Convalescence – the gradual recovery of health and strength after illness or injury
It has once again been brought home to me that we have lost the art of convalescing. In an effort to come up with some persuasive arguments to ‘take it easy, do as little as possible, look after yourself and let your body recover’, I came across two articles, one suggesting “These days we all rush back a normal life after illness – only to end up back in hospital” – how many of us has this happened to? And the other, more a history about The Forgotten Phase of Illness Recovery, lamenting in part the onset of early discharge from hospital and the decline of the Convalescent Home, both consequences of over stretched healthcare budgets. So where does this leave us? Certainly, the need for convalescence is still valid, the lack of hospital resources, whatever the cause, is evident and the tendency to re-join the rat race before our bodies have recovered (courtesy of antibiotics and pain management) prevails now more than ever. Long-term, successful recovery and management requires patients and caregivers to be fully engaged in a collaborative 24/7 effort. Comprehensive discharge plans created and monitored by the treating physician plus the means to easily adopt and maintain them are critical to the contemporary reality of convalescence. In our IoT world, the need for convalescence hasn’t disappeared, it is simply taking on a new technologically assisted form, we just need to re-learn the art.