Now belong to the Wrapped group and feeling great!!

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bittersweet603
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 93
   Posted 5/10/2011 12:31 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm now home and had promised to post an update on my recovery after my gb removal and Nissen..let me tell you I expected nothing but hell from the things I had read all across the net. After surgery (which my surgeon said would take 2-2.5 hours and only took 45 minutes!) my Dr said is was the quickest NF and chole he'd ever done and because I had no fat in my abdoment things went even smoother. I was so happy to hear that, and I also had no trouble getting up and walking around right after I got to my floor. Minimal pain at that time and refused pain meds for a good 3 hours after arriving as I didn't feel I needed any. They conituned to push me to take them even if a small dose for when the local anestesia wore off. The most painful side for me is my right side where the gb was taken out but even that isn't bad. After walking around the hospital floor I did ask for a shot because my muscles were very sore and getting painful. I got 2 more shots and an ativan to try to help me sleep but didn't sleep much (becuase its no my own bed, not because of pain).
 
  I was able to move to a full liquid diet quickly and had cream of wheat, pudding and ice cream that night, also tomato soup which delicious. I had a cheese omelet and banana bread for breakfast this morning but could only get down half with one choking episode but I guess it was a learning lesson. All of the other things went down perfectly fine and I had no choking sensation..but the best part is NON of them caused me reflux or heartburn!! I've also had no neausea at all and am amazed that I havent had to take one antacid pill since the hours befor my surgery. I am thrilled beyond belief with how quickly I got relief after surgery!
 
 I know it's still very early to tell the total success and the wrap will swell more the next few weeks but I;m prepared and I think the worst part is over.
 
I'm waiting to hear from Tummytroubles, my surgery sister, when she gets a chance to update me! I really hope it went smooth for you too!
 
I can't stress enough how important it is to get a great expereinced surgeon who has a lot of these under his belt beacuse I feel like I was in the best hands I could be in..Thank God!
 
 

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 5/10/2011 1:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear Bittersweet,

Welcome to the yeah yeahWrapped Club yeah yeah at Healing Well! I'm so glad to hear you had a good experience! I totally agree that the key to a good outcome is an great surgeon.

I also was prepared for the worst before having the surgery, and was very pleasantly surprised. I think that's the best thing, though. There have been others who have come through this forum who were unprepared for the recovery and had been told it would be easier than it was. That's got to be a lot harder!

Your peak swelling will be at 14 days. Don't be surprised if you have a few dicey moments with swallowing here and there over the next two weeks. It's totally normal, so don't worry. The main thing is to remember to take tiny bites and chew, chew, chew. As long as whatever you eat is chewed to a liquid, it's the same as being on a liquid diet, but you get to enjoy the chewing, which is a big part of the enjoyment of eating for me. I started on any foods that could be chewed to a liquid on Day 5 and never had any problems with that.

Congratulations! You're now on the other side and ready to start healing. If you can surrender to your recovery and follow it wherever it takes you, it will make things much more relaxed and easier. Some struggle against what is, and find the recovery to be extremely difficult. Things will progressively get better, so relax and let it happen!

Take care,
Denise

stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 5/10/2011 1:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear Bittersweet,

Welcome to the Wrapped club not to be confused with the warped club smhair I am not wrapped but I am the cheerleader here to welcome you back from surgery. 
 
I am happy to hear you were satisfied with your physician as that is crucial with any surgery.
 
Take care and congratulations on making it this far.
 
Kindly,
Kitt 
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.
www.healingwell.com

"If you can't change the world, change your world"

bittersweet603
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 93
   Posted 5/10/2011 1:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks so much Denise for all your knowledge and support on this forum, you've calmed me down alot with your insight and comforting. I really am glad I had this done even though todays pain is worse, I know eventually it'll go away and be worth it in the end.
 It seems to feel good once I'm up and walking but I get tired and sore very quickly. Ice is my best friend right now. My mother is making me homemade extra soft and creamy mac n cheese tonight so I'm excited about trying that. I just can't get over how I havent had an ounce of that reflux feeling with the medium coffee and tomato soup I drank, normally I'd have to take 300mg of zantac and down a bottle of pepto by now..I know my quality of life will change now and that is the best part out of all of this!
 
Thank you for your kind words too Kitt :)

Thank again
- Nikki

Post Edited (bittersweet603) : 5/10/2011 12:59:41 PM (GMT-6)


couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 5/10/2011 5:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Glad you're doing good. Remember to keep the portions small.
Joy

bittersweet603
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 93
   Posted 5/11/2011 2:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Joy I have been eating only about an ounce at a time, and everything I eat goes down nicely even a few well chewed crackers.
I do have a question for those of you who were sent home with narcotics, or if you have experience with them in general. I've never really taken them except demerol long ago for migraines. In the hospital I was getting IV dilaudid and it worked great no side effects, then they switched me to PO and after my 2nd PO dose at home (2 mg) I have severe itching all over my body. I have no hives or anything else, just itching. I heard this can happen with narcotics but am wondering if I should stop them in case its a warning sign? Has anyone else had this and what did you do if you did? It's really helping me with post op pain so Im not sure what to do.

deleted
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 5/11/2011 5:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello My Surgery Friend LOL I'm so glad you are doing so well. I just posted an update on me, and I'm having a bit rougher time. As for your Narcotic, always call your doctor when it comes to that. Better to be safe than sorry, especially since you are doing so well. Keep up the good work! I hope I get half way there soon. ;-)

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 5/11/2011 8:17 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Bittersweet,
I took Loritabs, I believe, and had absolutely no itching. I'm a very allergic person, too. Try calling the surgeon and see if you can get switched to Loritab elixir or tablets (they can be crushed and mixed with applesauce).
See if that helps!
Denise

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 5/11/2011 4:02 PM (GMT -6)   
I'd tell the pharmacist, too, about the itching.
Joy

bittersweet603
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 93
   Posted 5/11/2011 4:26 PM (GMT -6)   
I spoke to my coworkers about this (nurses) and mentioned it to some of my family and apparantly its a very common thing when taking narcotics. I heard it usually goes away if you get used to them (which I dont want to!)..either way I'd prefer this side effect over nausea.

bittersweet603
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 93
   Posted 5/11/2011 11:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Not sure whats going on tonight but suddenly awoke from a deep sleep with terrible acid in my throat. I just took a zantac and had some pepto to see if it'll help. I think I got too excited when I woke after surgery with no acid that I haven't been watching my diet very well and had chocolate and other acid producing foods. Is this normal to feel reflux again? I am hoping that it goes away, I don't want to feel like I went through all this for nothing :(

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 5/12/2011 8:57 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi bittersweet,

Yes, during the early stages of healing reflux is very normal. People often continue their PPI's or Zantac to make themselves more comfortable. I remember when it happened to me. I panicked...worried that my surgery was a failure, and that I was going though all that recovery for nothing.

At this point in your healing, everything is swollen and misshapen. Things aren't fitting together the way they will when the healing is compete. When I discussed it with my surgeon, he said, "pretty much anything is possible at this stage of recovery."

Take whatever you need to be comfortable. Yes, take it easy on what you eat. Don't be afraid to continue your PPI's etc. while your recovery takes place. Many do. Some seem able to stop immediately. Some docs actually prescribe continuing them to allow the wrap area to heal without an acid assault. Again, that is something that varies from surgeon to surgeon. Mine left it up to me. I continued taking them until I was healed.

Most of all, don't panic or get "down"! It's a normal part of healing!
Have a great day!
Denise

bittersweet603
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 93
   Posted 5/12/2011 9:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the reassurance Denise, I do vaguely remember(been so out of it with the meds) that my Dr said to continue the zantac for a week then wean off it. I have only taken 1/4 of the dose I usually take and it seems to take it completley away. Last night was the worst episode since the surgery and I thought I was back to square one. I think my issue is that I keep forgetting to take it easy with food because I feel so good so I did have coffee, chocolate and tomato soup the past few days and am kicking myself for being a dumb dumb and eating those when I should be taking it easy to heal. I finally went to the bathroom today ( I know not the most favorite subject) and I feel a little less bloated so hopefully that is helping take some pressure off my stomach too. I have not needed any pain meds since yesterday afternoon and haven't even taken a tylenol. Swallowing pills cut in half is pretty easy and I am able to burp a little which helps. I know this will take time..so far I am planning on going back to work on the 24th so that gives me another week and a half to heal some more. It's just a desk job so hoping it won't be too bad.

deleted
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 5/13/2011 9:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Bittersweet your doing awesome! :) I'm slowly trying to catch up LOL It's good to see your doing so well and you make me laugh which is a good thing but it's sore on the tummy...so I have to prepare myself for your posts LOL Your gutsy! I'm such a wimp I am still on all liquids. (blush)

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 5/14/2011 11:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Tummytroubles,
Everyone is so different in their healing...there's no one right way. Whatever works for you! You are the only one who knows how you feel and what you can tolerate. Listen to your body, and follow its lead.
If you can surrender to the path your recovery takes, it makes it much less stressful. It sounds like you're doing just that.
Good luck, and heal well!
Denise

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 5/14/2011 11:19 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Bittersweet,
How are you doing today? Hope all is well, and you're feeling better.
Denise

MawmawLyn
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 5/14/2011 12:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone,

I just had my Lap NF & Hiatel hernia repair surgery on Friday May 6, 2011. I have experienced all the same symptoms as you all but also have difficulty with deep breadths & yawning. Is anyone else experiencing that? Chronic bronchitis is one of the reasons I had the surgery.
Appreciate this forum. I learned a lot of good info just reading what others have gone through. Thanks for all the input

bittersweet603
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 93
   Posted 5/14/2011 1:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi denise and tummytroubles thanks for checking in on me :) The past two days have gone so much better for me! Yesterday was the first day I got to go out and went to run errands with my mom..I did have to go sit in the car half way through because I had too many pains, probably trapped gas that was making me lurch over now and then. I've been sleeping really well and can even even sleep on my side and part way on my stomach which is my norm without being uncomfortable..I have been getting sneezing attacks from the massive amount of pollen we have here and although it's not favorable it isn't too painful like I expected it to be. My bloating was really bad yesterday, it seems when I wake up in the morning it's gone down but once I start walking around and eating it starts swelling up again. Today though my stomach is almost as flat as when I went into surgery, though I think it may be attributed to me having diarrheah :( Yes I got the post surgery runs I kept hearing about, which did keep me up partly last night. For my entire life I have been chronically constipated with IBS-C so this is very different for me. I ate a fruit salad and some tea this morning and an hour later I couldn't leave the bathroom..I had to wait it out til I made the half hour trip back home ( I've been staying with my Mom while recouping). I have heard from some friends they've had this problem after having their gb out and that its never gone away..so hoping between having this and IBS-C it can balance out eventually lol

TummyTrouble, please don't be hard on yourself like Denise said everyone is individual..I am only 26 years old ( I don't know your age but I think I am younger) and am a pretty active person generally so it could do some to do with healing. I do think I lifted too much and did too much bending over and activity today because I am now feeling pretty sore and exhausted. Think my burst of energy got the best of me..I hope you are resting and taking care of yourself. Don't push it and keep smiling, glad I can make you laugh! :D

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 5/14/2011 1:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Mawmawlyn, remember you've been rearranged inside, somethings have been bruised. Give it time.
Joy

bittersweet603
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 93
   Posted 5/15/2011 7:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Today I've been more keen to my new body..and not liking so many of the side effects of the surgery :( I guess I'm feeling a little down and discouraged. this morning I tried eating some greek yogurt, and it got stuck on my first swalllow..how it got stuck I haven't a clue as it was smooth and goopy. I was able to finish it going slowly and alternating with drink. I then went out to brunch and was afraid to order anything but I was so hungry so I got the most slippery thing I could think of and got a cheese omelet and saturated it with ketchup..it went down perfectly! Then tonight I was hungry and decided to have some canned asparagus..well even with it being mushy and taking a small bite it got stuck. And when I say these things get stuck, they hurt like nothing I've ever felt before! It feels like I have a pinhole for an esophagus and I'm trying to swallow some giant rocks. It gives me a panicking sensation because I cant bring it back up and it causes spasms in my throat. Drinking anything to relieve it seems to make it worse and the liquid backlogs and comes back up my throat.

I know that the swelling gets worse over 2 weeks but this is day 6 and I wasn't expecting it to be this bad yet.

Also I'm experiencing the awful twinges pains and bloated down feeling of gas after eating..even just drinking. My stomach and intestines go crazy with gurgeling and bubbleing and then I feel the urge to run to the bathroom and I start sweating..I guess this is what "dumping" feels like? How awful.

I am still needing to take antacids for my stomach, although it's not coming up into my throat I still have sour stomach feeling (could be gastritis lingering) and have had the feeling of burning in my mid chest.

Tummytroubles, how are you doing today? I'm interested in hearing about your progress and what you're accomplishing. I hope your day is going better then mine.

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 5/15/2011 8:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Bittersweet,

Oh my. You are only on Day 6 of recovery! Yikes...any eating at this point can be dicey. Just think...the top of your stomach was stretched and wrapped around your esophagus and stitched to stay there just 6 days ago!

Asparagus is very stringy, no matter how mushy it is, and will be difficult to swallow. Do you take tiny, tiny bites? That's really the key. You can't take a normal spoonful at this point in your recovery. Tiny bites of food that can be chewed to a liquid.

At this point, things can be getting hung up at the wrap site. Your swallowing isn't as organized as it will be once the healing has more time. The swelling makes it that much more difficult.

What you're experiencing is normal. Yes, it can be frustrating and scary, but it's normal, and as you heal it will get better.

I don't know if this will be helpful or not, but I'll post a few of my own recovery posts from 2 years ago. Disregard the lung issues, as they're obviously specific to me, but maybe you'll get an idea of my recovery from the other topics. I wish I'd written more, as I've forgotten a lot of the recovery over time.

Check it out and see what you think.
Keep venting here...that's what we're here for. Still, try to be realistic...your outsides will heal much more quickly than your insides. You are in for weeks of recovery. Right now you are getting the worst of it. Things will improve.
Surrender...let it happen!
I'm here to listen and support.
Denise

Day 4:
1. Lung Issues

As I've shared, I have asthma issues, so my lungs are more problematic than in other cases. Do other (non asthmatic) recovering patients experience mucous in their lungs as well?

I made the mistake of trying the Unisom Melts, and they worked great in getting me to drift off to sleep again, but I ended up paying for a few extra hours of sleep with dried out mucous in my lungs, and a wheeze that won't quit. So--to anyone reading this who has asthma, I would recommend against the Unisom. (They're just Benadryl--which is an antihistimine/drying agent, that makes you sleepy) Lucky non-asthmatics, it works great for snoozing, and is definitely non habit forming.

I've been coughing way too much today, which hurts and worries me a bit. I'm also tapering off prednosone, so that could be part of the problem as well. I've emailed my doctor for advice. I'm sure this too will pass. Just one of those little bumps in the road.



2. Burps.

My surgeon told me that I wouldn't be able to burp, but burps are slipping out here and there. I'm not purposely burping, but every so often a burp is allowed--which is actually very nice, since it allows the bloating to dissipate.

The surgeon (another in the practice) who discharged me, said that I MAY be able to burp. I guess he was right!

Do I need to worry that because I can burp it will mean that reflux will also be allowed to pass out of the stomach? The resident said that the flap can allow a bit of air to escape without letting stomach contents out.

What has been the experience of others who've been through this? Are burps okay?


3. Wrap swelling over the first two weeks.

I noticed today that "lump" feeling--the feeling that I'm swallowing a big gulp of air--when I swallow food. I figure it's the beginning of the swelling, and expect that it will probably become progressively more challenging to get things swallowed, until the swelling begins to subside. So far, though, swallowing has been fairly easy. Better than I had hoped. Very "do-able", and much less scary than I expected.

Is it common to have this experience? Do the wraps always swell?

I'm determined to go with the flow of the recovery process. I wish my lungs weren't giving me fits, but oh well...that's why I'm here to begin with. The surgery isn't a magic wand! It's so important to maintain a positive attitude, and be patient, patient, patient!

Anyway...in case it helps anyone, I'm sharing my experience. If anyone has anything to add, or can help me through some of these issues, I'd appreciate it! Best wishes to all!


Day 5:
Another day, another adventure.

I went to the doc today regarding my lung issues. I'm back on an antibiotic for a suspected lung infection--I was being treated for one before surgery, and I guess it didn't totally resolve. I never really got a full course of antibiotics. I'm also continuing on 20mg prednosone twice a day to protect my lungs as well.

Because of those meds, my doctor put me back on Protonix for a while, to protect my stomach, which is very sensitive.

WRAP SWELLING
I knew this was coming, but it's not too much fun. I've got that lump in my throat that doesn't want to cooperate in getting food to my stomach. No complaints, though. I knew this was coming before I made the decision to go forward. I was a lucky one. After the surgery, and before the swelling, I had no difficulty at all, swallowing liquids or soft foods. Now it's definitely a challenge.

It will probably get worse before it gets better. I am determined to go with the flow. This too will pass.

SPASMS?
When I eat, I feel like I'm getting (non-painful) throat spasms, as things move at the unmovable wrap.

MUCOUS!!
When I drink or eat, and start having spasms, etc., my mouth begins making huge amounts of thick, "mucousy" saliva. I can't even stand to swallow it. It only happens during eating or drinking, and subsides shortly afterward. Has anyone experienced that?

INCISIONS
I haven't used pain meds in 3 days (even Tylenol)...I've been icing. The only incision that hurt is in the left rib area. OUCH. Ice takes care of it. Actually, lately it hasn't even hurt enough to ice. Coughing does flare it up.

WALKING
I've been walking for 10-15 minute intervals on my treadmill...all day long. A nurse told me to walk whenever I get up to go to the bathroom, so I try to follow that advice. I had a blood clot after my last surgery, so it's important to keep my legs moving...it's also good for my lungs. I also think it has help my shoulder/neck referred pain/loose gas pain.

FEELING REMARKABLY GOOD
I'm amazed at how quickly you can bounce back from laprascopic surgery. Nobody should fear the surgical pain aspect of this surgery.


Day 6:
Just a quick update:

1. VISIT TO SURGEON
All was well with incisions. He assured me that I don't have to worry about healing on prednosone. I'll heal. He's not worried that the tissue/sutures won't hold through coughing. He put extra sutures in the hernia repair (it was a small hernia). He's confident that all is fine with the repairs.

BURPS--he thinks I'm fortunate that burps are escaping, and that it's very normal, and a bonus for me. Burping does not mean reflux.
From my perspective, burps have been a lifesaver. When my stomach starts feeling bloated (after drinking or eating), the pressure shifts around, until a little bit of air escapes. This may repeat several times. I don't "belch"...the burps just happen on their own.

SWELLING OF WRAP--My surgeon reinforced the fact that the wrap will continue to swell over the next two weeks. He said I could eat anything I can manage--things that can be chewed thoroughly. He said that if the wrap makes it hard to get food through, (being sure to take small bites), just sip water/tea until it goes down. It will get through.

Surrender to the recovery process...it makes it lots easier.

I'll be going back for a follow up with him in a month.


2. LUNGS
I do have some fluid in my lungs. Hopefully the antibiotic I'm taking will take care of any residual infection from my pre-surgery lung issue.
Patience is a virtue!

I did have a bout of loose stool/diarrhea...I have a tendency to react to GI issues (even my endoscopy) with that problem. Also, being on the antibiotic...

3. OUT TO DINNER
Before coming home, we stopped at Friendly's for supper. I ordered a cup of decaf tea and a bowl of clam chowder. I just worked around the clams and enjoyed the broth, potatoes, and vegetables. Of course I didn't eat a whole bowl. I get stuffed before I eat much. I was also able to eat saltines...they chew up to total mush. YUM. It was a treat to have crackers and soup ! I brought the rest of my soup home to enjoy later.

All in All...
I'm keeping active...walk daily on my treadmill--10-15 minutes at a time...no incline...1.9mph. SLOW. It feels great, though.
Things going as well as to be expected...I was prepared for pretty much anything.
Heal well!


Days 9-13
First of all...to anyone who is agonizing over this surgery, stop. It is nothing to be afraid of, provided that you do your homework, take the required tests, and find an experienced surgeon.

I was very frightened, and struggled against the decision for four years. Granted, at 13 days, the jury is still out as to it's effectiveness in my case, but I can speak to the surgical experience.

I was ready to be tortured in recovery. I expected my stomach to shut down, and that I may not be able to swallow anything but liquids, and that I would have unbearable bloating and gas. I didn't know what to expect, and prepared myself for a horrific experience.

This fear was totally unwarranted. Once the anesthesia wore off, I had no trouble swallowing liquids. I went home after just one night in the hospital, on a soft diet. Within 6 days post surgery the surgeon told me I could eat anything that could be chewed thoroughly--warning me against sandwiches/bread/steak.

I have had a few moments of swallowing spasms during the 9-13 days post op, but very few. Actually Days 4-5 seem to have been my most difficult hurdle, swallowing-wise.

Throughout this time, I was having difficulty with my lungs, and coughing did hurt the incision at my left rib area. Over time, that incision has healed, and although I still have some coughing (better, but still mucous to raise), my rib area is much more comfortable. I don't even need to ice any more, and can just hold my arm there when I cough. Much improved on that front.

I'm now walking on my treadmill--no incline--2.5mph. I truly believe that my emphasis on walking and getting up and around right after surgery has made a huge difference with the shoulder/neck pain gas issue. It has resolved quite quickly, and is only occasionally felt--and then, very mildly. I would recommend getting right up and walking as much as possible throughout the recovery process.

I'm feeling much better--stronger--more comfortable, and I have lots more energy at this point.

I'm noticing that my stomach is beginning to accept more food without feeling so bloated and uncomfortable. I'm not getting as much gas, either. My surgeon said I wouldn't be able to burp, but my stomach does burp. I've never been one to force burps, and I don't now. My stomach burps itself whenever necessary, which really reduces the gas issues.

I took two weeks off from work (I'm a second grade teacher) after surgery. I've got enough sick time available that it wasn't a problem. I'm going to start back to work next week--mornings only--to give myself a chance to regain my strength before going full force. My family doctor, who is following my lung recovery, is very conservative in that way, and wants me to take it easy so as not to relapse.

My lungs are still far from perfect, but they're already better than they were pre-surgery. Also, everyone who sees me comments on the fact that my voice sounds so much better--I was very, very hoarse before the surgery.

I'll check in again as my recovery continues. Hopefully those who are seeking the information they need to make an informed decision will find these posts helpful.
Happy Healing!

19 Days:
Once again, I'd like to begin by reassuring those people who are searching these forums for information as they try to decide whether or not to go forward with a Nissen Fundoplication surgery. I know how hard it is to find positive comments on the web. I found so many negative blogs and forums that I waited way too long to make the decision to go forward with the surgery.

This surgery isn't as difficult to recover from as I had expected. I've posted earlier reports, so I won't repeat that here.

1. For those who want to avoid or alleviate shoulder pain (due to gas forced into body during surgery)--walk,walk, walk. Mine improved greatly with walking. In fact, when I went a couple days without walking as much, the pain came back. Once I went back to walking a lot, it went away again. The more you walk, the less pain you'll have.

2. Rib/incision pain subsided by the end of the second week--I didn't even need to ice. I think it would have healed more quickly if I hadn't been coughing so much. (I had a lung infection that started before surgery.)

3. By day 15 or 16, my stomach began accepting more food. (Not a lot, mind you...but still more than before.) Be careful not to overdo it, though. You'll be sorry if you stuff your stomach. Several small meals are better than one larger one.

4. Bready foods--even when chewed well--still seem to challenge the wrap.

5. I was able to eat stew cooked in the crock pot (for hours). Even the meat was able to be chewed to liquid form. If you can handle soft foods, you can (carefully) experiment with the slow cooker.

6. Creamy Chicken Gnocchi soup at Olive Garden is a great choice. Actually small bites/careful chewing--opens up a lot of options. Just don't swallow anything that you can't chew to a liquid/mush.

7. My doctor put me on Carafate to counteract stomach problems/acid/wrap irritation. It coats my stomach really well. I take it 4 times a day--1 hour before/2-3 hours after meals. I put the pill in a little medicine cup and add a bit of water to make a slurry that I can drink easily. It did work well to counteract the wrap irritation that was waking me up in the early morning (3AM and on).

8. Expect some irritation feelings around the wrap site. Expect some resistance at the wrap site. It's normal. Things get better, though. Just don't get too frisky with your eating. Your appetite gets better before your stomach can handle a lot. I found that when I became too frisky/eating too much, eating things that might be a bit too chewy, I paid dearly, with more wrap irritation, and stomach problems.

When that happened I backed off and started measuring my meals--a half to 2/3 of a cup is about all I can tolerate comfortably.

9. I've lost about 14 pounds, which I'm glad about. I can lose a little more without a problem. If I start losing more than I want to, I'll just pick my nutrition intake with some snacks in between meals.

10. I still have a persistent lung infection, and am now on injected antibiotics to get rid of it. I can't take antibiotics orally (except amoxicillin) without getting gastritis, which I don't need now. So I'll be going to the doc daily for some (ouchy) shots. I just want to get my lungs cleared. My asthma is the best it's been in years. So far so good there. My lung problem is the reason I finally had the surgery, and so far so good...once I get over the infection. I'm off prednosone as of tomorrow, so that's a happy development.

Hopefully this little journal helps someone who's looking for information and trying to imagine what the recovery will be like. It has been so much better that I had ever dreamed.
This is a great forum. There are many supportive and experienced members who will help you through.
Best of luck to anyone considering/or is scheduled for surgery.

Post Edited (dencha) : 5/15/2011 7:50:21 PM (GMT-6)


MawmawLyn
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 5/15/2011 9:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Dencha, your little journal is very informative and comforting.. I'm on day 8 of my recovery and just started having more trouble swallowing yesterday. And yes you are right. You must eat small amounts & chew extremely well. Hope your lungs are healing quickly..take care & thanks for taking the time to share your personal experience

deleted
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 5/16/2011 2:00 AM (GMT -6)   
MawmawLyn said...
Hi everyone,

I just had my Lap NF & Hiatel hernia repair surgery on Friday May 6, 2011. I have experienced all the same symptoms as you all but also have difficulty with deep breadths & yawning. Is anyone else experiencing that? Chronic bronchitis is one of the reasons I had the surgery.
Appreciate this forum. I learned a lot of good info just reading what others have gone through. Thanks for all the input.
Hi MawmawLyn, YES! It hurts to take deep breaths for me too. I had both these surgeries and a gallbladder removal on the 9th of May. It's wierd though bc it hurts my shoulders too when I take a deep breath. Oh how I dread that thing we have to inhale and reach a higher goal on! OUCH!

deleted
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 5/16/2011 2:16 AM (GMT -6)   
WOW Denise Thank You! That helps alot :) Joy is right I think, we have to take things slow. Bittersweet, I'm sorry to hear your progress slowed a bit. I don't think it slowed much though, just enough for you to notice. ;) Your doing amazing for only being one week into this! I'm still on a liquid diet, although yesterday and today I did have a bit of tomato soup. Mmmm! Oh and I spooned on a vanilla milk shake through out the day. Normally I don't tolerate dairy well so I was hoping for some reaction (cough, actually just action LOL)...still no BM for me. So I have the gas and bloating for sure. I'm taking the Miralax every AM, have cut all my other meds in half (I hope that lasts!) and not had any reflux or PPI's. I do have a pain sometimes where my gallbladder was and not sure if it is from the surgery or my Duodenitis. Also wondering if I should go ahead and start taking my Bentyl for my IBS. My surgeon told me to start all my meds back when I came home, but I really want to get off some of these. Bittersweet that feeling of choking terrifies me, and I think that may be why I'm still on liquids. I really don't have an appetite though thank goodness, so it's OK for me. I really could lose 25-30 lbs. BTW I am 45. I do feel the swelling more these last few days in my throat UGH, but noticed the Tylenol seems to help with that. I'm so sorry for those of you going through this but I'm sure glad I'm not alone! And everyone who has been through it already, thanks again so much. It really helps to know what to expect. :)
Tubal way back when
Appendix Removal Oct.'09
Total Vaginal Hysterectomy Oct'10
Nissen 360, Hiatal Hernia Repair, Gallbladder removal May'12

*IBS
*Duodenitis (NSAID Induced)
*Severe Gerd, Hiatal Hernia

MawmawLyn
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 5/16/2011 10:11 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Tummytroubles.. That puts my mind at ease.
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