“You have choice. You are the master of your attitude. Choose the positive, the constructive. Optimism is a faith that leads to success” – Bruce Lee
I recently had the pleasure of working with one of the most remarkable patients.
For Serena*, knee surgery had been a long time coming. However, until recently, it had never felt quite the right time to do it. Then things shifted. The time felt right, and no sooner had she set her mind to having the surgery, everything magically and beautifully fell into place. She came across the right surgeon, the right clinic, the right date for surgery. Everything flowed.
She approached her surgery like an exciting project, with the goal being to be healthy, mobile and ready for a trip overseas. Serena was involved in every minute detail. She educated herself about the procedure. She asked her surgeon and the rehab clinic all the right questions. She even had the clinic stock some bone broth for her post-surgery!
Her approach was calm, steadfast and with a clear goal in mind.
Just a few hours after surgery, Serena contacted me to say how she was doing. She was off most painkillers within 48 hours, following her protocol and moving around. Her recovery was and continues to be spectacular!
Mental attitude is everything.
There is solid evidence that having a positive attitude about your surgery and recovery will increase your healing rate. A group of researchers who reviewed 16 different studies over a span of 30 years and different types of surgery found that every study came to the same conclusion – the right attitude makes a huge difference.
A study at University College London surveyed the mental attitudes of patients that went to hospital with unstable angina and heart attacks, and then monitored their health over the next four years.
The study found that the most optimistic patients were 50% less likely to later suffer from more serious adverse health complications like heart attacks, heart surgery or death in the following four years compared to their pessimistic counterparts.
If you are facing surgery in the future, the best things you can do are:
- Educate, educate, educate. Learn all about the procedure beforehand.
- Write a list of questions for your surgeon and anaesthetist (no question is stupid).
- Work with someone you trust to develop a bespoke pre and post-surgery protocol.
- Be positive! Make a list of everything you want to achieve post-surgery.
Wishing you all health and happiness,
*name changed for patient confidentiality