5 things you shouldn’t say to someone going through surgery

Disclaimer: This post brings out my sarcastic side- don’t take this post too seriously!

Last year I had ankle ligament reconstruction last year (see related posts here and here). While I was recovering, I fell on crutches and hurt my knee. Long story short- I ended up having a relatively rare situation where there was a cyst in the tib fib joint which pushed on my nerve. I had nerve decompression surgery this year to fix it.

Two surgeries in two years is draining: physically and emotionally! And today is one of the days when I reflect on some of the comments I have heard when people react on my situation. I know their reaction isn’t intended to be malicious, but I think people don’t consider how their comments affect others.

Here are my list of comments you really should avoid telling people when they are recovering:

1) “Another surgery?”
Yes I know two surgeries is two years is crazy, so if you are so shocked hearing about it then imagine how it must be going through it! I used to struggle to respond to such a comment, except I just shrug and say no comment.

2) “And to think you are not even a sportsperson”
The irony is not lost on me! I recognize that this is a series of incidents and for a non sportsperson to have this is strange, but pointing it out is no comfort!

3) “Have you considered alternative schools of medicine?”
No one in their right mind would think surgeries is fun, so it is reasonable to expect that people would try every alternative before going down the surgery route.

4) “Oh it’s only your leg, it isn’t anything life threatening”
This comment just cracked me up! I am not saying it’s life threatening either but it’s such a pointless comment to make! How would you react to that? Say oh yea, no big deal!

5-a) “Oh I have read eating vitamin or turmeric can cure ligaments”.
5-b) “Or I had a cyst in kidney, I just adjusted my diet- never trust doctors- they just want money”
These comments cracked me up because it came from people I didn’t know- they heard about it through other people and they wanted to put their two cents in. If turmeric or vitamin worked, I would have tried it- similar answer as 3). No one wants a surgery! And kidney and knee are not the same- nerve pain is impossible to tolerate so not the same thing. I appreciate the concern- I really do! But I would like to get my medical advice from doctors.

Ok now that my sarcastic side is out, here is my two cents, coming from the point of view of a person receiving the comments. The person recovering is anxious, stressed out, and in pain. Instead of talking about their issues, it makes more sense to divert the conversation to happier places- makes it more entertaining for everyone!

Have you ever been in a similar situation? Share your views below!


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