Cleared for surgery Friday

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Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5028
   Posted 10/21/2009 3:28 PM (GMT -6)   
After jumping through the hoops since June, I did the stress test today (absolutely "needed" since I had a couple of stents), got the blood work done and am "cleared" for Nissen Friday.   I was looking around for alternative locations, but my gastro doc said this place is the BEST and to stick with them.  (My surgeon has done 4K.)  Thanks Bill, Kitt and others for the encouragement getting through this torture.
 
The surgeon must have believed me about my Bravo pH never getting above 2 for the 24 hours the capsule stayed attached!  The (different) place where it was done said they didn't have enough data recorded and wanted me to do it over again.  After a 10-day prep, losing 9 pounds because of such severe esophageal spasms from the acid, and the calls I made to the office about getting the thing removed (about the same time as it was detaching), I was put on twice a day Nexium, which I had not needed before.  I keep a diary of this junk, and I photocopied the pages with the readings and my symptoms (like lying on the floor in agony).
 
For those who have not read my previous posts, I have a traumatic paraesophageal hernia.  about a third of my stomach is stuck in my chest.  I had my reflux licked by finding my list of trigger foods (all contain sulfites), until a girl ran a red light and we collided at highway speed.  I have 3 broken ribs not healing because they keep rubbing, a broken nose with deviated septum, a torn medial meniscus in my knee, and lots of other aches and pains.  The only solution for a PEH is go in and pull it down and do a wrap.  My LES seems not to be closing much at all because I have breakthrough acid even on 2 Nexiums.  I needed this trauma on top of fibromyalgia, post-polio, and breast cancer (in January).  I've had enough radiation to stary my own Chernobyl.
 
The thing about this center is they have found that if they fully detach the esophagus, it will come down and they rarely have to do Collis procedures anymore.  That's one thing I am hoping to avoid!  Depends though, on the length of the esophagus.  It has to stay below the diaphragm!
 
Tomorrow is clear liquids and PEG prep (just like colonoscopy, but not as much). 
 
I'm not looking forward to surgery, but it's not fun living with a stomach as bad as mine.
 
 
Alcie
 
 


dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 10/21/2009 5:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Alcie,
Sorry to hear about all your problems. You have a great attitude, which must really help you deal with it all. We'll be here rooting for you as you have your surgery on Friday. I had my Nissen on February 27th of this year, and the recovery has been much easier than I'd expected. It has its challenging moments, but if you relax into your recovery and let it lead you, your recovery will go much more smoothly. Try to avoid the temptation to be in a big hurry, and surrender to the process. We're all here to root for you, answer your questions, and support you in your journey.
Best wishes for a very positive outcome. I'm really happy I had my surgery, and only wish I'd had it done sooner.
Good luck!
Denise

opnwhl4
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 10/22/2009 12:30 AM (GMT -6)   
Alcie-
Good luck Friday! Sounds like you are in good hands. Let us know how things are going when you can. We will be patiently, well maybe not patiently( we do get a little worried around here) waiting for the updates.

Take care,
Bill

griffdawg
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 247
   Posted 10/22/2009 1:42 AM (GMT -6)   
goodluck and give em heck! ^_^ we're with ya the whole way!

stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 10/22/2009 5:53 AM (GMT -6)   

Alcie,

I am so glad you have finally come to the part where you are going to have your surgery and by Saturday you will have the surgery behind you and be on the road to recovery.  We will all be right here to cheer you on and you will become one of the wonderful members of the Wrapped Club unlike myself who is the designated cheerleader.  :-) smilewinkgrin :-) smhair

As you already have found the members here are so awesome re sharing and supporting each member who goes through surgery and procedures or just needs information that you will find you are well cared for here post-op.

You have my prayers and good vibes so today is prep day for you.  I will be thinking of you.

I wish you peace,

Kitt


 

~~ Kitt ~~
Moderator: Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn  &
Anxiety/Panic
*~* http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
"When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others."
"I am not a mental health professional, nor do I play one on TV, I just kind of talk like one!"



opnwhl4
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 10/24/2009 12:26 AM (GMT -6)   
Alcie-
Hope all went well and we can welcome you to the "Wrapped Club"! We'll be waiting to hear how you are doing and any updates you want to give us.

Take care,
Bill

mookiemoomoo
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 150
   Posted 10/24/2009 7:30 AM (GMT -6)   
hi you will have had your surgery ang looking forward to speady recovery hope all is well and every thing went ok . will look forward to your posts as i am having it done maybe end nov so will get some tips from you good luck

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 10/24/2009 1:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Alcie,
Hope all is well, and your pain is well controlled. As Bill has already said, welcome to the "Wrapped Club!" We're here waiting for any questions or support you need as you move through the recovery process. Try to relax, and let your recovery lead. The more you can accept the route it takes, the easier your recovery will be.
We're here for you! Take care,
Denise

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5028
   Posted 10/26/2009 8:16 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm back, I think.  I ended up with a Toupet 270 wrap and the stomach is back out of my chest, which I noticed feeling better right away.  I can swallow and burp.  I was told the LES did have some function when they dragged it down where it belongs.  I didn't have to have a Collis gastroplasty either, because they dissected the esophagus far enough up to make it long enough without making a neoesophagus with a piece of stomach.
 
Head's a little messed up.  I've lost memory from Friday and Saturday, some from the previous Thursday too.  I'm wondering if I was given Versed, a powerful amnestic, in the OR, which I had refused in writing.  I remember getting on the table and then nothing the rest of the day.  Physically, I feel a lot better than I expected I would.  Having my stomach out of my chest is quite a relief.  Now if the gas would just get out of my abdomen, shoulders and gut, I could ease up on the pain relievers.  At least I've escaped the dreaded painful heparin shots in the belly!  Those were leaving big bruises too.
 
They've ruined 4 more veins in my hand and arm plus the radial artery - from infiltration and not holding pressure when they pulled the cannulae.  The artery bruise goes nearly to my elbow.  All that and the bruises around the 5 surgery ports and some bruises for which I have no explanation.
 
I had the usual crepitus and joint pain especially in the shoulders.  A couple of the larger posts hurt abominably because they are right next to my 3 broken ribs and the irradiated one on the other side.  It hurts to breathe, but the spirometry is getting better.  I tolerated the NG tube, which I didn't expect, because of the dilaudid.
 
Post-op they put me on dilaudid with Zofran for nausea.  I was supposed to push a button, but couldn't find it most of the time and was confused, so I suffered a lot because they refused to give it on any sort of regular schedule and the doses were miniscule when I hit the button.  They didn't give Zofran often enough either.  I had to ask for everything.  Then when I was allowed clear liquids, came liquid Roxicet, which I couldn't get often enough, so more suffering between doses.  I stopped taking the Roxicet (acetominophen and oxycodone) because it kept making me stop breathing - even when I was sitting awake in a chair. I would be sitting and the monitor would go off and I had to take a couple deep breaths to make it shut up.  Vicodin isn't quite doing the job, but that's all I have.
 
I was finally brought a breakfast tray this morning, but sent it back because it had cranberry juice, jello and pudding, all on my allergy list.  I did get some not delicious cream of wheat later.  When lunch came it had the same stuff as the first tray.  They tried again and brought cream of chicken soup and pudding.  I just gave up and went home hungry.  They couldn't pull out a packet of cream of wheat because that's only for breakfast.  I did get the clear juice and homemade broth I brought in out of the fridge in the kitchen down the hall.  I'm glad I planned ahead and had it frozen.
 
In a couple more days I get to start "soft" diet.  I have another chicken thawed out and will roast it tomorrow and run it through the grating blade on the food processor.  I'm glad I took my own "clear liquids."  At least that's the plan.  We'll see how I feel in the AM.  Today was bad.
 
Despite my complaints, my treatment was good and I'd do it again. 
 
I've asked for a visiting nurse for a couple of days since my husband's out from 8AM to midnight most days.
 
I hope someone will respond with a good cure for gas.  It's bad enough I am worried about reherniation.  Simethicone isn't doing anything.

Alcie
 
 


opnwhl4
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 10/27/2009 12:19 AM (GMT -6)   
Alcie-
I am sorry, but besides gasx I know of nothing for the gas pains. I am glad to hear things went well and you only had to have minimum surgery. Tat is a huge plus for recovery. They were affraid they might have had to extend my esophagus at first for my redo, but it was just done wrong the first time. Take it easy and relax as much as possible. With the allergies it sounds like you have an even more limited early diet. Try t keep the calories up, it is very important for recovery.

Take care,
Bill

stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 10/27/2009 6:02 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Alcie,

Hello and I am so glad your surgery is behind you and your are on the road to healing. I know it is very hard to be the patient and I think you are doing just great.

Most people who have surgery do not recall the first couple of days in great detail and that is pretty normal.  I am glad that all in all you were satisfied with your whole experience.

Now we are here to cheer you on through your recovery so please do keep on talking with us.

Your family here in HealingWell is praying for a quick recovery.

Hugs to you

Kitt

yeah   turn smilewinkgrin turn yeah turn smilewinkgrin turn yeah smhair yeah turn smilewinkgrin turn yeah


 

~~ Kitt ~~
Moderator: Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn  &
Anxiety/Panic
*~* http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
"When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others."
"I am not a mental health professional, nor do I play one on TV, I just kind of talk like one!"



Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5028
   Posted 10/27/2009 1:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Day 4 post-op. Day 2 at home.
 
One or even two Vicodin just doesn't cut it and I can't take Percoset.  The moving broken ribs and the incision right next to them are hurting 9/10.  I found out I was in recovery a few extra hours because I wasn't breathing on dilaudid.  They were going to send me up to an unmonitored bed and I apparently had enough sense to request monitoring.  Don't remember it.  I had 2 surgeries for breast cancer in January, remember everything.  I'm still fuzzy, can't remember things going on a few minutes ago.
 
I had a visiting nurse come in only because I am alone most of the time. She showed me I was doing the spirometry wrong.  I was told by the tech at the hospital to just breathe in and try to get the meter up high.  The nurse said forget that and concentrate on getting the meter to stay between the arrows on the handle for 5 seconds.  I can do 4 seconds.
 
I took a probiotic this morning and maybe that's why I have less gas today.  I tried chewing a vitamin - yuck!  I'll find something to mix it with tomorrow.  Maybe applasauce, although that's not a liquid.  But I could add some water.  I need it since I get no vegetables or meat yet.
 
I called in for a followup visit, supposed to be in 2 weeks.  As usual, machine answers the phone, no return phone call.
 
My husband was told the reason for the Toupet was that my esophagus couldn't be loosened enough for a full wrap.  That scares me a bit because I wonder if there's increased chance for a re-herniation.  On the other hand, it's nice to be able to swallow and burp.  I asked about the Toupet, but nobody told ME this reasoning.  Must be the gray hair and being female.
 
One more day of not-so-full liquids and I can have soft diet!  YAY??? 
 
 
Alcie
 
 


couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 10/27/2009 5:22 PM (GMT -6)   
You sound like your progressing well. It must be exciting to be able to start soft foods.


Joy
Health problems: sleep apnea, hypothyroidism, GERD, glaucoma, OA, environmental, food, and drug allergies, asthma, high cholesterol, pre-diabetic
Medications:Nexium 2X a day, 300mg Zantac, K-Dur, Lasix 2X a day, Zyrtec, Zocor, Lumigan, fish oil, B12, Substex, calcium + D, Advair, Albuteral, nebulizer
 
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it!
 
 


Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5028
   Posted 10/28/2009 8:04 AM (GMT -6)   
Day 6
 
I woke up 5 1/2 hours after taking my last vicodin just barely able to breathe through the pain.  I didn't want to get up, but the pain was only going to get worse and hubby worked last night.  So I struggled to the kitchen gasping and clutching my belly and chewed a pill.  I've been crying for the last hour.  Pain was at least 9/10.  No way could I last the prescribed 6 hours!  Vicodin only lasts 4 hours and takes 45 minutes to start working.  I have to crush or chew all pills, which you would think makes them work faster, but it doesn't really.
 
I'd do this all over again though.  Not counting the chest and incision areas, my stomach feels so much better!  I've only taken 1 Nexium the last 3 days.  Today I took 1/2 capsule. 
 
I have to be really super careful how much I put in my stomach,  It feels so good that I want to eat and drink the volume I did before the op.  It's smaller now with the fundus being used as a wrap, but it doesn't know it yet.  
 
Gas is bad in the afternoon.  I don't know what's causing it.  Beano and lactaid are no help.  It goes away overnight, so I suppose it's food-related.  Food = Cream-of-Wheat or Cream-of-Rice.  There's nothing commercial I can eat.  All creamed soups, except tomato which is verboten, have onions and garlic and corn starch which have lots of sulfite (triggers reflux and tachycardia).  Oh well, tomorrow I get soft food.  I have some well-cooked chicken I am going to process into mush.  Baby food is full of additives too, so I have to make my own. 
 
Even though I battled breast cancer in January, I am using soy milk (not recommended for estrogen +).  Lactose-free milk is not agreeing with me.  Not surprising since 60% of adults don't tolerate milk. 
 
Now it's an hour and a half past the pill.  Pain is 5 or 6/10.  Next exhausting project is a shower and more breathing exercises.   The deep breathing does seem to do some good.  I thought it was hooey, but I was wrong.  I think it just needs to be presented to patients with better explanations.

Alcie
 
 


couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 10/28/2009 7:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Ouch, not fun pain wise.
Man, your allergies must be a pain in the you know what!
I hope the pain levels out soon.

Joy
Health problems: sleep apnea, hypothyroidism, GERD, glaucoma, OA, environmental, food, and drug allergies, asthma, high cholesterol, pre-diabetic
Medications:Nexium 2X a day, 300mg Zantac, K-Dur, Lasix 2X a day, Zyrtec, Zocor, Lumigan, fish oil, B12, Substex, calcium + D, Advair, Albuteral, nebulizer
 
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it!
 
 


stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 10/28/2009 7:08 PM (GMT -6)   
((((((((((Alcie))))))))))) I wish I could help take your pain away. Can you ask your physician for a medication stronger then what your using?

Hugs

Kitt

mookiemoomoo
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 150
   Posted 10/29/2009 5:00 AM (GMT -6)   
well done for all your positive thinking it will take time for you to heal you have gone through so much already eh

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5028
   Posted 10/29/2009 9:25 AM (GMT -6)   
Day 7
 
Real (soft) food today!  I've got a chicken ready, put through the food processor, frozen in little cups.  I'll have to get some veggies I'm allowed.  I made up some before I knew about the restriction on gas veggies, but there was broccoli and cauliflower in it. 
I think there are some carrots in the freezer.  In an hour (after the Vicodin kicks in) I'll have the energy to go to the garage and look.
 
Despite the written Rx on the discharge papers for vicodin every 6 hours, the bottle came back saying every 4 hours.  I only took 6 yesterday, so that's not too bad.  8 would be the max for the Tylenol that's in it.  Kitt, I don't know what I could ask for that's stronger.  I kept stopping breathing until the monitor beeped at me when I was on dilaudid and Roxicet (liquid Percoset).
 
Maybe I can get feedback from the forum on a couple of things: gas remedies and shoulder and arm pain.
     1.  I'm trying to avoid anything that causes gas, and I can burp, although it may be less than day 1.   (I was expecting some swelling from reading the posts.)  But sometimes the gas pressure makes me scared that I could be reherniating.  I tried a tsp of infant simethicone drops, because there's no extra junk in it, a few times, with no results I can notice.  I thought keeping things moving might help, but the Rx for liquid Silace (supposedly the same as colace) is mostly citric acid and 2 tsp burned so badly I won't take it again.  I'll call the pharmacist, but the group is often an equally good source of experienced information.  I think I can swallow the little gel pills since I only had a Toupet (270) wrap.  I am doing fine with the Nexium and the tiny Femara pills (cuts the estrogen - cancer).  I can't figure out why such an acid drink would be prescribed when they don't allow acid juices and drinks.  The other thing prescribed was senna liquid.  Does anyone have experience with that?  It's vegetable, so does it cause worse gas?
      2.  Does across upper chest with shoulder and both biceps pain count as pain radiating down arm?  I've had that since day 1, but nobody cared in the hospital.  Are they looking for a heart attack-like symptom?  I had the heart attack in 2006, so I know it's not heart pain.  I associate it with the severe pain on getting a breath mostly when I first get up in the morning.  It's not as bad after the naps (vicodin-induced) and the middle of the night wake-up for pain, but it never altogether goes away.  Deep breathing seems to help as much as the pills.
 
Joy - Actually the allergies aren't a problem as long as I don't fall into the trap of eating junk food and processed food.  Being lazy and not bothering to cook real food is what sensitized me to sulfites in the first place.  I'll bet money there are a lot more people out there with GERD who could eliminate at least a lot of their symptoms by keeping a journal and finding their trigger foods.  This is well known in the migrane community.  It'll be like Celiac:  a couple of years ago you hardly ever heard of it, and now people are finding their allergy and getting better.  At least sulfites is a matter of finding a tolerance level and not a "true" allergy.  (Although my allergist is a lumper, not a splitter, and calls it an allergy.)
 
I just had a call from the nurse (after waiting 2 days).  She was so rushed I forgot to ask about swallowing the colace pills.  I had a written list too.  That's what some op med (or maybe a micro clot?) has done to my brain.  She truly is that busy, not just pushing me off, and I'm not the worst case by any means.  But right now I need time and to have things repeated.  That's why I have a visiting nurse and talk to the group.  She recommended trying Gax-X.  I normally wouldn't use this because of the sorbitol (sugar alcohol used as sweetener that causes diarrhea), but I can use the laxative right now.
 
Thanks for being there Mookie and other posters.  I'll continue to follow the other threads too.  This is the best place I've found for first-hand knowledge.
Alcie
 
 


Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5028
   Posted 10/30/2009 3:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Day 8 - Food, Glorious Food!
 
It's amazing how exciting and delicious one small soft scrambled egg is when you're getting off a ten days of liquid diet.  (My pre-op diet was three days liquid.)  I don't care that my food processor has taken over the countertop next to the stove, or that my "meal" is a tiny dessert dish of mush.  It has color and flavor!  Even brownish green beet greens are beautiful.  Of course, to avoid reflux triggers, I am cooking real foods, not resorting to baby food or packaged meals with all their additives.
 
I ate breakfast today, trying to get my system to cycle before 2AM.  That's about the time I wake up for more pain meds anyway, but I'd rather just take the pill and go back to bed. 
 
I only took a half a Nexium yesterday, and noticed no reflux.  I was told I would probably need to stay on it, but going back to my old schedule of 1/2 capsule morning and night is acceptable - after the agony of the BRAVO test and the resulting need for a whole pill twice a day, which wasn't even enough.  I won't know how that is going to work out until I get rid of all the swelling and get off pain meds though.  I'm just happy that I seem to have a LES working now.  
 
Visiting nurse came today.  Yeah, I hardly really need one.  It's partly PTSD from the breast cancer.  I'm going through the phase of needing attention.  But I've learned so much since coming home that I should have learned pre-op or in the hospital!   I asked about getting walking on the treadmill too.   She said walking would help with the gas.  She also checked my breathing and said I have diminished sounds in the lower left lobe.  I have to do the spirometer every hour to prevent pneumonia. 
 
I happily learned some new stuff from a couple of the other threads.  Thanks, posters!  My shoulder pain seems a bit better this afternoon after working with the spirometer.  It seems when the lungs are happier the shoulder hurts less.
 
I'm trying Gas-X today.  Not impressed so far.
Alcie
 
 


stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 10/30/2009 6:48 PM (GMT -6)   

Alcie,

It is wonderful to read the daily progress that you are making.  Do keep on moving forward inch by inch and know we are here for you.

I know some of the members will have answers to your questions.

Keep on posting your progress and hope your week-end is peaceful.

Hugs

Kitt


 

~~ Kitt ~~
Moderator: Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn, &
Anxiety/Panic
*~* http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
"When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others."
"I am not a mental health professional, nor do I play one on TV, I just kind of talk like one!"



Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5028
   Posted 10/31/2009 7:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Day 9 -

I figured out how to take the liquid Silace (Colace). Put 2 tsp (my Rx dose) in a very small glass and add a couple of ounces of milk. It's actually in the directions that it can be mixed with milk, but I thought surely that much (citric) acid would curdle the milk. It didn't, and the milk made it possible to swallow the prescription without the awful burn.

I took a whole Nexium this AM. I didn't take the Vicodin though. 11 AM I felt OK, tolerable. I won't be allowed to drive on serious pain meds, so I'll get off. The Clinoril may do enough part of the day. 8 PM now and I still haven't had anything but my Clinoril, which I take for the torn medial meniscus. I can take pain during the day, but I'm going to take a vicodin before bed because I need to sleep. Tomorrow is babysitting while my daughter-in-law takes my place as glassblower's assistant. I'm sad because I know I won't ever be able to turn and lift the really big sinks again without risking re-herniation.

I had a hiccup/spasm/reflux incident after eating a bite of soft scrambeled egg at 10AM. I'm pretty sure the wrap is attached to the "crura" of the diaphragm (the tendons that attach the diaphragm to the spine). I suspect the stomach did not like something, so spasmed and tickled the diaphragm into a spasm too. This happened yesterday when I ate a bite of slightly gritty cooked carrot too. Maybe I need to take a sip of liquid first. Nothing came up, but the "hiccup" continued for a few seconds and was painful and gave me a problem with breathing.

Swelling should be getting to its worst according to the forums, should have already been there right after surgery according to one doctor. Some areas feel better, but there is new pain in center of back that I know is referred pain from stomach, and continuing pain around broken rib/port area just right of center above liver. That gets bad after eating. Should be to right of stomach. But then maybe stomach was moved???
Alcie
 
 


Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5028
   Posted 11/1/2009 6:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Day 10 - Babysitting smhair
 
Boy was that exhausting!  Even with hubby here for "help" having a 3-year-old and a 20-month-old rampaging around the house all day was too much.  "Help" means giving them candy (Halloween was last night), and turning on cartoons, although he did do all the lifting and took them for a nice walk to feed the ducks.  My job was reading JW Riley 9 Little Goblins "And they sang, 'You're asleep.  There is no board fence, and never a goblin with green glass eyes.  It's only a vision the mind invents after a supper of cold mince pies.'" My lesson is the junk you see on TV isn't real.
 
Then I ate too much.  I had waited too long between "meals." I know my limit at this stage is about 4T and I need to eat every 2-3 hours.  So I foolishly ate an extra T of potato, and a few bites of ice cream, and a couple of ounces of processed banana with soy milk.  I felt bloating and pain at the place where the stomach fundus (in the Toupet) is attached to the left crus (plural crura)(the tendon thingys behind where the esophagus exits the diaphragm). It's more distinct today, couldn't figure out what it was coming from yesterday.   So I walked for 15 minutes (2 mph) on the treadmill and got rid of the worst of tha pain.  Is it gas, or is it just too much food?  I'm not burping much anymore.  I did for the first couple of days, hope I get it back when the swelling goes down.
 
Pain: I am still mostly off narcotics.  I took one vicodin last night, considering one tonight.  I haven't needed sleep meds since the night before surgery!  I do need nsaid for arthritis in spine and torn meniscus.  But stomach pain is controlled by diet.  I am taking 1 Nexium a day until I am told to see about weaning off.  I've got 5 pounds to spare, so the story about losing weight from the surgery isn't necessarily always valid.  The shoulder pain comes on with stomach discomfort.  Middle of back pain does too.  But they go away if I take it easy on the foods, keep to a regular schedule.
 
I can swallow small pills and soft, non-gritty foods.  My wrap isn't stopping anything I have tried.  My downfall is the Pelican's lament - Oh, a wonderful bird is the pelican.  His beak can hold more than his belican.
Alcie
 
 


stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 11/2/2009 7:53 AM (GMT -6)   

Alcie,

Babysitting, wow, you are truly on your way !  Glad to know your hubby was there to help  out but look how far you have come.

So happy  to know your doing better and coming off the pain med.  Please do use it if you need to though but I understand the part about driving under the influence of a narcotic.

Keep on posting, your doing awesome.

Hugs

Kitt


mookiemoomoo
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 150
   Posted 11/2/2009 2:18 PM (GMT -6)   
hi alcie you are doing so well have you not lost any weight then . i cant imagine only having teaspoons of food at a time ? i was thinking of having baby food i did not think it could have all them nasties in it . but i shall keep off it now then . why did you get broken ribs was that because of this surgery, i check in each day for your progress reports and cant wait for them . been told i should be end off this month but not had a official date yet . every day i cant wait for postman then when it does not come i get a bit down in dumps. i am awaiting for a cyst removed but they want me to have this one done first . but i have so much pain from the cyst . keep healing well hon

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5028
   Posted 11/2/2009 10:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Mookie -
 Capital T is tablespoon.  Small t is teaspoon.  For the non-cooks.
 
Part of the surgery deal is planning ahead.  I knew what I was going to need when I got hit in my truck.  I've had a little reflux for years and read what I could about it, and when they told me in the ER that I had a really big paraesophageal hernia I knew it meant surgery.  It would probably have happened sooner, but the doc who was consulted never came to visit me for 24 hours, so I went home and made an appointment with my regular gastro doc.  And then I jumped through hoops for 4 1/2 months.
 
I planned ahead to the point of making and freezing clear liquids I would need without all the sulfites everything commercial has.  I knew the only thing a hospital has in clear that I can have without triggering reflux is apple juice, and they always buy the cheapest stuff.  All the other juices are either grape, which is naturally sulfited or mixed with (beet) sugar and corn syrup, which are also sulfited.  I cooked a couple of chickens, took out the meat to run through the food processor, cooled the broth and took off the fat and froze the broth in small containers.
 
What I didn't find out because nobody told me before surgery is that the stomach is so reduced in size that it will only hold a couple of ounces for a while.  When I got my liquids in the hospital I tried to drink a half a cup.  I should have been using a tiny medicine dispenser cup.  I also didn't know that I needed to eat every 2 hours to keep from being so hungry that I would overstuff.  There's nothing told to us even in the hospital!  The meals that are brought are ridiculously large.  I had my first hospital meal when I was put on "whole" liquids.  It was cream of wheat, which I did eat, but ate too much because they don't bring something every 2 hours, just stay with the regular hospital meal schedule.  There was coffee too, which if on the AVOID list of the hospital's own diet!  I drank it anyway.  You have to go in knowing you CAN ASK for something in between meals.  All this and I saw 3 different nutritionists, none of whom knew anything except the types of foods to eat.  Not a word about quantity or timing.
 
Then there's the PAIN pump.  That might have been fine for some people, but I am post-polio and don't wake up easily from anesthesia.  So after they got me mostly breathing, they sent me to a floor and I was supposed to hit a button which I couldn't find for 2 days to deliver a tiny dose of dilaudid, which kept slowing my breathing to the point where it stopped all the time.  Fortunately I was smart enough, even though I don't remember it, to ask for a monitored bed.  I at least had a monitor beeping at me reminding me to breathe.  I kept asking for a regular dose because I couldn't remember to hit the button even when I could find it, so I spent a lot to time in pain.  I recommend talking to anesthesia about this stuff a day ahead of time.  I didn't have the opportunity because my surgery was a rush job when they had a cancellation.  We get run through like sheep in big hospitals.
 
I never did see my surgeon the whole time I was there.  I remember getting on the table and having a pumping device strapped to one leg, then everything went black until the next day.  Residents make rounds.  When I was able to think I realized I'd had a really bad job of an arterial line because my wrist nearly to my elbow was a huge bruise and 3 stick holes.  I used to make a living doing arterial sticks, so I was really mad.  I never left a bruise!  All it takes is a little pressure for a few minutes.
 
OK, so it sounds awful and I have probably scared a bunch of people, but I'd go through it all again!  To get the stomach out of my stomach and stop the pain and the really horrible reflux from the stuck-open LES, it was all worth it.  I'll put up with the very limited burping ability and the gas.  Well, I'm still working on the gas. 
 
So now it's Day 11 -
 
I went shopping!  Daughter-in-law drove and it was a really short trip.  First time out of the house since I came home.   I just got some soy milk, apple juice and more Nexium.  I had a small pillow under the seat belt.  That was enough for the day.
 
I'm taking lots more Beano and the 4 allowed gas-x, which aren't working so far.  All the discharge notes says is to take Beano before meals and at night.  Maybe someone else will have more advice.
 
For pain, I'm just taking the Clinoril (for arthritis), but that's probably helping with the surgery swelling since it's an NSAID.
 
I waited too long before supper and ate too much.  Maybe setting a timer would help.  If I keep "meals" down to 2-3 ounces at the most, I have no pain.  Drinking more than an ounce or two of liquid with meals is not recomended with eating soft foods.  I guess it fills the stomach too much.  Drinking is encouraged between meals.  So maybe I need to set the oven timer to ring every hour. 
 
Staying off the reflux triggers forever is important.  It'll be a long time before I dream of a single bite of pizza.  If you can't burp you can still get spasms, which is what happens to me.  A couple of small sips of something warm seems to help - say if I get the mashed potatoes too stiff and they irritate the stomach.  I still need to keep things way more moist than I would have thought.  I went through so much I don't want to do anything stupid to mess up the wrap.   Walking is helpful too.  I walk  a little while on my treadmill (right in front of the TV) after each "meal."  It's also probably getting me back in shape.  That's harder at my age (grandma), even though my regular job is driving the tractor.  Well, that's hired out for the forseeable future.
 
 
 
Alcie
 
 

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