Be super gentle with yourself
It’s important to try not to have any expectations — good or bad — about how you will feel or what things will be like when you wake up from surgery. Everyone is different and each procedure is different, so how you woke up from the last operation may not be how you wake up this time.
I hadn’t had surgery for over 22 years and had only a vague memory of being quite sick upon waking the last time, so I tried to let that go and be present for this procedure.
As it turns out, I did had a very rough time waking up and was quite ill, but the post-surgical staff, which included the anesthesiologist who stayed with me, were patient, but persistent angels that helped me through that first hour or two of horrible dizziness, nausea and pain. I trusted them and did what they were asking me to do, which seemed impossible at the time — “breath deeply Megan, c’mon Meg, we know you can do it! Open your eyes Megan. We’re going to get you up now…” I was like, WHAT!?!?” But they told me if I got up I’d feel better. I totally didn’t believe them, but did it anyway and it did help. I was no fun, but they were amazing, and they were right about every little step.
One step at a time
Literally. Sometimes we are so relieved that all is over with and we are ok that we want to skip down the hall and sing. At least that was my husband after triple bypass surgery! He was thrilled to be alive. It was hard to slow him down, but important for him not to injure himself with enthusiasm.
You may be hungry since you haven’t had a chance to eat for at least 12 hours prior to surgery. Your system will wake up gradually and depending on the type of surgery, generally you will want to eat foods that are gentle on your system. Soft foods and lots of clean fluids (meaning, less sugary or diet sodas and more clean water and healthy teas).
Your body needs to be well hydrated for a number of reasons including tissue healing, getting rid of anesthesia and blood rebuilding.
Detoxing from the many foreign substances pumped into your body during surgery will help your recovery. So, lots of clean water and good tea, and less soda, sugary drinks, diet soda or coffee drinks!
This seems obvious, but easier said than done in many cases. Make sure to create space for yourself to have plenty of rest when you get home. Hospitals are great, but not always good for solid periods of real rest. As much as you want to visit with your family or shake off the surgery and act normal, give yourself adequate time to be pampered and sleep as much as possible. Sleep and good rest are so vital for the body to heal and restore itself. Don’t cheat yourself on this one if you want a strong recovery.
Herbs for surgical recovery
Depending on the reason for the surgery, there may be some specific herbs and supplements for support. There are some general recommendations in this good article, but please check with your doctor to make sure there aren’t any potential contraindications.
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