Just Had Surgery? 4 Strategies For A Safe And Quick Recovery

Even a relatively minor procedure can take quite a toll on your body, and patients who fail to follow their aftercare instructions run the risk of serious postoperative complications. What starts off as minor aches and pains can quickly turn into painful infections and chronic health issues that will require additional treatments. Here are a few tips and tricks you can use to make your recovery as quick and pain-free as possible.


Prepare Your Home Early

Your family should be ready for your recovery period well before the day of your procedure. No one wants to get home only to realize that they need an electric wheelchair scooter, angled pillows, or other specialty equipment. During your initial consultation with your surgical team, you should ask for a full list of any items you will need in the days following the procedure. You will need to have a comfortable place to rest throughout the day with easy access to food, water, and a restroom. Your surgical team might also give you instructions on what positions you must sleep in and how often you should move around.

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communicationFatherhood Starts Before It Begins — Really

Dear Mr. Dad: My first baby is due in a few months, but I’m going to miss the birth. I’ve been out of work for more than a year and just landed a great job. The problem is that I need to go to across the country for a six-week training that starts on my baby’s due date. The company is very family friendly, but this session is mandatory. We burned through our savings while I was unemployed, and I’m afraid that if I pass up this job, it could take months or longer to get another one. Of course, I’m sad to miss my baby’s birth, but I’m especially worried about my wife. She’s very supportive, but I know this is going to be hard on her. I’m feeling really guilty. Is there anything I can do?

A: In the grand scheme of things, six weeks away from your wife and family isn’t all that long. But that’s no way to start your fatherhood experience. No question, it’s going to be hard on everyone. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to be involved despite the distance and time away.

For the baby, record yourself reading some bedtime stories. It doesn’t really matter what it is—the goal here is to help your child recognize your voice—but try to find something simple, with easy rhymes and rhythm. Skip the Shakespeare for now, and go with “The Cat in the Hat” or “Goodnight Moon” or a favorite book from when you were a child. Ask your wife to play the recordings for the rest of the pregnancy and then every day after the baby comes. When you finally meet your baby in person and start reciting the books you read, you won’t be as much of a stranger.

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Want to Save 32,000 Lives a Year? It May Be As Easy as Seeing A Female Rather Than a Male Doctor

I still have a vivid memory of my first doctor, Dr. Minden. No one likes to see a doctor and I can still remember the fear of getting the immunization shots that were part of growing up. But doctor Minden was always so kind and caring, it made whatever I had to endure worth going. I knew that whatever he did was always done to help me and that any momentary pain would be short-lived. I was heart-broken when I grew older and learned that he was a “kid’s doctor” and I had graduated to adult doctors.

Part of the reason I went to medical school was to become the kind of doctor I remember Dr. Minden being. Part of the reason I left medical school was the kind of education I was getting was harsh and abusive rather than kind and caring. When I was in medical school, there were only a few females in my class. Now women outnumber men in medical schools (and colleges) and profession is shifting.

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Health, Substance Abuse

Dealing with Friends Who Might Have Addiction Issues

Addiction is an equal opportunity destroyer. It is inconceivable that there is anyone in the world who has more than one degree of separation from someone with addiction issues.

There are no longer any neighborhoods where the discovery of drug trafficking should come as a surprise. There are no parents who should be shocked that one of their precious little angels are experimenting with drugs or alcohol. And it is almost certain that you have at least one friend or family member with addiction issues.

We no longer have the luxury of shock and denial when faced with the news of a loved onet act sooner because we didn’t have time to get real. You may lose a friend over this. But you have to risk starting a serious conversation with your friends about whether to treat the person as a moral failure for a physical or emotional problem.

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Health, Parenting

hand washingWhy Your Kids Should Eat More Dirt

Dear Mr. Dad: We’re a few months away from becoming parents for the first time and we’ve been sanitizing our house to prepare it for our baby. We’ve got antibacterial soaps all over the place—no one’s going to touch our baby with dirty hands! We’re planning to give away our dog—we’ve had him for a long time and he’s very sweet, but we’re afraid that our new baby will develop allergies. What else should we be doing to clean up?

A: Nothing. In fact, you’re already doing too much. The steps you’re taking to keep your baby clean and allergy-free could end up backfiring.

Let’s start with antibacterial soaps. A growing body of research is finding that humans—especially babies—need to be exposed to germs in order to build a healthy immune system. Antibacterial soaps interfere with that process. As a result, their immune systems never get any practice fighting off germs, so when a child finally does come in contact with some serious germs, his or her immune system has no idea what to do.

By killing too many germs, antibacterial soaps may be contributing to the “superbug” problem that’s affecting our healthcare system. Superbugs are microbes that have become resistant to antibiotics. One of the culprits is an ingredient called triclosan, which has been banned in Europe for a number of years. Triclosan is hormone disruptor and has been linked to lower-than-normal testosterone levels in boys.

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Talking About Men’s Health

Added on April 18, 2012

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