Post-surgical rehabilitation is an inherently stressful process, and the fact that you are undergoing the most intensive medical treatment in existence makes just the tip of this iceberg. According to recent research, psychological stress caused by the prolonged process of wound-healing can promote the adoption of various health-damaging behaviors. These include the likes of depression, poor nutrition, isolation, apathy and reduced motivation to partake in active rehabilitation.
Let’s take a couple of ways we can put an end to such a dangerous behavior and make your post-surgical rehabilitation process as stress-free as possible.
Be in touch with your doctor
First and foremost you need to be aware that your doctors are the best persons to deal with your health problems, both physical and mental. After all, they have years of experience and have worked with hundreds of patients that were experiencing the same problems as you. That is why, if you ever experience increased levels of anxiety, these should be the first doors to knock on. Still, just to be sure, appoint weekly meetings with your psychologist until rehabilitation is finally over.
Eat healthy food
You know how old Romans used to say – “a healthy mind in a healthy body." Well, know then that a healthy body can't be imagined without a healthy diet that should equip your anatomy with all the nutrients necessary for a successful recovery. Since you are trying to encourage faster healing, your meals should be rich in the following nutrients:
● Protein – Macromolecules integral for tissue regeneration. Consume no more than 2 grams per kg of body weight.
● Vitamins and minerals – Both of these groups are very important for wound healing and can be found in a variety of fruits and veggies.
● Omega-3 fatty acids – These beneficial acids influence the function of pro-inflammatory cells. They are usually found in fish and nuts.
● Amino acids – The second group of acids on this list helps protein synthesis and helps the production of nitric oxide. You can find them in eggs and dairy products.
Regain your autonomy
One of the most stressful aspects of rehabilitation is the fact that you are often prevented from performing even the most basic self-care tasks like eating and dressing. Well, let us take a look for a moment at Australia as an example of a developed country that sees 2.1 million surgical procedures on an annual basis. With the numbers as they are, it is really no wonder that great occupational therapy can be found in Sydney
and other major cities. As soon as patients regain their autonomy, their morale thrives.
Adapt your home to suit your current needs
Following the previous discussion, once you regain basic mobility through occupational therapy, the question of your future self-reliance could be largely helped by a couple of upgrades that should make your house easier to navigate. So, use the time you have until surgery to perform these few basic interventions:
● Adjust the access to the house to make it suitable for walkers, wheelchairs, and crutches.
● Install wall bars at the critical points of the house
● Upgrade the bathroom with bars and a bath seat
● Make the fridge and other important objects easier to access
If a temporary inability to perform basic tasks makes the most stressful aspects of rehabilitation, the sense of isolation has to be the close second place. Therefore, as soon as you are no longer bound to the bed, do your best to spend as much time outside as possible. Not only you will feel much better, but exposure to natural sunlight will also stimulate your body to increase the production of Vitamin D. Also, try to rejoin your old social circles one way or another. Even the occasional Skype calls can prove to be excellent morale boosters.
Take unfavorable results into account
Last but not least, you have to take into account that the surgery you are undergoing may not produce the desired aesthetical, medial and functional results. This is simply something you need to prepare yourself for even before entering the surgery room. Keep in mind, though, that you will always have an opportunity to try another procedure. Stressing yourself out because of the results of the previous one can't help your situation in any constructive matter.
These few tips are far from the complete picture – surgical procedures have too big of an impact on your life not to induce at least some level of stress. Still, we hope they will help you to keep anxiety on a manageable level and allow your body to successfully recover from whatever kind of injury you have endured. Your body will never be allowed to rejuvenate if you haven’t reached a peace of mind.