How I plan to recover from my surgery

I have wrist surgery coming up.

I was hoping they’d just use local anesthesia but the chunk of bone they’re removing is simply too big and too far between my radius and ulna for them to remove it while I’m awake (I guess I’ll squirm too much). Check out the yellow arrows, they point to really sharp bone that, because I haven’t developed invincible muscles, really hurts all the soft tissue in my arm if I bump it, type too long, use a screw driver, hammer, pliers, or the gear shift in my truck.

[1]

In years past, when I’ve had surgery for my bone disorder, I’ve taken pains to ensure a quick recovery.

Most of these efforts have been based on what I deduced might help me, confirmation bias (finding studies showing it might help me), and the placebo effect (I was convinced they would work and they seemed to).

Anyway, the things I’ll need to heal quickly are skin, bone, and the jostled about extensor digitorum muscle and its tendons (See below). The other thing is that I traditionally feel like total crap coming out of anesthesia.

By Mikael Häggström.When using this image in external works, it may be cited as follows:Häggström, Mikael. "Medical gallery of Mikael Häggström 2014". Wikiversity Journal of Medicine 1 (2). DOI:10.15347/wjm/2014.008. ISSN 20018762. - File:Gray418.png, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10591832[2]

So, what am I going to do to facilitate quick recovery?

  1. I’ll work out really hard today. Why? Because, in my mind, if my body is in a state of adaptation from difficult training, then I’ll already be in a state of recovery as soon as the surgery begins. So dead lift, chin ups, and dojo today.[3]
  2. I’ll do my Wim Hof breathing exercises. His meditation techniques have been shown in multiple laboratory settings to stimulate an increase in immune system function. So by using his hyperventilation style meditation, I should be able to help myself heal more quickly.
  3. I’ll also meditate that very morning using the same technique I use to make myself wake up early. I’ll imagine myself waking up from surgery lucid, ready to eat, and in very little pain. When I started martial arts, I read about this technique in a book written in the 70s about a westerner learning karate. I had always had a rough time coming out of surgery, but my next operation, I meditated on waking up lucid the night before and morning of my next operation. It worked, or I felt like it worked. But in the case of perceiving pain and discomfort, “feeling like it worked” is working.
  4. I won’t eat any sugar today. Why? Because I’ll be fasting after midnight due to drs orders (probably after 9:30 PM for reasons that will become apparent). My reasoning is that avoiding a blood-sugar low by being in a state of dietary ketosis will help me wake up from the surgery in a metabolic state that I’m already used to. I don’t want to wake up in the low-blood sugar state called “hangry.” I am, btw, convinced that most people hate waking up in the morning because they stay up to late and eat too much sugar so they wake up in a sugar low.
  5. I will have a bunch of caffeine prior to midnight. I’m already addicted to it and I don’t want to wake up post-surgery with a caffeine head ache. In fact, I need to ask my wife to have coffee for me upon my awakening.
  6. I’ll pray. God doesn’t owe me anything, but he might help me recover quickly if I ask. It’s doubtful that he’ll help me out if I don’t though.

Anyway, I expect to come back from this with my wrist no longer hurting every time I have to type, with a reminder of what it’s like to feel actual pain (I haven’t had an injury in two years), and therefore stronger.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Footnotes

[1] Observe how big the tumor mass is. The first consultation made the doctor think it would just be shaving some lumpy bone mass off the top of my radius. It looks more like I’ll be having a pretty giant piece of my bone cut off. So, I expect it to hurt pretty bad. 

[2] By Mikael Häggström.When using this image in external works, it may be cited as follows:Häggström, Mikael. “Medical gallery of Mikael Häggström 2014”. Wikiversity Journal of Medicine 1 (2). DOI:10.15347/wjm/2014.008. ISSN 20018762. – File:Gray418.png, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10591832

[3] There is research that shows an uptick in bone density and osteoblast production in men who participate in strength training. Not only so, but chronic loading and eccentric training increases tendon recovery despite the conventional wisdom that resistance training won’t help tendinitis.