Our life has changed since my surgery


I am 57 and two years ago I had surgery that has wrecked my life. I had to have a hys­terec­tomy be­cause of se­vere en­dometrio­sis which re­sulted in a per­fo­rated bowel. Now I have to wear two stoma bags. The ef­fect on my 40-year mar­riage has been cat­a­strophic. We have al­ways worked hard and were look­ing for­ward to re­tire­ment so that we could do things to­gether. Now life is so dif­fer­ent from what we had hoped. In­ti­macy, travel and even meals out are a dis­tant mem­ory. I have been told that it’s safer to live with my con­di­tion than have more surgery. My last op­er­a­tion nearly killed me as I suf­fered res­pi­ra­tory fail­ure. What ad­vice can you give to a cou­ple where one of us is dis­abled and de­pressed and the other is fairly fit, bored and quite frankly, re­sent­ful. You have been through so much and I am sorry. This is not easy for either of you. Your hus­band needs to be more un­der­stand­ing as these dra­matic changes were not your fault. If it was the sur­geon’s er­ror or a med­i­cal mis­take, you should con­sider mak­ing a claim for fi­nan­cial com­pen­sa­tion. Many cou­ples in this sit­u­a­tion still have a sex­ual re­la­tion­ship. The bags can be changed be­fore sex and there is pretty un­der­wear de­signed to cover them. You need to find a com­pro­mise be­tween do­ing very lit­tle and some of the things that you had planned. You don’t have to do ev­ery­thing to­gether. Your hus­band could take up new hob­bies, sports or char­ity work to keep him busy while you rest. A cruise would en­able you to travel to­gether and it’s im­por­tant to see friends and do things as a cou­ple, too. Please see your GP for treat­ment for de­pres­sion.

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