Saturday, July 27, 2013

Nissen Fundoplication, Two Weeks Post-op

This week has not been as good as I had hoped it would be.

Friday, I ate a creamy peanut butter and toast sandwich.  Creamy PB and toast were on the soft diet list, but I guess I must not have chewed it up good enough and I ended up regurgitating it.  It took quite a bit to get it up and hurt pretty good.  My husband may not call it puking, but it feels worse than actual puking.  The only blessing is that there isn't any stomach acid mixed in with it to make it taste so nasty.

The next day, Saturday, Nurse Ratchet and Dr. Ratchet (what my husband called himself and his mother) decided to take over my care and put me on a strict every six hour regimen of Tylenol and decided to watch what I eat, to make sure I am not eating anything that would cause further gas or diarrhea and add Fiber One bars to my diet.  I was worried that would cause more gas and diarrhea, but they said I needed more fiber.  I took two gelcap Tylenols and felt them get stuck, which was painful, until they eventually went down.

Sunday, I started breaking my Tylenol tablets in half and taking the halves a few minutes apart to make sure they went down.  I also found that I wasn't able to drink as well as I had been.  Anything more than a few sips and I felt it painfully backing up.  I started to wonder if I had injured myself with the regurgitation.

Monday, I started eating yogurt.  Even though I am lactose intolerant, we thought it would help with the diarrhea which has been increasingly worse.  The chief nursing officer from the hospital called after hearing from my surgeon about the problems we had.  She wanted to hear directly from us what happened, so I told her about the miscommunication and about not having a phone in my room and even about the nurse that stabbed the shot into my stomach.  She promised to take care of all of it.  At dinner, I ate part of a cheeseburger and regurgitated it.

Tuesday, I called the surgeon's office and told them how much trouble I have been having even drinking fluid and taking meds.  I was starting to worry about dehydration with the diarrhea and not being able to take in as much fluids.  They got me in that afternoon.  I had lost 2.6 more pounds since my appointment last Thursday.  He ordered a barium swallow test to see what's going on in there.  He said he hasn't had patients make backward progress before.  I didn't eat much Tuesday.  I haven't been eating much anyways, but even less than my new norm.

Wednesday, I went first thing to have my barium swallow.  They started with a thin version of the barium and had me take a few sips.  That seemed to go well, so they had me swallow those Pop Rock-type things that expand air in the esophagus.  Then they had me drink thicker barium--the consistency of paint.  I felt so uncomfortable as it all backed up.  Then they asked me to swallow a barium pill, which went down and then sat there and wouldn't go through into the stomach, showing just how tight the opening to my stomach is.  They couldn't tell if it was from swelling or just wrapped too tightly.  I felt a little hungrier and ate a bit more than usual.  My tummy was so upset though.  I couldn't stay out of the bathroom and the gas was so bad.  My stomach rumbled so loud and it was so painful.  I feel such pronounced movement in my abdomen that if I didn't know any better, I'd think I had a 7 month fetus kicking me in there.

Thursday (today), I wore myself out, running errands and feeling awful.  I went back to see my surgeon.  He said that he would like to wait until my six week check and see how things are then because he'd rather not do a balloon dilation when I am still healing, wait until things are more normal.  So, then he mentioned a feeding tube, which I immediately vetoed.  I hope I never have to do that because it totally freaks me out and after the esophageal manometry, my freaking was justified.  He said to really push the fluids and if I started to get dehydrated, they might have to top me off with some IV fluid.  I went home and regurgitated some crackers.  I'm tired of feeling yucky.

My incisions are healing up well.  They were really itchy, but that seems to have subsided for the most part.  Occasionally, I move funny and hurt one of the incisions, but otherwise, they are doing great.  It's hard because outwardly, I am healing well, but internally...not so much.  I am tired a lot, probably because I'm not able to eat and drink enough.  I am trying to do more, a few household chores and some errands, but I feel totally wiped out afterwards.

I did research before I had the surgery, but I don't remember reading anything about having trouble getting liquids and meds down.  We go camping for our family vacation in about two weeks.  I just hope I can enjoy myself and that I won't be too much of a downer to my family.

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