4 days post Nissen

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cpyct
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 3/1/2009 4:50 PM (GMT -6)   
I had a Nissen done on February 25th, 2009.  I had this procedure to hopefully help with my excess phlegm and shortness of breath.  I have been through numerous tests in the past from Cardio. to Pulmonary.  The only thing that was found at that time was mild pumonary obstruction.  None of the meds seemed to help and it came down to me having severe GERD.  When will my symtoms go away.  I am waiting to feel better.  Does it take several weeks for the phlegm to go away?

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 3/1/2009 7:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Cpytc! I'm on my third day post Nissen (2/27), and the main reason I went through with it was that my asthma was horrible, and I was coughing tons of phlegm out of my lungs constantly. I was on too many inhaled steroids, and had a wheeze that would not resolve. My asthma and family doctors were just maintaining me. They've been urging me to have this surgery for four years. I finally did it, because I didn't feel I had a choice--I had to try it.

Everything I have read has said that non-acid GERD symptoms (cough, etc.) take longer to resolve than the acid itself. The percentage of improvement on non-GERD symptoms is 70-80%, which I think are pretty good odds.

When you have general anesthesia, phlegm and coughing, is to be expected. That's why they give you that little breathing machine to keep your lungs moving. I am also coughing up phlem--not fun with the incisions, but I hold a firm pillow or towel against the most painful incision when i cough. I'm icing, also, which really helps a lot.

Don't assume that because you've still got phlem, that the surgery isn't successful for you. Just hang in there, and relax into the recovery. Lungs are very delicate tissue, and they'll take time to recover.
I'm very hopeful that this was a good decision for me.
Good luck to you and your recovery! Hang in there! tongue

cpyct
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 3/2/2009 10:53 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you so much for giving me hope.  After battling these issues for two years without resolve, it is hard to stay positive.  Your reply has really encouraged me.  Keep me up to date on your improvements and good luck.

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 3/2/2009 11:26 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm glad to connect with another Nissen/lung problem traveler. I have read extensively about this, and everything reinforces the idea that it will take some time to see the positive results in our lungs. Although the GERD symptoms are immediately helped, the inflammation and lung problems that were caused by the constant assault of acid, will take time to calm down and resolve.

I really think the main thing for us, is to not fight the process. Keeping a positive mindset, and allowing the healing to take it's course--that's what we need to do. Stressing and resisting will only slow down our healing process. Healing is not going to occur on our time schedule--we can't force it. We just have to be patient, trust, and allow it to happen. Think lots of positive healing thoughts!

I'm planning on posting my recovery as it goes along, so other people who are searching for answers will know what to expect. I took a long time to go forward with this procedure, because I was so fearful of the outcome. There are lots of very unhappy patients out there, who blame every problem the experience on having the Nissen surgery.

I was very happy to find this forum. The people here are extremely realistic, supportive, and offer lots of hope to those of us suffering through these decisions and the surgical procedure/recovery process. They provide information that the doctors can't. Doctors don't deal with the day to day (minute to minute) issues that recovery involves.

It's a blessing to find so many caring and giving individuals. Thanks, everyone!!
Hang in there, cpyct! Think lots of good thoughts!
Denise

cpyct
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 3/2/2009 1:23 PM (GMT -6)   

Thanks Denise!!  Your support means a lot.  I will try hard to stay positive.

Wendi :-)


dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 3/2/2009 3:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Good job! We can do this! Keep in touch. We'll support each other through it. I'll let you know how things are going, and you keep me posted. I'm fortunate that I've spent four years researching this thing, so have learned a lot about what to expect. It has helped me through the process.
I'm here to give and receive support. This forum is great!
Best wishes, Wendi, and keep the faith! This too will pass! We're on the other side, heading for health!
Take care,
Denise

cpyct
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 3/2/2009 6:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks again!!!  I need some positive support.
Health and happiness to you!!!
May God Bless you!!!
Wendi

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 3/2/2009 8:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks, Wendi. We'll work through this together. At the moment I'm having a little lung setback myself. This morning, I woke up at 5AM and thought it would be nice to dose off again, so I took 2 Unisom Sleepmelts to relax me back to sleep. (They were recommended by other forum members, and I checked with a pharmacist who said they were fine to take. They're actually just Benadryl, and antihistimine that puts you right to sleep.)

Unfortunately, what it did to me, was dry up the secretions in my lungs, brought on a wheeze, and made it hard to clear my lungs. I'm sure that the Sleepmelts are perfect for people without lung problems, but if you haven't tried them yet, DON'T. I've been coughing more all day. I'm trying to drink a lot of water to rehydrate myself and get things moving again.

As I said, the damage that's been done to my lungs over the past at least four years, isn't going to resolve in a few days...I'm still totally hopeful that this is going to help (provided the surgery holds, etc.) and improve my lung health, and general health. I'm not starting to panic over anything. I'm not letting myself. I've actually had a few burps, which from what I hear/read helps the recovery process by relieving bloating. Does your wrap allow burps at all?

I can tell that my wrap is getting more swollen, though. My surgeon said that it will swell through the first two weeks, then begin to resolve. How are you doing with your eating?

I spoke with my doctor about lung mucous and surgery, and he assured me that it's common after surgery. I just wish I hadn't dried them all out. Oh well...this too will pass!
Hang in there. We can do this! Thanks for your good wishes!
Take care.
Densie

Substance_D
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 3/2/2009 11:16 PM (GMT -6)   
I had the surgery 30 days ago, and have still not experienced any improvements in my coughing or wheezing. So maybe it will still take more time, or maybe I'm on the unlucky side of those percentages. We'll see, I guess.

cpyct
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 3/3/2009 8:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Denise,
I am sorry about your setback.  My lungs are still not feeling much better.  I have been wheezing more then before the surgery.  I have been trying to stay positive, but I just want to feel normal again. 
My eating is going fine.  I don't believe my wrap is too tight as I don't have a major problem eating.  I have eaten a lot of soup.  Yesterday my husband made stuffed shells for my birthday and I had no problem with those.  I am able to burp, as I thought I wouldn't be able to do.  One of my incisions hurts a lot more then the others, but I know that will go away with time.
I have trouble with a lot of phlegm where it seem like it almost goes into my ears.  Gasping for air, snorkeling and constantly clearing my throat is not how I want to go through life.
I have a lot of people praying for me as I have for the past two years.  Relief has to come at some point I imagine.  I am sorry if I sound negative.  The last few days have just been rough.
Thanks for your continued support.
Wendi

cpyct
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 3/3/2009 8:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Substance,
Denise keeps telling me to hang in there. I am only 6 days post surgery but I am feeling the same way. My life has changed so drastically with all these health problems. I have been to the University of Michigan Pulmonology and they really thought this was part of my problem. Let's keep our heads up and pray it just takes a some time. All of you will be in my prayers.
Wendi

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 3/3/2009 8:55 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Wendi,
Sorry about the mucous. Yesterday, I was drowning in thick, slimy saliva/mucous. Where did that come from? I'm going to try to stay away from dairy products today. I've heard that milk products increase the production of mucous. See if that helps.

I know that surgery can cause lung problems in and of itself. Were you on prednosone before/during/after surgery? They're tapering mine now, and I'm wondering if they're going too quickly. I'm going to see my family doc today to just discuss the things I'm dealing with face to face.

As I said, everything I've read says that it takes weeks or months for asthma/cough/other symptoms to respond to GERD surgery. Our lung tissue is very delicate, and will take time to heal.

I too, have one incision that hurts...my left side at the ribcage. Ouch!! How do you manage coughing? Do you use a nebulizer for the wheeze? Are you able to cough anything up?

Substance_D--sorry you're not feeling better yet. Let's hope that over time you'll see improvement. Do you have a wheeze, or a dry cough? I do think that it will take time. Stressing about it and assuming that it wasn't work won't help your healing, so hang in there and think good thoughts. We've all got to be patient with this.

Those of us who come to this surgery for non-GERD issues do have a unique challenge. It was a leap of faith, and we have lots of fears and insecurities. Let's just hang in there and give it a chance. We didn't get here in a month, and it's not unusual for the healing to take longer than that as well.

Good luck to both of you!
Denise turn Let's keep the faith and think positive thoughts!

stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 3/3/2009 9:13 AM (GMT -6)   

cpyct

I am hoping and praying that your sx will decrease and you will fel much better soon.  There are so many positive stories on this site so keep the faith and know we are all here to support you.

Gentle Hugs to you

Kitt


 

Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
&  Moderator GERD  Forums

*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


cpyct
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 3/3/2009 9:44 AM (GMT -6)   

Thank you all for your support!!  I can't thank you enough.  I am not taking anything for wheezing.  I can cough up phlegm, so I guess that is good.  I have to hold a pillow tight to me when I cough.  I haven't had much dairy except for yesterday and was having phlegm the other days.

It is funny the same incision spot that bothers you Denise, is the one hurting me.  Well I need to change my thinking and be more positive I know.  You are right, it didn't take days to get here.  I am going to try slowly walking on the treadmill hoping that will help clear out my lungs.  We will see.  I see the Physician's assistant on the 9th for my post op appointment.  The doctor will be out of the country.  Maybe the appointment will help with some of my concerns. 

God Bless you all, and happy healing!!!

Wendi :-)


dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 3/3/2009 10:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Wendi,
The resident in the hospital said that that was the site that got most of the action/manipulation of the surgical tools. That explains it, I think. Funny...I've started walking slowly on my treadmill as well. I just hold on to the bar in front, to ensure that I don't fall. I really think that walking has helped get rid of that generalized body gas they pumped into me to blow up the surgical field.

Be thankful you don't have the wheeze! Something to be happy about! The wheeze keeps the mucous from being raised, which creates the need for more coughing. OUCH!

Are you icing? I only took pain meds in the hospital, and one dose at home. After that I switched to liquid Tylenol (I've got a very sensitive stomach and the prednosone is very hard on it as well). I haven't taken Tylenol since Saturday, and the ice is really taking care of the pain on that left side.

Good luck with your PA appointment. We've just got to relax, don't panic, and let this happen in its own time and in its own way.
Think positive thoughts!
Denise turn

cpyct
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 3/3/2009 12:12 PM (GMT -6)   

Thanks once again!   I do have a wheeze at times.  I have not taken any pain meds except advil for a low grade fever I had for 5 days.  I only took it  a couple of times.  Sometimes I think the pain meds keep you from  being gentle on yourself.  You feel no pain so you do too much.  I worried about them making me nauseous.  I did not want to get sick.  I am trying real hard to keep positive thoughts.  Sometimes the devil likes to get in there and get me down.  I know I can get through this.  I just will continue to pray for complete healing.  I am glad the icing has helped.  I think the treadmill at a low speed will be very good for us.  The Dr. also said before surgery, I needed to get some weight off.  If anything will help, this surgery will help there.  I haven't had much of an appetite.

Happy healing to you!! Wendi smilewinkgrin


dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 3/3/2009 10:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks, Wendi. I ended up going to my family doctor today because of my lung problems. I had a lung infection before the surgery, and he thinks it probably didn't get knocked out all the way. I had a chest x-ray which looked okay...there was some fluid, but he attributes that to the surgery.

So...now I'm on liquid (thank God) amoxicillin and will continue the prednosone at a higher level a little longer. I also have really been pushing fluids all day. That had been hard, because my stomach wasn't feeling all that great. I did much better today, and I think it has helped. Last night when I went to bed, my lungs were not good at all. They're much better tonight.

He's also put me back on protonix, to try to protect my stomach from the onslaught of meds. I'm taking it...it's small, so I hope it's getting through! The prednosone, I cut into little tiny pieces that I swallow one at a time.

I'm on Day 5--have you started with the wrap swelling, and the swallowing spasms? My swallowing has gotten a lot more difficult. I knew it would, because my surgeon said the wrap would get prgressively more swollen during the first two weeks. It is definitely feeling like a lump when I swallow.

My throat spasms really bad after swallowing--it doesn't hurt, but my mouth starts making tons and tons of thick mucousy saliva, that I can't stand to swallow. Have you experienced that?

Oh well...this too will pass. Just part of the healing process. The less we resist, the better we'll progress. We'll DEFINITELY lose weight!
Happy Healing back at you! Denise yeah

cpyct
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 3/4/2009 9:03 AM (GMT -6)   
I have been still having breathing trouble but continue to deal with it.  I go to see the PA on Monday.  My stomach on the left side has been really sore.  Part of that I attribute to a couple coughing fits I have had, due to excess mucous coming up.
Were you on full liquids all this time?  I have been on a soft diet since I came home.  I did make a mistake of getting a smoothy and after drinking part of it ( It had strawberries) I realized I shouldn't have it.  I did have some trouble swallowing at dinner yesterday, as though food was getting stuck.  I thought my surgeon was thorough, but yours sure filled you in on a lot of the steps of healing where mine I feel did not.  I hope to get more information on Monday.  I am bored already being home from work. 
I have been trying to stay in a positve mode.  I have so much support from family, friends and my church family I feel very fortunate. 
I hope you feel better with the new meds they are giving you. 
May God Bless you with his healing!!!
Wendi :-)

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 3/4/2009 10:51 AM (GMT -6)   
I really think that you don't need to panic about your lung issues. If you search the internet, you'll find that lung issues take longer to resolve after GERD surgery, and isn't immediate, like the stopping of reflux.

Believe me--I feel your pain. My lungs are still TERRIBLE. I'm just doing what the docs say--following protocol by the book--making sure my meds do all they can possibly do for me.

Have you ever used a nebulizer treatment? If you're wheezing, maybe you need that to help you through this. You could ask your PA.

You're lucky you're getting back to work. That's going to help you feel better faster...keeping your mind busy. Don't forget to stay patient!

I'm a second grade teacher, and fortunately have collected enough sick days to allow me two weeks to recuperate. I think I'll go back half days at first, and see how my strength and stamina is. Classroom teaching is pretty intense (plus you're surrounded by sick kids, and I don't need to catch a cold or stomach virus right away. Heaven forbid.). It really drains you. I love it, though!

Also...being on prednosone makes you more susceptible to illness. Actually that lasts for months, so I will go back before that unfortunate side effect wears off. I know I'll be bringing very different lunches, though!

Hang in there, friend.
We'll both be just fine. It's a process. You're lucky you have a great support system, and your faith should let you turn the process over. If you pray, why worry? If you worry, why pray?
Just a thought!
Have a great day!
Denise

cpyct
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 3/4/2009 11:15 AM (GMT -6)   
I am glad you have researced so much.  It has really helped me out. 
I have used a nebulizer.  I am out of meds for it right now, but maybe will ask for a prescription.  It really only bothers me lately at night.  It wasn't like that before the surgery.
I am not sure when I will be getting back to work.  Originally they told me 4 to six weeks.  I work with children with Autism ages 5 to 7.  I know what you are talking about with the sick kids.  I love my classroom though.  I work for a great teacher and with a great para.  I really can't wait to get back but I am willing to take care of me first. 
I really like your thought.  You know I need to pay attention to that far more often.  I have had a lot of tragedy in my life the past couple years and it is easy to lose grasp of your faith at times. 
I really appreciate your kindness!!
Have a great day yourself!
Wendi

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 3/5/2009 12:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks, Wendi.
It's great to have this forum, so we can support each other through this. I'm not a doctor, but it's my belief that if you can get your lungs clearer by eliminating any wheeze (which means closed up passages), you'll be able to cough up mucous more easily.

Mucous that is trapped is easily infected, and will just contribute to more problems. I take a nebulizer treatment before taking my inhalers (Serevent, to keep things open long-term, and Flovent, to apply a spray of anti-inflamatory steroid directly to the lung surface.) It's my belief that they work better if I can get the mucous out first--to make sure that the meds reach the right places.


My doctor and surgeon both said that it's common to get some fluid on the lungs after surgery, so it makes sense that individuals with lung issues to begin with, will have more difficulty coping with that.

What a coincidence that we both work in the classroom!

My swallowing seems better today for some reason. Go figure. I guess it's a constant forward and backward movement as far as that goes.

My doctor sent me home with instructions to start with soft foods. After seeing him yesterday, I was given permission to use my own judgment. Small bites, chew chew chew--things that mush up completely. What a treat, though. I have had saltines with soup, and toast with cream of wheat. They went down just fine (after being chewed completely). I can't eat very much at a time, though...maybe a third of a cup total input. So I'm trying to eat more often, to ensure that I'm getting enough nutrition to allow my body to heal. I've lost 7 pounds...I'm glad of that, because when I have to go back to school, I want my clothes to be loose and comfortable! I actually didn't worry about losing weight after the holidays, because I was going to have this surgery, and I knew that the weight would drop off.

Hang in there, Wendi! We're going to do just fine. And in the process, by sharing our journey, we can help others make informed decisions about their own health choices.
Have a great day! yeah
Denise

cpyct
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 3/5/2009 2:43 PM (GMT -6)   

Denise,

Today I tried to eat some pizza bread.  I didn't quite chew well and suffered for it.  I cut the piece smaller and it tasted great.  I am not able to eat much either.  I know I can eat more then a quarter cup at a time.  I have lost 6 pounds so far.  It is so hard for me having to stay away from caffeine and carbonated beverages.  We will see what the doctor says on Monday. 

My lungs have felt much better the last two days.  The mucous still lingers but has lessened.  I keep on praying and remembering your thought that has really inspired and kept me going.  I thank you for that. 

Hope everything goes well for you today.  I will keep you in my prayers.

Wendi smilewinkgrin


dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 3/6/2009 1:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Wendi,
My lungs have felt a bit better, too. Almost afraid to say anything! I'm sorry to say that I'm afraid carbonated beverages will be out of the question. I spoke to someone who's 2 and a half years post surgery, is totally happy with the result, but can't drink soda. She can drink beer, though...I guess the carbonation is less extreme...natural fermentation, rather than pumped in CO2.

Hey, if the surgery helps your problems, it'll be well worth it. From what I hear, we need to stay away from caffeine now, but once things are back to normal will be able to eat/drink those things (chocolate, caffeine, peppermint, etc.) that we had to stay away from for so long. I can't say that for sure, but that's what I've generally heard. As long as the wrap stays strong and things stay in the stomach, we'll be good to go.

Have a great day. Keep healing!
Denise

cpyct
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 3/6/2009 1:47 PM (GMT -6)   

Denise,

Today I have been experiencing a lot of my shortness of breath issues.  I am not sure if it is related to not breathing deep due to pain.  I know of a young lady who has had the surgery twice and I am pretty sure she is able to drink pop ( I live in Michigan).  That would not be the end of the world though, especially if my breathing improves. 

I was previously a smoker so I worry about my lungs.  Should have thought about that years ago when I smoked but was too addicted. 

We went to dinner last night and I had a few swallowing issues, but I knew then it was time to quit eating.  I have a problem drinking small amounts at dinner.  I love water and I really have to pace myself.

I am going to the doctor on Monday, so I am anxious to see what the PA has to say.

I will continue to pray for you healing and mine.

Have a good day!!

Wendi


dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 3/6/2009 11:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Wendi,
I definitely can identify with your love of water. I'm a HUGE water drinker, and it's really hard not to drink too much. Actually at the moment I'm bloated from eating (I didn't eat much, but it doesn't take much), and I so much want to drink lots of water! Oh well...this too will pass. Just sip it all day long...make up for it between meals.

We went to Olive Garden, and had a nice dinner. It was great to get out. I found that I could nibble the outside of the bread sticks with no problem. The big trick to eating anything is small bites and chew it until it disappears! It's so nice to be able to experiment with different things now. I love to eat, and it's tough to be on a soft diet. I'm a pretty slow eater normally, so it's not as much of an adjustment.

You should definitely get some meds for your nebulizer. It's too bad you had to wait so long for your PA appointment. If you did the nebulizer before, you'll be ready for the shakes you'll get when you start using it...they go away once you get used to the meds.

Good luck with your appointment. Be sure to bring your list of questions!
Have nice weekend, and feel better!
Talk to you soon.
Denise
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