Happy Wrap Birthday! You've made it through your first year...keep in mind that you'll likely get some additional fine-tuning of your upper GI tract into the second year. Still, this surgery creates a back-up flap that protects the esophagus from errant acid that might sneak through the LES and damage your esophagus (or lungs, etc.) Because of that fact, it will keep everything in the stomach better--including gas.
You did a good thing for your esophagus. That was your goal, wasn't it? I do think that people who don't have severe reflux or LPR symptoms have a very difficult time with accepting the changes caused by the Nissen. If things seemed peachy before the surgery, it will be very hard to see the positive afterward.
It's unfortunate that you weren't able to talk to someone before the surgery who could have provided you with more information as to what you would experience after the wrap surgery.
I definitely do not think this surgery can be taken lightly. It DOES create changes in your digestive system, and it DOES NOT repair the LES to the condition it was in when you were a teenager. It DOES help keep acid in the stomach where it belongs. In order to do that, a part of the stomach is wrapped around the esophagus, where it then becomes the gatekeeper of the stomach. Everything you eat has to get through it.
For those who've suffered with either extreme reflux symptoms, or LPR symptoms that are decreasing health and quality of life, the Nissen surgery is a lifesaver. For me, it was literally a lifesaver--my lungs were dangerously affected. Those of us who have suffered in this way find the "quirks" that remain after surgery to be well worth the effort.
If anyone is considering this surgery it is important to know that there WILL be changes in the way your upper GI tract works and feels. It has been changed. For many people, that change is well worth it to be rid of the GERD/LPR issues they've been suffering. It is something that is gladly accepted and is a welcome trade off for what they suffered prior to the surgery. Still, it requires acceptance and a positive attitude.
Cindy, I know how hard your recovery has been, and I wish I could have helped make it easier. I'm hopeful that you'll find some small additional improvements as time goes on. I did. I wish that you had been better informed, so you would have been able to decide if the changes would be worth it for you.
I do think you may be extremely sensitive to these feelings, so they bother you even more. I believe you're very tuned into your body, and probably have a heightened awareness of these changes. I do think it's probably easier to notice them when you're feeling just fine prior to the surgery.
I do think that what you've described is normal. I do think that things like shoulder pain and some of the gas issues will continue to improve over the next year. Still, there will always be differences.
I hope you find peace with the whole thing. I know it has been extremely difficult. You know I'm with you all the way!