I am having the Nissen Fundoplication on July 18th (Thursday) and I wanted to document my recovery. I am 45 yo, male, and have been living with excruciating GERD for years. I requested this surgery years ago and was told that I should just use medication. I've been on medication for years and have now developed Barrett's Esophagus. So, NOW my Gastroenterologist has referred me to a surgeon.
I have read so many great stories and tips on these forums that I feel very prepared for the surgery and the recovery.
I know everyone recovers differently, but during this Pre-Op period of a few days, I wanted to mention my impressions of how my surgeon has prepared me for the RECOVERY.
I have had a number of surgeries in the past and the main take away that I have is that neither the surgeon nor the hospital staff (nursing, dietitian, PT, social work)prepare you for recover the way I think they should.
I should also mention that I am single, live alone and because I live in a large city, do not keep a car.
After reading the forums on HW about
recovery, I make a 2 page list of questions mainly about
food choices, medications and possible symptoms.
My surgeon dismissed all of them, saying that I can eat anything that I can chew small enough to swallow. This is not the case with most people on this forums and I certainly don't want to use trial and ERROR to decide what agrees with me. I will stick to the approved Nissen Diet.
I also asked about
needing a pill crusher (as I take some daily medication) because many people spoke of not being able to swallow anything but liquids for some days after the surgery. He told me that wasn't an issue. I bought one anyway just in case (I can always use it for the dog's pills when he has them!)
The biggest issue that I have about
not being fully prepared is prescript
ions and groceries.
I asked for my prescript
ions to be sent to the pharmacy in advance of my discharge so I would not have to wait at the CVS after just leaving the hospital (this happened after my spinal fusion and was intolerable). I also requested a scrip for anti nausea medication and was told NO. I was told that If I needed it after I was discharged I should call for a script
. This is exactly what I wanted to avoid and anti nausea meds are not a controlled substance that is in demand on the street so why not err on the side of caution and send me home with it?
The groceries part is what flabbergasts me. I was told that I would get a consultation with a dietitian at the hospital AFTER my surgery to discuss my diet, Post-Op! I am speechless. Why would you not provide that information PRIOR to the surgery o you can be stocked up on the items you need? It's not as if most people are normal prepared for a liquid diet at all times, and who wants to grocery shop after being discharged from the hospital?!
Thankfully, because of these forums and other sites I am prepared food-wise and in over the counter items such as Gas-X.
I know this was a bit of a rant but this is what my experiences with surgery have told me. There is an assumption that everyone has; Transportation, Caregivers, and Capacity to tackle all of these necessary things Post-Op and on pain meds. It doesn't make sense to leave these things until after surgery, when you could be VERY prepared at home for the recovery, which is the hard part for the patient, not the surgery.
So that's my Pre-Op statement/rant. I will post next after my surgery (Unless something interesting happened between now and then!).
Until next time,