Guest Author - Lee S. Williams
Hysterectomy. Does the word send shudders through your spine? While almost a common procedure today, it still carries some stigma with it. The word rolls glibly off a surgeon’s tongue while the patient sits with mixed emotions. Depending on the age of the woman, those emotions can range from “death of life as we know it” to “finally we end this silly periodic mess!” And that can happen in a matter of moments. As those emotions boil and bubble, along comes the feeling of being less than a woman, the creative being of humankind. Does this really happen today?
Of course it does. No matter how enlightened our society becomes, one of the first definitions of being woman seems to include that old adage “the mother of our children,” and it’s so ingrained in our social order, that we can’t help thinking about it when the position is threatened (not to worry, though, the same thing occurs to men when someone whispers “vasectomy”).
If you face a hysterectomy, as I did many long years ago, there is now a wonderful support site on the net called Hyster Sisters which was not available back in 1993. Members include women who had had or who were preparing to have hysterectomies, thus giving a person considering the operation a huge network of people that probably have experienced the concerns, and more importantly, the emotions that you are currently going through.
The message board, which offers words of support and consolation, discusses all issues: when to return to work, how soon to try to come off pain medication, changing feelings towards self and partner, and to “tell or not to tell.”
The site includes the latest news, resources and hints with links to other helpful sites. So, if it looks like there may be a hysterectomy in your future, or the future of someone close to you, check the Hyster Sisters site. It may help your understanding and give you a forum for venting those frustrations and negative feelings. Or, stop by the Senior Issues forum, and we can open a thread to talk about what bothers you the most.