New to posting, finding my way after fundoplication surgery

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Nyteller
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 1/10/2012 10:58 PM (GMT -6)   
I was diagnosed with GERD over 20 yrs ago and have been trying to cope with using just medication and lifestyle methods (including adjustable bed). Then over the past couple of years things have gotten out of control. I aspirated acid into my lung and was hospitalized with pneumonia symptoms with resulting scarring in the right lobe. Then the diagnosis of Gasteopareis. My specialist recommended fundoplication.

After undergoing tests to confirm I was a candidate, I slipped and fell and fractured two bones in my right wrist and also tore my rotator cuff.

I underwent surgery Jan 3rd and even though I spend extra time in the hospital due to some complications, I headed back home last Saturday. That's when things went downhill and I doubted my choice. I couldn't even swallow water, tea or anything without horrible pain.

I was talking to my daughter-in-law and she directed me to your forum. What a relief to know there are others out there! I am supposed to undergo shoulder surgery Feb 2nd, but I have to say, I don't know if I can handle that right now. There are so many weird things going on with my body right now, I feel overwhelmed.

There is hope, right?

imstarryeyed
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 1/11/2012 3:10 AM (GMT -6)   
Nyteller,

I am sorry to hear you are feeling so bad after your surgery. I'm 4 weeks post nissen and never experienced the problems you are having but I know many people do. I'm sure some of them will be along soon to give some advice. I just wanted to say it VERY early in your recovery and things will get better. The only suggestion I have for now is take your pain meds, as they will relax you, and take very, very tiny sips of liquid. Don't use a straw. Don't drink very cold things. No soda. Warm tea with honey has been my favorite. It seems to relax the esophagus a little. But remember, very small sips.

I hope you feel better soon. This surgery is a major thing so it's expected to feel poorly for a few weeks. If you can postpone the shoulder surgery for a while it might be a good idea. You've come to the right place to get a lot of helpful advice.

Wishing you the best,
Starry

Nyteller
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 1/11/2012 11:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Starry:

Thank you for your encouragement! I have to say when I got up this morning I felt better than I have in a while. I started to take my pain meds on a regular basis yesterday and I have seen some improvement in the pain level. Yesterday, I had to rescue my dog from the pool. Somehow he fell in and couldn't seem to find his way to the steps to get out. I knew I couldn't lift him, but I managed to grab his collar and give him some purchase. I have one arm in a cast and trying not to do anything to undo my surgery. What a day! Thanks again for your support!

imstarryeyed
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 1/11/2012 2:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Nyteller,

Glad to hear you are feeling better! I felt a little better each day for the first three weeks or so. Pain meds really do help the healing.

That sounds like quite an ordeal with your dog! I'm happy to hear you rescued him. My sister's family dog fell in their pool last month, during the night, and drowned. She was older and not in great health but it was still distressing. I hope you haven't injured yourself in the process.

Swelling from surgery peaks at about 2 weeks so you may have difficulty swallowing for a while. Try not to overdo and pamper yourself with lots of rest and relaxation.

Hoping you are feeling better yet!
Starry

Nyteller
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 1/11/2012 3:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Starry:

Thanks for the idea to use honey in my tea. It really soothes my throat! Today it has definitely been better in the swallowing department. I have been able to consume 14 ozs of fluid so far. That's a big improvement, now I just want to be able to sleep all night thru without having to bolt up from fluid coming into my mouth. I know, the girl is never satisfied...

Nyteller
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 1/12/2012 11:19 AM (GMT -6)   
Woke up this morning nauseated. First time for me. I'd read about others experiencing this but thought I'd dodged a bullet - I'm now on day 9 - but wowie! What a surprise! Any suggestions out there?

opnwhl4
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 1/12/2012 2:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Do you have any anti nausea meds? If not, please get some asap.

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

Nyteller
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 1/12/2012 3:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Bill:

Called my Dr office and they won't prescribe them for me. The nurse suggested that I take my pain meds since I hadn't had them since 6:30 pm last night. That did actually help. I had been afraid to take them when I felt so sick to my stomach.

Apparently, my Dr doesn't believe in prescribing many meds, likes the body to heal itself. I have a follow up visit a week from today. Hopefully, I'll be able to keep control. Still on fluids only and have lost 14 lbs in 8 days.

Thanks for checking in!

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 1/12/2012 7:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Nyteller,
I don't think I've very welcomed you to the Healing Well yeah yeah yeah Wrapped Club! yeah yeah yeah I'm glad your daugher-in-law sent you to us! Hopefully we can provide some help and support. I can see that Starry has already given you tons of great advice and support.
 
The reason you need to have anti-nausea drugs on hand is that if you were to get a stomach bug suddenly, you could cause damage to your healing wrap by vomiting or retching severely.
 
People here always advise having anti-nausea drugs handy just in case. I'm about three years post-Nissen, and I carry them in my purse and have them on hand at home. You never know when you're going to get a bug or some bad food.
 
I had two stomach bugs since my surgery, one at the one year mark, and one at the two year mark. Thankfully, I had anti-nausea meds (thanks to the good people here), and took them immediately. Each time I vomited once (which was a pleasant surprise, since my surgeon said I wouldn't be able to), but took anti-nausea meds to avoid vomiting any more.
 
I got a script from my PCP right after my surgery, and later from my surgeon, when I went for my post-op visit. It just makes me feel better to have it available if I need it. It can take time to call in and get a script ordered and picked up. Stomach bugs come up pretty suddenly.
 
You're still in the very early stages of recovery. If the pain meds helped your nausea, it's likely that it's a result of the surgical procedures you've been through. You're still in the midst of the toughest part of recovery. Hang in there, things will get better!
Happy Healing!
Denise

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 1/12/2012 8:01 PM (GMT -6)   
PS...
If I were you, I'd hold off on the shoulder surgery until you've had a chance to do some more healing.  It's asking a lot of yourself to go through another surgery so close to your Nissen.
Just my opinion, for what it's worth, which probably isn't much! turn
Denise

Nyteller
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 1/12/2012 11:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Denise,

I have my cast taken off my right wrist tomorrow and am going to talk to the Dr about postponing my shoulder surgery. I just don't see how I can tackle that right now even though I am in a lot of pain from the rotator cuff tear.

Thanks for the comments. But how do I get these nausea drugs when my surgeon won't prescribe them? Do I ask my PCP?

opnwhl4
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 1/13/2012 12:32 AM (GMT -6)   
Definitely ask your PCP. Let him/her know you had this surgery and need the meds to keep from damaging the wrap.

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

MinnesotaMark
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 1/13/2012 6:01 PM (GMT -6)   
...could try Ginger juice or luke warm Ginger tea (Traditional Medicinals for example) for the nausea. MM

Nyteller
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 1/13/2012 6:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Great idea! I'll pick some up.

Nyteller
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 1/13/2012 11:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Well, I got my cast off today and because it hasn't fully healed, I'm in a splint for the next month. They are going to try using a bone stimulator (what ever that is) to help it heal so I can do physical therapy.

We did talk about postponing the shoulder surgery until the wrist can get better before it goes in a sling due to the shoulder.

Okay, how did you handle removing the sterile strips on your wounds without passing out?

Denise, I did manage to get some nausea suppositories from my PCP.

Nyteller
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 1/14/2012 9:57 AM (GMT -6)   
Worst night ever! I can't tell you how many times I bolted upright in bed because of regurgitating. Denise, this time it tasted very acidly. I finally had to keep moving the head of my adjustable bed until it was in an upright sitting position. Are we allowed to take over-the-counter meds? Could I possibly take some Mylanta before I go to bed? My surgeon's office is closed until Tuesday.

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 1/14/2012 11:04 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Nyteller,
I'm a big advocate of taking PPIs after surgery during the recovery stage.  it takes time for the wrap swelling to go down after surgery, and while you're healing you could definitely get some reflux.  OTC PPIs would be fine if you don't have any left.  Gavascon, Maalox, etc. are a great addition.  Just rememer that Maalox can cause loose stools, so don't be worried if that ocurs.  Do whatever you need to keep comfortable.
 
Try not to worry about the reflux you're experiencing.  I know that your fear is that you've had a failed surgery.  I experienced the same fear.  When I talked about my reflux with my surgeon, he said that, "In the early stages of recovery pretty much anything is possible.  Take whatever you need to stay comfortable. 
 
Your wrap is swollen and misshapen, and certainly some reflux can sneak through it.  Try to relax into your recovery and just follow it wherever it leads.  It will take its own sweet time, and it'll do whatever it does.  It is as it is.  Hang in there...things will get better as your recovery continues. 
 
I'm glad your PCP gave you anti-nausea meds.  I find that the suppository form works best. 
 
Hang in there!
Things will get better over time. 
We're here for you!
Denise
 
 

Post Edited (dencha) : 1/14/2012 9:15:18 AM (GMT-7)


Nyteller
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 1/14/2012 3:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Denise:

I went to the pharmacy and picked up some simethicone. It's an infant gas relief in drop form. I thought I'd try it and see if it helps. Have you had any experience with this product?

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 1/14/2012 6:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Let the strips come off naturally. Don't pull them off- it's still healing underneath. If the edges come off you can trim it with clean scissors.
Simethicone is fine it's the same ingrediant in gas-x. The dose maybe too small for you if you use infant dose. Gas-x does make melt in your mouth strips for adults.
Joy

Nyteller
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 1/14/2012 7:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Joy:

My doctor said to use peroxide to get them to release after the 10 day mark, which was yesterday. However, when I tried I almost passed out. I'm such a whimp when it comes to wound care!

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 1/14/2012 7:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Nyteller,
Joy is right...Gax-X is simethicone.  I prefer the chewable tablets over all other formulations. They're tasty and work well.  I'm sure the infant drops will help, but you'll go through them pretty quickly.
 
I used Gas-X a lot during my recovery, and still keep it on hand in case I need it.  Actually, I recommend smuggling it into the hospital, as it took an act of Congress to get some ordered when I wanted it during my stay! 
 
My surgeon said to just trim the edges of the steri strips as they come loose.  I just left mine on until I went to my PCP for my asthma issues...he looked at them and told me I could take them off.  Honestly, I don't remember when it was.  If it's bothering you to try and take them off, just wait until they fall off!  By the time that happens, you probably won't mind pulling a couple that are hanging on.  It's really not that critical to get them off.
 
Take care,
Denise
 
 

Nyteller
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 1/14/2012 9:05 PM (GMT -6)   
That's a good idea about the GasX. I tried to measure the amount the pharmacist recommended and it's really hard to get it right. It's also very expensive. A small bottle was $9.99.

I think you're right about letting the strips come off naturally. If the Dr wants it different he can take them off himself on Thursday!

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 1/14/2012 9:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Sounds like a plan! wink

Nyteller
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 1/15/2012 2:16 PM (GMT -6)   
I woke up about 2:40am with such terrible regurgitation that I wonder if all this is worth it. I took some Mylanta, which caused pain, which kept me trying to take deep breaths. If I have to take Nexium to get through this, then what was the surgery for? I wanted to get off prescriptions and then find myself at the pharmacist today to figure out how I can open one of the few capsules I have left and how to mix it in something to try and sleep through the night.

My husband is losing patience with me because he says I'm not doing what the Dr said and taking enough pain medication (I only took it once yesterday), but he wasn't there when I spoke to the Dr's nurse and she said I should only need it for one week after surgery. It is now approaching the 14 day mark. He also doesn't understand that even though I have taken the pain meds at night, I still get the regurgitation. He has it in HIS head that all I need to do is will it not to happen!

I'm going through a very hard day today, folks. shakehead

Eloy
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 51
   Posted 1/15/2012 2:30 PM (GMT -6)   
I feel for you on the husband thing. I think the surgeons should have this surgery just so they know that the orders they are writing for us are baloney! My husband thinks I need to eat more normal stuff so my stomach gets used to it, but now aim in a severe setback with intestinal cramping and Naseau after doing that for past two days. I had to take pain meds x3 yesterday, and today really feel sick to my tummy. At least my husband is really sympathetic with my pain now, but I think they take the docs word as gold, and expect us to recover as prescribed. Call the doc. All your sx. Need to be laid out and the doc needs to help you. Like someone here told me, they are getting paid thousands for this and they, after all are working for us! Hope you feel better. I am on the toilet all day
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