Questions To Ask Your Doctor

WHEN WILL I GET MY ENERGY BACK?

Major surgery puts stress on the entire body. Feeling tired is normal; it is part of your recovery. You will experience days when you have more energy and days when you have less. This is to be expected. Do not feel overwhelmed by this. You should expect to have more normal energy levels in six to eight weeks.

During the first few weeks, taking naps is to be expected. It’s a healthy part of your recovery. But be sure to do it on the couch or in a napping area, so that your bed is only used for nighttime resting and your sleep patterns can more quickly return to normal.

I DON’T HAVE AN APPETITE. IS THIS NORMAL?

Yes, losing your appetite and losing weight is to be expected. Surgery affects the entire body, including the gastrointestinal tract. It could be two to three weeks before you regain your appetite. However, a healthy diet is important to recovery. If you are feeling nauseous, let your doctor know so they can prescribe something and ensure you are getting the necessary nutrients for healing.

WHY DO I FEEL DEPRESSED AND ANXIOUS?

There are times you will feel anxious and depressed. It happens to everyone: All patients who have major surgery will experience these feelings in some form. Some patients might express more feelings than others. You have just gone through a traumatic experience. Nightmares, sleeplessness, depression, and anxiety: These are normal. And they will pass.

Remember: You have just spent time in a hospital, where your sleep has been regularly disturbed. Hospitals can be scary places with unfamiliar sounds and environments. You might sympathize with the patients at the hospital around you. In some ways, these feeling can be like post-traumatic stress disorder.

From a mind and spirit standpoint, allow yourself to experience this and know that you will feel better. Again, it can take six to eight weeks, sometimes more, to begin to feel normal again. If you are still experiencing sleeplessness or depression two months after your recovery, consult with your physician who can prescribe something to help get you over the hump—something everyone experiences.

I SOMETIMES FEEL HOPELESS. IS THIS NORMAL?

Yes, like the depression and anxiety, a feeling of hopelessness is normal after traumatic surgery. But remember: You are healthier now than you were before surgery. You might experience some limitations, but they are less limiting than when you had the blockage pre-surgery. Try to counter these feelings with the spiritual reflection that you are still here. You are still alive. And you still have an opportunity to make good in the world.

Today is a new beginning. And with every day you will get better. Every day is an opportunity. And every day is a reminder to never sacrifice the gift—to embrace the opportunity for new experiences; to tell your family how much you love them; and to focus on the gift of your unique mind, body, and spirit and the guidance they provide every day.