Planning for Surgery Recovery


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Needing surgery can be a stressful time for you and your family. If you have an upcoming operation scheduled, it’s good to plan for your recovery. Follow these tips to help you prepare.

Have Natural Pain Management Options

No matter what type of surgery you need, plan for a period of discomfort. If you prefer not to take prescription painkillers, you do have other options. A natural supplement of CBD works with your endocannabinoid system to block pain receptors. It also has other benefits, such as helping with feelings of anxiety and sleeplessness, common after surgery. This product comes in different forms, such as vape pens, oils and CBD pills for pain.

Depending on your injury, ice compresses and heating pads are other natural options to help with discomfort. Ice packs are recommended for the first two or three days and work by blocking pain signals and decreasing inflammation. After a few days, it’s safe to use a heating pad for sore muscles and stiffness caused by lack of movement.

Make Sleeping Arrangements

Check with your surgeon beforehand to determine if you need to limit movement after surgery. In some cases, stairs are off-limits or too challenging to climb. If your bedroom happens to be upstairs, you need to plan where you sleep during this recovery period. The couch is an option for a night or two, but if you need to stay downstairs for longer than that, consider renting a rollaway or medical bed. This arrangement allows you to get better sleep which helps speed recovery. It’s also a good idea to think about how close your bed is to the bathroom. Keeping these trips short helps when your movement is limited, and it takes extra time to get there.

Shop for Food

Having your refrigerator stocked with healthy food keeps you from having to make a cumbersome trip to the grocery store. Foods high in nutrients
and vitamins are essential because your body needs more than usual to heal after an operation. It’s also a good idea to stay away from high-calorie foods when you cannot get much exercise. If you have had any surgery that limits what you can eat, plan to stock up on what you are allowed to consume. Buying extra is a good idea in case recovery takes longer. If you need to shop before you can move around comfortably, reach out to a friend or use an online ordering service to bring groceries to you.

Prepare Your Clothing

Occasionally after surgery, you are unable to wear your regular clothing without having to modify it. Knee and ankle braces are too bulky for some pairs of pants. You may have to wear shorts or sweatpants that fit over them or cut the leg off pants you already have. If you have had shoulder surgery, you cannot move your arm to get it through the sleeves of t-shirts. Consider button-down shirts, tank tops or cut the shoulder seam to make getting dressed easier. If you have to cut your clothes, buy a few inexpensive items for this purpose, so you aren’t permanently destroying your favorite things.

Make Travel Arrangements

Driving a car may be off-limits after surgery. If you have outpatient surgery, you need to make arrangements for a ride home. Reach out to friends and family to see who can help you for that day. Sometimes leg and shoulder surgeries require a longer time away from driving. In a situation like this, you need to make long-term plans for getting around, especially for follow-up doctor appointments or physical therapy. Some medical facilities have transportation options for patients, so see if that is available for you.

Keep Yourself Occupied

Resting is the most crucial part of recovery. Keep your television remote handy, download movies to your tablet and borrow a few books from the library to keep you occupied. Long-term downtime can feel monotonous, so invest in some new items to keep your interest. Browse through new game apps, shop for puzzle books or consider learning a new craft such as knitting or model building. Keeping busy helps pass time and makes you feel happier during recovery.

Having surgery is a significant event in your life. Planning is a necessary step to ensure you have everything you need for a smooth recovery.