Surgery done 2/3/2012

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mummye
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 3/6/2012 2:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Well am now part of the "Wrapped Club" .

Had a 180 degree anterior wrap and hernia repair done Friday 2 March 2012. The recovery so far not too bad. More uncomfortable than sore. The eating is the issue. Don't have any appetite but know that I need to eat to keep my strength up and when I do eat really don't know when I am full or feel bit sick!!! Have already lost about 5lbs in weight even though have been eating small amounts. Coul dalso have been helped by the fact that i had a nasty chest infection the week prior to surgery. Have been following this forum for sometime had been expecting this so its not come as a surprise.

The one thing that is bothering me is the feeling of extreme pressure in my right shoulder - like I have wind that wants to escape but hasn't got anywhere to go. Is this the shoulder pain everyone talks about? I have been able to have small burps which is really good but had awful sickness the night after the operation. Ended up having 3 IV bags of anti-sickness medication and then an injection to stop it. Been sent home with painkillers and thankfully anti-sickness tabs.

Anyway at this moment in time can't say whether it has fully worked only that my throat is stopping hurting and the blisters that I permanently had are starting to disappear which can only be a positive outcome

Regards
Eileen

LocalGuy23
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Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 620
   Posted 3/6/2012 5:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Eileen,

What blisters did you have? In your throat/mouth?

mummye
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 3/6/2012 5:26 PM (GMT -6)   
The blisters were watery looking like skin had been burnt. They went across back of mouth by tonsils. They are slowly going down just now looks like throat in places has been scratched with the tubes they use.

Eileen

daddypig
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 90
   Posted 3/6/2012 6:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Eileen

Well done, sounds like you are doing well. Yup that sounds normal shoulder wise! Mine was on left, it'll pass. Good luck to you dont try too much too soon

Kevin

LocalGuy23
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 620
   Posted 3/6/2012 7:53 PM (GMT -6)   
did your tongue or other parts of you mouth burn as well? What were your symptoms?

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 3/6/2012 8:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Eileen,
 
Welcome to the yeah yeah yeah Wrapped Club! yeah   yeah yeah
The pain you're describing is the famous post-Nissen shoulder pain.  The cause is twofold.  First, they pump your insides with gas to open up the field of vision so they can do the surgery.  Secondly, your diaphram has been irritated (hernia repair, etc.), which can also cause referred pain up there.
 
I found that walking really helped get rid of the pain.  The more I walked around, the more the pain subsided.  I guess that's because it helps to dislodge some of the pumped in gas.  It really made a big difference for me, so you might want to try it and see if it helps.
 
The lack of appetite is typical.  The top of your stomach (the fundus) has been stretched and wrapped and stitched.  It is very swollen right now, and the swelling is interpreted by your brain as fullness.  This subsides over the next weeks as the swelling subsides.
 
We all lost weight during this healing phase.  Just do your best to eat small meals as often as you can tolerate.  I well remember my wrap getting quite tired of swallowing at certain points during the early days, so just do your best.
 
Sorry you struggled with nausea, but glad they were able to get it under control.  You won't want to retch or vomit in these early months especially, so keep those anti-nausea drugs handy!
 
Glad to welcome a new Wrapped Club member.
Best wishes,
Denise
 
 
 

Post Edited (dencha) : 3/6/2012 6:52:05 PM (GMT-7)


mummye
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 3/7/2012 7:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you Denise and Kevin for your words of wisdom! I know the pain will subside soon just at the moment it is driving me mad. Also I am not sleeping very well at all so am totally exhausted. Am trying to keep eating small amounts throughout the day even though can't say that I am that hungry, just know I need to keep trying so that my energy doesn't go altogether.

My daughter and son have taken over the role of looking after me and I have to say that have been absolutely brilliant and couldn't have asked for better children. My daughter is a professionally trained classical ballerina and now a local dance teacher but has also trained in fitness and health. This has helped her to sort out nutritional meals for me even when they are of a small size. I am looking forward to getting back to her regular Zumba classes which I was doing twice a week and my utlimate aim is to be fully healed and well and to make the trip from UK to Toronto for my cousins wedding in the Autumn.

Maximus - Along with the throat issues I suffered on and off with massive burn blisters on the inside of my lips that at times I could hardly talk for the pain. My lips would also crack very painfully. When acid was at its worst my nose would also suffer, I would have burns all round the edges of my nostrils and the skin would peel off like when you have had an extreme cold and been blowing your nose all the time. Only difference was that the actual nostril inside also hurt badly. Thankfully at the moment these have all seemed to subside. I am keeping my fingers crossed that it stays that way. I never actually had the burning heartburn pain that people suffer with rather I had what can only be described as the feeling that something was eating away at me all the time and trying to claw its way out. I also woke up every night for many years with the sickness and mouth full of acid which has eroded many of my teeth. Living with constant nausea was energy sapping especiallu holding down a full time job and running a house. The Consultants have all said that all of this has been down to GERD and the hernia.

I now hope that if not all at least some of the issues are going to gone and I can begin to enjoy life again.

I can't thank everyone enough on this forum, as although I haven't posted very much I have been following for some time and was able to reconcile why I needed to go through with the surgery.

Regards
Eileen

LocalGuy23
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 620
   Posted 3/7/2012 8:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Eileen,

Were your symptoms constant or only at certain times...after eating....night time...etc?

The reason I ask is that I feel my symptoms almost constant.

My stomach issues seemed to be resolved but this mouth this is getting to me. If that goes away or gets better I would be so glad. Similar to how you are feeling now. I want that feeling of knowing it is getting better....just give me hope...know what i mean.

Thanks.

mummye
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 3/8/2012 5:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Max - my thoat was constant along with everything except the mouth and nose problems. My mouth and nose used to just flare up with no warning and then would be in agony until it went back down again, which could be days or weeks and sometimes months.

Hang in there I am sure you will start to feel better if you could try and stop worrying all the time as you know this does not help any of us. I know it is easier said than done and I don't always listen when I am being told this but I do know deep down that it is the right thing to try and do.

I had a really down day yesterday couldn't stop crying and just wished that i was over it all and back to my usual happy go lucky self. Today though I managed to get a few more hours sleep last night and feel brighter and much less sickly so do feel more positive.

Take care and stay positive
Eileen

stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 3/8/2012 10:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Eileen
 
What a trouper you are.  I am sorry that yesterday was a down day for you and it is OK to let the tears out when your feeling so down and wishing life would just get better quickly.  I understand wanting to be your usual happy self and I know you soon will be feeling better. 
 
Please do vent away here in the forum as we are here to support you.
 
Kindly,
Kitt
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.

www.healingwell.com

"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...
It's about learning how to dance in the rain."~ Vivian Greene

mummye
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 3/8/2012 1:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Kitt
You have just brought a smile to my face! What started out as a good day and feeling so much better went downhill very quickly early afternoon. That stupid gas/wind built up in my tummy and was pushing on the wounds making them feel like they were going to burst. Thankfully that has now started to pass but has left me feeling like have done 10 rounds in the boxing ring! Am sure it's just one of many little things that will hit me along the way that like to test all of our patience
Regards
Eileen x

daddypig
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 90
   Posted 3/8/2012 6:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Eileen

Sorry you have had a rough day, it's ok to say today is a rough day. You've had better and you will again, no sense worrying about worrying as you said to Max. Bad days suck hang in there

Kevin

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 3/8/2012 8:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Eileen,
You've offered great advice to Max.  Half the battle is staying positive, and the other half is being patient as your body heals.  Surrendering to the recovery and following its lead is the key.  It is as it is.  There'll definitely be up days and down days during these first weeks.  Your recovery will take the path it takes, and if you can just go with the flow, it makes it so much easier. 
 
Believe me, I remember those first couple of weeks very well.  It's not easy...but it gets better, and before you know it, the worst of the surgical pain will be behind you, and your wrap will begin feeling more comfortable.
 
Are you staying away from straws and carbonated beverages?  If you're having bloating problems, those are two keys.  Also, while I'm sure you're not eating much yet, stay away from anything even remotely gassy.  The bloating issues will subside with the reduction of swelling.
 
Keep in mind that your swelling will get worse during the first two to three weeks, and the begin to subside after that.  Therefore your swallowing will get worse before it gets better.
 
You've probably already seen my recovery journal, but just in case:
 
If you're not sleeping with your upper body elevated, you might try it.  I found that it made me much more comfortable during the early stages of healing.  Many here even sleep in a recliner for a while during the early days/weeks.
 
Happy healing!
Denise
Words of wisdom by Eckhart Tolle:
"Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.”

“Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose”

“Accept - then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”

LocalGuy23
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 620
   Posted 3/8/2012 11:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi guys, thanks for the positive words.

Here's what I wish....maybe not instant healing but knowing that one day my symptoms will get better....you know. Say if I knew that in 6 months....I would feel better. I think I would accept this no problem. But not knowing if the surgery worked and feeling like it failed cause you feel the same symptoms or similar pre op is the challenge.

I know it's partial mental although I don't want to admit it because sometimes even though I feel my pains I can be happy but sometimes I just get down fast. It's like a switch. It's when things remind me of my past healthy life or I see people very happy living their lives without a single care that brings me down.

What I wouldn't give to be in that position again.....

It's so hard to accept but it's a battle.....

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 3/9/2012 11:09 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Max,
You can wish to know without a doubt that your symptoms will improve, but only time will give you that information.  It doesn't do a darn thing to worry and fret over it.  You can't make it happen in your time, or force the issue in any way.
 
Just take care of yourself and do what you need to do to protect your wrap and allow the healing to take place.  Healing will occur. It takes a full 6 months for most of the healing, and you're a long way from that benchmark.
 
It is as it is.  Worrying about it will do absolutely no good.  Your body will have lots more energy for healing if you can relax into the process and keep your thoughts positive.
 
ASSUME that your symptoms will resolve over time, and just sit back and look for the positive in your life.  Looking at the lives of others and assuming that they don't have a care in the world is not only useless, but it's very likely that they have many things in their lives that aren't easy.  You just don't know it.
 
Act "as if" things are healing and going well, and that you can look forward to being symptom-free.  It'll make the time you are spending waiting for full healing to be much more comfortable and easy.  Worrying does absolutely NO good.
 
Think positive thoughts!
Denise
“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.”
Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

LocalGuy23
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 620
   Posted 3/9/2012 12:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Denis, great quote!

Ok...here's my gripe...it's the physical signs that get to me...not so much the pain.

When I see my lips getting chapped or my mouth getting red....it brings me down.......if i could see improvement in those areas....I know I would have a better time accepting the surgery and have hope that everything will work out.

JAM1986
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 3/9/2012 3:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Maximus,

You are not alone in your struggle. Every question you post is identical to how I feel. Denise has been a great inspiration for me as well as Kitt. I'm at 5 weeks and I see no improvement except the PPI's masking the pain. I think after awhile the PPI level in your body increases after you have been taking it for awhile. I suggest taking them on a constant basis every day until they build up in your body. Like you I'm very depressed and feel like life is over for me. How will I ever socialize with a burning mouth, acid breath, white coated tongue, halitosis, ulcers under the tongue. Even the PPIs don't help with the bad breath from the acid. Very very depressed. I don't want to be living a life of solitude like a Hermit. I can't even pickup after myself with this deep depression. I have been taking other type of meds because of my medical issues that help with anxiety. You might want to get some. It does help somewhat.

LocalGuy23
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 620
   Posted 3/9/2012 4:23 PM (GMT -6)   
JAM,

I have some appointments to follow up on:

This weekend I will be seeing my ENT with regards to my mouth and throat issues. He has seen me before and told me its GERD and it's either PPIs or surgery. Since I tried both....I hope he has new answers

The following thursday I have an appointment with my surgeon, I will ask if he thinks I should run some tests to make sure the wrap is ok and didn't get damaged loose or the hernia didn't come out.

I have an appointment on the 24th with my dentist to go over teeth restoration for my teeth.

And finally an appointment on the 30th of this month with another ENT (suppose to be the best in my state) and he didn't see me before so maybe he has another approach of what's going on.

I figure......I can do several things.....not see anyone and just wait for things to get better.

Or I can see the specialists and have them evaluate me. They are the specialist. Maybe it's some kind of virus or something in my mouth who knows.

Honestly, I think I can bare the pain. I just don't like seeing the red irritation on my tongue, mouth, and lips.

Good luck JAM.

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 3/9/2012 4:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Max and John,
Believe me, I understand your worries.  When I decided to have my surgery it was with the full realization that I could have the surgery and my lungs would not improve.  If the reflux is not the cause of whatever the ailment, then the surgery won't solve it. 
 
In my case I was out of options.  I had to try the surgery, and if my lungs didn't improve, then at least they could rule out reflux as the cause.
 
It was not easy dealing with horrible coughing and mucous on top of the recovery, but as I saw it, I didn't have a choice.  I knew that the Nissen track record for atypical symptoms wasn't as good as for those with straight volume reflux, but I just hoped that I would be on the positive side of the statistics.
 
There were no guarantees, though.  I just made my mind up that I would just sit back and see what happened.  I knew that if I worried the whole time it wouldn't change the outcome.  I kept my fingers crossed, and worked hard to keep a positive attitude.  I told myself to surrender to the recovery and just follow it wherever it led. 
 
I guess I'm lucky that I can bring my mind back to positive when it wanders in the wrong direction. I'm a strong believer that "happiness is an inside job"...that happiness comes from within and is not dependent upon outside conditions.  It's a choice.
 
You both have mentioned that you're Christian, so I assume that your faith is something that you can rely on in difficult times.  There is a great saying:  "If you pray, why worry...if you worry, why pray."
 
Have you discussed your persistent mouth issues with your doctors?  Did they suspect any other cause than reflux?  If you have a good surgeon and you were thoroughly tested, then I think you can relax and just let it happen.
 
If you're not taking PPIs regularly at this point it's important to take a maximum dose during this healing stage--especially if your symptoms are persisting.  Please discuss this with your doctors.  As we've said many times, it's possible that you're getting a little reflux, and if you're "LPRers", you're likely very sensitive to even a little reflux.
 
I expect your docs will tell you it's too soon to call your surgery a failure and that you need to allow the healing to occur.  I'm glad you're both here on the forum where you can talk about your worries and receive support from other members.  It would be rough going this road on your own.  I was helped greatly by members here, which is why I decided to stick around and help others.  "Pay it forward" so to speak.
 
Even if you don't believe you'll ever be healed, try, try, try to PRETEND you will.  Act "as if" you believe that this surgery is going to work for you.  Give it a chance.  Try to turn your mind away from negative thinking.  It's not helping.
 
It will get better!
Denise
“Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose”
Eckhart Tolle

Post Edited (dencha) : 3/9/2012 2:29:10 PM (GMT-7)


JAM1986
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 3/9/2012 4:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Denise.

LocalGuy23
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 620
   Posted 3/9/2012 4:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Denise/Jam,

All I need is one sign that my symptoms are improving.....just one sign. That's all I need.

Say if my I saw the redness on my lips, tongue, or throat start fading...that's all I need.

I just hear so many fast positive stories that it brings me down.

It makes me think if I'm not one of the people seeing these fast results....it's not going to happen to me.

I mean...it's 1 month post op...I remember me saying the same thing at two weeks post op. I hope 2 and 3 months will come and I won't be saying the same thing.....

bowecho
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 146
   Posted 3/9/2012 5:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Max,

Its been a while since I posted, but I really wanted to jump in here. I can tell from your posts the last couple of weeks that you are really having a difficult time with recovery expectations. Let me tell you what's going on with me right now, and maybe it will help a little.

I am now over 3 months out from surgery. My worst symptom, a very painful, constant chest pain, is gone. My other symptoms which include a phlegmy throat, feeling of something in throat, weird noises when swallowing, odd sensations sometimes when swallowing, have only partially decreased.

Now, I could choose to focus on the symptoms that the surgery did not resolve, as there are a number of them. But, there really is no point in that, it would only make things worse. The more I would think about it, worry about it, it would cause extra anxiety, probably increase my symptoms, make me unhappy and really be a poor way to live. You said in a previous post that you get the most comfort out of posting here--I would never ever try to discourage you from posting--but I doubt that is the case. The more you post and talk about it, the more you worry, and the more it absorbs your life and brings down your ability to be happy.

Instead of focusing on what the surgery has not yet fixed, I choose to focus on the successes. My chest pain is gone. As you've mentioned before, your stomach discomfort and pain is gone. That's great. Celebrate it. You are further along than you were before surgery. My chest pain being gone has significantly improved my quality of life. Sure, I'm not 100%. I don't feel like I did when I was 18. I still have other symptoms, and sometimes discomfort resulting from the surgery. Maybe those problems will go away, maybe they won't. I am hopeful, as my surgeon is, that they will go away in time. But, I am in a much better place than I was the day I walked into the hospital for surgery. That I am thankful for every day.

Focusing on the successes will make recovering from the other symptoms much easier. Also, celebrate that you had the strength to go through with the surgery. You took control of your health and made a decision that is not very easy. No one does this surgery unless their quality life is significant affected.

I have some recommendations. You have lots and lots of questions. Its great to ask them here, but even better to ask your surgeon, or any other doctor that has been treating you. An answer from someone who is a specialist will be much more satisfying. Don't be afraid to ask your doctor or surgeon a million questions. People are too scared to ask questions or talk to their doctors frankly. That surgery was expensive, your doctor made a lot of money off of it, you better get as much time as you want to ask every little question and discuss every little concern.

Secondly, you mentioned going to see a psychiatrist. They are fine, can give you medication if that helps, but you may benefit from seeing an actual therapist, who can sit down with you for an hour at a time, and talk about your fears about recovery. I have a therapist, and she's amazing. She's helped me through my sickness, fears of surgery, and with recovery. A therapist can help you change your mindset from being so afraid of not getting better, and what those consequences could be, to a much more positive mindset.

I really hope the best for you, and hope my words help at least a little. In your next post, maybe reserve a paragraph to focus on the positives from surgery, the ways you feel better. It will feel good to write about them, as it should. You'll get through this Max, I promise you.

Tony

LocalGuy23
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 620
   Posted 3/9/2012 6:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Tony,

Thanks for your encouraging post.

I am very grateful for my stomach issues being resolved no doubt.

But I almost feel like it other symptoms like my lips being chapped. My mouth was sore from all this previously but if feels like the symptoms were accelerated or greater post op :(

I'm trying to stay positive.....but it's hard. If my throat and mouth healed...I would be celebrating right now with my good and encourging things to say.

I hope I at least can accept it one day...

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 3/9/2012 10:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Tony,
 
What a wonderful post.  Your words are wise, and you are benefitting from your accepting attitude.  Your thoughts ring so true, and your suggestions are worth taking to heart.
 
Thank you for sharing. 
Denise
 
“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.”
Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

bowecho
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 146
   Posted 3/10/2012 5:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Denise.

Max, I wouldn't be surprised if your symptoms do feel like they are greater now. There's little chance they are actually physically worse, but the anxiety and emotions over the situation can make your symptoms feel much, much worse. When my symptoms were bad, my anxiety would make them worse... and the worse symptoms would increase my anxiety. It was a horrible cycle. I think you are facing the same thing here.

I would strongly recommend looking into some relaxation techniques. They really work if you put some effort into them. Yoga is incredible, breathing exercises, going on quiet walks, relaxing baths. Maybe set aside 30 minutes in the morning and evening. That's what I do.

Have you ever tried a journal to get your worrying thoughts out? Might seem weird, but writing out how you are feeling is a really good release. Write all of your fears, you won't get better, you will get worse, the surgery didn't work. After you write in it daily, or weekly, it will feel good that those negative thoughts are now closed up in that journal.

I think your goal should be to work on your worrying and anxiety over the situation, not trying to determine when you will get better. As we've all seen on here, everyone's story is different. No one can say when anyone will see improvements. Constant questioning and worry will not change how fast you recover. You shouldn't have to go through your recovery like this. I really hope you can find some relief soon, to your physically symptoms, but if that takes a while to come, relief from the worrying. It is painful to watch my friend!

Tony
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