Thank you for visiting "Give Me a Second."
I'm Kathy Kelley, and I created "Give Me a Second" to encourage women to become partners with their doctors and get the information they need to make important healthcare decisions - and to feel good about their decisions.
How? By getting a second opinion - or even a third -- from different doctors whenever surgery is recommended.
"Give Me a Second" came to life because of my experience owning and running HysterSisters, an online community that I created in 1998. At HysterSisters, women support each other before and after their hysterectomies. It is an independent community that has become a well respected resource for patient support.
Sometimes in the community at HysterSisters, we'll meet a woman who felt rushed into surgery before she could explore other options or process what was happening. If her surgery hit any snags or complications during recovery, regret and anger can sink in.
And not coincidentally, I believe, over half of our members report that they did not get second opinions before having their surgeries.
When we ask our members why they did not get a second opinion, we often hear things like this:
"I love my doctor! He delivered my babies. I couldn't see another doctor!"
"My doctor told me I couldn't have a vaginal hysterectomy because I was too small. He only does abdominal surgeries because it allows him to see better."
"I was too tired to ask anyone else."
"My doctor helped me through so much. Aren't all doctors trained the same?"
"I feel disloyal talking to another doctor."
"I don't want to hurt my doctor's feelings."
I'm a patient support advocate and so I must speak up. I feel duty bound to encourage women to get another opinion when their doctor suggests a hysterectomy. And I believe that this message is also important for other major medical decisions. We must encourage women to build partnerships with their physicians, and the best way to do this is to ask questions.
Three important things can happen when we get a "second:"
1. We get more information.
2. We may gain a new perspective.
3. We will gain peace of mind.
We've been taught well - to sit up straight, to pay close attention, to be good, to say "please" and "thank you." Give Me a Second encourages persistence. We do need to be engaged with our health decisions. And in the doctor's office, we can be polite - and still ask the right questions for our own benefit.
HysterSisters is the sole sponsor and creator of the GiveMeASecond.com website and video. On behalf of HysterSisters, I want to thank ETHICON Women's Health & Urology for its small educational grant supporting this awareness campaign.
We invite all women to share this message with each other: second opinions are good for your health!
Creator, Give Me a Second
Founder and CEO, HysterSisters.com