Talking about your experience can bring comfort to you as well as be informative to the person with whom you are speaking. It helps others gain an insight as to what you went through and perhaps a better understanding of your experience and feelings. It’s most helpful to you and to others if you can be comprehensive with your descriptions, including comments on how you felt during your experience as well as how you are feeling now. With this information, your network can support you and give you encouragement as you encounter frustrations during the recovery process.
Try not to keep feelings stored up inside; more than likely, you will be experiencing many new feelings and emotions. Research has shown that telling your story over and over to as many people as possible is an important part of the healing process and can protect against long term psychological distress, including post-traumatic stress disorder.
Remember, it’s entirely normal to have a wide range of feelings, anywhere from sadness and frustration to a deep sense of grief and loss during the recovery phase. Feeling mildly “blue” can be expected; however, if your feelings become increasingly severe, it is important to consult a specialist as this could be a sign of a more serious condition.
It’s helpful to include a member of your support team in all aspects of the recovery process. If possible, invite someone to attend follow-up doctor appointments and rehabilitation sessions with you. Another set of ears is always helpful and that extra encouragement during rehab could make a huge difference for you.
People in your support network may also be able to help you with everyday tasks as you recover such as grocery shopping, house cleaning, and laundry, or even transportation to and from your therapy and/or doctor appointments. It’s important to be specific in telling others what you need.
Surgery is less overwhelming if you are not facing it alone.
- NCBI offers additional resources for managing pre-surgery anxiety.
- Psychology Today offers helpful tips for mentally preparing pre-surgery.