Preparing For and Overcoming Traumatic Hospital Operations
When we are told we need to have surgery, our first gut reaction might be fear or nerves. Even if we knew this was going to happen and had time to prepare, the realisation it is coming imminently can make us want to run for the hills. Emotions of fear, anxiety, and worry can make the operation a traumatic experience which can then hinder our psychological recovery and make the whole process seem unbearable.
However difficult it is, it is always a good idea to aim to go into surgery and come out of it with a positive outlook. I’ve put together advice on how you can look past your fears and see the silver lining of surgery. Please read on if you think you could benefit from hearing this advice.
Recognising the Significance of the Event
Operations can be scary to think about, but the first step in preparing yourself for the big day is recognising the significance of the event. Surgery is no small feat, and people typically only have surgery when it is absolutely essential to improving their health.If you try and be too cool about your upcoming surgery, or try not to think about it at all before going into the hospital, you might then start to panic the night or day before when the realisation hits you. Being talked through the potential risks and serious implications of the surgery can be hard to stomach.
Prepare yourself beforehand by asking your doctor more about the surgery they want to perform and doing some research yourself on reputable sites like the NHS site. This should help give you some more information about your upcoming surgery and help you recognise its significance. Therefore, when you go to the hospital for the operation, you are much more relaxed and understanding and won’t be shocked to hear any information
Understanding You Will Have the Best Care
One thing that can make you nervous about a serious operation is the care you will be provided with on the day and while you are recovering. If you have never been to a hospital before or had an operation, you may be unaware of the way nurses work on a ward. Speaking to your doctor about this beforehand can help you feel more understanding and less nervous about staying at the hospital. You won’t be left in pain during your recovery as nurses are qualified professionals who will want to make your time on the ward as comfortable as possible and provide regular pain relief when they can. If you are having major surgery, the recovery process can be long and hard, so knowing that someone is available 24/7 during this is reassuring. Doctors and nurses can also help you plan what to bring onto the ward and what family can bring later on during your recovery process.
Gather Support Around You
Before heading into the hospital for your surgery, gathering a group of family or friends around you who are dedicated to visiting you and helping you once you are out of hospital can provide the support you need. Going in alone can cause you to feel lonely and unable to recover properly, so even if you only have one or two people who can see you and help you, it makes a huge difference. Speak to the doctors and check the hospital website for visiting times for different wards, so family and friends know when the best time to come and see you is.nce you know when you will be discharged try and organise transport home with a friend or family member so you will have help getting settled back into your home. Support is absolutely crucial for your recovery. Often, even if you see yourself as mentally strong, your mental health may be significantly affected during this traumatic experience of surgery. As humans, when we are uncertain about the outcome of the operation or afraid of being in the hospital alone it can induce anxiety and worry. Having someone to regularly speak to about this can make the process much more manageable. Sometimes, we don’t have family members or friends that we feel we can open up to about our fears, which can be tough. If you are still suffering from concerns in the lead up to the operation, talking to a therapist can help you understand and overcome your fears.
Understanding Recovery Is Necessary
Recovery after surgery can be a hard time where you are still under the heavy influence of drugs but are feeling discomfort and pain at times. This might be a time you come to forget once you are moved onto the ward and the drugs no longer affect you, but sometimes the fear of waking up attached to machines or even with an oxygen tube can make you fearful of the upcoming surgery. To overcome the fear of this traumatic experience, you need to understand that this is a necessary part of the recovery process and it is when you will be looked after and watched most by the nurses post-operation. You might not get to see family as much as you would like during this part, and that can make you sad or scared, but you will have constant care and attention, especially when you wake up. Before you make your way to the hospital for the surgery, speak to your doctors, your family and even a therapist if necessary, to realise your fear is understandable but easy to overcome as well.
Looking Towards A Better Life
Once you are out of the hospital, you might still be haunted with memories of the traumatic operation and scared of the further recovery you have to undergo. With no nurses to look after you, being at home trying to manage the pain and work towards a normal life again can be a terrifying prospect. By seeking out a therapist at this time, you can work with them to unravel and understand your thoughts and feelings. As an experienced professional, therapists can help you work towards looking at the better life you will lead now you have had the operation and give you tips and advice to make the most out of every day while recovering. This will make you more appreciative of the surgery and the new life you will now lead, helping create a better mindset for yourself.
There is no shame in having therapy, and it can make you much more positive during these difficult times, something most of your friends and family should support. Don’t let the fear and nerves for surgery get you down and make the recovery process unbearable to endure. By speaking to your doctor, a therapist and getting support from family, you can turn a traumatic hospital operation into something to be thankful for and appreciated. If you want to learn more about my services as a therapist, then contact me today.