Asthma, GERD, and Nissen Fundoplication

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dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 12/20/2009 4:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Jonathan,

I thought we should start a new thread on this topic, since it's getting lost in other threads. It sounds like you have lots of questions, so this is a thread that will allow you to post your questions and ideas. I answered your post at the Allergy Asthma forum as well, but that post is also buried in an old thread.
Hopefully others who are interested in this information will find this new, updated thread helpful.

I've been incredibly busy with my job recently, and haven't been able to post regularly. This forum saved my life (I think literally), as my asthma was totally out of control before I finally had the courage to get the Nissen in February 2009. I waited far too long to get the surgery, even though my family and asthma doctors both pushed me in that direction for a long time. This forum was the only place I ever found where people were realistic, but positive about the surgery. The fine people here supported me though the decision, surgery, and recovery.

My asthma was terrible for about four years before the surgery. By the last year, I was using my nebulizer several times EVERY day. Also, I was on way too much inhaled steroids along with intermittent oral prednosone. Not good. In the end I began having adrenal insufficiency due to the steroid usage. You're right--asthma meds aren't particularly good for us. It's fine in reasonable dosages, but high dosages are a danger. I actually am now suffering with a very difficult side effect of the steroids--my skin is extremely thin and fragile...If I just hit my leg or arm on something, my skin tears. I also bruise incredibly easily.

I was frightened by all the really negative posts I saw on the internet. Many people warned against the surgery, and blamed all their problems on it. Also, my GI docs weren't particularly encouraging about having the surgery. I changed GI docs because the first one didn't give me any help at all. My second GI doc sent me for testing, and didn't think my GERD was bad enough to cause my asthma. At the same time, my asthma and family docs (who know me the best) were certain that it was the cause of my asthma dive.

Finally, my family doc just gave up--he and my asthma doc said that they couldn't do any more for me. I was nebulizing, taking peak doses of inhaled steroids (and Serevent), coughing up gallons of gunk constantly, wheezing, and just feeling terrible. My doc made me an appointment with a surgeon. I went to him, had another endoscopy and barium swallow, and the surgeon (who took the opinion of my family doc seriously) recommended the surgery.

I then went back to the GI doc, and had him look at the test results. He added another 24 hr PH monitor, and decided that although the results were borderline, I might benefit from the surgery. He said I could go to a surgeon he recommended highly if I'd like. I did decide to go...I just couldn't stand living that way anymore. Also, my doc said that my GERD/asthma was life threatening.

I had a lung infection when I had the surgery, and afterwards as well. My lungs were in terrible shape, and it took a while for them to heal post surgery. By May, during peak allergy season, my lungs suddenly improved, and I no longer needed my nebulizer and lung PT. Yay!

Now, I do have allergic asthma, but NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING like the GERD. I never need my nebulizer (knock wood), and am in control with normal doses of meds. My docs hope that if they can get my allergies in better control, I will be able to lower my meds further.

I have a bad cold right now, and I'm coughing and have really bad sinus problems due to the virus. Even with that, I'm not taking anything extra other than Albuterol before my inhalers, so I'm sure I cough up the gunk before taking my Serevent and steroid inhaler. I'm breathing fine (now if the cold lasts a long long time, there's no guarantee that my asthma won't kick in but what a difference compared to pre-surgery. I would have been nebulizing and wheezing like mad.

I would be more than happy to discuss the asthma/GERD surgery issue with you. I will try to get on the forum as much as possible to check posts.
Bill mentioned the posts about the Nissen recovery. I'll try to find the URLs and post them for you.
I was ready for a horrible recovery, but it wasn't horrible at all. I am so thankful that I had the surgery. It's not perfect--I have some side effects that will be with me for life--but in comparison to what I suffered with before surgery, they're so worth dealing with! I would have the surgery again in a minute if something happened to this one. I'm so thankful that my asthma doc and family doc kept nudging me until I finally found this forum and made the decision to go forward with the Nissen.

Good luck making your decision. Feel free to ask any additional questions!
Take care,
Denise

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 12/20/2009 5:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey there, I am so sorry you got lost in the shuffle.


Here are some links to members post-op threads that you may find helpful re surgery. Just click on the link. :-)



http://www.healingwell.com/community/?f=45&m=1560802&g=1560802#m1560802



http://www.healingwell.com/community/?f=45&m=1467945&g=1467945#m1467945





http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=45&m=1356282



Perhaps Denise remembers what page her own is on as it is a great thread.



Again I am sorry you have not had your needs met here and I have no excuses.



Take care and I wish you a Happy Holiday.



Kitt

Post Edited By Moderator (Admin) : 8/23/2010 3:41:03 PM (GMT-6)


dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 12/20/2009 6:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Kitt!
You have no reason to apologize! When I first started posting on this site, I responded to lots of old posts in search of answers. I responded to Jonathan on one of the threads, and I had so much trouble remembering which one to check in on, I decided to start a new one. I think Jonathan is doing just fine with his interactions here on the GERD forum. I wanted to be able to respond to him more easily. so I started a new one.

I hope you're doing well these days. I've missed being a part of the family here at the GERD forum. As I've said before, I'm going to try as hard as I can to be here with you all.

Have a wonderful holiday, Kitt! Just a few more days of school, and we'll be celebrating with our families. Take care, Kitt! You're a very special person, and a gift to all of us. Take care of yourself, and enjoy the festivities!
Denise

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 12/21/2009 11:55 AM (GMT -6)   
Denise,


I was confused as I thought there was a new member post that I missed. We have had a lot of old posts pulled up lately and I do not always see the newbies that post on the old threads.



Hope your holiday is wonderful and I do miss you here but understand how busy the school year is along with everything else you have on your plate.



Take care my friend and thanks for the explanation. I would never want anyone to feel we did not care for them here in HealingWell. :-)



Merry Christmas



Kitt

Post Edited By Moderator (Admin) : 8/23/2010 3:41:09 PM (GMT-6)


jonny5_is_alive
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 1/2/2010 12:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Happy New Year everybody! I hope 2010 is a wonderful year of growth and success for us all.
Denise, Thank you for your posts and for starting this new thread. One of my goals for this new year is to resolve and improve these major health issues. I truly appreciate the info you've shared, even in the midst of this busy season. The last while has been pretty hectic for me too. Other than the visiting of family and traveling during the holidays, we just completed our move out west and moved into our new home a couple days ago. On top of that, I ended up getting sick again and it went down into the lungs... again. So working through another run of antibiotics and prednisone right now. It seems like I cant be around anybody sick these days with out catching it and then it making its way down into my lungs. Im rocking the nebulizer and watching college football as I am typing this. I guess what I have to do is work through the next steps I have to take. Need to find new doctors here and a great surgeon. I live in Las Vegas now but I am willing to travel for the right surgeon. I figure LA isn't very far away, only 4 hours or so of driving. I have to imagine that there are some great surgeons in that area with a lot of experience doing the nissen procedure. Anybody have any recommendations?
It is great to hear you are basically off of your nebulizer altogether! Gives me hope. I am sick of using it everyday. I rarely used it before. Now I can not go anywhere with out it.
Kitt, thanks for posting the links. I am going to read through them all. These forums have been a great help as I work through these difficult health decisions. I really appreciate everybody opening up about there experiences and giving comfort and aid to others. Hopefully, others will be able to gain insights or help from reading about my experience working through things like I have reading about all of yours. Thanks again everyone!!!!

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 1/2/2010 9:09 AM (GMT -6)   
Johnny,
I just had a 270 wrap 12 days ago and the recovery is going fairly smoothly. My chronic cough is gone. :)
I hope you find an excellent doctor.

Joy

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 1/2/2010 1:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Johnny,
Sorry to hear you're dealing with a virus that's affecting your asthma. Believe me...been there, done that! When you've got underlying GERD-created inflammation of your lungs, anything else that challenges them is just too much to tolerate, and you're off to the races--wheezing, coughing, and nebulizing. I know exactly what you're dealing with. There is hope, though.

While I'm sure that there will be illnesses in my future that will include severe asthma, but for the first time in a long time, my nebulizer meds have expired! Yay!

As you consider whether or not to go the surgical route, I'm sure you're researching what the surgery and recovery entails. I've gathered the URL's of the posts that describe my recovery. I'll paste them below. (Unfortunately, I don't know how to create live links using this forum's program.)

Pre-op
http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=45&m=1392590

Days 1 and 2
http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=45&m=1400327

Day 3
http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=45&m=1401655

Day 4
http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=45&m=1402680

Day 5
http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=45&m=1403765

Day 6
http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=45&m=1404600

Days 9-13
http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=45&m=1411473

19 Days
http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=45&m=1417831

Nissen Surgery Failures…my thoughts
http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=45&m=1407854


I hope these posts help you as you contemplate your options. I also hope that you feel better, and that your lungs clear soon.
Congratulations on your move. I hope things go well in your new home. I know you won't be far from LA, but it's hard to believe that in a big area like Vegas that there won't be a great surgeon nearby.

You are wise, though, to emphasize the importance of getting an extremely skilled surgeon to do your procedure should you decide to go forward. If you can find a great GI doc, I would tend to trust his/her opinion (ask around and get lots of opinions/recommendations).

Any questions you have--ask here. There are lots of great people who've had experience with just what you're dealing with. if you have something specific to ask, start a new thread, so it's visible to the largest number of members.

Good luck, Johnny!
We're here for you.
Take care,
Denise

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/2/2010 5:41 PM (GMT -6)   
johnny5,


Happy New Year to you ! Sorry to hear you have a virus.........but so good to see you back posting.



Take care,



Kitt

Post Edited By Moderator (Admin) : 8/23/2010 3:41:30 PM (GMT-6)

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