Positive thinking could lead to a successful recovery
An optimistic attitude plays a role in how well a patient recovers after surgery or a procedure, studies have shown. Although not the determining factor, support from family, friends and physicians is also critical.
“The attitudes of the care team, family members and the patients are very important, and play a vital role in recovery,” says Dr. John Brems, general surgeon with Advocate Medical Group and director of the Center for Advanced Liver and Pancreatic Care at Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin, Ill. “Positivity makes a difference in everyone’s recovery.”
No more could be truer for 60-year-old Marty Long, who came to Dr. Brems with a perforated small intestine, acute pancreatitis and a host of other issues.
“I was just about as ill as you could be,” says Long. “It was a near-death experience for me.”
The former high school English teacher underwent several surgeries, and at her worst, had a feeding tube and was placed in an intensive care unit for months where she had to learn to walk again.
“It was touch-and-go there for a while, but I just tried to stay positive,” Long says. “It’s so amazing, and if you saw me now, you would never know how grave it really was. Dr. Brems and his team made me feel like it was their victory along with mine.”
The positive attitude and comradery between Long, her husband and her care team played a role in her successful recovery.
“She’s obviously a very optimistic, engaging and charismatic person,” Dr. Brems says. “Many people would have been upset, but she never focused on that, and over time, with her attitude and family’s support, she got better, and has done very well since.’
Other recovery factors include age and a person’s overall health, but patient beliefs and confidence in their health care provider play a big role, experts say, placing some importance on the doctor to help create a forward-thinking, positive patient thought process.
“We’re here to provide emotional support and help,” Dr. Brems says. “We provide the expertise, but a big part is encouragement. We are in it together, and there will be rough patches, but we all fight together.”
Experts also say a positive attitude can help overcome stress and anxiety, battle depression, boost your immune system and lengthen your lifespan.
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