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.