What it means to be supportive for someone having surgery
Surgery recovery for your loved ones can feel very isolating and frustrating regardless of the number of people around them or checking in on them. Yet they would not know this without going through it. The isolation sets in when they stop themselves from telling you how bad they really feel in fear that you won’t want to hear it and the frustration comes with good days followed by really tough days that can feel like major setbacks. It’s extremely hard to communicate this or even acknowledge the feelings as they are happening.
To be supportive means…
Holding Space for them – really listening to what they are saying without trying to fix them or offer solutions. The warmth of being seen and heard has healing powers.
Being Present for the full duration of their recovery – it is not often talked about but depression and withdrawal can come up during the recovery process and its important that your someone feels supported and loved in their challenging moments.
Spending Quality time with them in their healing space – many surgeries are outpatient these days and mobility and walking are often encouraged immediately. Though they are mobile or as their mobility increases that does not mean they can return to their normal activities or be out and about. Make the effort to go to them.
One of the best things you can do for yourself and your loved one is to simply ask them, "how can I support you right now?"