Supporting Your Loved One After Heart Surgery

In order to be effective in supporting your loved one after heart surgery, you will need to understand both the physical and emotional aspects of healing. This is often difficult, especially if you are not accustomed to taking care of the needs of your spouse. Most hospitals and clinics offer educational programs before surgery to help you learn exactly how you can help.

You will most likely be the first person your spouse will see, besides the nurse, once he arrives back in ICU. It is important for you to show a positive attitude about his surgery and to let him know that you are there to help. Even though you may be at a loss for words, allow him to draw from your calm and peacefulness.

While your spouse is recuperating after surgery, it may be hard for him to communicate. You can help him by providing a clipboard, paper and a large crayon. Just knowing that he can communicate his feelings with you will help him to alleviate his anxiety.

Often times a loved one's life will change drastically after surgery, and he will need to make some important lifestyle changes. You can help the most by just listening and allowing him to share his fears and frustrations with you. Motivate your loved one to exercise, but at the same time, help him keep from overdoing things.

Be careful to avoid conflict with your loved one. He may not be ready to start losing weight or to stop smoking. Encourage him, but don't push him.

Communicate with your loved one and make sure that both of you are on the same wave length. If he wants help in one way and you are doing something else, it can cause a lot of anxiety. Do your best to help him in the ways that he wants you to help him.

Your loved one will need to learn to take care of himself again. Make sure that he gets enough rest and all of the support you can give him. Don't forget that recovering from an illness can be emotionally draining and exhausting. Lovingly supporting your loved one after heart surgery is the greatest give you can give him.

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