Three days away, QUESTIONS GALORE

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Aug25myturn
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 8/22/2011 3:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Okay. I am starting to think, don't have the Surgery...
So many things going on in my mind. I am feeling quite vulnerable and weak.  So many questions rolling in my head almost non-stop now.
 
And lately, the taste in my mouth is beyond horrendous. I can't get rid of it regardless of what I do. Mouthwash, brushing my teeth, peroxide, etc.  my teeth feel funky all the time.  Does this go away? How many people still have to take medication after the surgery??
 
Are my gums ruined indefinitely? They look terrible, feel terrible, and my gums have receded so far back.... I just can't believe what this has done to my gums....
Can a dentist fix this or do I need dentures now?
 
I had a mirgraine today and I learned you can't crush the migraine pills. So what will I do if I get a migraine? 
Without Mirgraine medication they can last as long as three days and they get more painful the longer they go.
Oh my gosh...I can' t imagine that...I usually take a Imitrex (generic of course) and drink a Coke. It helps me most of the time, and limits the headache to under one day. Pain medication wouldn't touch it. It has to be medication for a Migraine
 
How long before we can swallow pills again?
How long before we can drink from a straw?
How long before we can drink a Coke? 
How long before I can use the stairs?
How long before I will be able to burp?
How long does it take to get that gas out? I know walking helps, but does it hurt all the time?
So many different reviews on it from people.
 
For two months I've been starving because I am afraid to eat because of how bad it hurts and what happens to me when I do.
If I am weak going into surgery can that cause complications?
 
I read the journal on here, and it answered some, but not a lot of them, and that's just one person's story (and I am grateful for it), but is that typical recovery?
 
I feel so silly feeling like this...I feel stuck either way.
Ugh....is this normal too? Feeling like this?
I am normally like this...
 
Sigh....
 
 
 

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 8/22/2011 6:21 PM (GMT -6)   
How long before we can swallow pills again?
It depends on the size of the pill. I could swallow my thyroid pill with no trouble right away. It's as long as the word "thyroid".
How long before we can drink from a straw?
Give it a few weeks.
How long before we can drink a Coke?
If you drink it flat -right away. But if you want fizzy it will take a couple of months.
How long before I can use the stairs?
You can climb stairs right away, but it will be uncomfortable. I'd test it out and see when it felt better to climb.
How long before I will be able to burp?
I could burp from the moment I woke up after surgery.
How long does it take to get that gas out? I know walking helps, but does it hurt all the time?
The gas will take about two weeks to go out. My shoulder never hurt because the doctor drained the excess gas out of me before closing.
 
You need to discuss your gums and teeth with the dentist after the surgery. My bad breath faded after the surgery. smilewinkgrin

Joy

kyheart
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 513
   Posted 8/22/2011 6:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Myturn

Please don't feel like you are silly. you have every right to be apprehensive.. this is a huge step to take in changing your life..

I was one of the unusual cases after the Nissen, I was able to drink Ginger Ale right after the surgery in very small sips.. not swallows or gulps, sips..

You should discuss the issues with your migraines with your surgeon before the surgery and find out if there is a prescription liquid that can be taken or a pill that can be crushed. there are always solutions...

Once you have the surgery, you should be able to drink ensure and that has vitamins and minerals and protein that you need to build your strength. You will be able to eat most anything that can be put in a blender after the first 2 weeks.. depending on what restrictions your surgeon imposes, maybe after the 1st week. I was blending most any kind of soup (except cream soups, they didn't agree with me) after I got home from the hospital. I was on a full liquid diet.. cream of wheat consistency and just about anything.. not too hot because that didn't feel good. But, real warm was comforting to me.. you just have to judge on your own what your body likes. Always remember to listen to your body.. it will tell you what it likes or doesn't like..

Pretty soon we will be welcoming you into the Wrapped Club...

Reach for the Sunshine.. Rainbows will follow
Sandi

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 8/22/2011 6:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Myturn,

As far as swallowing pills, everyone is different. I never had trouble swallowing any pills before surgery, but have had difficulty with really large ones since I was wrapped. If they can't be crushed, my next request is if it can be prescribed at a smaller dose (ex 300mg=150+150, and I can handle those). Also, there are other versions...I used to take Allegra--a big pill, and now I take Xyzal--a tiny pill. There are ways around a lot of things. I take liquid calcium and flaxseed oil. I take 400IU of Vitamin D...very small.

A friend of mine has bad migraines, and I know that she took Imitrex via injection (at least that was my understanding) when she had a bad migraine. It's very possible that the medication. I checked, and Imirex comes in 25, 50, or 100mg, and also in nasal spray and injection. You can check into those options. Here's the URL:
headache.emedtv.com/imitrex/imitrex-dosage.html

I still stay away from straws. They may be just fine, but I don't really want to find out. Like Joy, I could burp right away (or should I say, my stomach could burp--it wasn't at will...)

Some have no trouble with soda, but I'd take it easy until you know how it affects you.

My gums receded because I was brushing too hard for many years. Unfortunately, the gums don't move back. Do you brush with a sensitive toothpaste like Sensodyne? I prefer the taste of the Colgate version. That can help alleviate the sensitivity to heat and cold. As Joy said, a dentist can give you more information.

Things will get better after your surgery. Just hang in there!
Don't worry! You can't go on the way you are. Some of us just don't have the luxury of choosing whether or not we want the Nissen surgery. If things are bad enough, we have to give it a try!

We're all here to support you and welcome you to the Wrapped Club!
Good luck. I'll be thinking of you!
Take care,
Denise

Aug25myturn
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 8/22/2011 8:07 PM (GMT -6)   
My husband about fell over when I told him how I was feeling. I really don't have a choice either. I can't keep going like this, can I?
I did learn of the injections for the migraines, but my insurance will not cover name brand at all. They are about 60 dollars or more for just one injection...ugh. They do not make them in generic (which my insurance will cover). I have to buy my own insurance (employer does not provide it), and so we already put a ton of money out each month. I just don't have 240 for 4 injections.
I don't know why the Coke helps with the migraines but it does. I was skeptical at first, but once I found it worked, I was thrilled. I've been doing it about five years now. Prior to that, I suffered, sometimes for three days. It was horrible. My reflux would be kicking my backside, and the migraine would try to finish me off.
If I can drink it flat, it might work. It's not the fizz that does it, it's probably the caffeine.
Gums are a mess. I've started using Pro Health Crest. It is for sensitve teeth, and I think it has helped some, but with this stuff backing up into my mouth it can't help much.
The taste is terrible. It ruins everything. Lately I can hardly eat or drink because it makes everything taste funky.
I have a six month old puppy. How long do you think before I can walk her again? I walk her sometimes twice a day for over a mile. She loves our walks, and so do I. She is a funny a puppy that has a zest for life. My husband is concerned she'll yank her leash and hurt me. She isn't big, but she is strong. SHe could pull a car if she wanted to. GRIN...
I think I am just nervous. I don't know what to expect.

I know I hate living this way. I hate what it does to me.
I hate the shortness of breath
I hate the taste in my mouth
I hate the sores in my mouth with swollen, bleeding gums.
I hate the pain in my chest.
I hate the dry throat and the sore throat.
I hate when the spasms hit me.
I hate not eating.
I hate the stomach aches.

Like I said, I hate living this way. It controls my life and has been for the last three years.

I can't believe there is a board like this that is so supportive. I never dreamed I could talk to people that would understand what I was dealing with, or that they could help me NOT freak out.

Sigh....I hope I can do this...

Thanks for the answers everyone. I really do appreciate it...
Maybe tomorrow I won't be a Silly Nilly...

opnwhl4
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 8/22/2011 8:27 PM (GMT -6)   
aug-
I am scheduled for my 3rd nissen on Wednesday 8/24 at 2pm, I've been down this road and still get anxious. I could swallow any pill after both nissens, but sometimes it got stuck and I just drank some more water and it either went through or dissolved and went through. the caffeine is what makes Coke help migraines. there is a lot of caffeine in otc migraine meds. touchy subject for me Sorry.
Some can burp right away and some can later. I could with both, but could not vomit. ask for anti nausea meds before going home just in case. Mine is going to be an open surgery thid=s time because i had surgery to repair a torn esophagus in March and that is what ruined a perfect wrap I had, bummer.
As I have been told by my good friends here, don't let the what ifs get to you and concentrate on what it will be like without refluxing all the time. I am down to about 39 hours or so and wish it was tomorrow.

Take care,
Bill
opnwhl4
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn
Nissen 6/06 and 5/09
#3 soon I hope

daddypig
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 90
   Posted 8/22/2011 9:59 PM (GMT -6)   
You can do it, you've come this far. As much as I have some nausea and bloating I am so pleased I had this surgery. The early results are better than I hoped and I wish you the same. The taste has gone, I can sleep flat...

Make sure you have something minty that you can suck on in the house incase you get a nausea bout, and rest up when your body tells you to. Its natural to be nervous, I was too. You just keep going like you have been, you are doing fine.

Good luck,

Kevin

aeshleyrose
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 656
   Posted 8/23/2011 12:57 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Aug25myturn!

I'm sorry, I can't speak very about everything else, but I can tell you that the caffeine in the coke is what's helping you. Caffeine is a famous vasoconstrictor (narrows the blood vessels). Some headaches (migraines included) are caused by blood vessels in the brain expanding, although new theories about why people have migraines come out semi-frequently.

I have read that a lot of people on this site can tolerate coffee after the NF... hopefully you can too, which would help your migraines.

Also, if you're in the states, you can buy some Excedrin. It has never failed me when I've had a headache. However, it is very hard on the tummy. A double-edged sword!

Hope this helps, love! Here in Finland you only have two more days! :D
Ashley

CRABBYGAIL
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 8/23/2011 2:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Myturn,
I am 2 months post op today! I can so relate to your nervousness, but I am here to tell you, DO NOT waiver. I waited almost 2 yrs before having this surgery because I was just too scared! What was I thinking?

I have NO sore throat, NO waking up in the middle of the night coughing and choking, NO bad taste in my mouth, and NO reflux! NONE! No taking meds three times a day! I have taken every med on the market for reflux for the last 20 something years!

Yes, the surgery was probably the most difficult for me and I have had surgery 7 times in my life. But, after 2 months, I drink coffee, (only 1 cup) each morning. I can swallow my pills in the morning, and a calcium tablet with no problems. Just about anything else I want to eat, too. Cokes still give me horrible gas, bread is still a little hard to handle, and I haven't had any steak yet. (Can't afford it, still paying hospital bills!)

Please keep the questions coming. There were so many people who helped me in the days before and right after my surgery. I will pray that you do not have a migraine in the next several weeks! You can do it! Good luck! Gail

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 8/23/2011 4:31 PM (GMT -6)   
You can probably handle short walks after the first two weeks. But, if she's a really strong puller you might better wait until six weeks. I know pushing a shopping cart was painful to me until week six so was bending over.
Don't forget do not lift anything over 5 lbs for six weeks.
Joy

Aug25myturn
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 8/23/2011 5:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Bill- this is your third time tomorrow? Oh my gosh.. How did you tear it? That's nuts. I am going to be praying that this time, you won't need another one again. Perfectly done. BTW:I can't do OTC migraine medications. They don't make a dent in them. They are loaded with caffefine and maybe some pain reliever.

Kevin- what causes the nausea bouts? Do they just start on their own or does something trigger them? Do I need to ask for some to take home or do they automatically give it?

Ashley- I have been getting these stupid headaches since 1991. They are horrific. I have taken more medications for them that work, and for years I have suffered terribly with them. As I told Bill, every OTC there is I've tried. Coffee doesn't work either. So far Imitrex is it. Not sure how hard that is the tummy.

Gail- I appreciate the look two months out. I have hardly been able to eat for three months. I am concerned about how weak I may be for this. I can't eat bread now without feeling like I am going to choke. I don't have the terrible coughing, but I have the terrible throat and sometimes wake up struggling to breath because it's so dry. I keep water besides the bed so I can grab a drink in the middle of the night when it happens. I keep water with me all day too, because I often need to drink it. Then there is the pain in the chest, and the palpitations. I hate those palpitations...

Joy- She can pull yes. She about 11 pounds, she is schnauzer/russell. Quite busy and is not entering her "teenage" years. Naughty again...sigh...I am concerned about this, but what can I do? I am use to walk at least 2 miles each day. I can't imagine what it will be like to not walk? And by the time I can it's going to be colder...Bummer.

I really appreciate it everyone. Today I found myself feeling nervous, and I keep praying. Prayer always helps me, but I need to remind myself to trust too.

Thanks,

daddypig
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 90
   Posted 8/24/2011 10:06 AM (GMT -6)   
HI, and good luck again for tomorrow.

I found that I have had three serious bouts of nausea so far (I am 8 days post op). THe first was the first time I tried to get up to go to the toilet in the hospital, I think related to the general anaesthetic more than anything.

I have woken up twice, around 6am, since then (days 2 and 6) feeling bad. There is always a background 'fog' for me, but I put that down to tiredness and the painkillers, whihc I will finish tomorrow. The two bad days were caused (I think!) by bloating, one of the side effects that should go away. I stuck my head out the window, sipped water, chewed a mint, and walked. Walking, or rocking (like my wife did in labour!) helps get bloat, gas, air whatever from wherever out wherever which helps! THere is not much you can do about it, just have some mints and water by the bed. I was not ill either time, just have to remember that you will get through it, it will pass, keeo moving and have a mint or something. Only one of the times was longer than half an hour, so overall not too bad.

I was given anti sickness meds, motilium. Incidently that was one of the pills I had been on before the op so I had plenty. I have 4 x 10mg a day. I dont rate them especially. Cold really is the best thing, a cold flannel or cold breeze. Living in England the second one is free...

Best of luck, go with it, and let us know how you are when you can. If it helps I managed some shepherds pie last night, so it does not necessarily follow that you'll be on soup for weeks on end. You'll get your energy back for your walks sooner than you think, with a bit of luck. I read Dencha posts who mentions a lot about walking.

Good luck.

Kevin.

kyheart
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 513
   Posted 8/24/2011 7:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Tomorrow is the day you will be making a change for the better in your life.. Yeah!!!!! Healing prayers and comforting thoughts are coming your way... You will officially be a member of "The Wrapped Club" once you come out of surgery... Close your eyes and you will feel the warm wishes coming at you from the family here at Healing Well...
Come see us as soon as you can and ask any questions you like and whine or yell or shout and praise. We will accept and understand it all and try to support and comfort you through your recovery

Reach for the Sunshine... Rainbows will follow..
Sandi

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 8/24/2011 8:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Myturn,

Good luck tomorrow! We'll all be here awaiting your return--ready to welcome you into the Wrapped Club! Don't worry...you'll do just fine.

Happy Healing!
Denise

Aug25myturn
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 8/24/2011 8:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Everyone,
I kept thinking about Bill being on his third one today. And I am not on my first yet....
Today was rough...I've been back and forth between wanting to cancel, and wishing it was over.
I snapped at my hubby and youngest son, I almost had a crying spree, and now it's almost 11pm, and I am wishing I ate more today. I ate at 5pm, and that was it. I was busy and nervous so I skipped.
Yesterday, the palpitations were terrible. Today, the spasms let me know they were there. By 3, my throat was so raw feeling that nothing helped. Not even an extra Protonix.
I have got to trust that God sees all. I guess the holding my liver, working close to my heart etc. has me a bit uncomfortable.
I will try and write as soon as I can. I really can't say THANK you enough to everyone for trying to help me through this. Honestly, I am not normally a needy person. I am usually able to handle most things tossed my way.
Thanks again...

anxietyplus
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 8/25/2011 3:17 AM (GMT -6)   
I can so identify with those who are afraid. I go in tomorrow but I did cancel my surgery last month due to fear. now I have a different surgeon who does these every day. I am still afraid of tomorrow the 26th but also afraid not to as my pain is constantly getting worse. I have nausea most of the time when i eat and pain. It is so wonderful to have the support here.
alleycat

daddypig
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 90
   Posted 8/25/2011 3:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Good luck alleycat. I had my surgery ten days ago. So far the worst days were the first week but there have been plenty of times even in that week that I didn't really feel much, after years of gerd it so seems worth it to me, it has not been as bad as I feared and fingers crossed you'll feel the same. Good luck, stay the course you are doing great.

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 8/26/2011 7:36 AM (GMT -6)   
You're right, "daddypig"(did I miss your other name?) The surgery recovery is not as bad as many of the GERD episodes we had that led us down the surgery path.
Sure there are challenges, but they are well worth the effort to have a better quality of life and feel better.

Thinking of you,Myturn! Happy Healing!
Denise

daddypig
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 90
   Posted 8/26/2011 8:52 AM (GMT -6)   
hi - its Kevin!

Still cant believe I can lie flat!

Kevin

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 8/26/2011 9:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Aha! Now I remember! Hi Kevin!
Lie flat and enjoy the day!
Denise
yeah

mummye
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 8/26/2011 12:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh how I wish I was three days away from surgery. Spoke to the consultants secretary, who incidentally I think needs a personality transplant the way she spoke to me today, to find out that having been told in June that the waiting list was 2/3 months that in fact it is more like 26 weeks!!! At this rate I will be so stressed and ill they won't even do the op. The health service here in the UK is something to be desired - NOT!!!!! I had pre-op assessment 3 weeks ago and if as it now seems that it will be some time before going in, I will have to have all these tests repeated. What an utter what of time, money and resources.

This length of wait is going to take me right up to Christmas and that will completely suck. My daughter does the most wonderful Christmas dinner and I really want to be able to enjoy it. My life just seems to be on hold at the moment I feel so low and miserable all the time.

All this stress and anxiety of waiting is making the spasms worse and feel like I have permanent blockage in the oesophagus.
Eileen cry

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 8/26/2011 3:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Mummye, I had my surgery three days before Christmas. I had to shut myself off from the family while they had a Christmas reuion and meal. I sat in my room smelling all the wonderful goodies and drinking chicken broth. :P
Joy

mummye
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 8/26/2011 4:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Joy, I know will have to do it but it will be the biggest nightmare possibly worse than the suffering am going through at the moment. I love the whole Christmas thing not just the eating but the playing of silly games with family and gerally being together and happy.

I read this forum daily and get inspiration from those who are and have suffered and some days I feel quite positive about the outcome even if I have to wait but on others like today it just seems like I have ton weight on my shoulders and that absolutely everything little things is a big issue

Eileen

kyheart
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 513
   Posted 8/26/2011 8:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Well MYTURN...
you should be a member of the wrapped club by now.. I hope you are doing well and it will be good to hear from you to find out how you are..

Please stay with us and let us all support you and listen to you when you need an ear...

Reach for the Sunshine.. Rainbows will follow..
Sandi

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 8/27/2011 8:17 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Eileen,

I'm glad you've found us. We're a big family with members all over the world. Welcome!

Sorry to hear you're going to have to wait so long. Christmas isn't an ideal time, but if that's what it takes to get better, it'll be the best Christmas gift you could ever get.

Every surgeon is different, but mine set me free to eat anything that could be chewed to a liquid from Day 5 or 6 on. That helped me a lot, as I really enjoy food, and it provided me with a wide range of things to eat. My husband and I go out to eat a lot, and I went out even in the early weeks. I would select foods I could handle--a cream soup, crepe manicotti...whatever I could handle. I left my frozen chicken broth in the freezer!

You will have to take tiny bites and chew, chew, chew, but you'll be surprised at how well you handle well-chosen foods. The other thing that is surprising is how little your stomach will take before feeling very full. I was told that it was because of swelling...the stomach interprets the swelling as fullness. This subsides gradually over the first weeks and months.

Still, during the first weeks, there are challenges, and when your wrap becomes more swollen to peak at 2 weeks, you will be listening to your body and stepping back to easier foods for a while.

It's all attitude, Eileen. You have a few months to get yourself into a good mindset. Look at the positive, and work on developing gratitude that you can have the surgery at all. There are others who are suffering like you, but have no health insurance or access to healthcare. You're one of the lucky ones. Me too!

I found the recovery from the surgery to be a very pleasant surprise. While it's very challenging, it is far superior to the pain of reflux. I'd trade Nissen recovery for the pain of esophagitis any day!

Hang in there...Use the months prior to your surgery to learn everything you can about how to make the recovery as positive an experience as possible. This forum was a lifesaver for me when I had my surgery in February 2009. That's why I stuck around to help others the way I was helped.

There are many experienced post-Nissen posters here. Draw on those who offer optimistic yet realistic advice. As I said, your attitude will determine whether or not you handle the post-Nissen recovery with grace or frustration. It's a major surgery. It's a revision of your upper GI tract. There will be changes that occur. There will be adjustments. There will be post-op pain (although it was less than I expected).

There will be feelings of "heartburn"...your esophagus experiences all pain as "heartburn". All these things will provide challenges. However, if you can surrender into your recovery and follow its lead, you will find your recovery is much easier. Those who panic at every pain, and struggle against what is happening, have a lot of difficulty. Relax into it. Let it happen. Don't struggle against the time it takes...just go with the flow. If you can do that, you'll do great!
Take care! There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Denise

Post Edited (dencha) : 8/27/2011 8:25:41 AM (GMT-6)

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