If you’ve had a spell in hospital which has involved staying in a bed for some time, you will know how difficult it can be to get used to everyday activities again. It can also get very tiring trying to adjust to the pace of life you were used to before you went into hospital, so it’s important that you take the time to ease yourself back into your normal life, and this can be done with the aid of a trained physiotherapist.
Anyone who has a long stint in hospital should be visited by an in-house physiotherapist regardless of what they’re in for. This could be to help with anything from learning to breathe properly after a serious accident to regaining movement after a stroke, or even learning to walk again after losing a limb. However, lots of people choose not to continue seeing their physiotherapist after their discharge, which can be dangerous and can seriously slow down the healing process.
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If you were in a hospital that wasn’t especially close to home, try to get your physiotherapy treatment transferred to somewhere more convenient. For example, if you live in Burgess Hill but you were in a Brighton hospital, get your physiotherapy treatment in Burgess Hill if possible by organizing for your notes to be transferred. This way it’s more convenient for you and involves less of the tiring travel which can put you off sticking to your treatment plan.
Trying to do too much too soon can be incredibly dangerous after you’ve been in hospital, as the body gets used to laying in the same position all day. Even if you have a little physiotherapy in hospital, this might only cover the basics, such as sitting up, moving your toes or standing up. To get yourself used to your normal lifestyle, you need to talk to a physiotherapist to help you reacquaint yourself with the movements you would normally carry out.
Your recovery process will be greatly accelerated if you can fully engage with the programme drawn up by your medical team, and this includes physiotherapy. It means that not only will you be able to safely go about your day to day life faster, you will also feel more like you psychologically, and won’t have to tolerate the frustration and pain that arises as a result of trying to do too much too soon without the proper support. The quicker you can feel normal again, the better for your mental and physical health.
Anita Randall is an outpatient welfare consultant who helps to rehabilitate those who’ve been in hospital for extended periods.