The road to recovery - one week after Nissen

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Jobanje
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 6/26/2013 8:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Morning,
 
I decided to write about what's happened with me so far in the hope that I can help others because I found so much reassurance from this website prior to my surgery.
 
Ok, so after ten years of heartburn and reflux that required constant medication and propping the head of my bed up on ten inches of bricks (I'm a stomach sleeper - couldn't use a foam wedge), and four years of dithering and putting off the surgery I finally went ahead with it last Thursday 20th June.
 
My surgeon operates late so it was 8pm before I even got into the operating theatre and then almost midnight before I became aware of my surroundings again and looked at a clock.  Usually I come out of general anaesthetics really well but this time my blood oxygen levels kept plummeting and there were multitudes of people around the bed saying scary things about collapsed lungs and i.c.u beds.  However, the problem self-resolved and I went back to my own room but had hourly obs done which made the night seem endless.  I had asked the anaesthetist before the op if I would have a p.c.a (patient controlled analgesia - eg: magic morphine button) and he wanted to just give me paracetamol and have me tough it out.  I'll be paying his bill last.  Anyway, I had my p.c.a which I was very grateful for.  I woke up with a naso-gastric tube draining God only knows what into a bag, but no catheter so I had to struggle up to the loo but early mobilisation is never a bad thing.
 
On Friday morning my doctor popped by and told me it had gone well.  He had put four stitches in the diaphragm after correcting my hernia and then done a reasonably loose wrap.  He also told me about the stitches in the 'bullet holes', of which I have five.  Two of them are more annoying than the other three - the one closest to my navel and the one under my ribs, slightly to the left.  I didn't leave my room Friday as I felt very ordinary but was very happy that I had no gas pain which I had been worried about and no nausea.  I kept the p.c.a for that day as I needed it but got rid of the naso gastric tube early on.  They insert this so you don't vomit right after surgery.
 
By Saturday morning I was ready to get rid of the whole i.v set up as I had turned a corner on the pain around 3am and was taking fluids by mouth adequately since the day before, no trouble swallowing.  The nurse then gave me an Endone tablet because they were concerned about me going straight from morphine to paracetamol and wanted to control my pain.  I wish I hadn't taken it because I went from feeling quite good to feeling quite nauseous indeed.  I reported this and was given a Zofran (Ondansetron) wafer which helped and I went back to sleep although my intention, having showered and dressed, had been to mobilise around the ward.  After several hours I woke feeling much better but my oxygen levels were still ordinary so I still had to have nasal prongs.  I had been on clear fluids and tolerating these well, so Saturday lunch was full fluids (I slept  through it) and Saturday night was pureed food of which I ate practically none as it was revolting.  I ate the jelly.
 
Sunday was a good day - porridge for breakfast, tolerated that well.  Since Friday I had had no trouble swallowing paracetamol capsules.  Plenty of walking around, lots of visitors and I wanted to go home.  I might add that I had issues with constipation at this point, having not 'been' since Thursday morning.  During the night on Sunday I asked for more coloxyl and senna and eventually things got going around 3am Monday.
 
Home on Monday and I probably did a little too much at first, being keen to tidy up and unpack and few little chores.  After an hour home, I needed a good lie down and had exactly that for three hours!  Slept like the dead.  So wonderful to be in my own comfy bed.  I also ate some of the stewed apple I'd prepared before hospital and a little tinned fruit (over several hours).  I'm not sure if it's increasing the fibre in my diet or the wrap or what but I now have the opposite problem to constipation but it's not profuse or crampy and I'm not worried about it yet.
 
Tuesday I decided to have a very quiet day but yesterday I totally overdid it.  I woke feeling really good, I was bored and there were things I wanted at the shops so I went out, got petrol, went shopping, came home, did laundry, visited my neighbour - basically did a little too much, I think, because I had a very uncomfortable evening and night.  Both last night and this morning I have some pain in my right shoulder when I breathe in and I feel bloated.  My stomach is very tight.  I took some Iberogast last night and this morning and it seems to help.  I will go out and do some gentle walking but other than that, I will rest.
 
That's about it so far.  I've lost 3.2kgs in one week (a shade over 7 pounds).  I have no appetite whatsoever but that's fine with me - it would awful to crave food when my stomach can't deal with it.  My surgeon said I could have a cup of real tea, rather than decaf,  in the afternoon if I wanted it and that, down the track, if I want to try chocolate I can.  He said to avoid meat, white rice by itself and bread at this point and for a number of weeks.  So far, not too bad.  Lots of the things I was afraid of (nausea, bad gas pain) haven't really happened and I'm doing reasonably well.  I just have to remember not to rush it.  I'm still on Nexium - the doctor is going to wean me off that and I hope to get off it completely by the end of the year.
 
Now I'm off for a little walk and then catching up on some more N.C.I.S on dvd in front of the heater! turn

stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 6/27/2013 11:06 AM (GMT -6)   
 
Congratulations on being a member of the wrapped clubbed here in the GERD Forum.  
 
It's very common to have some "reflux" symptoms during recovery.I don't think there are many who get through recovery without experiencing them.  Some are simply pain that is unrelated to reflux...the esophagus is a "dumb organ" that interprets all pain as reflux.
 
You appear to be doing very well but I encourage to balance exercise with rest and go slowly on your diet.
 
We are here for you and ready to support you so keep on talking to us.
 
Kindly,
Kitt
 
 
 
 
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.



"The wind blows, the sun rises, the snow falls and the ocean relentlessly pounds the shore. Life rolls on with fresh new possibilities at every turn."

Jobanje
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 6/27/2013 10:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Kitt,

I'm doing my best to balance things out and I promise I'm not rushing anything with my diet, that's for sure. I've just been to see my G.P and tell him all about it and he's happy with my progress. I limit exercise to one short trip out for essential items or a walk up the street and back (about half a mile) together with the usual pottering around the house from time to time. Today is Day 8 and I have not need any paracetamol since yesterday. It's bucketing down raining here so this afternoon will be a couple of movies on dvd, propped up on the couch. So far so good!

Jen

Mollymarie
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 58
   Posted 6/28/2013 6:56 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Jen,
How are you feeling today? I'm assuming from your wording and the fact that you said it's bucketing down that you're a fellow Brit. Am I right? Just wondering who did your Nissen and where it was done? I'm glad your doing well so far. Keep resting and moving and you'll be awesome in no time  smilewinkgrin My GP signed me off for 8 weeks but I only really needed 6 and I went skiing 7 weeks post op.
Take lots of care.
XX

Jobanje
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 6/28/2013 8:26 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Mollymarie,
 
My surgery was done by Dr Greg Keogh at Prince Of Wales Private, Sydney Australia. We use 'bucketing down' here in Australia, too, along with many other British sayings etc.  Also one of my grandfathers was from Liverpool.  Where in England are you from?
 
I'm feeling better and better each day - tonight I managed to eat a little more and feel stronger.  I've been alternately pottering about, going for short walks and resting.  Great to hear you went skiing at seven weeks - I'll be going on an 8 night cruise at around the same post-op time and since you felt good at that stage, I can be hopeful I will too.
 
Hope you keep feeling well.  I can't wait to get off the medication and kick the bricks out from underneath the head of my bed!
 
Jen yeah

stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 6/28/2013 11:12 AM (GMT -6)   
Jen,
Glad to read your morning update - here in USA. cool Many patients right around this day can feel a bit down so remember that is normal.  You will continue to make progress but now that the surgery is behind you it will feel like it is time to get back to your old self.
 
I am glad you are mixing rest with exercise.  Remember to go slow on your eating following whatever instructions your surgeon gave to you.
 
I will be following you as you move each day closer to being up and doing the things you love to do.
 
Blessings,
Kitt
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.



"The wind blows, the sun rises, the snow falls and the ocean relentlessly pounds the shore. Life rolls on with fresh new possibilities at every turn."

Mollymarie
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 58
   Posted 6/28/2013 2:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Jen,

Can't believe I forgot about you lovely Aussies :-)

I'm from Manchester so very close to the scousers of Liverpool.
Being off the Nexium is wonderful and I was lucky enough to have no rebound from it. I took my last dose after 18 years of it the night before surgery. Fingers crossed you'll have an easy ride with it too.

I hope the sun comes out soon so you can get yourself a nice dose of Vit D. I think our summer has finished!!!

By cruise time you'll be a new person.

Take care

Xx
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