Best wishes for your upcoming surgery! We'll be here to welcome you to the Wrapped Club when you post once you're feeling up to it!
Glad you found helpful information in the Resources section! Please be sure to ask any specific questions that might come up. The main thing you need to know is that the first couple of weeks are the toughest. Don't worry that it's going to be like that forever! If you expect it to be challenging, you might (like me) find it better than the horrible expectations you might be planning for! If you've been in the Resources section, you may have already read my early recovery journal, but just in case, here it is:www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=45&m=2183443
If you can surrender to your recovery and "go with the flow", you'll find it much easier to cope with it. Give your body permission to take the time it needs to recover. It takes a full six months for most of the healing, and a year for the rest. I found improvements into the second year. Don't worry that symptoms (I call them "quirks") that might persist a little longer will always be there. Everyone is different, and bodies heal differently. Trust that it will all work out in the end.
Keep in mind that most people don't continue to post here or other places on the internet once they've healing and gotten on with their lives. Most of the difficult post-op symptoms you read about
here will resolve with time.
Of course, there are some symptoms that can persist. There are times when certain symptoms are not related to reflux, and those will not be fixed by surgery. In my case, it is a reactive stomach. It doesn't take much to get it inflamed, and I still deal with that. On the positive side, when I get gastritis I no longer have a problem with increased reflux that pre-op caused painful esophagitis that took months to heal, and caused my asthma to become uncontrollable. To no longer suffer those symptoms means my surgery has been a huge success!
Every surgeon has his/her own eating protocol. Mine was very liberal. He allowed me to use my teeth/mouth as a blender, and set me free to eat "anything that could be chewed to a liquid" starting at about
Day 6. I took small bites and chew, chew, chewed my foods carefully. Anything that didn't chew to a liquid was deposited discreetly in a handy paper napkin. It worked so well for me that I used very little of the applesauce, squash, etc. that I prepared before my surgery. I never even
opened the package of Carnation Instant Breakfast.
This isn't to say that my swallowing wasn't very quirky and at times painful during the first two weeks. My surgeon told me that my swallowing would get worse during the first two weeks as my wrap became increasingly more swollen. Once peak swelling was reached sometime around the two week mark things began to improve. You'll probably want to stick with very soft foods and soups for a while. Just listen to your body. It will tell you what works. There is no one size fits all formula.
Stay away from carbonated beverages and straws, as they increase air/bloating in the stomach. Also, watch out for gassy vegetables. Even if they're blended, they can cause gas. I found BEANO was helpful during the first year. I chewed 3 chewable BEANO tablets just before eating anything gassy, and it helped keep the gas from being produced.
Another thing to avoid is iced drinks. Drink your liquids as close to room temperature as you can. Iced drinks can cause painful spasms. Actually, when you have swallowing issues, warm beverages can relax things and make them easier.
One other thing comes to mind. Generally there is one incision/port--usually in the rib area--that was the one that was used for manipulating surgical tools. That is the incision that will be the last to feel better. If that happens to you, ice is a great tool. If you haven't purchased liquid Tylenol, do that. You won't want to use the heavy duty pain meds during the day for very long. You'll likely want them at night longer. Everything hurts more in the dark!
Again, good luck with your surgery! You'll do great! 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.”