Welcome to Healing Well! Like you, I have asthma that was made worse by reflux. I had the Nissen fundoplication surgery in February 2009, and it has helped me tremendously.
I suffered with terrible, uncontrollable asthma for six years. My PCP constantly pushed me to have the surgery, but my GI doc was hesitant, because my reflux levels (DeMeester score) were never very high. I was pretty fearful of the surgery, so I didn't push as hard as I should have.
In the meantime, my lungs were so unhealthy, my PCP described them as "life-threatening". I was on a nebulizer several times a day, and coughed up tons of mucous. I was on high doses of inhaled (and intermittent oral) steroid with no noticable improvement in my lung condition. (In fact, I had very bad side effects from the steroids--I had adrenal insufficiency, and now have very thin skin that is fragile. It bruises and tears with a simple bump into something. I have to live with it, as they're no possibility of improvement in the condition.)
Finally, my PCP had had enough. He sent me to a surgeon himself, who did several more tests and because he trusted my PCP, said I was a good candidate for surgery. I took this information to my GI doc, and he FINALLY said, "a couple good reflux episodes a day could probably create problems for your lungs". You think? At that time he told me I could either continue just taking the medication (yeah, that was really working), or I could go see a surgeon that he recommended(no rush, he said). I made an appointment to see the surgeon, and had the surgery three weeks later.
After the three months it took my lungs to heal, I was 100% better. No more nebulizer, I now take a fraction of the inhaled steroids I took prior to surgery, and haven't had oral steroids in years. Now when I get a cold or sinus infection, my lungs aren't as bad, because they are generally healthier to begin with.
I have severe pollen allergies, and I'm very sensitive generally (reactive stomach, rosacea, asthma, etc), so I still get some asthma issues during bad allergy times, but now it's controllable with normal measures. I am so happy and healthy compared to my pre-Nissen condition!
Prior to my surgery, when I was put on an antibiotic, my stomach would react badly, I'd get increased reflux, painful esophagitis, and my asthma would become horrible. Now, if my stomach reacts to something, it stays in my stomach, and I don't get all those other painful and unhealthy reactions.
Once, prior to my surgery, I was put on Augmentin, and my stomach/reflux got so bad that my asthma put me into the hospital for a week on IV steroids. Even then, my lungs didn't improve completely. I was released to many weeks of healing at home.
What problems are you having? Is it stomach/esophagus pain, asthma symptoms, or both? If your stomach is painful, I'd suggest you ask for a prescript
ion of Carafate Suspension. I have a reactive stomach, and keep it on hand always. It coats your esophagus and stomach, and helps with healing. It also can make you much more comfortable. And the effects can last up to six hours...much longer than liquid antacids. It's not an antacid, but simply coats that sensitive tissue and helps it heal/helps you feel better.
Be sure you're taking your PPIs properly, so you can get the most benefit from them. Here's a great article with information about
how they work, and how to take them.www.practicalgastro.com/pdf/January07/Jan07FrankArticle.pdf
Also, here's a link to my early Nissen fundoplication surgery recovery journal, so you get an idea of what one person's recovery looked like. www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=45&m=2183443
This is a great forum to receive support and information from others who've, "been there, done that". I found it a month or so before my surgery, and it was so helpful that I decided to stick around and help others the way I was helped.
Hang in there!Best wishes,
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.”
Post Edited (dencha) : 6/19/2014 7:47:02 AM (GMT-6)