Husband's Laparoscopic Surgery for Paraesophageal Hiatal Hernia on Jan 22...Part 2

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HubbiesHurting
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/12/2013 4:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello All,
We will be going through our second Laparoscopic Surgery for my husband's Paraesophageal Hernia in the near future.  We did this for the first time back in July of 2010 but the mesh failed to hold and now we're right back in the same position as before with the added possibility of actually having to open the chest if the laparoscopic is unsuccessful (which we won't know until they get into the surgery).  If they have to go through the chest he will have to stay in the hospital quite a bit longer and that is extremely scary for my husband who hates hospitals to begin with.
 
The first surgery was extremely hard with my husband dropping from 235 lbs to 154 lbs very quickly.  He had trouble swallowing water and it was a struggle for him to keep even the softest foods down.  He became weak and I was so afraid to leave him even after a few weeks had passed (I had to return to work).  It seemed to take forever for him to be able to hold any solid food down (which is typical, I know) but having to go through it all again is a nightmare! 
 
My goal for joining this forum isn't to whine about the past (thank goodness, right?!)...but I would like to hear about some of the things you did to assist in your recovery so that I can help my husband.  He has been depressed and fearful about having to go through this a second time and I'm concerned that he hasn't put on enough weight since the original surgery (he's at about 185 now, 6'2").  Normally I would say he is at a healthy weight but I'm afraid if he drops weight again that it will be a traumatic stress on his heart and body.  I've bought a Magic Bullet Blender to make shakes and protein drinks for him and I'll be stocking up on pudding, soups and jello.  At least we kind of know what to expect this time around; I think having that knowledge is helpful!
 
I know that we will get through this.  I love him very much and will do whatever I can to help him with his recovery.  However, we don't have any family/friends here that will be able to help (e.g. talk with him and keep his spirits up), and while I will happily take care of him sometimes I worry if there's something more that I could be doing to help...especially when he is hurting, scared, depressed and there's nothing I can do.  I think just being able to talk with people who have been through this will provide information and comfort to us both.  I've already read about how holding a pillow to your stomach when coughing can help.  It might sound simple but I thought...GENIUS!!  I would have never thought of that!! 
 
Anyway, that's where we are.  I plan on logging on and reading your posts daily.  Thanks for your help/support through your posts.  It feels great to have someone to talk to!!  So glad I found you!!  :)

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 1/12/2013 8:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi HubbiesHurting,
Welcome to Healing Well!  Sorry to hear your hubbie is in need of a redo.  Bill, a moderator here, ended up having an open redo and he said it was actually more comfortable and as easy or easier to recover from than the laproscopic procedure.  Just another perspective!
 
Here's a link to my early recovery journal...I don't know how much it will help, but read through it and see if there are any tips or ideas you can use:
 
Again, glad you've joined us!  This is a great forum.  You can get lots of information and support here.  I know that being a caretaker of a spouse can be really challenging, so hang in there!  Be sure to stop by and ask questions anytime!  We'll look forward to hearing more of your continuing saga!
 
Best wishes!
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

opnwhl4
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 1/13/2013 5:39 PM (GMT -6)   
HubbiesHurting

Howdy-

I'm the Bill who had the open redo. I also had a thoracotomy for an esophageal tear 6 months before the open nissen. That's a long story, but I will post a link to it if you want to read it.

www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=45&m=2337138

Any how, I understand the crazyness of loosing a lot of weight fast. I lost a lot of muscle mass with the esophageal tear and nissen redo. I spent a total of 13 plus weeks in the hospital in 2011 and every one of those days I wasn't allowed to eat or drink. I also was on a 24 hour a day feeding tube at home for another month or so and could only drink very small amounts while on that.

Please don't hesitate to email me even if he just needs someone to talk to that has been through something similar. I was a mess mentally through the whole ordeal and if it wasn't for my incredible friends here and my loving wife there is no way I would have made it through it.

I see he had mess the first time...I keep seeing and reading that mess is causing so many problems. 2 of my surgeons have told me they have stopped using mess and now are using some type of artificial tissue or cadaver tissue in place of mess. Have you gotten any other opinions on this second surgery?

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

HubbiesHurting
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/13/2013 7:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you both SO MUCH for the replies! I will pass on the info to Charlie and I have a feeling he will be on here himself soon. He has been hesitant to talk to others about this because he doesn't like to burden people with what he feels are "his problems." I, as you can tell, do not hold that same opinion! However, I do think that being able to talk to others will be a relief for him and I do anticipate his participation on this forum in the near future.

We have not gotten a second opinion but we have booked the top surgeon in AL to perform this second operation.

I am passing along all of the information that you have provided and other "tips" that I have found on this site (posted by others with similar issues/experiences). Again, many, many thanks for your help!! It really makes a difference!!

opnwhl4
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 1/16/2013 9:24 AM (GMT -6)   
HubbiesHurting-

Howdy,
Wondering how things are going? Did you have a chance to talk with your hubby about this site?

With what you have told us so far I think he could really benefit from our little community. We aren't like the majority of online forums out there that are one sided. We try our best to be open to all comers and be open to any and all ideas.
We are even here if some one just needs to vent when they are having a bad day. This also applies to you too. Please feel free to come here and ask us questions or vent if you need to. We will do our best to help any way we can.

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