At the beginning of April my husband had a surgery. He had a hemorrhoidectomy. Yikes, right? As soon as he made the decision to have this surgery, I started doing some research into recovery and what it would be like. Because, ouch!! His doctor informed him that he would have a couple of days of discomfort and then he would be as good as new. What I read was an entirely different story. It seemed like the overall theme was weeks of discomfort. WEEKS!!! And not just discomfort. Weeks of painful bowel movements.
I decided that I needed to learn all I can to support healing after surgery. And he was on board. Well, why wouldn't he be?? His healing protocol consisted of several things and I believe that all of them together resulted in a speedy recovery.
As soon as he was home, he was drinking bone broth. The day before his surgery I had prepared a crockpot with perpetual broth. This would be the broth that he would drink every day, and lots of it. Some days he did better than others. For the most part he was drinking 3 to 5 quarts of bone broth each day. My goal was for him to drink this much broth for 2 weeks. He quit after one week. It is hard to drink that much of anything in one day. He got sick of it.
So, why bone broth?? Bone broth is an excellent source of minerals that are easily absorbed by the body. Bone broth is a great source of gelatin and collagen, which support connective tissue. It is also a great source of the amino acids glycine and proline. Proline is essential to the structure of collagen (great for healing his internal wounds) and glycine helps detoxify the liver (which will need help getting rid of the anesthesia) and it promotes muscle repair.
Bone broth is an incredibly healing food and I believe it is a major contributor to his speedy recovery.
Trauma from surgery can cause an increase in free radicals which disrupt cellular function, slowing the healing process. Research has shown that taking CoQ10 for at least 4 weeks following surgery can improve cell function and speed up healing.
Did you know that Vitamin C plays a major role in the healing process? Vitamin C is essential to the formation of new connective tissue in a healing wound. The amino acids that I mentioned above (proline, glycine, and lysine) cannot do their job without Vitamin C. Besides facilitating the building of collagen in the wound, vitamin C also is a powerful antioxidant and immune booster.
I read about milk thistle and how this awesome herb is great at supporting the liver. I have some Liver Detox Support in my cabinet so I added this to the rotation. The anesthesia and other medications used during and after surgery are hard on the liver. Supporting this vital organ while it works hard to detox from the medications was the least I could do. I just wish he had been taking it during the weeks before his surgery to give his liver an extra boost!
Fish oil is a part of our daily routine. Well, at least the kids and I take it regularly. My husband isn't as good about remembering. As it turns out, the Omega-3's in fish oil are really good at fighting inflammation! Fish oil also has Vitamin A and D as well, so he was getting multiple benefits from this supplement.
Bromelain is a powerful proteolytic enzyme (meaning it breaks down proteins). In addition to its uses as a digestive aid, its excellent anti-inflammatory effects reduce swelling and bruising, speeding healing and recovery time. It also aids the liver and helps remove protein debris from the surgery site.
Vitamin A helps keep skin and mucous membranes that line the nose, sinuses, and mouth healthy. It plays a role in immune system function, growth, bone formation, and wound healing. Since my husband had a significant wound to heal, Vitamin A helped support the healing process.
My husband used a variety of essential oils to support his healing. He rubbed Digize on his belly and took it in a capsule (on separate occasions) to help digest the anesthesia. He also used a combination of oils to control his discomfort.
Like I said, my husband drank the broth for a week and then quit. He was done. Couldn't do it anymore. He continued to take the supplements for an additional week. I believe, and he does too, that doing these extra things played a major role in the speed of his recovery. In one week he went from terribly painful bowel movements to not really noticing any discomfort. I consider that a huge success, considering the stories I had read detailing weeks of discomfort.
I only wish that along all of the information about pain management that his doctor sent home with him, she included information like I shared above. He had lots of info detailing what he could do for his pain and ZERO information on how he can support his body in the healing process. He is so lucky to be married to me!
What kinds of things have you done to support your body (or that of a loved one) while healing from surgery? Please share!
**Please note that I intentionally did not mention the doses of the supplements that my husband took during his healing protocol. I am not a doctor and can't tell you what to do. I researched and found guidelines that were geared towards healing and applied them to our situation.**