Gooserstein's Nissen Journal

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Gooserstein
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 5/4/2013 7:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Everyone. I wanted to share my experience as well. On Thursday I had my Nissen done through my navel. I was so scared since I have never had surgery before. On the day, I went to preop to get ready and my surgery was bumped up 3 hours (probably a good thing seeing how nervous I was). The surgery only took 2 hours. I felt pretty good when I came to. They had given me dialaudid and fentanyl. After an hour, I was moved to my room.

I remember all of your advice to walk, walk, walk. I just couldn't shake the dizziness the first day. I realized it was the morephine, so I switched to the Lortab elixir (yuck by the way). I had so much pain in my shoulders, it was nearly unbearable. I asked my nurse for the elixir. I waited 30 minutes for it to kick in and I got up and walked all morning. That really helped. I was even able to make little burps, but they hurt. So I tried to refrain from this. I was discharged home later that afternoon. We had a long drive, which amplified my pain.

I didn't realize that I would have such a hard time lying on soft surfaces. I laid on my bed when I arrived home and it left me sobbing in pain. I ended up sleeping on my couch last night. That was much more comfortable. When I came home my stomach was a balloon. I couldn't stand up straight, the gas pain was intense. I couldn't pass flatus for the life of me. So, I took half a dulcolax suppository. 30 minutes later, I was empty of gas, but seriously nauseated. My poor husband has been taking such good care of me with my crazy ranges of moodiness.

This morning was much better. I still have shoulder pain, but not as bad as it has been. I hope that goes away soon. I'm still on a clear liquid diet. My doctor told me to take my time advancing to full liquid. I'm not to be on mushy food til later next week. I've been drinking the Nectar protein drink. It's a suspension. Since protein is really important for healing. I'm also drinking liquid multi vitamins. I can feel that my wrap is beginning to swell. So I want to be as gentle to it as possible.

Since my Nissen was done exclusively through my navel, I have a pressure dressing there. I have to leave it on till next week for my post op appointment.

Thank you all so much for your advice on this column. Everyone tried to give me straws in the hospital and even carbonated beverages. I'm glad I knew what to avoid and what to do. blush blush

Gooserstein
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 5/5/2013 5:58 AM (GMT -6)   
Day 4

I have to say this recovery is much tougher than I anticipated. I had no previous reference to the pain or nausea since I've never had surgery or even broken a bone before. I'm struggling but I'm trying my best to keep a positive attitude. This too will pass.

The pain is no longer unmanageable. I've been taking the Lortab at half the dose. Yesterday I was very dizzy and nauseous. I think I was becoming dehydrated. My doctor recommended clears for the first 3 day (plus I was on clears 2 days prior to the operation). I am so tired of very sweet or salty things- which seems to encompass the clear liquid diet. I forced myself to drink several cups of water and Gatorade and my symptoms improved. Today I can incorporate dairy, so that should help.

I have this horrible itchy rash on my neck, chest, and thighs. I showed my surgeon before I left and he thinks it was a reaction to the antibiotic they gave in surgery. I'm not sure if that's the cause since it still itches.

I know I have about a week and a half left of the hardest part. Does anyone have advice for the diet? I need some calories. I was lean going into this surgery. When did you start feeling better?

Gooserstein
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 5/6/2013 6:43 PM (GMT -6)   
day 5

Things seem to be looking up today. For the past several days I've been so dizzy and nauseous. I couldn't even watch television to pass the time. I stopped taking the Lortab. I feel almost like my old self... Just a bit slower. I went on a short walk today with my pups and my husband, sat outside an enjoyed the weather, and even watched a movie. I'm still taking it easy though. I get tired easily, which is probably from the diet change.

I have to say, even though its short term, you do have to mourn food a bit. That's been the hardest part. I love cooking and eating. Oh man would I like a slice of pizza. I have to be sensible though and take care of my stomach. It's like getting over food poisoning, just a little food at a time and be gentle to the stomach. Today I ate some grits, cottage cheese, pea soup, and a Popsicle. It take a while to eat anything. I get this sensation, like I have to burp when I swallow or move around a lot. I'm not sure if that's wrap swelling or diaphragm spasms. Ive noticed that when I eat my heart races a bit (about 100bpm). I'm not sure if that's dumping syndrome or what.


The pain is not too bad. I still have some shoulder pain occasionally. If it gets bad, I take a nice hot shower and let the water fall on my shoulders. That feels great. Another tip is sometimes I use my incentive spirometer. I find that this helps displace gas from my chest to my belly. At least it feels that way.

All in all I'm thinking this has been a good experience for me. I haven't had any GERD symptoms yet, but only time will tell with that. Tip of the day- don't go to grocery stores alone yet (hard to do at this point anyways). You can get yourself into trouble if your impulsive.

Gooserstein
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 5/9/2013 7:32 AM (GMT -6)   
Day 6
I feel so much better today. The shoulder pain is nearly absent. I was able to sleep on my own bed today with little discomfort. I've been off the pain meds for a few days, so I took a small trip to the grocery store down the road. No problems all around. Still a little uncomfortable and would love some real food. I keep reminding myself that I have to be good to my wrap and let it heal properly. I never want to do this again if I can avoid it.

Day 7
I think my wrap is beginning to swell more today. I feel resistance to even some liquids. It simply feels like a delay in swallowing. I also feel the air bubble everyone has been talking about. I bought some protein shakes today. I no longer like the other one I've been using. So far I've lost 7 pounds. I don't want to loose anymore otherwise I'll be too thin. It hurts less to burp today. Thank goodness. Sneezing on the other hand is quite startling.

I so much want to get back to my active life. I just need to give myself time to heal. Normally I swim, jog, and walk my dogs regularly. I just want to be myself again- minus the heartburn. I can lay flat. I am thankful for that. This was one of the driving forces for the surgery. I'm not really enjoying it fully yet though since the shoulder pain increases when I lay flat. It don't feel it as much upright. My desire to eat regular food is starting to diminish since I'm now realizing the potential consequences of it. Sure, ill have my tacos and pizza later down the road. I hope I can enjoy the all the same, but for now I'm protecting this wrap so I can have a normal life again.

opnwhl4
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 5/9/2013 1:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Goose-

Welcome to the Wrapped Club!

Sorry I haven't responded here yet. I suggestion on sneezing/coughing. Keep a pillow at hand and use it against your belly when this happens. It helps hold things still and eases the pain.
I found sleeping in a recliner the first few weeks was much more comfy than laying down to sleep. I have a nice cushy recliner and a couch that has end recliners on it. Add some pillows for comfort and sleep away. If you don't have that available, try to make an incline on your bed with pillows and such. One of those body pillows work very well. Also when getting in and out of bed. Roll to your side and use tour arms to push you up rather than use your abs.
During this frst few weeks expect anything. You can feel great one day and horrible the next 2. It just depends on what you do and how your body responds.
Keep up the great journal!

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

Gooserstein
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 5/9/2013 6:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks so much for the advice Bill. I'll definately give them a try. I have noticed the sudden fluctuations in the way I feel. Some days I feel really great and so I start increasing my activity. Then, the next day I feel awful. Ive decided that no matter how I feel I need to rest.

opnwhl4
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 5/10/2013 2:11 AM (GMT -6)   
Goose

Oh you definitely need to rest. You had major surgery and resting well in the 1st few weeks is a must. Doctors seem to make us feel like this is an easy surgery just because it's usually done as a lap.
My family doctor has GERD and he has asked me tons of questions because he has been thinking of surgery. Isn't that a hoot, a doctor asking his patient for advice. LOL!

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

Gooserstein
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 5/10/2013 7:41 AM (GMT -6)   
That is pretty funny. It just goes to show what they really know about the healing process. My surgeon told me that I could do desk what one week post op. i mean I guess I could sit at a desk, but I dont think Id be all that productive since Im tired most of the time.

Gooserstein
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 5/10/2013 7:50 AM (GMT -6)   
Day 8

I felt great today. Very little pain. I felt that I could strectch my belly without tension from my incision. I still had a bit of back pain. Its moved from my shoulders to my mid back. With that said... I did something stupid. My husband was out (he's been making sure I eat properly). So, I ate a bunch of junk (chips and cookies). I dont normally binge eat on junk, but I am on a restrictive diet now. Oh man did I feel sick. In fact, I felt like I was going to throw up. This scared me half to death since I know vomiting now can really mess up my wrap. I took 2 zofrans and a shower to relax. This morning I still feel uncomfortable. Im thorowing out the junk today. Its really not worth the potential risks. And now I no longer feel great like I did yesterday. So it definately was not worth it.

Gooserstein
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 5/10/2013 7:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Day 9

My stomach has been cramping most of the day. I think I need to limit sweets and dairy. Yesterday I had 2 cups of milk, a protein shake, and cheese in my grits. I'm hoping that easing off these will help. This period of time during recovery is pretty confusing. Normal gut feelings like knowing when you're full or when you need to go to the bathroom are altered. Before I have to go to the bathroom I get bad cramping. Before it was a more subtle signal. I know it's a gross topic, so sorry about that. I just hope these signals settle down.

Gooserstein
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 5/12/2013 9:06 AM (GMT -6)   
Day 10
Today I felt awesome. Like my old self almost. During this recovery, I've been talking to my sister in law who recently had half her stomach resected. She told me I'd be pretty uncomfortable for about a week and a half. I think I'm over the most uncomfortable hurdle post op. I had a little mid back pain again today, but nothing a heating pad or quick rub couldn't fix. I could eat a bit more. I have been eating about a 1/2 cup max at any given time. Today I was able to eat about 3/4 cup to a cup in a sitting. I still feel some wrap swelling. It doesn't really bother though. I was also able to lay flatter without so many pillows. I did feel a bit of reflux in the evening though. My stomach felt very acidy at the time, which is not normal. So, I'm not putting much thought into it yet. I will let my wrap heal and then I will evaluate it. I will say that I've went from very loose stools (which my doctor warned me about) to constipation. So, I'm going to have to pick something up today at the store. I really want to start exercising to get back my strength. I'm having my post op check tomorrow, so I will ask then. I'm hoping it's all down hill from here.
turn

Teeth cleaner
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 5/12/2013 9:59 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Gooserstein,

I have been following your post Nissen recovery and want to thank you for the journal! I too could be faced with this surgery in my future and I'm scared to death! What were you symptoms before surgery? I have gerd that is controlled with Zantac but I also have LPR and excessive burping which is making me miserable at times. I'm really scared of the gas bloat you can get from this surgery so I think I may opt for the Hill or toupet procedure. I need to be able to burp for sure! Can you still burp? I'm so glad you are feeling better and hopefully have the hardest part of recovery behind you!

Gooserstein
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 5/12/2013 1:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Teeth Cleaner,

I'm glad my journal has been helpful for you. This is quite the experience. Before my surgery I had heartburn on and off for about 7 years. It was very controllable. For the past year I have had severe heartburn. I felt it every day but mostly when sleeping. It felt like a gnawing or sometimes burning in my chest. If I slept flat, Id usually wake up coughing. I would have the occassional episode where my heartburn would be so painful that it hurt to inhale. I was taking Ppis twice a day but it wasnt helpful. During my egd my surgeon showed me (I was awake) my les. It wouldnt close. So regardless of what I took Id probably have gerd forever. Also, I didnt want to take the meds. PPIs increase your risk of osteoporosis and intestinal indections. I decided that I wanted my life back... So thats why I went ahead with the surgery.

I understand the fear of the gas bloat. I dont. Really feel bloated. Occassionally my stomach swells a bit with gas and then I either burp ( yup I can still do this) or it goes down. Before the surgery I was on a high fiber diet for about 7 months. I thought it helped with the gerd. Let me tell you I was much more gassy then. The first week after surgery was miserable though. Im not going to sugar coat it. Ive never had surgery or pain from surgery before. So it was a learning curve for me. Alot of people on here felt better than me the first week. I just couldnt tolerate the narcotics.

Good luck with your future endeavours. Find a good surgeon thats most important. Also, i had a 360 wrap, so it is possible for that to be done and to retain the ability to burp.

Erica

Teeth cleaner
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 5/12/2013 3:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Erica,

Thanks for your response. You stated that the first week was really hard. Can you tell me about this? How would you say you are feeling now? Does your stomach feel different? Can you feel the wrap? How about eating...does your food go down ok or does it get stuck and hurt when you swallow? Do you burp after every meal or only occasionally? Do you feel nauseated at times? Sorry so many questions!!! I'm really trying to mentally prepare myself! My case is very complicated and my anxiety about all this is 100%. Any information is so helpful!

Wendy

Gooserstein
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 5/12/2013 4:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Wendy,
During the first week I dealt with a lot of shoulder pain. This is totally normal. The problem for me was that the Lortab elixir made me very dizzy. So if I took it all I could do was lay down on the couch and close my eyes. I couldn't look at any lights or even pass the time with tv. This isn't typical. I guess I'm just a light weight. Heck I get a buzz after one glass of wine.

I can feel the wrap right now. It's still swelling. This happens for the first 2-3 weeks. I can actually swallow most things without any problem as long as its liquid and in small amounts. It doesnt hurt. I do notice resistance with larger gulps. I did eat something this past week. I think it was mushy squash. It stuck for about 5 seconds. It will go down. It's just uncomfortable for a moment. It didn't make me nauseous though. I'm an ER nurse and I have seen patients with food boluses (food caught in the esophagus). It's always steak or a pork chop though. FYI- these are treated with endoscopy. I don't eat red meat, so hopefully I won't ever experience that. Also, I've only seen one nissen patient with a food bolus. All the others were the result of strictures in the esophagus. Strictures can occur after prolonged GERD- another reason to have the surgery if you suffer from this.

I burp after meals and when I move around a lot. They're little burps. The first week is also tough due to the food deprivation. Eating broth and dairy isn't my idea of a good time. Don't even dare to turn on the food network. I don't really feel nauseated. I did once after eating too much. You have to watch your quantity because your mind is hungrier than your stomach.

All in all don't let the first week scare you away. The recovery is a process. There was a few times where I said to myself "what did I do to myself?" You can't think like that. Our bodies are amazing as they adapt and heal. If I no longer have GERD this will be totally worth it. I hate sleeping on 8 pillows and structuring my life around my meals.

I'm was pretty anxious about this too. I think it's important to keep in mind that the surgery will alter your life for a few months. You'll eat more frequently, lose weight, and deal with some discomforts. But that will end.

Hope this helps.

Erica

Teeth cleaner
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 5/12/2013 6:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Erica! Very helpful! Keep us posted on your continued recovery! I will probably get the Hill procedure which is not a full wrap. Apparently I have chronic air swallowing/aerophagia which most likely give me a bloating problem with full wrap:0(! I really don't feel I swallow any more air when eating/coughing than a normal person. I think my LES is so loose it can't handle the pressure of food, drink and normal swallowed air at one time. I eat very small bland meals now to help with burping. Very depressing not being able to eat any of my favorite foods! Anyway, enough complaining on my part! Got to be strong!!

Gooserstein
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 5/12/2013 8:08 PM (GMT -6)   
My surgeon told me that most gerd sufferers swallow air unintentionally. I guess this is a mechanism to keep down acid. He said this increases bloat for us. Ive noticed myself doing it. I try not to. He also told me that following the les repair, eventually i will do this less. Really the bloat is not too bad. The first day was the worst because i didnt pass gas at all. So i sort of filled up like a balloon. Not bad at all now though. It seems gerd is already controlling your life. A wrap will probably only improve things. Best of luck!

Teeth cleaner
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 5/12/2013 8:49 PM (GMT -6)   
I have tremendous gas already and it makes me cringe to think it could be worse after surgery for a while. I think that is my worse fear! My gas pains can be rough! It worries me for sure. I'm trying to hold off on the surgery as long as I can but I'm slowly giving up! Thanks again for all the great info!

Gooserstein
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 5/13/2013 8:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Day 11
Another excellent day. I had a lot of energy. I'm eating well. Mushy foods give me no problem as long as I eat small enough bites. Still having the mid back ache. It's worse after I eat or when I sit uncomfortably.

Day 12
I had my post op appointment today. I had my pressure dressing removed from my navel. It's still red and swollen. The doctor assured me that it won't be noticeable once it's fully healed. It's pretty awesome to have this surgery without any visible scars.

I didn't eat as much today because I was driving around a lot. I believe the mid back pain is gas pressure on my esophagus. It's worse after I eat. I think this is because I swallow air with food. Hopefully this will ease as the swelling dissipates. Oooo... I ate real food today. I had noodles and ground turkey. Went down with no problems. It was actually easier than eating mash potatoes. I'm so happy to get proten from something other than a meal replacement shake. Woohoo!

On the downside. I've been dealing with a bit of constipation. Unpleasant and difficult to deal with. I'm taking miralax but it makes very little difference. I'm getting so little fiber. Does anyone know if fiber supplements are a bad idea? I just want a little to normalize things. I'm laying off dairy, but no change yet.

My surgeon says I'm doing great. I can start light aerobics now and can start swimming next week. Everything is looking up- except for some things going down (had to make a joke).

Ingy1968
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 5/14/2013 5:39 AM (GMT -6)   
Make sure you get those bowels moving as soon as possible. I spent this past weekend in the hospital with an obstruction in my bowel and it has not been fun AT ALL. Right now they have me doing muralax 4 times a day and I am still only passing water. Waiting for a call from my dr. this morning and praying I do not end up back in the hospital. So again, do whatever you have to to keep your bowels moving!

PS. I am 4 weeks post op today

Stacey

Gooserstein
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 5/14/2013 9:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Stacey. I hope everything gets better for you. It's really an unpleasant situation.

Mb111384
New Member


Date Joined May 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 5/14/2013 4:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for this journal, it has been very informative. I had my wrap done last Monday and am only starting to feel normal now. My surgery ha some complications due to adhesions and a MUCH larger hiatal hernia than expected, so it took about 5 hours. All the work on the diaphragm, led to some breathing and lung issues and I was finally discharged Thursday night. I have been living on Gatorade, water, some protein shakes and a bit of soup. I happened to catch a throat bug when I got home so swallowing was near impossible, but I am hoping o start purée food tonight. Thanks for your journal!

Gooserstein
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 5/15/2013 8:06 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm glad you find the journal helpful Mb. My hope was to provide information about the recovery so those who may consider understand what it's like. I remember reading through every nissen journal on here that I could find. They've kept me relaxed through this recovery process. Every time something weird happens, like the air bubble sensation in my esophagus, I'm reminded that its normal and it will go away. I hope your feeling better now. I can't imagine dealin with a sore throat during recovery. Stay hydrated.

Gooserstein
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 5/15/2013 8:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Day 13
This was mostly an uneventful day. I've been eating pasta with no problems. I'm still getting the mid back pain after eating. I'm guessing my esophagus is very irritated and I'm feeling it in my back. Walking around and lying flat on my belly (and I can do that now without reflux!) seems to help. I hope this goes away before I start working in a few weeks. It's going to be challenging dealing with the discomfort. It's not horrible but it is a nuisance.

Oh by the way when I saw my doctor on Monday they told me that I did in fact have a hiatal hernia that was found during surgery. It really makes sense now how my heartburn increased so drastically last year. It started when I got into p90x last summer. I'm sure I over lifted or something. Those workouts are just not worth it.

Day 14
I'm at my 2 week mark! Woohoo! I feel pretty good all round. I have the mid back pain still after eating. I've noticed the pain's duration is a little shorter each day. Right now it lasts for about 20-30 minutes. Before it was lasting well over an hour. Today I ate one taco with ground meat, Refried beans, rice, and guacamole. It went down easily. Granted it took me half an hour to eat a small child's portion. It was so satisfying to eat a meal with my husband. I'm trying to transition myself from eating every other hour to 3 meals and a few light snacks. Now my stomach is holding more, about 1.5 cups. So I can't continue to eat so frequently unless I want to gain weight.

I'm reading a lot that you shouldn't drink water with food. Why is this? I'm wondering if this will help with the bak pain. I've always drank while eating and now it makes it easier to liquify my foods.

Gooserstein
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 5/17/2013 12:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Day 15

Feeling much better today. I only had the mid back pain once. I've read that you shouldn't drink liquids while eating. I've been doing this for the past 27 years, so it's a hard habit to break. From what I read, doing this distends the stomach and causes stretching. So, I said what do I have to lose. I did not drink while eating and I watched my portion. No pain. I did have some pain after lunch but that was before this experiment. I waited half an hour to drink. So, it all went pretty well.

I still have a small bit of incisional pain. I imagine this will continue for a little while longer. It's no real big deal though. It just reminds me to take it easy.
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