Posted 7/5/2014 7:32 AM (GMT -7)
Sorry I haven't been around here much. I saw you email this morning, so here I am. We've been super busy, with lots of company and activities, so I wasn't able to get online much at all.
Nausea is often a response to the fact that your stomach lining is irritated, which is why I suggested you take PPIs (to cut down on the acid that can inflame/irritate it further) and Carafate, which coats the stomach lining and protects it to allow quicker healing. Both these things help me when my stomach is irritated/reactive. When I get a feeling of nausea, a dose of Zantac (H2 Blocker/acid blocker) can help as well.
Your anxiety isn't helpful either. Anxiety is listed among things that can cause nausea. When you focus on your problem and worry that it will be with you forever, I expect it can make your stomach feel even worse. I know it's easier said than done, but if you can get active and busy doing things other than focusing on your stomach, it might help your symptoms...I know it's hard to think of anything else when your stomach is bothering you.
Have you ever had gallbladder issues? Excess bile in the stomach can also cause nausea. The Carafate will help that, though, as it protects the stomach lining. It's unlikely, but I figured I'd ask, as it is a possible source of irritation.
Because of your anxiety, it's important that you keep your thoughts positive. Anxiety is caused by worry over the future. In your mind you're fearful that you're going to have this problem forever. The prospect of never recovering, and always suffering from nausea, is extremely scary, and anxiety is normal. It is understandable that you'd be fearful, if you thought you'd never recover.
You WILL recover, and your stomach will feel fine again. I don't know what you ate during your early recovery, but if your stomach/new wrap were irritated further, it will take time to heal. I have had stomach inflammation that made it impossible for me to eat anything but egg custard (BTW, it's a great thing for you to make/eat now, if you're not milk/egg sensitive), that lasted 3 months. Each time I had the problem I'd lose about 20 pounds. My esophagus was also inflamed because it was prior to my Nissen, which made things even worse.
Healing upper GI irritation takes patience and care. I recommend you take the acid blocking medication consistently and carefully. Also, use the Carafate suspension. If you're as bad as you sound, you need to figure out how to schedule it so you get all four doses each day--even if it means you need to take it in the middle of the night. All these things together, will make a difference.
Do you have the liquid Carafate? That's the best, as it will coat your esophagus/wrap as well. If you've got the pill form, then put it in a medicine cup/shot glass, mix it with a little water to make a slurry, then throw it back to swallow it (so it's not coating your mouth and wasting medication). The suspension form is better, but more expensive. It's worth it in my opinion, though.
Nobody can tell you when you will feel better. These symptoms are very individual. There are some people who suffer from nausea post op, and others who don't. While there are some post-op experiences that are universal, each of our bodies/minds are different, so they heal in a unique way. I can tell you that you WILL heal, and your nausea WILL stop. The more consistently careful you are in following medication/eating regimens, the more quickly you'll get better. If you can get control of your anxiety, and stay in the present, instead of worrying about the future, it will help your stomach feel better. If I had to guess, I'd guess that the days you feel better are days you're busier an engaged in things that take your mind off your stomach.
Have you gone to see a GI doctor? At this point, your surgeon isn't the one to seek advice from. Surgeons do surgery, and say goodbye. Certainly, incisions, and specific surgery-related questions go to the surgeon. But something like nausea is more of a GI doc's area of expertise. Surgeons don't want to do much follow up. They're "Mr. Fixit", but don't really deal with the recovery. That's why they're so lacking in knowledge about what's "normal", and what the recovery is really like.
Hang in there. You will, will, will get better! Try to get busy, if you can. I've been nauseous, so I understand what you're going through. Be careful with your meds and foods, and try to push through the nausea enough to get active, so it's not the main thing you're focusing on every day.
I wish I could be more help! It's one of those things that have to run its course. Still, if I were you, I'd get an appointment with my GI doc for a consultation, to see if he/she has any ideas to help you get through this more quickly.
You can do this!!
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.”