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Not to tell my mother

(76 Posts)
Tigertooth Fri 17-Jan-20 15:56:20

For context my mother and I are very close. We live nearby and see each other a couple of times a week. I am 53, she's 86.
Next week I'm having a hysterectomy - AIBU to not inform my mother prior to the op? My husband will be between being with me and organising kids at home (10 - 19yrs).
Mum is fit and in excellent health for her age but she's a worrier and I'm feeling pretty anxious about this op anyway, I know that she will rush to the hospital and stay there with me and the thought of coming round from anaesthetic to her worried little face and fussing just adds to my stress. I'd rather just tell her a dy or two later when I'm on the mend.
What do you think?

grandtanteJE65 Sat 18-Jan-20 12:56:36

No, you are not being unreasonable. Your health and peace of mind are the priority here, and your Mum is a worrier, so you will have no peace of mind if you tell her.

Unfortunately, she will be hurt, but you can only try to minimise her hurt by telling her that knowing that she would worry too, made you decide not to tell her, as you felt worried enough yourself.

I'm sure you don't need to worry and please do take care of yourself after the op.

oldgimmer1 Sat 18-Jan-20 13:10:39

tigertooth that's fantastic news about the biopsy.

I sympathise with your dilemma about telling your mother. She sounds very much like mine, worrying and anxious and fussing.

Not in the same league I know but I once had a miscarriage and could have done with some help, being unable to leave the house.

I would not tell my mother because I didn't have the energy to deal with HER worrying and fussing as well as dealing with the aftermath of the miscarriage and getting through the day. She would not have been any support and made everything into a drama - her drama.

Fingers crossed for whatever you decide.

ExD1938 Sat 18-Jan-20 13:24:37

I would worry about her finding out from someone else. Dare I suggest you down the white-lie route and tell her (the day before admission) that you'll be in hospital for an overnight investigation and you will not be able to have visitors. You will NOT (under any circumstances) be allowed visitors other than your DH.
I know its deceitful but I didn't learn about my son's prostrate operation until after the event, because they didn't want to worry me, - and its unbelievably hurtful.

She IS your Mum, how would you feel if she was to have surgery and didn't tell you?

Normally these days a hysterectomy is not the dreadful thing it used to be. I was back at work (ok sedentary) in 5 weeks, never looked back.

Seefah Sat 18-Jan-20 14:39:14

I think you’re right not to worry your mum - when everything has gone well you can tell her and give her a chance to help you. I had this op last year and needed my husband home for a week , I couldn’t go out, cook, do much at all and I had a miraculous recovery! You might also get gloomy from sudden drop in oestrogen and testosterone So nice to have your mum . ( I had no mum but testosterone replacement for that) . Main thing i found is get out of bed ASAP to get fluid off lungs and wind out! Then when home get up trot around but when tired give up immediately rest, get up etc I know women who over did it and had huge problems and others who just lay on their back had problems . It’s a fine balance . But easy op these days - a year later and I joke with my surgeon I wouldn’t know I’d had an op if he hadn’t told me . Good luck and I hope it all goes easily and smoothly for you ( amen)

Magrithea Sat 18-Jan-20 15:18:53

If it will stress you both then tell her after the event, explaining why you didn't tell her before (you didn't want to worry her, not that you didn't think you could cope with her fussing!)

I had a small breast cancer removed last year and have never told my Mum as she would have worried. Ironically her next door neighbour had the same at about the same time making it doubly difficult to say anything. My brothers, husband and family all agreed it was better not to say anything!

Mamma66 Sat 18-Jan-20 15:26:39

I had two or three gynaecological ops in my early 40s. The surgeon came to see me after one of the ops to let me know how it had gone and inform me that they’d done a biopsy for ovarian cancer and I would get the results back in a week. Knowing my lovely late Mum would worry terribly I decided not to tell anyone, no point us all worrying about something we could not effect. I told her when I fortunately got the all clear. She almost removed my head from my shoulders! She was as mad as hell but could understand why I did it once she eventually calmed down. Do what’s right for you and she will understand - eventually! Good luck, I hope it goes well

4allweknow Sat 18-Jan-20 16:46:19

If you know she will only worry to such an extent she may cause you stress you shouldn't tell her until it's over.. If she is a a angry, ask her what she thought she would be able to do other than worry.

love0c Sat 18-Jan-20 17:14:00

I would tell her before. However, tell her that if she over fusses etc you will not allow her to see you after the operation until well after it.

ExD1938 Sat 18-Jan-20 17:44:20

Please, in your mind, reverse the roles - if she goes into hospital and doesn't tell you ----- what would you feel?

MollyG Sat 18-Jan-20 19:01:46

I understand but I’d tell her if I were you. You’ll need support afterwards and it sounds like she is fit enough to help and would want to know. In your heart you’ll know, and I think you do or you wouldn’t be asking. Good luck with
it all

pengwen Sat 18-Jan-20 21:19:28

My mum always worries too, natural, I know as a mum. My sister did not tell her as she would kill with kindness and not let anyone rest. I understand your concern,and would like to tell her as I know how she will react,I too would tell her as Lucky Four advocated. All the best for your operation and recovery.

janeayressister Sat 18-Jan-20 22:02:55

I personally don’t think anyone has the right to decide what a person is entitled to worry about. Your Mother is inevitably going to find out about your operation, and as you say, , you are close.
She is going to be upset, and think, despite being your Mother, and one of your nearest and dearest, you didn’t tell her. It will make her think she isn’t important in your life.
My husband kept a lot from his Mother and she was hurt and fuming when she found out.
Worrying is your Mothers prerogative. You worrying about her worrying shows the same trait.
How would you feel about your children keeping things from you ?

paddyanne Sun 19-Jan-20 02:50:19

my lovely dad always told us not to "worry your mother" so we talked to him about broken hearts and job worries etc.During my pregnancies that resulted in miscarriages and premature births she wasn't told until we couldn't avoid it ...that was when my first live birth was 3 days old...sadly she died a day later.Mum continued to tell people she had seen that baby girl in hospital right until the day she died.I never challenged her as Dad said it was how she coped.Honestly I think she said it so often she believed it,she definately wouldn't have coped with the reality of it.You'll know yourself how your mum will react so dont let anyone else talk you into telling her if you believe its the wrong thing to do

Lyndiloo Sun 19-Jan-20 03:21:42

This is a 50/50 decision isn't it? On the one hand, like you, I wouldn't want to worry my mother. (Sadly, she's no longer here.) On the other hand, if my daughter didn't tell me about having an operation I'd be angry, and very hurt, that she had excluded me from her life.

Weighing it all up, I think I'd tell her, but ask her not to visit you until after the operation. Assure her that your husband will keep her updated as to what's going on. That will, at least, put her mind to rest. (And make sure that he does!)

Good luck, and a speedy recovery to you!

Katyj Sun 19-Jan-20 07:15:40

I wouldn't tell your mum, if shes anything like my mum at 88 she'd be sat at home on her own worried sick.If your having keyhole surgery, you'll probably be home the same day, you'll be able to ring her,.My sil had this op three weeks ago, and went to visit her mum the day after the op.Good luck flowers

oldgimmer1 Sun 19-Jan-20 08:18:31

Oh paddyanne. flowers

oldgimmer1 Sun 19-Jan-20 08:26:20

OP some worriers are genuinely kind, caring people and that's what makes them worry.

Some are overly anxious and dysfunctional.

Some use worry as a weapon to control others, or as an attention-seeking tool.

You know your mother better than anyone.

At the end of the day, your mother is an adult. It's within her own remit to control how she reacts to situations.

You've got enough on your plate without having to worry about others' wellbeing as well as your own. If your mother is a genuine support, then tell her. If not, don't.

Make this situation about you. Just this once.

Lisalou Sun 19-Jan-20 08:34:23

I would like to give a slightly different perspective. I always gauge this sort of thing by wondering how I would feel in the same position. If my daughter had major surgery and did not tell me, I would be very sad, even if she did state that it was to protect me.
Family is there to support you through everything in life. You cant protect your loved ones from loving you. My mother is 82 and in good health. If I have to have a procedure she knows. Yes, she worries, it goes with the territory. When you have children you worry, it continues throughout life. If there were complications and she had not known, she would be doubly distraught, would she not?
I think the only reason I would withhold information under those circumstances, would be if she was very ill herself or suffering from dementia, or something like that. At least that is my view.
Hope your operation goes well and you are soon back on your feet.

Beswitched Tue 21-Jan-20 10:39:29

I honestly think I would tell her. Apart from anything else, if she's a worrier she'll be constantly worrying now about anything else you're not telling her, or if that persistent cough you're saying is just a chest infection is really lung cancer etc etc

You can tell her that they've quite a strict visitor policy and only your husband will be allowed visit on the day of the op.

I've had a total abdominal hysterectomy under general anaesthetic and it honestly was far far easier than I expected.

Fennel Tue 21-Jan-20 17:39:05

I'm nearly as old as your mother, but I'm not a worrier about things like hysterectomies. I worry more about their family problems etc. But what can I do?
I used to keep loads of problems from my parents.
Only you know your Mum well enough to decide. On balance I would say don't tell her. You'll have to prime your husband and children too if that's what you decide.
I wish you a speedy recovery, I'm sure all will go well

Tigertooth Sun 26-Jan-20 03:49:30

So I didn't tell her - and then I called her hospital the day after the op and she was really chilled about it and just started giving advice about getting rid of gas and avoiding constipation - she was a bit surprised but really laid back about it. I told her not to visit which she didn't but when I got home after 2 nights (I told her after 1 night in) she'd been round to mine, made a shepherds pie and done a pile of ironing - what a star!
Now: Had op 6 days ago, laparoscopic, minimal pain but itchy itchy itchy belly - not just incision areas - all over!
otherwise great.
Thanks all.

absent Sun 26-Jan-20 04:29:56

I was about to join in the general discussion of how we have responded to our health issues and how we have or have not informed our parent(s). You do not need a long account of my surgical experience; you have enough concerns of your own. You know your mother better than pretty much everyone and certainly better than other gransnetters, however caring we may be. You know how she would be likely to respond and do not want to worry her as well as wanting to protect your own well-being. What a good and loving daughter you must be.

I am sure the surgery, which is routine for those performing it however worrying it may be for you, goes smoothly and you make a speedy recovery. Once it is all over and you are beginning to feel able to cope, you can tell your mother in a kind of casual and dismissive way so that she accepts what has been done without fear.

oldgimmer1 Sun 26-Jan-20 07:56:45

Best wishes for a speedy recovery. smile

Juliet27 Sun 26-Jan-20 08:05:44

As juicylucy probably know the answer but just need clarification/confirmation. All the best to you.

BlueSky Sun 26-Jan-20 19:12:47

I don't tell my children a lot when it comes to health matters but perhaps because they live abroad and they would be worrying unnecessarily. Now I guess they do exactly the same and only let me know afterwards if at all!