Dealing with Endometriosis Surgery Together: Part 2

Last updated: August 2019

In their first installment of this two-part series on surgery, Jess and Chris covered some of the pre-surgery topics, such as appointments and preparing for the surgery itself. In this final article, they discuss what surgery was like for the two of them, and how they managed in the following days posts surgery as Jess recovered...

How was your experience of surgery together for the first time as a couple?

Chris

We had to wait at hospital from 7am till she went in at 4pm. We were the first people in and the last out - so that part of it was boring, but also anxiety-inducing. Remember that pre-surgery you can’t eat or drink, so Jess was waiting in the waiting room limbo for hours, hungry and thirsty, while I tried to look as unsatisfied and ambivalent as possible whenever I ate or drank something! However, the operation and recovery side of it went quickly and smoothly. The doctors were apologetic for the wait and I was able to stay with Jess right up until she went under.

Jess

As Chris mentioned, it wasn’t the most straightforward day! I hadn’t drank anything since midnight or eaten anything since the evening before (as instructed), by the time we arrived at 7am. When I went down for surgery, I was dehydrated so they put me on a drip. Then when I came round, I couldn’t urinate (I guess because I was so dehydrated) so they wouldn’t let me go home for hours! I was getting upset because they wouldn’t let Chris in the recovery room, but eventually as I was the last person there, he was able to come in until I could go home.

Whilst it was quite a stressful day medically, it was a calm and comforting atmosphere between us. Chris is a very soothing person to be around, and very supportive, so I was glad he was with me and we just did our best to keep each other in a positive state of mind. I’m also pretty sure he went and ate outside so I wouldn’t see it!

What did the aftercare look like post-surgery?

Chris

Jess was more exhausted and in pain than I expected. I knew that surgery takes a toll on the body, but it still took me by surprise. The ride home was bumpy and uncomfortable, and the journey from the door to our third-floor apartment’s bedroom was painful and difficult. I had to do a lot for Jess in the first day or two, as was expected, as even sitting up is very painful. For the few days after, I made meals, tea, did the washing – all the stuff that meant Jess could get the rest she needed. She made a speedy recovery, and this was probably helped by the support we put in place and discussed beforehand.

Jess

It’s funny Chris should say that, as I think the recovery went really well! But he didn’t see me the first time, I literally couldn’t get to the toilet on my own! The car journey home was pretty horrific (the cab driver seemed to think he was in Fast and Furious) and I was in and out of consciousness, but once we were home and I was resting, I was comfortable. Of cours,e there is a level of pain, but it was nothing like last time at all.

I watched a lot of feel-good movies, and then would go for slow walks around the house and then eventually outside. In the first few days, Chris was around and did everything for me and made me feel cared for. I think that made such a difference, that feeling of safety and support allows your body to relax and do its job recovering.

Any tips when it comes to preparing for and managing surgery?

Chris

Get the groceries, make the bed, do the laundry in advance. Take a day or two off of work, work from home, or get a close family member or friend to be at home. Be patient and compassionate. Give good hugs.

Jess

I second all of that, but also – for the partners, remember this can be hard on you too. If you find you need some help managing practically or emotionally, ask a friend or family member to help support you with the groceries or something – or just for a chat.

And lastly (this will always be my advice) – communicate! Talk and work it out together if things are hard when it comes to facing surgery.

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