By the young age of 33, I have endured seventeen surgeries. I want to share my experience of recovery in hopes of helping someone else who may be facing an upcoming surgery.
If your health permits it have all household chores completed and bills paid before you go into surgery. This will alleviate your stress during recovery. You will need to focus on healing, If your illness or injury is too severe ask a family member or friend for assistance.
Before leaving the hospital make sure you are strong enough to do so. If you feel that you need more time address this issue with your physician. After one of my brain surgeries, I was sent home the next day. I wasn't able to get comfortable at home and it made my recovery longer than anticipated. Ask your physician questions and listen to his or her guidelines.
One of the most important aspects of recovery is to get plenty of rest. Your body just went through a traumatic event and needs time to heal. Besides the more you sleep, the less pain you will feel. Do not push yourself in order to get back to your daily life. In the end you may cause more harm and may miss more school or work than you intended to.
These next few tips may seem basic but are essential. Keep the wound clean. Once the wound starts healing and the itching begins resist the urge to scratch! Eat a healthy diet and drink lots of fluids. (Although indulging in your favorite comfort foods once in awhile won't hurt.) Take all prescribed medications as necessary. Once you are strong enough try taking short walks up and down your street. That little bit of exercise will help with the healing process. Lastly designate someone to assist with cleaning and cooking until you are able to do those tasks again.
Surgery is not only painful physically, it can be emotionally draining especially if it is a life threatening illness or injury. If you are feeling overwhelmed with emotion talk to a close friend, family member, counselor or a member of the clergy. Do not keep your feelings hidden inside. Don't be ashamed if you are experiencing those emotions. They are a normal process in healing.
Getting back to your normal life after a long illness or injury can be grueling. Take it one day at a time. Surround yourself with loved ones, laughter, and remember to get plenty of rest.