What Not to Say to Someone After Endometriosis Surgery
Here I am. I am sitting here recovering from my fourth endometriosis surgery. You would think after the first few, it would get easier. But honestly, I feel like it keeps getting harder.
The mental toll, emotional toll, and physical toll. Parts of me don't want to share when I get surgery anymore. But then, the other half of me wants to stick to my promise that I was going to always share my story because if it could help just one person, it would be worth it.
If I am being honest, the questions from others about recovery are starting to make me angry. I know that sounds ungrateful.
I appreciate that so many people care for me and want to know how I am feeling. But sometimes, when people are trying to help, they just make things a little worse.
These are a few examples of what I mean and have heard over these last few days.
Post-endometriosis surgery: what not to say
It will be better in the long run
You don't know that. You don't know what they did during my surgery; you don't know what they found. You don't know the next steps I need to take.
I know you are just trying to be supportive, but don't tell someone this unless you are 1 million percent certain of what they went through and what the long-term outcome is for them.
You've got to be feeling better by now
Oh, I do? I didn't know you were an expert in surgery recovery.
No matter the type of surgery someone receives, big or small, recovery is different for everyone. Don't assume they are magically feeling better because it has been three days or a week since their surgery.
Healing comes in more forms than just an incision healing nicely. That can take a few days to a few months.
How are you feeling? Or are you feeling better?
I know this sounds crazy because this is an innocent question to ask someone after surgery.
But honestly, I hate it. Because the majority of the time, I have to lie. Honestly, I am not feeling okay.
When someone keeps checking in and asking you that, you can't keep saying, "Oh, awful still." So I usually respond with an "okay!."
Deep down, I just want to cry and hug someone.
It could always be worse!
You don't think I know that? Listen, it could 'always be worse' for all of us.
But that does not give you the right to tell someone that, especially during a tough time. Everyone handles their 'hard' in different ways. You have no space to judge or tell someone that!
You look like you are feeling better and healed
Unless you have X-ray vision and can read minds, I suggest not offering this little 'complement' to someone recovering. As innocent as it may be and as much as someone wants to hear they look good, many of us with chronic illnesses hate this.
Because our disease happens on the inside, people can't see it, so to others, we always look good or normal.
However, on the inside, we feel like our body is slicing itself with the sharpest knife possible. The same feeling goes when we are recovering from surgery.
Our incisions may heal, and we may look like we are back to normal, but there are many behind-the-scenes going on inside that don't feel better or healed.
What to say to someone recovering from surgery
So then, what should you say to someone recovering if you want them to know you are thinking of them? Exactly that; just let them know you are thinking of them, sending them well wishes, and that you hope recovery is going okay.
Encourage them to take the time they need to heal and that they have your support. That is all many of us need and want to hear. Don't overcomplicate it.
What is something someone has said to you during your recovery from surgery that you didn't like?
Have you taken our In America survey yet?