Importance of Attitude in Recovery from Surgery or Injury

  • Recovery

There are many factors that contribute to how well someone will recover from a serious injury or surgery.  While patients may not have control over the severity of their condition, skill of the surgeon or knowledge of the therapy staff, there are things that they can control or at least influence.  One of the major components of recovery that the patient can have some control of is their attitude when it comes to the recovery process.

Recovery from a serious injury or surgery is rarely an easy task.  It is not an overnight process and won’t be completely pain free.  Unfortunately it can be easy to become discouraged at times, especially in instances where recovery is taking longer than one would like or expect or when significant pain is present during the recovery process.

Numerous studies have shown that keeping a positive attitude throughout the recovery process goes a long way towards maximal recovery.  There are many ways to maintain a positive attitude and provide support during the time after surgery.  If you have questions, your therapy staff will be more than happy to answer them for you and help determine if what you are going through is normal.  If they need to they can contact your physician or conduct further research to give you a satisfactory answer. Also many of the other patients you will encounter at therapy are willing to share their own experiences and a happy to provide support and a sense of camaraderie. Many churches also provide support groups that are open to members and non-members alike.  With the popularity and expansion of social media you are now able to connect with people from around the world who have gone through the same situation as you.

You, as the patient, can do several things on your own as well.  Keep a check list of tasks and improvements you are looking forward to, whether it is as simple as being able to sleep in your bed all night or brush your hair or teeth or more ambitious to being able to walk up and down stairs with a normal pattern or go for a long walk. As you accomplish more and more, cross them off.  Do your own research and develop a realistic time line. If you have a total joint replacement, realize it will likely be 6 months to a year before you feel back to normal, but you will also  constantly improving. You likely suffered for years or even decades with the pain before surgery, know that the pain you had before is gone and the post surgical pain will be shorter in duration than what you have already gone through. It is also normal to occasionally have instances of increased pain or temporary setbacks, it is important to not get down on yourself or become discouraged. The power of prayer and faith can do a great deal of good as well, you are never alone on this journey, God is with you and offers Himself as your support. Ask for His help and trust that He will see you through as His will sees fit.

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