Emotional Wellbeing

Mandy Kloppers

How to Handle Recovery from Surgery


Recovery from surgery can be a challenging time. As well as handling any pain or drowsiness, you might also be feeling a bit lonely or down. Recovery can be a confusing time, so here are some tips to help you to deal with it.

Follow your doctor’s advice

It may seem obvious, but you need to make sure you’re following any medical advice you’ve been given by your doctor or surgeon. If you’ve been told to avoid certain activities like driving, it’s important you follow this, as failing to do so could prolong your recovery time or cause you complications. Post-surgery, everything can feel a bit overwhelming. So it might help for you to go over your notes. You could ask your loved ones to help you, too.

Eat right


Proper nutrition can be vital to a good recovery. After surgery, you might feel very tired or nauseous. It’s important that you get the nutrients you need to help your body to heal. Think about things like protein, which aids in healing. Important vitamins and minerals, like zinc and Vitamin C, have also been associated with healing and supporting a strong immune system. You’ll also need to stay hydrated. Speak to your medical provider or a nutritionist to find out which foods you should eat and which foods to avoid to best support your recovery.


Adapt to your physical situation


It might be a good idea to speak with your health care provider about how the surgery is likely to affect you in recovery. For example, will your recovery mean you find it difficult to sleep, eat, or walk for the time being? If you are recovering from hand surgery, will you struggle to cook for yourself or take care of your hygiene? Knowing this ahead of time means you can think of what additional support you might need from loved ones or carers, or how you might adapt your living situation. This could help to take the burden off of you so you can focus on your recovery.


Move around


Your doctor might advise you to move around gently to avoid complications like blood clots. You’ll need to strike a balance between not over-exerting yourself, and also making sure you are moving enough. Speak to your doctor to understand how best to handle physical movement during your recovery, since every case will be unique.


Take care of any pain


If you’ve been prescribed pain killers, follow the instructions you’ve been given. If you find that you are in too much pain, it might be worth speaking to your doctor to see if there is anything else you can do to ease your symptoms. You don’t want pain to get in the way of your recovery. Effective pain relief could help you to sleep and therefore improve your overall wellbeing during this period. Always speak to a medical professional about your pain relief options.


Stay positive


It’s important to protect your mental and emotional wellbeing during this time, too. Rely on friends and family for support if you can, or consider joining an online support group. Tools like meditation can help to put your mind at ease.

Mandy X

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