6 months after surgery...

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rlopez75
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Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 199
   Posted 1/6/2010 1:28 AM (GMT -6)   
Well the 6 month mile stone is almost here for me. It will be 6 months on the 10th of this month since I had my Lap. Nissen Fundoplication. I will be 35 years old on July of this year.

I'm still on disability. I met with my G.I specialist and he advised me to look for another line of work. I'm an electrician and we do anything from walking around with our tool belts looking clean and pretty installing plugs and switches to digging ditches and installing 100 pound light off of extension ladders, hanging off the side of a 2 story building. He advised me to not lift over 30 pounds because my wrap is too tight, and this causes me discomfort when I exert my self. He advised against dilating it though. He said that it would bring more problems than benefits and that I should change my life so that the wrap is not stressed or caused to come loose or slip.

He gave me until my disability runs out in April to figure out what I'm going to do to get a new profession. I have been thinking about becoming an RN so that I can hopefully get a position with a GI specialist or even a surgeon, where I can help people in our position understand what this disease is about and how to get through it.

Tomorrow I'm heading to SSI to see if I qualify for disability so I can go back to college, so I can start a new career and I can still make a living close to what I have become accustomed to making for the last 15 years.

I have been slowly figuring out what works for me and my new upper G.I system. I eat until I start to get full and then I wash down my esophagus with a glass of water. I was having problems with eating too much and not leaving enough room to wash the last bites of food past the wrap. The food would stay in my esophagus and irritate it, causing swelling, which is what was causing me palpitations. This takes a very long time to figure out what works and what doesn't since we are all so different even though we are from the same mold.

I no longer have any GERD related issues. I can have a full meal and lay down with no problems at all, though I try and never do so. I can not burp and I assume that vomiting is a thing of the past as well. My esophagus is slowly healing and taking a full breath is becoming easier. I still cant sleep on my stomach because my stomach still feels tender. I have adjusted to taking in very small amounts of food at the one time and usually only have 4 small meals a day with very few snacks. I try and have at least one dish that is high in calories since my calorie/fat intake is very low. I love Pies so that is my vice right now. My stomach can not tolerate beef or beef products. I eat chicken and fish only. I lost 32 pounds because of the surgery and have been holding steady at 185 pounds. My energy level is up and down. When I do feel peppy and energetic, I usually run out of steam very quickly. Eating feed high in protein helps a lot in those situations.

Over all I consider my surgery a success. Dealing with not being able to do my job is stressful but that is something that will work its self out. God has always watched over my family and I.

I hope my input helps some of you that have had the surgery and don't know what to expect yet. Feel free to ask questions if you feel like doing so.

Thanks for reading,
Rafael

Post Edited (rlopez75) : 1/5/2010 11:39:01 PM (GMT-7)


opnwhl4
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Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 1/6/2010 2:08 AM (GMT -6)   
Rafael-
It's good to hear from you. I actually had to quit being a maintenance mechanic due to the nerve issue in my ribs. I finally got it through my head I couldn't do the things I needed to at that job and not have excruciating pain. My doctor was trying to get me to switch for over a year. I do understand how hard it is to give up what you've done for so long.

Take care,
Bill

stkitt
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Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/6/2010 8:27 AM (GMT -6)   
Rafael


Hello to you and congratulations on your 6 month anniversary. I think looking in to going back to school and becoming and RN is a wonderful route to look into.





I went back to school when my youngest was 7 years old and I had 4 children. It was one of the best things I ever did and I have loved being a nurse.





Thank you so much for sharing and do keep us posted as we care.





Gentle Hugs



Kitt

mookiemoomoo
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 150
   Posted 1/6/2010 9:28 AM (GMT -6)   
many months ago i watched your progress and enjoyed your posts . well i have now just had my wrapp done and finding things very different to good luck with your new venture
Michelle


rlopez75
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 199
   Posted 1/6/2010 11:57 AM (GMT -6)   
Bill, Kitt and Michelle, thank you very much.

Bill, I know now what it must of felt like for you to not want to let go of the old job. It completely sucks and I'm going through a period of uncertainty right now. For a long time I was sole provider for my family and when I started to get ill more frequently my wife had to take a job. Fortunately she fell in to her old profession and if it wasn't for her hard work we would have no insurance to take care of my health issues and would be way worse off financially. I just want to get back to working and contributing to helping her with the finances.

Kitt, ever since I have been in and out of the hospital ER I have met some very wonderful and caring nurses and have always had the up most respect for what they do and how empathetic they can be after just knowing us for just a few minutes. I met a lot of them that had their own stories about dealing with some type of condition, ether themselves or someone in their families. I met very few men that were nurses but they had the same attitude as well. There seems to be great personal satisfaction when helping some one else.

Michelle, thank you for following my progress. I have always tried to be as informative about my journey as possible because a few years ago when I was being misdiagnosed, I knew that they were wrong and that there was something in my stomach, not my heart, that was the problem. I could not find answers any where. I used to stay up late in to the night trying to find some one who had my symptoms and never came up with anything. It was so frustrating and caused me other issues like the development of General Anxiety Disorder along with getting Panic Attacks and Agoraphobia. I was and still am afraid to be alone for long periods of time, though its getting better. The whole time it was a silent GERD caused by a Hiatal Hernia and a weak LES.

I'll keep updating this post as often as possible with my continued progression.

Have a good day!!

Stormienite
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 186
   Posted 1/6/2010 1:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Rlopez, I hope to be having this surgery this year as the past year as been complete and utter hell for me.  I was bordering on suicide. 
 
I think you may be able to get at least some SSI while you go to school since you can't work in your field or do strenuous work.  Get your Dr on board.
 
I've heard about after surgery not being able to throw up.  (didn't hear about the not burping though)  I keep thinking, what if you get the stomach flu?  What happens?  How can you NOT throw up? 
 
What has your diet been limited to?  Are there certain things you won't be able to eat/drink again?
Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder (and about a dozen other things)
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rlopez75
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 199
   Posted 1/6/2010 5:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Stormie, I considered suicide many times which is why I ended up seeing a Psychiatrist and a therapist for close to a year. I came to realize that if god meant for me to suffer I would deal with it instead of taking the easy way out. Here I am as happy as I have been in the last 10 years with a new baby to help brighten up my life. Get those thoughts out of your head. I can assure you that the surgery brings great hope. Just keep in mind that though you may get relief from the burning, irritation and the possibility of esophageal cancer, there will be other things to address. Nothing as bad as what you feel before the surgery though, that wont go away as your body heals. Moslty pain related with healing and adjusting.

My G.I specialist is already on board. I just have to talk to my GP because last I spoke to him, he was leaning towards my problem being more mental. My Specialist dismissed that theory. I have an appointment to see my GP next week before my SSI appointment. I plan on bringing him on board by showing him the letter from my specialist where he recommends not lifting over 30 pounds and doing what I need to to adjust my life around not working in a field so physically demanding.

If your wrap is tight, like it should be, you will not be able to burp or vomit. But I have been told that its natural ford the food you eat to loosen up the wrap to a comfortable medium. I can only burp but the air that gets trapped in me esophagus while I swallow liquids. But when I get the feeling of air needing to exit my stomach through my mouth, it just feels like a "hick-up" and i can feel it pushing against the wrap. I take Chewable Gas-X or drink Milanta after some meals. Not all the time though. This means that I am no longer able to enjoy a soda, beer or any type of carbonated drink. I'm fine doing with out any of those drinks. I could probably drink alcohol in mixed drinks but if I get drunk I will not be able to get rid of the excess alcohol in my body which would poison me, probably causing my death. I choose not to drink at all. Hopefully I will never have to find out whether I can throw up or not! But you never know.


As far as the stomach flu, I stay away from buffets, food with eggs or mayonnaise that are not temperature controlled as well as certain cheeses. You have to be smarter about what you eat afterward unless you have you r ind set on seeing if you can or cant throw up...lol.

I was told by my surgeon that I could eat what ever I wanted whether spicy, oily, or acidic. My G.I specialist told me different. I had sever Erosive Esophagitis and need to give my esophagus time to heal. This may take up to a year or more because some foods that we eat can be abrasive as they are going down and cause delay in the healing process. So I eat foods that can be turned in to a paste when chewed. I choose to not eat anything fried, greasy, fatty, acidic, too salty, too sweet, and beef or beef based products.

I hope that helps.
Rafael

Stormienite
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 186
   Posted 1/6/2010 5:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes that helped a great deal!  Thanks a lot for going over all that for me.  My esophgus is eroded a little but my main problem now is the acid has burned my vocal cords.  For 11 months (so far) they're so sore that they close when they're supposed to open and they don't close the whole way so I can't get a good breath.  The only time I feel better is in a very clean air environment.  Believe it or not  I've only found relief in hospitals and my speech therapists office. lol  But both sphinkter (sp?) muscles aren't working and so I also aspirate the acid, which caused pneumonia.  It would be tough to give up the carbonated soda but I'd rather be able to breathe. lol
 
 
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couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 1/6/2010 6:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Congrate, Rafael!
My ex-sister-in-law is a nurse and her daughter is planning on going to nursing school. I think it is an amirable profession. We do need more male nurses.

Stormie, I only got a 270 degree wrap and my doctor said I could throw up, but he perfer I don't.

Joy

Stormienite
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 186
   Posted 1/6/2010 6:51 PM (GMT -6)   
HAAHAAA Couch I would prefer not throwing up either!


Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder (and about a dozen other things)
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couchtater
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Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 1/6/2010 6:54 PM (GMT -6)   
HEHEHEHE! Me too!

Joy

rlopez75
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Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 199
   Posted 1/6/2010 8:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Joy, people make it seem like there is something Taboo about wanting to be a male nurse. I just want to help people and make a good living. I have been looking in to it and have contacted St. Marys College here, in Los Angeles. University of Phoenix is closer but they only offer on line courses and that doesn't seem like something I want to do.They seem to have a good nursing program. If I get accepted I plan on getting my Masters. It will be 4 years well worth the effort, IMO. My Nephew is getting a free ride through UCLA by getting grants and scholarships. I'm going to have him help me tray and go that route to pay for it if possible.

Stormie, I cant even imagine how bad it must feel for the acid to be aggravating your vocal cords. I assume that it must burn as well when it goes in to your lungs. It cant be good.

The most important thing is that you do your research and find an experienced doctor. I was lucky enough to find one that knew what he was doing. Each doctor has their own technique for doing the surgery. But my doctor has been doing the surgery since the early 80s. He's the Professor of Laproscopic surgery at USC Medical Center so one would assume he knows what hes doing...and he does.

Rafael

Good Days
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 146
   Posted 1/7/2010 12:06 PM (GMT -6)   
 
Do your research now, find a bariatric surgeon who has preformed lots of wraps.  Ask him if he does loose wraps.  Mine was a full wrap but my surgeon suggested a loose wrap and stated that he was very good at doing them.
 
I have had no problems since the wrap and hernia repair.
 
best of luck

Stormienite
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 186
   Posted 1/7/2010 12:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Good Days, I've been driving 2 hrs to Pittsburgh to see an excellent pulmonologist there in a large teaching hospital.  He has been on my case for about 4 months now.  My gastro Dr is here in my city.  I'll get him to talk to my pulmonologist and get him to set me up with a surgeon out there.  There's no way I'm letting anyone at this hospital do surgery on me.
Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder (and about a dozen other things)
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Good Days
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 146
   Posted 1/7/2010 1:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Storm,
 
Good, also ask for a Bariatric Surgeon.  I am telling you, a good one what you want and they have done 1000's of these surgeries.
 
Best of luck
 
Jayne

Stormienite
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 186
   Posted 1/7/2010 2:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Looking Bariatric Surgeon's up right now!
Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder (and about a dozen other things)
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Stormienite
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 186
   Posted 1/7/2010 3:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh wait.  I'm not overweight.  Do I need a different type of surgeon?
Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder (and about a dozen other things)
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90mg Pamalor
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Good Days
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 146
   Posted 1/7/2010 3:10 PM (GMT -6)   

No, this surgeon does a great job on Nissen

 

Jayne


couchtater
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Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 1/7/2010 6:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Bariatric surgeons work only on stomach and intestines.

Joy

Stormienite
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 186
   Posted 1/7/2010 6:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Then that's who I need!
Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder (and about a dozen other things)
300mg Lamictal
90mg Pamalor
60mg Prevacid
2mg Niravam (Xanax)


Good Days
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 146
   Posted 1/8/2010 8:03 AM (GMT -6)   

Yes, do your research and find a great one.  I was lucky as mine did my bowel resection, and I was back to work in 2 weeks and still going.  So when I needed the Nissen I knew he was the one.  Back to work on Mon. after Thurs. surgery.  Just on full liquid diet.  I think the sooner you start doing things the less time you have to worry about yourself.  Of course I do mean within limits.  Don't lift etc. Don't ever overdo, but keep busy and keep your mind off the little problems.

Best of luck Stormie, let us know where you find yours and make sure and ask him how many he has preformed and how good he is at a loose full wrap.  Does he preform those regularly.

Jayne


rlopez75
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Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 199
   Posted 1/8/2010 12:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Stormie, as every one has said, make sure you find a qualified doctor. You have to always remember that doctors work for you. If they dont give you the results your looking for then find another one.

Best of luck!!
Rafael

Stormienite
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 186
   Posted 1/8/2010 1:40 PM (GMT -6)   
I will definitely do my research!
Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder (and about a dozen other things)
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Good Days
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 146
   Posted 1/8/2010 1:43 PM (GMT -6)   

Let us know how it goes.  And best of luck.  It is really nice to live without the reflux.  The only lingering symptom I have is the gas.  Yeah gas-x it does help

Jayne


couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 1/8/2010 1:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Yeah, gas, but I had trouble before surgery. Probiotics helps some.

Joy
Health problems: sleep apnea, hypothyroidism, GERD, glaucoma, OA in lower back, environmental, food, and drug allergiesasthma, high cholesterol, pre-diabetic
Medications:Nexium 2X a day, 300mg Zantac, K-Dur, Lasix 2X a day, Zyrtec, Vytorin, Lumigan, fish oil, B12, Align, calcium + D, Advair, Albuterol, nebulizer, synthoid
12-22-09   270 degree wrap - no more GERD!
 
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it!
 
 

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