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Recuperating From Surgery: 10 Tips on How to Make it Easier on Yourself

Updated on November 17, 2017
Karen Hellier profile image

Karen Hellier is a freelance writer and eBay entrepreneur. She lives happily in the mountains of North Georgia with her husband and her dog.

Is surgery in your near future? Recuperating from surgery is not something most people look forward to. But with careful planning, you can make it easier on yourself, and your loved ones. Before going to the hospital, think about what you will need when you return home. Preparing each room for what you will need can help you when you return.

Home made turkey soup is a great healer full of warmth and nutrition!
Home made turkey soup is a great healer full of warmth and nutrition! | Source

1) Plan Meals/Snacks in Advance

What types of food will you be able to eat when you are recuperating? Do you have a family that will also need to be fed? Preparing healthy and nutritious meals and refrigerating or freezing them before you have your surgery will ensure you will have the nutrition needed to help you heal when you return. Make a grocery list and shop and prepare meals and food before you head to the hospital. Such things as casseroles and homemade soups offer ease in preparations and storage. Macaroni and cheese, American chop suey, and homemade turkey or chicken soups are in this category. Often roughage is needed to make sure the "pipes are working", so to speak so make sure to add salad fixings or veggies that can be steamed are in your grocery basket. And if you have kids, they will need snacks so cut veggies into sticks or make some cookies or easy brownies.

2) Stock Up on Reading Material

The first few days of your healing process may find you only able to watch television and barely able to lift your head. Do you like to read? Once the anesthesia wears off, you may find yourself craving good reading material. Plan a trip to the local bookstore or magazine rack before you go to the hospital to have a stack of reading material to keep you occupied when you return. If you don't have the money to buy books or magazines, head to the local library or ask friends if they have books or reading material you can borrow.

3) Ask Friends to Come Visit

The first few days you are out of the hospital you may not be up to company. But after the first few days, you may find yourself a bit stir crazy. Plan ahead and ask friends to pop over on day 5, 6 or 7 of your recuperation...if you are up to it. You can ask them to be on recuperation standby. Ask them to bring a Monopoly Game or cards or something you enjoy doing together. Or maybe if it's drastic surgery, you may only be up to watching a DVD with them, but have them in the wings anyway. I should add here that my husband proofread this and said I should have added, "Clean your house in case company comes." That is more important to him than me, but I will add it here because if you are going to invite people to come visit you, you may be more comfortable in that situation if your house is clean!

4) Plan Child Care in Advance

If you have young children that will need watching while you are recuperating, plan out a schedule of caregivers that can come by and take your children on an outing or hang out at with your house with your kids. If you have a spouse that will be available, that's great but he or she may also need a break or have to work during the day.

5) Do Craft Activities

Do you do crafts and wish you had more time to work on them? Recuperating from surgery will give you time to do that. Do you knit or crochet? Sitting in bed or on the couch will allow you to be in a good position to do needlework. Do you like to scrapbook? You may have short periods of time in which you can lay out pages, or at least trim pictures to paste at a later date. Make sure prior to going into the hospital, you arrange your crafting supplies in a basket or table near where you will be recuperating.

6) Write

If you write for HubPages, or any other online website, or if you are writing your memoirs, once the anesthesia wears off after surgery, there will be time to do that. Having a laptop that can be easily moved onto your bed or onto a recliner where you will be spending a lot of time recuperating is the best plan of attack for writing while recuperating. Laptops are lightweight and can be moved back and forth fairly easily even for the infirmed. And occupying your mind as your body heals will help make good use of the time needed for your body to rest.

7) Enter Sweepstakes

I have recently re-discovered the joy of entering and winning sweepstakes. A few years ago I entered a lot and won my fair share of prizes. Entering sweepstakes, especially while laying or sitting around recuperating from surgery is a good use of time. The search for sweepstakes (and I highly recommend Sweeties Sweeps) will keep one's mind busy while the body heals itself. And to enter sweepstakes is easy to do...just a few clicks of a button and few clicks of the fingers on the keyboard will have you entering numerous sweepstakes. And hopefully bringing in a treasure trove of prizes a few weeks later once you are really on the mend.

8) Clean and Reorganize a Recipe Box or Coupon File:

It's easier to find a recipe if your recipe box or folder is organized. The same thing with coupons in a file or box. Maybe you are one of those Extreme Couponers, or trying to be, but just don't have time to keep things updated and filed? Recuperating from surgery will give you time to do that. If you have a pile of magazines that you have been trying to find time to go through to pull out favorite recipes, stack them up near where you'll be resting, along with your recipe file. If you have a lot of coupon fliers that you haven't had time to flip through to cut out coupons, also stack them up, and have your scissors ready to clip when you get home.

9) Research Items on eBay

Are you a closet eBay seller just waiting to find that big-ticket item to sell? Recuperating from surgery will give you time to do some research about how much things are worth. Start with things you have laying around your house or in your attic. Jump onto the eBay site to see what these types of items are going for. If you have been a reader of HubPages for awhile, you will recognize that we have a resident expert on eBay in Hawaiianodysseus who writes all types of articles about great things to sell on that site. Spend a little time on his HubPages profile page and read some of his articles. Maybe you have some old National Geographic magazines that have ads in them you can sell? Or maybe you just happen to have a Starbuck's Mug from 10 years ago hanging around in your cupboard that you never knew would be worth anything except as a memento from your trip to Las Vegas. You may be surprised to see what your own collectibles and saved items are worth.

10) Prepare your Recuperation Spot Before You Leave:

Rearrange furniture before you go into the hospital. If you are planning on doing crafts while recuperating, pull a basket or small table near where you'll be so everything can be within reach. Plug your cell phone in so it can be charging and ready to go once you are home. Bring a box of Kleenex, lip balm, and a brush near your recuperation area so things will be nearby. Walk around your home and look around to see what you might need to move into a different spot. Are you having a type of surgery where you will not be able to stretch high up? Bring your coffee cup and sugar bowl down on a shelf where you can reach it without stretching. Do you drink tea? Make sure the tea bags are waist high as well. Thinking ahead will help you be more prepared and relaxed when you get home as you will have what you need already around you. And it will also lessen the amount of running around your family members will have to do in order to fetch things for you that you just can't reach while recuperating. They will thank you for this, and you'll be glad you planned ahead!

Surgery Poll

Have You Planned Ahead Before Surgery?

See results

Have you had surgery and prepared your home beforehand? Or did you just come back from the hospital and figured things out after the fact? Most people don't think about preparing their home to best help them with the healing process before their surgery. But doing so will help you and your family be more prepared. Please take the poll on the right to see how your results of preparing for surgery stack up to others.

My mom used this meditation CD before her surgery and loved it...

If you can sit up at a desk, or in a chair, you can write, enter sweepstakes, or do research on a computer while recuperating.
If you can sit up at a desk, or in a chair, you can write, enter sweepstakes, or do research on a computer while recuperating. | Source

Great Tip to Help Patients Get Out of Bed While Recuperating from Surgery

I haven't put a lot of emphasis on the pain of recuperating but found a wonderful YouTube video about how to help yourself get in and out of bed after surgery. I am currently recuperating from hernia surgery, and this YouTube video is very helpful to those of us who have had any abdominal surgery. I hope it is helpful to you who may need it now or in the future.

Reading is a great way to keep your body quiet and your mind active while recuperating after surgery.
Reading is a great way to keep your body quiet and your mind active while recuperating after surgery. | Source

I have used these tips to help myself better prepare for healing when I returned home. I must admit though, I did not do all of these things before going to the hospital, but did think about doing it, and wished I had by the time I reached this recuperation stage.

Make sure that you do rest your body to aid in your physical recuperation from surgery. Trying to do too much physically make set your recovery time back.
Make sure that you do rest your body to aid in your physical recuperation from surgery. Trying to do too much physically make set your recovery time back. | Source

© 2013 Karen Hellier


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