NF on Oct 24: questions about eating

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KitKat880
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 111
   Posted 10/31/2013 9:13 AM (GMT -6)   
I had surgery a week ago, and with all the research and reading I've done, I feel silly asking about food, but my anxiety is taking over, so here goes:

1. When can I progress from full liquids to soft foods? I went straight to full liquids right after surgery. (The hospital thinks Jello pudding is a full liquid; it is definitely not! Did not go down well the day after surgery.) For the past week I have been eating little more than apple sauce and tomato soup. My surgeon recommends the splat diet (you can eat it if it goes splat on the floor when you drop it) right after surgery, but no, no, no. Not going to push that.

2. Is it normal for cold liquids to go down differently than warm ones? I've had no issues with tomato soup moving into my stomach. Last night I had a glass of apple cider, which is thinner than soup. But it sat at the wrap for a second, which was followed by gurgling noises as it went down. My only guess is that warm things make the wrap relax a little and thus go in easier.

3. What's the deal with mashed potatoes? I have read that some people are having runny mashed potatoes almost immediately after surgery. Other things I have read say to stay away from them because they clump. (I am really craving something buttery right now and would love to have them, but not if it's going to mess anything up.)

4. On Thanksgiving day, I will be exactly 5 weeks out. My guess is that I will be able to eat things like cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, and pumpkin pie (without the crust). Any hope for deviled eggs, ham, or stuffing? (I know this question is ridiculous, and I will live if I can't have these foods, but I'm just curious.)

I know I am supposed to listen to my own body, but after all it has put me through over the past two years, I don't trust it at all!

Also, my wrap is tight and I cannot burp, but occasionally my body forces out a burp. Normal, right? I am driving myself crazy when these forced burps happen, thinking that I am somehow refluxing without knowing it (which is nuts because I could always feel it before) or that this is causing a lot of strain on the wrap.

Thanks for any responses or advice!

Stefanie

StephanieJean
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 500
   Posted 10/31/2013 9:33 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi There!
I went straight to full liquids the day after my surgery. I had trouble with jello as well.
I also found that apple sauce didn't go down as well as some other things either. Warm things were much better and easier on the way down than cold things. I ate baby oatmeal and warm almond milk a lot. Usually when I eat, even now, i like to have a warm glass of something with me to drink.

Mashed potatoes with LOADS of butter were easy for me to eat. I thinned them out to eat them though and had no issues.

I was eating chicken and crackers and stuff I could chew really well at about a month out. Honestly at a month there was only a few things I think I had trouble with-raw and undercooked veggies, steak, chewy bread and cakes. Deviled eggs had a funny texture that I couldnt do at first surprisingly. It was the whites. Had that jelloy texture if you know what I mean. After 5 weeks though I was able to eat them after chewing them up really well.

Most of your burping is really trapped air in your esophagus. I get that often and I have the same worries you do! I still have to talk myself out of a bit of panic when air comes up. Its just stuff sitting down at your wrap site and nothing to worry about, especially during your stage in recovery. You will feel lots of weird things which will go away, come back, change...its crazy!

Now, I am about four months out and when my stomach is empty, it will occasionally vent itself a bit. Its ok if you can burp, it doesnt mean that you are refluxing, in fact, you might welcome it later on because being super bloated is the worst thing, in my opinion, that you have to live with after you heal up most of the way.

KitKat880
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 111
   Posted 10/31/2013 9:57 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Stephanie,

Thank you so much for your response! I have read some of your other posts, which have been really helpful. It's very encouraging that I seem to be having a typical (if there is such a thing) recovery after this procedure. Happy to hear that mashed potatoes might be an option. :-) My mom has been asking me if I can have oatmeal, so maybe I will give that a go if it is on the runny side.

I think the best thing I can do right now is relax and try to occupy my mind with books, games, or even television, and try not to worry about the burping. It's amazing how much anxiety this condition can cause. I have always been a worrier, but before reflux I never would have said I was an anxious person. I am now! I think it is going to take some time to mentally recover from all of this once I have physically recovered. The weird quirks of recovery make it easy to slip back into panic mode.

Now off to the kitchen for some warm apple cider! And maybe even mashed potatoes...

Thanks again,

Stefanie

StephanieJean
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 500
   Posted 10/31/2013 10:06 AM (GMT -6)   
You are VERY welcome.
I actually had to start taking xanax because I freaked myself out so much. The only thing that helped me was that and this site. I just worry about everything, what if something gets stuck, what if i reflux, what if my wrap doesn't work, what if I throw up???? What ifs will make you crazy!!!!

The surgeons are good, they know what they are doing and your body will heal and your wrap will work like it is supposed to. Just remember, the wrap is supposed to make us normal, and allow for normal amounts of reflux, if it was super duper tight, nothing could be swallowed. If your wrap ends up being nice and loose like mine, it might freak you out that you can eat a lot of things like normal sooner rather than later. If that is the case, dont panic! Its a good thing. Your wrap is still working even if you quit being able to feel it.

That was the most important thing I had to learn and remind myself in the later stages of healing (especially where I am now) I hope that it helps you too to know it.

You will also get a really good feel of what you can and can not swallow as you heal. I thought it was going to be really complicated, but it wasn't. i was surprised at how easily I just kind of knew to either try to eat something or not. I got adventurous pretty early just by chewing like crazy and keeping warm tea near me to mix with what I was chewing if I thought it was too much. Small bites, lots of chewing and you are good. :)

I did have trouble with dairy making me gassy. It never did before surgery, but I have since switched over to almond milk and I try to stay away from lots of cheesy stuff. Salads, when i could swallow them, bloated me and irritated my wrap. You might find that you can swallow stuff in a few weeks, but it will scratch and make your wrap unhappy. There is a ton of trial and error involved.

Happy healing! Let me know if you have any other questions!
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