– Vanessa Martinez & Walt Hummel
About the Partner’s Perspective
Interviewer: Hi, we are here at the Endometriosis Foundation of America Second Annual Scientific Symposium and we are being joined by Vanessa and Walt, a couple who are joining us. One of the things that one of our keynotes spoke of today was putting a face with this disease. Vanessa you certainly having been struggling with the disease and you, obviously sharing your partner’s life what can you tell us, as the face of the disease, what can you tell us about how this disease affects you, why did you come today and what are you really hoping for as the face of endometriosis changes towards the future?
Vanessa Martinez: For me personally as a survivor and someone who is going through this illness it has affected our life as a couple. There are plenty of functions that we had that I couldn’t attend, family functions and even there was sort of a strain on our relationship. Like at first, before he actually witnessed what I went through from like vomiting and passing out from the pain, there were times that he would doubt, and that maybe I was faking or exaggerating, but he actually saw it at first hand. That brought us closer together as a couple, you know, seeing it firsthand. But it really has affected every aspect of our relationship, and also my life. I’ve missed a lot of school, functions, internships, things like that that I had to refuse.
Interviewer: And what about you from a male perspective because we do get that a lot. In fact today we had a webcast question and it said you know what resources are there for men with women with endometriosis? And there are some out there, there is the _____ Program but, tell me from your perspective, as the partner, how has it affected your life?
Walt Hummel: It definitely changed it. I mean I just like to support her as much as I can and do as much for her as I can. But it is definitely different because there is a lot of stuff that we can’t do, we can’t go to places, or if we do go to a place we have to prepare for the worst pretty much, just to make sure we are prepared in case something does happen. Just things like that. So, you have to look ahead to see what’s going to happen and just be ready for it. My basic thing, and that’s why I’m here, is to support her. I’m learning a lot and I’m glad I came; we came here last year too. It’s just learning a lot, it’s amazing all the stuff you can lean and there is still more to lean.
Interviewer: That is excellent, and thank you for that. And from you as a male perspective what would you tell our audience? There are men out there right now, men who love women with endometriosis. What can you say to them to give them hope, to give them inspiration, what words of advice can you share?
Walt Hummel: I would have say just to support your girlfriend or your wife, whoever it is, just to make sure that you are there for them no matter what. Even though there are certain things that you can’t do just support them. No matter what happens, you have to be there for them. You can’t just say, “Oh, okay because they can’t do this or this can’t happen, you can’t say okay they don’t love me or they don’t feel that way” because they do, they just can’t do anything about it right now. I’ve been patient and I know that it will come in time but I just believe that you have to support her no matter what. You have to be strong too as a couple.
Interviewer: Absolutely! That is excellent. Thank you for that very personal insight and I know that it is making a big difference in our viewing audience because I know a lot of couples are experiencing the same. So thank you for joining us and we are really glad to have back this year. Thank you.