How I Support My Partner over The Festive Season
This time of year is traditionally full of festivals, feasts and parties, and we bounce from Halloween to Bonfire Night to Thanksgiving to Christmas to New Years Eve… It’s definitely the most wonderful time of year
Managing energy levels
But it can also be the most exhausting and painful time of year for people suffering with endometriosis, like my partner. Long gatherings and late nights can wreak havoc on an endo patients fatigue and sleep patterns, and the endlessly sugary treats and alcohol can be bad news for those that find them to be a trigger for pain and inflammation. I try to support my partner with managing her endo symptoms all year round, but at this time of year especially there are ways I can help see the year out in an easier and more pain-free way.
I try to be flexible with the many plans that we make at this time of year, and don’t pressure my partner to come along to too many events. I understand that she has limits to her energy levels, and if these are pushed she will suffer for weeks afterwards. So I don’t mind her having to cancel, or going to see my family by myself once or twice. It means she is able to enjoy the times we are together full of energy and in a better place.
Like everyone, I indulge at this time of year in foods and drink that I probably shouldn’t! This is one of the wonderful things about this time of year, and something that my partner hates missing out on. But rather than drag her out drinking or fill her up with mulled wine and chocolate, it can be better that I show my support by not indulging myself. If my partner can’t drink alcohol, then I won’t. If she has to turn down a deep fried sugary snack, rather than shrug and eat it anyway in front of her, I’ll also turn it down. It doesn’t sound like much, but having to miss out on things other people are enjoying can be very socially isolating and by abstaining myself, I can make it easier and less isolating for my partner.
The little things
As the days get shorter, the mornings are darker and getting out of bed when you are fatigued or in pain is even more of a challenge. When it’s dark and cold in the mornings, I’ll try to be the first up. I can out the kettle on, make breakfast, make coffee, turn the heating on - anything I can do to make getting up a bit easier for someone who finds it difficult.
Finally, as is always mentioned, I pick up smaller jobs and chores around the house to free my partner and her energy levels up for bigger social occasions or celebrations. By making dinner and washing up by myself when she is tired or in pain, I not only allow her to rest in the moment, but enable us to enjoy our future plans more fully.
Have you ever experienced a "weird" symptom and wondered if it was endo related?