I'm really lucky; my mother and stepfather are in the medical field, so they have always supported me when I've been sick. And most everyone in my family has had a bad gall bladder, so I get a lot of sympathy. Even my futher m-i-l and I commiserate over our bowel problems/ lack of gall bladder. My fiance has been very supportive as well--I had my gall bladder surgery the day after our first date and he sent me flowers.
When we've gone anywhere on vacation or anything, and I say that I don't feel well, he always asks if I'm up for this or that or if I need to stop for the bathroom, or where can I tolerate eating. I think he respects me for trying to go out and do things, even if I'm not up to par, and he tries to make sure that I'm not so bad off I can't enjoy it. I got a bad bout of diarrhea last summer, that came on after we'd already made plans to go to Kentucky on vacation. Boy, booking a tour for Mammouth Cave when you have diarrhea is scary!!! I really popped the imodiums before I went in, and made sure to use the bathroom right before our tour left. Stuart kept asking me if I was sure I could go, since it's an hour and a half tour that you can't leave, but he was willing to tackle the stairs with his bad knees, I thought I could surely tackle it with the three or four imodiums I had already had. And it turned out very nice. I just kept popping imodiums every morning and at regular intervals and ate lightly and we had a good trip. Spent a day in a museum, went to an 18th century fort, just had a good time. We do medieval reenacting/camping together all the time, but this was our first real vactation. I came back home and started having diarrhea again!!! Weird, how vaction relaxed me enough to not have diarrhea, but home made it come back.
Stuart's been having some gut problems lately--we think it's his pre-cut/bagged lettuce--and I have to admit I was a bit peeved with him Saturday when I started cleaning house and doing a bunch of chores and he never offered to help. He had mentioned needing an imodium that morning, but I hadn't really noticed him in the bathroom anymore, so I thought he was over it and was just too wrapped up in his game to finish mowing the lawn or to help me clean up the mess he helped create. But in the afternoon he admitted that the diarrhea was back (or had never really left) and that he felt bad and was going to try and sleep it off. I felt a lot less disgruntled at that point. I hadn't known that he was still having gut problems (Lord knows I know how draining they can be); he's been getting over it in the morning and being okay in the afternoon. I mean, you can still have diarrhea without going to the bathroom; after you've gotten everything out, there's just the urge left and there's really no need to go to the bathroom, so how often a person goes to the bathroom actually isn't a real good indicator of whether they are better or not.
So, I learned form first-hand experience that it's important that people know exactly how you're feeling, or they will just assume that you are okay or that your medicine worked and you're fine now.