Recovering from a medical emergency

Maintaining one’s health and well-being is a top priority for people from all walks of life. Equally important is knowing what to do in the case of medical emergencies.

In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that 42 percent of the public visit the emergency room annually. While some visits are for conditions that can be treated in less urgent settings, many visits take place during legitimate medical emergencies.

Medical illnesses and emergencies can be high-stress, traumatic events. The challenges of recovering from a serious injury may leave some people feeling overwhelmed and helpless. The more informed patients are about their recoveries, the more prepared they are to confront them head on.

• Ask for a timeline. Speak with the doctors and nurses about what recovery will entail and how long you may need to be on rest or light duty. Knowing the timeline can provide insight into how long your recovery will take and how long you might need some help from your support network.

• Put together a support team. Don’t hesitate to rely on family members or friends during the recovery process. Loved ones will want to help, and accepting such help should not make anyone feel ashamed.

• Plan for rest. Rest is a large part of recovery. You may need to take time off from work or other responsibilities. If necessary, ask someone to advocate on your behalf, finding out if your position is secure and if you are eligible for temporary financial assistance.

• Seek professional help. If you are feeling mentally overwhelmed from the emergency event, so much so that it interferes with regular life, consult with a mental health expert, advises WebMD.

• Retrofit your home accordingly. Some medical emergencies may require additional equipment be brought in to a home, especially when mobility has been adversely affected. Don’t hesitate to make these changes, as they may facilitate a speedy recovery.

• Exercise regularly. When it’s safe to do so, getting out and moving can be helpful. Deep breathing, gentle stretching and walking can help your body gradually reacclimate to being physically active. If you are working with a physical therapist, follow his or her guidelines for regaining strength.

A medical emergency can sideline a person for some time. Working through recovery step by step can make the entire process more manageable.

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