Progress Report

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dwntwnseaguy
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 9/29/2008 10:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Everyone, I haven't posted in quite a long while for numerious reasons - the main one being that I recently relocated from Seattle to San Diego and have been getting settled in.
 
I had the Nissen fundoplication performed on July 16th so I'm over two months post-op now. 
 
Overall, I am feeling great.  I can eat just about anything as long as I eat slowly and chew well. Sometimes I do forget and I'll eat a bit faster than I should and then those crazy hiccups kick in.  Once in a great while, I still get that "sticking" and "breathless" feeling but that is few and far in between now. 
 
As some of you may recall, for the first several weeks, I had a really rough go of it, then felt better, then felt a bit worse.
So, for those of you who have recently had the surgery, be encouraged - IT DOES GET BETTER!!!  I know what it's like to be so miserable after the surgery and living on painkillers and eating mush for weeks -I've been right there with you so don't give up hope. 
 
The main thing that I have to monitor now is the Barrett's esophagus as the surgery does not correct that.  However, now that I no longer have horrid acid flowing up into my throat, that should help this condition improve, if not get any worse at least.
 
Through the entire process I lost about 40 lbs - 20 purposely pre-surgery and 20 after surgery.  I needed to lose the weight so now I am focusing on keeping it off and eating a high protein high fibre LOW carb diet.  It seems to be working well.
 
To the others that I was in touch with, I hope you are doing well and that you are blessed with happiness, healing and health.
Cheers!
John
 
 
 

sillylilly
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 317
   Posted 9/30/2008 6:00 AM (GMT -6)   
John,

It's great to hear from you and to know you are doing so well. It's all uphill now and I'm sure you will continue to gain healing and health.

I also haven't posted in awhile due to recovery mode and uncertainities as to what was happening to me post Hill repair. I experienced alot of chest burning for the first 4 weeks that I thought was heartburn so I was worried that the repair didn't work and I was in the 5% failure category. But after 4 weeks, things started to settle down and now at 6 weeks, the burning has subsided 98% so I know for sure I'm not refluxing anymore. It was probably due to the swelling and healing going on. I stopped my Nexium 3 weeks ago and feel absolutely great and alive again. I still have a few limitations as far as swallowing goes...still can't eat a hamburger for instance...but most everything goes down well if I chew well and don't rush when eating.

I also have some Barretts that was found during pre-surgery EGD but the doc said it's short segment and just keep it monitored every few years. We have a new lease on life and it's wonderful. God bless you on your new job. How are you liking San Diego...it's such a horrible place to live...ha, ha, te he!!!

Carolyn

Bo Peep
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 227
   Posted 9/30/2008 6:30 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi there! It's nice to see you both back on here! Glad to hear you are doing so well. :-)
Elaine


LdyJane
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 903
   Posted 9/30/2008 8:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello everyone!!! I missed you all!

John, Carolyn we have been wondering where you were and how you are and there is no way to get a hold of you!! I'm very happy to hear you're both doing well. Elaine and I have been able to stay in touch through the forum.

After a long rough recovery, I am GREAT!!! I just returned from Cleveland for my (postponed) 8 week post testing and check up...get this, one year ago my 24 hour ph registered 151 episodes of reflux...this time NONE!, Zero! nada!!! can you believe it!?!?! The amount of time (while sleeping flat) that my ph was below 4.0???? NONE!!! holy cow! what a difference. The barium swallow showed no strictures, no rings, no esophagitis, no hernia, nothing!

The only thing that I do have is a continued motility problem, albeit mild. Because of the new valve, the lack of strong contractions makes it a little difficult to eat. Saying that, I am able to eat most everything....except salads....lettuce may never be on the diet again; it's to difficult to swallow with a motility issue. I still have days where nothing seems to want to go down, but they are less frequent and easier to deal with.

My weight has stabilized, a total of 58 pounds lost; 45 before and 13 after...I love it! One of my Doctors told me this would be life changing and I think he's right!! I feel so much better...I didn't realize how bad I felt and how sick I was before...this is nice :)

I've missed you all!! Let me know about San Diego John, about the move and everything. Carolyn fill us in on what is going on.

Janice

oakley
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 358
   Posted 9/30/2008 9:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey John...good to see you !!
Moving is work, hope it went smoothly for you !
I am one of the lucky or unlucky ones who cannot have the surgery.....
I do get by fairly well with taking protonix twice a day.
You lost 40 pounds ...wow!!!
Do you feel like that is a good thing now ??
I know if I lost a little more weight I would feel better. Somehow that little bit of tummy fat really adds to the distress of gerd.
well, take care.....are you going to be working or are you retired ??
hope everyone has a good wednesday!!
Anne

sillylilly
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 317
   Posted 10/1/2008 11:29 AM (GMT -6)   
Janice,

WOW, so good to know that your testing has shown NO REFLUX. That is just wonderful. It's great to have a new lease on life isn't it. I wish everyone could have the surgery but I know it's not in the cards for some. Hopefully, new drugs and procedures will come along that will help those who need it desperately.

I didn't post for awhile because I wasn't sure if I was having reflux or not after surgery. I had alot of chest burning that felt like heartburn and I spent 4 weeks distressing over it. I just couldn't be sure until it started to go away. Now at 6 weeks, I am so much better with just occasional twinges of burning. My doc says it's probably hypersensitivity but anti-acid doesn't make it go away so I know that it's not heartburn. It's tolerable and will just finally go away.

My doc doesn't want me to be tested until around 6 months but I sure would like to know sooner.

Janice, continue to get better and be well and enjoy eating and living. Oakley, I'm glad you have yours uncontrol...be well also.

Carolyn

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 10/1/2008 5:20 PM (GMT -6)   

John and Carolyn,

Great to see updates on both of you.  John, what a great inspiration you are for other members.  Hope you like your new home in southern California.

Carolyn,

Good news to hear at 6 weeks out you are doing well too.  I know it is hard to wait for the next test. I have read your posts today and you truly know how to communicate with the members and answer the technical questions.

Gentle hugs to both of you and keep on with your recovery.

Kitt

 


 

Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
& GERD  Forums
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oakley
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 358
   Posted 10/1/2008 6:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Skitt
I am not going to post anymore for one reason...and I wish I could have let you know this privately but my computer does not have outlook express for mail. When you address your thank God for your inspiration or whatever posts on here to only certain people it makes me feel bad.....like my posts don't matter. I know you will say that you don't mean to do it and i am sure you mean no harm but it bothers me...so I will just get over it, but I needed you to know my feelings. This forum is about gerd , not just surgery for it....and I have it and I have barrets and I wanted to get some feedback too , but this is like high school, so clicky....think about it...ok, well.I just had to get that off my chest. byebye
 
Anne,
Please see my thread I am going to post on apology to all.
 
Thank you and forgive me for any oversite.
 
Kitt

Post Edited By Moderator (stkitt) : 10/3/2008 7:39:29 AM (GMT-6)


dwntwnseaguy
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 10/1/2008 11:57 PM (GMT -6)   

First of all, Anne, I hope you WILL continue to read and to post.  I am absolutely POSITIVE that this was NOT intentional.

This is about GERD and living with GERD and you are very brave in managing it without surgery.  Surgery isn't always the answer for everyone and I am very glad to hear that the protonix is working for you.  I don't remember where I remember reading this but I was reading online about how organic raw apple cider vinegar with the "mother" helps with acid reflux.  Ok, I'm going to tell on myself now. When I was having the PH test monitoring, as we all know we can't take the meds while we're on it.  Well, one night it was so bad and I was reading about the raw apple cider vinegar, I went to the health food store, bought it and took a tablespoon and I was AMAZED that it actually worked - and I'm not kidding.  Maybe it was just coincidental, but it was amazing.  I didn't tell my doctor because I'm afraid he would have lectured me - hahaha!!

Personally I'm grateful for EVERYONE who posts on here - every bit of insight from each of our personal experiences helps each other and maybe someone else who thinks they are the only one dealing with a particular aspect of GERG and then they read a post from someone and finds out that they aren't alone.  I know that's how I found this sight.  So, again Anne, please don't stop because someone else WILL benefit from what are going through and what you have to offer.

Janice and I had our surgeries the same day and Carolyn had her surgery done by the partner of my doctor so, it's not a click at all, it's amazing to see what a small world we live in. 

We've all had some really rough spots post surgery but thankfully we are pulling through them thank God :)

My move was a lot of work as moves are and I know a few times I lifted things that I shouldn't have and I suffered afterwards but I'm much stronger now that I was even 3 or 4 weeks ago.  I'm not working yet (how I wish I was retired -hahaha) but am looking for work in my line of work which is legal administration.  I knew that I wouldn't find work down here right away so I prepared myself for that ahead of time.

I am LOVING the sunshine and the warm weather.  I've bn talking walks along the bay or the beach almost every night and counting my blessings.  I also moved my mother AND grandmother - both are still living.  My mother is in a senior living apartment complex about 8 miles north of me and my grandmother is in Alzheimer's care about 8 miles south of me and I'm right in between.  So with moving THREE households I'm enjoying this down time and I try to relish every day because I know that once I start working, I'll look back on these days fondly and wistfully.

God bless ALL of you!

John


sillylilly
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 317
   Posted 10/2/2008 7:11 AM (GMT -6)   
Anne, I second what John wrote. I believe Skitt has the best intentions and doesn't mean to leave anyone out. She has a very compassionate and caring concern for the people on this site no matter who she points out. It's nice to get kudos but the point of this site is to include everyone who needs help. It was never meant to be a personal slight, I'm sure.

This was my first site that I discovered when I first came down with GERD and it helped me tremendously by educating me with everyone's personal experiences with Gerd diets, treatments and what to ask the doctor. Please don't give up on it.

LdyJane
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 903
   Posted 10/2/2008 9:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello everyone. Have you had issues with stomach and intestinal pain since your surgeries? This is new for me and it doesn't seem to be getting much better. I think it started maybe 5 - 6 weeks ago?, I can't remember, and the pain is sharp and not always in the same place. I've thought it's gas, but I'm not sure about that; I've thought it's from some food type (coke??) nope, doesn't change. My GP thought it could be caused by the acid I have in my stomach and wanted to try the Protonix again, but that hasn't helped much either.

So, what do you think? Fortunately, I don't have many issues now that I've done so much healing...with the exception of the newly found motility issue and the esophageal spasms...but the pain is really something!!

sillylilly
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 317
   Posted 10/3/2008 8:05 AM (GMT -6)   
Janice,

If the protonix isn't working, I hope you give it up because that's one of the reasons to have surgery...these medications aren't good for women...bone loss.

But, I too, at 6 weeks, have alot of strange pains and stomach twinges. I have various degrees from mild to sharp of burning pains that seem to travel from my stomach, sternum, chest, throat. These come and go sporadically. Believe me they are alot better and less intense than at the beginning so I can see that one day they might subside. I thought it was gas too, but GasX doesn't seem to help. I think it is more difficult to digest food for awhile after this surgery. Our stomachs have been changed drastically if you think about it and they are probably rebelling somewhat from the anatomical disruption that went on.

I think we have to remember that it takes a full year to recover fully from this surgery and my doc said that some people experience strange sensations for several months "but it all usually goes away"". One gal had diarrhea for a full year, then it magically stopped.

I think the GI's come up with guesses that they think it might be if they don't have a good answer and then give you something to try to see if it works. Everybody reacts so differently with different symptoms.

Remember that it has gotten alot better and this will probably also if we give it time.

LdyJane
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 903
   Posted 10/6/2008 9:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Carolyn, I'm going to talk to my GI guy when I see him in November, in the meantime I'm avoiding Coke (yeah, I started drinking it again!!) and, of course, my the pain has lessened! (no surprise there huh!!). My surgeon keeps reminding me that this was major, major surgery and it will take a long time to recover from the trauma..so I will..no going back to the trainer until February!

Overall, though, I do feel good and I'm glad that I had the surgery (I can say that now that I'm well past the immediate post-op!!! LOL!). I do have some mild transient heartburn, but I figure that's okay too. I have to go, but will talk later..
Janice

Southern Star
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 10/7/2008 4:54 PM (GMT -6)   
That's exactly the same kinds of stomach pains that I've been dealing with. When I told my surgeon about them he wasn't happy about it, said I shouldn't be having pain any more. He said the majority of his young patients by this time are past that so I've been worried about it. But if ya'll are having the same issues then maybe it's nothing to worry about. Thanks for the updates.

LdyJane
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 903
   Posted 10/7/2008 5:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Well, let's keep each other posted from time to time on this stomach pain business; perhaps we can figure it out amongst all of us. For example; we had pizza today at lunch and, sure enough, I have pain this afternoon and evening....is it just fatty foods? Of course, I did have to have a coke (so much for teaching old dogs new tricks!!)). Lets not let this drop just yet, perhaps a new thread would be appropriate?
Janice
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