Post Nissen...wondering when I will feel normal again?

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texas rt
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 9/7/2011 11:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi,
I am 7 days post-wrap and am feeling a bit down. I am wondering when I will start to feel better. I am still on a pureed diet and cannot handle anything else. I have lost 13 pounds and have zero energy. I have two small children and am hoping to feel better soon so I can keep up with them. They are part of the reason I had the surgery done in the first place. I guess I'm looking for advice about how to get back to normal. I didn't realize what a dramatic change this would be post-op.

Thanks!

kyheart
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 513
   Posted 9/7/2011 5:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to the "WRAPPED CLUB" Texas rt

You have just had Major surgery, please do not be too anxious to 'feel better'. Do not push yourself. You will have swelling of the wrap until day 14 or there abouts.. swallowing may get difficult until then.. I was very fortunate I did not have any problems there, but I was on full liquids until about week 3. This was my choice.. I was not ready to go farther until then.. I was a cautious recover-er I guess because of my age I just didn't want to go too fast.

Your energy level may continue to suffer for several more weeks, your outside will heal fairly quickly, your insides are going to take much longer, if you try to rush that it could cause you problems. Your insides have been lifted, moved, squished, jarred and sewn, maybe some other things too.. but anyway.. you can help with your energy level by getting out your blender and pureeing anything you feel like you want, I loved beef vegetable soup .. it was soo good, anything that you can cook you can put in a blender and reduce it to mush, then you can drink it...believe me it is so much better than drinking the same thing over and over again.. Blended everything gets you your vitamins and minerals and good stuff...

please stay with us and come here to ask questions, cry, scream, shout and swear.. we understand.. we have been where you are and most of us are still recovering at different stages.. I am at 5 months and I still have issues but not as many as I had...

You should have help for a while if possible with your children, you are not going to be able to lift very much weight for quite a while unless you want to take the chance of undoing all that has been done. I went back to work after 2 weeks and 3 days, I should have waited another week

You haven't said if the surgery accomplished the goal... are your pre-surgery problems gone or lessened?? was the surgery helpful??

Just take your time and relax into your recovery, you will be glad you did.

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

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 9/7/2011 9:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Texas rt,
Welcome to the yeah yeah yeah yeah Healing Well Wrapped Club! yeah yeah   yeah   yeah
I'm glad you've started your own thread, so others can find your posts and respond directly to you. It always amazes me that GI doctors and surgeons don't prepare patients better for this surgery. I was fortunate enough to find this forum before my surgery, so I had lots of information and guidance going in. My surgeon didn't really give me a lot of information either. Honestly, they don't really see the recovery...they do the surgery, see the patients once for a follow-up, and send them on their merry way.

 

The first week is definitely challenging, as your swallowing is not all that comfortable. I hate to break it to you, but things will get worse before they get better. Inside you have had major surgery (the little incisions outside belie the big changes that occured within). Your wrap and hernia repair will become more and more swollen until they peak at about Day 14. At that point they start going down and the healing begins. Don't be surprised if your swallowing gets harder next week.

 
You will get back to normal, but it will just take time. The majority of the healing will take six months, but the rest will take about a year. Losing weight is a normal result of the surgery, as the swelling in your stomach mimics fullness.  This will subside over the next weeks, but it's a gradual process.  As Sandi said, you have had MAJOR SURGERY, and you should feel worn out!  It will take time to get your strength back.  Once you are eating more normally your strength will follow.
 
 You should discuss your lifting restrictions with your surgeon.  You certainly don't want to undo your repair by lifting something heavy before you should.  Also, be sure to get a script for anti nausea drugs to keep handy, as you won't want to vomit at this early stage, as it could damage your wrap.
 
 This forum was a blessing during my recovery from surgery.  More experienced members provided me with really valuable information and support.  I stuck around after my recovery (my surgery was in Feb. 2009) to try to help others the way I was helped.
 
 Here is a link to my early recovery posts.  Ignore the references to coughing, as I has a unique issue with my lungs, which was the real reason I had the surgery.  Hope it gives you an idea of what you might expect in the next days...
 
Again, glad you've joined us. 
Happy Healing!
Denise

texas rt
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 9/8/2011 10:08 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Denise and Sandi,
Thank you so much for your encouragement and for sharing your experiences! I am feeling a bit better today...still having some pains in my left shoulder, but not too bad. The weight loss has slowed to about 1/2 pound a day, which makes me more comfortable.

Denise,
I am a respiratory therapist and understand all of the lung issues you went through. I also started having problems with my lungs as a result of my reflux. I developed asthma and had numerous infections. After 3 months on antibiotics, breathing treatments, steroids and the 30 extra pounds that accompanied them, I was done!! I am looking forward to being able to breathe again and sleeping flat instead of upright. It's difficult to heal at my own pace when my family looks at me expectantly and wonders why I'm not better yet!!
My surgeon did not do a great job of realistically preparing me for recovery. In his words, " You'll eat soft foods for a few days and advance your diet as tolerated...no big deal." HUH!!

Oh well, I am getting better everyday and will be thankful to get to the point where swelling is no longer an issue. I look funny because the res of my body is getting smaller and my stomach is getting bigger. My 5 year old daughter asked me if I was going to have another baby :)

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 9/8/2011 6:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi texas rt,
 
I continue to be amazed at the lack of information that surgeons provide their patients.  If you went into this surgery thinking it would be a quick fix, I can only imagine how shocked you must be with your recovery issues.  It is so unfair to not be properly prepared.  I hope you will use some of the posts here to educate your family on the difficuties that we all have when recovering from a Nissen surgery. 
 
It is very typical that your stomach is distended now.  That will gradually subside.  Many of us wear looser, elastic topped pants during the early days/weeks to protect those sensitive incisions and accomodate the bloat. 
 
Thanks for your expression of understanding.  It is amazing how GERD to really damage lungs.  My asthma doctor expressed real concern over the fact that GI docs only consider the affect acid has on the esophagus and not the lungs.  He said that they don't understand that a tiny amount of acid (not enough to be a danger to the esophagus) can be a real danger to lungs.
 
Before my surgery I was using a nebulizer several times a day, and my husband was doing lung PT to help me cough up mucous so I could breathe.  It was such a struggle.  I was also on high doses of inhaled steroids, and intermittent oral steroids.
 
 I didn't know if surgery was going to help my lungs. I didn't have a choice, though.  I had to try.  (My surgeon said that, "If your lung problems are caused by your GERD, the surgery will make them better.")  It took two and a half months for them to heal.  Thankfully, the surgery did work, and my lungs are much better.  I do have severe pollen allergies, and although I get shots, my allergies have been terrible.  Still, since the surgery, even with the allergies, my lungs are really doing well. 
 
Just remember that your lungs didn't get bad overnight, and it will take time for them to heal.  Also, as far as pain in the shoulder, have you tried walking?  If you can figure out a way to either walk around the house, on a treadmill, or outside, it can be helpful with shoulder pain.  It surely helped me. 
 
I'm glad you've joined us! 
Take care,
Denise
 
 
 
 
 
 

CRABBYGAIL
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 9/8/2011 7:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Texas,
  I am 2 1/2 months post op and I am just now getting my energy back somewhat. I understand the need to feel better because I baby sit my four grandbabies, (two full time) and when they nap I do too! On days when I have all four of them, I am exhausted, and sore, too!
 
 I do think though, that the surgery was a success. I no longer wake up at all hours of the night choking and gagging, so that in itself is a plus. I sleep so much better and do not take any PPIs. I still have some issues with eating and some bathroom problems.  I too, lost weight but am gaining it back now that I am eating again.
 
Be patient, I turned the corner about six weeks out and began to feel better when I was able to eat more.
Good luck and God bless you! Gail
 

Aug25myturn
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 9/18/2011 7:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi TX,
You haven't posted in a while. How are you?????
I am about a week ahead of you. I just passed three weeks. Still tired, still dealing with some things, but nothing compared to what it was before surgery.

I've lost a bunch of weight like you. They moved me after two weeks to soft foods, and then took me back off. My body wasn't ready. That doesn't help with our energy levels I know. Hang in there. It's going to get better.

Two small kids tend to suck out energy anyway, and I am guessing you're really struggling with the recovery and two children to care for. It's so important for you to rest. Is there anyone there helping you??? I have five kids but they are all grown. I have a puppy and that's a challenge. I won't be fussing anymore because I will think of you trying to manage two kids through this. You're incredibly strong to go through this with two small kids at home.

Please use this board when you can. Lots of wisdom here. You've got TWO incredible WARRIORS helping you on here already. Denise and Sandi are the BEST, as I am sure Gail will also tell you they are.

Hang in there....Listen to the advise, and keep in touch when you can. It will HELP YOU...

Praying for you..hope it's okay to say that...

Blessings,
Gina

texas rt
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 9/18/2011 9:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Gina,
Thank you so much for checking on me!! I have been wanting to get on the forum for several days now, but have had numerous interruptions. I am doing really well for being two and a half weeks post op. I am seeing the surgeon on Wed. for a check-up on Wed. and am anxious to hear what he says about my progress. I took Denise's advice and began walking last week and that has helped immensely. Much of my swelling has subsided and I am able to eat more now. My abdomen is still really distended and it seems to get worse throughout the day. I am eating solids now, but have to be very careful about what I eat and make sure to chew really well or else pain and discomfort ensues. I don't have any help with the kids, but they are gone a few days a week for school and that helps. They have also been really understanding ( for a 2 and 5 year old).

I am so thankful for this forum because you have all helped answer my questions and calm my fears!! When will they let you try soft foods again? It's amazing to me how variable everyone's recovery is. For me, it seems like one day, things just felt better and have been getting gradually better since. I pray that you will be able to eat soon. It helps so much to regain some strength and energy. What kind of puppy do you have? My mom just got an Australian Shepherd puppy and she said it's a lot of work keeping up with her!! Thanks again for checking on me!! Your kindness and compassion means so much!! Prayers for a safe and speedy recovery for you as well!

Chandra

kyheart
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 513
   Posted 9/18/2011 9:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Chandra

I started on soft foods after my 3rd week.. baked and broiled fish.. stuff like that, most things that can be chewed to a liquid.. that is the most important thing when you start eating..chew chew chew and take small bites.. eat frequently rather than 3 meals a day.. Listen to your body, it will tell you yes or no..

Reach for the Sunshine.. Rainbows will follow..

Sandi
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