At Day 17 your wrap is probably pretty near peak swelling. When I saw my surgeon at six days post op, he informed me that my swallowing would get worse before it got better. Your decision to move back to easier to swallow liquids is a good one. This isn't forever. Once peak swelling is reached, the swelling will gradually decrease, and things will begin to improve. It's just something that you have to deal with for now. Everyone is different...some have even more severe swelling issues than you're dealing with, and others don't seem to be bothered by it.
Actually, my surgeon told me that I could eat anything that could be chewed to a liquid starting on Day 6, (though he warned me off untoasted bread--well-toasted was no problem--and steak) and I really did well with that protocol. Strangely, he mentioned mashed potatoes. "A bolus of mashed potato can get stuck",he told me. He said that some solid foods, when taken in small bites and chewed until it is a liquid/creamy consistency will be easier to swallow that some mashed foods, like potatoes.
Most do better with things like mashed potato if it's made very runny. It's likely that the mashed potato you ate is not stuck either place, but that your wrap is uncomfortable, swollen, and irritated. It's like when something is in your eye, and you get it out, but it feels like it's still there.
If it is stuck, I'd bet on above the wrap, as swelling makes the wrap extra tight. Whenever something feels stuck, try sipping room temperature water or hot/but not too hot, tea. These sips help push the food/medication through the wrap.
The bloating is also caused by the swollen, tight wrap. Once the swelling decreases and you heal further, the bloating will improve. It'll take a while, but keep in mind that this recovery takes a lot of patience! It take six months for most of the healing and a year for the rest. Over the next three months or so, you'll make good progress, but don't expect it to be smooth sailing. There will be some problems along the way, but that's natural. A few steps forward, and a few steps backward. In the end you'll do fine!
Be sure you're not drinking from a straw, as that introduces more air in your stomach and increases bloating. Of course no carbonation. I don't know what you're eating, but try to see if some foods cause you to develop more gas, and try to avoid those. Also, a nurse told me not to eat while talking, as that makes you swallow air as well.
Hang in there...you'll do fine! Just remember to take small bites, and chew, chew, chew, your food to oblivion. It's trial and error...some things chew to a creamy/liquid consistency, and some just don't. I used to keep a paper napkin handy, and discreetly deposited anything that didn't chew completely. Your mouth/teeth are your blender. It's great to eat solid foods, but be sure to take small bites, chew, chew, chew, and eat very slowly. Also, avoid overfilling your stomach. Many small meals are best.
Remember that your stomach has been through a lot, and it's normal for it to complain loudly!
Hang in there...it gets better!
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.”