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Navigating Post-Surgery Recovery Alone: 6 Tips for Solo Survivors

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You’re about to undergo major surgery. You feel strong, in control, and excited about starting your new life with a healthier lifestyle. But once the anesthetic kicks in and you wake up from surgery, something may be undeniably different. You may be alone, and your loved ones may not be there to help you through your post-surgery recovery. It can be a frightening time. Fortunately, there are quite a few post-surgery tips and tricks that can help you get through the recovery period successfully. Keep reading to discover what you should do if there’s no one to help after surgery:

1. Make Your Home Comfortable

After undergoing surgery, it is crucial to have a comfortable and relaxing environment for proper recovery. To make your home as comfortable as possible for post-surgery recovery, there are a few simple steps you can take. Firstly, ensure that your bedroom is clean, clutter-free and well-ventilated. Place your bed near natural light and have necessary items like books, tissues, and medications within easy reach. It’s also important to have a comfortable chair or recliner for resting and elevating your legs. Invest in a good quality mattress and pillows for proper support and comfort while sleeping. Keep a small table or tray nearby for meals and drinks. Surround yourself with soothing elements like scented candles or plants. If you want, you can also set up a convenient way to listen to music to help you fall asleep at night. For entertainment, make sure you set up your television in an area where you can see but will not be in your way. You can even have a crossword puzzle or a novel near you if you have full control of your hands. Around your recovery area, arrange your furniture to create a clear walking path. Make sure you cover any sharp edges. Then, remove any tripping hazards you come across. You should also install non-slip mats in the bathroom and install handrails for safety. Make sure all necessities are within your reach, such as towels, toilet paper, and toiletries.

2. Know How to Prepare Your Meals

One of the most crucial aspects of recovering from surgery alone is ensuring that you have proper nutrition. So before the surgery, make sure to consult with your doctor and ask about what health requirements you need after surgery. You should also ask how long the recovery may be. Then, you can begin to prepare the right amount of meals according to your health requirements and recovery timeline. To help you out, here are some meal prep ideas you can try:


To prepare soups, start by choosing broth-based soups that are low in sodium and include soft vegetables and lean proteins. You can also add fresh herbs and spices for added flavor. Make sure to chop all vegetables and proteins into small, bite-sized pieces to make them easier to swallow and digest. Additionally, consider pureeing or blending the soup for a smoother texture. Soups can also be prepared in large batches and stored in the freezer for easy access during the recovery period. 


Stews are an excellent choice for post-surgery meals as they are packed with vitamins, minerals, and protein. To prepare a stew suitable for recovery, begin by choosing lean protein sources such as chicken, fish, or tofu. Add in an assortment of vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, and leafy greens for added nutrients. It is also important to keep the stew low in sodium and fat, so consider using low-sodium broth and trimming excess fat from the protein sources. Slow cooking the stew will not only make it more tender and flavorful, but it will also make it easier to digest. 


Start by choosing lean protein sources, such as chicken or fish, and combine them with cooked vegetables and whole grains for a balanced meal. Cook the ingredients separately before layering them in a casserole dish and baking until heated through. This will make the dish easier to digest and ensure all the flavors are well combined. Additionally, consider adding herbs and spices for added flavor. Once cooked, portion the casserole into individual servings for easy reheating. 

Rice Bowls

Start by cooking a big batch of rice and storing it in the fridge for easy access. Then, add cooked protein to the bowl along with colorful and nutritious vegetables like broccoli, carrots, and bell peppers. To boost flavor, add a homemade sauce or dressing made with healing ingredients like turmeric, garlic, and ginger. For added protein and crunch, top the bowl with nuts or seeds. 

Roasted Vegetables

Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and then wash and chop a selection of vegetables. Toss with olive oil, garlic, and herbs and spread them out on a baking tray. Roast for 20-25 minutes until tender and serve with a lean protein-like grilled chicken for a well-rounded and healing meal.


Start by choosing a variety of leafy greens, as they are packed with vitamins and minerals. Then, find soft and easy-to-chew ingredients like boiled eggs, diced avocado, and cooked chicken. To make it more appealing, you can also chop up some colorful fruit slices like strawberries or mandarin oranges. Make a light dressing and avoid any heavy or creamy options. Opt for a simple vinaigrette or olive oil and lemon juice. After preparing all the ingredients, keep them in one container in different compartments. Keep them in the fridge, and when you’re ready to eat them, simply mix all the ingredients.

3. Follow Your Doctor’s Instructions

One of the most important tips for navigating post-surgery recovery alone is to always follow your doctor’s instructions. Your doctor knows best when it comes to your specific surgery, so they can provide you with personalized instructions. It is vital to follow these instructions diligently, as not doing so can lead to complications or prolong your recovery time. This includes taking prescribed medications on time, completing physical therapy exercises, and following any dietary or activity restrictions. To do this, break down your day into manageable time blocks and allocate time for each activity. Be sure to track your progress and make any necessary adjustments to your schedule as needed. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to reach out to your doctor for clarification. Your doctor has your best interest at heart, and their instructions are essential for a successful recovery. So, trust their expertise and follow their instructions carefully to ensure a smooth and swift recovery process.

4. Stay in Touch With Family and Friends

When you’re healing after surgery, but your friends and family can’t physically be with you, you should still keep in touch with them. This way, you can receive the emotional support and encouragement you need. Keep them updated on your progress and allow them to offer their words of encouragement and advice. Their love and support will not only help you mentally and emotionally, but it can also aid in your physical healing process.

5. Listen to Your Body

One of the most important tips for navigating your healing after surgery alone is to listen to your body. Your body knows best and will communicate what it needs during the healing process. Pay attention to any pain, discomfort, or changes in your body and adjust your activities accordingly. Don’t push yourself too hard or too soon, even if you feel like you should be progressing faster. Take breaks when needed, and don’t hesitate to ask for help if necessary. Trusting and responding to the signals of your body will help ensure a smoother and safer recovery. Remember, patience and self-care are key.

6. Check Yourself in a Nursing Home

Recovering from surgery can be difficult, but having no family support after surgery can be even more challenging. So before your surgery, make sure you have a nursing home as a plan B in the case that you can no longer handle care after surgery. A nursing home will be able to assist you in everything you need without you needing to lift a finger. To do this, start by researching facilities in your area. Then, check their level of accreditation, staff qualifications, and reviews from previous patients. Visit the nursing homes in person to get a sense of the environment and interact with the staff. Ask about their experience with post-surgery care and their approach to rehabilitation. Inquire about the amenities and services offered, including physical therapy and medication management. Don’t be afraid to ask for references and speak with families of current or past residents for their firsthand experiences. Finding the right nursing home can provide peace of mind and a positive recovery experience.

Know What to Do Even When You Have No One to Help After Surgery

Having no one to help after surgery is not the end of the world. It can be challenging, but with these helpful tips, it can be manageable. Remember to follow your doctor’s instructions, prioritize self-care, and seek support when needed. By following these tips, you can have a successful recovery and come back stronger than ever. Now, go and take care of yourself! Did you find this article helpful? If so, check out the rest of our site for more.

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