Waiting waiting waiting for surgery and mental health is suffering

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 3/20/2014 10:27 AM (GMT -6)   

I've posted here once before, when I was waiting to see a surgeon to see if I was a candidate for anti reflux surgery. Fast forward two months and a whole battery of tests later and I'm booked in for surgery on 7 May.

I have to say I'm relieved. This stupid illness has ruined my life. I've had to cut down my hours at work by over half due to the contant nausea and anxiety that comes with constantly throwing up in your mouth, even when taking the maximum amount of anti acid medication. I keep getting epic rib tenderness too (costochondritis returned from when I was younger) which puts me in pain a lot of the time and so I end up dosed up on pain meds most days.

The waiting is hard though. I have 7 weeks to go and I'm just exhausted from it. I find myself doubting myself a lot as to whether I'm making this all up in my head, making myself sick, maybe I could be trying harder to relieve the symptoms etc. I just want to be able to enjoy life again and I keep feeling like I am the one stopping that from happening for whatever reason, convincing myself that I am sicker than I am.

It's been six months since my reflux became unbearable to the point of screwing wiht my work and life. Has anyone else taken a mental toll from severe GERD? Do you have any tips?


Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 3/20/2014 11:27 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi squid woman,

You don't have to spend much time on this forum to realize that there are MANY people who have suffered greatly from their GERD symptoms. Chronic illness is difficult to cope with, and a mental toll certainly comes with it.

But on the bright side, you've got a surgery scheduled! There are many here who are struggling through the GERD without any surgery in sight. You're way ahead of them! Try not to focus on how far away it is. Take each day as it comes, and one by one you're getting closer and closer to your surgery and recovery.

Hang in there! See that light at the end of the tunnel? It's there!
Take care,

GERD/Heartburn Moderator
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.”
Eckhart Tolle

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 3/20/2014 11:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Denise,

Thanks for the reply. sorry, I didn't mean to sound like I didn't acknowledge others suffering - I've read through many many posts and it sucks that so many people are having such a rough time with this illness.

I am truly grateful that surgery is booked.

I was more curious about the whole process of feeling like maybe I was just making it up in my head, whether that is something experienced by others. It is confusing me and upsetting me greatly and putting a lot of guilt on me.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5029
   Posted 3/21/2014 12:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Steph.

If your surgeon has you booked that far out he must be in demand. It makes me guess he might be very good.

It took me 4 months of testing and waiting to get scheduled, and then I got in only because there was a cancellation. My case was pretty severe too. My stomach was stuck in my chest after an accident. But my surgery went as well as possible, given complexity, and I'm glad I waited for the best group in town.

Wendy Workout
Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 173
   Posted 3/21/2014 8:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi squidwoman,

I have had silent reflux for who knows how long but developed severe asthma at age 24. I had episode of reflux on and off in my 20's. Then first pregnancy at age 34, was brutal. I spent weeks 15-19 in hospital vomiting 30+ times a day due to reflux. Gave birth, got better but not gone. Now medicated. Pregnant #2 at age 37, heart burn returned with a vengeance. Gave birth with no relief if heartburn. More meds. I have suffered many other effects of reflux. Back to doctor. Sent to surgeon once we knew I had a hiatus hernia. Had that diagnosed in my 20's but it was sliding then. Surgeon shocked how severe my reflux was. My life was directed and controlled by reflux. Lived on reflux meds and Tums in every drawer, car, work bag, etc. surgery booked in 2011. Still had a 3 year wait for surgery. Could have had it at 2.5 yrs but my life didn't permit it then. I'm 43 yrs old now so a good 20 yrs of reflux with the last 7 being severe.

7 weeks will fly by. Before you know it, you will be in recovery. You will be so thankful once it's over. I have had set backs but still thankful for my surgery. You have 7 weeks to prep for surgery. Precook soups or whatever you think you will desire after surgery. Do everything you need doing ahead of time while you wait. You can work on getting as healthy as possible now. Your recovery will be during nicer weather so more pleasant to go for walks post op. Lots of positives to look forwards to. I'm excited to be able to read your recovery soon enough. Do your best to control your symptoms now and enjoy the next 7 weeks with knowing your surgery is booked. It's not in your head if surgery is scheduled. Drs do not do this surgery just b/c, hence the pre-tests to confirm your reflux and safety of the surgery for you. Relax and think about how much different this summer will be for you.

Take care

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 3/23/2014 10:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you all very much for your kind words and sharing your own experiences.

Debra, you're right, they wouldn't be doing this if I was just exaggerating the symptoms to get out of life. I feel a lot better thinking that. Sometimes you feel like you are going mad if you are sick all of the time.

Thanks again, I am going to book an appointment with a counsellor and talk about some of the mental fatigue I'm having and get some coping strategies for the waiting period.

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