My new asthma doctor (we moved) hates GI docs because they don't understand the connection between GERD and asthma. I, too, was nebulizing 3 times a day before surgery, and my doctors had me on high doses of prednosone. For you it has been two years, not over four years as it was in my case.
When you first have the surgery done, you probably won't notice the improvement instantaneously. Like me, the acid has created extreme inflammation of your lung tissue. Don't be discouraged. It will take months for the lungs to heal and improve.
I wouldn't worry about what your pulmonologist says. He/she has no real idea of what your reaction to the surgery will be. It's a known unknown. If pushed, your pulmonologist would admit that it's a guess. An educated one, but a guess all the same. Keep a positive attitude, and don't let anyone discourage you regarding the outcome.
I also was frightened by the hysterical posts warning all to stay way from the surgery. Keep in mind that most people have the surgery, and go on with their lives without ever posting on the internet. Those people who had incompetent surgeons and ended up with severe side effects went online to find answers to their problems. Yes, in the wrong hands, this surgery can cause a lot of problems. That's why it's so important for you to choose your surgeon carefully.
I have included thoughts about the negative posts you see on the internet on Rummaan's thread, "Heartburn Worse After Nissen". Scroll down and you'll see it. No sense in repeating it here.
Does this surgery create changes in your GI tract that can be annoying? I won't lie. The answer is yes. I can't eat lots of carrot and celery sticks or dinner entree salads without irritating my wrap. I now take Beano before eating high gas foods. My BM's can be a variety of consistencies over time. Water kind of sits in the bottom of my esophagus and drains out gradually (when I drink quickly). I still have to eat slowly and chew my foods carefully.
None of these things are as bad as what I was going through pre surgery. From what I read in your description of your lung issues, you will look on any changes in your GI tract as far superior to the h### you were suffering before you had the surgery.
I was also worried about having general anesthesia due to my asthma. I'd read that it is a complicating factor. I happen to have a friend who is a nurse anesthetist, and he said that they have medicines they put into the anesthesia to help ensure breathing doesn't become a problem. My asthma doc ordered a nebulizer treatment just prior to surgery. Because I'd been on high doses of steroids and showed signs of adrenal insufficiency, they gave me a boost of prednosone as well. Apparently you can go into shock or something, if you don't have enough cortisol in your system during a stressor like surgery.
I had no problems whatsoever with the anesthesia. I worried for nothing.
I had a GI doc who helped me not at all when my docs first started sending me to a GI to see about taking care of my GERD via surgery. My first GI doc had only negative things to say about the Nissen surgery (as well as the new alternatives). He did nothing to help me, and his attitude was very cocky. He never really listened to me, and told me that I couldn't possibly be having the problems I described to him.
I went to another GI doc who did some testing. He determined that there was no way my reflux was causing my asthma to be uncontrollable. All this time, my family doc of 20+ years was sure that it was.
What I'm saying is...don't let your pulmonologist scare you or deter you from going forward. Definitely find another one more well suited to your situation and needs. I have to have docs who will truly listen to me and treat me with respect. It sounds as if you do too.
You will be able to eat normally. We went on vacation at four months post op, and I ate totally normally. In the beginning, due to stomach/wrap swelling, you'll not be able to eat much at all. On the bright side, you'll easily lose some weight. However, if you go back to normal eating you'll have to be careful not to eat too much, or you'll gain all that weight right back.
If you read the information I reposted on Rummaan's thread, It'll take you through the first weeks of my recovery. It was not nearly as hard as I'd expected. Sure there are some challenges in the early weeks, but I was prepared for much worse. Fortunately for me, my surgeon trusts his patients to make responsible eating choices, and gives permission to eat anything that can be chewed to a liquid. He warned against bread and steak, etc. and also warned that some things might feel stuck, but would go down with drinking liquids. I never had anything "stuck" in the early weeks, since I was very careful to choose food that would be chewed to a liquid. Later on, I swallowed a cherry tomato without really chewing it enough, and had to wash it down with water and tea. It's not really that big of a deal, though.
Anyway, I've rambled on enough. Just don't worry about the changes. If you have an excellent surgeon, things will be fine. Even with the difficulties I've had that were brought on by coughing and steroids, I still feel far, far better than I did pre-surgery, and I'm happy with the results.
Good luck with the surgery. You'll be able live a normal life afterwards--unlike what you're dealing with now. My new asthma doc hates GI docs for their lack of knowledge regarding the link between asthma and GERD. He thinks they rely far too much on tests and their results, and not enough on observation and talking to patients.
Take care, Kittehmom. Stop worrying and make that move towards a healthier and more normal life!