Fibroids: The Partner's Perspective

August 18, 2006

From the 35th Annual Meeting - Las Vegas, Nevada- November 2006

Dr. Indman: Hello, I am Paul Indman, coming to you from the Global Congress of Minimally Invasive Gynecology in Las Vegas and I have with me Mike Waltman. Now Mike is the husband of Hope Waltman of the Hope for Fibroids Foundation and Mike, do you have fibroids?

Mr. Waltman: No, I do not.

Dr. Indman: So what are you doing in the Hope for Fibroids Foundation? I mean, I do not think you have fibroids.

Mr. Waltman: Well, I am in the male aspect or perspective of it and I have noticed that there are not a lot of men involved with the woman’s fibroid problem. Doctors themselves – I would like to see the male get more involved with the woman, helping her out with her procedure from beginning to end.

Dr. Indman: So how do we start? Now, when Hope started with this, were you invited into the exam rooms to see whatever procedures or ultrasounds or whatever was done?

Mr. Waltman: I really was not invited, I kind of asked the physician and some of them were, sort of, sure, come on in, and I liked that. I am trying to get more men involved in asking questions. Go in to the particular doctor, say may I be with my wife, because there are some men out there who are afraid to ask questions and they are afraid about women’s areas of problems and it gives more unity. It also creates a foundation for a wife, doctor and husband.?

Dr. Indman: Certainly, I encourage them. If I know there is a spouse or partner there, I will drag them in because so much of the discussion happens in the exam room. We are looking at the ultrasound in real time, you can see it, and it is an extra set of ears. It’s not a male or female thing, but often you go home and, what did he say about or what did she say about this? So, yes, I really encourage partners to be involved in all aspects. Now, what are you doing? How are you helping with this in the Hope for Fibroids Foundation?

Mr. Waltman: I am helping in the area of the man’s perspective. I am trying to knock down barriers and get men more involved, more emotionally involved, more helping the wife and also the children. You are forgetting about the children, as well. When a fibroid is discussed or any condition, whether it is fibroids or whatever it might be, I feel that really the woman has now been lost to a certain degree. By having a husband with her and the doctor, he can ask questions and be able to become reasonably coherent about this, because once a fibroid has been diagnosed, I felt with my wife she was more now into that and not into the questions. Ask questions and bring it home. Being able to discuss it with the children, whether they are 2 years old or up to 15 or 16, I would develop my area of explaining it to them by their ages. But still, it would be an involvement. If they see the wife and the kids do not this and they see the wife or mother leaving and it may be because of bleeding from fibroids or something to that effect, what happens there is now the kids are excited, they are not in on what is happening and they are scared. By having the man involved, he will now be able to explain to the child, she is going in because she has some sort of problem or whatever the case may be.

Dr. Indman: What kind of response are you getting from men? Are you getting any feedback yet or is it too early to tell?

Mr. Waltman: In our website, we have got one or two responses from men. One was from Bombay, India, his wife had fibroids. It is a global thing. She had fibroids and she was expecting. He was going crazy. He did not know what the heck was going on and all of a sudden he saw our website and he contacted us. We followed him through and helped him to be able to explain to his wife as to what was going to happen with the fibroid itself. They had a baby boy, a fantastic baby boy – we keep in contact even though the child is 2 years old now, we are still keeping in contact. That is what we need. I found out that men are still, I am not getting much reaction from men and I am trying to reach out to them.

Dr. Indman: I must congratulate you. I think that is excellent work. I think this is something that is going to take time and especially when there are other forums. I do not think many men would necessarily find their way on to the internet forums. I congratulate you and hopefully we can encourage women who read these forums to go and say, hey, there is a section for men, too. So, Mike, congratulations. I think you are doing a great job. Thank you.

Mr. Waltman: Thank you, Dr. Paul Indman.