If you are scheduled to have a hysterectomy, don’t be afraid, because you are not alone, as this is a very common procedure, with 600,000 hysterectomies being performed every year. There are also many support groups online to help you through this particular surgery, with great advice and suggestions to offer.
We’ve compiled a list of some top tips to make your post-surgery recovery easier and speed up your healing time:
1. Preparation is prudent—
Whether you are having a vaginal (laparoscopic) hysterectomy, or an abdominal hysterectomy, it will be a while afterwards before you can comfortably bend or lift, so get ready.
Things to consider for limited mobility:
- Move commonly-used items to easily-reached shelves, drawers or counters to eliminate all stretching, crouching or bending.
- Prepare and freeze meals ahead of time. Not only will you be too tired to cook as you recover, you will not be able to carry items to and from the refrigerator and oven easily.
- Arrange for childcare assistance: babysitting and driving. You will need to rest to heal quickly, and depending on which type of hysterectomy you get, your doctor will not give you the go-ahead to drive until you have reached a certain point.
- For kids, consider creating a “snack box” at easy reach on a counter. Fill it with plastic sandwich bags containing assorted snacks (chips, dried fruit, crackers, granola bars, cereal, etc.) so that hungry children can be easily assisted, or help themselves, allowing you to rest.
2. Nutrition is Necessary—
In the same way your car can’t run well on old, dirty oil, your body can’t run well on poor nutrition. If you’ve ever considered adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet, pre- and post-surgery is the time.
To get your body’s healing engine running in tip-top shape:
- Purchase a juicer for obtaining maximum vitamins and minerals from fresh fruits and vegetables, or a powerful blender for making healthy smoothies.
- Remember that salads are your friend every day, but especially after surgery. A common side effect of pain medications is constipation, and when you’re tender in the lower abdominal area, this can be unpleasant.
- Consider that good intestinal bacteria found in yogurt, kefir and probiotic pills can help regulate digestion and make you more comfortable.
3. Happy Healing Helps—
The power of positive thinking has been well-documented in assisting our physical health. Your brain is powerful, so rather than viewing your surgery as a burden, try to look at it as a smart move.
Things to help you stay on the sunny side:
- You have empowered yourself in your own recovery by taking the steps necessary to eliminate the pain from your life, and you will finally be able to live the way you deserve to live
- You are being allowed to stop and take a restful step back from the requirements and daily stressors of life while you heal. Take deep breaths and focus on how great you’re going to feel once you’ve moved past this.
- Remember that a few weeks is a very short moment in the span of a lifetime. This too shall pass.
- Take your pain meds. Nobody’s giving out awards for bravery, and a person in pain is an unhappy person. Period.
- Speaking of periods, remember that you are never going to have to deal with your period again. Ever. No more mess, no more cramping and back pain every month and less mood swings. That huge hassle you’ve been dealing with since you were a teenager? It’s over. You’re free!
With good preparation and support to facilitate the rest and nutrition your body needs to be a super-healer, you can relax and focus on the future. Soon, you will be healed and feeling great, because the unpleasant health issues that led you to a hysterectomy will be gone forever. Won’t that be wonderful?