If you’re anticipating snowfall next winter that’ll have you digging up snow from your yard on the daily, I’ll advise you to only consider the best snow shovels for your purchase – I learned this the hard way last year when mine (a cheap plastic one) broke clean in the middle when it hit a hard patch of ice, causing me to slip and fall on my left arm – needless to say, I spent the rest of my winter within the confines of my home because of seriously nasty damage to my elbow joint.
While I was stuck at home waiting for my elbow to get better, I had time to reflect and learn indoor activities to help me pass the time – here are the ones that I found the most fun:
Binge watching TV shows
Because of my injury, I got the literal interpretation of the classic double entendre that is ‘Netflix and chill’. During the first few weeks of my recovery, my left arm was covered in plaster, so activities that require the use of both hands were out of the question. I saw this as an opportunity to catch up on many of the TV shows that I had left halfway in their last seasons, and I have to admit, the experience of watching episode after episode all up to the satisfying (or dissatisfying, depending on the show) finale was amazing.
The most enjoyable aspect was that I didn’t have to wait for a week to watch the next episode, which was the main reason I had lost interest in the first place.
Reconnecting with distant friends
In our busy routines, we often lose touch with friends and relatives who have moved away to different cities (or countries). When you’re recovering from a surgery that limits physical activity, it can be a good idea to hit them up and catch up on what’s happening in their lives. Staying in contact with other human beings is a major aid in recovery since you realize that there are others who care for what you’re going through, which helps you stay positive through all the boredom – this was certainly the case for me.
Even if all your loved ones are close to you (so you don’t have to call them on the phone to catch up), you should still use the recovery period as an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with them.
Reading a book
Whether it is fiction or nonfiction, reading a book will increase your knowledge – and if you’ve got multiple months of recovery after surgery like I did, you can read several that have been on your list. I would personally recommend a fiction genre because it transports you away to a different world that helps to distract you from any post-operation pain.
I personally find that reading non-fiction books is more likely to keep one’s mind rooted in the here and now, which while being stimulating, also means that you are acutely aware of the state your body is in. Of course, you are free to explore both options to see which one is more palatable for your mind.
Aside from the fun, here are some general tips that you may want to follow for a steady recovery:
You should start moving about as soon as the doctor deems you fit for it. Sitting or lying down for an extended period of times can have several unpleasant effects – blood clotting, muscle weakness, constipation are a few of the more prominent ones. However, make sure that you don’t overexert yourself, as this could lead to pain, nausea or even internal bleeding if your wounds haven’t healed up properly inside.
Eating enough food
When you’re lying around motionless in your bed for hours, it is only natural to not feel like eating – you should do so nonetheless as your body the needs energy to carry out its functions – which include healing itself up from the wounds sustained during surgery. Avoid heavy foods during the first few weeks, since that may lead to your stomach overexerting itself or even to difficulty in passing stools – it is a good idea to stick with soups, soft bread and, juices based on my own experience.
Walking up the stairs
This one takes a special mention because many of us try to delude ourselves with the idea that we have fully healed up prematurely. Even if you’ve stopped feeling acute pain while walking on a level footing or getting in and out of bed, do not immediately start doing activities that require several parts of your body to work in tandem, since this will in all likelihood be painfully detrimental to the healing process. This advice holds especially true for those who have had sensitive operations such as a heart bypass.
If you absolutely must climb up a staircase in the early stages of recovery, it is a smart idea to have someone accompany you in case you need support.
Staying at home after a surgery is a test of one’s patience, but so long as you avoid thoughts of idleness and keep yourself alert and occupied with a hobby or some other productive task, you may look back on the period as something of a vacation!