Do you need some tips on how to recover from surgery? If you or a family member has surgery coming up, you may think that you'll soon be back to normal. However, this depends on the type of operation you're having; in many cases, it takes a few weeks (at least) to feel completely better. You need to take good care of yourself and not delay your recovery by trying to do too much too quickly. Here are some tips on how to recover from surgery …
Table of contents:
- day by day
- don't overdo it
- accept help
- listen to your surgeon
- it's a big deal
- be kind to yourself
1 Day by Day
When you need to recover from surgery, it's important to take things day by day. Your legs may be weak after spending time lying on bed, so you need to increase your activities slowly and walk a little further each day. Don't try to plan too much, or assume that you will be better on a certain date. See how you feel each day, and do what you feel capable of.
2 Don't Overdo It
You may want to get back to your normal routine as quickly as possible, but it's important not to overdo it and exhaust yourself. Don't rush back to work; that could be counterproductive and actually prolong your recovery. Be especially careful about lifting heavy objects, as that may be harmful and cause further injury.
3 Accept Help
Post-surgery you'll need help with a lot of things such as household tasks and shopping. If anyone offers assistance, take it; don't try to manage on your own. Let your family take care of themselves (and of you). If you live on your own, ask friends to do heavy shopping for you. It's also a good idea to cook meals before you go into hospital and fill the freezer with them.
4 Listen to Your Surgeon
Your surgeon will have had plenty of experience in performing this type of surgery, so listen to his advice about recovery. If he tells you to avoid certain activities for a time, he does so for a reason. If you have any doubts or worries before or after your surgery, consult him. He's there to help.
5 It's a Big Deal
Surgery is a pretty big deal, so you're bound to be nervous. You may not realise until afterwards just how much it affects you both physically and psychologically. It's perfectly normal to be scared of going into hospital, but remember that the time will pass, and you'll soon be back to your normal self (in fact, better than normal).
The recovery period is a time for lazing about, watching movies and reading. It's not a time when you should be trying to do a lot and taking on commitments. Put any plans on the back burner; they can wait until you're fit.
7 Be Kind to Yourself
My last tip is to be kind to yourself. You've been through a difficult experience and need to relax. Look after yourself. Don't try to make out that it was nothing; surgery has a considerable effect on mind and body. Give yourself plenty of time, don't be critical of yourself and think that you should be better by a certain stage. It takes as long as it takes.
After several operations, I know from experience what recovery is like, so I hope that these tried-and-tested (by myself) tips will be of use to others. It's certainly not fun undergoing surgery, and you're impatient to get back to normal. But it does take time. What are your tips for making a hospital stay easier?
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