If you’ve been in and out of hospitals, you must know how much of a struggle it is to get back on track. After a cycle of treatments, a battery of tests, and a seemingly endless list of medications, you are most likely longing for the comforts of home.
If it’s your first time to be hospitalized, on the other hand, the feeling of wanting to be back to a more familiar place would also be on your mind. Most people would not relish to be confined in the antiseptic air of hospitals no matter how badly they need treatment.
In any case, whether you’re a chronic patient or a first-time visitor to a hospital, there is still no place like home. When you’ve successfully hurdled an operation or are recuperating from an illness, going home would be a welcome relief.
Home Sweet Home
Returning home is an important step towards your road to recovery. When you are well enough to be released from the hospital, your healthcare team will normally give you instructions to follow to ensure that you get back to the pink of health.
This is where some people falter. The hurried and harried lifestyle of the 21st century contributes to the burgeoning hospital readmission rates. This can indicate that people may not be taking enough measures or, more importantly, enough time to recuperate, leading to a relapse and hospital readmission.
The Lost Art of Convalescence
To convalesce is to regain your health and build up strength so you can go back to normal. The recovery process varies on every condition – whether you’re back from a major illness, surgery or some form of medical treatment. In most instances, a certain period is given for you to let your body heal and be healthy.
The value of convalescing is increasingly getting lost in the demands of modern day life. People are in a rush to get back to work (whether by force or need), besieged by household chores, or simply cannot tolerate staying put and “doing nothing.” Today’s lifestyles seem to have put the pressure on people to do something, anything really, just to avoid being idle.
This way of thinking and living contradicts the importance of convalescing, where you are encouraged to take it easy. To bounce back from illness, you are advised to slow down and rest instead of frantically pushing your mind and body to adapt to the insistent demands of career and home.
To help you restore your form, here are three simple things to do after coming home from your hospital stay:
- Eat Healthily
Your body will greatly benefit from nutrition provided by healthy food while you are convalescing. Nourish yourself with a healthy diet consisting of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains and lean meats.
- Chow down on food rich in protein like eggs, low fat cheese, yogurt or white-meat poultry
- You can also go for seafood, soy-based food, beans, and lean beef or pork tenderloin
Protein helps in building, maintaining and repairing muscle, as well as in bone building. It also aids in healing wounds and transporting nutrients to keep your immune system strong.
While you can benefit from a variety of nutrients, vitamins C and D, calcium and zinc may be considered superstars in healing your body.
- Citrus fruits, broccoli and bell peppers are some rich sources of vitamin C that aid in repairing tendons, ligaments and wounds from surgeries.
- You can get zinc from consuming whole-grain products, nuts, and seeds, among others. This mineral will help boost your immune system and promotes faster wound healing.
- Vitamin D and calcium help in mending, protecting and strengthening the bones in your body.
Some medications can cause constipation. To alleviate this, fiber is a recommended part of a healthy diet. You can get fiber from fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains. Along with drinking plenty of water, you can also drink prune juice as your fiber source.
To get the appropriate food for your condition, consult your physician or dietician. There might be some restrictions or special instructions on what and how much to eat.
- Get some exercise
Depending on your situation, your body can also benefit from some amount of physical activity. Exercise can help you by:
- Improving general fitness
- Amping up your cardio
- Boosting your immune system
- Regulating hormones and blood-sugar levels
- Decreasing inflammation
Based on what your doctor ordered, you can add exercise to your recovery program. Perhaps you can start off with light activity like walking around the house, basic stretching or gentle yoga exercises to help you recover faster.
Again, you must work closely with your healthcare provider to determine which exercises are allowed for your specific condition. If you have mobility concerns or need assistance moving around, you can always ask a friend or family member.
Trained and skilled nurses can also aid you when you opt for a home physiotherapy and rehabilitation service. Whether you need to restore certain functions after surgery, illness, or injury or need mobility assistance, a home physiotherapist can provide you with a tailored plan that will help nurse you back to health.
- Indulge in rest and relaxation
Last, but certainly not the least, you must allow yourself to get some rest and relaxation. A hospital stay can be quite overwhelming and sometimes stressful. Along with the physical exhaustion, your mind and heart have been through a rollercoaster of thoughts and emotions.
To feel calmer and to rejuvenate, choose to spend some quality moments with yourself or with loved ones. Do so in a restful place that will not require you to exert too much effort or experience unnecessary strain and tension.
You can do this at home or, better yet, book a hotel and spa stay where you can really indulge and pamper yourself. There are places like hotel spas and resorts that cater to helping you relax and recover, so take advantage of them to maximize your healing period.
Get the help you need
The support of your family or close friends can also help you recover quickly. In addition, you can benefit from turning to a mobile nursing service that can provide you with professional care and attention at home.
A reliable home nursing service can also benefit you with their expert skills and well thought out convalescing program. There are budget-friendly nursing services who can provide you with a convenient and bespoke care plan that includes a thorough assessment and careful explanation of the program to your family members or guardians, if any.
These “angels of care” are equipped with proper training and knowledge, as well as the experience of delivering appropriate health care in close coordination with your doctor.
Getting back to tip-top shape after being admitted to a hospital requires patience and commitment from you. Without your will and cooperation with your healthcare providers, your immediate recovery and full restoration to health might be put on the line. It is in your best interest that you invest your whole being into getting back in shape so you can enjoy life more.
Ibrahim Khader founded Angels of Medical Care in 2010. The name “Angels” was chosen because of his belief that nurses are angels of healing and care with the blessings of the creator. The company has flourished and is now one of the best, most renowned home care companies in Dubai.