7 days post-op, I would have chosen to live with the reflux

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Eloy
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 51
   Posted 12/29/2011 12:40 PM (GMT -6)   
I am in day 7 and I definitely have buyers remorse. If I had been better informed I would have chosen to live with the reflux. The whole diet thing sucks. I am sick of soft foods which are mostly sweet and I am craving a hot meal that I can dig my teeth into. Jello, pudding, applesauce, I just would rather not eat. Doc says no bread or meats, and the broth has gotten so boring, I'd just rather starve. Why don't they give you dietary suggestions ? And to top it off I am gaining weight.
 
Edit:  I gave your thread a title.

Post Edited By Moderator (stkitt) : 12/30/2011 9:18:58 AM (GMT-7)


aeshleyrose
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Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 656
   Posted 12/29/2011 1:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey there Eloy,

Firstly, welcome to HealingWell.com. I hope we can give you some good advice here.

I will let the others members who have had the Nissen speak more about this to you, but for a quick answer, day 7 is very, very early in your recovery process. Your swelling will probably peak at about day 14. What kind of symptoms are you having, specifically? Are you still taking a Proton-Pump Inhibitor (PPI)?

I am sorry that your doctor hasn't given you any dietary recommendations, I am in agreement that it SHOULD happen. It does sound like what you're eating is on the right track, and I understand that it's frustrating, but it is necessary. You have undergone major surgery and your insides (namely your stomach and esophagus) need to take it easy with liquid and soft foods. It would be pretty hard on your tummy if you ate a burger right about now. It might also be pretty painful and uncomfortable for you.

One piece of advice I've seen here about being post-op Nissen is to be patient. You are only 1 week post-op from a serious operation, so please realize that your body will take some time to heal and it's your job now to roll with it and try to minimize the complications.

I hope you're feeling better soon! And welcome, again :)
Ashley

opnwhl4
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 12/29/2011 1:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Eloy-

Ashley has given you some great advice. ( Way to go Ashley!) She is very correct about being patient. It is so very hard to do, but is important. This recovery does take time. The best advice I got for eating is to chew everything very well and to a liquid if you can. Avoiding solid meat and soft bread is important because they can get stuck at the wrap. This can be painful. My surgeons told me to eat soft foods for the first few weeks. I was able to eat ground beef fairly easily. Also toast usually works well too.

Would you give us some info as to what made you decide on the surgery?

Take care,
Bill
opnwhl4
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn
Nissen 6/06 and 5/09
#3 on 8/24/11

bcfromfl
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 417
   Posted 12/29/2011 1:50 PM (GMT -6)   
I noticed in your other thread that you are a retired RN. If I might ask, what was part of your decision-making process to go with the surgery? As someone who is trying to become more comfortable with the idea of exploring the Nissen further, I find it particularly disturbing that someone with your experience and medical knowledge would feel so strongly against the procedure afterwards. Did you have a full battery of tests beforehand? Were PPIs just not providing satisfactory relief? For what reason(s) do you feel like you were not well-informed? Did you do any sort of research on your own ahead of time?

Also, what were your symptoms before the surgery? Typical heartburn only, or atypical LPR symptoms?

Thank you for your input. Hope things begin to get easier for you soon!

-Bruce

Eloy
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 51
   Posted 12/29/2011 7:53 PM (GMT -6)   
When you are told that you can only eat soft foods to liquid it needs to be clearly explained that when you swallow there is a lot of pain and it's not going to be easy to get those things down. The doctors made it sound like you can do anything because of the lap.Not true. I had surgery because I had recurrent pneumonia 's due to aspiration from reflux.this type of surgery was not familiar to me, I was a psych nurse, but I did research it, and when I read small bites nothing was mentioned about the pain after swallowing. I wish I would have given it another year on the meds. I don't care to go another month of eating jello and pudding, that hurts too. I could kick myself because I remember thinking, do I want to have an elective surgery that I'll just hate myself for afterwards. This will be the last one I have, unless I am unconscience, I won't sign that paper again. Unless you are ready to give up a long time of trying to eat don' do it unless it'life or death. No sugar coating here. It's not one of those procedures that you come out of without an appetite. Like I said I am starving and if you forget and take a big bite of even pudding, you suffer terribly.

imstarryeyed
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 12/29/2011 8:28 PM (GMT -6)   
I am sorry you are feeling so poorly. I had the nissen on December 13th so I'm a little ahead of you. I didn't have reflux or heartburn before surgery but I was anemic, had asthma and had a large paraesophageal hernia that could be dangerous. My surgeon said I NEEDED the surgery. He told me little as far as what to expect after but I read a lot so felt very prepared. Maybe, because it's different for everyone, I was expecting things to be much worse. My appetite returned after the first week.

On Christmas Eve, 11 days post op, I ate veggie lasagna. No problems. Today I ate mexican. Again, no problem. I eat small bites, small portions chew well. I know it's not this easy for everyone this early on but this could be you in a couple of weeks. I really hope so. Just hang in there. Saltine crackers were something that helped me a lot because I enjoyed the crunch. I still avoid bread and meat (I'm vegetarian anyway) but I've had no problems with anything I've tried.

Keep trying, think small and chew well. It also helps to have a warm cup of tea to sip before you eat to relax the esophagus. Good luck!

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 12/29/2011 8:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Eloy, Give it one more week and you can start pureed foods.
Get out the food processor and blend you some veggies (sweet potatoes, green beans, english peas, chicken noodle soup) anything that babies can eat. If you have to have meat you can try vienna sausages or gerber graduates' weiners. They are very mushy, but remember to chew, chew, chew.
Remember no more than a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of food per meal. Save water for in-between meals. I ate a little something every two hours.
If you like juices they are good.
Joy

bowecho
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 146
   Posted 12/29/2011 9:17 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't think its unusual to have some "buyers remorse" 7 days after the surgery. I know I had those thoughts. No matter how much you read or talk to your surgeon beforehand, its hard to really prepare for the difficult recovery. The initial pain and the diet especially is rough, but the good news is, it just gets better and better with time. I'm 5 weeks out, eating just about anything, and feel better than I have in years. Hang in there!!

I also recommend pureed foods at this point (I started them at day 10). I would just go to the Whole Foods here every couple of days and buy 3-4 different soups and blend them down using a hand blender. Went down easy, and gave me some actual variation in tastes. I had everything from tortilla soup, chili (no beans), potato, butternut squash, different bisques, etc. I only stayed away from soups with beans or broccoli as I had a lot of bloating during weeks 1-2.

Post Edited (bowecho) : 12/29/2011 7:22:40 PM (GMT-7)


dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 12/29/2011 11:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Eloy,
Welcome to Healing Well's yeah yeah yeah Wrapped Club! yeah yeah yeah At 7 days you're in the midst of the toughest part of recovery.  Interestingly, although many here stick with liquids, then pureed foods, my surgeon gave me the go-ahead to eat anything "that could be chewed to a liquid" at Day 6, and at that point my life was much easier.  Like you, I don't enjoy the sweet foods, and the broth at all.
 
Here's a URL to a good document with food suggestions:
 
It's very  normal for your wrap to hurt after some swallowing.  In the first couple of weeks there are times when you just don't want to swallow.  It will get better...hang in there.
 
Be sure once you start eating regular foods that you take tiny bites and chew, chew, chew. 
 
Also, I don't know if your surgeon prepared you, but during the first two weeks your wrap becomes increasingly more swollen to peak somewhere around day 14.  Because of that your swallowing will become more difficult before it gets easier.  Once you're past that peak swelling your swallowing will gradually improve.
 
Good luck to you! 
Denise

stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 12/30/2011 11:16 AM (GMT -6)   

Eloy,

I am going to take a different approach to your feelings.........While not experienced by all patients, becoming depressed and feeling angry after surgery is a fairly common event. Stress, including emotional stress such as making the decision to have surgery, and physical stress such as surgery, can trigger your feelings. I know you had high hopes of everything being back to normal quickly and I have a tendency to feel like you do after any procedure or change in medications.  Even thow I know it takes time to heal I want to see instant results and then I will question the wisdom of my choice.

You posted you did your research however you do not feel your Dr. explained everything to you.  I know it may feel like you should have had more info at this point but that is just your anxiety kicking in and we all think this way at times.

As advised by the caring members here in the forum,  give yourself plenty of time to heal and know you can only move forward, you cannot go back and undo your decision to have the surgery so please don't beat yourself up.  Just take one step at a time and things will get better.

Kindly,

Kitt

 

 


~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.

www.healingwell.com

"only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be"

Eloy
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 51
   Posted 12/30/2011 3:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Kit is right. Here I am a 30 yr. psych nurse and can't recognize my own situational depression. Starryeyed save the moment with the crackers suggestion. I ate 4 and did ok.when doc stressed no bread I thought crackers fell in that catagory. I am concerned about the 14 day swelling thing. I weighed today and lost 8 of that 10 lb gain, but with the amt of calories I Am Not Eating, I don't know why weight stays on. I supposes I should be thankful, but I am concerned , it is so out of the norm for me.I really have a lot of pain in my lower left surgical incision site and I need the hydro condone elixir still at least 4 x da. Regular baby Tylenol liquid doesn't effect my pain at all. Thanks guys for sticking by me, I am so healthy otherwise, so this is a first for me.

imstarryeyed
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 12/30/2011 4:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Eloy,
I haven't weighed myself since surgery but I KNOW I was really swollen for over a week, but especially the first week. My legs and feet looked like tree trunks. I couldn't wear my shoes. I'm sure water retention was the problem and it's the same for you. Your body holds onto that when traumatized. Once your insides start functioning normally you will lose the water weight and swelling will go down. The more you move the more it will help.

I still have pain on my lower left side. I gave up hydrocodone after 10 days but cut some in half to use when absolutely necessary. Sleeping is still a challenge because laying on either side is painful. I'm sure it will get better for you and me both. Hang in there!
Starry

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 12/30/2011 4:32 PM (GMT -6)   
I lost 20 lbs during my recovery, but it came back with friends once I could eat normally. :(
Joy

Eloy
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 51
   Posted 12/30/2011 7:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Can I tolerate V8 juice? I am Craving it for some reason. Thanks for the tip about swelling.that's probably what it is. I was very concerned because I eat at very most 1000 cal. a day. You would think I look like I have anorexia, I am not complaining, I just don:'t know if I need to be concerned? If I lost 20 lbs I would blow away in one of our famous desert Haboos.

imstarryeyed
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 12/30/2011 8:05 PM (GMT -6)   
V8 should be just fine. Take a sip if in doubt. You will be eating in no time. Relax and think of all the soft or liquid things you'd like to try but never have!

badbrewin
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 12/31/2011 9:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Dude, you have to think longer term as the first 7-10 days are the toughest. I'm 5 1/2 weeks into my Nissen and my heartburn is all but gone, with no need for PPIs. If you think taking PPIs every day for life is a way to live, you are mistaken. After 7 years of use, that darn medication has given me tons of side effects (that are now slowly starting to subside) and had made my life more of a living hell than the reflux itself.

Think LONG term.

mam1298
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 81
   Posted 1/1/2012 9:16 AM (GMT -6)   
Reading your posts, makes me feel like I am reading my posts after I had my surgery.
The best advice was given to me on this website and that was to baby myself and give myself a break, in other words, pamper myself.
Honestly, my Doctor told me my total recovery would take 9 months to a year and he wasn't kidding.
I have NO regrets at all as I no longer have acid reflux/GERD.
My esophagus will go into a spasm but they discovered I have anxiety after my Mother passed away unexpectedly and this is causing the problem. So with a medication for that, I'm doing better.
I remember back to the day when I came home after the surgery, 2 weeks of a liquid diet and then 8 weeks of a soft food diet. Fried foods after that caused me problems and now the only food that will cause me pain is a nice steak on the grill. I'm guessing that it takes to long for my stomach to digest it so no more of that as the pain isn't worth it.
So please go easy on yourself and look to this site for help and insight as they helped me.
Best to you.
Nissen Fundaplication 3/1/2010 (full wrap)
Hiatal Hernia 3/1/2010
Thyroid Removal 1990

Eloy
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 51
   Posted 1/2/2012 1:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Thankyou to mam. Yesterday I felt pretty good, but today I feel horrible. There is a pain my left middle quadrant of my my midriff that feels like it is bruised and every time I bend over I am in horrific pain. The fact that I can't eat solid food for a long time is troublesome. Soft foods means mainly milk based products and it's not working, preparing foods in the blender takes time and clean up is tiring. Also is it ok to still ok to need my pain meds? I have a husband here who is shaking his head this morning because I had to take a dose after my shower. I tried baby Tylenol when I woke up but that midriff pain hurts. I sneezed yesterday and have been in pain ever since when I bend over or laugh or turn wrong.

imstarryeyed
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 1/2/2012 2:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Eloy,

Tomorrow will be 3 weeks since my surgery. My only complaint has been the pain in my left midriff that you complain of. Bending down seems to be what sets it off, I've found. New Year's Eve I bent over to pick up my little dog (6 lbs) several times and by the end of the night I was in agony. I didn't move all day yesterday because it hurt so much. Today I'm much better but I did use pain pills last night and yesterday. I'm avoiding any bending or pulling that direction from now on. If you need pain pills, use them. No one knows your pain but you. If you can relax, be more normal and sleep better then you will heal more quickly. Your insides have been through major surgery even though the outside scars aren't bad. Don't feel guilty about it. If you can eat soft food try some frozen things like mac and cheese, potatoes or canned soup so you don't have the clean up.

Hang in there!
Starry

bowecho
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 146
   Posted 1/2/2012 2:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Everyone's pain is different. In my case, I had to ask for a refill of the Lortab as the 7 day supply I was given just didn't cut it. I think I used the Lortab for a total of 12 days (I'm at 6 weeks so my memory is a bit fuzzy), then used liquid Tylenol when I had some pain, as it had decreased a good amount.

I had all kinds of funny unusual pains and feelings in the first few weeks, but it really settled down during the 3rd week. Now at 6 weeks I have zero pain and I can eat absolutely everything (finally tried meat and bread, no problems).

Nal
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 410
   Posted 1/2/2012 3:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi there. I had my surgery dec 8. I was in hell for 2 weeks then it started to slowly improve. My dr told me o take my pain Meds if I needed them. Some people don't need them at all. Some use them for a couple days or do fine on just Tylenol or Motrin. I still get some intense pain in the muscles and nerves in my abdomin. Therefore I still take my liquid lortab and no I haven't refilled it, but I'm not afraid to take it.

Nancy

mam1298
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 81
   Posted 1/3/2012 6:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Eloy,
take your pain medication when you need it. There are still days when my esophagus goes into a spasm that I will take some pain meds if I have any.
It's a long healing process and when we have pain, we get tense and that isn't good for your healing so take it when you need it. Never mind what anyone else says and I don't mean that with any disrespect to your husband.
This is a LONG healing process for some.
When you look back a year from now you will be happy with your decision. My father passed from esophageal cancer and the cause is from reflux/GERD. I made the choice to have this surgery because I had the chance he didn't.
Give yourself some pampering time and take one day at a time.
Nissen Fundaplication 3/1/2010 (full wrap)
Hiatal Hernia 3/1/2010
Thyroid Removal 1990

Eloy
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 51
   Posted 1/3/2012 10:51 AM (GMT -6)   
I don't feel too bad today, but all it took were two small bites of vanilla yogurt to set me into a downward spiral . This is really affecting my mental attitude, I am so hungry but nothing satisfies me of the food choices. I am back on liquids today because I hate that feeing when I swallow.

mudmagnetmum
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 1604
   Posted 1/3/2012 11:22 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm not wrapped, so I may not be helpful, but yoghurt is quite acidic. Is it possible that acidic foods irritate the healing tissues? Is it worth avoiding low pH foods for a little bit?

Also you can get extra calories by putting olive oil or cream into soups, if you can find or make one that goes down easily.


MMM
New stuff: GERD, Recurrent cystitis/Overactive bladder
Lifelong stuff: Food allergies/intolerance, eczema, asthma

stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/3/2012 11:57 AM (GMT -6)   
 
I cannot imagine what each of you that have had the wrap go through as I also have not had the surgery.  However,  I do understand the disappointment and the frustration that cause you to go into a downward spiral. 
 
Remember, pain itself is very fatiguing. Use your pain medication if you need to and do not feel guilty.  Don't expect so much from yourself.  It is OK to feel down and venting your feelings is a good thing. 

Feeling angry is OK.  Remember that anger is not wrong as it is a normal human emotion. We are born with the ability to feel anger.

Accept these feelings as normal and know that we are here to support you both in your physical as well as mental recovery from this surgery.  Keep on moving forward and know you may have set backs but the good days will be back.

Try to eat a bite here and there frequently to get those calories in. If your doing liquids today be sure to have something to sip on by your side so it is easy to just pick up the glass and drink.  No special trips to the kitchen.

Sending you healing prayers,

Kitt  



~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.

www.healingwell.com

"only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be"
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