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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The very thought is dreadful: Hastening the Surgical Recovery Process

Kat Sanders' story:
The very thought of surgery is dreadful, and I don't think people in their right senses would volunteer to go under the surgeon's knife. I do know that there are hundreds of thousands of people who willingly undergo cosmetic surgery, but I really don't see the fun in this process. Of course, they reap the benefits of their patience, and well, persistence.

But it's a whole new ball game when you must be cut open in order to recover from an illness or if you've suffered an injury. Sometimes, you're not prepared and the surgery has to be done in an emergency. Whatever the reason you're on an operating table, your first thought is survival (even a minor surgery could go wrong if luck is not on your side), and once you pass that hurdle, you're going to be wondering how long it's going to take you to get back to normal. Those were the exact same thoughts going through my mind when I had to have a knee surgery to get my ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) reconstructed. I was anxious to know how soon I could go back to playing racquetball (which was how I sustained the injury in the first place).

If you want to get back to normal as soon as possible after a surgery, here's what you need to do:

· Don't hurry the process: This may seem contradictory to the subject of this post, but let me explain. My doctor was really good, not just in the operating room, but also in his bedside manner. He assured me that I would be back on court in three months. But it actually took me six to really get back to form. He was only trying to get me to be positive when he gave me the ballpark figure of three months. The truth is that I needed to give my body more time to adjust to my new ligament, and the longer I waited, the stronger I became. If you hurry the process, you're only risking injuring yourself again.

· Listen to your doctor: No matter what you think is best for you, it's better to listen to your doctor. If you're asked to follow a physiotherapy routine, do it. Don't overdo anything though, in an effort to get better sooner. Your body is not a machine that you can push beyond limits. You need to respect it and allow yourself enough time to rest and recuperate before it becomes as good as new.

· Stay positive: When I had my ACL reconstruction, one mistake I made was to browse the Internet and read about the surgery. I say mistake because I was mostly bombarded with negative news and reactions. But thanks to the support of my friends and family, I was able to stay positive, and now, eight months on, here I am, fit and back on the courts again. When you start thinking that you can do something, your mind conditions your body to believe that it is possible. And this is why a positive attitude works wonders when you’re recovering from a surgery.

Thanks to Kat Sanders for writing this post. Kat regularly blogs on the topic of online surgical tech school at her blog iScrub. She welcomes your comments and questions at her email address: katsanders25@gmail.com

Read a story about another athlete’s recovery from knee surgery.

1 comment:

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