Keep Things Lovingly Simple for Post-Op Care

MAY 25, 2021  /  KELLI NAPOTNIK  / 

Keep Things Lovingly Simple for Post-Op Care

"This week, a friend of our website, Kelli Napotnik, is sharing what she learned about taking meals after her recent surgery. Kelli currently lives in Mount Crawford, Virginia, with her husband and five children. We're grateful for her fresh perspective! ~Adina"
Two months ago, I never thought I could be more grateful to have friends and family bringing us meals. I was scheduled for a partial hysterectomy on March 9th and aside from small dental surgeries, I didn't really know what I was getting myself into. I was nervous and anxious, but my husband was planning on taking some time off to help take care of our five kids, so I could fully rest and recover.
"I'll make some bulk meals and freeze them and then he can make meals for the rest of the week," I told myself. Always trying to be the strong one and not depend on others.
Being a stay at home mom, I'm fairly adjusted to meal prepping and planning out our week. I figured I would plan out the week by shopping accordingly, kind of like you would for a vacation! I did my best and I felt prepared. Surgery day came and I was driven to the hospital. Unexpectedly, my surgeon was held up in a surgery before mine resulting in my surgery time being pushed back several hours. Originally, I had been told it would be an outpatient procedure and I would be released the same day. But being so late, I would have to be admitted for an overnight stay. Our neighbors immediately stepped up to the plate and offered to bring my husband and children a meal. I was overcome with thankfulness at this gesture and thought to myself, this is the meaning of community. Knowing my family was being cared for and loved helped me to truly rest at the hospital.
Upon coming home, I quickly realized that my discomfort took away my appetite. But my family was still hungry! Based on my experience, I would suggest three simple tips to help someone who is recovering from a surgery.
1. Keep things simple. You don't need to make an extravagant meal to help someone in need. A simple roasted chicken and green beans is healthy and comforting. During my recovery, easily digestible foods are what I found most tolerable. Foods like a whole milk yogurt with honey drizzled on top or applesauce and graham crackers. Hot tea or homemade bone broth were all comforting to me. Be sure to avoid carbonated beverages as they can aggravate digestive discomforts further. I found this to be true!
2. Make sure you make enough for however many family members are present. I often gauge how much my kids eat and make enough for them to be able to get a second helping if need be, then do the same for whoever I'm cooking for. Big pots of stew and fresh baked bread (you can even grab an artisan loaf at your local grocery store bakery) are great ways to add bulk to your meal! Add a specialty jam and you have dessert!
3. Lastly, make clean up easy by bringing your meal in disposable containers or ones you don't want returned. Including paper plates can also be a sweet and kind gesture, so there are minimal dishes to be washed.
I'm thankful that I was able to meal prep beforehand, but having the meals brought to us from our little community really stretched those meals. I was actually able to freeze what I had prepared earlier to use when my husband went back to work. I don't think I cooked a single meal for three whole weeks because of the kindness of others! You'll never know just how far your meal schedule will carry a family! I hope you can be encouraged to not put pressure on yourself to make the perfect meal! By filling your name in that little square on the, you are truly participating in an age old tradition of building community through sharing a meal together.

Read other recent articles by Kelli Napotnik:

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Adina & Maureen
Adina & Maureen

Welcome! We're thrilled you stopped by. Our own joys and sorrows have taught us that a well-timed meal delivered by a friend is one of the best gifts imaginable. In this space, we share our favorite recipes to take to friends, meal-taking tips, and other ways to care for those who are dear to you.

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