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When you get the news that you need surgery it is frustrating because your life is pretty much on hold for as long as it takes to recover and is a major inconvenience for not only patients but also for people who have to nurse as back to health. After you have had a successful surgery the next thing that people think about is recovery because no one like to be down for longer than you have to. As a disabled person I have needed dozens of surgeries to manage my health and some of them are very quick recoveries but most of them are not. When you are stuck in bed after surgery for several months sometimes you start to get anxious and may do things like Yoga too early because you feel lazy doing nothing. The recovery process is going to be different for each surgery because not all surgeries will have the same types of precautions but if you want to get better at a faster rate it’s important that you prioritize self-care because when you do things too fast it can do more harm than good. . In this post I am going to talk about how I recover from surgery quickly and safely so I can’t get back to doing the things the way I was before surgery sooner.
Listen to your doctor– When it comes to surgery recovery the sad truth is that a vast majority of repeat surgeries could have been avoided and are done because people get impatient and completely ignore their doctors’ instructions or only do what they think is reasonable. I sympathize with people who have had hip surgery and have a laundry list of things they can’t do but even though your life is majorly inconvenienced for several months that doesn’t make it a good idea to violate hip precautions. Listen to your doctor because they know more about healing from surgery than you do and although you can still have a very long recovery that is nothing but complications with a good medical team it will be a little bit shorter when you listen to your doctor and give yourself time to heal the right way. My recent hip surgery was not needed because I didn’t listen to my doctor and it was the way I have to swing my leg to walk that caused the fracture but some people do need repeat hip surgeries from not listenting to their doctors and doing things too fast. Listen to your doctor because doing Yoga days after a major surgery is not always safe and can put you back to where you started!
Do some physical therapy and get some exercise- When you have surgery with only a few days of downtime often you don’t lose a whole lot of strength and physical therapy may not be necessary. Some surgeries that I have had I was able to resume my exercise routine within a few weeks but for surgeries like a hip replacement, I could not exercise for the first few months. Exercise after hip replacement surgery is super important because the more you move the faster you will heal but you want to do it safely. I am not doing physical therapy this time around because I had this surgery not too long ago and know all the exercises but it was my first time I would be doing it. Do not start lifting weights if your doctor tells you not to because it can do more damage and cause you to need another surgery that normally would not have been necessary. If you are new to a certain type of surgery and do not know what types of exercises are safe ask your doctor to write a script for physical therapy because it’s better to learn from a professional than try to do things yourself that might not be safe.
Eat well– When you have surgery that requires you to do a lot of resting it is common for people to gain weight but at the same time it’s not the end of the world if you do. I am not going to be that person that says you need to be on a very strict diet program while your recovering, because I don’t think forcing yourself to be on a highly restrictive diet, will benefit you long-term and often it leads to binges that make people go back to their old unhealthy habits. A well-balanced healthy diet can be beneficial for people who are recovering from surgery who are trying to get their health back because when you feed your body good nutritious foods you will have more energy and strength to do the exercises that you need to get back to where you were prior to surgery.
Stay on top of pain- If you have had any surgery of significance there will likely be a lot of pain that can affect your sleep and make even the simplest tasks feel so difficult. In the past, I have made the big mistake of waiting until my pain is a ten before I start treating because I do not like the way pain meds make me feel, and if I can get away with it I try not to take them. Start treating your pain when it’s low because the more pain you have the harder it’s going to be to get your pain levels bearable.
Get some help– Surgery recoveries are different when you have a disability and often you may require more help than abled-bodied people. If it wasn’t for the help of my caregivers I would not be able to have a vast majority of the surgeries I have had because until I regain my strength I am not able to have a bowel movement without someone there to make sure I don’t fall or shower myself. Safety is of the utmost importance after surgery and if you feel like you can’t do things safely on your own your best bet is to ask a loved one or hire help!
Recovering from surgery can be a long process and for some people, it only takes a few years but for surgeries like a hip replacement that require a little more work, it can be years before you are back to what you were. Listen to your body and your doctor because it’s not good to push yourself past limits it’s capable of even if you are anxious to get back to normal. Every surgery is different and even if you do everything in this post, your recovery could still be slow because we all heal at different rates. It is okay if you feel frustrated after surgery because it’s normal to have those feelings but sometimes there is not a whole lot we can do about it. I have more knowledge about surgery recoveries than I woud care to admit and one of the most important lessons I have learned from them is that you have to be patient because even though some people can heal fast from surgeries that doesn’t mean every who has that same procedure will get better at the same wait. Be patient because you are not going to heal faster by exercising to the point of exhaustion. How do you recover from surgery quickly and safely?
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