Welcome to the Healing Well Wrap Club! You are so right that the first couple of weeks are extremely challenging. You're not alone in thinking the surgery was a mistake. It's a common feeling.
I can tell you that I had my surgery three years ago, and can really eat absolutely anything I want. (I do have a sensitive stomach, but that's a different issue altogether.)
Yes, you'll be able to eat a Subway sandwich, and drink many pints of ale! I just went to a steakhouse on Saturday and enjoyed steak and mushrooms. That said, after surgery I was warned away from steak and bread by my surgeon. He turned me loose to eat "anything that could be chewed to a liquid", but no steak, sandwiches, or bread. (Toasted bread works just fine!)
I have trouble pinpointing exactly when I started eating totally normally. I can tell you that we went on vacation at the 4 month mark and I was eating whatever I wanted at restaurants.
You'll always need to eat more slowly and chew your food more carefully.
I don't know if you saw this in the Resources section, but just in case, here's a good post-Nissen food guide:
This recovery takes 6 months for the majority of healing and a full year for the rest. I found that I continued to make some improvement even past the year mark. As you go through the healing process you'll gradually see improvements.
If you can surrender to your recovery and just follow it where it leads, your recovery will be much easier. Struggling against it and wishing it would go faster will just lead you to frustration. Go with the flow. It is what it is!
This forum is a great place for you to get support and information. I'm glad you've found us!
Very best wishes,
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.”