I must be hospitalized next month, twice. How should I prepare my mother for this?

Follow
Share

In mid-June I will need to undergo surgery--I have a malignant growth on one side of my thyroid gland. I have NOT told my Mom it's cancerous (she had a mastectomy in 1988, when she was 58). She does know I will have surgery. Then two weeks later I will have to go back for a post-operative isolation for a few days...some close relatives will take my place. How should I prepare my mother (of the "Doppelganger" situation) for this?

Find Care & Housing
24

Answers

Show:
Giving your mom's cognitive finctioning, I d tell her the day before the surgery and not before that.
Helpful Answer (15)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn
Report

Dougiemonty, one time I was diagnosed with cancer and I felt I needed to tell my very elderly parents that I was going to have surgery but I never did tell them it was for cancer. I wanted to let them know that I would be out of commission for a few weeks.

My sig other was able to handle the grocery store runs. And my parents changed their doctor appointment to later dates.

I was afraid if i told my folks about the cancer they would go back into their helicopter parent mode and I didn't need that stress during recovery.

Good luck with the surgery. It should be simple with little down time.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to freqflyer
Report

Dougie, "helicopter parent" is a parent who hovers over a child, being way over-protective, etc.

If I had a bad cold and was home from work, Mom would be on the phone at least once an hour to see how I am feeling, giving suggestions, wanting to know if there was anything she or my dad could do. Mom was acting like I was on my last breath.

Ok it was sweet of them to check up on me, but enough already. Nothing like finally getting to sleep and the phone would ring.... [sigh]. Plus it wasn't like I could say "could Dad run to the drug store and get me cough drops" as neither one were driving due to their advanced age.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to freqflyer
Report

Keep it simple. Too much information causes more confusion.
Day before, " Mom, Sally and Mike (substitute family names) will be coming over tomorrow when I go to the hospital for a little procedure. I should be home on _______. I'll call you each day. Have fun with the family. They want to take you out for a hamburger. You'll like that!"

Good luck Doogie. We're all here pulling for you.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to SueC1957
Report

Helicopter parents...in the old days they would call that "smother love."
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Dougiemonty1
Report

I agree with Barb and freqflyer.... right before and not the full truth... and I wish a fast recovery. God bless you and keep you in His arms.....
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Myownlife
Report

Not to be pessimistic, but please prepare in advance a plan in case you do not recover as quickly as you expect. My MIL went for out-patient surgery thinking that the 5-day respite time in a SNF for her husband would give her plenty of time to recover and be able to have him back home. Very wrong. In fact, she needed full-time care for herself for several days, and still hasn't been able to bring him home a year later.
Of course, at 86 and with heart issues, she shouldn't have been expected to recover like a younger person; but the surgery turned out to be more complicated and extensive than expected, too.
I pray the best for you, and a speedy and full recovery.
All the same, I like to expect the best while I prepare for the worst.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Agingmyself
Report

I wouldn't give details.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to JoAnn29
Report

I have had the appointment with the surgeon. She said she will be removing the entire thyroid gland. I will need to take special medication daily for the rest of my life. The operation will be in early July and my period of isolation, for radiation therapy, will be about two weeks after that--and most likely in the hospital. My aunt and younger brother both know the situation and will be available.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Dougiemonty1
Report

I'm assuming you are caretaker and worried about her while you are away. This might be a good time to hire "sitter" and not feel guilty about the expense. Best wishes on your recovery. You must focus on yourself and yourself only for several months. Please give up all your worries about your parent. Allow yourself to heal thoroughly before reentering the caretaker position.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Mjlarkan
Report

See All Answers
Related
Questions