Laparoscopic nissen vets: returning to work?

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GerdyGirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 2/12/2012 9:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi all,

I'm finally looking to schedule surgery after 9 years of symptoms!! I was wondering how soon you all could return to work? I am in grad school and spend 3 days a week in lecture and 2 days a week in clinic. I think my program would allow me to miss 2-3 days (plus a weekend of course), but if I need more than that I will have to wait about 4 months for surgery. What do you think, can I manage getting to class and lecture a few days post op? I had breast augmentation several years ago and was driving a stick shift 3 days post op with no pain meds, so I think I have it in me. My surgeon seemed concerned when I mentioned putting it off till June, but I can't sacrifice the hard work I've put in at school either, so I'm in a bind. I think he's mostly concerned because I had a Demeester score of 36 and some cellular changes on biopsy. But I've also already lived with this for 9 years, so 4 months more doesn't seem like much.


Also, did anyone notice a change in your energy level once you recovered? I've been plagued with feeling tired all the time and I'm hoping that will get better once the constant reflux is gone.

Thanks for any insight!

Post Edited (GerdyGirl) : 2/12/2012 7:58:56 PM (GMT-7)


dencha
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Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 2/12/2012 9:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi GerdyGirl,
I think having just 4-5 days of recovery might be pushing it.  While it's non-invasive, your insides will take quite some time to heal, and you will need to take it easy for a while.
 
Two weeks is ideal if all goes well and you don't have to do heavy lifting. 
 
I do know of a dental hygenist who went back to work after just a week and did fine.
 
I don't think the classes would be as much of a problem as surgery.   That requires standing for a long time, and I just don't think you'd have the energy to do that. 
 
Surgeons tend to underrate the recovery time and challenges.  This is major surgery, and you'll find you need a fair amount of time to feel better.  Also eating challenges will affect your energy level and feelings of well-being.
 
I'm sure others will be by to offer their opinions soon.  I vote for waiting a few more months so you will have a reasonable amount of time to recover.  You've waited 9 years...what's a few more months! 
 
Good luck!
Denise

GerdyGirl
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Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 2/12/2012 9:58 PM (GMT -6)   
I would be allowed to take a few days of working in the office rather than the OR, so that shouldn't be too strenuous. Thanks for your answer, I think I've really underestimated the kick in the pants I'm going to get lol.

dencha
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Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 2/12/2012 10:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi GerdyGirl,
Many, if not most, people underestimate the recovery time and challenges.  I blame most of this on the surgeons who nearly always downplay the recovery.  Part of this is, I'm sure, because they haven't had to experience it, and don't really follow most patients very long.  Once they've had one follow-up visit, most never see their patients again.
 
Here's a link to my recovery journal.  It chronicles the first 19 days of my recovery.  Keep in mind that it takes a full 6 months for the majority of the healing to occur, and a year for the rest.  I even found continued fine-tuning during my second year.
 
Good luck with your decision!
Denise

GerdyGirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 2/12/2012 10:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you, I actually did check out your thread before posting my question. I was more wondering if it was physically possible to return that quickly and if it's reasonably possible to only stay in the hospital for 1 day? I don't need to be functioning at 100%, I just need to be physically present at lecture.

opnwhl4
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 2/12/2012 11:22 PM (GMT -6)   
GerdyGirl-

Welcome, I think the biggest misconception is that the outside heals quickly, but on the inside things take way longer to heal.


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

LocalGuy23
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 620
   Posted 2/12/2012 11:29 PM (GMT -6)   
GerdyGirl,

I had a Lap Nissen done about 7 days ago. I have not returned to work yet but plan to in about 2-3 weeks. The first couple days will be the most challenging and probably the most painful.

If it was me personally, I would take a break from work and school until you feel you are ready. I wouldn't try to plan out in advance how fast you can return back. It might discourage you if say in 2-3 days you are not feeling as good you have hoped.

Many on this forum will tell you to "surrender" to the recovery with your activity level and foods. This will help a lot.

But do you what you feel is right.

At 7 days post op I'm doing very well much better than I expected. I'm relaxing a lot, doing some moderate shopping here and there, and enjoying my time off to heal. Each day will get better and better if you let your body heal. Mental stress can be just as tiresome as physical stress. My job is not a physical job but involves a lot of thinking and if I would be struggling if I had to work in the first week post op.

Good luck and we will all support and help you.

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 2/13/2012 12:08 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi GerdyGirl,
A one day hospital stay is very possible. Like many here, I was in the hospital about 24 hours, and did fine coming home at that point.  Personally, I feel that if it is at all possible, it's better to do your healing outside of the hospital environment.
Best wishes,
Denise
PS--you can be physically present at lectures, although you will probably wish you were home resting and recooperating on the couch! turn

Post Edited (dencha) : 2/12/2012 10:12:37 PM (GMT-7)


imstarryeyed
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 2/13/2012 12:49 AM (GMT -6)   
GerdyGirl, I definitely think it's doable. Of course, everyone is different. The clinics might be a bit more difficult than lectures. I didn't have a job to return to, as I've retired, but I was out Christmas shopping for several hours 6 days after surgery. I could stop and take a break whenever I wanted, though. You will probably be exhausted at the end of the day but if you're determined, as you say you are, you can do it. Whatever you decide, good luck!

Starry

GerdyGirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 2/13/2012 2:12 AM (GMT -6)   
Maximus: hahaha clearly I am not one who surrenders well to anything, let alone recovery but you have a good point. Thank you for your kind words, I'm so relieved to have found a bunch of people who have gone through this!

Dencha- I always wish I was at home "recovering" on the couch already!

Thank you Starry.

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 2/13/2012 9:39 AM (GMT -6)   
GerdyGirl,
Too funny!  I know exactly what you mean.  Barring any complications, of course you can drag yourself to whatever is required, but that wouldn't be the best thing for either your recovery or your classes! 
 
I agree with you.  You've waited this long, why not wait another 4 months when you can recover on your own time.  Still, if you're determined to push through, of course you can.  But day after day is different that one visit to the mall during Christmas shopping.
 
That said, I don't know your age, but I assume you're young, and you'd have that in your favor.
 
Obviously, it's your call, but if you were my own family member I'd caution you against it. 
 
Have fun deciding...
Denise
PS--You'd better practice your surrendering skills.  If you start fighting a Nissen recovery, it'll win every time! turn

amanster
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 2/13/2012 12:21 PM (GMT -6)   
I had my Nissen 14 days ago. My doctor told me I could go back to work after one week so I did, but I ended up only working half days the second week after the surgery. I work a desk job and working full days was still too much. I was sore and so tired all the time. I am planning to work full days this week but have kept my meeting schedule light and am prepared to go home early if needed.

I didn't know how eating or not eating would affect me and my recovery so I didn't plan for that. Eating foods I am not ready for can cause a lot of pain and that pain can stick around for a while. As the nurse at my surgeons office said, "things don't like to relax easily when they get irritated", boy is that the truth. Fortunately my job and my boss are flexible enough to let me do what I need to do for recovery. If you don't have that flexibility then I would say wait the 4 months and do it when you can give yourself enough time to take it slow.

pegster
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 2/13/2012 5:21 PM (GMT -6)   
GerdyGirl,

I am a teacher (kindergarten) and my dr. said she usually advises 2 weeks off. In my case she recommended 3. I actually ended up being out 6 weeks. The eating part was not so much painful. I stayed on liquids for about 4 weeks. The lack of energy was the hardest part. I was also in the hospital for 4 days, although many people on the site seem to go home in a day or 2. I think recovery is mostly about listening and really hearing what your body is telling you. In your place, I would wait the 4 months.

Peggy

bowecho
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 146
   Posted 2/13/2012 5:26 PM (GMT -6)   
I would also personally wait until you have extra time to recover.

I was in the hospital 1 day and took 3 weeks off from work. I could have gone back at 2. I would not have been able to go back at 1 week, mainly because of my energy level. At 1 week I was able to get out of the house for 1-2 hours at a time, but it completely exhausted me. I was still tired after 2 weeks, but not nearly as much. My pain was gone after 10 days. Its maybe do-able, but risky. With your body going through a major surgery, best to be safe and have all the recovery time you need.

GerdyGirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 2/14/2012 1:09 AM (GMT -6)   
Whelp, surgery is booked!! February 21 I'm going in. I cannot believe that after all these years my chronic discomfort might be finally fixed!!! My program is allowing me to take 6 days off and I have a lot of people taking caring of me thankfully. The week I come back is pretty light except for one day. I am pretty young and fit, so I'm hoping it will make recovery easier. Now I'm prepping mentally for recovery and learning to be a better patient. I know most of you suggested waiting, but I didn't feel comfortable since my doctor specifically advised against it and also because as soon as I finish the semester I'll be taking board exams and then starting a new job.

Any suggestions? What did you pack in your hospital bag? My main goal is to rest, rest, rest, and keep ahead of the pain cycle.

Post Edited (GerdyGirl) : 2/13/2012 11:44:43 PM (GMT-7)


dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 2/14/2012 9:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi GerdyGirl,
Good luck to you!  Remember, if you can surrender to your recovery and follow it where it leads you, you'll have a much easier recovery.  You can't force the recovery, no matter how hard you try.  While you'll have challenges to deal with regarding your very short recovery period, I suspect you'll push through.
 
Be patient with what IS.  Don't fight it...go with it.  It takes 6 months for most of the healing to occur, and a full year for the rest. 
 
Stick around for information and support.  It's a great group.
Best wishes,
Denise
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