The first two or three days are the most difficult. After that, each day gets better.
You may not feel like eating at first. Your nurse and your family may keep offering you something to eat or drink such as Jello® or Gatorade®. Eating and drinking helps you regain your strength more quickly.
You will be reminded to take deep breaths for several days after your surgery. You will be given a device called an incentive spirometer
. This helps your lungs expand and keeps them clear and working at their best. You may get tired of everyone reminding you to use the spirometer. Please remember that it is important that you do as requested. Regular use of the spirometer is the best way to prevent fevers and avoid complications such as pneumonia.
You probably won’t have as much privacy as you are accustomed to during the first few days. Not being able to do some things for yourself may be embarrassing or it may not bother you as much as you think. Remember, you have more important things to be concerned about.
There are a lot of things you may have to do that you may not want to do or may not feel like doing. You may feel agitated because so many people are telling you what to do. Because you are frustrated and uncomfortable, you may feel emotionally explosive. Try not to take it out on the people around you.
Remember, they are doing everything they can to help you feel better and get you home faster. When you are feeling frustrated, try to think about what you can do today that you were unable to do yesterday. You have already come a long way!
The best way to make this an easier experience is to work together with the nurses, therapists, doctors and your family. Communicating with the care team will greatly benefit you and will help them take better care of you.