Lurker with new post.... soon to be member of the Wrapped Club

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JAS1125
New Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 5/22/2010 7:25 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm very happy to have found this forum.....a little back story....
I have had significant stomach spasms for the last year, although in my case I was fairly sure they were due to a large hiatal hernia.
I also have GERD with Barrett's Esophagus.
When the spasms hit, I try hot tea to relax the stomach and take Hyoscyamine, in addition to Gas-X. A heating pad on the stomach too. I find that once I burp, I'm OK.
Last week, however, I had spasms that would not go away despite all of my "tricks". I wound up in the emergency room, and after chest-x-rays, CT scan and 2 pain killer shots, I finally got relief. My stomach was extremely bloated too. The CT scan showed my "normal" hiatal hernia is now a para-esophageal hernia and has to be be operated on. My gastro doc, in his follow up with me also thought my stomach twisted.
I saw a highly recommended surgeon yesterday and he will be doing a "loose" Nissen wrap, mainly due to my Barrett's along with the hernia repair. Problem is, he can't schedule me until 2 weeks from now. He has advised to continue what I do to prevent more spasms ( drinking chamomile tea with my meal seems to help) as well as taking Gas-X throughout the day as a prophylactic. I've been taking Ativan also about a hour before my lunch and dinner as I've found anxiety to me a big-time contributor to all of this.

I've read some great tips from members of the Wrapped Club, and any other advice would be appreciated.

stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 5/22/2010 9:11 AM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to HealingWell's GERD/Heartburn forum. I am glad to hear you are scheduled for surgery as you have read how much it has helped so many. I know you will be hearing from some of the members of the Wrapped Club.



They are awesome and always willing to share with new members and each other.



Wishing you the best,



Kitt

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 5/22/2010 10:49 AM (GMT -6)   
Soon you will be a fellow "wrapper"...
Take care and relax, relief is 14 days away.

Joy

JAS1125
New Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 5/22/2010 11:09 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank Kitt and Joy!
Relax is a relative statement though...I'm the caregiver for my mother who has Parkinson's and I have to place her into assisted living while I recover. Between that, organizing my absence at work and everything else, relaxation does not come easy.

I should never have stopped drinking! : devil

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 5/22/2010 1:58 PM (GMT -6)   
It's a pain to juggle your responsiblities for this.
Be prepare to not be able to lift anything for at least six weeks. You'll feel like doing things after two weeks, but don't! I was foolish to try moving desks in my classroom (pushing them, not lifting) and suffered from spasms for two days.
Same goes for bending over to pick something up off the floor no bending for six weeks.
Get your foods prepared early. stick with liquids for the first two weeks until the swelling goes down. Eat small frequent meals and chew, chew, chew.

Joy

JAS1125
New Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 5/22/2010 3:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Joy......my surgeon told me no lifting as well, but I forgot to ask about driving and showering.
I didn't know about the no-bending either.....he did tell me liquids for the first 2 week, then a gradual progression to solids by the 6th week.

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 5/22/2010 4:55 PM (GMT -6)   
I drove at 10 days after, but then I was off pain meds for about 5 days by then. I showered about day three. You can wipe off with wet wipes they sell in phramacies for bathing bedridden people.
Don't forget the small pillow for holding on your stomach when you cough. It keeps you from hurting bad from it. You will cough and hiccup off and on the first few days. A Recliner is great for taking pressure off your stomach, but difficult to get out of.

Joy

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5013
   Posted 5/22/2010 8:00 PM (GMT -6)   
JAS
You sound like you might have a similar case to mine, although my hernia became paraesophageal due to an accident with the seat belt shoving the stomach. If you have sudden severe stomach or chest pain you must get to a hospital with the speed of lightning because they have about a half hour to unkink your stomach to save your life. I had to wait for 4 1/2 months to get mine operated and worried the whole time because I could feel it trying to flip to the other side of my chest when I rolled over at night.

As for the spasms- it sounds like possibly a food trigger/allergy/sensitivity. You don't have a bunch of time, but you need to keep a food log and try to figure out if you have food triggers. I had the same symptoms, also relieved with burping most of the time. What you are doing by forcing a burp is "Valsalva maneuver." You can also try to get relief by coughing.

My trigger foods were a long list of seemingly unrelated foods: wine and beer, maple syrup, breads, cereals especially with dried fruits, dried fruits, sodas, cookies, gelatin, guacamole, onions and garlic ... On searching I found out that they all contain sulfites. By avoiding sulfite foods I can keep my refluxing under control. You might research food allergies and see if any of the lists rings a bell.

My stomach spasms often triggered tachycardia from coronary artery spasms. Eventually it caused a heart attack when the spasms caused a tiny point of plaque to rupture.

If you do have food triggers, they won't go away when you have the fundoplication. You won't reflux food up into your esophagus, but the stomach will still jump around.
Alcie
 
 


JAS1125
New Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 5/24/2010 12:37 PM (GMT -6)   

Alice:

Thanks for the info. I'm pretty sure it's not food allergies. I've kept track of what I've eaten that might cause the trigger and nothing appears related or a repeat offender except for Lay's Potato chips. I believe it is due to the grease on them. I've also found that taking digestive enzymes' helps a lot, specifically AbosrbAid brand. They seem to work better than others that I've tried.

My refluxing is actually pretty controlled at this point since I've was switched from Protonix to Kapidex (Dexilent now) My voice is pretty much back and no regurgitation.

Right now, I'm waiting for the call to schedule the surgery. I'm also wondering since this will be a "loose" wrap if it will let me burp more easily afterwards (I've read that some could not)

 


Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5013
   Posted 5/24/2010 1:24 PM (GMT -6)   
The "looseness" of the wrap SHOULD be determined by the manometry (how well you swallow) and the preference of the surgeon. I had a partial wrap because I am post-polio and have a weak swallow. The type of wrap is called "Toupet."

Since my surgery was, like yours, combined with pulling my stomach down out of my chest, it took about 4-5 hours. This along with being a good bit older than most, made my stay in the hospital and recovery a bit longer. Nonetheless, I am feeling better now than I was before the stomach was even paraesophageal. No PPIs! Yay!! I had trouble swallowing for a few months (but that's mostly my weak swallow), and I still only burp part of the gas. So I watch my diet mainly for my allergies and gas-producing foods, and I'm good. I do have to make sure I get enough vitamin K, because I won't eat broccoli, dislike kale. So it's spinach and other salads, or bleed too much.
Alcie
 
 


JAS1125
New Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 5/24/2010 2:08 PM (GMT -6)   

The manometry is the one test I'm not having.....my surgeon felt that he would get false results due to the location of the hernia into the chest wall and proximity to the esophagus.

If I remember this correctly, he will insert a tube into the esophagus that approximates the "normal" size and use that as a basis for the wrap. He just wants to ensure a loose wrap and not too tight. He stated if it is too loose, it will still give me some reflux but the hernia will be corrected. Actually my gastro doc felt that I will ALWAYS be on meds due to the Barrett's anyway but the surgeon had other ideas. He seemed to think if the future scopes look good with no changes, or (fingers crossed) a reversal of the Barrett's, I could go off the meds.

The PPI's give me a lot of gas already so I'm sort of used to that. yeah


lilitiger2
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 89
   Posted 5/24/2010 9:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi JAS
Good luck with the surgery! I see that you are on kapidex. I am currently taking previsid which kind of, mostly, but not completely, addresses my sx. still get some chest pain but nothing like the spasms I was getting. I do have a box of kapidex though, and was wondering what you thought of it. PRevisid definitely causes gas, nausea (but hard to blame the drug for that, I have plenty of nausea on my own). What do you think of it?? Also what kind of digestive enzymes do you take? I have heard several people mention this.
thanks!!
Lila

JAS1125
New Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 5/25/2010 3:29 AM (GMT -6)   
Lila:
Thanks...still waiting for the call with a date for the surgery.
As to the Kapidex, it seems to be working better for me than Protonix did. I also like prefer that you don't have to take it 30 minutes before a meal. I get up at 4:30 am during the week, which meant at least 4 to take the Protonix. Other than some gas, no nausea and it seems to control my reflux better. I kept losing my voice which sent me to an ENT doc, and after doubling the Protonix, my voice was still raspy. He is the one who switched me to Kapidex. The biggest drawback is the expense, as my insurance only covers a small portion of the cost. You can go to Kapidex.com and apply for a rebate however.
I take Absorb Aid digestive enzymes. I found them on another board when someone posted a natural regiment that was helping them. They are all natural and just seem to work better.I also added Calcium Citrate/Magnesium/Vitamin D liquid, 2x a day as the same poster stated that Calcium Citrate helps to keep the LES closed. That seems to work also. I also drink a lot of Chamomile tea during the day, and with each meal to try and keep my stomach relaxed.

lilitiger2
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 89
   Posted 5/25/2010 7:35 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks JAS!
may try the kapidex! My mother (barretts) has struggled with the hoarse voice thing which is much worse under stress, so she does yoga, meditation (she is 77,not at ALL into that previously) which she says helps!

I do find the 30-min-before-a-meal thing hard. We are up at 5/5:30 and it really does slow down my schedule to wait around to eat

I will look for the absorb aid enzymes and the calcium citrate...interesting, had not heart that but will sure try it.

The no caffeine thing has been a nightmare with my schedule...have to take naps.

Anyway, thanks and I hope you get a date soon for your surgery. hope your mom is doing ok!
Lila

JAS1125
New Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 5/27/2010 4:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Finally got my date...June 9th!
The anticipation begins...

cowboy22
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 172
   Posted 5/31/2010 9:23 PM (GMT -6)   
I will join you Jass im in for a redo on the 10th.Good luck to you....
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