Several months ago my friend DeeDee had knee replacement surgery. She spent a couple of nights in the hospital and went home. Then she did something amazing—she asked for help on Facebook.
She said she had fallen down at home, forcing her to admit that she didn’t have the strength and stamina to keep up with her household chores. She didn’t want to put her new knee at risk, and wondered if a few Facebook friends could come by her home and help out.
Many people are reluctant to ask for post-surgical help. In addition, friends and family are sometimes hesitant to offer help because they—
- Don’t know if help is needed in the first place
- Are afraid to bother a person in recovery, who might just want sleep and privacy
- Don’t know what to do that will be helpful
The best thing you can do is let people know you need help and then assign specific tasks. For example, ask someone to pick up prescription medications, do a couple of loads of laundry, or change the cat’s litter box.
DeeDee asked me to do dishes and tidy up the kitchen. I also brought her a meal, but discovered her refrigerator was full of food other people had dropped off (those opioid pain medications really do suppress appetite!). Before I left, another woman came by and picked up DeeDee’s laundry.
The truth is that everyone who helped DeeDee was happy to lend a hand, because by asking us for help she was saying “I need you” and “I trust you.” Who doesn’t like to be needed and trusted?
Small chores can seem like big jobs when you’re recovering from a joint replacement. If you are planning a joint replacement, don’t be afraid to ask your network of friends and family for help. You may be surprised at how many people are willing to lend a hand.