Welcome to our
at Healing Well! Joy is right...the bloating is totally normal. Your stomach will get back to normal as time goes on. (I had the surgery in February 2009.)
Keep in mind that your wrap is becoming increasingly swollen, so don't be surprised if your swallowing gets worse before it gets better. Peak swelling is at Day 14, and then it begins to go down. It's normal to have a little more trouble until the swelling resolves, so don't be concerned. Just be sure to listen to your body, as Sandi said. If your swallowing gets a little more spasmy, just back off and eat some easier things.
Like yours, my doctor said I could eat anything I want to, but added a caveat that it must be able to be chewed to a liquid (when you chew, chew, chew completely (as Joy recommended), you could, indeed spit what you've chewed into a strainer, and it would go through.) It is very important to take tiny bites and chew completely.
Stay away from ice water for a while, as it can cause spasms. No straws, as they introduce air into your stomach as you drink. Also, avoid carbonated beverages, because the CO2 that is pumped into them bloats you further.
In my case, the incision at the left rib area was the place where my surgeon did the most manipulation, so it was the one that hurt a lot and the longest. Ice applied to the area that hurt was really helpful.
If you can get out and walk (slowly at first) it can also help move that gas out. I found that my comfort increased the more I walked.
Again, glad you've joined us! We'll do our best to help and support you through your recuperation. If you can surrender to your recovery, and follow where it takes you (without struggling against it) it will go much more smoothly.
Hang in there! Things will get better!