Looking for Things to Do While Recovering from Surgery? Try These!

by | Feb 19, 2019

Nobody ever wants to undergo surgery. The end results are desired, of course, but if we could wave a magic wand instead of a scalpel, we most certainly would.

As podiatrists, we never perform foot or ankle surgery unless it is our only significant option for bringing a patient relief from pain or other problems. The tradeoff is that the desired comfort and/or repair usually requires a recovery period of some sort.

Surgery recovery can be like a vacation with almost none of the benefits. You probably won’t even be able to pull a Forrest Gump and have all the ice cream you want during that time.

It can be a disruption to your work and routines, and we completely empathize with you on that. However, following all post-operative instructions and taking the time you need to recover is vital toward getting back into full action without any complications.

So odds are you’ll be looking for ways to pass the time, but it isn’t all bad. With the right mindset, you can take your post-surgical time as an opportunity to get on a backlog or discover new things entirely!

Here are some suggestions on how to use your time out after surgery. And don’t forget that you may not have to spend the entire time laid up. Once things start to improve, we might be able to clear you for light activity. But it’s still important to follow all recommendations closely and not take on anything before you have been cleared for it.

Make Your Binge Watching More Fun

Yes, we know that everybody brings up Netflix first as the go-to platform for keeping oneself occupied. We likely don’t have to tell you about Stranger Things or The Great British Bake-Off (although if you haven’t seen them yet, they’re worth a try!).

When it comes to finding new shoes, however, Netflix is not always the best—especially if you have other people on your accounts messing with your recommendations. That’s where Netflix Roulette comes in.

Set the genre, type of viewing (Movies or TV Shows), and even IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes scores to receive a random recommendation within your parameters. You can even add other services such as Hulu and Amazon Prime Video if you have them.

If you’d like to have a viewing with others who aren’t in the same room (or state) as you, consider signing up for Rabbit. This app allows you to share your viewing screens with others and interact with them as you watch!

Declutter and Prioritize

So maybe we’ve been watching some Marie Kondo as well. But if you find yourself having to hole up in your house for an extended period, there are few better opportunities to take stock of what’s going on there.

Take time to go through the stuff in your home and create a list of everything you’d like to donate or sell off. You should of course refrain from picking up and moving things around at this point, though. Wait until you’ve healed!

While you’re looking at your stuff and whether it “sparks joy,” also take this opportunity to see if any projects or fix-its need to be done around the home. Again, don’t actually get started on these yourself right now! Either wait until you have healed or bring in a professional.

Play Some Games

You are not too old for board games or video games. So many exist now that cater to a wide variety of tastes, whether it’s on the table or on a screen.

If you have your own board games, invite some friends over for a fun night. If you don’t, ask around and see if anyone is willing to teach you one! There are many great board games that stray from the “classic” Monopoly and Clue. Settlers of Catan, 7 Wonders, and Kingdomino are very good games for those wanting to discover the newer generation.

For video games, you may want to try setting up a system from your childhood. If you don’t have access or didn’t play Nintendo as a kid, there are still many great options available on newer and mobile devices!

Not all games are about shooting and punching, either. We would recommend Animal Crossing: New Leaf for the 3DS (and there’s Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp on phones, too!). Build a village, meet animal neighbors, and collect all sorts of clothes, furniture, and other goodies. It’s a very chill experience, and time flies faster than you might think while playing.

Get Some Fresh Air

Staying indoors all day is enough to make many people go stir crazy.

If you are not restricted to bed rest only, take at least a few minutes each day to go outside and take in the scenery. This can be your front or back yard, porch, or balcony—as long as it’s safe. Sunshine and crisp air does wonders for both your physical and mental health, which will also aid your recovery.

Get Some Sleep

Do not be ashamed to take time to nap. Sleep is the way your body sets itself in “recovery mode,” so making sure you get enough will significantly impact your post-op healing.

If you have trouble sleeping—even when you want to—there are apps and podcasts that supply some soft noise that might help. You can easily search for them on your phone or tablet. If you still have problems no matter what you try, you might want to speak with your primary care physician about it.

Pick Up a New Hobby

Want to learn how to knit, play the guitar, or some other pastime? It might not be as challenging to start as you think!

The Internet provides plenty of resources for beginners looking to pick up new talents. YouTube in particular has hosts of videos where people who love their crafts and want to get others involve show the ropes. You may also find some excellent resources in books if you can make a library run (or download them to your eReader).

The Time Will be Worth It

We know nobody wants to have their routine disrupted forever, and we will be sure to help you get back into action as soon as possible. In the meantime, taking care to rest and recover will be more than worth it.

If you have any questions about foot and ankle surgery or need a podiatrist’s opinion, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (814) 472-2660. Our offices in Ebensburg and Johnstown will be happy to help.