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The Presence of a Loved One

Given I suffer from severe PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) related to all of the things I have been through with my ulcerative colitis, I have needed a loved one to be with me during certain situations. I know I am one of the lucky ones in that I actually do have people in my life who can be there and want to be there for me. I never know how someone goes through inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) alone and feel so sorry for those of you reading this who fall into that category.

I was blessed to have a surgeon who has known me since I was 16 years old.

He understood my emotional state in a way no one else could. He allowed me to leave the hospital a lot earlier than any other doctor would. He did everything in his power to make sure I got my own room after all of my surgeries so that my dad was allowed to stay overnight with me. The one time he didn’t, the nurses and doctors thought I had a severe heart condition when it was really just insane panic. I always felt so vulnerable in the hospital (like we all do) and having someone by my side to advocate for me when I couldn’t even get up, let alone make a case for why I needed something, was incredibly helpful for me. It put my mind at ease to some degree.

One of my parents also went into the operating room with me on more than one occasion. I was given epidurals in there, IVs were tried and failed, and obviously being in that sterile room when you know you were about to go through something major can cause a lot of panic… especially for someone who had experienced this numerous times. Complex PTSD comes into play here but that is for a different article 🙂

It got me thinking…

While I know a lot of the things I went through were not typical, as long as it is safe for everyone…

It is in the best interest of all involved if a loved one is with the patient during a difficult time.

That way, everyone can concentrate on what needs to be done while the patient can hopefully find some level of comfort from knowing their loved one is with them. Talking to them, holding their hand, etc.

A drainage procedure I went through about a year and a half ago comes to mind with this. I wasn’t put to sleep or given anything through the IV that was helpful and I was an absolute mess the entire time. I was crying, moving, almost kicked the doctor (who was trying to insert a ginormous needle into the exact right place in my abdomen) and really panicking. Had my parents or boyfriend been allowed to come in with me during that time, it would have made such a difference.

I do understand that having family members present also poses its own problems…

so I know this isn’t a simple scenario. However, in my opinion, having someone there when feasible is not only better for the patient but also can be helpful for all of the people trying to care for the patient.

What have some of your experiences been? Do you find it helpful when a loved one is present with you? Have your doctors/hospital staff made it easy for someone to be there when possible? Do you prefer to be alone during difficult times? Do you have no choice but to be alone? 🙁 We want to hear YOUR experiences and thoughts on this topic.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • thedancingcrohnie moderator
    9 months ago

    I definitely find it helpful when a loved one is with me. I can definitely understand for liability reasons why that can’t be the case but I must say, it is also kind of empowering to know that you made it through something tough all on your own. I know when I was first wheeled in for my very first colonoscopy, I had never ever been under anesthesia before. I was so so nervous to go under and I was praying under breath and just calming myself down through deep breathing. Once I made it through, I have to say, I felt like a bada**. Now when I have colonoscopies, I don’t even get the slightest bit of nerves.

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

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