7 Ways to Make the Recovery Process Faster
You’ve just had surgery. You probably still feel weakness and some pain. But just as you’re starting to get your bearings after the procedure, you’re discharged from the hospital to free up the bed. Maybe it feels too soon to get back on your feet, or maybe you’re anxious to get up and out of the hospital bed. Regardless of how you feel when you’re discharged, it’s important to remember that how you proceed from here will impact your recovery process. The doctors and nurses have done their jobs, and now it’s up to you to give your body what it needs to heal.
Let the following seven steps guide you to a better, faster recovery. And Keep in mind that sometimes slowing down is the quickest way to get there.
Follow Doctor Recommendations and Instructions
Your doctors know what they’re doing, and it’s important that you follow their post-op instructions. Even if you feel strong enough to lift something heavier than they said you should be lifting in the weeks following your operation – don’t. You don’t want to risk a tear or an infection that could prolong your recovery time.
Similarly, even though it may be painful to move much after your surgery, if your doctor says to get up and walk, do what you can. Moving around helps your blood flow, which in turn helps your wounds heal. It also builds up strength in your muscles. Although it may feel uncomfortable, it can make a big difference in how fast you recover.
Ask for help
One thing that often prolongs the recovery process is trying to do too much too soon. This is especially true for those who are responsible for households, children, or others who need them. While it’s noble to want to care for others, pushing yourself beyond your limits will actually extend your time needed to recover. So ask for help with daily tasks if necessary. Ask for help with the children. For some of us, asking for help is difficult, but think of it this way: Allowing yourself time to recover is the fastest way to get back to your duties.
When we’re in pain, it’s sometimes comforting to reach for those foods we know we shouldn’t have. But your body needs nutrients to help it through the healing process. Sugary foods (like that jelly donut that sounds so enticing) can lead to increased fatigue, which will do nothing to provide your body with the energy needed to recover. The following healthy foods will give your body what it needs:
- Chicken (the protein is essential to wound-healing and muscle repair)
- Fish and eggs (protein, yes, but also vitamin B-12 and iron, which aid in the formation of new blood cells)
- Yogurt and granola (the fiber and probiotics boost the immune system and keep your digestive system healthy)
- Fruits (because vitamin C is all around great for you).
Pay attention to your pain levels
In the recovery process, it’s vital to understand the difference between discomfort and serious pain. Recovery from surgery is going to be uncomfortable at times, especially as you start to move around and work on gaining strength. But it’s also important to notice and report on pains that feel like they’re getting worse with time. They could point to tears, infections, or other issues that need to be addressed.
The chemicals found in cigarette smoke change the way your body handles oxygen. Hemoglobin can’t carry as much oxygen when it’s exposed to cigarette smoke. Smoking also makes your blood thicker and your tiny blood vessels narrower. So your tissues that need healing don’t get the oxygen they need. Smoking goes against your body’s recovery efforts.
Seek quality care
Sometimes you need more than just household help as you heal. Let us be of assistance. At Bella Vista Health Center, we’re dedicated to helping our patients recover, recuperate, and rehabilitate. If you need short- or long-term care while you recover, we can provide you with a nurturing environment and a high-level of skilled, compassionate care that will help see you through the healing process.
Give us a call or stop by our Lemon Grove location. We’re here whenever you’re ready.