Health & Wellness

Control the Human Side of Surgery

Inspirational questions to help you write your surgery story to create less stress so you get better faster.

Surgery starts the minute you hear, "You need surgery." From that moment on, the decisions you make about the human side of this stressful event will shape how your story evolves and ends. Talking about your surgery is a component that's in your control, so make it work for you. You'll hear your story repeatedly, and it will drive others' responses; write a story that helps you!

When you're going through surgery, the story you hear yourself tell over and over again can change the chemicals coursing through your body and influence the responses of those you share it with. Take control of your story and make these realities help you rather than hurt you!

1. How can you truthfully and positively describe yourself as you share your surgery story?

You're the main character. Ever want to be a superhero? Great! Now's the time! Want everyone to root for you? Terrific - direct them to do that. Nervous? That makes sense, but can you balance that with hope? Some confidence? Insert those feelings, too.

2. Who are the supporting characters?

Supporting characters are appropriately named - they should support you! Share the positive projections your medical team is focused on creating and your belief in them. The issue you are solving with surgery is a supporting character, too. Does the name scare you? Don't use it - call it an "issue" or "challenge."

3. How do you want the story to end?

Great - tell that ending. That's not hubris; that's hope, and it's wonderful and helpful to put hope into the world.

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Heather Campbell

CEO & Co-Founder of Ready Set Recover
When Heather’s surgeon lamented, “I wish all my patients were like you,” she created Ready Set Recover. She’s brought her 30+ years of individual and organizational behavior insights she gained as ESPN’s Synergist, Audacy’s Alchemist, and as 1 of 10 NYU Stern Business School full merit scholars, to change healthcare. She’s a sought-after speaker, writer, and community organizer whose goal is to make others be seen, heard, and celebrated.

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