I'm 9 weeks post surgery -- full Nissan fundoplication and mesh repair for a giant paraesophageal hernia. After a couple of weeks on a full liquid diet and a number of weeks on soft, mushy foods, I very slowly added solid foods back into my diet. I now eat much of what I want, including soft meats (mainly ground with some type of sauce), soft vegetables, etc. I'm comfortable enough to try anything I want, really. No painful swallowing at all.
The biggest change in my eating is bite size and portion size. If I forget and take too big of a bite or get overly hungry and try to eat a bit more than usual, by body lets me know it. It's uncomfortable for a while, but this soon passes. Honestly, I've realized that I don't need big portions anyway! I have the most difficulty drinking or ingesting liquid-ish foods (ice cream). I stick to small swallows or liquids feel as though they get stuck part of the way down -- like too much liquid in a funnel or a slow-moving drain. It doesn't hurt at all but it's an odd sensation until the liquid passes.
I still have pain on my left side, just below/under my ribs and moving toward my sternum. It's slightly uncomfortable much of the time, which I know is part of the healing process for only being about
2 months post surgery. It does become painful for a while when I eat -- not bad pain, just discomfort. It's as though the weight of the food pulls on the surgical site. I see the surgeon for a follow up in a few weeks and will definitely ask him about
this. It's also uncomfortable when I lie flat on my back or try to lie on my side for very long. I really think it's just a part of the full healing process. It's not excruciating but does cause me to pause on occasion.
I have a TON of gas still and notice that my stomach and intestines are so incredibly LOUD -- it's really unlike anything I've experienced. I can burp a bit, but only small burps from the throat. I no longer can belch or burp from the gut. My boys are sad about
this -- I used to be the Belching Queen :) It's a small price to pay for feeling healthy and eliminating years of health issues, though.
On the very positive side, after years of daily and nightly reflux and heartburn, I have not had a single instance of GERD issues since the surgery. I no longer require omeprazole, Pepcid or any of the other meds that I used to take. Gone are the days of chewing antacids like candy! Even when I've eaten trigger foods, like tomato sauce, I have no symptoms or difficulties. This is a GREAT thing! And since the hernia repair, with my stomach no longer residing in my chest next to my left lung, I'm starting to breathe better. I'm not as winded when I walk or exert myself, which is awesome. I need to wait a few more months to see if my severe anemia is now improving as a result of the surgery, but I'm hopeful and my surgeon is confident.
Also on the positive side, I've dropped about
30 pounds since surgery. Not an ideal way to lose it but it's nice to have this extra weight gone. Per the surgeon's orders, I'm not yet able to exercise yet. But for my 3 month follow-up, I'm hoping he'll clear me for exercise so that I can actively work on making my body even healthier. In the past couple of weeks, I've started to have more energy, so I'd like to take advantage of that with a bit of fitness. Soon, I hope!
Overall, it's been a slow process but very worth it. The results are mostly positive and I'm seeing improvements with each passing week. I have a several months to go before I can say that I've reached my new "normal" -- my surgeon says it's a good 6 months before his patients really feel 100% like themselves again. But I'm feeling pretty darn good at 9 weeks so that's something great.
Good luck to everyone out there, either considering surgery or recovering. Take things slowly and listen to your body. You will feel better! Visit the board here and seek support. Try not to get caught up in negative possibilities and listen to the many here who are enjoying a new, positive outlook with their previous health issues a thing of the past. And, above all, ask questions -- of your doctor and those of us here on the board who are happy to share advice. We've been where you are and benefitted from the wonderful people here who eased our fears, taught us much, and gave us hope.
Here's to happy, healthy, feel-good lives!
Post Edited (CaliGal) : 5/16/2016 6:11:18 PM (GMT-6)