Struggling after lap nissen and looking for encouragement

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Jenn50
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 8/24/2013 7:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi All
I just had this procedure 12 days ago and I feel like i'm on a roller coaster. The first 3 - 4 days were bad, but I expected as much. about day 6 I stopped having so much pain when I would swallow (even water was very painful at first), and I thought wooo-hooo! the worst is over... then I found that even though it wasn't painful to consume a bowl of soup or a cup of tea, it didn't appear to all be going down.  Day 11 I threw up, and this really freaked me out. I started to get pretty depressed, thinking I wasn't healing right, so I started to do some research and found this website. After all I have read, it sounds like i'm progressing pretty normally, but I have to tell you I have bouts of wishing I hadn't had this procedure done at all. 
 I have to go back to work on Monday and can't imagine how i'm going to have the energy to work a 40 hour week in a somewhat stressful administrative position. I'm looking for encouragement and tips on healing and getting back to normal.
Jenn

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7180
   Posted 8/24/2013 8:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Jenn,
Welcome to the Healing Well yeah yeah yeah Wrapped Club! yeah yeah yeah At 12 days post op, you're headed toward peak swelling which is reached on or about the 14th day.  My surgeon told me when I saw him at Day 6, that my swallowing would get worse before it got better because of wrap swelling.  I remember it was pretty tough at your stage.  Did you see my early recovery journal?  It might give you some comfort and some idea of what you're in for.
 
If your swallowing gives you trouble, slow down on the eating.  I read on another thread that you've been drinking and eating a lot of cold things.  That's really a no-no at this stage.  No iced drinks or cold things...at least don't swallow that ice cream until it has time to warm in your mouth.  Stick with liquids until the swelling subsides, and you'll probably do better.  If you're eating solids, take small bites and chew, chew, chew until whatever it is becomes a liquid/creamy consistency.  Don't swallow anything that isn't chewed to a complete liquid.
 
If something gets stuck, relax and just sip something warm.  The discomfort will subside and whatever it is will eventually get through the wrap.  Don't forget to take those small bites and chew thoroughly, though.  It's key. 
 
I know some people have to go back to work right away, but if it's possible to stay out longer, I'd recommend it.  I'm a retired teacher, and I thought I'd go back half time at 2 weeks, but didn't because of lung issues and a sick bunch of kids in my classroom (my surgery was in Feb. '09).  I ended up staying out 6 weeks, which was great.  When I went back I was feeling really good and had the strength and stamina I needed to handle the long hours and stress.  Is there any way you can get a little more time to heal?
 
Surgeons haven't lived through this recovery, and it's easy for them to tell you that two weeks is plenty of time to recover.  You can do it, but it's going to take a lot out of you and slow down your recovery.  You've had major surgery on the inside...the outside/little slits, will heal quickly, but the inside takes 6 months for most of the healing and a year for the rest. 
 
As far as wishing you'd never had the surgery...that's a common feeling that disappears as healing progresses.  The day will come when you're thrilled with the results and you'll change your tune completely!
 
Glad you've found the forum!  It's a great place to ask questions and receive support as you heal.  Surgeons generally try to provide helpful information, but people who've "been there" can give you the best recovery information of all! We're not doctors, and you should always call  your surgeon's office if you have a persistent pain, or worrisome symptom.  For all the rest, we're here for you!
 
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

Jenn50
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 8/24/2013 10:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you Denise. I will read your journal! And I do have to go back to work on Monday, but I doubt I'll be able to work all day every day. And if I can't, I just can't.
Thanks again.
Jenn

txman4102
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 90
   Posted 8/25/2013 4:53 AM (GMT -6)   
Jenn,
 
I have an idea of what you are going through. I am 5 days post op and am having a tough time eating solid foods as well. It feels like I have a pocket of trapped air that will not go away. I have tried gaviscon, walking, etc but the sharp pain I feel in my stomach persists. I am only consuming two small meals (less than 1/4 cup) each day and trying to drink 40-60oz of water. I keep telling myself that it will get better and that I have to be strong.
 
I am trying to stay positive but when you feel bad for several days in a row it wears on your emotional state. Like yourself, I start back work tomorrow (my 6 day post op) full time. Fortunately for me, I have a low stress admin type job where I can get up and walk for 15-20 minutes when I need to.
 
You are definitely not alone in this struggle to get back to normal. Please keep us updated on your progress.
 
Rob

Jenn50
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 8/25/2013 9:11 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Rob
You are going to work after only a week?! Bless your heart. Ok, let me encourage YOU a bit. If you progress at the same rate as me, the feeling you describe as a pocket of air (exactly how I would have described it) will go away in week 2 - and it is a great relief! During the first week the most solid food I ate was KFC mashed potatoes and gravy and saltines (which I ate when I felt nauseous). Sometimes I would not mix enough gravy into the potatoes and they would be too thick - even this hurt and left me feeling like they were stuck. Another thing I've learned reading omitted post on this site was that I was consuming too much cold stuff (ice cream, cold drinks, popsicles) - and that warm is better because it relaxes the affected area making swallowing easier. Ive always been a big coffee drinker, but for some reason it does not taste good to me, so I am drinking herbal tea.
Best wishes to you, Rob and try not to over do it this week.
Jenn

Albez
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts : 103
   Posted 8/25/2013 12:06 PM (GMT -6)   
I bought myself a nutribullet and intend to nutriblast all fruit,veggies,nuts etc for the first few weeks. Liquid diet is fine by me as long as I'm getting all the nutrients I need. There is no way I am gonna attempt to eat foods like KFC for a good few months after my op, to me that is asking for trouble. I'm hoping for as smooth a recovery as possible and I know to achieve that I will have to be patient and eat/drink sensibly. My operation is on the 16th sept so will post how it goes.

txman4102
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 90
   Posted 8/26/2013 4:20 AM (GMT -6)   
Jenn

Thank you so much for the reply. Yes....I do miss my coffee so much that I started drinking Earl Grey decaf tea. I did not think I would like it but it seems to have a soothing effect on me. Mashed potatoes and yogurt seems to be the only things that I can eat without extreme pain. I have tried runny grits and some soups, but I am sticking with the mashed potatoes and yogurt for now.

Thank again for sharing part of your recovery. It is very encouraging and it gives me something to look forward to.

Jenn50
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 8/26/2013 5:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Maybe just my imagination because today is exactly 2 weeks post op for me... But I have had a terrible lump in my esophagus / throat area all day and everything I've eaten has struggled past it. Is thus the peak swelling I have read about? Man I hope so! Because that would mean it gets better from here!!!

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7180
   Posted 8/26/2013 7:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Jenn,
In my experience, I could feel the peak swelling coming on with various swallowing issues that got worse throughout the first couple weeks.  I definitely got a lump feeling and even pain with the swelling.
 
Good attitude!  Once you get past peak swelling things will begin to improve.  It's a roller coaster though, so don't expect a straight line toward healing.  You'll have a few ups and downs, but don't panic.  It's all normal.  If you get some discomfort as you add more challenging foods, then back off for a while.  Be sure to take small bites and chew, chew, chew, until whatever you're eating is a liquid/creamy consistency.
 
I'm four and a half post op and just went out to lunch with my friends.  I could eat and drink whatever I want, but I was the slowest eater of the group.  I still need to eat more slowly and chew my food more completely.  That's all good, though.  Everyone should eat like that!
 
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
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