The first time my partner told me about her endometriosis...
The first time my partner told me about her endometriosis, I thought she was talking about a bug she’d contracted at the hospital!
This memory is a little fuzzy and took place years before we were in a relationship but I definitely had the wrong end of the stick. Then, by the time we began our relationship, she’d had a surgery and was going through a brief quiet period of her endo - for the first six months I still didn’t know what it was, and I definitely hadn’t thought about how it might impact us later on.
However, fast forward to present and endo is now a big part of our lives. It came back with vengeance and now affects every aspect of our lives together, the things we do and the choices we make - from mundane tasks like grocery shopping to discussions about our future.
What dinner can we cook that doesn’t trigger pain but also is easy enough that we can get to bed early to battle the fatigue? If we travel, will health insurance cover a pre-existing condition like endometriosis? Can we move to a house if there’s no specialist hospital nearby?
The symptoms of endometriosis are my partners alone to bare and, try as I might, there isn’t much I can do about this. But the effects of the condition affect us as a couple, and here I can help. We’ve learned that a balance must be struck between managing endo and doing things that make us happy, and compromises have to be made on both sides. We’ve had to change our idea of what our relationship would be like, change our expectations and change our plans.
But at the same time, I’ve learned that I have a significant role to play in how she manages her condition, and some influence over how her condition improves or deteriorates. As a partner of someone with endometriosis, and because we live our lives in such close proximity to each other, I am presented with a unique opportunity. I have the opportunity to give strength and support to a loved one, and to lift some of the weight from her shoulders.
I hate that she has endometriosis, but I’m thankful that I’m able to support someone I love, and for the new ways it allows me to express this love.
Has anyone ever said the following to you about your endometriosis?