One of the hardest parts of the road you’re currently on is making the decision. Surgery or not? Which type of surgery? Trying to decide can leave you with thoughts and opinions all over the place, and let’s face it this isn’t like the pleasant decision of trying to decide which destination to choose for your summer holiday, or which dress to buy for the party. This is stressful, and difficult, and it all happens inside your own head. Which can leave you looking a little like this monkey. (Be honest, how many of you sit stressing inside your own head and know you’d look like this to anyone who saw you?)
You can ask other people what they think (and I’d recommend you do!) but in the end it’s your decision – no one can make it for you, and no one should tell you want to do. Their idea of pro and con could be very different from yours. This goes for your doctor as well. If they say hysterectomy is your only option they should be able to explain to you exactly why, and should be happy for you to get another opinion just to be sure!
So how do you make this decision? Well first you have to gather information, and the fact that you’re here tells me you’re doing that 🙂 But the more information you collect, the more your head can start to fill up, the more you get trapped inside it, and the more you end up looking like that monkey! So to help you get out of your head I highly recommend using pros and cons lists. These are a simple way of structuring the information you have, and getting an idea of where your brain might be leaning. You can do these by yourself, or you can work on one with a friend, loved one or even your doctor!
Take a piece of paper and across the top write the thing you’re trying to decide about – for example ‘have a hysterectomy’. Divide the rest of the page into two columns, and at the top of one column write ‘pros’ and the other column write ‘cons’. You’re all set! Now you just need to put your thoughts into each column, deciding whether it’s a good thing (a ‘pro’) or a bad thing (a ‘con’).
(Educational interlude… did you know that ‘pros and cons’ comes from the latin, pro et contra, meaning for and against? Interesting!)
So in our example, some pros might be ‘no more heavy bleeding’, ‘can wear what I like’, ‘get my life back’ and so on, and some cons might be ‘scared of surgery’, ‘possible side effects’, ‘permanent scar’ and so on. When you’re making your list remember that you’re writing down your feelings much of the time. If you have a pro or a con that isn’t factual it might be worth doing some research. For example, ‘possible side effects’ could seem a huge con if you read some dubious websites, but genuine medical advice could give you the facts which are much better to base your decisions on.
You can make as many of these lists as you like, as often as you like, on as many different subjects as you like (for example if you have fibroids you might be considering various different treatment options. Making a pros and cons list for each option might bring you some clarity as to which one is right for you).
If the thought of drawing lines on a piece of paper to make a pros and cons sheet is too much for you, I have one you can download! 🙂