Having surgery is never fun, but when it is necessary then you should approach it with the right attitude and be prepared to have the best recovery possible. Many things are out of your control but there are some easy things you can do that will make your post op recovery better and help your state of mind during the long recovery period.
Hospital must haves
Your own pillow and ear plugs
- Being comfortable and getting a good nights sleep is integral to your recovery, and hospital is the worst place to do this. Taking your own pillow and some ear plugs will help you get a better nights sleep.
Self care pack for hospital
Take a few little luxuries to make your stay more bearable, here’s our top list of items;
- Hand cream, you’d be surprised how dry your hands get lying in bed all day
- Lip balm, lips get dehydrated especially when you’re on oxygen for a day or two
- Room spray, hospital rooms get stuffy and smelly, having a beautiful smelling spray to spray the room and your bed with makes it that little bit nicer, also great for spraying on your pillow
- Make up wipes – when you can’t shower for a few days having these on hand will help you feel refreshed
Depending on how long you’re in hospital for it can be very boring and lonely, the best way to pass the time is take some things to keep you entertained, a laptop or tablet with some good shows or movies helps pass the time especially when you can’t focus on much else.
- Books and magazines are good once you can focus and if you’re up for it, tasks like puzzles or mindful colouring can be a great distraction.
- If you can’t concentrate enough to read then try a podcast to pass the time.
Doing the right thing once you get home makes the difference between a good recovery and a bad one. Before having surgery consider a few of the below steps in your preparation to ease your return to home:
- Change your bed sheets and towels so they are clean when you get home
- Do some meal prep and have ready to heat meals in the fridge and freezer
- Set up a station next to your bed with everything you need in arms reach, your essentials, books, magazines, laptop, toiletries or anything you need during your recovery. That way you minimise how much you have to stretch or get up and down often.
- Invest in a folding chair you can use in the shower, we got this great one from Ikea that can be used in the shower but also used to sit and do make up etc rather than standing and leaning to see in the mirror
Once you get home
- Utilise tools that make your life easier, for instance long handled brush to use in the shower, to be able to clean your feet, exfoliate your legs etc when you can’t bend and reach during your recovery.
- Keep up your fluids, if you get sick or drinking water add some cold infusion tea bags, they are zero calories but add a nice flavour and make it easier to keep your fluids up.
- Hire home equipment if you need it, depending on the surgery you have it may be helpful to hire a commode/raised toilet seat or an electric hospital bed.
- Invest in tools that aid your recovery, items such as grabber/pick up tools will help you avoid bending or moving too much, they are great especially when you have kids.
- Surround yourself with simple joys, fresh flowers from the garden or have candles burning during the day, these simple pleasures will help your state of mind during a long recovery.
Make sure you follow your doctor’s instructions and don’t overdo it, ask for help from friends and loved ones and if you are feeling low then reach out to friends and ask them to visit and keep you company.
The better your mindset going into surgery the better you will recover and the better you will cope.
Got other great ideas or tips you want to share? Comment below and we will add to them our list.