It’s perfectly normal to feel anxious right before surgery. After all, it’s your life and body that’s on the line. Doctors will try to do what they can to soothe your worries, however. They’ll explain how the procedure works and all the things you may (or may not) feel. You’ll also want to learn how fast you can get back to your old life.
But the weeks after surgery can be one of the most challenging times you’re going to face in your life. After surgery in a hospital, you might have to face weeks or even months of post-operative recovery. It’s going to be painful, annoying, and even frustrating as you wait for your body to finish healing. But all you can do is wait as your body takes its time to heal itself.
Thankfully, there are lots of ways to speed up the recovery process. Here are a few pointers for improving your post-operative healing:
1. Follow the doctor’s instructions
Before surgery, your doctor is going to brief you on the dos and don’ts during the healing process. Many of the instructions are going to be specific, such as not lifting anything over 300 grams, for instance. Even if you find some guidelines funny or unnecessary, you should still follow them nonetheless.
Your doctor’s recommendations are made out of concern for your safety. If your doctor says not to do this or eat that, there is a reason. Even if you feel better, the healing process inside may not be over yet. Neglecting your doctor’s instructions can also prolong the healing process and lead to injuries.
2. Optimize your diet
It’s not uncommon for patients to lose their appetite or feel nauseous for weeks after the surgery. Even if you don’t have an appetite, it’s still important to eat a balanced diet that promotes healing.
Some types of food can speed up the healing process and lower your stress and fatigue. Once you have more control over your diet, you might want to consume food that is rich in protein, vitamin C, vitamin B12, iron, and fiber. Protein helps your wounds heal faster while fiber improves your digestive processes. Iron and vitamins C and B12 also have beneficial healing effects.
3. Rest often
Since you’re going to be out of action for weeks, you’re going to have a lot of time on your hands. You might find yourself bored for long stretches, and your phone or laptop can make the days go faster. But it’s essential to get plenty of rest during your recovery period.
In the first few days after your surgery, you might feel the residual effects of the anesthesia. Use this time to sleep for as long as you want. Pain is also normal after the procedure, so don’t move around too much, take your pain medication, and watch your favorite shows and movies.
These things will help make your recovery from surgery easier and faster. Except in emergency cases, you’ll probably have lots of time to prepare for post-op healing. Use this time to research your procedure and prepare your home for the long recovery ahead.