Please forgive my neglect in responding to your post. Believe me, it was not intentional.
As you have probably realized by now, adhesions is primarily a women's disease - women are more prone to pelvic injury and surgery due simply to our physical makeup. We not only get appendix problems like men, but we also get pelvic inflammatory disease, cystic ovaries, and surgeries related to the female reproductive organs that men are not subjected to, so we are more prone to the development of adhesions.
Don't get me wrong, men are more than welcome here - if you can stand the topics that we discuss sometimes ;-) Jim Lynch has been here for quite a while, and there is a link on the IAS home page http://www.adhesions.org/index.htm to the Especially for Men page.
As for your fiance's feelings, there are support pages available for those who love us to help them deal with our pain as well. It is hard on our partners and families when we, who look so good but are really so ill, can't participate in the things that we used to enjoy. I for one used to love to dance. Now I'm doing good to last through two waltzes in an evening.
Please go to the IAS homepage, if you haven't already, and check out some of the links available from there for support, education, and information on Adhesion Related Disease. You can also search through the message board archives for posts on any particular topic that you wish more information on. Also, check out the Adhesions Quilt and read some of the stories there, as well as add your own.
I can understand your being scared that it "could be something worse". But you should also be very scared that it is adhesions. There is no test that will show adhesions unless the bowel or intestine is extremely distorted, and the only way to diagnose adhesions is by an exploratory surgery, which can cause more adhesions all by itself. At least if it is "something worse" than adhesions, it can be diagnosed and treated, and the medical community will accept that you are ill. So many of the medical professionals do not recognize adhesions as something that can and does cause pain, and therefore they do not recognize ARD as a disease.
As for rubbing your belly on the sore spots, I think that is natural. Almost all of us have done it at one time or another; I am guilty of doing it in public - especially when my belly is distended, and I have had people come up to me and ask if the baby is kicking, to which I have to respond that I am not pregnant. It is a comfort thing. When something hurts, you rub it. If it feels good, do it.
Good luck, and best wishes, and definitely keep us posted on your progress.
Nancy in NB
Help spread the word. Find out more about National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week September 23-29, 2002, at http://www.invisibleillness.com