Recovering from Surgery or Injury
Article reproduced courtesy of Howard Luks, MD
Follow Dr Luks on Twitter on @hjluks
The recovery from an injury or surgery is often far more complicated than we anticipate.
20+ years of experience has taught me a lot. And most all of that experience will benefit you. Very few of you believe me when I tell you how long your recovery might be. A few will concede those facts months down the road. Some of you opted to go to the young surgeon down the road who promised you the moon and the sky in just six weeks. Now you’re back to see me to be sure that you’re ok, even though you’re still in recovery mode four months later. Take a deep breath.
Recovery is hard; a simple surgery is a surgery on someone else.
There is no such thing as a simple surgery or a straightforward injury. I have seen horrible complications follow routine operations and “simple” ankle sprains.
Each injury or insult to our body will create significant physical and emotional issues that need to be addressed. Different people will respond to varying injuries in different ways.
I’ve seen some of you recover from horrible injuries very rapidly, and I’ve seen some of you remain significantly affected years later.
The emotional burden of an injury or recovery cannot be overlooked. For many, this will be the more considerable obstacle when it comes to moving on and getting back to sports or just living.
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to recovering from injury. Just go with the process. Emphasize the positive. Recovery is often a slow, tedious process. Don’t let your doctor or physical therapist tell you that you’re behind and need to push harder. Words hurt. Words can harm more so than scalpels. Progress is progress; this isn’t a race. When you feel confident to move forward, you should. If you’re not ready to take the next step, then try it again next week or next month. Trust the process… and understand that the process will be unique to you and your experience. Do the work … Focus on the future, and trust that for many of you, feeling normal again is possible. It just might take time to get there.