Post nissen blues

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1 day at a time
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 304
   Posted 1/5/2013 3:01 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm at almost 7 weeks post nissen and still feel lousy. I have been running a low grade fever since the surgery, turned anemic, and was diagnosed with atelectasis (partially collapsed lung) last week. I'm weak, have shortness of breath, chest pain, no appetite, dumping & gas bloat syndrome, and well, just feel lousy.
Saw primary care doc again today for the 3rd time in 3 weeks, and I think he's stumped at this point. Antibiotics for 7 days and still running fever. Had an urgent cat scan today to rule out infection which came back clear for major infection, but other odd findings not necessarily directly related to the surgery. My doc said that most primary care docs hate dealing with this surgery because of the complications associated with the recovery process. He's referring me to a gastroenterologist to rule out other stuff like bleeding in the gut. I never had one prior to the surgery as mine was an emergency situation where I didn't even know that over half of my stomach was in my chest cavity.
As I re-read my post, I'm not sure I have a question for anyone, but rather I'm venting (or whining). I know this thing is still healing, but I was feeling fine before my stomach decided to relocate to another spot. I'm probably malnourished because I have no appetite, which in turn makes me tired and grumpy. I joined this forum just after the nissen, and have found a great sense of compassion from folks who share similar health issues. So with that, I will conclude with thank you for listening.

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 1/5/2013 7:27 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi 1 day,
Sorry to hear you're struggling. Your forum "handle" is very appropriate in this situation.  I had a lung infection (due to reflux effects) when I had my surgery and it wouldn't clear up until I got a heavy duty antibiotic.  My PCP, knowing that I have a very sensitive stomach and seeking to avoid making my recovery more difficult, started me on Rocephin shots, which worked well.
 
Did your doc do bloodwork looking for counts that would point to infection?  It sounds like he thinks it's possible that you've got fever just from the stress of the surgery?  I think it's a good idea to go see a specialist.  Your poor body has been through a lot.
 
Are you remembering to avoid straws and carbonated beverages?  Even if you have no appetite, be sure to sip on soup and water.  Both will help you stay hydrated, which will improve your condition.
 
As far as dumping goes, stay away from those sweet nutrition drinks like Carnation Instant Breakfast, that are high in sugar.  Dumping is a reaction to the trauma of surgery, and will subside as you heal.  Here's a link to an anti-dumping diet.  While I know you're not into a lot of eating at the moment, it will give you some guidance:
Click on the PDF link in the middle/top of the page.
 
Hang in there and take it one day at a time!  Stick around here for support!
Good luck!
Feel better...
Denise
GERD/Heartburn Moderator
Nissen Fundoplication 2/09
Allergy/Asthma

"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.”
Eckhart Tolle

1 day at a time
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 304
   Posted 1/6/2013 10:24 PM (GMT -6)   
What do folks think about Ensure? My surgeon's PA suggested it as a supplement. It also has a lot of sugar (and sodium), but lately it seems that's all I can manage to get down (in addition to juice and water). I also have my elderly father on it just to maintain his weight, so I joke that we're both on Ensure.
It also just dawned on me that maybe I'm just getting run down. In addition to having to go back to work after barely 2 weeks, I also have my elderly parents that I have to attend to (they still live in their home-dad has mmp & mom deteriorating dementia). My mom was actually hospitalized 3 weeks after my surgery for septic shock (2nd time in 6 months). Her doc actually asked me if I was ok because I looked like I was ready to collapse when I got to the ER to sign the admissions paperwork (I have power of attorney). I'm an only child , but luckily my spouse has really helped while I'm at work (spouse more or less retired after layoff a few years ago--blessing in disguise).
I wanted to start taking vitamin supplements, but my doc said no until all bloodwork is back. I've read that stomach surgeries such as gastric bypass and the nissen can actually result in the inability to assimilate nutrients, including vitamin supplements. Has anyone heard of that?
I am amazed that this surgery can literally turn your life/health around 180○ in a negative direction!
Once again, I guess I'm venting and so very tired. I do hope others are faring well.

Take care everyone

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 1/6/2013 11:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Try drinking Gulcerna (sp?). It's low in sugar & high in protein.
Joy
Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Glaucoma, Asthma, Hypothyriodism, Sleep Apnea, Degenerative Disk and Facet Disease, and Allergies

When life throws you lemons....
Pick them up and throw them right back at them! :))

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 1/7/2013 10:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi 1 day,
I assume you've followed-up with your doctor.  What was his/her determination?  What you're experiencing is not typical.  A low grade fever must be caused by something.  Generally it's an indication of infection.  Has that been ruled out? 
 
If you're not dumping daily, Ensure could be a good choice.  If dumping is a consistent problem, then it is not.  It is full of sugar and could exacerbate the problem.  Check out the Glucerna, and see if they have a liquid version.  It's created for diabetes, and so it's not loaded with sugar.
 
Don't let the fever go unchallenged.  There is a reason for it.  I'm not sure how you can manage iron pills, as I understand that they are very hard on the stomach.  Could you blend some high-iron foods to pump up your intake?
 
It sounds like your life-situation overwhelmed your healing process and you're putting way too much strain on your body at a time when it's busy trying to heal.  Rest as much as you possibly can.  Whenever you have a moment to sit or lie down, do it.  Drink liquids to keep from becoming dehydrated. 
 
Surrender to your recovery.  It sounds as if it's a challenging time in your life regardless of your post-surgical healing.  What you're going through is certainly difficult, but if in it all you can realize that your recovery is what it is and accept that, it'll make your life much easier.
 
You can't rush your healing, and in fact, all your life-demands will slow it down.  Seven weeks is still very early in a healing process that takes a full 6 months for most of the healing and a year for the rest.  No matter how much you will the recovery to be behind you so you can put yourself fully and strongly into your work and care of your parents, it is not going to happen.
 
Your healing takes time.  Your body is struggling right now.  Most people take a good six weeks taking it easy to start feeling better.  When you are going about your life as if you haven't just had major surgery (no matter how necessary) your recovery will suffer. 
 
Try to realize that you need to take care of yourself.  Think.  How can you do this?  There's a way.  Until you give your body a break and allow it to do the important healing work it's trying to do, you'll be suffering.
 
What you're experiencing isn't typical.  I'm surprised your doctor hasn't recommended you leave work and take some sick time to allow yourself to recover. 
 
Take care of yourself!  You matter!
Hang in there,
Denise
 
 
GERD/Heartburn Moderator
Nissen Fundoplication 2/09
Allergy/Asthma

"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.”
Eckhart Tolle
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