Let’s get one thing out of the way: being seriously injured SUCKS. There’s no way around it, really. You are in pain, you can’t get out of bed or the house for quite a while, you are bored and you just wanna get on with your life. I know, I’ve been there. Last year my horse fell on me and I broke my ankle and my pelvis, and strained my knee.
After all is said and done, after you are discharged from the hospital, there’s not a lot to do but let time pass and wait for the bones to mend and the wounds to heal. These things take time and you can’t really rush them. Still, there are a few things you CAN do in order to heal faster and feel better. Here are five tips for injury recovery I’d like to share with you:
Physiotherapy is key
In the book I wrote about the injury, there’s a lot of talk about physiotherapy, because while healing I realized it’s the most important element of injury recovery. If you take only one advice from me, take this one: do your physiotherapy. It’s the best thing for your body. Don’t skip on exercises. Do what your physio tells you and push yourself. It helps on the physical and the psychological level – it’s the most proactive thing you can do in order to heal.
Being injured and bedridden can make you want to pamper yourself with sweets and snacks all day long. While it’s okay to indulge every now and then (hey, ice cream has lots of calcium in it!), you should try and eat in a healthy manner, and consume food that helps you heal faster. There’s no magic food to make your bones mend more quickly, but you can help your body by eating more protein and calcium, avoiding sugar and taking vitamins if necessary.
Don’t stop doing the things you love
I don’t know at what stage of healing you are in now, but at first everything will seem far away and unreachable, especially if you are an outdoors person like me. Sure, it’s going to take time until you are able to fully return to your hobbies and activities, but don’t give them up completely. Do what you can. Just go and watch if you are able. Keep in touch with people with shared hobbies. Do little things, do parts of it – and after a while you’ll be able to do more, until you are fully back on track.
Keep a positive attitude
Yeah, it sucks to be injured. But now that it’s done, there’s no point in dwelling. Shit happens. This time it happened to you. Things get better and so will you. It’s normal to be angry and frustrated, but don’t let bad feelings control you. Think forward, think of the things you want to do, set goals and reach them and maybe even use this time to create something new. Before you know it, you’ll be back on your feet and very proud of your own personal progress. Injury is a big challenge, and you can’t conquer challenges by being pissed and moody.
Asking for help is perfectly fine
Having an independent streak myself, I know how hard it is to ask for help. The thing is, you probably don’t have a choice on the matter. There are things you simply can’t do while you are injured and bedridden (from getting a cup of water to walking your dog or doing the dishes), and you are going to have to ask for help. It has been my experience that many people (especially friends and family, of course) are eager to help in these situations – they will gladly drive you around, help you care for your pets or just keep you company when you’re bored. Don’t be shy. Ask for help. You’re probably going to be pleasantly surprised.
These tips and many more are available in my book – Recovering from an Injury: the Road to Healing.