10 days post op

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Lilmuzzer
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Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 4/26/2013 6:32 PM (GMT -6)   
I am 10 days post op. i had a"re-do" niessen fundilplication along with a para esophageal hernia repair 4/16. The first one was done in September 1997. I needed to have the re-do because I had a severe stomach bug with violent vomiting in November that caused the wrap to slip along with a paraesophgeal hiatal hernia. I am doing pretty good recovery wise, have just begun eating a little more "real" food, chewed to a pulp. The biggest problem I am still having is pain, discomfort in my shoulders, back, neck and chest muscles. It seems odd that this would be due the surgery but I guess anything is possible. I have Ben following several threads here since before my surgery for "tricks and tips" so I know that someone out there might have an answer
Thanks!

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7180
   Posted 4/26/2013 7:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Lilmuzzer,
Welcome to the Healing Well yeah yeah yeah Wrap Redo Club! yeah yeah yeah Sorry to hear you had that nasty virus that sent you back to surgery.  The shoulder/neck pain are definitely related to the surgery and are caused by a combination of gas and diaphragm irritation.  I found that the more I walked, the better my shoulder felt. 
 
I would guess your redo surgery was more difficult to do than a first wrap, so it's likely that your body went through a lot more.  You probably had adhesions that needed to be detached, and the whole thing could create more pain.
 
I have found in the past that as I've been heaved from the operating table onto the gurney, I've ended up with pulled muscles, especially in the chest. 
 
I would recommend walking, which will probably help with all of those pains.  You had your first wrap surgery sixteen years ago--you were that much younger, and the redo surgery is more difficult and probably harder on you as well.  Ice would probably also be a big help.  If it's referred pain, like the shoulder pain is, ice probably won't help much.  Hang in there...it gets better!  Still, whenever you have pain that is bothering and concerning you, be sure to call your surgeon's office and let them weigh in on the subject.
 
Don't forget that your wrap will become more swollen during the first two weeks, so don't be surprised if your swallowing gets more difficult and more uncomfortable during that time.  Once you reach peak swelling and get to the other side it will start improving as the swelling subsides.
 
Glad you've joined the forum!  Bill (opnwhl4), one of our moderators, has had 3 redos, so he's the real expert.
Stick around for continued support.  I expect others will be by soon to share their own experiences and support.
Happy healing,
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

Lilmuzzer
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 4/26/2013 7:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Denise! I have been "stalking" the GERD forum on HealingWell.com since before my surgey but this is the first time I have written. So much good, solid advice! I have been following yours and walking every day but still continue to have the soreness/ache in my shoulders, back and chest. All in all...recovery has been pretty much as expected (thanks to the GERD Forum) Eating is coming along...adding solids bit by bit...just taking it slowly a day at a time.

Ingy1968
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 4/27/2013 7:48 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello Lilmuzzer....We had our surgeries on the same day! Do you mind if I ask how you are doing with adding different food to your diet and what you are eating? I have been eating frozen yogurt and cream of wheat since my surgery with little problems. Yesterday I attempted oatmeal....it went down ok but caused SEVERE pain in my stomach shortly after. I do have IBS so struggle with the constipation/diarrhea issues regularly. Are you having problems adding different foods?
Thank you...Stacey

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7180
   Posted 4/27/2013 12:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Stacey and Lilmuzzer,
Many here are told by their surgeons to remain on liquid or soft diets for a very long time.  My surgeon set me free on Day 5 or 6 to "eat anything that can be chewed to a liquid (creamy consistency)".  He did warn me away from untoasted bread, sandwiches, and steak.
 
I listened to my body, and if my wrap/esophagus were especially uncooperative, I just backed of a little.  My husband and I go out to eat a lot.  Very early on I went out.  For example, at Olive Garden I ordered the cream soup and avoided the pasta tortellini, and only ate the crust off the bread sticks.  I ended up taking at least half of it home with me, because at that point my stomach was still swollen and not accepting much food.
 
Sometimes I'd just order soup, other times I'd be more adventuresome.  At an Italian restaurant I had a half order of crepe manicotti and had no problem at all.  Of course, my son called me "anorexic" because I took most of it home.  My stomach got full very quickly in the beginning.
 
If I had clam chowder, I'd eat the potato and veggies, and leave the clams.  Saltines chew perfectly into a liquid.  I found the crisper things were, the better they chewed to liquid.  Well-toasted bread...no problem.  It's really trial and error.  Take small bites and chew, chew, chew. 
 
I used to keep a paper napkin handy and deposited anything that didn't chew to a liquid.  Basically, my teeth became my blender.  I'd much rather enjoy the pleasure of chewing my own food, rather than letting a blender have all the fun.  Just listen to your body, take very small bites, and chew, chew, chew.  If it doesn't chew to a liquid/creamy consistency, don't swallow it.  Really, you'll find lots of things that you can eat.
 
Of course, at 10 days post op, you're in the midst of increasing wrap swelling.  I remember swallowing definitely got more difficult and "spasmy" during that time.  Stacey, remember that you had major surgery on your stomach 10 days ago, so try to be understanding.  It's not happy with you right now.  Listen to its complaints and back off a little longer.  When it's ready, you'll know.  Try some other treats, like a crispy cracker!  Have you seen these eating suggestions in the Resources?
 
 
 
 
Take a look and see if there is any helpful information.  It'll give you some suggested foods.  Still, in the end it's your stomach that will make the final decision.  When it's ready, it's ready, and not a moment sooner!
 
Happy healing!
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 4/28/2013 12:39 AM (GMT -6)   
Lilmuzzer

Welcome to the Re-Wrapped Club!

I think Denise git the nail on the head about the extra pains. They have to do a lot more for a redo plus they had to pull things back down where they belong. I had the extra pains with my 1st redo correcting an incorrectly done nissen.

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

Lilmuzzer
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 4/28/2013 12:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Stacey....sorry for the delay in answering you....for some reason computer does not want to cooperate so I went the iPad. Like others, my surgeon said only liquids the first two weeks but I have been experimenting a bit and like Denise says....anything I do put in my mouth I chew to a pulp before swallowing. I made some crestless mini-broccoli cheese quiches in little muffin tins that turned out great...steamed the broccoli and crumpled, mixed with the eggs and cheese and baked. I eat two at a time which takes awhile but gets some protein and veggies in. I also have had some grilled salmon and pan sautéed talapia with well cooked veggies. Those were both pretty good and went down smoothly. If i try to get start eating to fast, my wrap will tell me to SLOW downcand then I usually wait for things to go down and try again. I was even adventurous enough to try a small grilled ground beef patty the other night...again, small bites and chew, chew chew!!! My stomach is a little sore sometimes and like you, the past week I have gone between diarrhea and constipation but I just figure getting back into a eating routine that works will take some time and adjustments. My biggest complaint is discomfort in my upper back and shoulders and generally just not feeling up to par. I go back to work on Tuesady so I hope the next 48 hours will bring some sort of miracle! Honestly, this was a MUCH harder recovery than I was lead to believe but I m on my way and have no regrets. I see my surgeon tomorrow and will post about that tomorrow.

Lilmuzzer
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 4/28/2013 1:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Denise and Bill for your insight and experiences! They have been soooo helpful. A question....Ian able to "burb" just a bit, usually after drinking water. Also, If I do a minor sticking ofcaomethingbin the wrap, I notice I get the hiccups...have you heard about others who have had this? I thoughtvivwouldnt NE able to burb?

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7180
   Posted 4/28/2013 1:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Lilmuzzer,
I think most surgeons warn their patients that they won't be able to burp or vomit after their surgery.  This, however is variable.  (I can do both.)  I was burping while I was still in the hospital.  The burping is different in that I don't control it...it comes when it wants to.  I think people who have the technique allowing them to burp at will and often, will have trouble adjusting to the new "stomach led" burping.  I used to say the stomach "burps itself".  Now, I can do some fairly big burps, but I'm not to boss of my burps. I'm always happy when I get a few big ones, though!
 
A member here was warned off of burping during recovery.  That is not for the kind of burps I'm describing (little air releases decided upon by the stomach).  I don't think surgeons want big, forced burps, as they can stress the wrap.  Don't worry about the ones that just make their way out on their own.
 
Hiccups occur with the irritation, and are very common after surgery.  I know they can be painful, but they're not anything to worry about.  They will subside as your healing progresses.
 
Isn't this the best forum?  I was so glad I found it when I was in your situation and was looking for information and guidance!
Happy healing!
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

Lilmuzzer
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 4/28/2013 1:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes it is the best forum to get information for those that have been there, as every situation is unique but we all have things in common as well! I know for me, my surgeon is fairly quiet and really doesn't offer a lot of info unless asked and for me especially, since this is my second wrap, i guess he figured I knew what was coming...funny how we forget something's!!! I have my 2 week post op tomorrow and you can be sure I have my list this time!!!!
I was curious about my little "burps"....nothing big and belching, just a release of air. This is something I was definitely NOT able to do with the first wrap ....it was really tight.

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7180
   Posted 4/28/2013 2:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Lilmuzzer,
Those little burps are a huge bonus, because bloating will be a fairly rare occurrence for you!  You will find it much better than your first wrap, then.  turn
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 4/28/2013 3:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Lilmuzzer

Surgeons are doing what is called a floppy what now a days and it lets us be able to release more of the trapped air. This is a good bonus to have with this surgery. We can't let out those true belches, but can release small amounts.

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

Ingy1968
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 4/28/2013 4:44 PM (GMT -6)   
You have been much more adventurous than me in the eating department! My surgeon told me I could pretty much eat what I want but to make sensible choices. Because I have stuck to basically mushy items, I haven't had an issue with getting the food down. My problem has been the very quick full feeling and bloating and gas after eating. Prior to surgery, I burped all the time! Now, I can feel the gas wanting to come up, which causes alot discomfort at the wrap site. I only manage a very small burp here and there. Well, the gas needs to go somewhere....so I have had a great deal of bloating and lower gas. I feel like I have just changed the area of pain from my esophagus to my lower intestines. I see my surgeon on Tuesday and like you I am supposed to return to work this week on Wednesday....which seems a little soon; although I do work in an office. Good luck at your appointment and I would love to hear what your Dr. says about the gas issue!!

Stacey

P.S. I just attempted some well cooked pasta...went down fine...time will tell in the other area...lol

Lilmuzzer
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 4/28/2013 6:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Stacey...I work in an office too...I am an Administrative Assistant to the principal at an elementary school. I am scheduled to go back to work on Tuesday I am "somewhat" ready to go back...just wish I was feeling 100%. If I had known that I would still be feeling like this....kinda run down and tired, I would have made arrangements to start back 1/2 days.
Can you actually feel where your wrap site? I don't think I can?!?! Are you having any pain in your chest or shoulders? Still having those issues here...very uncomfortable! How about weight...are you losing? I have lost 8-10 lbs....just hope it stays off as I had some to lose!
I'll let you know how the appointment goes tomorrow...I have lots of questions!

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7180
   Posted 4/28/2013 6:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Lilmuzzer,
 
Be sure to avoid doing a lot of bending (as in reaching down to low files) and lifting when you go back.  Don't be a hero...let people know your restrictions and ask for help.  If you find it's too much, tell your principal and let him/her get a sub for half days.  I'm a retired teacher, so I know what your life will be like in the office. 
 
I planned on going back to my second grade classroom half days after two weeks, but my principal and TA said no...my classroom was a very sick place, and they didn't want me exposed with my healing lungs, so I stayed out 6 weeks.  When I went back I was 100%, and really recommend giving yourself a chance to heal without the stress of fulltime work.  Take care of yourself!
 
Good luck!
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

Lilmuzzer
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 4/28/2013 6:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Denise....and I thought I would be able to go back after the first week....ha! I will se what the doctor says tomorrow but I am strongly leaning toward taking some more time. I have not been feeling great today....each time I have eaten a "real" meal today I have gotten stomach cramps and then diarrhea. My first BM this morning I was constipated and things went down hill from there. This may be too much info!!! is this normal?

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7180
   Posted 4/28/2013 7:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Lilmuzzer,
There's no such thing as TMI on this forum...we share what we're experiencing!  You may be having some dumping, which is often a side effect of stomach surgery during the recovery time.  I had occasional dumping during my recovery...I could always tell it was coming when my stomach started grumbling VERY loudly.  Some time after that, I'd have a bout of diarrhea.
 
If it becomes a problem, check out this anti-dumping diet:
 
It gradually improves as you heal.  I seemed to get it when I irritated my wrap by eating rough/raw veggies or something like a dinner salad.  As my healing progressed it happened less and less often, until sometime in the second year I realized it wasn't happening any more.
 
I definitely suggest you get your principal to hire a sub for a while.  In the school culture, there is a real understanding of medical needs and issues, and you shouldn't push yourself before you're ready.  Be sure to discuss it with your surgeon.  He can hold off on releasing you to go back to work.  My PCP was who kept me out of school for 6 weeks, and wrote me a release order to that effect.
 
Be kind to yourself, and give yourself time to heal and regain your strength!
Take care,
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

Lilmuzzer
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 4/28/2013 7:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Denise....I pretty much normally eat the things that are on the dumping diet and try to eat small meals every 3 hours or so. Guess will chalk this up to normal recovery of the wrap. So, so much our doctors don't tell us!

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7180
   Posted 4/28/2013 7:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Lilmuzzer,
I think you're right...chalk it up to normal recovery.  It will resolve over time as you heal. 
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

Lilmuzzer
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 4/29/2013 11:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Denise....I pretty much normally eat the things that are on the dumping diet and try to eat small meals every 3 hours or so. Guess will chalk this up to normal recovery of the wrap. So, so much our doctors don't tell us!

How long until you really stared feeling like yourself?

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7180
   Posted 4/29/2013 5:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Lilmuzzer,
It's hard to remember when I started to "feel like myself"...I went back to work at 6 weeks and felt fine.  I was eating pretty much anything at 4 weeks.  (I did have trouble with melted mozzarella and some pastas.  If I was eating something with melted mozzarella in any large amount-like on the top of lasagna, or manicotti, I found it couldn't be chewed well.  A little on a pizza didn't bother me.)
 
You'll feel better so gradually that even you'll likely have trouble remembering, unless you continue to journal your experience.  (I wish I had.)  That said, it isn't a straight line to recovery.  There are ups and downs along the way.  Often at somewhere around 3 months, people start eating more aggressively and forget to chew their foods as carefully.  They invariably come back to the forum in a panic, with an irritated wrap, and worried that there is a serious problem.  There isn't.
 
Like I said...surrender, and go with the flow.  It is as it is, and your body will take its own sweet time to heal!  Also, you'll continue to see improvements throughout the first year.  I even had improvements in the second year!
Happy healing!
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 4/29/2013 9:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Denise has a great point about people rushing their diets and having eating issues. I know with my first I wasn't given any pointers and was just told a soft diet and advance as you want. This led to a lot of hairball issues, food getting stuck at the wrap and having to bring it back up.
I was trying to eat and chew as I did before the wrap and after being in the military you learn to eat FAST!
Even when we try new foods we must chew like the devil and make it easy as possible for the food to get by the wrap. Now after a years or so have to keep reminding my self to slow down because I can get food past it eating as I did before, but sometimes it will back fire and I get something stuck. Then goes the "ummm dummy, you still have a wrap. Slow down or you will be hurting" LOL!
A good trade off of having to eat this way is that it can help keep us from over eating and keeping the weight off if you want to.

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

Lilmuzzer
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 4/30/2013 7:39 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Denise and Bill!

I have found everything that you all have said so far to be true! I am at two weeks post op today but to tell you the truth, it feels longer! I saw my doctor yesterday for my two week post op. He said things are coming along nicely. My biggest complaint is fatigue...he said that for the majority of his patients, that is their biggest complaint at this point. As you know, my Wrap was a re-do with a hiatal hernia repair, which he said made the surgery a little more in depth so it might take a little longer to get my "bounce" back. He told me that he originally thought he would only be able to do a partial wrap but once he got in, he said that things were nice and loose and he had enough fundus to work with, so he did a full wrap. I have taken the rest of this week off from work....thanks for the advice Denise...so that will give me three weeks post op before returning...not a good time to be away from school but guess we'll all survive. My doctor cleared me to begin eating a wider variety of food with the exception of steak and bread. Of course, he reminded me, as you all have too "chew, chew, chew". Last night I had a very lean ground beef patty and some steamed spinach....delicious but....it probably took me every bit of 45 minutes to "chew, chew, chew" and swallow...a "few" tight spots but nothing major....yea!! Can't wait to start feeling like. Yself again but the BEST part of all this is no more reflux!!!!

Lilmuzzer
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 4/30/2013 7:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Forgot to add...the doctor also cleared me to begin walking...more agressively than I have been. Before the surgery I had been doing a walk/run at least 5 days a week. I am looking forward to getting back to that but I'm gonna wait a few weeks....just going to go with what my body is telling me. The good news regarding exercise is he said NO SIT UPS!!!!!! Yea because I HATE sit ups and ANY excuse not to do them is ok by me yeah
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