Holistic Nursing Training and Heart Surgery Recovery
6 Steps to Take When Recovering from Heart Surgery
Whether you’ve have an angioplasty, stent placement, a bypass or another cardiac surgery, you may be wondering what you should do now. This can be an especially confusing time if your surgery was emergent and left you with little or no time beforehand to prepare. Here are five issues you need to focus on immediately following your heart surgery.
Arrange for Your Basic Needs
If you haven’t already done so, make sure that you have the ability to feed yourself, bathe and use the restroom. Some people can rely on close friends or family members to assist them, while others may be more comfortable arranging for a traveling nurse or caregiver to come in.
Schedule Your Post-Operative Appointment
Most surgeons want to see you back in the office within four to six weeks after surgery to make sure everything is going well. Of course, don’t be afraid to call your surgeon’s office before then if you don’t feel well or something seems wrong with your incisions. Arrange a ride to the appointment well in advance, unless your surgery was so minor that you are permitted to drive yourself. Whether you went to ICE, Institute of Cardiovascular Excellence or another health care provider, get directions to the follow-up office before your appointment.
Get Up and Get Moving
When you were discharged from the hospital, you were likely given a series of exercises to do to keep yourself moving. This helps avoid deadly blood clots in your limbs and will also help you to heal faster. Your instructions will vary, depending on what procedure you had and whether or not you had open-heart surgery. Follow all the instructions, but don’t overdo it!
Keep an Eye on Your Nutrition
After surgery, the temptation to live on a steady diet of soup and jello can be overwhelming. This is especially true if you feel worn out and tired much of the time. It’s important to get back into a healthy and balanced diet. Follow any instructions the hospital sent home with you, of course, and get back into good habits as soon as possible. The fiber in fruits and vegetables will also help your bowels regulate, as anesthesia is notorious for causing constipation.
Holistic and Alternative Methods
Recovering from heart surgery is not an easy task. Just having the surgery can be very traumatic and frightening to most people. Therefore in your recovery don’t just focus on the physical side. Focus on your mental and spiritual health as well as it will help your overall recovery process. With that said, you will want to consider some alternative methods of recovery. These methods should include treating the causes of your heart issues in the first place. For example, if stress is causing you to have heart issues consider using treatments like some light meditation. Other alternative methods of healing can include acupuncture, psychotherapy, relationship and spiritual counseling, and massage therapy. The bottom line is focus on healing your whole self physically, mentally, and spiritually after going through the traumatic experience of open heart surgery.
Keep Your Mind Active
Laying in bed after your post-op exercise routine can be maddeningly boring. Do some crossword puzzles, download games for your smartphone or write your memoirs. Do something to keep your mind busy. This will also help keep your mind off any discomfort you’re having.
Recovering from heart surgery can be difficult, especially if you didn’t have adequate time to prepare. By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be up and back to your regular routines in no time.
About the Author
My name is Lizzie Weakley and I am a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. I went to college at The Ohio State University where I studied communications. I enjoy the outdoors and long walks in the park with my 3-year-old husky Snowball.
Heart surgery is an intense recovery and fortunately there are in addition to conventional methods, also alternative treatments for recovery. That is why in this article, we listed an alternative section to remind patients of these options. Holistic Nursing Training incorporates both East and West into full treatment of the patient. If you are a nurse and are considering becoming a Holistic Nurse, then please review our program