As with any serious surgery, patients typically suffer from fatigue and pain following surgery. The doctor may prescribe pain medications and other treatments, and the body’s natural healing powers should reduce the side effects over time. How you can help your partner:
1. Talk with your partner about visitors. Most patients are uncomfortable following surgery, and it can be difficult to receive visitors. Find out what your partner’s preferences are before going into surgery, and confirm this following surgery.
2. Before you leave the hospital, make sure you have all necessary prescriptions and phone numbers to call if your partner has questions or concerns.
3. When your partner returns home, monitor his or her pain medications, and don’t let your partner perform any physical activity that the doctor has advised against (e.g., cooking, cleaning, shopping, etc.). This is one of the exceptions to the rule about asking how much your partner wants to do .
4. During the weeks following surgery, your partner will need your physical and emotional support. The physical support you can provide includes helping with meals, driving, childcare, and other household tasks. On the emotional side, being a supportive and reassuring presence can help in many ways. Assure your partner that you will be there for him or her. Your partner’s emotions may include anxiety, fear, and feeling out of control and overwhelmed. Being a good listener is especially helpful at this time. Many patients adjust to the stress of surgery by telling and retelling the story of the surgical experience.
5. Most patients do not need home health nursing following surgery, and insurance will only pay for nurses to come to your house if your doctors believe it is a “medical necessity.” If you have concerns or questions, or think your partner will need a nurse or special equipment at home, speak to the social worker before your partner is discharged from the hospital.
As with any serious surgery, patients typically suffer from fatigue
and pain following surgery. The doctor may prescribe pain
medications and other treatments, and the body’s natural healing
powers should reduce the side effects over... More