by Jennifer Russell
My name is Jennifer Russell. I'm Sans-Uteri founder, Beth Tiner's, spouse. We've been together for 13 years and best friends for twenty.
The first thing that comes to mind when recounting the story of living with and caring for Beth all these years is CHALLENGING!. The last three years has had its ups and downs, but the one thing I knew from the beginning was that I would be there to love, listen, support and help her anyway possible. Beth's health problems were very discouraging because she was so sick it hurt my heart more then I could ever say. I wanted so badly to be able to make her pain go away and have her get better overnight.
A few weeks after surgery the thing that was the hardest to cope with was not taking Beth's actions personally. Her emotions and moods went up and down constantly and what worked the best was for me to stay strong and calm. During the toughest times, what I did on a daily basis was gently check with her to see that she had taken her medications and vitamins, had eaten regularly and had been getting enough rest.
Emotions are tricky to deal with because, she could go from one end to the other end of the spectrum in an extremely short period of time. I felt that many days I was walking on egg shells, and I needed to be like a duck, letting the water roll off my back. Many days I would have to bite my tongue so I would not say anything that would at all upset Beth. There were times that no matter what I said, she was going to read something into the tone of my voice, facial expressions or actual words. Having to walk so carefully for many months began to take its toll on me - I thought I was going crazy! There were so many days that I would try many different ways to make Beth comfortable and there were some days that nothing seemed to help. The not so great days seemed exceptionally hard because they felt like such enormous set backs. I often wanted to scream because it was just too much work trying to help get Beth well and deal with everyday living.
It has taken me along time not to be so protective of her. When she would say that she was not feeling well I helped and often hovered until she felt better which occasionally drove her up the wall. I wanted her to feel better... it was the only thing that I could think of to do. My attending to Beth allowed no time for me and what little time I did have, I spent wondering how she was doing. The first several months were the toughest because neither of us knew what to expect. As the months, then years progressed, however, we learned to go with the flow better and now often anticipate the possible problems. Now that Beth has returned to normal activity it has been hard not to be overly protective because, of course, I want to take care of her. Beth's health has come such a long way and even though migraines come and there are some days that are just not good days, we have learned to work our way through each day one step at a time.
The hardest thing to deal with now that Beth is feeling better is that she has no libido. I know that it has nothing to do with me but there are many days I have to remind myself of that. As much as I am frustrated with her lack of libido she has got to be feeling even more frustrated then I. I know from past experience that with time this will improve once the correct balance for Beth gets figured out.
Living with a hysterectomized women is extremely tough, many times there seems to be no end to all the problems and frustrations. I have found that through all the tough times the best part is seeing, even though slow, Beth get better. The most important thing to remember is that what is happening is not personal. Lots of love, encouragement, comfort and reassurance are needed to help with the recovery process. Loving someone is hard but loving someone hysterectomized seems almost impossible at times. It's helpful for me to remember that I fell in love with Beth prior to her getting sick and I knew things would get better. No matter what, I am in this relationship for the long haul. I love Beth with all my heart and through it all, I will remain.
− Jennifer Russell
This page was last updated Thursday, January 8, 2004 18:20:18
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