how do you know when to call the doc after surgery?

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TL1953
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 11/29/2013 3:50 PM (GMT -6)   
I had surgery (full wrap) 2 days ago...i had no idea it would be this miserable! I feel like there's so much gas inside me that it's lifting my ribs! I feel like i got punched in the throat. I'm afraid to eat because of the constipation and gas. I have a temperature of 99 - not real high. I have a pain in my side not to be reckoned with. The only thing that DOESN'T hurt are the incisions! I'm 60 years old. The last surgery I had was an appendectomy when I was 11. Am I being a baby about this? Do I just need to be more patient? I was expecting to go back to work in 3 more days - just office hours...not on my feet or anything....am I being a bit unreasonable in my expectations? How long should I expect it will be before I resume normal activities?
Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for any advice.

StephanieJean
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 500
   Posted 11/29/2013 3:57 PM (GMT -6)   
It can never hurt to call if you are in pain or worried about healing from a surgery. Please call your surgeon.

I have a desk job and I was off of work for about 3 weeks and needed every bit of it!

TL1953
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 11/29/2013 4:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you! I wound up calling my surgeon. I guess my expectations were a bit off. Everything I described was "normal" considering my situation. I feel a LOT better about this now. I'll have to be a lot more patient about my recovery. I'm going to be taking it real easy. Thank you so much for your speedy reply!

lajenner
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 349
   Posted 11/29/2013 8:18 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm 54, so right behind you. The older we are, the longer it takes to recover, I think. The first few days are very difficult. It's hard to concentrate on anything - all you can think about is what is going on inside of you, as it's quite uncomfortable. I couldn't even enjoy watching tv or reading.

Take your prescribed pain meds - they are very helpful, especially the first 4 days. Get up and walk around the house for 10 minutes every few hours if you can, it really does help. Rest often!!! You need it!

Eat very small amounts, but often. Your average calories a day are probably very low. Each day will get better as you try more things.

I think back to work after a week is really pushing it. My surgeon said 2 weeks, but I would not have been really ready until after 3 weeks. You will still get tired, easily, next week. If you could take a very long break and nap, then go back to your desk, you might be able to do it. Maybe 1/2 days, I just don't know. I would not have been able to do it myself.

Hang in there and don't be shy - we are here to help you. :)
Laurie
Nissen Fundolplication Sept. 10, 2013

gunner4565
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 11/29/2013 9:35 PM (GMT -6)   
I had my wrap done 10 days ago. The pain really subsided around day 5. Mine was mainly gas pain from the CO2 they use to inflate your abdomen. I could have gone back to work on day 7 if I was not already retired. Good luck. I'm only a few days ahead of you!

Gunner
Fifty years with GERD

TL1953
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 11/29/2013 10:41 PM (GMT -6)   
This is an INCREDIBLY helpful forum! I'm already feeling a LOT calmer about how things should be going. I did resume taking the pain medication. It helps a great deal. Everytime I wake up, I feel a bit better than when I went to sleep. One thing I forgot to mention: It is absolutely wonderful to not be waking up 3 or 4 or 5 times in the middle of the night coughing uncontrollably.
I thank all of you wonderful people who have responded!

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 12/1/2013 10:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi TL1953,
Welcome to the yeah yeah yeah Wrapped Club! yeah yeah yeah You've already gotten lots of great advice from our forum members! This is a great place to hang out during your recovery, as there are many newly-wrapped friends here! I had my surgery in February 2009, and here's my early recovery journal, FYI:
www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=45&m=2183443
It'll give you an idea of another person's recovery experience.
You're in the infancy of a recovery that takes six month for most of the healing and a year for the rest. It takes patience and trust, but you'll get there!

Your wrap will become increasingly more swollen over the first two weeks or so. Don't be surprised if your swallowing gets worse before it gets better. It's a normal part of healing, so no need to worry. I agree with StephanieJean, though...whenever you have a concern about your recovery, don't hesitate to call your surgeon's office. That's why they get paid the big bucks!

Glad you've joined the forum!
Take care,
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

TL1953
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 12/2/2013 5:13 AM (GMT -6)   
WOW! Quite a journal! Thanks so much for taking the time to write and post it for the benefit of others! As I read through, I could see some of the same problems I've been having: the left side soreness, the junk in the lungs. The coughing for me has not completely gone away, which had me worried. But your post put my mind to rest. I don't have asthma, but I had the chronic cough due to the acid reflux.
One thing I think is also important to point out is the fact that as early recovery progresses, one may find "new" things that weren't noticed before: I found a small gash in my mouth I hadn't noticed (probably from getting the tube in my throat); I found a bruise on my leg from a heparin injection. But I also found how wonderful a complete night's sleep is - something I hadn't experienced in probably 10 years!
I've found it's important to focus on and appreciate the small progressions, and address the concerns as they come up, but not dwell on the discomfort. I'm actually enjoying the time off!

FlaCracker
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 234
   Posted 12/2/2013 5:36 AM (GMT -6)   
Be careful of the pain meds if you are experiencing constipation. I had no problem with my bowels before this operation. Now I am experiencing extreme constipation. I am guessing for some of us, this is from the abdominal surgery and the movement required of the muscles to move the food along the intestines.
 
I took 3 weeks off and then an additional week and a half the next month. I could have used 3 full months but the surgeon would not allow any extra time off. I don't know your work environment but if you are in a high stress field or have a demanding boss; you might want to take extra time off. That goes for your co workers. There are too many restrictions with this surgery in the beginning to have additional pressure at work put on you.
 
I feel your pain. I had a hysterectomy last year and that surgery doesn't even compare to this Nissen. The hysterectomy was a breeze to me. 
 
Take care of yourself.
 
FC
 
 
 
   

TL1953
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 12/2/2013 6:17 AM (GMT -6)   
I had the constipation, but countered it with a LITTLE prune juice and LOTS of water. I'm off the pain medication now - this is day 5 after surgery. The soreness is just a tiny discomfort: I wouldn't take pain medication for a scraped knee, which is about the level of pain I'm now experiencing. My regularity is now at the level it was before surgery: every day and on time! Thanks for writing!

StephanieJean
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 500
   Posted 12/2/2013 9:45 AM (GMT -6)   
I am glad to hear you are doing so well! Things will only continue to improve! :)

TL1953
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 12/2/2013 10:05 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks! I'm banking on that!

lajenner
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 349
   Posted 12/2/2013 10:37 AM (GMT -6)   
You are doing really well! You may or may not experience discomfort and difficulty swallowing. Ibuprofen (liquid or small pills swallowed with applesauce) really helps. Keep up the good work! Rest!
Laurie
Nissen Fundolplication Sept. 10, 2013

TL1953
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 12/2/2013 12:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks....couldn't help myself....had to have a bit of "real food" today....cooked up some elbow macaroni....smothered it in olive oil and a little powdered garlic....added a couple of tablespoons of sauce that I blended with a meatball...was the best spaghetti and meatballs I've ever had!... the olive oil helped it to go down easy...no problems with it...drank lots of water, of course....

Post Edited (TL1953) : 12/14/2013 6:14:21 AM (GMT-7)


StephanieJean
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 500
   Posted 12/2/2013 12:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Wonderful! You are doing better than most at the stage you are at. I am very impressed, and your real food sounds delicious!
Stephanie
Lap*Nissen*Fundo 8/2013
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, Migraines, Anxiety, PCOS

TL1953
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 12/14/2013 7:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone!
First, I want to thank everyone who helped me through the first two weeks of recovery. Glad that's over! But now I have a couple of more questions:
1.) I'm still not eating much of a solid diet. I added noodles a few days ago. They hurt going down and they won't stay down. The only foods that do not bother me are baby food (mixed veg. and beef), and rice pudding. Should I be concerned about not eating solids yet?
2.) Needless to say, I've lost a few pounds - not a bad thing. But my belly is larger than it was before I had the surgery! How can this be? Did this happen to any of you? Will it ever get back to normal?
3.) For those of you who had a constant cough before surgery, did it come back after surgery? I'm on Benzonatate and sucking tons of Ricola to keep it under control. Will it ever go away entirely?
Thank you all so much for your wonderful input! I love you all!! Hope you all have richly blessed holidays!
Peace,
~ Thérèse
P.S. Don't know if this matters in your answer, but I'm a 60-year old woman, moderately active, a little overweight (in my opinion, but not in others' opinions - they're wrong), don't smoke, do drugs (not even pot), or drink, and am otherwise healthy.

FlaCracker
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 234
   Posted 12/14/2013 2:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Therese,

I am still off and on with pureed foods and it's 4 months. I alternate since I had a setback in my healing. Some people have bloating in the stomach. I have the gas in the chest, neck and headaches. I have noticed a little bit of pain in the upper right quadrant but I think that is gas.

Yes....had that couch because of the mesh repair in the diaphragm. I think it is anesthesia. I carry cough drops with me all the time. You should see my medicine bag I take to work everyday.

Happy Holidays...Michelle

TL1953
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 12/14/2013 2:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Michelle,
Thanks for your reply.... Do you think the cough will eventually go away? I'm hoping so because there would have been no reason to have the surgery except for the persistent cough. I'm eating about 10-15 Ricola per day. I'd love to give them up, along with the benzonatate. Why would anesthesia keep me having a cough? .... especially now that it's 2 1/2 weeks after I had anesthesia....is that how the stuff works?
Thanks again! ....and Happy Holidays to you as well!
~ Thérèse

FlaCracker
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 234
   Posted 12/14/2013 4:44 PM (GMT -6)   
I thought the same thing. I had a persistent tickle in my throat for 8 weeks. Coughed then sneezed. I had a lot of work done on my diaphragm and I felt like a chest cold for a while. The anesthesia does stay in your shoulder blades for a while. It took a while for me to get it out of my back.

Hope you are feeling better. Sounds like you are getting along well.

Michelle

TL1953
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 12/14/2013 5:58 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm feeling great (a bit tired now and then)....took a really long walk in the ice cold today (0°F!) .... it's just the cough and the big belly that remains ....and the fact that I can't eat, which I'm not bothered by.... figured I'd let that take its own time....

Can you tell me, Michelle, do you still have the "anesthesia cough"?....does it go away?....and how long does it take to subside?

Thanks!!....I hope you're doing well!

FlaCracker
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 234
   Posted 12/15/2013 7:47 AM (GMT -6)   
My cough is occasional now. But I did get up last night coughing and what I thought was acid reflux. Probably still some residue asthma or allergies or dry air indoors. I have had asthma since a child but since the surgery have been ok.

Keep warm.

Michelle

TL1953
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 12/15/2013 8:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks! You know, after thinking about all the times I've been to the doctor about this cough thing, and even since having the surgery, I've had doctors ask me if I've ever been diagnosed with asthma. I've always said, "No." Next time I go see the doctor, I'm going to ask if that's possible. I run a humidifier 24/7, so it's not dry air. I also doubt it's acid reflux because I'm not taking antiacid medication at all and I have no acid problems since surgery. The hunt is on!
Thanks so much for your info and encouragement, Michelle! Hope you stay warm as well! We got 7.5" so far and it's still snowing! Yay! :-)
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