Hi David DS,
Welcome to Healing Well! What you're experiencing sounds a lot like gastritis/esophagitis. I had several bouts of it each year before I had my Nissen surgery. Like you, even a bite of mashed potatoes would cause severe pain at the junction between the esophagus and the stomach.
I certainly don't know for certain that's what you're experiencing, but if you have reflux, then you can get esophagitis, and that can be very painful. It takes a long time to heal, so be patient. I'd lose 20 pounds and it took about 2 months or so to get back to normal. My GI doc said to wait until I felt "perfect" for two weeks, and then try more challenging foods.
Be sure to chew your food until it's a liquid/creamy consistency. Otherwise, your food will scrape on the way down and create more pain. No rough foods like popcorn, or raw veggies, obviously. I found that egg custard was the only thing I could tolerate.
There is one thing that gave me relief. Carafate suspension. It coats the esophagus, and makes it feel better. It stays on the esophagus/stomach lining, and protects for about 6 hours. It's expensive, but if you have good prescription insurance, I suggest you let your doc know you'd like a prescription.
Otherwise, you can get the generic tablet form, put it in a little shot glass or medicine cup, add a little water and stir it up. Then throw it back like a shot. The suspension works better, but the tablet will provide relief if you take it like that.
No spicy or acidic foods, or alcohol. Baby your esophagus and stomach with only bland and smooth foods. Try the egg custard. It's got a lot of nutrition.
Also, be sure and take the Prilosec/PPI you were prescribed. If that one bothers you, tell your doc and he/she can order a different one. Perhaps they'll have some samples for you to try.
Hang in there. You can get that healed!
Take care, and good luck!
Nissen Fundoplication 2/09
"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.”