Missed my last post? Read Part 11 of My Highly Sensitive Recovery where I discuss the overcoming my own ailments as a HSP.

Further to Part 11, most of we HSPs may take a longer time to recover from any type of invasive procedure (possibly any procedure). It can be traumatic on every level. After back surgery in my 30’s, my very kind surgeon whom I respected greatly was baffled that I could not get up to walk the next day.

He knew I was a strong athlete and he expected my recovery to be as quick as a non-HSP athlete. I could barely lift a spoon to my mouth by the next day, let alone stand up or walk! My arms felt like lead. I was as weak as a kitten and drunk with the medications still coursing through my veins.

My concerned surgeon visited me the 2nd day and shook his head in a gentle yet disappointed manner. It was humiliating for me to be so fit and strong yet very slow to recover. I so wanted to live up to his expectations and yet wild horses could not have made me walk those first days – It was a complete and utter impossibility. I would have landed with a splat much the way new born giraffes do … splayed on the floor with awkward arms and legs in every direction … then probably in need of more surgery!

HSPs may require a longer recovery time from surgery.

In hindsight, I was still receiving on an IV drip of morphine during those first few post-op days. No one knew yet that when given any type of narcotic or opioid, I only needed one-half the dose of a non-HSP, if not less.

It was virtually impossible for me to regain strength while receiving such a dosage of pain meds. I was snowed. It was only on the 3rd day when I asked to curtail the morphine all together that I was able to finally stand up and walk. It was excruciating and I was still as wobbly as a newborn foal, but I was able to muster enough strength and willpower to make it happen.

PLEASE … question authority! Question your doctors.

Do not take the full dose of anything until you discuss your sensitivity with your health care professional. Most introverted HSPs are highly respectful towards anyone in authority, especially doctors. We often feel it would be rude to assert ourselves and possibly appear to question their wisdom. The good news in my personal experience (and that of many of my patients), most medical professionals will listen when a patient asks to try a lesser dose of a new medication. Then of course, there are those with holier-than-thou attitudes. 

If your physician is unable to trust that you know your body better than they do, then it’s probably time to look for a new provider.

I have always done so once I was educated about my HS trait. Remember, we only have this one body, one life, it is certainly worth speaking up about it!

Looking for more? Continue reading Part 13 of My Highly Sensitive Recovery where I discuss the mental heath effects of HSPs not being taken seriously.