You’ve made it through the hardest part – you’ve had the surgery that you’ve been needing or desiring. Now it’s time for the recovery process. The time frame of your recovery will depend on the type of surgery you’ve just experienced, but the basics of how to make it through the recovery process are similar. The top priority when it comes to recovery is being comfortable at home, and following your doctor’s directions regarding work and physical activity.
Here are some must-haves to ensure you’re comfortable and relaxed during your recovery:
1. Prescribed Medication
After the surgery, your doctor will most likely prescribe a pain medication. It is important to have this on hand and in easy reach if you need them. You may also have been given antibiotics to ensure no infection occurs. Make sure your prescriptions are filled ahead of time and near the area where you’ll be spending most of your time.
2. Reusable Ice Packs
You may experience some uncomfortable swelling once the surgery is complete. To help with this often painful medical side effect, make sure you have some reusable ice packs in the house. These will conform to the shape of the body part better than traditional ice packs. In a pinch, you can use a bag of frozen vegetables.
3. Proper Nutrition
Even if you haven’t had a surgery involving anything in the gastrointestinal system, you may experience some vomiting or nausea after the procedure. This could either be from the shock you’ve given your system or an adverse reaction to the medication. For this reason, it’s important to have nutritional, but easy to digest foods in the house. Juices and sodas (ginger ale in particular) will help get the medicine down. Make sure you have bendy straws on hand, since it may hurt to sit up post-surgery. Soups and crackers will do wonders for an upset stomach, and they’ll get you needed nutrition if your appetite is lacking.
4. Fluffy Pillows
Let’s face it: the first few nights are probably going to be very uncomfortable, depending on the type of surgery you had. You’ll want some comfortable, fluffy pillows to help you feel more relaxed. They can also help to keep your legs elevated if who’ve had orthopedic surgery or to keep you from rolling over onto a sore body part.
5. Comfortable Clothes
Your most comfortable pajamas and a nice pair of fuzzy, warm socks will be much appreciated post-surgery. Have a few sets handy so that you can change into them. You’ll feel better if you change into a clean, new pair, even if you can’t really shower at the moment.