. plus I love my Dr. and hospital here. As far as work goes, I make pottery as my main business and teach but am not teaching a class right now, so there's really no one to answer to about taking time off
I appreciate Melissa's advice as a nurse to tell others such as my mother and sisters! And all in all it'll be easier to say I'm having a hysterectomy than explaining what a rectocele is!
Thanks! Have a beautiful weekend!
Unread 04-19-2003, 07:37 AM
Telling people you're going to have surgery

A good way to mention the surgury is how our pastor mentioned it for a prayer request. "Please keep in prayer, ________, she will be undergoing a personal operation this week." If people are wise, they will get the drift that it is a hysterectomy.
Unread 04-19-2003, 08:32 AM
telling others

I wanted to shout it from the roof top yesterday that it was a "Good Friday"! It was the last Friday I was going to have my uterus or call people, the colesterol commercial....
That way people can help without you asking. They will stop by to check on you, make you lunch, hold the leash while you walk the dog, maybe whip out a load of laundry, etc.....
I have been so scared and out of norm, until I found this web site. """thank you ladies""" I am so ready for this to be over with (the hyst) and celebrate being a woman. A Juicy, succulent wild woman. (thank you Sark) that I truely am! I want to make love without restrictions, I want to gofour wheeling without coming back an having to lay down.... I want to work an honest day without pain. I would love to go on a vacation with "Aunt Flo". YIPPPPPPIE!!! I am truely estatic!!
The pain, dicomfort and BLEEDING for the past many years, is coming to an end and I will rejoice. I pray the surgery goes smooooth and Dr. P goes in there and cleans house!! (thank God for good Dr.s)
I will worry about the ERT still. I would love aa all natrual way of it . Any one experiencing a natrual ert with good results , please send me a note. Would love to hear about "the good stuff".
Unread 04-19-2003, 10:33 PM
Telling people you're going to have surgery

I have a reply from a different viewpoint. In our family, things like this weren't talked about. I knew my mothers' gynacological history (grim) but that was it. When I began having problems, and hysterectomy as a choice was beginning to be bandied about by my Dr. and I, I mentioned it in passing at a family gathering. This opened the floodgates. Two of my aunts had had fibroids, endo, and hysterectomies. My grandmother, mother, and great aunt had suffered from gyno cancers. I was amazed that all this pain had been hidden from the younger women in the family. Not to mention the 'forewarned is forearmed' angle for future generations. I am now very open with family at least in the hopes I might help a daughter, niece or younger cousin get good care. As far as work colleagues, neighbors, etc., I see your point. None of their business, really.

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