When you are recovering from surgery the support you have is a huge part of how you will react to it and how quickly it will go by. If you are surrounded by people who are not supportive of your situation will increase your stress and anxiety levels and makes recovery seems twice as long. People often want to help and be supportive as possible and sometimes people think that they are being more supportive of someone’s situation but you could less supportive than you think. If you don’t pay attention to how you talk and put the needs of the person recovering ahead of your own then you could be the opposite of supportive. Surgery is stressful enough as it is and when people around you are unintentionally being unsupportive it can make it even more stressful and make the person recovering get really annoyed! It’s really important we do our best to try and support people recovering from surgery but if you don’t know how it can be difficult. Here are my best tips on how you can be supportive during their recovery so they can focus on healing.
Don’t just show up- Some people don’t mind having tons of visitors the day of surgery but in fact like it well I do and find it annoying when people just show up the day of surgery without warning! As soon as I come out of surgery I am in excruciating pain and the only thing I am focused after surgery is pain management and getting it under control because it’s definitely not controlled and won’t be for at least a couple of days. I love it when people visit me but when I have a bunch of unannounced visitors right after surgery it’s just plain annoying and the only thing I am thinking is “when are you going to leave.” Out of common courtesy for the person recovering call or text them personally or their caregivers to see if they want visitors. If they don’t respond wait until they do because that is not a hidden sign that says “come on over”. There could have been a reason they didn’t respond like they were taking a nap and if you just show up you might wake them up.
Don’t post medical updates on the Internet– Are content creators that are having surgery really going to mind if you post medical updates to your Facebook wall? We have a lot of our life on the internet anyway so why would we care? Yes, we will mind because it’s not your place to post medical updates to your Facebook wall but sometimes the reason we don’t have these updates on our blogs is that we are uncomfortable with sharing it. If we wanted our followers to know our medical status we are perfectly capable of updating them ourselves and don’t need someone to do it for us. I have never had family try and do this but I have had friends in the past post on social media that I was having surgery and I am not okay with this and it just made me mad because I don’t always want to advertise I am having surgery. If I make a status stating that I am having surgery it is okay to comment but it is not okay to make your own separate status letting people know what is going on. You are not respecting my privacy, doing me any favors and I don’t appreciate it!
Don’t pry- If you are a social media follower there is nothing wrong with messaging someone who had surgery to see how they have been but there is a fine line between checking in and being nosy! If you don’t know me personally or I don’t have it on my blog then I may not be comfortable with sharing it and knowing my full medical status is none of your business. Asking me for medical updates in a private message is an invasion of privacy which will make me feel violated and I will block you for it!
Don’t assume I want to watch a comedy- When you have any surgery it is totally normal for you to become sad and depressed because pain will do that to you. One of the things I learned from my friend Karly that I never realized before is that I get sad and not very chatty when recovering from surgeries and making me watch Friends will not make me happier. I am in pain and watching a comedy increases that pain because it hurts to laugh! I will be more than happy to binge-watch Friends with you any other time but not while I am recovering from surgery and a better way to support my situation is to spend the day with me, play a game or watch a movie I choose. Watching a comedy might seem it would be what you need to do to cheer someone up that is recovering from surgery but sometimes it’s not! Always consider the type of surgery they had and listen to the needs and wants of the person that is recovering to help make the process less stressful.
Send them a message/ text- If you are reading this post there is a way for you to contact me when I am recovering from surgery. I have a contact me section on my blog that has all the social media platforms I am on, my email and you could always comment on one of my posts letting me know you are thinking of me. You have no excuses not to contact me and if you chose not to reach out that when I am recovering then that is on you. Messages that are given to me by my caregiver do no hold as much weight as the ones from people who took the time to reach out to me personally. Messages relayed by my caregiver are taken as a grain of salt and mean nothing to me but personal messages mean so much and get me through recoveries.
Don’t bring me all your problems- As a blogger, people bring me their problems and I help them through it. I still want to help you with that but I don’t want to hear about all your complaints about life and problems while I am recovering. If I can help you through something while I am recovering then great I will do my best to do so but please know the difference between complaining about your life and having a problem that you need help with. During one of my major abdominal surgeries, I had one of my friends complain about how she had a cold and was on bed rest for two days and she thought it would be a great idea to complain about it to me while I was recovering. I am on bed rest for a few weeks so if you looking for sympathy you will not be getting it from me. I am in pain and will not be sympathetic about your complaints about life so if you need someone to feel sorry for you it might be a good idea to take your complaints elsewhere.
Supporting someone during surgery does not take rocket science but all you need to be able to do is communicate with the person who actually had surgery and not their caregivers. If all messages are going through their caregiver it can be overwhelming to them because they are relaying so many messages to someone when they probably are not going to care. If you can’t take the time to reach out whether it’s through Facebook, text or my blog then that tells me you either didn’t know about it which you do if your reading this post or don’t really care. If you don’t want the person recovering to think that then take the time to reach out and let them know that because that is the only way they will know you are thinking about them. We don’t read minds and unlike blog duties where we will follow up if you don’t reach out, you will just be known as that person who never pays attention every time we have surgery. Support is huge when recovering from surgery and without a good support system you will become very depressed because your body goes through so much. How have you been supportive of someone recovering from surgery?