Posted 8/5/2018 9:18 AM (GMT -7)
Greetings all. I want to post how I'm doing today. It's been 48 hours since my surgery. I think that everyone's situations is different, so, please be sure that when you read mine, you are careful to look for both the similarities and differences. On 8/3/18, I went to the hospital for my surgery. I was very concerned about the surgery, recovery process, etc. Let's just be honest, I was scared. I had read forums, and I knew that the recovery was going to be difficult. When we got to the hospital, I made sure to talk with my surgeon before the surgery. I had previously done a tremendous amount of homework, focused on learning about risks and benefits, best practices, etc. However, there was some questions that I still needed answered, and my surgeon was helpful. He took alot of time with me to be sure to answer my questions. Just so you know, I have a good friend who actually did market research with physicians on the Linx, so I had a wealth of information going in. My surgery was very short, only about 50 minutes in length. During the surgery, they not only identified one hernia causing me to have acid reflux, but another hole in my diaphragm, which they stitched up. I was out in recovery for about 1.5 hours, and then went home.
Over the past 48 hours, I have definitely been in pain. It is hard to tell where the pain is coming from because there are potentially multiple sources. I had two repairs, and a Linx installed. Additionally, there is the incision pain and the back pain from the air that they insert into your belly. Had some throat pain too from the medical tube they insert during surgery. Interestingly, pain meds and anasthesia make it harder to urinate, which frightened me on the first day. It took some time for the anesthesia to wear off and for my bladder to start working again. I was told I would be bloated, and I definitely was, and still am. No bowel movements yet, 48 hours later. Trying to go off pain meds last night was a bit premature, and I went back on them at 3 in the morning. Was told that I needed to use them for 48 hours, and then as needed. Well, I definitely need them.
Oh, by the way, I am 45 and have two small kids at home. This has made the healing process much more challenging, as there is constant needs and chaos. They are out to church today, which gives me some peace and time to myself.
Eating. Well, this is so new to me. I lived with reflux since I was 31, so for 13 years on PPIs. I have struggled with bed incline sleeping, eating certain kinds of foods, timing of my eating, etc. It's been a bit surreal t eat every 2 hours and before I go to bed. I would never eat before bed because I would wake up with reflux. However, there have been good moments so far and bad. I would agree with what I have read that wet things go down easier than dry. I have been eating fruit, carrots, fig newtons, and other kinds of foods every one to two hours when I am not eating a meal. I have tried a variety of stuff just because I want to learn about what goes down and what does not. I can actually feel when the food hits the Linx, which is a surreal experience. It's about 3 seconds after I swallow. Right now, it feels like a dull pain as the food passes through the Linx. I ate a carrot this morning when I woke up and it was kind of dry. I had a hard time getting it past the Linx and was in some pain. It was no fun. However, one hour later, I ate some plumcot fruit, and was fine. Weird. I was told that pills would go down fine, but last night I attempted to take a pill and it got stuck. Fortunately, I was taking it with yogurt, which helped it go down, but right now it appears that pills may be tricky. I am wondering if it is the kind of pill, the size, weight, etc.
There are moments when I wonder whether this was the right choice due to my pain. However, I reassure myself that having two holes in my diaphragm was not a good thing! And, that the Linx can be removed at a later date if I cannot adjust. Of course, I'm only 48 hours into this thing, and there is so much time ahead of me for healing.
Here are some things that I am doing to make sure that I am healing well and focused on my long term health:
1. I have my window open in my bedroom with a view of trees outside. There is research that shows that windows with trees are healing to people who are in the hospital. They actually discharge faster and heal better.
2. I am praying and focused on relaxing my body. I get up and move around so that my body can stay active.
3. I am drinking hot green tea in the morning to open up the Linx and it is quite soothing. Plus, green tea is good!
4. I am trying all kinds of food, but trying to stay with foods that are wet, to keep them from getting stuck.
5. I am reaching out and talking to people for support. I am avoiding isolating and I am asking for help when I need it.
6. My wife and I talked about expectations for her support and assistant prior to the surgery. She has been a rock star!
7. I am remaining engaged as much as a I can with my kids, even though I am not feeling well.
So, that is all! I am taking this one step at a time. I like that I can have a forum here to post and talk with others going through this.