When we look at healing, we need to address it from the standpoint of what you can control and what you can’t. The treatments, medications and therapies your doctor orders, you are not in control of, and it’s always best to listen to the advice of the expert, your doctor.
Where you heal, in the environment you heal, and what you eat, drink and use as alternative therapies are YOUR call. These decisions are the ones that can enhance, shorten or prolong healing. The interesting thing about the things you CAN control is that most of these things are pleasant experiences and actually help you feel better in the moment and not just in the long run.
Lets first talk about where you heal. We all know the best place and the only place we want to heal, is at home. When this is not possible because you need assistance or daily therapy, then you must choose an alternate place. Talk to others that have had to do this and see if they liked where they were, and also ask the advice of people who know, like social workers, your doctor, police and paramedics. Look online for facilities in your area. A good site to check is medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare. On that site, they actually rate the facilities which give you a good idea of how well they are doing. No matter what anyone says, make sure you visit the facility. “One man’s fruit is another man’s candy” as they say. Make sure YOU like it.
If there were just one thing I would recommend, it is a quiet and soothing environment. If they have a private room, that is the best case scenario, otherwise get on the list to get the first available private room. Why is quiet so important? Well, it’s because rest is the most important thing you can do to heal. Clearly, no one can rest all day, especially if you are having therapy of any sort. There are meal breaks and bathroom breaks and doctor visits etc. Rest must be a priority or healing is continually interrupted. Tell visitors to stay at home if you can do so without offending anyone. Your job is to heal, and rest is a key element in that healing.
What helps people relax is different for everyone. Some people need quiet , while others fall asleep to music or the sound of the T.V. If you need quiet to rest, then having someone in a bed next to you can be very disruptive. Their music or T.V. can be very disturbing.
Some places offer alternative methods to help you relax, such as massages, aroma therapy, guided imagery and other relaxation techniques. If you are not familiar with these, then try them so you can learn if they are beneficial to you. ANYTHING that makes your experience better helps you.
I would be remiss not to mention food and drink. Nutrition in the healing process is crucial. If you have heard the expression ”we are what we eat “ it is especially true during healing. Vitamins, minerals and protein are the essential components that you should be consuming. If you could only have three things at every meal I would recommend a fruit, a vegetable and a protein in the form of either meat or fish. Starches will slow you down and you need all the energy you can get. Avoid sugars for the same reason.
If you have poor dietary habits or need to lose weight, this is the best time to begin that process. Let the dietary people know you need help outlining a weight loss/healthy eating plan. They will be more than happy to assist. You have someone else doing all the preparation and clean up. Begin now and you can kill two birds with one stone. You will lose that excess weight and you will heal faster with nutritious meals.
When you and your body have undergone a significant trauma, your only job is to heal. This trauma is stressful, so do not compound it with more stress. Avoid working from your sick bed as much as possible and concentrate on the task at hand—healing. The people who do this heal faster and better with far less complications than others.