Having just completed two weeks of post-op recovery, I wanted to share some things I’ve learned about how to keep my body working like normal, or as close to normal as I can manage at this point. My body seemed to go a little haywire at first after surgery since they require that you fast from midnight until your surgery time. And then you eat nothing during the procedure, and normally can’t consume anything until at least the following day, sometimes more depending on what sort of surgery you have. Here are some things I was able to do, or wish I had done, to help along the way.
*I am not a medical professional. If you are in doubt, seek medical advice from a professional on when and how to add back solid foods, etc. This list is not professional advice and should not be taken as a substitute for professional medical advice.
- Buy some flaxseed and have it on hand to use with every meal post-op. High dosages of pain medications, especially those containing codeine, can block up your system. If I need to spell it out, C-O-N-S-T-I-P-A-T-I-O-N! Nothing worse than being in pain from surgery, and then being blocked up at the same time. Sprinkle some flaxseeds on anything you can, casseroles, cereal, oatmeal, spaghetti, sweet potatoes, chicken noodle soup. The Mayo Clinic‘s website claims that flaxseed, “as a source of fiber, flaxseed (not flaxseed oil) taken by mouth possesses laxative properties.” It will help your colon get things moving, it is not a quick fix and will take a couple of days, but it is worth a try. You can also add flaxseed to smoothies. Be sure to drink lots of water though!
- Stock up on easy-to-grab snacks to have on hand so you don’t have to prepare anything. Baby carrots, apples, string cheese, clementines, bananas, cut up broccoli, or cauliflower, nuts, dried fruit, here is a list of healthy snack ideas to consider making before your surgery so you can grab them to munch on wiling away the hours until you are better.
- Drink water – your body needs to flush out whatever toxins (drugs) you’ve consumed or been given during surgery, and water is the best way to flush it all out. Water also keeps you hydrated, dehydration can be a problem for lots of folks post-op, and dehydration can lead to constipation. Here is some information on the benefits of drinking water and some reasons why you should make sure and keep that water bottle empty, then full, then empty again.
- Make yourself some homemade chicken noodle soup in advance. When the doctors send you home and ask you to eat plain liquids and soup, you’ll have your very own delicious soup waiting for you when you get there. Just heat and serve.
- Freeze as many meals as you can fit in your freezer. We’ve been blessed with friends and family bringing meals every couple of days. But, it is nice to have my freezer full for backup, and for after all the fanfare of surgery is gone, and you still have some pain, but need to eat and feed your family.
This isn’t an exhaustive list but these are the whole food tips I recommend for post-op recovery. I hope none of you guys have to go through this, but if you do, try these tips for a healthy whole food recovery. Happy December ya’ll, and how is it almost Christmas?