Healing takes a lot longer than most people believe. But how long?

HealingThis is probably the most important thing I can teach my patients and my students. I think it applies to both physical and emotional damage

We live in an impatient world. We are constantly bombarded by quick fix solutions. We want everything now. We want pain to be gone now. We want the easy path to lots of things. Healing however will go along at Mother Nature’s pace and we can slow her down but not speed her up.

What we can do, however, is observe healing in action.

I would like to have this written in the front pages of every medical textbook. Just a small goal of mine.

Healing has finished when the scar goes from pink to white.

If it’s pink on the outside it’s pink on the inside.

Healing takes a long time.

What does that mean to my patients? Look at the scar. If it’s still pink, then they are still healing, and it’s therefore okay to have some aches and pains.

This simple message that empowers the patient with knowledge allays many concerns in this impatient world.

It often takes 12 to 18 months for that scar to heal and finally matures over about 3 years. That’s a long time but that’s healing maturation and scar turnover.

If anyone has had a serious injury or major surgery and reflects on the ‘recovery’ time, then they will know that it takes a long time to get back to normal.

I think the same goes with emotional damage. It takes a long time to recover. Try considering the early period of recovery as a raw scar and it’s only with time that we recover. Rushing it does not help. It only makes us impatient, adds to stress and that doesn’t aid recovery.

Doctor in Latin means ‘to teach’. Teaching my patients and my students something they can use every day makes it all worthwhile.